Medication Mechanization: Microchip Sensors in Abilify to Increase Medication Compliance

Michael Cornwall, PhD

Editor's note: Michael Cornwall appeared on the
Peter Breggin show t
oday, November 11, 2015
to talk about digital monitoring of medication

I felt a chill go through my body when I read that the FDA has agreed to review for possible approval in early 2016 a new form of the drug Abilify that contains a microchip sensor capable of sending a message that indicates the exact time a tablet dissolves in the stomach. The message is recorded by a skin patch - along with data such as the person’s body angle and activity patterns - and, according to a press release from Proteus Digital Health, the developer of the device, “this information is recorded and relayed to patients on a mobile phone or other Bluetooth-enabled device, and only with their consent, to their physician and/or their caregivers.”

The Japanese drug giant Otsuka teamed up with Proteus Digital Health in 2012 to create this potentially profitable new "chip in a pill” just as its patent on Abilify - at $6.9 billion the #1 most profitable drug in the U.S. in 2013 - was set to expire in 2014, leaving one of Otsuka’s most valuable markets vulnerable to generics. It is especially ominous to me that our government is teetering toward passing the Murphy Bill, which would make forced in-home treatment the law of the land, at the same time it is lurching toward putting such an Orwellian device in the hands of a pharmaceutical company, courts, and families.

According to the Washington Examiner:

”The new smart drug could be particularly useful for ensuring the mentally ill continue taking their medications, not just by giving doctors a way to monitor their behavior, but courts as well...all but five states have court-ordered programs where a judge can mandate that offenders with severe mental illness stick with a treatment program as a condition of remaining in the community."

As one Facebook commenter noted; putting a pill in your mouth and swallowing it, knowing it's going to transmit a message to prove one is submissive and compliant, is beyond Orwellian - it feels fascistic. I agree. The social contract draws an invisible line that must be guarded against forces in a society that, driven by fears, fantasies of benevolence, or by simple greed, and are blind and deaf to the cries of its citizens as their bodily and personal integrity are ground into powder along with the preparations they are compelled to take in the specious name of “health” and “safety.”

Sometimes, radicalizing people politically takes a really callous, stupid, and dangerous threat to people's liberty. This is one of those times.

The Washington Post article cites recent research that shows 74% of people who are started on antipsychotic medications stop taking them within 18 months. That's the justification offered for a psych drug that monitors its own use.

"These individuals already have a history of problems due to their unwillingness or inability to voluntarily comply with treatment … this could be an important advance for them that would help them maintain treatment compliance."

— D.J. Jaffe of the Mental Illness Policy Org.

Think about it: faced with the overwhelming 74% failure of a pharmaceutical intervention, why is the core issue deemed to be compliance rather than efficacy, and consumers' safety & satisfaction? And why are we "gearing up" to ensure compliance in particular for a drug that even the FDA admits has an unknown mechanism of action?

What other medical specialty would blame its patients for so overwhelmingly choosing not to take the medications that have been prescribed to them? For a field that has taken on the charge of controlling and regulating social deviance, the ethical boundaries that the FDA should be protecting are blurred by the growing perception that people who are DSM-diagnosed are potential risks to society, despite overwhelming risk to the contrary; that a DSM diagnoses should be a signal that a person needs and deserves our protection.

Only a worldview that embraces the disease and deviance model of human emotional suffering would dare to suggest putting a sensor in a psychoactive substance to monitor and enforce its ingestion by an otherwise free citizen.

I believe that at some very basic level empathy seems to have failed in a society that sees the need to develop a sensor-equipped psychoactive substance. The blasé emphasis on prioritizing prescription compliance, without considering the profound subjective experience - to anyone, let alone a person in crisis - of having a digitalized foreign object inserted deep inside, an object that is in turn sending messages to an invisible outside presence. This oversight amounts to a vertiginous stumble forward in our society’s failure to muster empathy and compassion for its members, instead delivering them, in the form of a now-literally captive market, to the drug makers.

I've been seeing clients in therapy for over 35 years, and at no point can I imagine sitting a few feet away from a person in distress and suggest to them that they should consider having a device inside them that would let me know every day at a distance their most intimate experiences - let alone when they digest something, lie down, or when they have taken their meds. I couldn't do it. It would feel ghoulish and perverse.

And I don’t want to be a part of a society that would do. Even - and perhaps especially - if it were being done “in my name.”

