Rethinking Public Safety – The Case for 100% Voluntary

Sarah Knutson
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Not long after posting this Principle from the 10th Annual Conference on Human Rights and Psychiatric Oppression, the following comments appeared on my Facebook page:

“It would have to be replaced with something else, we need to have strong supports we need to take care of each other.”

“Hey you radicals mental illness is a physical illness that requires the attention of a specially trained medical doctor if don’t like the treatment leave for a dessert[sic] island where you can suffer without disturbing others”

CRPDThese are understandably difficult issues.  Historically, there has been a lot of difference of opinion and genuine debate. In 2006, the United Nations weighed in.  They approved the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).  The CRPD prohibits involuntary detention and forced interventions based on psychosocial disability.  These are considered acts of discrimination that violate the right to equal protection under the law.  Under the CRPD, people with psychosocial disabilities have the same rights to liberty, autonomy, dignity, informed consent, self-determination and security of the individual and property as everyone else.

Shortly thereafter, forced ‘treatment’ was also held to violate the Convention Against Torture:

States should impose an absolute ban on all forced and non-consensual medical interventions against persons with disabilities, including the non-consensual administration of psychosurgery, electroshock and mind-altering drugs, for both long- and short- term application. The obligation to end forced psychiatric interventions based on grounds of disability is of immediate application and scarce financial resources cannot justify postponement of its implementation.

Forced treatment and commitment should be replaced by services in the community that meet needs expressed by persons with disabilities and respect the autonomy, choices, dignity and privacy of the person concerned. States must revise the legal provisions that allow detention on mental health grounds or in mental health facilities and any coercive interventions or treatments in the mental health setting without the free and informed consent of the person concerned.

Many of us hoped that would be the end of it: No forced treatment, clear and simple.  Nevertheless, the debate goes on.  It seemingly has sped up – rather than let up – over the past several years.  Clearly, many of us are sincerely struggling with these issues.  There are people of conscience on all sides.

 

The Case for 100% Voluntary

For the past ten years, the international community has been progressively moving away from involuntary interventions. This essay is the first in a multi-part series.  It highlights important reasons why the rest of us should follow suit. They are as follows:

1.     These issues are universal, not medical

Life, by nature, is difficult and risky.  Our primary certainties are death, loss, and vulnerability. Pain, suffering, sickness and need are pretty much a given.

The idea is to minimize risk as much as possible, but still keep the essential spontaneity of feeling alive.  This a highly personal undertaking. One is never certain what this means for someone else.

That being said, communities can and should offer support to all who want it. At certain times, any of us might want help to balance: (1) factors that concern others, (2) feasible (medical, natural and community) alternatives; (3) risks and benefits; and (4) personal values and lifestyle considerations. The onus, however, is on would-be supporters to earn and maintain our trust. This is the approach adopted by the United Nations in the CRPD. (Art. 12).

2.     Clinicians are lousy predictors

It’s hard to know in advance who is a ‘danger.’  Clinicians are notoriously poor in predicting suicide or violence.  In individual cases, they barely do better than the toss of a coin.

Equally disturbing, the people they will lock up have not been accused of a crime, much less convicted.  Yet, on flimsy odds, innocent people lose jobs, businesses, careers, homes, custody of kids, and much more.

And that’s not the half of it.  Typically, to lose freedom in society, twelve jurors who have been carefully screened for bias must unanimously agree that someone is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. In the mental health system, a single clinician with little to lose and a lot to gain makes the call.  By far the safest course is erring on the side of lock up. Guessing wrong means serious harm, distraught families, internal reviews, bad press, lawsuits, potential job or income loss.  Sleepless nights and calls at home should not be overlooked.

3.     Drugs, at best, are problematic

Contrary to popular belief, the choice to refuse drugs is rational.  Even if you meet diagnostic criteria, there are many good reasons to ‘just say no.’ This not just for individuals and families, but for insurers and governments as well.

