“All for the Best of the Patient” – Dorrit Cato Christensen



I am sharing my story in support of the CRPD campaign: Absolute Prohibition of Involuntary Commitment and Forced Treatment. This campaign is of utmost importance. Treatment and commitment carried out by force is torture, and must be abolished immediately. For psychiatric ‘help’ to happen by force is a paradox and makes absolutely no sense. It can destroy people’s personality and self-confidence. It can lead, in the long run, to physical and psychological disability – and unfortunately, as I know only too well, it can also result in sudden death.

I have been in very close contact with the Danish psychiatric treatment system. My dear daughter Luise got caught in this ‘helping system’ by mistake, but she didn’t make it out alive. I’m sad to say I later discovered that the way Luise was treated was more the rule than the exception. After writing a book about Luise and the psychiatric system, Dear Luise: A story of power and powerlessness in Denmark’s psychiatric care system, people from all corners of the world contacted me to say that Luise’s story could have been their own or their loved one’s story.

As a leader of the Danish association Dead in Psychiatric Care, I am constantly in contact with desperate people who have been committed or who have experienced some kind of forced treatment. They all talk about the tremendous amount of psychotropics they are forced to take. They feel powerless when they complain about horrible side effects and are told in response that the disease has developed and the dose has to be increased. I hear about the smug certainty of some mental health professionals, both doctors and caregivers, and the concomitant dehumanization of their patients through indifference, harassment, coercion and the use of force. Through my experience with my dear Luise, I saw this cold and dangerous treatment world.

Luise died in 2005 when her body and mind could not tolerate the inhumane treatment anymore. After her death, I got access to the hospital records. Reading Luise’s 600-page chart was a wretched experience. It presents an impersonal diagnosis, with signs of coercion, both direct and indirect, permeating the stack of chart notes. Luise wanted me to help her, but the psychiatrists didn’t want to hear my opinion. They believed that they knew better. So I watched powerlessly as Luise deteriorated both physically and psychologically. I witnessed arrogance and dishonesty, repeated misdiagnoses, professional collusion, missing official records, and falsified hospital charts.

Luise started down this path in 1992 at the age of 18. She was supposed to have a psychiatric examination without medication, however, she was heavily medicated from the very minute she set foot in the hospital. After eight days she was close to dying from medication poisoning. That was in August, 1992. In October of 1992, she was still deeply marked by the poisoning. I have no doubt that she suffered brain damage from this. Instead of treating this injury, the psychiatrists wanted to give her more medication.

Luise said no. She argued that the psychotropics had made her very ill, which was true. The psychiatrists interpreted her arguments as a sign of her illness. Shortly after that, the mandated medication began – administered by a syringe – along with the periodic use of belt restraints.

She fought for two months against the terrible drugs. The staff always won this battle, of course. They used manpower, the belt, and the syringe.

At a certain point, Luise gave up fighting. She was broken. My heart bleeds when I read the chart from November 11, 1992. Two and a half months after she first contacted the psychiatric ward for help, her chart reads, “Today the patient offers no physical resistance but is anxious about being medicated and holds hands (the psychiatrists), and afterward, she is somewhat tearful.”

After reading the chart notes, I realize that coercion, both overt and covert, plays a much greater role in treatment than I had ever imagined.

Initially, Luise fought back, which resulted in long-term coercive measures. I can see that eventually just the threat of forcible measures was enough to make Luise give in. It’s the same story I hear from many of the people who contact me. At a certain point, everybody gives up on fighting back.

July 14th, 2005, around four p.m., was the last time Luise experienced this act of cruelty. She was involuntarily committed to a closed psychiatric ward. She had a psychotropic injected. That was on top of the four other antipsychotics she was already on. On the 15th, during the night, she was walking around as usual (akathisia). A bump was heard. At 5 a.m. Luise was declared dead. The doctor’s attempt at resuscitation was in vain. My Luise was gone forever.

The hospital chart, written not many hours before she died: “The patient was persuaded today to take prolonged-release medicine.” Then a few words about the dose and about how she was feeling well and could be moved to an open ward the next day.

Luise did not want me visiting her, that afternoon of July 14. This was unusual, so I called the ward and was told that she was doing fine and she just did not want to see me. I asked if there had been a change in her medication ― I dreaded the injection the doctor had talked about, which I said would be Luise’s death. The woman on the telephone answered that, for the best of Luise, they had decided to inform me about any medication changes only once a week, so I could find out about this the following Thursday. That’s when I really got scared. Just a few words in the chart about such an important decision as giving a new drug by way of depot injection.