There is an aura of something shameful, a violation of a basic human right to privacy and bodily boundaries that is being ignored in the pursuit of this new digital monitoring of psychiatric medication. The shame is that, with a pill that records the moment of its absorption into our bodies, we are seeing the realization of a long-sought ideal of totalitarian governments; to cross the blood-brain barrier, gaining access to the very seat of our autonomy, and of our souls. With this, Otsuka could fairly revamp its marketing for Abilify by renaming it “Dis-Abilify,” without so much as risking - and potentially augmenting, in a society that seems to be exuberantly embracing an Orwellian ideal - its market share.

This is a time, if there ever was one, for citizens to act, and to act decisively; before the ability to make decisions, let alone act on them, is excised from our bodies completely by the next wave of pharma development.

Of course some will object to my characterization of those who developed this seeming well-meaning medical breakthrough as lacking a moral compass. But I have already heard the cries of outrage and fear from many of those for whom this Orwellian medicine is intended.

I'll end here with an ever-more apt quote from C.S. Lewis -

"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims, may be the most oppressive."

* * * * *

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  1. This is SCARY! Why are conservatives, who are always expressing concerns about World Government, outraged by this attempt to control others’ behavior under government auspices? Why aren’t liberals, who are always expressing concerns about civil rights, outraged by this attempt to invade the privacy of anyone declared “severely mentally ill” by this ridiculously subjective set of criteria?

    Where is the outrage?

    • Good question Steve! I think the widespread fear mongering about the supposed dangers from people with DSM diagnoses of psychosis has paralyzed self interested politicians from the right and left, but where is the outrage from the rank and file political activists on this human rights issue? Thanks for writing, Michael

        • Steve,

          I’ve met some good liberals along the way. On many occasions, I’ve found myself debating,,,only to come to the conclusion that we seemingly want the same things–but have different views on how to get there…

          I do think that a society that does not reach out to those who are truly disabled, deeply suffering is not worth living in–but again, there are different political views on what best supports; best encourages; offers the most hope; helps people the most–long term…

          IMO. the “endangered species” are people like Michael Cornwall. If more people cared for one-another to his level, we would find ourselves in a much kinder and more loving place to live.


      • Hi D & R. At least you’re getting hip to corporate capitalism, which in my mind is the inevitable result of even the most laissez-faire variety.

        Anyway, anyone who has respect for human rights should be able to transcend ideology to oppose this. If we do it right this could be a gift to those of us trying to demonstrate the ugliness of the therapeutic state to “regular” people.

          • Let me ask you something which might be up your alley. Neither of us have much use for liberal “finger in the wind” hypocrisy. This struggle is not going to be championed by many liberals any time soon because they are bought into psychiatry as an alternative to religion or something, who knows. Anyway it seems to me that some of even the most noxious (to me) denizens of right-wing “talk radio” might be able to see through fancy psychiatric double talk better than many liberals. Once the facts about a) the dangers of psychiatric drugs; b) the likely role of such in the rash of “mindless” mass shootings; and c) the forced administration of such to nonviolent, non-criminal people are explained it seems that there must be some talk-radio guy out there anxious to make a name for himself by making this an issue which becomes viral and part of everyone’s talking points. I don’t personally care if it’s Glen Beck who starts it, the point is to make this a constant topic of conversation along with Benghazi and Obama’s birth certificate. After all there were extreme fundamentalists involved in the Justina P. case. What do you think?

          • Although, I should say, the Heritage Foundation is on the wrong side of this… Your point about a talk show host–namely, the sensationalism, raw emotion, populist-type approach is *unfortunately* a tactic that might work.

  2. Help me defeat “chip within a pill” device Proteus Digital Health

    Discussion in ‘Electronic Projects’ started by The_cat, Sep 17, 2015.

    Put the pills in the microwave oven to destroy the chips.

    “think I already got it, dissolve the e-pill in an acid like lemon juice or vinegar instead of the stomach, keep in nearby and the senor could not tell the difference….”

    The thread is lame maybe not even worth a click BUT this technology has FLAWS and and how to defeat it WILL be posted on the internet.

    Now psychiatry is going to rig people up like the BORG on star trek with their psycho inventions ? Unbelievable.

      • Oh, come on! There must be a way.

        I’d say dissolve the pill in lemon juice (or smash up the pill), locate the microchip and swallow that alone. Unless the chip measure the actual level of drug in your system, I don’t see how they’d know the difference… except you’d have to convincingly fake side effects at the review appointment.

        BTW, I was somewhat alarmed by the general reaction to The Cat’s thread on the Electronics forum, especially this comment… “don’t you think it’s a good thing if the family know that their family member isn’t taking their meds ??”

