“Be the Change”

Dear Mr. President,

My name is Anja Burcak and I have bipolar disorder. Apparently, in this country, that means I should be treated like a criminal rather than a patient. I sincerely believe that our healthcare system does not appropriately treat mental health patients. In fact, I’ve never been more suicidal than when I was in the hospital at UNCH.

A girl with a history of depression goes to a top-ranked hospital to seek a psychiatric appointment. What happens next? She is stripped of all of her possessions, put into the back of a police vehicle, and escorted by THREE police officers to the psychiatric ward… where she was forced to stay for EIGHT DAYS. This is a waste of limited resources, money and MY LIFE. That is a week that I can never get back, followed shortly by another week in the hospital against my will. The hospital did not help me whatsoever, and, if anything, just made me more ill.

Psychiatric wards are not adequate care centers. They have transitioned into pill-pushing businesses. At one point, the hospital was trying to make me take SEVEN MEDICATIONS in one day. That is uncalled for.

I had to diagnose myself since 3 doctors misdiagnosed me. Doctors argue over my diagnosis, over the proper medications for my condition, over the best non-pharmaceutical treatment… I’m beginning to feel like there is no hope.

Can you help me? If not, who can?

Take care,

AB

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