Alaskan Field Guide, Prescribed Prednisone, Slips Into State Custody


Bret Bohn, last year an athletic, healthy field guide in Alaska, was prescribed prednisone (a synthetic corticosteroid known to cause insomnia, anxiety, mania, aggression, and confusion) following minor surgery.  He re-entered the hospital, where he did not sleep for 24 days and his health declined rapidly.  His parents’ efforts to remove him have resulted in a custody battle; he is now a ward of the state and diagnosed with a mental disorder.

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Of further interest:
Alaska Family Living In ‘Nightmare’ After Son Declared Ward of State Following Hospital Visit (The Blaze)
Free Bret Bohn (Facebook)

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Kermit Cole
Kermit Cole, MFT, founding editor of Mad in America, works in Santa Fe, New Mexico as a couples and family therapist. Inspired by Open Dialogue, he works as part of a team and consults with couples and families that have members identified as patients. His work in residential treatment — largely with severely traumatized and/or "psychotic" clients — led to an appreciation of the power and beauty of systemic philosophy and practice, as the alternative to the prevailing focus on individual pathology. A former film-maker, he has undergraduate and master's degrees in psychology from Harvard University, as well as an MFT degree from the Council for Relationships in Philadelphia. He is a doctoral candidate with the Taos Institute and the Free University of Brussels. You can reach him at [email protected].


    • Stephen,

      Is there any research that shows how often this happens? I would like to discuss this with someone but I don’t want that person to look at me like I am a crazy conspiracy theorist.

      So essentially, if god forbid you end up in a hospital and you or your guardian disagree with their treatment, they can take custody of you. That is so bleeping scary since even if you try to avoid the hospital, you might end up there due to circumstances out of your control.

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      • I don’t know the stats but stated this due to the Christinia P. situation. There were two other kids that were treated the same way by Boston Children’s Hospital before Christinia.

        I worked in hospitals for fifteen years and never saw things like this happen but now we have the situation in Boston and now in Alaska. Didn’t mean to frighten you with my statement but I think this is enough to make people begin questioning what’s going on.

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        • Thanks Stephen. And no, you’re not frightening me as you’re just telling it like it is. I am the one who is responsible for being on this site, not you. If it is too overwhelming, I have a responsibility not to be here.

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  1. OMG, this hits close to home for me. I just postponed a surgery in which I would have been given steroids post operatively. That scared the sh-t out of me because of my history of adverse reactions to meds.

    I am guessing that when he complained about the problem, he was told to keep taking the drug and that the problem got worse until it spun out of control. And of course, medical providers just add drugs instead of taking a step back to evaluate whether the current ones someone is on need to be stopped.

    When is this madness going to end?

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    • It will only end when people stop trusting doctors of any specialty as if they’re little gods. Notice how little people ever question what doctors tell them? They just accept whatever it is and do it submissively. This needs to stop. If if doesn’t make sense to your gut then you need to stop then and there and begin questioning. If they can’t give you reasonable answers or if they waffle and weasel you need to get the hell away from them. And, you don’t have to take any medicine just because a doctor prescribes it. Over 100,000 people a year die from taking prescribed meds. Question everything and if the doctor doesn’t like it then you need to find a different doctor.

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  2. This is the exact reason I have kept after the regulatory agency in Los Angeles that is the watchdog for the MH industry. I simply would not accept their rationale that my family and I hire legal council (how many of us have this kind of money?) after the allegations I raised once my son’s medical records were subpoenaed (by an attorney representing the whistleblower employee at the psych hospital my 24 y/o son was taken to in 2011). No lawyer wants to take on a case unless they look like a “for sure” outcome especially in this type of industry, but the watchdog agency who oversees these hospitals’ practices and violations need to hold hospitals accountable. If these egregious type violations, such as holding a pt against their will, allow no due process, forcibly drug a person into a drugged, stuporous state (as was done with my son) and they end up so far worse than how they were admitted something has to change. It’s impossible to know the particulars in this case publicized but something looks awfully suspicious: a young man enters the hospital ends up being made ward of the state and assigned a MI disorder. Outrageous!

    These hospital policies, which seem to be only profit and revenue focused, need to be stopped. IF these hospitals won’t change, then we, in society, need to put pressure on the regulatory agencies to shut them down.

