What Is Psychiatric Abuse?

Erik J.J. Goserud

Psychiatric abuse refers to the physical or mental abuse that a psychiatrist or other related professional engages in toward a patient seeking treatment. This form of abuse can come in many forms, even resulting from a treatment plan itself. Psychiatric abuse is sometimes overlooked for many reasons. This very serious problem can dramatically affect those involved.

Psychiatrists must be careful not to harm patients who are already mentally compromised.
Psychiatrists must be careful not to harm patients who are already mentally compromised.

People may seek psychological help for numerous reasons. Sometimes, it can be something minor, and sometimes, more severe problems require the attention of mental experts. There are instances when a person may voluntarily seek the help of a psychologist or psychiatrist. Other times, someone may be recommended to seek care or even forced by a court or higher authority in some cases.

People may seek psychiatric help for anxiety disorders.
People may seek psychiatric help for anxiety disorders.

Regardless of the reason for therapy or method for treatment, one constant is that all people expect their psychological professional to provide effective and ethical care. Unfortunately, this is not always the case, and psychiatric abuse is the result. Psychiatric abuse may happen in many ways and for many reasons, although it is somewhat baffling that professionals in a field geared to help people would abuse their power to cause suffering and trauma.

Purposeful prescription of experimental medications is a form of psychiatric abuse.
Purposeful prescription of experimental medications is a form of psychiatric abuse.

Psychiatrists have a lot of power. They differ from psychologists in that they reserve the ability to prescribe medications. This gives them the legal power to diagnose and treat through pharmaceutical measures in addition to other more conventional psychological treatments. This power, when harnessed properly, can be helpful to treat many sick individuals. All power comes with responsibility, and somehow for reasons not always understood, psychiatrists or supporting staff members choose to act in a manner that harms people.

Becoming a victim of psychiatic abuse can harm a person in many ways.
Becoming a victim of psychiatic abuse can harm a person in many ways.

Abuse, by definition, is the mistreatment of people, ranging from mild to severe. There have been reported cases of psychiatric abuse such as mental torture, purposeful prescription of wrong or experimental medications, and even sexual mistreatment. These can all severely damage an already vulnerable person. It is easy to see how there should be little tolerance for the psychological abuse of mentally compromised people by the individuals promising to help them.

Psychiatric abuse often causes emotional damage, although some patients suffer physical harm.
Psychiatric abuse often causes emotional damage, although some patients suffer physical harm.

Becoming a victim of psychological abuse can harm a person in many ways and cause him or her to lose trust in treatment of any kind. Thankfully, there are organizations and help lines set up to aid in the report, investigation, and treatment of individuals unfortunate enough to have to deal with psychiatric abuse. Anyone in this position should seek immediate help to ease the recovery process.

Mental torture is a form of psychiatric abuse.
Mental torture is a form of psychiatric abuse.
Psychiatrists may be accused of abuse if they take advantage of a elderly person dealing with a mental disorder.
Psychiatrists may be accused of abuse if they take advantage of a elderly person dealing with a mental disorder.

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Discussion Comments

anon1003726

There is nothing by the way of reporting these persons abusing power, so why bring the subject to light? To allow people who might not realize that this abuse of power is just that, and take measures to get away from psychiatry and establish boundraries if at all possible. Few psychologically scarred people don't realize that they can turn to non-psychiatrists for support. The goal is to be believed, and if this article exists, then that end is slightly closer. That is all abuse victims are granted when bad people hold power.

anon313155

Yes, please list the organizations. Other than CCHR and the Civil Liberties Union, I know of none. The problem is that involuntary "treatment" (chemical torture) is legal and SOP, and is also intrinsically and inherently abusive. The mental health system has no avenue for those who have been traumatized, except perhaps more involuntary medication.

anon270858

Please list the organizations and help lines set up to aid in the report, investigation, and treatment of individuals unfortunate enough to have to deal with psychiatric abuse as you write about above.

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