Mental Illness, Schizophrenia, and Forced Treatment

*Trigger Warning*

In this episode of Schizophrenia and the City, Michelle talks about the important topic of forced treatment. Michelle once checked herself into the psych ward for a suicide attempt but wasn’t allowed to leave because they had a 72-hour hold on her. The next day, she tried to leave, but was not allowed. As she got more upset with the nurses, she was forcibly strapped to a table and given a shot. When she woke up the next day, she had been transported to a different facility in an ambulance, which she was supposed to pay for, because she was made to sign the documents while under the effect of the drugs. Nobody had directly told her what was going on, why she was not allowed to leave; nobody even tried to be nice to her. What was worse, going to the hospital did not even help, and was a terrible experience in general. She was forced to just sit there, doing absolutely nothing. In addition, in order to go back to school, Michelle had to give the hospital permission to talk to a psychiatrist at her school (whom she hated), who kept giving false information. Michelle had absolutely no say in the exchange between the hospital and the school. The point is: for some people, like Michelle, forced treatment does not work, and, if you’ll pardon the French, it sucks.

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michelle hammer

Michelle Hammer is a Schizophrenia Activist and spends her time passionately fighting stigma.  At 27, Michelle decided to use her artistic talents and fearless personality to do something that could benefit the mental health community. In May 2015, she founded a mental health focused clothing brand. Schizophrenic.NYC is a clothing brand with the mission of reducing stigma by starting conversations about mental health. Michelle has also been featured in many publications such as Mashable, The Daily Mail, Stylist, and Buzzfeed.