        Nice try though.

    • What is really scary here is the reaction of the electronics forum moderator who openly supported the usage of the chips and closed the thread soon after it started.

      This is the “normal” reaction of an ordinary person who sees the repression of alleged “deviants”: (s)he approves and glorifies it. 🙁

  3. This is, or potentially could be, way up there with revelations of the NSA spying on citizenry. Will the FDA approve this kind of thing, that is the real question. I know of an mental institution where the inmates, all inmates, not exclusively forensic inmates, now wear digital bracelets that inform on them. I’m just thinking that if they are successful in getting this kind of thing in, it’s going to mean a real fight to get it out. I mean the latter is already taking place, and the majority of citizens aren’t even aware of it. Additionally, in NY State now the mental health profession is sanctioned by law to rat out potential “dangers” among the “outpatient” population. I can only see the problem increasing in the future. Technology is here, and collaborating with bio-psychiatry, in collusion with drug companies, is very much here as well. Patient protection is going to be one of the arguments used in support of these devices. This is where it is important to point that those patients are also human beings, and should be allowed the same rights pertaining to other human beings. Damaging human beings by protecting patients, well, that is the order of the day, isn’t it? Certainly, any number of human wrongs aren’t going to add up to a single human right. The paternalism that allows this problem to exist is the matter that we have to deal with. This is not the kind of thing that would be approved for your ordinary citizen, not so long as that ordinary citizen hasn’t been diagnosed “sub-human”, “diseased”, “faulty”, and “deficit” anyway.

  4. Thank you Michael. I take Abilify. It is clear after many attempts to taper off it with guidance from therapist and psychiatrist that I am clearly addicted to it for sleep. I cannot sleep without it. I have tried adding other psychiatric drugs like Ativan, Klonopin, over the counters like Benadryl, herbal medicine like NightRest and sleep aides like Ambien, all with the help of clinicians. Bottom line- I’ve been on Abilify for 11 years and am now dependent on it for sleep. Sleep is precious and keeps me sane. This is a true violation of human rights. Although I am ok, and not fearful of monitoring because I have a comfortable relationship with my psychiatrist I am stunned and angered beyond words at this trap.

        • Hi Naas,

          I was prescribed seroquel in 2005 at 25mg per night but I used to take maybe one quarter of this and sleep very soundly.

          I was able to stop the Seroquel (when my heart developed a ‘funny’ rhythm) but my sleeping became very reduced. This didn’t return to normal in 3 months, 6 months, a year, or now – many years later. I’m stuck with my sleeping problem, I think longterm.

          I definitely think these drugs have self survival properties. How better to guarantee survival than sabataging the sleep process.

          I can definitely identify with you.

    • Hi Naas, I noted, that in your personal story, you cited Peter Levine’s work in healing trauma, and seemed to suggest that trauma plays a role in the historical journey of a family. While in the context of medication free sleep, my own journey to resolve birth trauma and give up my need for sleeping pills, during periods of intense excitement or mania.

      I used Peter’s book In an Unspoken Voice. To help me make the words of recent neuroscience discovery, flesh. Specifically, the words: the motor act is the cradle of the mind. By adopting a “felt-sense” of mind-less awareness of muscular tensions surrounding my heart. A practice enabling surrender to sleep, which I describe here:

      A mind-less meditation which has since brought awareness of the muscular tensions and vascular pressures which underpin my thinking processes. Like, the tension, always present within my tongue, during private ideation, which brought an awareness of how my thoughts are a preparation for speech. Beneath, my once taken for granted sense of my thoughts, as a just so, experience.

      Good luck with your journey, its a long and winding road, by which we cleanse the doors of perception, as William Blake & William James suggest.

  5. Here is the future world that these tracking pills are leading to:

    In 2037, after Big Pharma and their loyal psychiatrist minions have used tracking drugs to mentally enslave the majority of the US population, they will activate the global computer network Skynet. Skynet will dispatch Terminators to control and eliminate the few remaining undrugged souls, resulting in a world like the one in this clip. It will then be obvious that ruthless machines, both human and computer in origin, have secretly been running Big Pharma all along (although few undrugged people will be self-aware enough to realize this). At this point a few brave human survivors will send a hero back through time to do to 1955, just prior to the inception of psychotropic drugs to do…. something.

    Is this so far fetched? Terminators may not arrive, but these technologies are designed to increasingly sedate and mentally enslave a growing proportion of the population. In this way tracking drugs are symbolic realizations of the fears about amoral technology which Schwarzenegger’s Terminator films represented.

