What The Hell Is Actually Going On?

I didn’t take very long of being more than superficially absorbed in this area of interest before people started recommending I read various mental health related books.  Some of them were very general texts like the Willan Handbook of Forensic Mental Health and actually, for me, this became something of a substitute to being able to go on a training course of any relevance at all.  There is nothing out there to help you chart your way through murky waters of mental health and policing so this volume with its multitude of chapters by a variety of people from disparate academic backgrounds, including psychiatrists, psychologists and mental health nurses and as well as lawyers was well worth having.

But what you learn when you start piling into this stuff head first is that there are a large number of unresolved significant debates that often appear to become spats between the professions within mental health – and often between particular professionals.  As you realise the extent of these spats, the power dynamics going on between the different professions and the evidence upon which many rely for their claims, you realise what a precarious house of cards the whole thing is.  But it’s a house of cards into which we can currently compel people with a multitude of vulnerabilities, shut the door and treat them against their will.  So inevitably, to an outsider, this can become quite fascinating and I admit I have become quite absorbed by the history of it all.

How on earth did we reach a position where we can force treatment upon people, when even the profession of psychiatry itself cannot agree what is going on?  Expand beyond psychiatry to other mental health related professions and we just see the problems growing wider.  There is a corpus of people selling books and doing conferences who are basically suggesting that the last fifty years of psychiatry and a drug-oriented model of care, with an acknowledged subordinate role for talking therapy and other psycho-social support, is flawed.  Actually, it is claimed to be doing more harm than good.

So I’m genuinely interested: is this correct on any level that is relevant and important to what we’re doing in our society and the role we expect our police to play in delivering that through the use of force?

BIOLOGY, PSYCHOLOGY AND SOCIOLOGY

The first book I came across that started to make me sense a house of cards was Creating Mental Illness by Allan HORWITZ.  An American sociologist, his book looked at mental illness and the development of psychiatry from a sociological point of view.  The book has various things to say about drugs, pharmacy and efficacy, all from a US perspective and is meticulously referenced.  Somewhat inevitably, I came across Richard BENTALL, a British clinical psychologist and Professor at the University of Liverpool.  Two of his books, Madness Explained and Doctoring the Mind, are fairly accessible texts and easily understood by a lay person.  They question the claims made of mainstream psychiatry about the effectiveness of medication treatments without rejecting them entirely and again, the texts are fully referenced to scientific studies of various kinds.

Most recently, it was recommended I read Anatomy of an Epidemic by Robert WHITAKER – an American journalist and science writer whose journey into the practice of psychiatry and specifically the efficacy of psychiatric medication, was somewhat accidental.  Having started as a journalist who had accepted without question the claims of psychiatry about drug treatments, his books chart the method by which he ended up questioning them and I couldn’t help but wonder, why does a journalist feel there is something to write about here – why are professionals in these fields not dominating the market for popular writing on the science behind mental health?

In social media, I have noticed that whenever discussions emerge about psychiatry, drug treatment or coercion in mental health care, mere mention of these figures stirs up a hornets nest.  It surprised me, I will admit, the nature and the extent of the personalised spats that emerge but then what these people are saying does strike at the heart of mainstream psychiatry.  They all call into question the efficiency of psychiatric drugs over the long-term and BENTALL (as well as many others, including psychiatrists) questions the whole classification system of mental illnesses.  Citing studies to back up this claim, including some that were never published, it is claimed that over the long-term, on an aggregate basis, outcomes for patients who are medicated for long periods, for example in excess of three to five years, are actually significantly worse than for patients who were never given anti-psychotic medication at all, or were only given it on a short-term basis.

I hope not to be too pejorative here when I say that the spats were somewhat child-like in their nature.  One professional making a claim and others simply saying, “He’s wrong!” or “You’re wrong!” etc., … I could almost sense some people throwing their dummy and their toys out of their pram.  Tweeters were being unfollowed and blocked on Twitter and refusing to engage with each other.  We see some professionals making highly personalised, dismissive remarks.  My temptation was to lock them in a room surrounded by riot police and tell them they’re not allowed out until they’ve worked out how to play nicely whilst actually engaging in the debate for the benefit of the public.

IN THE INTERESTS OF BALANCE

So it got me wondering: is there something missing from HORWITZ or BENTALL or WHITAKER that I’m just not sufficiently educated or trained to see for myself – something missing which enables books to be sold and newscopy spread around but which renders the work fundamentally flawed?  One of the criticisms of all three of these authors that is repeatedly made – by critics in psychiatry and psychology – is that these men have selectively cited studies in support of their claims and / or misinterpreted evidence.  So I asked the some of the critics what was omitted and what has been misunderstood?  … I await their replies.  I’ve been unfollowed on Twitter after merely asking some to help an interested policeman understand this stuff, whilst bearing in mind I ditched formal science education over 20yrs ago.

So in the absence of replies, I thought I’d try to do something for myself.  What could I read that might amount to the other point of view – or another point of view – something that amounts to a defence of psychiatry as currently seen.  There doesn’t seem to be as much around but further reading suggestions would be gratefully received in the comments section below.  The year 2013 did see the publication of a book by Tom BURNS called Our Necessary Shadow: The Nature and Meaning of Psychiatry and I’ve also resorted to social media and various bloggers to try to look at things from the other side of the fence.  What I found either seemed highly partisan – the online equivalent of psychiatrists stamping their feet – or highly selective.  Tom BURNS repeatedly claims in his book that “anti-psychotics work”, quickly acknowledges that there are side effects to them, “as with all drugs” and moves on.

I was really looking for the debate to be engaged on the levels that WHITAKER or BENTALL tried to do.  Especially if these blokes are in some way the enemy of reason.  They take the time and trouble to explain why they claim that anti-psychotics don’t work over the long-term, they acknowledge benefits in the short-term and do not claim that all use of medication is bad.  I wanted to see the opposite claim made in detail, not just that it be made and be taken for granted.  Why are these writers wrong, precisely?

It was whilst looking for psychiatrists to argue back that I ended up coming across the work of Joanna MONCRIEFF whose books are currently in my “to read” pile.  But it turns out that she is also widely criticised as an academic and practising psychiatrist because she writes about the ineffectiveness in the long-term, of anti-psychotic and neuropharmacological therapies.  I have sensed frustration with her, from other psychiatrists who just seem to accuse her of somewhat banging on.  And on.  She’s recently blogged about how her efforts to have the Royal College of Psychiatrists debate research which suggests the ineffectiveness of anti-psychotic medication in the long-term has been rejected.  Why wouldn’t such debate be welcomed?

WE NEED A RICHARD DAWKINS

So I haven’t got a bloody clue what is really going on and this is largely because no-one is sufficiently explaining it, in accessible terms.  And yet I am expected to quietly acquiesce to physically coercing people into a system that declines to explain itself in accessible terms.  I don’t need it dumbed down, just stripped down to something consumable because I haven’t got the time to sit in medical libraries trying to decipher countless medical studies over decades – I wouldn’t know where to start.