During the past several decades of increasing drug use, disability rates have sky-rocketed.  Long-term outcomes and relapse rates have worsened overall. Particularly disturbing is the fact that third world countries (where people are too poor to afford the drugs) get dramatically better results.

Even as a first-line of defense in emergency settings, there are serious concerns.  In simple fact, drugs are not harm neutral.  Known effects include death, psychosis, rage, despair, agitation, shaking, vomiting, impulsivity, tics, uncontrollable movements, memory loss, skin crawling, insatiable hunger, rapid weight gain, dulled awareness, impotence, insomnia, hypersomnia, fatigue, mood swings, and the list goes on. Many of us have experienced the drugs creating urges to violence or suicide we never had before.  Some of us have acted this out.

The long-term considerations are equally alarming.  Susceptibility to relapse, loss of brain matter, obesity, diabetes, congestive heart failure, and permanent disability increase as a function of exposure.  Due at least in part to drug effects, the ‘mentally ill’ lose 15-25 years (on average!) of our natural lifespan.

For many people, the health risks of drugs aren’t even the half of it. A lot of what you like depends upon your values. Preferences and comfort differ for, e.g.: relying on drugs vs. learning self-mastery, following rules vs. asking questions, respect for experts vs. internal wisdom, managing feelings vs. experiencing feelings, medical vs. natural approaches, and seeing the source of healing as science vs. human or spiritual connection.

When it comes to drugs, one nutter’s meds are anutter’s poison.

4.     Promising alternatives are not being considered

Many do better with non-medical approaches (or might if these were offered).  Fortunately, the options are legion. (See end notes.) Unfortunately, the alternatives are not well-known by clinicians, politicians or the general public.  They therefore not widely offered or available, and are not considered to be worthy of clinical trials.

This is not ‘the other guy’s problem.’  Vast numbers of us are potentially affected.  One in four crosses paths with the mental health system. (3) One in three currently takes a psychoactive drug. (4) And that hardly scratches the tip of the iceberg of all who are struggling.

What separates ‘the worried well’ from the ‘social menace’?  I’d like to think it was more than my natural affinity for the only approach the doctor on call was taught to offer.

5.     Natural diversity is not a pathology

Human experience cuts deep and scatters wide.  Statistically speaking, there are many shared traits, values, and approaches to life. But outliers are a fact as well.

Our variability is to be expected.  Diversity, not conformity, is the real ‘normal.’ It contributes to the robustness, resourcefulness, and creativity of our species.  While it may not get you dates or jobs in a self-promoting, efficiency-driven, corporate-run economy, it is not a disorder.

To the contrary, it is far more like a subculture than an ‘illness.’ In actuality, scores of us value our internal experience, being true to ourselves and treating others generously.  If we speak truth to power and get fired, this is not just impulsivity, mania or disorder.  It’s having the courage of our convictions. We want a world that’s more than just self-promotion, might is right, and going along to get along.  It’s a beautiful vision.  Many of us are dying (including by suicide) for the want of it.  Far from being a social menace, in the 1960’s, Dr. King argued that such ‘creative maladjustment’ is essential in our quest for a socially just, equitable world.

6.     This is about trauma, not disordered brains

Trauma’ is pervasive and potentially causal. Ninety (90!) percent of the public mental health system are ‘trauma’ survivors.  In effect, vast numbers of vulnerable citizens are growing up without a way to meet fundamental human needs. Things like:

  • reliable access to food and habitable shelter
  • safety of person and property
  • dignity, respect and fair treatment
  • meaningful participation and voice
  • the means to make a living and obtain basic life necessities
  • relational, educational, vocational and cultural opportunities for development
  • support to share and make sense of experience in our way

If the aim is to create a safer world, trauma is a much more pressing problem to fix than ‘chemical imbalances’.  There are numerous reasons for this.  We have not even begun to scratch the surface of the implications of a truly trauma-informed system of care.  As the next essay in this series will address.

