Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Over on Clinical Psychiatry News....

Check out our CPN site where Roy is talking about Stage 2 Meaningful Use, and I've put down my final words (I hope!) on strip searching psych patients.  Do Check It Out if you'd like to see what we have to say, and to all those who helped me with this article, please accept my gratitude!  Roy and I would both love your feedback.

Lately, I feel like a moving obsession...I was preoccupied with medical marijuana legislation for a bit, then with how body searches are conducted of our patients, at the moment I'm reading Kaitlin Bell Barnett's new book Dosed: The Medication Generation Grows review is forthcoming.  What next?


Anonymous said...


I read your article, and I am very appreciative of what you wrote. I commented in the past about how my being strip searched in a psychiatric hospital was a re-enactment of past sexual abuse. The bitter irony is that I needed help because I was despondent and depressed from my brain replaying those traumatic memories over and over and over.

I was hospitalized for depression. I was told that they needed me to take off all of my clothes, I begged and pleaded and cried, and then I shut down. I robotically did as the nurse instructed. I tried to cover my naked body with my arms. The voice in my head said, "You deserve this, because you are nothing." I left with more traumatic memories for my brain to play over and over and over. To this day I remember the clothing and shoes I had on, the way the room smelled, the place I stood in the room, etc.

Only recently after many years have I gone back to a psychiatrist. I made a promise to myself long ago that I would not put myself in a position where someone could do that to me again. My therapist has encouraged me for years to see a psychiatrist again, but I have been too afraid. She has reassured me that she has known him a long time, that I will be safe there, and that this will not happen to me again.

Before I went to the appointment with him, I looked up his name on the state board website to see which hospitals he is affiliated with. He does not work at a hospital that strip searches. Although he has been very kind and respectful, the fear is still there. I am very guarded with what I say.

I think that psychiatrists who work in hospitals that strip search may be somewhat distant from the impact of it. I didn't talk about it with the psychiatrist who treated me at that hospital, and he likely has no idea. I haven't told my current psychiatrist either, I'm still trying to work on the trust thing.

I worry about what seems to be a gradual push toward more use of involuntary treatment, such as AOT, etc. I do not think this is the right direction to take, and it increases my fears and anxiety about seeking treatment.

Kindness works better for me than threats and force. I've had enough threats and force in my life, already. I need to know that my boundaries will be respected not invaded. I need to feel safe.

Anonymous said...

Dinah - Great article! I really appreciate how you contacted hospitals about their policies, showing the lack of common standards on this practice. A really fair piece of writing.

Signed - Frequent Flyer

Sunny CA said...

That was a very well-done article. Including the calls to local hospitals nicely supported the patient anecdotal evidence.

Anonymous said...

Great article Dinah.

I will be interested to see if you get any comments and what people say.