Main speech of Eric LUCAS :
Ladies and gentlemen,
It’s not easy for me to speak like this in public, because I’m autistic. I was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome. But I agreed to give my testimony today at the United Nations because of the way mental health laws are applied in France.
Twenty years ago, I went to a psychiatric hospital and asked for help because I was despaired, because of problems with society that made my life almost impossible. But the doctors apparently did not understand me (or believe me) and they rejected me. They even used the police to take me away from the hospital. Then, because of the suffering and injustice, I started to be slightly violent, shouting and crying, and finally the same hospital, after a decision taken within a few minutes, decided to detain me there, and this lasted for one year and 3 months!
I had no way to defend myself, no clue about how long it would take, no justifications, no hope, nothing, although I was asking for that all the time. Even my family or anyone would not have had the right to take me away from this nightmare.
Not knowing for how long you will be institutionalized is really awful, especially for an autistic person. Two or three doctors who are colleagues decide what they want, according to their fears, beliefs or whatever. You can’t keep your dignity, your pride.
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