Nov 16, 2017

‘Dizziness, nausea, headaches, confusion’: what life is like without mental health medication on Manus

Alongside starvation, the Australian government is condemning refugees to psychiatric horror by removing access to mental health medication.

By now most Australians are aware of the rapidly deteriorating scenario on Manus Island. Hundreds of refugees who have been kept in the Australian-sponsored offshore detention centre at Lombrum Naval Base are being forced out to new accommodation untested and unprepared for their arrival.

These men, who have survived for two weeks since the Australian and PNG governments cut off food, water, electricity, security and medical supplies to the camp, have endured extraordinary, escalating circumstances. Yet they remain, for the most part, resilient – even as PNG police and military prepare to enter the camp and forcibly remove them.

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6 thoughts on “‘Dizziness, nausea, headaches, confusion’: what life is like without mental health medication on Manus

  1. 81dvl

    This must stop. Should never have happened. Not in my country. Not in any country. Why isn’t the High Court stepping in? THIS IS JUST SO UTTERLY FUCKED!

    1. Marilyn J Shepherd

      The high court just allowed this to continue and stated that we have no obligation to the law of any country when it comes to the torture, rape and abuse of refugees. The high court is too busy pommy hunting in the parliament.

    2. Desmond Graham

      are you in New Guinea ? then the High court has given its decision – if you are not in New Guinea it is not happening in your country and the High Court isn’t relevant

  2. graybul

    “For a government to choose psychiatric horror over the compassionate evacuation and assistance of men on Manus feels like a precise kind of evil.”

    I wanted to contribute something of note that might express my distress, anger, hope and belief that someway, somehow my government might forego their political imperatives. But in the centre of my being I sense only futility. Dr Helen Shultz’s paragraph above is more powerful, more direct and demanding of accountability than anything I could compose, contribute or scream out in pain . . . to reassure that they do have a future. They have committed no crime. The words of Helen and her colleagues are more likely to be realised as their obituary. To echo the fate of Hamid Kharziae and others who have already paid with their lives.

  3. AR

    Is there a non medical equivalent of iatrogenic ailments?
    Why does “Terrible physical symptoms like dizziness, nausea, headaches, confusion could happen, and lots of psychiatric problems.” remind me of wind turbine syndrome, an affliction miraculously cured by money?

    1. Matt Hardin

      A shame someone who is on antidepressants. I can tell you that even missing a dose can lead to dizziness, nausea and headaches. I am not sure what several days would feel like. At the very least these men should be able to maintain their medications.

      I’m appalled that the Australian government has allowed this situation to develop and even further appalled that they do nothing at all to fix it, including actively preventing these poor men from going to a place that will have them.

      There is no excuse, every member of parliament who is not trying to fix this stands indicted.

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