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  3. Re: “… corticosteroid known to cause* insomnia*, anxiety, mania, aggression, and confusion) following minor surgery. He re-entered the hospital, where he did not sleep for 24 days and his health declined rapidly.”

    The drug is known to cause *insomnia*… and this person went *24 days* without sleep after being placed on this drug.

    A note to psychiatrists: It’s called *sleep deprivation*, not “mental illness!”

    In a recent blog post, I made a comment that I didn”t think psychiatrists were “stupid” because stupid people don’t get through medical school and residency. I’d like to retract that statement if I might….

    These s0-called doctors are not the sharpest tools in the shed!


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  4. Actually, Duane, I think you were right initially about psychiatrists not being stupid and here is my reasoning.

    Doctors in general seem to no longer believe patients when they complain about even common side effects. A perfect example of this is statins and memory loss.

    It is like if they admit their treatment of drugs caused side effects, that they are failures as doctors. Instead it is easier for them to deny these issues and just add drugs to try to solve the problem.

    And I would love to know the exact course of events as to when this guy developed the insomnia. Did it occur when he was taking the Prednisone and if so, what did the prescribing doctor say when he complained about the side effect? Was he told to continue taking it and or was he given additional sleep meds that actually had a paradoxical effect of insomnia? Or did this happen after he stopped the Prednisone?

    I am concerned that the initial prescribing doctor is being let off the hook when perhaps this person had a role in all of this.

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      • Thanks Duane, you are very kind.

        As an FYI, I forgot to mention that according to the “Free Bret Bohn” facebook page, he has been diagnosed with Autoimmune Encephalitis. But unfortunately, the facts are unclear as to exactly what is going on regarding this situation.

        Some articles stated that Providence Hospital wanted to transfer Bret to Johns Hopkins because they are allegedly the best hospital at treating this condition. Family was opposed to this but it doesn’t say anything about why that was. Do they disagree with the diagnosis or do they agree with it and feel it would be better to find a place to treat him that is closer to Providence Hospital.

        I would also like to know what drugs Bret is on and do they include psych meds which many times are commonly used to deal with the agitation and delirium of this condition when actually, they can make things worse.

        No matter what, it is a frightening situation for anyone or their loved one who seeks treatment. Instead of using conflict deescalation to calm people down and explain your treatment protocol, doctors are simply using power plays like taking custody away from people so they don’t have to answer any questions. So instead of saving lives by this action as they claim, they are actually threatening them because now, people are scared to death to go to the hospital out of fear this will happen to them.

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        • AA,

          You wrote:

          “… doctors are simply using power plays like taking custody away from people so they don’t have to answer any questions. So instead of saving lives by this action as they claim, they are actually threatening them because now, people are scared to death to go to the hospital out of fear this will happen to them.”

          I cannot *begin* to tell you how much I agree with you!


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  5. I hope the other patients he is with are cool.

    24 days, pray it was a somehow pleasant one but that thought of going 24 days in that space , its frightening. my time in that space was from med withdrawal and I would think somehow different , I called it “to tired to rest” and worse things.

    Seriously , custody battles and protests , is this really necessary ? Whats the problem hospital profits ? no no let me guess his “safety” that has to be , his ‘”safety”‘

    Free Bret Bohn , what the hell is this ?????

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  6. I’m quite certain this is much more common than people think, at least that’s what my pastors told me after reading my medical records and research.

    In my case, I had a “bad fix” on a broken bone / an easily recognized medical mistake, covered up with a bad drug cocktail / a “complex iatrogenic artifact. Then I was shipped off to psychiatrists to be defamed and poisoned to cover up the prior medical mistakes / what’s known as “controversial iatrogenisis.”

    My pastors told me what happened to me is the “dirty little secret of the two original educated professions.” And if you look in Wikipedia under iatrogenesis, I know it used to state, and may still state, such crimes against patients are a commonly known, albeit grotesquely unethical, iatrogenic scenerio.

    In other words, doctors have historically, and are still, covering up their medical “mistakes” (ADRs / ignorance) by having psychiatrists defame people with their scientifically “lacking in validity” “mental illnesses.” Then torturing people with their toxic drugs. And according to the recently confessed medical evidence, actually “creating” the serious “mental illnesses” in patients, with the psychotropic drugs.

    I think most on this sight realize psychiatry is used for “social control.” Are you surprised this includes “social control,” due to mainstream medical greed?

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