Sue Clark-Wittenberg

Hello, my name is Sue Clark-Wittenberg. I live in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. I am an antipsychiatry activist. I am 53 years old and I am married to Steven Wittenberg.

Welcome to my online book “Behind the Locked Ward – The Sue Clark Story”.

This is my true life story.

I had a traumatic childhood. I experienced turbulent teenage years and was admitted to a psychiatric hospital at the age of l7 years old.

I was a psychiatric patient in and out of psychiatric hospitals in Ottawa and in Ontario for 18 years from 1972 to 1990. I suffered from depression as I had been a victim of childhood abuse and from being abused in two of my marriages. I was tortured by psychiatry for those 18 years with electroshock, many toxic psychiatric medications and with may different bogus psychiatric diagnoses/disorders.I have been free of psychiatry since 1990. I have never felt better in all my life. I have not been admitted to a psychiatric ward since 1989 and I have not taken any psychiatric medication since 1990.

In the second section of my online book – I will expose that psychiatry still continues to torture people with electroshock, labelling people with bogus psychiatric diagnoses and with toxic psychiatric medications/drugs. There is no scientific proof nor test that proves that mental illness exists as of yet but psychiatry continues to label people with bogus psychiatric diagnoses as outlined in the DMS – IV book which is called The Diagnostic Manual of Statistical of Mental Disorders and by giving people toxic psychiatric drugs. The time has come for me to let the world know that psychiatry is a travesty and that “psychiatry is the biggest medical fraud out there today” and that psychiatry is a travesty!

I discuss my personal life and my marriages and what happened to me.

I discuss my antipsychiatry activism in the past and in the present. I also detail my antipoverty activism in Ottawa.

I write about my present and what my dreams are, what my aspirations are and my goals for the future.

Everything I write about in my online book is true. Some parts of my book are graphic in content and I give a warning before that section. I had to put in some graphic parts in my book as these were experiences that were part of my life and I feel no shame in doing so. Some names have been changed to protect people’s identities.


I dedicate my book to Marian Crow who believed in me and hired me as a speaker. She has been a true friend to me. I love her and respect her as a great human being and as an advocate. I also dedicate my book to all my peers who have experienced the mental health system and to those who figth psychiatric oppression everyday.

I want to give special thanks to my Grade 9 English teacher Mrs.Burbridge who taught at Champlain High School in 1968 in Ottawa. She took me aside and told me I had a rare quality in my writing abilities that she rarely saw and she encouraged me to continue to write to magazines and anywhere that would publish my work.

I was one of the winners in a poetry contest the Ottawa Public Library had in 1971. My poem will be in my book. I had very little encouragement in my life before that. Mrs. Burbridge’s positive feedback gave me a sense of self esteem I never had before that.

I want to thank the following people because they are my mentors. Don Weitz and Dr. Bonnie Burstow of Toronto, Leonard Roy Frank from San Francisco, and Dr. Peter R. Breggin in New York State, and Dr. John Breeding from Texas.

I want to thank these people for their continuing support of me: David Oaks, director of Mindfreedom.org, Jane Scharf, activist and friend in Ottawa. Dr. Lolita N. in Toronto and my friend Dustin Munro, and my friend Amy Hoffman. I want to thank Kathleen Whip who was my former therapist at the Sexual Support Center in Ottawa (SASC)
I also want to thank my husband Steven Wittenberg whose patience and love and understanding made me want to finish my book at last. He never judges me but tries to understand me. I am a very complex person but he takes time to understand me. He is a very kind, caring and loving. Without Steven I could not have written my book.

—————————————————————This website contains the online book called “The Sue Clark story”. Sue Clark-Wittenberg wrote her book online as she did not have a publisher for her book.

Sue’s book is about her life. She had a traumatic childhood, experienced turblent teenage years, and had 2 failed marriages because of leaving domestic abuse.

She went through the mental health system for 18 years from 1972 – 1990 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. She was given 15 different psychiatric diagnoses during that period and given 14 different psychiatric drugs. Sue was given electroshock (ECT) against her will at the age of 17 in 1973. On her 5th ECT, her heart stopped and she had to be revived. Her ECTs were discontinued after that. Sue was damaged by the psychiatric drugs and by the ECT. Sue has been free of psychiatry now since 1990.

Sue went onto become an antipsychiatry activist in Ottawa. Sue is presently the director of the International Campaign to Ban Electroshock (ECT)

Marian Crow a former colleague and friend introduces Sue:

Sue has asked me to write a letter to her site to talk about how I know her. First of all, I am a mental health counsellor working at an agency in Northern Ontario.

I met Sue when I was a student at the University of Ottawa, on a student placement as outreach coordinator for the Ontario Psychiatric Survivor Alliance. Sue was a frequent visitor at the office, and we often spoke about her work in advocacy and peer support.
From 1992 until 2002, I coordinated the “customer-as-expert” program in Education Services at the Royal Ottawa Hospital. Sue became one of my frequent, and most valued, speakers.
In this program, current and former psychiatric patients were provided the opportunity to learn presentation skills, help to build presentations, and support to make presentations to Royal Ottawa staff and student groups. There is a video of one of these presentations in which Sue appears at the hospital’s library.
Sue is a powerful speaker. Her sincerity and honesty shine through, as well as her anger at how both she and her peers had been treated by psychiatric service providers. Her experience is a common one, but her ability to articulate and communicate her experience is unique.
I have continued to be friends with Sue over the years. Without exception, I have found her to be a tireless advocate for all and any persons who come to her for help. At this time, she has focused most of her energy toward the abolition of electroconvulsive therapy, and her website is built around this purpose. She continues in her own way, however, to help others by providing information, support, and help with navigating the systems on which persons with psychiatric problems become dependent.
I have grown to love, respect and admire Sue. I wish her all the best with her website and book.
Marian Crow, M.A.
Mental health counsellor
Minto counselling centre
Cochrane, Ontario

Above is a picture of Marian Crow taken in 2005 near Sue’s house in Ottawa

Marian is a good friend of mine. I can always count on her to listen to me when I call her. She has a heart of gold. Marian is a very intelligent woman. She went to university and got her M.A. in Criminology.

Marian will tell it to me straight. She is honest, forthright and says what is on her mind. She is one of my mentors.

I met Marian when she applied for a job at the Psychiatric Survivors of Ottawa (PSO). She got the job. I am the founder of the group which now employs 6 staff members full time and it has been going since 1991. It is run by psychiatric survivors like me.

I count Marian as one of my friends and I am glad she is. I have learned a lot about life from Marian. She is a kind, gentle and a caring person. This world needs more people like Marian.

Sue Clark-Wittenberg


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