“Views on Assisted Outpatient Treatment: Fuller Torrey, M.D.”

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E. Fuller Torrey, M.D, shares his experiences and views on AOT with Behavioral Healthcare. “The whole issue of involuntary treatment is one that’s difficult to resolve . . . Either you believe that nobody should ever be treated involuntarily and there’s no such thing as anosognosia, that people really can make decision – or you come down on the other side and say there’s a subset of people who have anosognosia, who cannot understand that they are sick.”

Views on assisted outpatient treatment: Fuller Torrey, M.D. (Behavioral Healthcare)

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20 COMMENTS

  1. Well, actually, Dr. Torrey, there IS such a thing as “anognosia,” and it’s a very specifc neurological term that you routinely use incorrectly… but theb, I’m sure you know that, since you routinely use langauge in a distred way, sucj as calling involuntary outpatient commitment “assisted outpatient treatment,” like people are being “helped” when they’re force-drugged with dangerous toxic chemicals. And then there’s the possibility that emotional and mental states that you call :sicknesses” are not sicknesses in any logical sense of the word at all.

  2. There is a difference between “not understanding they are sick” and “not agreeing they are sick.” Given the sketchy and subjective nature of these “diagnoses”, it’s hard to argue with giving someone the right to disagree with their “diagnosis.” And even if they were “sick,” that does not automatically convey the right to decide what kind of treatment is helpful.

    —- Steve

  3. In my opinion, ISEPP offers a much better standard and paradigm of care that avoids dangerous, brain damaging psychiatric treatments like neuroleptics, ECT, etc.:

    http://www.psychintegrity.org/

    ISEPP also gives an excellent statement on: The Connection Between Psychotropic Drugs and Mass Murder, which E. Fuller Torrey and cohorts like Tim Murphy, our government and most of biopsychiatry/Big Pharma refuse to acknowledge though psychiatry’s dangerous drugs are most heavily associated with violence.

    http://www.psychintegrity.org/isepp_statement_on_the_connection_between_psychotropic_drugs_and_mass_murder.php

    Dr. Grace Jackson, a noted psychiatrist and author of the excellent books, Rethinking Psychiatry and Drug Induced Dementia: The Perfect Crime has devoted herself to informing people about the toxic effects on the brain and body from psychiatric drugs with special emphasis on the most toxic neuroleptics Fuller Torrey and his cronies are pushing with the AOT fascism. She provides an excellent but very depressing overview of the brain damage/dementia that all too frequently results from such toxic psychiatric drugs while ending with ways one might repair the damage in the following slide presentation:

    http://www.psychintegrity.org/gracejacksonmdlecture.php

    Bob Whitaker at ISEPP 2013 on psychiatry’s cognitive dissonance about the lack of long term efficacy of their toxic drugs due to guild and Big Pharma conflicts of interest that could be viewed as their own anosognosia about their life destroying profession and their own seeming stubborn blindness about it to serve their own interests at the horrific expense of those they supposedly treat.

    http://iseppinfo.wordpress.com/2013/09/19/isepp-2013-psychiatrys-cognitive-dissonance-with-author-robert-whitaker/

    I will end this post by joining Bob Whitaker’s frustrated plea:

    https://www.madinamerica.com/2012/10/dear-dr-torrey-please-stop-the-lies/

    This is a great post with many great comments.

  4. “Roll up your sleeve. How are you? And it worked.” (From the article.) I wonder, how exactly, did it “work?” Did Torrey keep any sort of evaluations on the quality of his patients’ health or lives? How many of their brains are now in his freezers?

    • I just read Torrey’s sister Rhoda’s obituary and it mentions absolutely nothing about her adult life but that she suffered from schizophrenia and spent long periods hospitalized. And donations made to the Treatment Advocacy Center! An article and a video about her state that Torrey was so devastated by the idea that his family was being “blamed” for her illness that he dedicated his life to debunking psychoanalytic explanations for mental illness. So unbearably sad… In the article he says that after 50 years, she is “anything but well.” But he travels around preaching that the drugs work so well we should force people to take them?!

      • It is shocking, but typical of so many lost lives. If you wholeheartedly believe in the medical model of “mental illness” for your “loved one,” unfortunately, your loved one may remain anything but well. On the other hand, if Torrey’s sister was that unreachable, perhaps an autoimmune disorder? Great comment about the drugs not working.

        “In the article he says that after 50 years, she is “anything but well.” But he travels around preaching that the drugs work so well we should force people to take them?!

      • This shows that where the dialogue needs to take place: the divide over what constitutes recovery. If under heavy medication, Dr. Torrey’s sister was by his own admission, “Anything but well” then what is there to lose by carefully helping such an individual in this state to taper off one or more of her medications, while offering her companionship, housing and other strong supports to see how much, if any the drugs were contributing to the symptoms that led to her repeated hospitalizations?