If Joanna MONCRIEFF is wrong, just tell me why.  I don’t need her to be slagged off, just her work critiqued.  I am decently educated in a general sense and can be trusted to identify bias and motivation for myself.  Actually, that’s my area of work as I deal everyday with people who tell lies and advocate a particular position to secure advantage.  So just critique the evidence, put forward your positions in plain language and I’ll have a crack at it myself.

There are loads of things in this world that I’m interested in which are usually the domain of experts.  Aspects of life that you would probably need to devote your education and professional existence to if you were to try to achieve any real kind of competence.  I rather suspect issues connected to the definition, causation and treatment of mental health problems is one such thing and obviously, I’m a bit busy being a policeman and I didn’t really stick in at school otherwise I wouldn’t have just finished a NIGHT shift.  I’m also interested, for what it’s worth, in evolution, economics and philosophy but I haven’t got the time to devote my life to any of those things, either – I rely, to some extent at least, upon certain experts bringing this material forward and allowing me an insight by explaining it clearly in clear terms.  You could think about various writers for these subjects, but Richard DAWKINS is perhaps the best example of someone who has allowed a scientifically complex subject to become accessible.

We could do with someone like that in mental health and I don’t know whether actually WHITAKER or any of the others may be that person because the vitriol with which their output has been received is too concerted to dismissed out of hand – but at least they’re trying.  Say what you want about Richard DAWKINS on his adventures in atheism but his scientific credibility on evolution seems to stand up and his ability to explain it in speech and writing is obvious.

Maybe the science of mental illness is not ready for that yet – who knows?  But most of the propositions in mental health that we should be interested in seem eminently testable – what are short and long-term recovery rates for diagnosed patients both with and without the use of medication against a background of proper psycho-social support?  It strikes me we should know this if we’ve reached the stage of coercing other human beings into systems of care that force things upon them, very physically, if need be.  And as a policeman, I’d like some kind of reassurance that I’m not being taken for granted to coerce people into a system that some claim does more harm than good, especially since the critics of that viewpoint seem either to lack answers or they are not coming forward to explain them in terms patients can understand.

I’d be jolly grateful if someone could just tell me, what the hell is actually going on?!


IMG_0053IMG_0052Winner of the President’s Medal from
the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

Winner of the Mind Digital Media Award.


Advertisements

47 thoughts on “What The Hell Is Actually Going On?

  1. Again a very well argued piece. I have thought similarly for many years – since I had to transport a very old tiny lady kicking and screaming and actually struggling with Police to a psych hospital for assessment because she was sectioned as a danger to others because she kept leaving her gas cooker on in her basement flat putting the upper 3 floors in danger. Fair enough, but when I asked the ASW (as they were then) whether they had explored other options such as an electric cooker or meals on wheels before going to such dramatic and harmful lengths with a fragile and scared old lady I was sneered at! She was not diagnosed with any mental condition or psychiatric illness, she was just a danger to others by being a bit forgetful in her old age. I thought at the time it was an horrific way to treat our elderly population and at least 12 years later I still do, and have never forgotten that lady. It is what started my interest in the process. I should say that the Police officers involved were obviously not happy about it either but she had already been sectioned and there was nothing they could do except what they were told. Now I might have something more to say to the ASW’s on the matter

    1. Sorry, slightly off thread. What I was getting at is that mental health seems to be a steam roller intent on having it’s own way. The proliferation of diagnoses one can now be given for the strangest disorder and the labelling of problems so that the sufferer has something to fall back on is worrying and removes personal responsibility from tge equation. Occasionally it seems to me like job security for the boys and anyone who questions the prevailing ethos is ridiculed. Look how long it took for people to accept that the world is actually round! I will be reading the books you mentioned and see how I feel then. Good luck to you…

    2. you dont have to tell me they this government has given them those in the mental health field far to much power unrestricted and unregulated power with no safe guards to protect those from some one who is unethical or abuses the power like Raquel C. Spears who is employed by Chautauqua Qpportunities in Dunkirk New York has and continues to do so why is it nothing is done to correct the harm her unethical or criminal actions have caused or why she is not held accountable for them those like her should be made to pay for the harm their actions cause than maybe they would abide by the oath they take and the state codes both of which were established to protect one from what acts and actions that she has so unjustly done

      1. Please correct me if I’m wrong but weren’t you obsessed and stalked said Raquel Spears ? And by current and continued post about this person one might be led to believe that you are still obsessed .. maybe you should continue your medications or seek a stronger dose..

      2. stephen you are wrong not obsessed with miss spears just obsessed with the truth being known and her being held accountable for her abusive actions and criminal act why does she seem to believe that she was ever allowed to abuse her position in the criminal manor which she has if one would look into her back ground you would see that that woman has no morals or ethics is it not stated in the oath she took that she was to be of a high moral standard in BOTH her professional and personal life and does not the state codrs state the same LOOK AT HER LIFE STYLE AND WHO SHE REALLY IS and a moral ethical and law abiding person she is not NO NOT OBSESSED WITH HER OBSESSED WITH THE TRUTH AND SEEING THAT JUSTICE IS SERVED she lied and continues to do so her statements given to law enforcement can be proven to be just that a lie she admitted to the staff at the hospital to the sexual involvement and the blood work proves her statement about me being on drugs and drinking was a lie i never took the pills she gave me so all one needs to do is look into what is factual and not MISS SPEARS LIES AND MANIPULATED ACCOUNTS OF THINGS SHE ABUSED HER POSITION AND POWER AND MUST BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR HER CRIMINAL ACT AND ACTIONS

      3. STEPHEN YOU ARE WRONG NEVER STALKED HER NOR WAS I EVER OBSESSED WITH HER KEEP BELIEVING HER LIES THE TRUTH ABOUT WHO AND WHAT SHE TRULY IS WILL SURFACE SHE IS NOT A ETHICAL OR MORAL PERSON HELL SHE HAS ENGAGED IN SEXUAL ACTS WITH MANY AND IN FRONT OF ANY ONE WHO PAID A FEE TO DO SO AT HER SWINGERS CLUB HOPE YOU DO NOT GET A STD FROM THAT SMELLY OLD WORN OUT SLEAZY LOW LIFE THINK WHERE HER MOUTH HAS BEEN AND ON WHOS PENIS ENJOY LOL CLOWN

    3. I do international consulting on behalf of people who have been falsely accused of being mentally by hospitals, police, and government.

      In short, “mental illness” is a contrivance designed to abridge the rights of targeted citizens, and the unlawful proposition that someone is “mentally ill” comes into play when the government wishes to oppress a targeted citizen but has no legitimate cause to convey that citizen into locked-ward confinement and forced “treatment” (i.e., torture — the “mental hospitals” are often used against law-abiding citizens).

      The racket between the cops and the torture facilities d/b/a “mental hospitals” is a travesty and a national emergency.

