MentalHealthRightsYES - for Mental Health Rights
One Young Woman's Story
by her Mother
Nearly a century after Chaplin, echoing his own childhood experience, produced his heart-wrenching film about a child being torn from the arms of a loving parent by authorities, the emotional pain for MOMs and other loved ones experiencing similar treatment today hasn't gotten any easier to endure.

After suffering a  traumatic head injury, my adult daughter  was overdosed by her dentist with Halcion, a drug known to cause severe and sometimes paradoxical adverse reactions. Though the dentist exceeded state law limits, our state dental board had waived the law requiring special training to use high doses of this very potent drug, which is not FDA approved for use as a dental sedative. Approved only for use as a sleeping pill at very low doses for short durations, the drug is banned in the UK and other countries altogether.

Our North Carolina Dept of Social Services (DSS) got involved during a setback in my daughter's recovery and  FORCIBLY ENTERED OUR HOME, with the county sheriff and a deputy, without a warrant, seizing her against her will and forcing  her to an  (MDE) evaluation so DSS could justify forcing her on to dangerous, brain-damaging drug treatments, ignoring overwhelming evidence showing these drugs cause further brain damage and evidence of safer and more effective alternative treatments.

Though the Sheriff's office says it  had a court order, the sheriff  will not tell me who signed it or produce a copy of it, and the Clerk of Court denies having given anyone this authority.Though my daughter's doctor suggested that because of the head injury, drugs could harm her and vitamins and other recovery options would be a more appropriate treatment, DSS does not want to hear any medical opinion that does not support its and the drug industry's agenda of forced-drugging.

NC law and procedures and my daughter's rights and mine were violated. Nevertheless, the court continues to allow DSS to retain control of my daughter's life, and DSS refuses to allow her to return home, saying the non-drug treatments she chose and competent doctors recommended (one at UNC)  were not "proper treatment."

Rather than admitting to and correcting its mistakes and violations, DSS has launched a personal attack against me, amounting to libel and slander.
Click here:latest update letter from Mother documenting legalized abuse of her daughter soon to be published
click here: Letter from state guardian banning visits from mother
 Posted 3/22/2011
Below is my letter to holocaust survivor Thomas Buergenthal, former judge on the International Court of Justice.   I wrote him last week in care of the NPR program "The Story."  Since I sent this letter, my daughter has been released from Cherry and has been taken to Chapel Hill to get evaluation for brain damage.  It's nearly 10 pm and no one has called me to tell me how she is or what the results are.  You see, as her mother, I do not have the right to know unless my daughter tells me, and I know she would if she were allowed to make a phone call. 
She has been moved from Cherry to a private-owned company running a grouping of group homes - set up to continue her on drugs and help her "manage" "her meds," as if they were made by God just for her.
I know what these "meds" do to people and I KNOW she doesn't need to manage them; she now needs to find an expert to help her wean off them so she can get back her life, her health, and her mind.  A lot of people know this, and a few ethical ones are willing to stand up for the truth -that antipsychotics kill - and they do little, if anything, to heal.
I am going to need all the help I can get from all the ethical people who are willing for the upcoming hearing to change guardianship, as I have already spent everything taking care of my daughter and fighting this very sick system on her behalf.
This story is not just about my daughter. All those at Cherry Hospital are being abused and forced-drugged - her roommate was forced on Haldol.  I talked to her. It made her throw up and they didn't care. She went to a hearing to try to get discharged, and the psychiatrist lied, saying she stuck her finger down her throat.  My daughter was there when she got the drug and saw the reaction and she knows they are lying about her to keep her there. Thank god I got Jennifer out of there, but now there is more work to do, for my daughter's sake and all the others like those at Cherry.
We cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home
.   Edward R. Murrow
Dear Story Staff,
Could you get a message to today's guest, Thomas Buergenthal?
Please tell him:
I am always in awe of those who are able to survive such horrors and still have the will to live, having seen and lived the worst of what life has to offer.  Because of his strength, experience, and wisdom, I need his advice if he has time to give it, because of something that's happening now that's causing me to be afraid of life - something happening in America.
My daughter is in Cherry Hospital in Goldsboro, NC.  I don't think anyone on the outside can imagine what it's like for the "inmates" inside that place.  She was put there by our local Dept of Social Services (DSS), against my wishes, and most certainly against hers,  and after they decided I was negligent because I was helping her recover (without using drugs) from confusing and upset that followed a Halcion overdose by a dentist repairing her teeth after a head injury. The dentist broke the rules by drugging so much, but she's the one "incarcerated."
Though many, including two psychiatrists who've seen her on the "outside" believe she needs to be evaluated for brain damage, my local DSS (Dare County, NC) doesn't want to believe she suffered brain injury - their agenda supports only "putting people on good, solid medication."
But with brain injury, this "good solid medication," not only often doesn't work, it can cause further brain damage and often causes paradoxical effects. These drugs do nothing to heal anyway, and they always pose a risk, as a recent public release by Stanford Medical School explains. If used at all, it must be very short term or else damage will certainly result.
I've done a lot of research on alternatives, and there is no FDA-approved treatment for brain damage, and my daughter has been healing well (with some setbacks, common to brain damage), with non-drug treatments recommended by very reputable doctors.  DSS only got involved after her SS benefits began - and they took the money!  Though I explained everything to DSS, they refused to believe a documented TBI diagnosis, and labeled me negligent, failing to charge me with anything, so I couldn't defend myself.  Despite the lack of proof or actual charge against me, the effect is the same, I am being treated as a bad parent (though my daughter is an adult) and not even allowed to touch her hand on the 2 days they allow me to visit her.