    As for this quote, “These individuals already have a history of problems due to their unwillingness or inability to voluntarily comply with treatment … this could be an important advance for them that would help them maintain treatment compliance” by DJ Jaffe.

    It never occurs to this charlatan that the utter failure of neuroleptics to successfully “treat” the despair, fear, rage, and isolation behind psychotic states is a large part of the reason why 74% of people quit the drugs within 18 months. Not to mention the horrible side effects; the fact that the drugs lower (more like destroy) expectations for full recovery, and that they are addictive. Jaffe is a yes man for the criminal cartel of drug companies which should be sued for causing thousands of psychotic people to lose opportunities to work, study, make friends, have families, and recover to be truly well.

    Lastly, I want to again provide an object relations analysis of how such a tracking drug will be experienced by many patients. Psychotic and borderline individuals are usually very sensitive to feeling intruded and impinged upon because of their histories of isolation, deprivation, trauma, and abuse. As Fairbairn and Kernberg described, their all-bad self and other images are dominant most of the time over all-good images because the all-good images based on experiences of love and security are too weak to promote integration. Thus such people are extraordinarily sensitive to negative, controlling external stimuli.

    A pill that tracks you from inside and implies that you have an illness that you have to take this pill for is the ultimate intrusive object. It symbolizes an outside person enforcing your compliance with treatment and also symbolizes that person’s view: that you are an unfree object needing to take a tracking pill because you refuse to freely take it on your own. That view will be internalized as the patient’s own negative self-perception. On multiple psychological and concrete levels, the patient becomes the object of the internal bad object derived from both the pill and the external psychiatrist prescribing it.

    In this way, tracking pills will reinforce and strengthen all-bad splitting. They will strengthen the perception by the client of prescribing psychiatrists and/or therapists as controlling, coercive, cruel, and heartless. They will make the person taking the pill feel less hopeful, and worsen the chances of recovery. But they will achieve their real goal: making profit for Otsuka and their psychiatrist lackeys off of helpless, hopeless people.

  6. Buried inside the pill is a sand-sized grain, one millimeter square and a third of a millimeter thick, made from copper, magnesium, and silicon. When the pill reaches your stomach, your stomach acids form a circuit with the copper and magnesium, powering up a microchip.

    OK then,

    The pH of gastric acid is 1.5 to 3.5 in the human stomach .

    The term “distilled vinegar” is something of a misnomer, because it is not produced by distillation but by fermentation of distilled alcohol. The fermentate is diluted to produce a colorless solution of 5% to 8% acetic acid in water, with a pH of about 2.4.

    We’ve established that lemons contain citric acid, and although citric acid is a weak acid, it still is an acid. It produces hydrogen ions when you put it in water, and for that reason the pH of lemon juice – as it comes out of the lemon – is about 2

    Don’t worry big brother, I took my Abilify microchip pill (I took it and put it in a bag of warm lemon juice or vinegar and stuck it under my shirt LOL)

  7. Thank you Michael for the very relevant article.

    My experience is that the medication route is very expensive and does not make anyone safer.

    I was a danger to myself and a chronic and expensive psychiatric patient while I consumed maintenance psychiatric drugs (and this stopped when I stopped taking the drugs).

  8. It won’t be too hard to make a little miniature washing machine type thing filled with O.1 Molar hydrochloric acid and maybe some pepsin. That would fake the pill out nice and snappy. Or just try any bowl of strong acid first.

  9. Hi Michael, your post reminds me of an American legend’s heart-felt plea: We can’t go on together.
    With suspicious minds. And we can’t build our dreams. On suspicious minds. -Singer Elvis Presley. Writer: Francis Zambon. While your well chosen title remind’s me of McGilchrist’s suggestion, in his book The Master & His Emissary, about right & left hemisphere brain function, that our mind’s are now hostage to the image of our own creation and we’ve adopted the logic of the machine.

    The cause and an effect process going on inside the brain logic of technological conception, which ignores how the brain is energized by the body. While driven by an unconscious urge to belong, so many people simply affirm the consensus rhetoric, no matter how paradoxical or contradictory to the nature of our actual experience, such consensus rhetoric, is.

    And while I do understand the need for political activism, in pointing out the hypocrisy of a world view that “would blame its patients for so overwhelmingly choosing not to take the medications.” I continue to be dumbfounded by the lack of interest shown here on MIA, towards the game changing question: If mental illness is not what psychiatry says it is, then what is it?