      I am familiar with the scenario you describe here. The unfair or un-Constitutional occurrence of home visitation by police actually triggers negative “behavioral responses” from MOST people, but those who have been labeled (note the word “labeled”) with “mental illness” often already have GOOD CAUSE to be scared of police. The police conduct a vicious cycle of un-Constitutional abuse in arrant collusion with the abusive psych. hospitals: the police should not be sent to intervene in the first instance, and when they do arrive, the terrified labellee/target does respond as if “something’s wrong.” Of course, there’s something wrong! The person is being harassed by corrupt/incompetent police!

      My heart goes out. The way the lie of “mental health” (as a paradigm) is exploited — via dirty local police working within a dangerous and rights-erosive “mental health” infrastructure — MUST be resolved.

      The US really does have to pony up to hire an independent consultancy to put a definite stop to un-Constitutional mental health harassment, including police abuse, especially as it plays out at the municipal and county levels.

      1. what i will never understand is how or why Raquel Spears is being allowed to get away with the unethical and crominal acts and actions like she does what she has done to me and my daughter should never been allowed this woman should not be allowed to be in this field she is sick and twisted and a criminal all one has to do is look into her acts and activities

  2. Reblogged this on Dave's Bankside Babble and commented:
    I sympathise with the quandaries outlined here. I too look for the naked simplicities of why things happen the way they do. Could the root cause of arguments, for and against the use/value of drugs in mental health treatment, have a simple but commercial background? The drugs industry is one of the most rich in society. Surely that commercial power must influence the use of their products? I’d be surprised if it didn’t.

      1. One would hope that he was still a specialist in mental health and well versed in a wide range of therapies; one might be drug based but this would not be the first treatment or indeed the only one offered.

      2. Some can’t see the answer, so I will have to give it to you. If a psychiatrist only has words, then he is a priest/pastor/rabbi of some kind. Psychiatric drugs are the religion, you must believe in the medicine. If you do believe, the psychiatric medicine works. Exodus 32 “He took the calf they had made and melted it in the fire. And when the metal had cooled, he ground it into powder and mixed it with water. Then he made the people drink it.”

  3. At the core of every mental health problem is some kind of trauma. The degree of which depends on a number of things; the depth of trauma, the individual reaction to that trauma (whether a person will repress will depend on family role models to expressing emotion), the individual differences between people, the cultural influence, & the help (& type of help) made available to deal with trauma.
    The pharmaceutical industry makes billions from mental health ‘disorders’ & are not about to ever give financial resources to research which may show that MH problems can b treated reasonably effectively without medication. Unfortunately that is where most of the money for research comes from.
    Our bodies come emotionally prepared to deal with traumas naturally. However, living in unnatural societal structures which use humans primarily as financial commodities does not allow us to tap into those natural resources. Various oppressions which are necessary for capitalist economies to survive also add to our inability to use the natural resources available to us, e.g., male oppression where expressing emotion is actively rideculed. If we lived in communities where emotions where freely expressed from a young age there would be no mental health problems. Children, babies, naturally heal from both physical & emotional hurts until this is stopped at a certain stage when often well meaning parents equate the expression of emotion as hurt & try to stifle it rather than see it as a natural healing process of the hurt.
    This is more apparent in the upper classes & middle classes where it seems at all cost u must not show any emotion as it will reveal weakness & vulnerability. Patterns of pretentiousness prevail & it is difficult for them to develop any real emotional awareness into themselves & others. Often it is people from these classes that are writing the academic papers on therapeutic solutions!
    For further reading in this area I suggest reading Harvey Jackins who started communities which used ‘Re-evaluation Counselling’. He was aware that this theory should evolve as humans became more able to think rationally around their own & others emotional development. He is well worth a read as are others who were part of this thinking. You will find out more on the Internet. I would dismiss the scaremongering of those who considered it a cult. Ask anyone who has ever been involved & u will very soon see that it is far from being a cult.

  4. Another pertinent and honest blog post, thanks Michael. You ask a number of valid questions regarding the use of force in psychiatric settings and the long term effects of psychiatric drugs.

    I now call myself a survivor, of mental illness and psychiatric treatment, at age 61, although for many years I was just a mother and community development worker who had recovered from 3 episodes of psychoses and got off the psych drugs. However as a carer whose 3 sons have all been through the psychiatric system and now a grandmother it seems fitting that I identify as a survivor and speak out as an activist and campaigner. I want to see system change for the sake of my future family who shouldn’t have to go through what I and other family members have.

    I really didn’t like being forced to take psych drugs, they didn’t agree with me, made me depressed, caused more problems than the initial psychoses, following childbirth and at the menopause. Life transitions. The problems with mental health treatment is it can be a “one size fits all” scenario. Where subjective opinions become gospel truth, written indelibly in psychiatric notes, justifying coercive treatment and lifelong mental illness prognoses. I didn’t believe it and recovered. But the schizoaffective disorder still sits in my notes and rears its head now and then.

    Like you I have wondered what on earth is going on? It doesn’t make sense to look at behaviours and call them symptoms then forcibly treat even unto death. Which has happened to some of my family members, women. My mother in particular who was kept on a depixol injection for life. Why? Because they had labelled her with schizophrenia. But she didn’t hear voices and her mental ill health was due to life stresses or trauma. These eventually passed but the label and drugs continued.

    I want to see a paradigm shift so that people with mental ill health are treated as people first, as individuals not as symptoms or behaviours. I want to see relationship building and level playing fields. First do no harm.

    A guid new year to you and yours, Chrys

  5. …… then, to complete this “patient centred circle”, unless in a coma (!) you are (re-)assessed by the DWP (Work Capability Assessment) as “Fit to Work” in their quota system and lose ESA / DLA financial support; go on to Job Seekers Allowance. NB – on 4 Dec 2013 the Appeal Court finding was that the present system is discriminatory for people with “mental health problems” – but it continues apace!

    You don’t manage to get a job because no employer wants someone “with your problems” or you are offered a temporary (dead end) zero hours contract job. Sorry your PhD in nuclear physics counts for nothing when you have to wield a lavatory brush in the public loos to earn a small crust!

    You get behind with your rent payments exacerbated by the added bedroom tax penalty because you happen to live in a property specially adapted at taxpayers’ expense for your (disability) needs.

    All this really drives your head into a downward spiral and you probably get “sanctioned” by the DWP because you miss an appointment at the Job Centre! This can easily happen anyway due to the episodic ups and downs of your mental health condition alone! The result is that you don’t have ay income for several weeks until the DWP decides to forgive you!

    You go on the scrounge for food to take back to your flat; unheated because you’ve been cut off. Thank God you find the “Food Bank” when you are referred there by that kind lady at the local CAB. Sadly you can’t heat the can of beans you’ve managed to open but you “tuck in” anyway.

    Next you are evicted and out on the street as a single person. Thank goodness you never qualified for a payday loan to dig yourself in further!

    Now you’re out again on the streets thinking suicidal thoughts. However you erratic behaviour in deep despair brings you to the attention of the Police who pick you up under s136 MHA or MCA and FULL CIRCLE; you’re back in the Psychiatric Treatment system again on depot injections …… and NO HOPE.

