I've spent hundreds of days in psychiatric hospitals.
I might have ended up spending most of my life on the back ward of a hospital, But that isn't how my life turned out.
In fact, I've managed to stay clear of hospitals for almost three decades, Perhaps my proudest accomplishment.
That's not to say that I've remained clear of all psychiatric struggles.
After I graduated from the Yale Law School and got my first law job, my New Haven analyst, Dr White, announced to me that he was in a close, his practice in three months, several years before I had planned to leave New Haven.
Why did Bin enormously helpful to me and the thought of his leaving shattered?
May My best friend Steve, sensing that something was terribly wrong, flew out to New Haven to be with May.
Now I'm gonna quote from some of my writings.
I opened the door to my studio apartment.
Steve would later tell me that for all the times he had seen me psychotic, nothing could have prepared him for what he saw that day.
For a week or more, I had barely eaten.
I was gone.
I walked his own.
My legs were wooden, my face looked and felt like a mask.
I close all the curtains in the apartment.
So in the middle of the day, the apartment was in near total darkness.
The air was feted, the room a shambles.
Steve, both a lawyer and a psychologist, has treated many patients with severe mental illness, and to this day he'll say, I was bad, as bad as any he had ever seen.
Hi, I said.
And then I returned to the couch, where I sat in silence for several moments.
Thank you for coming, Steve, Crumbling world Word voice tell the clocks to stop.
Time is, time has come.
White is leaving, Steve said somberly.
I'm being pushed into a grave.
The situation is grave, I moan.
Gravity is pulling me down.
Tell them to get away.
As a young woman, I was in a psychiatric hospital on three different occasions for lengthy periods.
My doctors diagnosed me with chronic schizophrenia and gave me a prognosis of quote Grave that is.
At best, I was expected to live in a board and care and work at menial jobs.
Fortunately, I did not actually enact that grave prognosis.
Instead, I'm a chair professor of law psychology and psychiatry at the USC Gould School of Law.
I have many close friends, and I have a beloved husband Will who's here with us today.
He's definitely the star of my show.
I'd like to share with you had that happened and also describe my experience of being psychotic.
I hasten to add that it's my experience because everyone becomes psychotic in his or her own way.
Let's start with the definition of schizophrenia.
Schizophrenia is a brain disease.
It's defining future of psychosis or being out of touch with reality.
Delusions and hallucinations are hallmarks of the illness, delusions or fixed and false beliefs that aren't responsive to evidence and hallucinations or false sensory experiences.
For example, when I'm the psychotic, I often have the delusion that I've killed hundreds of thousands of people with my thoughts.
I sometimes have the idea that nuclear explosions are about to be set off in my brain occasion, and I have hallucinations like one time I turned around and saw a man with a raise knife.
Imagine having a nightmare while you're awake, often speech and thinking become disorganized to the point of incoherence.
Loose associations involves putting together words that may sound a lot alike but don't make sense.
And if the words get jumbled up enough, it's called word salad.
Contrary to what many people think, schizophrenia is not the same as multiple personality disorder or split personality.
The schizophrenic mind is not split but shattered.
Everyone has seen a street person unkempt, probably ill fed, standing outside of an office building, muttering to himself or shouting.
This person is likely to have some form of schizophrenia.
But schizophrenia presents itself across a wide array of socioeconomic status, and there are people with the illness who are full time professionals with major responsibilities.
Several years ago, I decided to write down my experiences and my personal journey on.
I want to share some more of that story with you today to convey the inside view.
So the following episode happened the seventh week of my first semester of my first year at Yale Law School, quoting from my writings, my two classmates rebel and Val and I had made the date to work to meet in the Law school library on Friday night to work on our memo assignment together, but we didn't get far before I was talking in ways that made no sense memos or visitations.
I informed them.
They make certain points.
The point is on your head.
Pat used to say that Have you killed anyone?
Rebel and Val, look at me as if they are.
I have been splashed in the face with cold water.
What are you talking about, Ellen?
Oh, you know the usual.