    To which I answer: Behavior, manifest by our nervous systems need to re-orient our non-conscious perceptions of reality. Our “neuroception” of reality, as professor Stephen Porges explains, in The Polyvagal Theory. While asking my American cousins to consider the affect of culture, in the context of an historical denial about the body and its role in creating the mind? Especially, in the context of where we are now, on humanity’s journey towards self-realization.

    With deep respect for the sanctity of human life, I ask readers here on MIA to contemplate their nation’s traumatic birth into modernity and peer through the veil of a self-fulfilling sense of fearful paranoia, by which this kind of “us & them” world view of humanity, arises. The same question I ask my fellow Australian’s to contemplate, as we inflict our Caucasian-centric views on refugees, while paving the road to hell, with our good intentions.

    I’ll end here with a paraphrase of the quote from C.S. Lewis:

    Of all tyrannies, a tyranny subconsciously exercised for the good of its victim, may be the most oppressive to the honest perception of oneself.



      • Say what? Maybe this is a rhetorical question? Those who have gone through extreme states (and there are plenty here at MIA) are aware of what they are. Wherein lies the confusion? (This is a “side” comment not intended to derail this important blog discussion.)

      • ….”extreme states”….????….most of them are extra-spicy, extra-crispy, various
        flavors of NORMAL…..
        The LIE of the pseudo-science of psychiatry is that imaginary, arbitrary, subjective
        so-called “mental illnesses” are any more “REAL” than presents from Santa Claus…..
        As a child, I received MANY presents from Santa Claus, under our family Christmas tree on Christmas mornings…. That hoary old CATALOG of BILLING CODES called the “DSM” is simply an adjunct to the DRUG RACKET known as “Pharma”…..
        ALL DRUG RACKETS, whether they push and profit off heroin, meth, weed, Abilify, other psych drugs, etc., are only concerned with MONEY & POWER…..

        How can WE help YOU help SAVE US ALL, Dr. Cornwall….????….

  10. I continue to be dumbfounded by the lack of interest shown here on MIA, towards the game changing question: If mental illness is not what psychiatry says it is, then what is it?

    Obviously you haven’t been paying attention so there’s no reason to believe you would start now.

        • As I suspected, you cannot point me towards a post here on MIA, that explains how mental illness is not what psychiatrists say it is. Or how people get lost in the illusion that the everyday words we use for communication with self & others, is the reality of our motivation.

          Hence, the socio-political agenda will continue, going around and around its “us & them” Cartesian circle.

          • Cannot or will not? I think I have a good enough sense of where you’re coming from to know that trying to dialogue with you would be a futile waste of energy, as you are primarily interested in foisting your ill-considered personal theories on the rest of us. So it’s a matter of priorities. If your are a psychiatric survivor say so and I’ll take your words more seriously, otherwise I don’t see the point.

          • Even among psychiatrists, there is NO consensus as to “what mental illness is”….. You ever heard of a guy named Thomas Szasz? Wrote a little book titled “The Myth of Mental Illness”, in about, oh, 1963….????….
            Despite the LIES of the pseudo-science known as “psychiatry”,
            so-called “mental illnesses” are only as “real” as presents from Santa Claus….
            Psychiatry *ITSELF* is nothing but lies, lies, lies, told for MONEY, and POWER…..
            Maybe you should go to “lyrics>dot<com, and read some ICP….( "Insane Clown Posse" is the band's name….their fan base is largely comprised of "medication-compliant" mental patients….. I'm serious. Read their lyrics, then get back to me….. You'll find your question answered there….

  11. I think oldhead is on the money to figure out to make this and other relevant things into right wing talking points. There is already a buzz in the right wing media world about how it’s not always guns that kill people, it’s the medication that the person is on plus the guns. I guess the NRA likes this – nonetheless it’s an educational tool.
    I also feel that Bernie Sanders needs to be further educated on these points. He is the first Senator I know of who has spoken out against the nomination of Robert Cahill to run the F.D.A. Friends of mine in Vermont wrote to him and he apparently listened. He has also consistently railed against the high price of prescription drugs, taking buses of seniors from Vermont to Canada to buy them cheaper. So, if anyone here has connections to Bernie, try to get his ear….and if this happens, Hillary is sure to follow, as she is terrified of his candidacy and trots along behind him, echoing his messages to try to get more traction and appear more “progressive”….

    • Hillary, ugh.

      Actually I was hoping some of the right-leaning folks here could take up this challenge. Though I wouldn’t rule out personally trying the talk-radio gambit, someone with more affinity with right-wing ideology might have more success.