    Meanwhile MPs beat their breasts over rights and wrongs of the mess they have created. YOU are condemned for not managing your money properly or for being a scrounger and hence needing the Food Bank service. The DWP Minister never talks to the Home Secretary or the Health Minister or Local Government Minister. The Chancellor of the Exchequer red lines their separate budgets and talk turns to %-£cuts for each Department; however achieved or how lives are affected. The Prime Minister praises them all loudly for achieving “the cuts” and delivering the Austerity Britain economy. Doctors, nurses, paramedics, psychiatric and other social workers, DWP staff, civil servants, Police officers, teachers and most of all YOU are (officially) found to be complicit in precipitating your doom. The BIG SOCIETY is praised for its endeavours in the natural order of things taking over from understandably incompetent public services (many now provided more efficiently by the private sector)! ….. and Parliament goes on taking yet another break; this time for Christmas at home with chums.

    Depressing isn’t it BUT a comment on the lack of a HOLISTIC / JOINED-UP PLANNING AND SUPPORT SYSTEM that “cares” for those in greatest need in this Nation we are supposed to take a pride in? PATHETIC!

    Apologies for the “bijou rant” but my friend Alison Cameron (ptsd) is going through the hoops again. Her cries for help seem to go unheeded.

  6. Nothing is straight forward and the interface of biological/psychological/social factors contributing to the presentation of mental ill health is not easily reduced to a paragraph or few pages and every patient is different. Inbuilt psychological beliefs, personality traits and interpersonal dynamics are so individual even the propsed “trial” may be difficult.

    I would hope each patient is treated in all ways as an individual and participates in their care plan including use of medication.

    Long term treatment ,I agree , is not a well evidenced area.

    I can only refer to my own experience of treating patients with acute illness where medication as part of a treatment plan which includes psychosocial interventions has prevented admission to hospital and brought about recovery to wellness.

    Maybe we don’t have an answer because there isn’t a single one size fits all solution. Keep prodding though as the debate should not be ignored.

    1. I have just discovered my 26 year old daughter with a so called diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia treatment resistant has had even more drugs – here is a list – Cipralex, Rispiriedon, Aripraprozole, Lorazepam, Promazine, Olanzapine, Zopiclone, paracetamol, Haloperidol, Quetiapine max dosage £800mg and now contra indicated drugs of 500mg Metformine and 350mg Clozapine. What kind of care is this for someone who has suffered trauma abuse. What kind of a plan is this! My daughter is now suffering physical decline and I have proven this by way of private tests and now I as a mother want the world to know what is going on in this profession where there is no decent complaints procedures – they amount to nothing – where the CQC choose to ignore than get involved where the law can be usurped especially when someone is so drugged up on 850 mg of drugs but this is nothing – I know of people on 1300mg sectioned and in hospital and others sectioned for years and years on end.

      There is one word to describe this and this is failure!

      Then there is the threats and bullying to you as a mother if you try and speak up for the person concerned who has no choice but to comply with daily drugging because there are NO FACILITIES or decent care for someone to go into to be reduced properly which I understand would take 4 years in m y daughter’s case. Then there is the constant undermining of you as a mother and accusations that you will try and take that person off the drugs which I know very well having read so many books could result in death and only with the help of someone really knowledgeable on the drugs can this be achieved but over a very prolonged period of time.

      Not everyone can metabolize the drugs and whilst my comments above can easily be dismissed by any professional and they may even try and label me themselves as being bitter or angry or cold or rude as I have been labelled. I would hereby challenge anyone who thinks that way of me to meet me and I am also the mother of a young girl who at the age of 13 was put on anti-psychotic drugs much to my horror and certainly not according to my wishes whilst under a section because she no longer wished to live any m ore and this was due to bullying. I am pleased to say my daughter is now on top of the world and I hope one day will be able to help others like Eleanor Longden and Rufus May are doing.

      Please do not think I am against psychiatry altogether because I am in touch with some remarkable professionals and these ones are being honest. I am not accusing you of being dishonest however I am showing you an example of true failure and can show you others too and I am in touch with other patients who are forced to take drugs without any indepth assessments – no proper tests are taken to see if there is any problem in metabolizing the drugs. What about the research of Prof Healy and Prof Orner? The fact is patients are not being treated individually at all and are told they have to stay on the drugs for the rest of their life. They are given a label simply to get benefits and my daughter always wanted to work and then went so downhill having been given a label that is in dispute of schizophrenia treatment resistant. How would anyone like to have such a label! Her response was to simply give up. My daughter has had no end of psychiatrists involved and all have just pushed drug after drug. I am glad to see you look at psychosocial interventions but I believe a lot more should be done and when I went to see Mr Burstow recently I said there was simply not enough specialist facilities and mentioned Chy Sawel. My dream would be to see Chy Sawel set up – I believe that nutrition is so important as well as psychosocial interventions and experts should be involved specialising in intensive trauma therapy as many patients may be in need of this treatment as I was shocked at how everything that has happened to my daughter was simply ignored and brushed aside in favour of drug pushing. Dr Walsh is looking for 20 doctors and there is hope that Chy Sawel could be set up but this is for Sandra Breakspeare to mention not me. If you know of 20 doctors wishing to be involved in this I and other mothers are desperate to see the right kind of care set up involving professionals such as yourself. Most importantly it is wrong that families are being excluded and there is interest from doctors and professionals right now in open dialogue. Only when there is communication and involvement instead of secrecy and exclusion can there be decent care for the mentally ill – I know it is not always possible to involve families but there are many families who are decent yet who are slated for speaking up against the current care system. I would like to see a change in the system to take into account those who are forgotten and written off like rubbish and sectioned for years on end, those who have not had proper treatment taking into account what may have happened to them as the drugs are no cure. By the way my daughter remembers everything like yesterday despite being on 850mg and no way should anyone be forced to have ECT as I am in touch with some who have suffered with the loss of precious happy m emories as a result.

  7. THE REVOLVING DOOR : SCENARIO – …… to complete this “patient centred circle”, following NHS discharge or ongoing treatment (e.g. medication) you are now (re-)assessed by the DWP (Work Capability Assessment) as “Fit to Work” in their quota influenced system and lose ESA / DLA financial support going on to Job Seekers Allowance.
    NB – on 4 Dec 2013 the Appeal Court finding was that the present system is discriminatory for people with “mental health problems” – but it continues apace!

    You don’t manage to get a job because no employer wants someone “with your problems” or you are offered a temporary zero hours contract job. Sorry your PhD in nuclear physics counts for nothing when you have to wield a lavatory brush in the public loos to earn a small crust!

    You get behind with your rent payments exacerbated by the withdrawal of “Spare Room Subsidy (Bedroom Tax)maybe because you happen to live in a property specially adapted at taxpayers’ expense for your (disability) needs.

    All this really drives your head into a downward spiral and you probably get “sanctioned” by the DWP because you miss an appointment at the Job Centre! This can easily happen anyway due to the episodic ups and downs of your mental health condition alone! The result is that you don’t have ay income for several weeks until the DWP decides to forgive you!