7.     Do the math – it adds up to ‘voluntary.’

The primary mechanisms for a safer world are already in place.  We already have a criminal justice system with the capacity for detention, probation, in-home monitoring, geographic restriction, behavioral health treatment, drug testing, ‘no contact’ orders, restorative justice, etc.  We already have civil restraining orders, lawsuits, and mediation.  The essential task is to update these protections – and make them meaningfully available – to address modern needs.

The money we save by making things voluntary (police, hospitals, courts, lawyers, lawsuits, staff/ patient injuries, security, insurance, staffing needs, drugs) will go a long way to making this possible.  We could fund numerous thoughtful, responsive, social justice informed alternatives.

We could invest in a truly trauma-informed criminal justice system, rather than dumping that burden on hospitals and their employees. The change in morale itself is worth the price of admission.  Imagine no locked doors and everyone wants to be there. Violence happens, you call the police. Just like everywhere else.

8.     The continued prejudice against people with psychosocial disabilities is not worthy of a free society.

There’s a saying in twelve-step rooms: Every time you point a finger, there’s three pointing back at you.  Suffice it to say, majority fears and prejudice must stop ruling the day. That is discrimination – and it begets discrimination.

In actuality, people from all walks of life have presented a grave risk of injury to self or others at one time or another in their lives: Wall Street brokers, weapons manufacturers, new parents, drinkers, children, teens, Frat houses, Nyquil users, pot smokers, crack addicts, bungee jumpers, martial artists, car racers, dirt bikers, inline skaters, snake handlers, fire builders, gymnasts, boxers, weight lifters, ragers, ex-cons, insomniacs, equestrians, skiers, diabetics who eat sugar, cardiac patients who drive…  There is no end to the list. Some people (trapeze artists, law enforcement, fire departments, magicians, military, security guards, skydivers, operators of heavy machinery) even make a living from this.

There is no principled way of distinguishing the predisposition to such risks from any other kind of psychosocial diversity.  If you needed any better proof of this, the diagnostic criteria for so-called ‘mental disorders’ are so useless that CMS threw them out in 2013 and told the APA to start over.

In any place but a psychiatric exam room, those seen as a cause for alarm would have the following rights: due process, equal protection, liberty, privacy, security of person and property, free speech, freedom of association, freedom to travel, right to contract, written charges, trial by jury, Miranda, and compensation for unjust takings.  You need these protections more, not less when you’ve committed no crime and are simply having the worst day of your life.

In a society worthy of calling itself ‘free,’ public safety would mean all of us. It would go without saying that service recipients are ‘the public’ just as much as anyone else. We would look at fear and prejudice as the real social menace.  People who use mental health services would not need protection from people like you.

So please.  Stop locking us up ‘for our own good’ and calling it a favor.  This only distracts from the real question:  If the crisis services are so great, then why isn’t everyone using them?

Here’s a litmus test. Think about your last life crisis. Did you use these services? Did they feel like a useful, viable option for you?

Before you say, “No but I’m not [crazy, poor, uninsured…],” stop yourself. Try this instead, “No, but I’m not human.

It has a different ring to it, doesn’t it?

 

This blog is a contribution to the Campaign to Support the CRPD Absolute Prohibition of Commitment and Forced Treatment. To see all of the Mad in America blogs for this campaign click here.

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Sarah Knutson
Sarah Knutson is an ex-lawyer, ex-therapist, survivor-activist. She is an organizer at the Wellness & Recovery Human Rights Campaign. You can reach her at the Virtual Drop-In Respite, an all-volunteer, peer-run online community that aspires to feel like human family and advance human rights, http://right2bu.blogspot.com/2015/11/virtual-drop-in-crisis-respite-weekly.html.

