Behind The Mask- Healthcare System

I’ve been very open about my experience with my pregnancy loss. I had an ectopic pregnancy and suffered 4 weeks of severe pain, bleeding and very classic ectopic pregnancy symptoms, which were not diagnosed in a timely manner. I also have been open about my birthing scare, I almost lost my last child.

After the death of Kim Porter and Serena Williams’s own health scare I knew that there were more voices than just mine, that others had experienced lack of compassion or even outright mistreatment or misdiagnosis.

We need to discuss how to revamp these systems openly. Testimonies can help others be brave with their stories.

I thank all those whose shared their experiences.

Age: 32

Gender: Female

Region of the country: Seattle, WA

Occupation: Social Equity Consultant


Please explain why you chose the hospital or practice you chose to receive care from?

Unfortunately, I did not choose the hospital. It was an involuntary choice. This was in Louisville where their involuntary commitment laws were very liberal.


What were you receiving care for?

I was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder and dissociative identity disorder. The diagnoses were conflated with my Afrocentric spirituality.


How did you feel when you first started receiving treatment? Example: did you feel respected?

When I was in the asylum, I felt completely disrespected. I felt like I lost my humanity. I was restrained when I refused to take medication until I understood why. When I was sent to the clubhouse day center “for the severely and persistently mentally ill,” I felt a bit more like a member of the community. However, there was definitely an us vs. them mentality with the other members and the social workers. I feel that the camaraderie that was created out of necessity was healing. Without that, I would have not made it.


Explain a bit about what warning signs you first saw that your treatment might not be in your best interest?

When I tried to share with the asylum that my “symptoms” were partly mental illness, and mostly my spirituality. I was told that I was misinformed. Not even my family and community could convince them. At the day center, they feigned listening to me, but did not incorporate my feedback and narratives into the lesson plan.

I will share more of this individual’s story next week… stay tuned 


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