    • Of course there is a famous right-libertarian talk show host who has large audience and opposes the shadow government in America: Alex Jones. I was on his show two years ago attacking the Therapeutic State. His influence is limited because he is considered a conspiracy theorist and crackpot. On the “extreme” (Chomskyist) left if this show was done with gravitas I’m sure Amy Goodman would cover it on Democracy Now. Also I’m sure there would be a lawyer for Center for Constitutional Rights who would oppose. THe ACLU has become part of the establishment but CCR, lawyers for Chelsea Manning and Julian Assange, has many interns one of whom with CCR backing would get behind this cause. You could also get Green Party candidate DR Jill Stein(MD) for what it’s worth to oppose it. There are also many small libertarian groups who would oppose it. This could revive the long slumbering movement(outside of anti-psychiatry sites like this–excuse the term) against coercion in psychiatry to become active again.
      Seth Farber, Ph.D.,
      P.S. I think this is too divisive an issue for someone like Sanders( for whom I will vote, despite his imitations) to herald. It’s far more radical than the high price of prescription drugs. He sticks to several issues for which there is widespread support. Remember Sanders supported the bombing of Serbia and the war in Afghanistan. HE will likely define this as an issue for experts. (It;s worth a try—he might help to publicize it.) Rand Paul is far more likely, particularly since he can’t win>

      • Indeed, there is only so much people are willing to take before the gasket blows. Personal freedom vs. maniacal need for power is an age old battle, but hopefully we are more resourceful now and grounded in new awareness. Still, those buggers don’t give up without a fight, so it’s good to keep our sleeves rolled up for a while. This is one helluva battle going on!

  12. Hi Michael, Thanks for the work-up and reactions of yours, and then getting the others drawn to the page. I feel that the technology is exciting, and that it will at first and perhaps for good die away misused and this as used to oppress is just awful. Of course, as a druggy the thought that I could get the chip in something free and easy to stay off of anyway, good quality “street drugs”–let’s say, so to agree, that I mean pharmaceuticals that work great but need situational monitoring and not regulatory authority outside of the clearinghouse in which they are produced. Like LSD, Dexedrine, heroin and refined opiates, codeine, secanol, atavan and pleasant chill pills…all unnecessarily labelled as doctors need the labels to control debate and market conditions in deference to judgeships for regarding their authority, maniacally.

    Such latent dexterity is completely redundant. Who needs help visiting pharmacies and drop-in centers is no one. Nothing but bartending happens with drugs inside the current hospital system for us now, anyway. Yet what lousy service and flimsy rules they contrive for us. This can’t be argued and defended as anything but second rate to blackmarket efforts. Worse than abstinence itself. Worse than the minority rule it proscribes and intends: what the whole standard system aims at, from “stigma” to “compliance” to Segregated Assisted Living “Facilities”. All so behind the times only the most mildewed and risible Welshers would “keep foughting” to have it stay the mode of presentation that all may keep as best noticed.

    So, this wouldn’t be more than my typical commuter game face attitude, usually just wordlessly supported. Since it is so obviously the right direct criticism to the lowlife control freaks and crybabies who run behavioral health services in my country…the stupid weirdos. Anyway, the freedom that some people could but obviously won’t get to enjoy from this system is one I would only jump to mention here in some format at MIA. Hopefully, the fact isn’t out of kilter for your thread as developing so far.

    Some very recalcitrant adherents to the medical model for mood disorders could get persuaded to monitor their drug use with the problematic dosage tended to, voluntarily, then data and performances come to represent another path for convincing them to make life style changes. More systematically especially in the case of people with multiple diagnoses, who like to stick to the myth of mental illness that keeps them from knowing reponsible differences of opinion with themselves in “different” moods. Not to leave the guesswork out, think of the problem as headless and seamless and proud and fully inured with extrajudicial authority and the love of in-house “peers”, as we do have in the entirely business as usual way that supplies the hagiography in the old way of looking at the mega-pharmaceutical and anti-voluntarism “reformers”.

    Unfortunately, society is just that sick that such good opportunity is foreordained by the disgusting Left of the tag along Thomas Insellites and humbug British socialist “critical psychiatrists” attempting to mean something viable for the life of themselves, and, in like fashion “maybe with luck”. But the meaning intended is obviously outright negative domination of opinion and autonomy of patients and good support networks, and so on. Elsewhere than here and there, the very suggestion has to come in under the radar much too forcefully and demonstratively. There no one goes to weed out the bald-faced lies of the dog and pony show that goes on at the workaday level for consumers and survivors and compeers.