    You go on the scrounge for food to take back to your flat; unheated because you have now been cut off. Thank goodness you find the “Food Bank” when you are referred there by that kind lady at the local CAB. Sadly you can’t heat the can of beans you’ve managed to open but you “tuck in” anyway.

    Next you are evicted and out on the street as a single person. Thank goodness you never qualified for a payday loan to dig yourself in further!

    Now you’re out again on the streets thinking suicidal thoughts. However your erratic behaviour in deep despair brings you to the attention of the Police who pick you up under s136 MHA or MCA and FULL CIRCLE; you’re back in the Psychiatric Treatment system again on depot injections …… and NO HOPE.

    Meanwhile MPs beat their breasts over the rights and wrongs of the mess they have created. YOU are condemned for not managing your money properly or for being a scrounger and hence needing the Food Bank service. The DWP Minister never talks to the Home Secretary or the Health Minister or Local Government Minister. The Chancellor of the Exchequer red lines their separate budgets and talk turns to %-£cuts for each Department; however achieved or how lives are affected. The Prime Minister praises them all loudly for achieving “the cuts” and delivering the Austerity Britain economy. Doctors, nurses, paramedics, psychiatric and other social workers, DWP staff, civil servants, Police officers, teachers and most of all YOU are (officially) found to be complicit in precipitating your doom. The BIG SOCIETY is praised for its endeavours in the natural order of things taking over from understandably incompetent public services (many now provided much more efficiently of course, and cheaply by the private sector)! ….. and Parliament goes on taking yet another break; this time for Christmas.

    Depressing isn’t it BUT a comment on the lack of an effective HOLISTIC / JOINED-UP PLANNING & SUPPORT SYSTEM that “cares” for those in greatest need in this Nation we are supposed to take a pride in?

    PS – I have a friend with PTSD who is going through the hoops again. Her cries for help seem to go unheeded.

  8. Might I suggest you google Ben Goldacre and have a quick look at some of his work. You are touching on a very interesting topic. I do not doubt that the police are in an impossible position but in my experience the response to a crisis such as a s136 just means that the individual stands a high chance of an increase in medication whereas for me, the better result came from reducing and then stopping it. My suicide attempts have all occured when I have been on meds; I might have the occasional suicidal ideation now but my brain is not muddied by strong drugs and I am able to work through this with the support of excellent psychology via the NHS.

    In truth I suspect greater clarity of treatment options is needed by GPs. When I first saw a GP his reaction was to diagnose depression (I suspect at that point it was exhaustion) and to put me on medication. By the time I saw a psychiatrist it was clear that was not helping and so started a roller coaster of different meds and dosages.

    You mention the work of Joanna Moncrieff- she is not a lone voice but I suspect the role of the major pharamaceutical companies needs to be explored as indeed Ben Goldacre has started. I believe it would take a brave soul to take them on. Look at the AllRisks website to see the recent progress to ensure that the results of all drugs trials are published. How can any medic knowledgably prescribe when working solely with the positive results from selected studies and having all negative side effects swept under the carpet. Of course, if as a psychiatric patient you raise issues like that then the word paranoia also starts to feature in your notes. I do not promote self pity but it is hard work having a mental health issue. I am convinced the depression I now have is due to the meds. I lost my job because of it, my confidence, self-esteem are all shot to pieces and there are few that seem to want to enter into the debate. I don’t know about BPD or schizophrenia (despite having had a number of anti-psychotics and mood stabilisers at various times) but for depression, I would love there to be treatment route where medication was the last and not the first option. As for the experience of these drugs being forced on someone, I have no knowledge of the correct terminology here but the phrase actual bodily harm comes to mind. One wonders what people 100 years from now will think when they look back and see such behaviour.

  9. Anyone who suggests they have the answers you seek are almost certainly deluded. However ,the psychiatrist and barrister I work with, describes the CJ and Mental Health Systems in similar terms – `…they`re both imperfect but they`re the best we`ve got!`
    In reality as a clinician you meet people whose behaviour is causing themselves/others concern and you attempt to work out imprecisely how the mix of illness/personality/ behaviour/substances etc have contributed to the presentation. Undoubtedly this is far more Art than Science.

    Who will benefit from more/different medication; who needs to talk; who is so very unwell that the Mental Health Act is necessary ; who will likely get worse with medicalising issues and being given the message,perhaps very very subtley, that `your problems can be fixed by medication,talking etc ie. it`s not your responsibility` – this is much underestimated and is evidenced by the vast numbers of people with personality issues populating inpatient wards outside the main cities where rates of psychosis are far lower ,whereas in places such as London you would struggle to find people without psychosis or full blown mania or depression on inpatient wards but importantly suicide rates are actually lower han other areas.

    My own view is that Mental Health Services have massively overreached,partly as a result of American driven healthcare where diagnoses are needed in order to access help,partly due to some medics,mainly, overestimating their own `powers ` and suggesting that people with dysfunctional personalities,sad lives as a result of awful childhoods etc can be `treated` and partly as a result of others – General Public,GPs, Police etc- who understandably struggle to accept that extreme dysfunctional behaviour -such as self harm, bizarre speech, threats to others- often cannot be prevented and that medicalising human distress will often lead to worse outcomes as the person`s behaviour escalates as they seek the `care and attention` they think they need and which was usually absent in childhood.
    It`s a simple truth that when someone is informed of the limitations of healthcare for their cancer,diabetes,heart disease etc it tends to be accepted and moreover deaths from these conditions are not routinely investigated.This isn`t the case with people who experience `mental problems` often because society imagines that `something must be/could be done to make this person better or in extreme cases prevent serious incidents/death`. Luckily I`ve had a long career so far without directly experiencing this but am in no doubt that good luck has been the biggest factor in this happy occurence.
    I`d be a little wary of the people you cite who are critical of mainstream psychiatry. As a frontline MH professional ( lead a dreaded lazy Crisis Team) and qualified CBT therapist myself, I`m in a relatively privileged position to see both sides. You should remember that psychologists/therapists will only see people who meet the criteria for therapy – committed to attend appointments,motivated,stable,some degree of intelligence,ability to limit substances etc etc- and even then `success` rates are relatively low : IAPT aim for 40% recovery -dodgy concept-in people with low//moderate depression and anxiety.They may criticise mainstream psychiatry but would not be within a million miles of a s136 and have usually simply never met people who have complex issues and cannot/will not play ball and may well not be suitable for any health intervention ! I wonder how many therapists you`ve called in the course of your police / MH liaison? V few I`m guessing.
    This is not because they`re lazy but because they/we rightly know that the prospects of helping -improving quality of life and behaviours – are slim without these prerequisites….frontline MH professionals do not have that luxury! Medication may at times be overused but again, my experience has time and again found that those who in a purely theoretical sense will question antipsychotic medication will often be the ones advocating for different and/or more meds when there doesn`t seem to be anything else to do and/or the risks are perceived to be high. Those with extensive experience of prescribing and administering meds will often be the first to highlight their limitations when the pressure is on…..