Medical law requires that a patient’s chart must record what information the patient has received about a new product, and what the patient has articulated about it. Nothing was noted in her chart. No informed consent. Luise would have done anything to avoid the syringe. So the sentence “The patient was persuaded today to take prolonged-release medicine” is ominous. I’m sure she fought against getting this injection, as she had earlier been about to die from injection with psychotropics.

The autopsy also revealed marks around her body, which the coroner could not explain. I have no doubt that these marks stem from the staff holding Luise down by force when she fought against getting the drug by syringe ― the injection she died from, eight to twelve hours later.

Mental health problems are not a deadly disease. Yet many people, far too many people, still die in psychiatric care. They die because they are treated with far too high doses of psychotropics, often given against their will and by force. Luise’s tragedy is far from unique in Denmark ― or indeed any other ‘advanced’ industrialized country.

After Luise’s death, I sent a complaint to the National Agency for Patient Rights and Complaints, and to The Patient Insurance Association. My complaint’s headline was “Death from drug poisoning.” I named the four different drugs she had been on, which all together was a huge cocktail.

According to these agencies, Luise received the highest standard of specialist treatment. They wrote:

The antipsychotic medication treatment has complied with the best professional standards. That the outcome has not been satisfactory is due to the nature of the condition and the circumstances that the profession’s knowledge and treatment options are limited.

As stated, I believe that the risk inherent in the medication treatment must be weighed against the sufferings Luise H.C. would have undergone without treatment.

It is incomprehensible that Luise’s treatment was judged up to standard, when in fact they administered psychoactive pharmaceuticals at three times the highest recommended dose. There was no informed consent of this polypharmacy, and nothing written in the hospital records about her treatment in the last days of Luise’s life.

According to the UN Convention, everybody should be equal under the law. So why is this equality not carried out in practice? And why is nobody held responsible when the law is violated? Will we accept a society where far too many people die from an illness that is not deadly? Can we accept a society where forced treatment is often the cause of severe disability?

My answer is NO. Please, STOP forced treatment. Why on earth are psychiatrists so keen on keeping up such dangerous and degrading treatment? I want to tell them: Please get down from your ivory tower. Down to the real world, with real people, and stop saying that this kind of treatment is “for the best of the patient.”

Dorrit Cato ChristensenDorrit Cato Christensen is an author, lecturer and chairman of the Danish association Dead in Psychiatric Care. She devoted her life to helping people who are caught in the psychiatric system after her daughter’s fatal contact with the Danish mental health system. She has chronicled her daughter’s story in her talks and in her book  “Dear Luise: A story of power and powerlessness in Denmark’s psychiatric care system”

Contribution Jules Malleus à la Campagne pour soutenir l’Abolition totale des soins et de l’hospitalisation sans consentement en application de la CDPH de l’ONU


Merci au Comité de la Convention Droits des Personnes Handicapées.
Merci aux Usagers et Survivants de la Psychiatrie.
Vous avez su vous exprimer, vous avez su les écouter.
Grâce à vous, les bases sont en place pour faire respecter les droits de l’homme là où ils sont bafoués.
Merci du fond du cœur à chacun d’entre vous.
Je m’appelle Jules Malleus.

Sous ce nom, j’écris des articles et des contes qui sont souvent en rapport avec la psychiatrie.

Je ne prétends pas être un expert en quoi que ce soit, mais je voudrais vous expliquer ici pourquoi je participe à la Campagne pour soutenir l’Abolition totale des soins et de l’hospitalisation sans consentement en application de la CDPH de l’ONU.


Je souhaiterais vous parler d’une machine.
Une machine avec des engrenages et avec des pistons.
Une machine inventée par les hommes.
Cette machine, je lui en veux. Je peux même dire que je la hais.
J’accuse cette machine d’avoir détruit peu à peu ma mère, mon père, et certains de mes amis.
C’est la machine des traitements psychopharmacologiques imposés aux personnes.

Vous connaissez cette machine: C’est la machine du film Metropolis de Fritz Lang, sorti en 1927. Le héros du film recule frappé d’effroi, car il a compris que la machine est un Moloch, c’est à dire une sorte de culte maléfique auquel on sacrifie les êtres humains.En haut de l’escalier de la machine, il y a des êtres humains. Les mains liées dans le dos. Maltraités par les gardes, qui sont aux ordres des deux personnages porteurs d’une haute coiffe. Analogiquement, ce sont les patients psychiatriques traités sans leur consentement.

Ils sont poussés dans l’antre de la machine. En tous points, ils ressemblent à des esclaves. Ils ont perdus tous leurs droits  : leur corps et leur psychisme sont à la merci de la machine.

Les deux personnages à l’entrée du four portent un masque d’impassibilité  : ils ne manifestent pas d’émotion. Leur coiffe est une mitre de prétention à une connaissance supérieure  : dans l’analogie, ce sont les médecins qui désignent les prisonniers et décident de leur sort.

