Our Lady’s Hospital,
2004 – 2nd March
I wrote you a letter from here a couple of years ago while I was incarcerated from 20-10-2001 A.D. You then read my letter on the radio and published it in The Irish Times for which we -Cork Advocacy Network, MindFreedom Ireland et al are grateful.
On the 3rd December 2003 A.D. I was discharged from G.F. – incapacitated mentally from drugs and detention. I was hopeless, helpless and useless, yet I was to manage over the Christmas and all in a house alone – I could not cook, shop, go to the dentist, the doctor or anywhere. My best friend carried me…….
After 7 weeks of tasting hell I recovered……..
This Carraig Mor is not a mental hospital, but a concentration camp. The doctors and nurses are Nazis with a few exceptions.
After I was fully healed the guards came to my house on 20th January 2004. I entertained them with tea and showed them family photographs in the parlour. Yet they handcuffed me and escorted me with two cars at great neck speed to G.F. (God’s Fools) in the Regional hospital.
Then I was sentenced to Carraig Mor. There they drugged me and I remember no more until I recuperated the following Tuesday evening. I have been unconscious since Friday.
The patients are mentally ill only from the brain drugs.
My chief good in life is to witness the closure of the mental hospitals and the disestablishment of psychiatry…..
Helena King O’Donovan
(Read out my name)
Sadly, this letter was not read out!
In 2006, just after Christmas Day the year our book ‘Soul Survivor – A Personal Encounter WIth Psychiatry’ was published. Helena died from the withdrawal effects of Risperdal. She was forced to take it by injection. The month before those who injected her forgot to give the injection. Sometimes she was in great form but other times she experienced the depths of despair. She was a practising Catholic and had a deep faith. She took it very seriously. Many times because of the adverse effects of the drugs at times she told me she felt suicidal but her strong faith would not allow her to take her life. She stayed in our home around Christmas day and we had a lovely time together. She was optimistic that with good help she would recover and find her true self again, However, a few days later she seemed to take her life. I believe it was from the dangerous withdrawal effects of Risperdal.
You tried with all your might to explain how psychotropic drugs can cause so much harm, Helena. You experienced them for so long. They were forced on you incessantly but they continued to violate your body and soul, No one listened. No one cared. But we did and knew the iatrogenic harm you endured from the hands of ‘medics’.
Helena was one of the founder members of MindFreedom Ireland. We campaigned outside the Rochestown Park Hotel with many people who protested about important issues. We proudly held our banners for our human rights. It was a proud moment for both of us.
We feel her courageous spirit with the spirit of all those who have gone before us. They are all alive in our memories while we continue to raise our voices.
“When someone you love becomes a memory, that memory becomes a treasure.”