  10. I think its simple you need to go right to the source. Those who have been abused by Psychiatry, their medications and their electric shock treatment. We are the ones who have suffered. Been mentally tortured by these drugs and their so called treatment. We are the ones who have lost years of our lives, some their husband, or wife, job, house, We lost our self. We are out there now withdrawing from these meds which is even a worse torture, most of us doing it on our own as the so called professionals don’t even know how to wean people off these meds properly, and when they are tell their patient its their mental illness and put them on more meds when in actual fact it is symptoms from the withdrawl. There are probably millions at this point all over the world. Their is a whole Psych Survivor Movement these are the people who are recovering or who have recovered from the so called treatment of Psychiatry. There are tons of groups where they come together and help one another. And then you have the Organizations such as Mind Freedom, CCHR, Dr Breggin, Ect that are advocates against psych meds and their treatment. But lets not forget who is the real culprit out only for yes the good old buck. The pharmaceutical companies and those who have stock in the pharmaceutical companies, and they are making billions and billions. They don’t care that people are suffering, committing suicide, homicide ect. They own the media, if your wondering why you don’t hear about all the heart wrentching stories. But people our putting on youtube you wouldn’t have to look hard there and you would hear real live people and their stories. Its really EVIL and sometimes evil is hard to confront but its the truth. This really isn’t rocket science its in plain view you just need to look.

  11. Thank you for this post. I started a “knowledge map” three months ago which has become the Helping the Distressed Consciousness Project. I started it after reading “Anatomy of an Epidemic” and having the same basic question you pose. The question I posed was simply this: How do we best help the distressed consciousness? The followup questions were: Is it psychiatry in its present form or something else? Three months further on the situation, if not the answers, is becoming clearer. I have tried to be as fair as possible but the negatives for psychiatry *as it is currently practiced* have just kept piling up and (full disclosure) I am now personally biased against it, although trying to keep that out of the map. “What’s next?” is something that the map also tries to explore both in terms of what’s being done to improve current psychiatry or replacing the current system with something entirely new. I am not a mental health professional, just someone with a personal interest in the topic. The address of the website is debategraph.org/hdc or if you are looking at it on a smartphone debategraph.org/hdcpageview (the map is the same, it’s just that these are two different ways of looking at it — I recommend the first if you have a laptop/desktop because you get to see the visual network; it doesn’t work so well on smartphones which is the reason for the other). I hope that the knowledge map is useful to you. The associated map community is very small but I hope we can expand it in 2014 as the map continues to grow. And … Happy New Year.

  12. Thanks for your blog.
    I have been trying to find a new psychiatrist for some time now and have so far been unsuccessful because I have one caveat in my selection process- I require my next psychiatrist to provide me 3 journal papers that most influence their thinking and personal views on medication for “psychosis and schizophrenia”. To date no psychiatrist I have contacted will provide me with any literature that will assist me in understaning how they have acquired their own knowledge and views on medication and treatment. Nonetheless, the reason I am looking for a new psychiatrist is that the ones involuntarily issued to me have expected me to listen to them without ever explaining the real risk profile of the medication they prescribe me. Every psychiatrist I have met has told me that medication is needed to correct a chemical imbalance in my brain – however not one has done an MRI or chemical test to ascertain and tell me what may be out of balance. It would be like a doctor diagnosing me for diabetes or HIV without giving me a blood test! I am left thinking “What the fuck is this system of diagnosis and medication, because it is certainly not based on evidence based principals?”

    I cam across Whitaker’s book “Anatomy of an Epidemic” and could not find any literature that critiqued these ideas – and now hold the view that medications such as Risperdal, Quetiapine etc are akin to the mistakes that have been made by previous generations and echo the efficacy of doctors prescribing cigarettes, uranium, and other degenerating remedies out of ignorance.

    Now I’m off meds I’m flying again – it’s been a fucked up journey. I appreciated Whitaker’s book, even if it is a placebo – the ideas have me believe that the medications I was prescribed kept me cycling through breakdowns.

    What I would like to say is that there needs to be more studies and inquiry into
    a) what is triggering psychosis/schizophrenia etc – if people are taking illicit drugs or alochol and it is triggering this, then they need to better be taught the risk outcomes of these pursuits. Likewise, if soldiers are coming back from wars and finding themselves afflicted – they need to know that they are putting themselves at risk before they head off.

    b) Why it is possible for doctors to provide patients unscientifically proven reasons to explain why these medications are absolutely necessary

  13. Coming from a point of a view as a carer, a couple of points
    !) It is very hard to persuade mental health services that there is a problem which isn’t casued by the family. There seems to be a default assumption that the problem must always be the family.
    2) There is also a default assumption that people can cure themselves and that it isn’t a biological disease but in some way a result of faulty thinking. Therefore if you don’t get better then it is your fault.
    3) Before the discovery of anti-psychotics the only treatment for people with psychosis was long term admission to hospitals, where typically they got worse and worse. Modern anti-psychotics are literally lifesaving. Yes the side effects are horrible but the alternative is much worse.
    4) It is very hard to agree to take medication if you are suffering from paranoid schizophrenia, which is where the need for compulsion comes in – otherwise what are the realistic alternatives.
    5) s136 is vey compulsive, but I would far rather have a police force that saves lives rather than one that is happy to see people suffer and die on the streets.
    6) The level of care and support that people with severe mental illness need is way beyond what at the moment the NHS is prepared to provide. Carers give up work to care because it can easily be a full time job.

    1. As a full-time, unpaid carer on £59/week (looking after 2 sons who have been given mental disorder labels) and also someone who has recovered from a psychosis even though labelled/diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder and a lifelong mental illness prognosis I would like to respond to your comment.

      I agree that family are blamed for mental illness, particularly mothers, as I am, and my mother before me who was given a schizophrenia label (she lived a productive life despite being controlled by a depot injection). Anti-psychotics didn’t save my life, in fact they depressed me considerably as did the anti-depressant venlafaxine. Drugs don’t suit everyone and may not suit most people. Who knows if we don’t have alternatives?

      I have a problem with compulsion, having been forced in psychiatric settings. There was no need for it, in my case. I wasn’t aggressive or violent just not myself. The realistic alternatives could include a range of therapies and not putting everyone who is distressed in together like rats in a cage. Peer run respite centres, home based support, intensive CBT for psychosis, people trained to work with those in early psychosis. Building up trust rather than knocking it down by using compulsion. Why would I trust people who have forced me?

      I and others believe that the term “mental illness” is a psychiatric construct and a term used to describe people for whom psychiatric treatment doesn’t work. “Treatment resistant” means useless treatment. The focus should be on finding ways to work with people in psychoses that gets to know them as people rather than overpowering or subduing them. Real person-centred care. What we have at present isn’t good enough. And that is why I am an activist and campaigner, for a paradigm shift in psychiatric system thinking.

