Arbour Survivor – In Their Own Words

Posted on November 28, 2013

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A survivor commented on the ARBOUR HEALTH SYSTEMS (AHS) article with their own horrific experience:

Thank you for following this story.

I am a survivor of Brookline’s Arbour. Before I went there, I kept being told by optimistic nurses that I’d be sent somewhere that could help me get to a better place in my life. They were optimistic. I was optimistic. I figured I’d come out of the mental hospital a different person than I’d gone in!

I did. Their “care” came closer to killing people than their own suicide attempts.

The head nurse was a sadist (and unfortunately not the only one) who would call the police dispatchers to tell them not to bother responding to calls whilst she restricted physically ill patients’ medications – and while they told her they were legally required to respond to them – they listened. One person’s family called 911 twice, and had to wait outside the second time to make sure they actually came.

One woman had been there for over a month, who was clearly as stable as she could get in a place like that. She didn’t have a strong support network – maybe a mother, who resented taking care of her. She was mentally challenged: she didn’t have the ability to argue her way out of being further pathologized, and they exploited this. They broke down her sense of self. Like me, they likely tried to intimidate her by yelling at her and claiming she couldn’t function well enough yet to return to society.

I suspect “code blue” only came several times because you did not receive treatment unless you were already nearly (or as recently noted in the news, *completely*) irretrievably dead. Everything but psychiatric medications needed excessive approval: they tried to give you medicines you were *allergic* to to cut corners. On top of that, if you have a common name – prepare to get someone else’s meds from the overworked pharmacists.

I am traumatized. My family is traumatized. After not being able to hold food down consistently (sometimes at all for days), or even DIGEST it properly due to restricting necessary medications, I got a pinched “sorry for the inconvenience”. The “inconvenience” that put me at risk of DEATH.

My experience is not unique. These guys are pathological liars and use mental illness’ stigma to the max.

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