    Anyway, the chance to stick the product in the establishments ugly fat face or stick it and win for the battered little guy who can’t figure how to help himself out is totally marginal because of the group hug effect of bogus onus-mongering, as everyone reminds me, so far. These sorts of thumbsuckers and career moonlighters say we can’t risk freedom and good faith, then risk to the detriment of the saving graces of natural humankindness, and defeat real channels of positive empirical intervention. Such mere experiments that could go on to thrive in bartar and exchange programs that focus super-communities inside communities, instead of supra-communities that “work halfway” as homes and detention centers. What fools we have to live with here, what live idiots of the children of Martians and Venutians all prissing our true futures away–for good, for free.

    The device you rightly lambast here, Dr. Cornwall, certainly represents the many arrays of dangers your article and the post-ers in the thread suggest. If we were to tally it up, I like to think the content then would become one of the most interesting to surpass through some kind of transformative rejoinder to it. Not like some grand antithesis and thetic resolve like John Searle. Not some crackpot idiocy of George Graham’s “disordered mind” theory, another puffball of fairy-cake that signifies nothing and means it less, for however it pleases him to elaborate. Not Bill Fulford’s silent snowflakism on the hot button of the David Healy paddle of gynerosity.

    My apology in repletion, since that flippancy was unavoidable given the constantly emended agency of the neoliberal bureaucracy and the stoney anti-responsibility quacks of the meantide. Still, maybe I want these damn implants on me and not just some of them: no joking about that. The myriad uses that we can dream up for these things is truly numerable, Man. Except only my right to store them should merit the Swedish authority and dangerous permits that get dreamt up to enslave and torture and murder our rights and health plans. Democracy off the rails is no myth, and unless we reformulate the medical model and quit lending reading time to the mortal weaknesses who claim to need their nursing jobs more than equal rights for patients, and patient-advocacy spelled out in careful detail. Inviting rundowns like yours here is more apt than having the thin-veined and histrionic slow fizz of physician preferential research models. Like the alluded to misuse of the harping on RTGs to attract followings that accumulate more end o’ the era data fields to max out their party crashing marathon hit parades. Clever non-historians finally get to eat it, as we expect they should when we discover their law of opposition as the removal of literal approaches to the facts of harm intended and benign treatment options gotten suppressed. Not excluding approaches to simple withdrawal protocols that reveal the contingencies of risk and harm in proportion. And that’s what I imply by the joke above. Just see who has more trouble going off the implant. Plainly the true believers in the need for AMA life insurance and the myth of the brain drain happening when folks migrate who can’t learn to play nice and stick around for their meet-ups. Let’s see the bums pay up or shut up and lose their rep and cred.

    • Wow! I just imagined Hunter Thompson and Allen Ginsberg both sitting up and saying- “yeah, keep on taking no prisoners this way travailler-vous!”
      I want to read this a few more times to let all the magic, truth and scorch sink in like an antidote to a micro chipped pill I couldn’t cheek or spit out.
      Thank you, Michael

  13. Thanks Michael!

    I’m not sure why we’re bothering with these half-measures. Mandatory monitoring of ALL citizens is what’s needed. The “Citizen Safety and Tranquility Act” will soon require all of us to take our neuro-behavioral monitoring pill. Expect agents of the state to spot check all of us and read our “levels.” Any readings outside established norms will trigger an approved treatment algorithm designed to return the individual to pre-determined behavioral, emotional and cognitive functioning.

    Soylent Green is people my friends.

  14. In response to the person who asked “Where is the outrage”, I would answer that outrage is the new normal….which means most people don’t feel triggered to act……fear immobilizes. I take a different view of what’s going on. The writing is on the wall for the end of the pharmaceutical industry because of 3-D printer technology. Patents have run out, or they are running out, and the drugs are being exposed. In Europe more change is taking place; moving away from diagnosing, recommending low dose short term first break intervention….from the standpoint of Bigpharma, all this spells the end. They have the American public in thrall, whipped up into a frenzy over mass shooting….this is Disaster Capitalism. The court systems’ reliance on psychiatry gives the special interests that control our govt the safest way to get as many of these drugs into as many people as possible. Force ’em before everyone figures out what’s happening…….so while we sit here and discuss how little therapeutic gain is to be had, what all this is really about is money. The American public is the perfect target, and not even a moving one.

  15. To oldhead, my first diagnosis of schizophrenia, was almost 36 years ago now, within 15 minutes of my first contact with doctors of the mind. Who’s crisis intervention motivation I understand, while lamenting the way self-interest plagues us all and blinds us to reality within. These days, I prefer professor Jaak Panksepp’s understanding of how, we are all brothers and sisters under the skin, to the vicarious sense of reality, we call our mind’s subjective experience. Specifically, the seductive sense that we actually know ourselves because we can speak, read and write words.

