Letter to the Editor


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To the editor:

I caught the Aug. 2 letter to the editor from Roy Wilson, Missouri's Department of Mental Health director. All I can say is the mental-health guys are sure trying to get us doped up. Am I the only one who noticed that he said these new medications hold great promise? This sounds an awful lot like we're talking about experimental drugs that have not been proven to help at all.

Most disturbing, however, is that all the praise that I've seen for these new mind-altering drugs comes not from those forced to take the drugs, but from those who make money off of caring for these troubled people -- those prescribing the drugs.

Such drugs as Thorazine, dubbed the chemical straitjacket when first introduced, is found in use because it terminates to many custodial problems. Patients become docile and malleable. But what does someone who's taken Thorazine have to say about it? A typical Thorazine patient was not quite so enthralled with this miracle drug. He reported: "My tongue was so fuzzy, so thick, I could barely speak. It was hard to think, the effort was so great. More often than not, I would fall into a stupor of not caring, or I would go to sleep. In eight years I did not read an entire book or see a whole movie. People's voices came through filtered, strange. They could not penetrate my Thorazine fog, and I could not escape my drug prison. I watched my body grow heavy and distorted."

What right has anyone to force someone else to ingest a foreign chemical or receive any treatment, for that matter, against his will?

If any readers have received psychiatric treatment of any kind and have a story to tell, they can call the Citizens Commission on Human Rights Abuse Hot Line at (314) 940-3070.


St. Louis