They claimed I was rubbing homeopathic remedies on her - even though I was allowed to bring NOTHING into her visiting area.
My real concern, though, is that she has NO RIGHTS.  She clearly does not belong where she is, because no one sees her as a danger to anyone, including herself.  Though she tried to appeal the commitment, the court-appointed attorney said she could not.  She cannot hire a lawyer herself, because she is not allowed to sign a legal contract.  Only the ones who took away her rights have the right to sign for a lawyer to defend her rights (how messed up is that?). She asked for a transcript of the hearing (a right the law seems to provide), and yet she's told she can't have that either. She asked to appeal, and that right was denied her as well.
Though she is being continuously neglected and abused; for example: the doctor, Chitilla,  ignored some very severe, life-threatening drug side effects, (by a drug manufacturer that has been successfully sued by many state Attorneys General for failing to disclose serious, life threatening side effects) and refused to lower the dose, the staff keeps the patients on her ward locked out of their bedrooms all day-14 hours during the weekdays, so they never have a quiet place to rest or read or just relax, and when my daughter needs her bottled water (provided by me), she is only allowed to have it from 730-8 pm (even though the drug labels say to drink plenty of fluids to avoid dangerous dehydration).
Several other patients have confirmed that they are locked out of their rooms all day, left to sit in uncomfortable chairs in a room with the TV and other noise all day when not in "group," and yet the hospital advocates constantly claim that the doors are opened during the day for quiet and rest.   This last part about the patient advocates perpetuating the myths the hospital wants the outside to believe, is the scariest of all, because when patients initially have that hope that their grievances will be heard, they soon become disillusioned when they find out there's really not anyone there really advocating for them...they are all alone, and they are under lock and key and forced to do what they are told for fear they may be restrained or put in straight jackets.  It's even frightening to me on the outside looking in, to know that the whole advocate thing is a farce. what they do is pass on concerns and nothing is done about those concerns, so they are being paid to make things look "pretty."
My daughter, already traumatized by the head injury and another past event, holds in her fear every day while there, but expresses it on the phone to me, and it's horrible knowing I also have so little power to do anything about it.
And though the drugs are making her sick and making her no better, that "justifies" them keeping her there in that misery longer and longer, to the point she is losing hope, she fears refusing the drugs or complaining or even asking for ANYTHING, because she knows it will make her stay even longer - or it will cause them to give her electro-shock or a shot or isolation.
She sees them holding down and then restraining patients all the time.  She saw a paraplegic restrained. It is an environment of constant stress and fear.
I know this does not compare to the horrors you have seen, but I have to wonder why in the world anyone would see this as a healing environment for those who are already wrestling with a lot of fears.  The fears they take into that place may be partially imaginary, but the ones they develop while there are indeed real. 
And I find that the harder I push to try to expose these abuses - or unkindness's to say the least, the longer they keep her -- as if we are both being punished, for there can be no worse punishment for me than to have my daughter, a former straight A student and honor society student - a sweet wonderful young woman - go through this horror daily.
And still 3 weeks after her commitment, despite the judges orders, no one has taken her to get the proper evaluation and diagnosis for the head injury- they keep her sick and unstable with the drugs (which are too strong for her and known to have psychiatric effects, especially with brain injury).  It all appears to be an excuse to keep from getting her the brain damage evaluation that will certainly change her place of residence and treatment -- and it will make DSS, who is in charge of all this,  look pretty bad, if brain injury turns out to be the diagnosis. {No one has as of 2014 ruled out TBI - nor can they - the injuries are documented and known to cause PTSD and TBI].
I don't know what to say to her - how to help her -- how to make her hold on to herself, because as the days go on and as others come and go, she is held there -- now three weeks -- with no justification, because she is no danger.  To be innocent and yet treated as a criminal has to be the worst thing in the world to bear.
It is like she and I are being punished for wanting to use non-drug treatments - -for arguing with DSS - for disagreeing with a treatment plan that is known to cause serious and dangerous side effects (as Grace Jackson will tell you.)  She has already experienced these and I had to actually report abuse to the Wayne County DSS to get them to change that drug.  I had to worry about doing this thing I had to do to save her life - that they would make it even worse.  Why should any one in this country fear such a thing?
Why in America do we refuse to allow people whose illness affects the brain have fewer Civil rights than those who have illnesses affecting other body areas?  Why can't these people- all of them poor -- have the right to a second opinion - to a real lawyer who actually fights for their freedom and their right to the treatment of their choice, even if it doesn't fill the pockets of the pharm industry and those getting kickbacks from it?
Why don't we expose this in America when we show compassion for human rights abroad? 
Can you suggest anything that I can do for her, without making it harder on her?  I am truly afraid she might die in that place, with them drugging her inappropriately and without the proper evaluation.
Thank you for sharing your story.
A mother_____.
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