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27 COMMENTS

  1. Excellent article Sarah; I wholeheartedly support this. Vulnerable psychotic, depressed, and otherwise distressed people are extraordinarily sensitive to the emotional messages conveyed by forced treatment, which tell them they are not equal, not worthy of respect, not able to choose, and are essentially unwanted non-human objects needing to be managed and silenced. More positive, hopeful, respectful and most importantly human messages are desperately needed.

    It was funny to read this misspelled quote, “”Hey you radicals mental illness is a physical illness that requires the attention of a specially trained medical doctor if don’t like the treatment leave for a dessert[sic] island where you can suffer without disturbing others”.

    This person appears to be a good example of the uneducated, delusional sheep that fill American psychiatry consulting rooms and hospitals (or force their family members to do so). Their ignorance provides the necessary grease for the unforgiving wheels of the psychiatric-corporate monolith, as it remorselessly chews up and spits out the most vulnerable among us.

    • I shouldn’t be surprised that psychiatric liberators want to get rid of psychiatric commitments of any sort and make jails and prisons the gathering place for the imaginary mental ill. Having no corrections officers among your immediate relatives makes this an easy decision- besides, all the conservatives may flock to your banner as a result. Maybe you can lower taxes by charging admission to these institutions the way 18th century places like Bedlam (Bethlehem hosp.) used to exhibit their (non) patients on weekends. I’m sure this is the guaranteed method for dealing with these imaginary patients.

  2. Well, yeah. Forced treatment didn’t take off in England until around the mid to latter half of the seventeenth century. Before that, it just wasn’t an institutional matter in the main. That’s 400 years of coercive treatment that we have to reverse. Let’s look at your list. 1. Conditions are social situational (i.e. human) and not medical. Agreed. 2. Mad doctors are as much charlatans as they’ve ever been. They can’t predict violence, and to attribute violence to the mad is to attribute it to people most likely to become victims of violence. Apparently, they are not the only people who get things wrong. Again, you nailed it. 3. Drugs are more than problematic, they are dangerous and damaging. Sure thing. 4. Promising alternatives are not being considered, especially the alternative of leaving well enough alone, that is, especially the NO treatment accepting alternative. There is a danger here of expanding the social control system. ‘Out of control’ is Okay, too. Were forced treatment outlawed, all of what we are referring to as alternative, would no longer be an alternative to force. Force would be off the table, and out of the picture. 5. People are different. Let’s not exclude people, nor punish them, for being so. Let’s celebrate that diversity instead. 6. This is not about trauma nor disordered brains. This is about power, repression, and violence. How do you marginalize a segment of the population? By valuing another portion of the population at that population’s expense. 7. If it was about math, we’d have a voluntary system. It’s not about the math. It’s about scapegoating. Do the math though, and we save all the way round. 8. What is “non-consensual coercive” mental health treatment in a “free society”? It would have to be a thing of the past, wouldn’t it, because as long as people are being imprisoned and tortured in prisons referred to as hospitals, it is not a “free society”. Let’s release those people presently prisoners of such a system, and make it, once and for all, a “free society”. I think if we got people off the psych-drugs there would be less of a perceived “need” for “mental health services”. I would, in fact, start encouraging people to get off the drugs, and out of such “services” now. There is, after all, no provider like self, or do I mean “nature”? Anyway, I certainly don’t see a bad in more self-reliance, and less dependence. People talk interdependence who get the short end of the stick. I’d say independence has to be much preferred over the short end of the stick.

  3. Hi Sarah,
    “For the past ten years, the international community has been progressively moving away from involuntary interventions.” Not the case in Australia where the use of mental health interventions has been opened up to police as a tool to deal with certain ‘problems’ in our community. A convenient short cut to subvert any and all human rights. I personally was referred to mental health services for attending a police station with evidence of a number of serious criminal offenses as someone who was “hallucinating”. Saves all that messy paperwork.

    The other thing I would ask you to consider is that cost is the barrier to the use of these drugs in third world countries. Could it be that they are awake to the use of addiction/dependence as a form of enslavement?