        Can the brains of people who have been heavily drugged for years, often against their wills, ever be restored to homeostasis? Can people who have been brainwashed and had their hopes and dreams systemically shattered over a long period, regain their confidence to the point where they can become in control of their moods and daily lives? The answer is a great big YES and this is where I pin my hopes as it regards my daughter’s ‘schizophrenia’ ! I’ve listened to the stories of remarkable individuals whose lives represent hope and recovery through self empowerment and I’ve befriended many individuals whose own recovery tells a much different story than Dr. Torrey’s sister.

        No individual is alike. We are talking about hundreds of thousands of people like Dr. Torrey’s sister who have been in the system for remarkably long periods of time and have been really really damaged and abused by institutions of harm disguised as institutions of healing. We are talking about a mental health system that is mammoth and sweeping in scale but differs state by state and has patchwork programs. What is good for one person in one state is disastrous for another individual in another state. Dr. Torrey’s policies give power to all the wrong people in states where the trends are very deadly.

        I am very cowardly in the face of people like Dr. Torrey and I deeply respect activists and professionals who are not afraid to engage Dr. Torrey directly.

        For my own healing, I had to come to a different place in regards to this Dr. Torrey business. I spent too much time gritting my teeth over images of Dr. Torrey while reflecting on the evil and harm that he represents. It has done me and my loved ones no good and served no purpose to hate him and allow him to become the embodiment of all my grief and anger over the psychiatric abuse that my daughter has suffered at the hands of the state. Or anger and grief at my own impotence in the face of evil.

        If I ever get an opportunity to speak with Dr. Torrey or people like him, believe me, I want to use my five seconds wisely. The words that I would choose would come deep from my soul but I can’t envision myself encountering him anytime soon.

        Meanwhile, my two cents worth is that I don’t think that we can dismantle the institutions of harm that people like Dr. Torrey have created by engaging with the authors of these ill begotten policies directly. I recommend that people not throw their pearls to swine like Dr. Torrey. I recommend that they focus telling their stories to the postman, the clerk at the grocery store, their co-workers, family members, and anyone else that will listen.

        As another survivor said in this community, we need to push our comfort levels a bit more, come out of the closet a bit more to be effective. I spend a little time in this MIA community, but a lot more time with people that I encounter on a daily basis in my home, extended family’s homes, places where I do business, church, gym, and place of worship. those are the people I tend to share with and you know what? People I talk to are pretty good listeners. Many of them share that they also, have loved ones who have been abused in the mental health system. Not all of them share my opinions but they are not dogmatic like Dr. Torrey. Most of them will readily admit, unlike Dr. Torrey, that they do not have all the answers.

        For years, I have been meeting with peers for support and gently persuading my family members, co-workers, and people who go to my church about the harmful nature of our mental health system, specifically the harmful nature of treatment by force, with ECT and neuroleptic drugging, and all forms of institutionalization. Quietly and underneath the radar. That may not make me an agent of change or even a political activist, but it makes me a human being.

        The story of Dr. Torrey’s sister indicates that there is some glimmer of humanity in Dr. Torrey as there is in all of us. Perhaps he will see the light some day but I think it would take a miracle.

        He chose to go on a much different pathway to channel his grief; the fool’s errand looking for the magic bullet, a single one-size-fits-all approach to curing everyone who fell into the big garbage bag diagnosis of ‘schizophrenia’ where everyone with odd or disturbing behavior gets dumped if we can’t explain their behavior physiologically or because we are not patient or kind or dedicated enough to work with our loved ones without judging or being terrified, or because our imaginations simply aren’t big enough to view our loved ones symptoms as in a wider social context.

        I think many loved ones like myself experience terror at the prospect of going down a different path such as exploring childhood trauma, or emotional abuse or neglect because there are very few supports for exploring these issues in a safe and respectful climate that places a high value of families recovering together, even though such an approach may well provide the most rational explanation for a loved one’s psychotic behavior or the most optimal route to a full recovery. And then there really are those people who experience psychotic experiences that never suffered any abuse by family members whatsoever. Racism, poverty, homophobia, rape, lots of other troubling societal forms of banishment and abuse can trigger extreme break downs. Drug abuse. It’s gets complicated!

        Exploring these issues doesn’t mean fictionalizing the past or imagining abuse when it didn’t occur. Solid professional know how to discern between fictionalized abuse and real abuse. If we spent a fraction of the resources that we do forcibly medicating, labeling, and institutionalizing individuals on the training of professionals to help family members improve their communication and understanding of one another, this would wield much better results for our loved ones. I think Dr. Torrey has no idea how psychosis is perpetuated by isolation and loneliness and psychotic episodes are characterized by anger, despair and fear, the product of having one’s voice shut up, rather brought to light and validated.