Heaven and hell, let's go out on the roof.
It's a flat surface.
Rebel and Val followed, and they asked what had gotten into May.
This is the real me, I announce, waving my arms above my head.
And then, late on a Friday night on the roof of the Yale Law School, I began to sing, and not quietly, either.
Come to the Florida sunshine Bush.
Do you want to dance?
Are you on drugs?
One After you high high?
Me, No way, No drugs Come to the Florida Sunshine Bush, where there are lemons where they make demons.
You're frightening me, one of them said, and Rebel and Val headed back into the library.
I shrugged and followed them back inside.
I asked my classmates if they were having the same experience of words jumping around our cases as I waas.
I think someone's infiltrated my copies of the cases.
I've said We've got a case, the joint.
I don't believe in joints, but they do hold your body together.
It's an example of loose associations.
Eventually I made my way back to my dorm room, and once there I couldn't settle down.
My head was too full of noise, two full of orange trees and law memos I could not right and mass murders.
I knew I would be responsible for sitting on my bed.
I rocked back and forth, moaning and fear in isolation.
This episode led to my first hospitalization in America.
I had to earlier in England, continuing with the writings.
The next morning, I went to my professor's office, asked for an extension on the memo assignment on.
I began gibbering on intelligently, as I had the night before, and he eventually brought me to the emergency room.
Once there, someone I'll just call the doctor and his whole team of goons swooped down, lifted me high into the air and slammed me down on a metal bed with such force that I saw stars.
Then they strapped my legs and arms to the metal bed with quote thick leather straps.
Account sound came out of my mouth that I'd never heard before.
Half grown, half scream, barely human and pure terror.
Then the sound came again, forced from somewhere deep inside my belly and scraping my throat raw.
This incident resulted in my involuntary hospitalization.
One of the reasons the doctors gave her find for hospitalizing me against my will was that I was quote gravely disabled to support this view.
They wrote in my chart that I was unable to do my Gail Law School homework.
I wondered what that meant about much of the rest of New Haven.
During the next year, I would spend five months in a psychiatric hospital.
At times I spent up to 20 hours and mechanical restraints, arms tied, arms and legs tied down, arms and legs tied down with a net tight tightly across my check.
Tres I never struck anyone.
I never harmed anyone.
I never made any direct threats.
If you've never been restrained yourself, you may have a benign image of the experience.
There's nothing benign about it.
Every week in the United States has been estimated that 123 people die in restraints.
They strangle, they aspirate their vomit.
They have a heart attack.
It's unclear whether using mechanical restraints is actually saving lives or costing lives.
While I was preparing to write my student note for the Yale Law Journal on mechanical restraints, I consulted an eminent law professor who was also a psychiatrist and said surely he would agree that restraints must be degrading, painful and frightening.
He looked at me in a knowing way and said, Ellen, you don't really understand.
These people are psychotic, They're different from me and you They wouldn't experience restraints as we would.
I didn't have the car to tell him in that moment that no, we're not that different from him.
We don't like to be strapped down to a bed and left to suffer for hours anymore than he would in fact, until very recently.
And I'm sure some people still hold It is the view that restraints help psychiatric patients feel safe.
I've never met a psychiatric patient who agreed with that video today.
I like to say I'm very pro psychiatry, but very anti force.
I don't think forces effective is treatment, and I think using force is a terrible thing to do to another person with a terrible illness.
Eventually, I came to Los Angeles to teach at the University of Southern California Law School.
For years, I had resisted medication, making many, many efforts to get off.
I felt that if I could manage without medication, I could prove that, after all, I wasn't really mentally ill.
It with some terrible mistake by Motta was the less medicine, the less effective My Ellie analyst Dr Kaplan was urging me just to stay on medication and get on with my life.
But I decided I wanted to make one last college try to get off.
Quoting from the text, I started the reduction of my beds, and within a short time I began feeling the effects.
After returning from a trip to Oxford, I marched into Kaplan's office, headed straight for the corner, crouched down, covered my face and began shaken.