    Thanks for raising these issues. Regards Boans

    • I suppose it was kind of delusional of me to think that walking in to a police station of 200 + officers with documented proof that you had been drink spiked with benzos without your knowledge would result in any action. They are so under resourced that apparently the sargent tells me they do not have a copy of the criminal code at this station, and therefore he was not aware of Section 305A Intoxication by Deception. And yet he tried to arrest me for having the documents? This mental health stuff really confuses me lol
      On the issue of third world countries. We have a large population of refugees from these countries in my State, and even when the cost barrier is removed, they still do not wish to consume these drugs being provided by medical practitioners which leads me to believe that the economic barrier may not be the only factor at work here.

  4. Thank you Sarah for a truly excellent piece.

    This is an argument I put to Canberra’s Human Rights Commission in my complaint about a doctor’s treatment of me, but they simply don’t “get it”. What hope has society when even a Human Rights Commission has no idea of human rights for people who have been under the “care” of a psychiatrist?

    @ BPD: “Vulnerable psychotic, depressed, and otherwise distressed people are extraordinarily sensitive to the emotional messages conveyed by forced treatment, which tell them they are not equal, not worthy of respect, not able to choose, and are essentially unwanted non-human objects needing to be managed and silenced. ”

    Yes, this was my experience exactly. On my forced admission to psych ward, I was not psychotic and never had been, but within 24 hours my treatment there triggered my first and only psychotic episode – I fell into the pits of hell, and just kept on falling right on through, having failed both the gods and the devil. I was to live my life out as a bag lady, the butt of abuse from everyone in society, reduced to the status of some sub-human, sub-animal life form, with no hope of reprieve….ever. More than a decade later, I still suffer trauma from this experience.

    Everything conveyed to me in this psychiatric “hospital” reinforced my worthlessness, from my treatment at the hands of the ward staff and nurses, to the kangaroo court of the “mental health” tribunal, to my forced drugging with Olanzapine and Mertazapine (apparently an extremely bad combo for first time psychosis in someone who had suicidal tendencies – I later very nearly succeeded while on this combo).

    Yet psychiatrists are able, with complete impunity, to declare people a danger to self and/or others when they have no better than a toss of a coin chance of getting their accusations right, and every part of the system favours the psychiatrist.

    In recently trying to get my records from my private shrink at the time of my hospital admission, he declared that if my currently treating psychiatrist were to have them, I would become a danger to others. How does that work…my treating doctor reads the records, and that makes ME dangerous? Beyond belief.

    Yet, the Human Right Commission agreed with the doctor, and so my treating shrink of eight years, who said I was certainly not a risk, never got access to my previous records and our work to address the trauma was thwarted. I have since walked away from any form of treatment as it is clear that psychiatric “care” simply too big a risk, as it so totally removes access to the most basic human rights.

    I have never committed a crime, never been violent, nor been found guilty of anything, and yet I have had my right to appropriate medical treatment denied because a psychiatrist was able to declare me “dangerous” when he had not seen me for over eight years and have that opinion overrule the opinion of my currently treating doctors and numerous others who were willing to testify on my behalf. Problem is, there’s no trip to court and so no chance of refuting the say-so of a psychiatrist.

    Psychiatric “care” reduced me to a sub-human life form with no rights or value, and then when I eventually got to the stage where I may have been able to address this trauma in depth, the Human Rights Commission accepted without serious challenge that I would be dangerous if MY psychiatrist were to have access to my historical records.

    Human Rights and psychiatry are mutually exclusive concepts.

    • The problem being kim that the Commissioner would know that with the click of a pen you could be once again redefined as animal (precisely what invoking the conditions of our Mental Health Act achieves) and no longer worthy of consideration by a HUMAN Rights Commission.

      The RSPCA is more capaple of assistance. Though we do need to ensure methods of silencing our violations in order to give any credibility to our fingerpointing at other Nations.