    2. Your comment #3 is not supported by the data. If you read Whitkaer, who did extensive research in the pre-drug and post-drug eras on psychotic disorders, you’ll see that recovery rates were MUCH better before the drugs came into common use. Some people, who remained in the hospital, did appear to get worse and worse, but most (over 60%), who were released, were found to be working 5-10 years later and leading more or less normal lives. This remains the case in developing countries like India and Columbia and Brazil, where antipsychotics are used much less intensively, according to two WHO studies in the 90s. Read “Anatomy of an Epidemic” for more on this. I know it’s counterintuitive, but that is what the data is showing.

  14. ‘Citing studies to back up this claim, including some that were never published, it is claimed that over the long-term, on an aggregate basis, outcomes for patients who are medicated for long periods, for example in excess of three to five years, are actually significantly worse than for patients who were never given anti-psychotic medication at all, or were only given it on a short-term basis.’ – isn’t this because people who are medicated long-term might have a more serious condition and therefore fundamentally a more severe prognosis?

    1. A study by Wunderink et al (JAMA Psychiatry. 2013 Sep;70(9):913-20. doi: 10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2013.19) found that first episode psychosis (FEP) patients randomized to a drug reduction/discontinuation strategy had twice the recovery rate of those maintained on drug treatment. The randomized design means that the difference in outcomes would not be explained by more severe prognosis.

  15. This is not what you’re looking for, but this is an interesting critique of mental health written for the general reader:

    “Crazy Like Us: The Globalization of the American Psyche”
    http://www.amazon.com/Crazy-Like-Us-Globalization-American/dp/1416587098

    It’s a cross-cultural look at how American/European psychiatry is being adopted in other countries. The chapter on schizophrenia cites studies that show American schizophrenics being treated with our best practices have worse long-term outcomes than schizophrenics in Zanzibar.

  16. If you do hear back from any of the experts as to why those studies were flawed, would you be able to post their responses in a blog as I’d be interested to know what they say. I’ve not been able to find the studies in my brief googling of it, but I wondered whether the results of the long term efficacy of anti psychotic drugs was skewed due to it being a survey study. Anyone on anti-psychotics long term would presumably be diagnosed with a more severe form than those only on them short term as I can’t see any way you could justify from an ethical point having people who didn’t need to be on that sort of medication taking them long term. Therefore the long term medication users start off with a way poorer prognosis.
    I don’t think anyone currently involved in research in neuroscience would say we’re even close to understanding how the brain works. So currently treatment with medication is pretty much on a see what works and then try and guess how, where and why it works. Maybe this is why medication doesn’t work as well as we would hope. It doesn’t mean it’s not a biological illness.
    I’ve been very interested in Robert Sapolskys work, currently a professor at Standford Uni. On youtube there’s a whole series of his lectures on Human Behavioural Biology which end up looking at Schizophrenia and it’s all quite easy to understand as it starts from the basics (though there are quite a lot of them!). Link for the 1st here:

    He’s also written quite a lot of papers, though they assume a bit more knowledge. This ones a more general one that looks at capacity within the criminal justice system (american though). It raises issues about how capacity is defined by the justice system and how neuroscience overlaps with it.
    http://rstb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/359/1451/1787.full.pdf+html

    Thought I’d post the link in case any one felt inclined/ has the time to look at them 🙂 Anyway I don’t think any one field can give even vaguely definitive answers right now, it’s such a complex issue. But I can;t see any way of ever being able to understand it and help those with mental illness, if everyone, professionals especially, turn their back on the underlying science and instead aim to find an answer with words and constant discussions.

  17. Hi,

    This post is timely for me as I’m halfway through my first year of research into joint working in mental health services (some of which hopefully will take place near your neck of the woods). My daughter is a psychiatrist and we have plenty of discussions along the lines of your post (I am a retired social worker). I have for many years felt that the most successful staff in the services that surround people with mental health problems are those that don’t really care too much about defending their own professional backgrounds but who can use themselves creatively and alongside others to do the best they can in the interests of the people they are there to help. It sounds simple but it’s really a very complicated way of working and not many people can do it successfully and consistently. Thanks for helping me to think about this a bit. I may lift some of your words (attributed properly of course) for my thesis if I may.

    Tim Williams Doctoral Researcher School of Social Policy University of Birmingham Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 2TT TDW235@bham.ac.uk Tel: 07869 286978 ________________________________

    1. Tim – thanks for this. Interested in how you’re spending your “retirement” as I’m seriously thinking of applying to Birmingham to start a PhD (part-time) this September. (Just need to get myself organise with time and money!)

      But I think you’re right: it’s almost like that saying, “It’s amazing what can be achieved if no-one needs to take the credit” and I’ve seen many patient-offenders fall between cracks opened up in MH/CJ partnerships because of an inability to focus on what’s important and on the tension that always emerges between short-term expedience and long-term imperatives.

      M./

    2. ANSWER ME THIS why was a licensed mental health professional (Raquel Spears) who is employed by Chautauqua Opportunities in Dunkirk New York ever allowed to enact a involuntary mental health commitment on a sexual partner which was done by her through her employer only after a Sheriff who was certified informed her that no action was needed then and only then did she state the lies she did to justifi her enactment of the order why or how the hell is this ethical or legal and why will her employer or law enforcement do any thing to her about this criminal act why was she allowed to abuse her position and power in this manor will some one explain this to me

  18. You know what until Psychiatrists actually are prepared to challenge the rigid orthodoxy they have been trained in then nothing will change. The NHS is a hierarchical paternalistic system based solely on the medical model. There is no interest or understanding that reframes mental distress as disability and no understanding at all of a rights based model of working. Hence why MH patients have less rights then those in the criminal justice system.

    I am not anti-psychiatry as such but I am sick to death of so called MH professionals sticking within their own professional paradigms and seemingly NEVER challenging their colleagues. It just doesnt happen. My ethical and social values , my moral compass are not shared by MH workers- we see the world very differently. I believe in a humane compassionate non threatening response to those in extreme distress and in transparency and accountability. I expect to take responsibility for my decisions for as long as I retain insight. I expect to reflect on my experiences and try and improve them.

    Yet there is this near constant obsession in MH services of professionals always being the experts on what is ‘good’ for me. Whether it is how to fit me in to the tick boxes so that I can be correctly clustered and then reduced to a currency unit or patronising models of recovery as if I and all others with MH diagnoses had not spent time thinking about what would be helpful. Ooh…lets impose the Star Model of Recovery today as I have been on a 1 day course and so must know best…

    When you struggle with severe mental distress you are paradoxically expected to trust numerous people who present themselves as experts who quite frankly could not organise a p*** up in a brewery. We counted on one crisis event that I had encountered 84 different workers . And yet not one of these people can step back and speak up loud enough and shout ‘whats going on’

    Psychiatrists have a clear vested interest in maintaining the status quo in the full knowledge that no one in the MD ‘team’ will ever have the guts to challenge them. But actually all these MH workers have a vested interest as to cede control to a patient or service user would undermine all they have been relying on to validate their professional existence.

    So tell me.. who is the sick one in all this?