All around me, I sensed evil beings poised with daggers.
They'd slice me up in thin slices or make me swallow hot coals.
Capital would later described me as quote writhing in agony.
Even in this state, when he accurately described is acutely and floridly psychotic, I refused to take more medication.
The mission is not yet complete.
Immediately after the appointment with capital, I went to see Dr Martyr, a schizophrenia expert who was following me for medication side effects.
He was under the impression that I had a mild psychotic illness.
Once in his office, I sat on his couch, folded over and began muttering head explosions and people trying to kill.
Is it okay if I totally trashed her office?
You need to leave if you think you're going to do that.
Okay, Small fire.
Tell them not to kill me.
Tell them not to kill me.
What have I done wrong?
Hundreds of thousands with thoughts.
Ellen, do you feel like you're dangerous to yourself or others?
I think you need to be in the hospital.
I could get you admitted right away.
And the whole thing could be very discreet.
Ha ha ha.
You're offering to put me in hospitals.
Hospitals are bad.
One must stay away.
I'm God or I used to bay at that point in the text where I said I'm got are used to be My husband made a marginal note.
He said, Did you quit or were you fired?
So I give I give life and I take it away.
Forgive me, for I know not what I dio.
Eventually, I broke down in front of friends and everybody convinced me to take more medication.
I could no longer deny the truth, and I could not change it.
The wall that kept me Ellen Professor Sachs, separate from that insane woman, hospitalized your path.
Years past, lay smashed into rooms.
Everything about this illness says I shouldn't be here, but I am.
And I am, I think, for three reasons.
First, I've had excellent treatment.
4 to 5 day week Cycle Island look psychotherapy for decades and continuing an excellent psychopharmacology.
Second, I have many close family members and friends who know me and know my illness.
Thes relationships have given my life a meaning and a depth, and they also help me navigate my life and fate in the face of symptoms.
Third, I work at an enormously supportive workplace at USC Law School.
This is a place that not only accommodates my needs but actually embraces them.
It's also a very intellectually stimulating place, and occupying my mind with complex problems has been my best and most powerful and most reliable defense against my mental illness.
Even with all that excellent treatment, wonderful family and friends supported work environment.
I did not make my illness public until relatively late in life.
And that's because the stigma against mental illness is so powerful that I didn't feel safe with people.
Know, if you hear nothing else today, please hear this.
There are not schizophrenics.
There are people with schizophrenia and these people, maybe your spouse.
They may be your child.
Maybe your neighbor.
They may be your friend.
They may be your coworker.
So let me share some final thoughts.
We need to invest more.
Resource is into research and treatment of mental illness.
The better we understand these illnesses, the better the treatment's we can provide in the bed of the treatments we can provide, the more we can offer people care and not have to use force.
Also, we must stop criminalizing mental illness.
It's a national tragedy and scandal that the L A county jail is the biggest psychiatric facility in the United States.
American prisons and jails are filled with people who suffer from severe mental illness, and many of them are there because they never received adequate treatment.
I could have easily ended up there or on the streets myself, a message to the entertainment industry into the press.
On the whole, you've done a wonderful job fighting stigma and prejudice of many kinds.
Please continue to let us see characters in your movies, your plays.
Your columns who suffer with severe mental illness, portray them sympathetically and portray them in all the richness and depth of their experience as people and not as diagnoses.
Recently, a friend posed a question.
If there were a pill I could take that would instantly cure me.
What I take it.
The poet Reiner Mary Rilke was offered psycho analysis.
He declined, saying, Don't take my devils away because my angels mayfly, too.
My psychosis, on the other hand, is a waking nightmare, which my devils air so terrifying that all my angels have already fled.
I take the Medicaid, the pill, in an instant that said, I don't wish to be seen as regretting the life I could have had if I had not been mentally ill, nor my asking anyone for their pity.
What I rather wish to say is that the humanity we all share is more important than the mental illness We may not, but those of us who suffer with mental illness want is what everybody wants, in the words of Sigmund Freud, to work in tow.