Podcast: Psychiatry; A Woman’s Account of Being Sectioned
Here is an interview with a woman who recounts her experience of being sectioned by her husband. It is intimate and she talks about all the details of how it came about, what it made her feel and what she thinks retrospectively of the experience. She went on to become qualified in the field of psychology and so it presents a particularly interesting perspective on psychiatry.
The way that women encounter the world is significantly undermined in many ways. We need only take a look at the difference in the levels of payment women get for equivalent jobs with their male counterparts. This oral history represents a signifier into the gender differentials which can exist around voice and agency. We know from records that in the past single women who had children out of wedlock – also illegitimate children – were often interred in mental asylums for the ‘social inconvenience’ they suggested to the dominant paradigm.
This is part of the Mad World archive which is developed by the Ragged University project which has been inspired by the Mad Peoples History work done in Ryerson University, Toronto. This is an interesting age in terms of how we view mental health and sanity. The old perspectives and the medical models are starting to be questioned and analysed through listening to stories.
These stories which are missing from the account are not those of the clinicians or the enfranchised people in society, but the people who are subject to the ruling attentions. Here is one such story which adds to a complex picture, and which can help us move forward from misidentifications, mistakes and ultimately miscarriages of justice.