Quand je pense aux traitements forcés, et bien je pense à ceci  :

«  Toute résistance est inutile. Vous allez être assimilée.  »

La capitaine Janeway subit un traitement forcé dans l’épisode 146 de la série Star Trek Voyager. Le traitement servira à assimiler la victime dans le collectif auquel appartient le vilain monsieur.

J’ai placé cette photo parce que l’objectif d’un traitement psychiatrique est de rendre la personne moins «  anormale  », c’est à dire de la normaliser en quelque sorte. L’injection prive la victime de sa volonté  : celle-ci devient esclave du collectif.

C’est à dire que la différence, la diversité, vouloir être «  hors norme  », par exemple, est considéré comme une maladie, qu’on se propose d’éliminer, par la force.

Le traitement forcé n’est que le début  :

Dans le film «  Le Seigneur des Anneaux III  », de Peter Jackson, 2003, le héros Frodo reçoit une injection forcée de l’araignée géante Shelob, ce qui a pour effet de le faire baver et de lui faire perdre ses moyens. L’araignée entortille alors sa victime de sécrétions gluantes afin de laisser sa viande faisander quelque temps dans sa caverne.

C’est à dire que le venin sert à paralyser la victime. Les traitements dits anti-psychotiques font de même et diminuent les capacités de défense du patient. Il devient alors plus facile de briser la personnalité afin de faire consentir à ce que l’on veut.

J’ai appris la programmation informatique, afin d’essayer de gagner ma vie. Et ce que je vous propose c’est un algorithme. L’algorithme qui suit n’existe pas dans les textes, il n’est pas enseigné non plus.
Il représente davantage une sorte de boutade destinée à faire comprendre l’absurdité d’un système.

C’est mon analyse de ce qui se passe quand une institution et ses rouages se mettent à tourner sans rien prouver de concret. Le mot-clé est non-compliance. Non-compliance au traitement signifie que vous êtes aussi dans le déni du trouble, donc on vous classe dans la case psychotique.

J’ai montré cet algorithme à des survivants: certains m’ont confirmé ceci. Ils m’ont expliqué qu’ils étaient obligés de jouer la comédie du malade et de la guérison pour parvenir à sortir de l’enfer des droguages abrutissants qui leur étaient imposés.

Quand une indication n’est pas étayée par des preuves biologiques, quand la maladie supposée n’a pas été caractérisée par des pathologistes, alors il me semble légitime de qualifier le traitement d’expérimental.

J’estime aussi que la mécanique d’augmentation des doses que j’ai décrite dans cet algorithme n’est pas autre chose qu’une machine de torture.

Les victimes du traitement forcé ont été diffamées. On n’a plus confiance en elles. Elles font peur. Les personnes n’ont plus confiance en elles-mêmes. Certaines présentent des maladies iatrogènes. Beaucoup sont traumatisées par l’expérience. Elles vivent dans la peur d’un nouveau traitement forcé, elles sont menacées de «  rechuter  ». Beaucoup restent engluées dans des addictions psychopharmacologiques auto-destructrices. Il en résulte la perte de son potentiel, l’empêchement de se réaliser, l’échec, le désespoir, la culpabilité, le chômage, la précarité, et cela conduit souvent à la fuite dans l’addiction, et au suicide.

Témoignage d’Agnès:

“Ayant été hospitalisée à 10 reprises, j’ai subi des traitements
dégradants, des humiliations. Nous sommes traités là-bas comme des animaux. On nous attache, on nous met à l’isolation etc…
Ce n’est pas parce que nous sommes en crise et donc soit-disant dangereux que l’on nous traite ainsi. Non, le but est de nous casser pour nous faire avaler des médicaments et nous donner une leçon pour que nous n’arrêtions plus de les prendre. Et toute la société accepte cela comme une chose normale.”

Et voilà …

Moloch est repus. Moloch vous remercie.

Et cela va continuer à moins que …

Ensemble exigeons que les lois de santé mentale de notre pays ne permettent plus, mais au contraire abolissent, le traitement forcé.


La convention ONU relative aux droits des personnes handicapées (CDPH)

L’Observation générale n° 1 sur l’article 12

Statistiques 2014 Psychiatrie France

Statistiques judiciaires sur les hospitalisations psychiatriques sans consentement en 2014 en France

Le dossier de presse et les photos du rapport 2015 de la Contrôleure générale des lieux de privation de liberté en France

Les UMD, “Unités pour Malades Difficiles”, un témoignage.

Dimitri, 19 ans de maltraitance d’une personne adulte handicapée en institution: attaché, drogué, envoyé en UMD.

Thomas Szasz, 1997: “Insanity: the idea and its consequences.”