Stupid Girls

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

MOVIE: "Frances"

Frances Farmer before "treatment"

Frances Farmer after "treatment"

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No student of psychology or psychiatry ought to be allowed to graduate without seeing and discussing this movie in class. People with behavioral health challenges are still treated as though we have no rights, no ability to choose our lives. This film is a quite honest and unflinching look at the threat of psychiatric incarceration and its devistating effects on us, especially on women.

Seventy-five percent of electroshock "therapy" is performed on women. Ninety-five percent of those administering the torture are men. Electroshock causes permanent brain damage.

Historical accuracy in this movie is not the point. Everything in the psychiatric industrial complex portrayed really does happen to incarcerated women, including forced prostitution inside institutions.

The depiction of the transorbital, "ice pick" lobotomy and of "Dr. Freeman" (I put his name in quotes because he is neither a doctor nor a free man) is completely accurate. Listen to "My Lobotomy" on "Sound Portraits," on the internet.

If you are a survivor of psychiatric abuse, some of us are organizing for fairness and justice. Search for Mind Freedom and for Psych Rights.

These days, they're using atypical neuroleptics and antipsychotics instead of lobotomy. And they're prescribing to children as young as two years -- not for chronic mental health issues, but for "behavioral problems." They're advertised on tv for depression. Their side effects shorten human life span by twenty-five years: diabetes, liver damage, heart disease, chronic obesity.

Never forget how few rights women had in the US in the early twentieth century. We only got the vote in the '20s and couldn't get credit without a father's or husband's signature until the late '70s.

In other countries, "treatments" far worse than those depicted here still go on.