    Specifically, in this era of unprecedented material wealth, which paradoxically includes unprecedented, physical and mental ill heath. A paradox, many writers now label The Paradox of Modernity. Specifically, the everyday illusion of words, by which, as Allen Frances points out: Psychiatric diagnosis is seeing something which exists, but with an expectation of what we see.

    Hence, my own writing about resolving my birth trauma conditioned expectations of life, and my eight years of medication free self-regulation, describes the need to orient attention, by way of “felt-sense” internal exploration, of how my nervous system organizes my bio-energetic resources and energizes my thoughts. While, with all due respect, your responses to me, are covering up your inability to know yourself, from the inside-out. An inability, manifest in your reply: Those who have gone through extreme states (and there are plenty here at MIA) are aware of what they are.

    Again, please enlighten me, on what they are. And let me know how dystopian visions of the future, are simply a non-conscious projection, involving a profound lack of self-awareness, because as R.D. Laing pointed out: we are all in a posthypnotic trance induced in early infancy. The delusion that we know ourselves because we have been taught to speak, read and write words. Where though, is the taut sense of muscular tensions and vascular pressures that give rise to this process we call thinking.

    I look forward to your articulation of your own”in-the-flesh” experience of being human.

    • Thanks for writing Leah. Very good point- when the world appears sinister and unreal- when fear is so strong it is terror, and trust in others’ motives is totally gone- enter the doctor with pills that track me from inside my body. The very idea of it amplifies the waking nightmare.
      Best wishes, Michael

  16. No, no, no! We must not let this happen. I just escaped from an emotionally abusive family member who thought it was her duty to make me take my pills. I am now free having left that situation. Having someone making me take my pills only made me want to not take them even more. I almost died taking Seroquel and Lithium and Depakote did a number on me as in my brain took a vacation. They made the abuse so much easier to inflict. I am taking no medications at the moment. To think that taking a pill that would tattle on us and show that we are being good boys and girls is a possibility in the making is terrifying. I want to have some responsibility in my treatment. So, what happens if they see we didn’t take the pill? Do they come to take us away? No, no, no!

  17. Seems that neo-con/lib (for us in Europe a Liberal is just another kind of Conservative – we
    still have (nominally at least) a third alternative we call socialism, which I understand is an
    expletive close to being banned as politically incorrect language use almost on a par with racism in the US) strategies have some almost mythical / magical power to talk the most horrific things into existence and finally into passive acceptance. The makers of this pill have surely considered the outrage and sheer horror it will provoke, but they nevertheless campaign steadily on apparently confident that they will overcome the resistance. What’s going on? They will of course demonstrate that they understand and accept the outrage, and then wait a little, wait til a newer outrage
    captures attention, quietly produce some sort of ‘study’ showing that most opposition is based
    on ‘irrational’ and incorrect assessments of the dangers and highlight the great benefits to
    health professionals and patients through increased compliance and press on with getting it
    authorized, crossing a few palms with silver on the way no doubt.

    I believe it’s called repressive desublimation. I’ll have to dig out my old copy of Marcuse again.

  18. Michael,

    Thank you for your thought-provoking reflections on this disturbing trend.

    I think Proteus Digital Health is capitalizing on fear. Mass shootings and other forms of terrorism cause a lot of laypersons, politicians and institutions to scapegoat the mentally ill, and many believe the unsubstantiated connection between mental illness and violence that seems to drive interest in devices like a “chip in a pill.”

    But I doubt this will stop with the mentally ill. I can imagine people with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia in Proteus’ cross hairs, along with other populations who either can’t defend their rights or their rights have been taken away.

    Yet I also think the real profit for such a device is likely in hospitals and other inpatient facilities as a way to monitor patient care. If this is the case, then I would think those defined as “mentally ill” may be a bit like guinea pigs, and a way to test the efficacy of a product before it becomes a larger scale venture.

    • Thanks for your valuable comment Laura- I agree that this new digital psych drug may be just the beginning of a whole generation of chipped drugs across the board. Where profit is the motive, the drug companies have proven to be shameless and ruthless. Abilify was the top selling drug in the US last year with 7.2 billion in sales. It went generic this year- but if this new digital form is approved by the FDA, it will be a huge proprietary money maker for Otsuka and Proteus.
      Best wishes, Michael