Person with ME


Dear Eileen Shoosmith/Reading M.E. Group,

I was very disturbed and saddened to learn of the death of Sophia Mirza, and the circumstances in which she died. Such a story is all too familiar to me and my own experience. I have for 20 years been a severe M.E. sufferer. For a whole two and a half years between 1989 and 1992 I was completely, totally and utterly bedridden. I could not do any weight bearing at all and was cared for at home by my mother, and was washed by District Nurses. Most expected me to die.

During that time I was taken captive by psychiatrists and taken to The xxxxxxxx Psychiatric Unit, xxxxxxxx Hospital, xxxxxx. For six months I was subjected to severe and terrible psychological abuses in what I term their `interrogation chambers'. I was subjected to a regime of the threat of physical torture, bullying, intimidation, scorn, derision, lies, deception, malice, and above all hatred. The stress and emotional torment induced in my mind was extreme beyond description. At the end of their `treatment' the psychiatrists claimed to have done wonders for me, and to have transformed me into a wonderful whole new person who'd progressed greatly in mental health and well-being. But the truth was that the psychological damage inflicted into my vulnerable mind was colossal, and has so far lasted the rest of my lifetime.

For the past 14 years I have been trying emotionally to recover and rebuild myself out of their efforts and achievements in destroying my mind and destroying me as a person, according to their ambitions. One of the greatest and most long lasting of the many adverse psychological effects was my "cursing",-my inability to prevent waves of `curses' rising up in my emotions from my subconscious, the very first moment of my waking from sleep each morning, and then on throughout the day. I have battled with this `cursing the psychiatrists' ever since then, as I battle the inward struggle to forgive them. (I am a believer in complete forgiving, but find it hard and not easy to do). Really, at least two of my abusers should have been jailed.

A few years ago while in a period of remission, I became involved with a well attended Pentecostal church. One in the congregation was a man who told me that his wife had been a severe M.E. sufferer, but that she had tragically committed suicide. I learned that he wasn't much of a believer in the physicality of the illness, and she had gone into a psychiatric unit in which both he and the staff had behaved coercively towards her. It wasn't hard to piece together what the rest of the story was. I thought to myself, "Uh no, not another sufferer murdered by them ". (I call them the `psychiatric secret police', or the `psychiatric Gestapo', knowing for myself from all my personal inside experience of how they operate). I considered `stirring up a hornet's nest' in the fellowship by telling the elders and leaders of the church that I believed he'd taken part in the `murdering of his wife'. But due to my always fatiguing mentally, and needing to get home to rest after services, I never did start that row.

After I myself had been captive to psychiatrists, both my parents sided with them, and they dismissed and rejected whatever I tried to explain to them about myself. Their doing so detrimentally affected my relationships with both of them. For a number of reasons (but of which this has been a major part) I haven't been in contact with my mother for years, even at Christmas or birthdays. But my relationship with my Dad has survived, just about, at a struggle over the years. It just goes to show that psychiatrists don't just destroy individuals, but families too!

Currently I am acutely affected by M.E. I am completely housebound and live alone in extreme social isolation, being incapable of more than just a few minutes of conversation with anybody each day. I can stand just a little but can scarcely walk at all. Most of my existence takes place on my bed. I don't have Home care but my food shopping comes in from Tesco online.

I live with a constant fear that `they', the psychiatrists, may one day come for me again - that they may come and break down my door and "Section" me and take me. (In other words, an `arrest'). I know that they would do anything to gain power over me a second time. And then I too would be forced to my death. The inducement of relapse and physical symptoms which would occur in me would be beyond what I believe I would be capable of surviving. For this reason I always have a supply of sedative medication tablets, a `stash' hidden in my bedroom drawer, which if they came for me I would grab quickly and hide in my socks or underwear to `smuggle' with me into the psychiatric unit. And then I would look for an opportunity to end my life by suicide. I do so hope that my life will not ever end in such a way, and yet, I am constantly aware that it is a very real possibility that it may at any time in the future come to pass, that I will be forced to my death, another hidden murder statistic.

Perhaps it is time for us to stop politely calling such deaths `tragic accidents' or `awful misunderstandings', and call them what they really are - murders!

Please feel free to use this letter in whatever way/s that you wish. I am perfectly happy for it to be quoted, printed, reproduced or circulated in whatever way.

Kindest Regards,