Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Exciting news!

My first psychotic episode was spent in a Military psychiatric Ward during South Africa's Apartheid era. It wasn't nice. 3 months pumped (UNWILLINGLY) full of all sorts of drugs by inexperienced doctors (some of them no doubt gleeful to have state guinea pigs at their disposal). It culminated in 6 sessions of ECT (shock treatment).

About 6 years ago I saw a piece in a national newspaper written by a human rights organisation concerned about the abuse of soldiers in military psychiatric wards under the Apartheid regime. They urged ex-serviceman to contact them with their experiences. I contacted them immediately, and they then put pressure on the Military archives department to forward them my file. I was super excited to see the file. It had been such a powerful psychosis and so many bizarre things happened that I was keen to see how it had all appeared from the outside.

Mysteriously, the file had disappeared. So I lost contact with the Human Rights organisation 5 years ago and never heard from them again.

Today, like a bolt out of the Green, I received this email:

Hi Chris
I am hoping you will have the same email address. You won't believe it but finally the military archive has come up with some documents. Apparently there are only a 12 pages but I am sure you would like to see them. Please contact XXXXXXX to let him know where to post them to. Our organisation would also like to see them and get copies for our archive but we recognize that will be your decision once you have seen them.
Regards, XXXX

I'll let you know once I receive them....


  1. Please, do. I'm curious as hell to find out, but, of course, that's your business. You wrote of this experience before.

  2. oh thats cool. I'm happy they found it for you.

  3. whatchu gonna do, sue 'em for 8 million quid?

    or cling even harder to being god for a week?

    go back to flickr!

  4. That is great news, BP Guy. I know how much getting a record means to myself, as well. You'll need it for your book, for the James Freys that f'd it up for all memoirs - you need your proof not only to write correctly for yourself, but for when Oprah loves your book and needs to see background notes. If that sounds nuts, I think about it all the time!

    You know that I had 2 hideous psychoses and I fully understand the desire just to see what the techs and whatnot were writing about us. I have been with a County agency since my last one in 1994-5 and I know they already have a file on me that is enormous, and I think that is just from talking to me SINCE the big event. I have looked at it once to see only one page from my earliest psychosis.

    Those records are not for suing, they are not for returning to the most horrible time a person could ever experience (in my Humble Opinion): they are actually for piece of mind.

    Most people cannot fathom what these experiences feel like, what they do to you forever, and the fact that while you feel like you lost every marble you came equipped w/ inside, there are people watching this happen, hopefully there to help you, but sadly not always.

    I know I'd like my 'psychosis prize' for going to Hell & back. You are the closest person that I've 'met' that I genuinely believe has gone through something similar. For all the idiots & fakers that 'wish' they could 'be us,' I don't blame them. We have stories that blow all fakers completely out of the water, and with records our domination is complete. I wish you the best of luck with that.


  5. Now I'm all curious about my file from when I was seventeen. I don't think there would be any human rights abuses as I was only in for two weeks twice but I'm sure there was some pretty spurious prescribing going on.

    Are you ready to read what others made you out to be at that time? I'm guessing yes, but there might be a few surprises still. Be sure to step back a bit from your former self as you peruse the documents when they finally arrive. Something trite about hindsight and foresight seems appropriate here but I've got a nasty sinus infection so I'm not going to bother.

    How's the emigration coming along, by the way?

  6. Fascinating stuff I bet. I recently got a copy of my therapists notes to date after I won my disability case it was interesting to see what she thought and wrote.

  7. Strange how the smell of the diesel and the sound of the Ratel's exhaust-break forever rings within ones inner ear.

    May you find the sound of yourself again, brother.



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