        His favorite statement: “Dying with your rights on” could be easily countered as
        “medicated against your will to an early death” Being on the streets or incarcerated can be dangerous, but I and many of my dear friends have loved ones who are forcibly injected with neuroleptics and are experiencing side effects that are diminishing their quality of life greatly and even threatening their lives. We are beginning to explore whether life one the streets, perhaps even life in jail may be a better and safer option than AOT till death in the absence of recovery oriented services.

        • “If under heavy medication, Dr. Torrey’s sister was by his own admission, “Anything but well” then what is there to lose by carefully helping such an individual in this state to taper off one or more of her medications, while offering her companionship, housing and other strong supports to see how much, if any the drugs were contributing to the symptoms that led to her repeated hospitalizations?”
          You’re reminding me about what some of the NAMI members’ comments who once in a while visit and post on MIA write. They complain that we don’t care about their loved ones who are so severely ill. In the same time they have to keep them under the key and stuff meds into them to keep them “better”. How is that better if the life they’re stuck with is that of social isolation, dependence and drugs? If as one of the mothers wrote her daughter does not have friends and will probably never have a family of her own? This is not recovery, this is not even “better life quality”. I don’t question they mean well, but that’s not the way to go. I’ve seen how toxic such parenting can be to healthy individuals.

  5. ““It was almost always a male,” he said, adding that women are less likely to refuse medication. “Typically, it was someone who had been in the hospital 15 times, had no awareness of his illness, and who would throw his medicine in the garbage on the way out.””
    I wonder what is the explanation for the specific “lack of insight” in men… You have to be an idiot not to see that there is a difference between lack of insight and plain “I’m not interested in your bs therapy”. So arrogant it makes me angry…
    “Torrey’s sister is a good example, he said. She was hospitalized for 25 years, after which she would always take her medicine.”
    Really? Beat him with a stick and he will do… Sure if you lock someone up for 25yrs and subject to things that go on in these places they will be fine with drugs. OMG…

  6. The DSM disorders, including the “serious” ones, schizophrenia and bipolar, are scientifically “lacking in validity.” The neuroleptics / antipsychotics are “brain damaging treatments.” The neuroleptics are major tranquilizers, and do not “cure” any illness.

    And the doctors are utilizing these unproven “disorders” and major tranquilizers to cover up easily recognized medical mistakes to prevent malpractice suits, and medical evidence of child sodomy for their child molester friends. I have medical records that prove this.

    The question of whether to give one group of people total control to take away the rights of others is not a complex issue. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. We should not afford absolute power to anyone, including the medical community.

    • Oh, read all about the monster, Dr.V R Kuchipudi, who had me medically unnecessarily shipped to him, and “snowed” me, for profit:

      http://www.justice.gov/usao/iln/pr/chicago/2013/pr0416_01a.pdf

      http://chicagoist.com/2013/04/16/chicago_hospital_owner_doctors_arre.php

      God knows how many patients he killed between the time I first complained about him and his eventual arrest. Is this really who you want to have total control? No one should have the power to force antipsychotic treatment onto another. I understand the neuroleptics help some people, but they do not cure a “bad fix” on a broken bone or “concerns of child abuse,” with medical evidence.

        • He was only arrested last April, so he’s still legally practicing medicine in the state of Illinois. I’m not certain when the trial is, but did update the prosecuting attorney with what happened to me, haven’t heard from him yet, though.

          And the FBI is claiming the hospital owner is the mastermind, the entire hospital was shut down (there may be politics involved). But it strikes me it was likely Kuchipudi who was the mastermind, since he was committing the same crimes back in the mid- 2000’s at Advocate Good Samaritan hospital, when I was subjected to his insanity. Plus, he was by far, the doc bringing in the most patients.

          My guess is Advocate’s risk management team decided to encourage him out, and in to a smaller hospital, perhaps because I medically pointed out his “snowing” of me. And Kuchipudi just continued having well insured patients who’d dealt with prior malpractice shipped to him, but since he was in a smaller hospital, he got caught.

          He is a big prescriber to Medicaid / Medicare patients, too however:

          http://projects.propublica.org/checkup/providers/2011_455085

          Hopefully, the FBI will do a thorough investigation, but they don’t seem too interested in speaking to a survivor. Mainstream medicine needs a major overhaul, and should not have the power to force treatment on people. They abuse it for their own greedy reasons.

          • Yeah, seems like they concentrate more on a financial fraud but it’s clear that it’s also a huge case of malpractice. With tracheotomies there may be cases of death…

          • Oh, there were deaths, I think about seven people died during the 2 month FBI sting alone. So I hope the FBI is checking into all the deaths this doctor caused, both at Sacred Heart and Advocate Good Samaritan hospital, and all hospitals he worked through. But can you imagine, the Department of Professional Regulations hadn’t even taken away his license, last time I checked.

          • Is he not even arrested? Amazing and not in a good way… He should be arrested to prevent cover up, his licence suspended until the verdict. There is no justice in this world:/.

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