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Front entrance to the Linden unit
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I am one of many psychiatric survivors, with other eleven years of experience with many psychiatrists, manytypes of psychiatric drug, someone who has forged strong friendships with other patients, someone who wastried to escape the ‘system’ several times – I have even been described as a ‘difficult’ patient.I just think that all the accounts of the modern psychiatric system are written by psychiatric staff, mainly inthe notorious ‘mental health notes’ (I am into roughly my seventeenth volume), or sometimes a fictionalaccount of the asylum is penned by a novelist who has never actually been there. Thus, my little book aboutvarious experiences, some pleasant, some harrowing, in the present day institution.
Although the actual names of the institutions I attended are given, I thought it was safest, and arguably moreethical, to not give the names of patients, staff, doctors, visitors and ‘fringe patients’. From a purely legalstandpoint a degree of anonymity is essential – as I am sure all would agree. The purpose of this little book is more academic and cultural than journalistic. The potential backlash from the psychiatric staff as well asex-patients is not worth the hassle. I identify each person by asterisk only; I have no intention in makingthings worse by revealing superfluous details – none whatsoever.On the flip side, I also am not attempting to keep my own identity secret. This is for despite serious legalreasons involving accusations of ‘statutory indiscretion’, illicit drug use, and because of potential libel writsagainst me. It also is the case because of extreme embarrassment about what I have come to conclude is asingularly sordid past. Please forgive me. However, this is not a work of fiction, it as an autobiographicalaccount of modern psychiatric, forced treatment and the increasingly vague world of ‘psychopolitics’.