Norwegian Television (NRK 1) will present a documentary about coerced psychiatry on October 28, 2008.

Scene from Documentary on Forced Psychiatry

Hamar, Norway 28th Oct. 2008

To MindFreedom

        On the 28th October the Norwegian TV (NRK 1) will present a documentary about forced psychiatric treatment, based on the stories of two young women. They both are mothers and they both were met with commitment when they asked for help in difficult life situations.

        Kristina has experienced forced medication with harmful side effects and ran away last summer when she was informed about the hospital’s plans to commit her again. Her mother took care of the children and at last the hospital gave in and accepted to suspend the resolution.

        In the documentary her psychiatrist talks about the diagnosis he has given her and tells that he suspected a new “attack”. Therefore he wanted to commit her again. When she argued that she had no need of hospital care, that she and her children were fine, that they were surrounded by a helpful network and that the hospital had just added pain and problems to her, the psychiatrist answered that she could just show up and “prove that she was healthy”. The fact that she did not accept the hospital’s decision was by the psychiatrist taken as proof of bad ability to judge.

        The other woman, Hege, was committed when she denied medication by Zyprexa. As a chemist she knew about the harmful effects it could have, not only on her but on her baby who was dependent on breast milk. Her denial was taken as proof of lacking self insight and from that moment on her words didn’t count anymore and all she did was interpreted as symptoms of an illness.

        She was threatened by ECT as well as forced medication, but escaped by the help of a lawyer. After this experience she started to study law and will finish her law degree in ten months. In the last part of the documentary we see her challenging ministers and other leading politicians in a hearing about human rights and mental health care.

Ragnfrid Kogstad
Sociologist, researcher and friend of Hege and Kristina

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