  19. @Experto Crede

    As a ex-patient/survivor of the mental health system, and as a peer worker in that same broken and sick system, all I can do is agree with what you’ve so eloquently stated in your post. Thank you.

  20. Thanks for a great blog, Michael. I am afraid the reason you are not receiving literature-supported replies to your request for an honest critique of the books you’ve cited is because such replies don’t exist. There is no scientific defense of the current system that stands up to the kind of scrutiny Whitaker, Bentall, Peter Breggin, Irving Kirsch, and many others are putting into their works. The situation isn’t really that complex – drugs have short-term effects on the brain that may be viewed as positive, but chronic use leads to long-term deterioration. We know this is true of street drugs, and of many other medical pharmaceuticals (including pain killers, as recent research has borne out). Why would we expect psychiatric drugs to be any different?

    The problem is that those who have the least scientific viewpoint have the most power to promote their message through non-scientific means, and they’ve been pretty ruthless about doing so. The people who worry them the most are exactly the folks like you, who don’t appear to have an axe to grind, but want them to simply defend their viewpoint. Because they have no defense. The emperor really does have no clothes, but his supporters have got a whole lot of money to buy off anyone who tries to point out that fact.

    Thanks for caring!

    —- Steve

  21. In determining whether or not forced psychiatry is valid, “studies” are meaningless anyway, as they would be for justfying forced treatment of fat people, people with cancer, or for justfying state sponsored rape or chattel slavery. That we talk in this way is symptomatic of a pervasive weakening of the moral and criticial faculties. The state leaves extreme sportsmen, obese people, people with real life-threatening diseases, free to perish, yet we are supposed to take seriously the fiction of “harm to self”, as if society is more compassionate regarding its lepers than say for example, extreme sportsmen, or people with cancer. It is just a rationale for controlling people who harmlessly breach socio-ethical norms and annoy other people, yet people in all seriousness assert that only once the threshold of “harm to self or others” has been crossed do psychiatrists intervene, which is complete balderdash, yet so many people are complicit in this hypocrisy, saying so falls on deaf ears.

    It is equally difficult to criticize modern psychiatry in general, as any criticism strikes a discordant note against the symphony of self-congratulation orchestrated by those who profit existentially from the system.

    What the p*ssing hell is going on?

    1. None of this is to deny that some interventions are based upon real threats to self or others (society has not advanced to the point where it realizes that to let someone top themsleves, for example, considering the misery, despair and agony that are constitutive of man’s ontological condition, is far more compassionate than extorting willingness to live), but the rule of “harm to self or others” is perhaps honored more in the breach than the observance.

      1. WHAT I WILL NEVER understand is why a licensed mental health professional (Raquel C. Spears} who is employed by CHAUTAUQUA OPPORTUNITIES in Dukirk New York was ever allowed to enact a involuntary mental health commitment order which was done only after a Sheriff who evulated me had determined that no action was needed informed miss spears this than and only then did she state the lies to justifi her enactment of the order her self through her employer how is this ethical or legal why is nothing done to her for this criminal act or to correct the harm and adverse effects it has had on my life why was it allowed will some please tell me why

        On Sat, Jan 4, 2014 at 1:38 PM, MentalHealthCop wrote:

        > Cledwyn of Ulbs commented: “None of this is to deny that some > interventions are based upon real threats to self or others (society has > not advanced to the point where it realizes that to let someone top > themsleves, for example, considering the misery, despair and agony that are > cons” >

  22. When overt social control (the law/police) meets covert social control (psychiatry) its always going to be messy….

    Thats all the MH system is….covert social control….all of it…..dressed up as medicene…..

    I always thought you would get there in the end 🙂

  23. The fact that coercive-medical psychiatry disguises social control as medical treatment is a serious impediment to the public debate on the desirable balance between social order and individual freedom. The handicap is aggravated by psychiatry’s repression of its critics. If the question whether psychiatry functions as a supplementary instrument of social control cannot be debated, then how can the question of the optimal balance between social order and individual freedom be intelligently debated? The conclusion cannot be escaped that medical-coercive psychiatry’s repression of its critics does not serve the advancement of civilization because it results in the obfuscation of debate on serious ethical, social and political issues.

    Whatever one’s views on the desirable balance of social order and individual freedom may be, the practice of psychiatric coercion and abuse cannot possibly contribute to the development of a humane society. Depriving individuals of freedom without trial by means of involuntary confinement in a psychiatric hospital is an abuse. It violates the basic principle of individual freedom under law. When people are involuntarily confined and their keepers are undereducated and underpaid cruelty and abuse are bound to result. The voices of the oppressed and abused are rising in numbers and volume in opposition to medical-coercive psychiatry and the society which permits, even sanctions its practices.

  24. I do international consulting on behalf of people who have been falsely accused of being mentally ill by hospitals, police, and government.

    In short, the term “mental illness” arises from a meticulously-crafted set of contrivances designed to abridge the rights of targeted citizens, and the unlawful proposition that someone is “mentally ill” comes into play when the government or its allies in the oligarchical medical ranks wishes to oppress a targeted citizen, but has no legitimate cause to convey that citizen into locked-ward confinement and torture (forced “treatment”), the targeted victim receives the label “mentally ill” from the Powers-That-Be. This serves as carte blanche to abridge the Constitutional rights and freedom of that target at any point the doctors, “hospitals,” and police see fit. Indeed, the racket between the cops and the torture facilities d/b/a “mental hospitals” is a travesty and a national emergency.

    I am familiar with the scenario you describe here. The unfair or un-Constitutional occurrence of home visitation by police actually triggers negative “behavioral responses” from MOST people, but those who have been labeled (note the word “labeled”) with “mental illness” often already have GOOD CAUSE to be scared of police. The police conduct a vicious cycle of un-Constitutional abuse, in arrant collusion with the abusive psych. hospitals: they should not be sent to intervene in the first instance, and when they do arrive, the terrified labellee/target does respond as if “something’s wrong.” Of course, there’s something wrong! The person is being harassed by corrupt/incompetent police!

    My heart goes out. The manner in which dirty local and State cops exploit the “mental health” paradigm — via an equally fascistic psychiatric oligarchy and rights-erosive “mental health” infrastructure — MUST be resolved.

    An independent consultancy should be retained to put a definite stop to un-Constitutional mental health harassment, including police abuse, especially as such abuse plays out at the municipal and county levels of governmental, social services, and law enforcement in the U.S.

    1. I WILL NEVER UNDERSTAND WHY Raquel C.Spears was ever allowed to abuse her position and power in the unethical and griminal manor which she has or why the Chautauqua Sheriffs were allowed to also for they did the same thing three times also WHY WERE THEY ALLOWED TO ABUSE the mental health involuntary commitment paradigm it got to the point the staff at LAKE SHORE HOSPITAL informed them not to bring me their any more for their was no reason for it and their was nothing wrong with me WHY WAS THIS EVER ALLOWED and WHY WILL NO ONE EXPLAIN TO ME HOW IT WAS LEGAL the mental duress that what they caused will burden me the rest of my life what was the reason for it could some please tell me WHY

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s