      • Yes, my rights would have been better had I been an animal and the RSPCA been the body charged with protecting me. Being a psychiatric patient was literally my road into hell.

        Australia’s regulation of the whole of the medical “profession” is abysmal. Complaints are handled by fellow doctors, and in recent cases, even when there have been multiple successful legal suits (malpractice) against a single doctor, the regulating agency has refused to act to remove a doctor from the doctor pool….and these are physical injuries/deaths which are far more easily proven than psychiatric injuries.

        Here in Oz, doctors are God, and challenging a doctor is akin to heresy and thou WILL be punished for such an act.

        Psychiatrists? Well, they rank somewhere above gods and have conned the law into believing they have absolute power to know a person’s innermost workings, even when they haven’t seen them for almost a decade, and the patient has no history that is consistent with what the psychiatrist is saying.

        Boans, I have absolutely no doubt about your experiences and sympathise with the way you have been railroaded into and captured within the mental “health” system. I hope you are able to escape and rebuild your life.

        • Thanks kim. I had to smile when I read your comment about the doctor being God. A great American once said something like “God heals, the doctor just collects the fee”. Or in the case of forced psychiatry, the ransom.
          It’s a strange sort of delusion that appears unique to doctors. Like watching a magician be fooled by their own tricks. I was so surprised to see how many people still fall for the three card monte given that it has been around for more than a few centuries now.
          Take care

    • “In recently trying to get my records from my private shrink at the time of my hospital admission, he declared that if my currently treating psychiatrist were to have them, I would become a danger to others. How does that work…my treating doctor reads the records, and that makes ME dangerous?”

      Because, your current psychiatrist might discover you were on a bad drug cocktail, or you also can read all about the foolish belief system of your former shrink, thus can make a fool out of him. I was handed over my family’s medical records, with some of my shrink’s medical records included, by some decent nurses in my PCP’s office. Who finally realized my PCP was forcing drugs on me to cover up her husband’s prior medical incompetence. I read them, confronted my shrink with the staggering amount of misinformation he had written in his medical records about me, plus the fact I’d been handed over medical evidence of the abuse of my child.

      The shrink was terrified, wanted to get my child, who’d largely healed by that point, drugged up. He declared my life a “credible fictional story.” He had me bring my husband in, and tried to convince him I needed to be put back on every neuroleptic, that’d already made me ungodly sick. As we left the office, he had his receptionists try to get me to sign a sheet full of clear stickers that said, “I declare this is true” on them. The shrink became a paranoid lunatic, later even lied to subsequent doctors, one of whom was later arrested for killing lots of patients.

      A lot of psychiatric treatment is about covering up child abuse and malpractice suit prevention, via defaming, discrediting, and murdering patients to prevent legitimate malpractice suits, because malpractice suits are “dangerous” to doctors. “Here in Oz, doctors are God, and challenging a doctor is akin to heresy and thou WILL be punished for such an act.” So true, but in actuality the doctors aren’t God, just have “delusions of grandeur” they are, since there is no oversight of the medical community any longer. “God heals, the doctor just collects the fee,” is a much more accurate description of reality.

      Thanks, Sarah, absolutely agree 100% voluntary needs to be the law of the land in all countries, especially given the reality that doctors are medically unnecessarily force medicating people to prevent malpractice suits and cover up child abuse. One of my former force medicating doctors, V R Kuchipudi, was eventually arrested by the FBI, for harming lots and lots of patients for profit.

      http://www.justice.gov/sites/default/files/usao-ndil/legacy/2015/06/11/pr0416_01a.pdf

      And a pastor confessed to me that this is “the dirty little secret of the two original educated professions.” Hope to see an end to the use of this “dirty little secret” way to cover up easily recognized iatrogenesis and child abuse, which is only possible because forced treatment is still legal.

  5. “Danger to self and others” = Has good insurance and helping to keep the beds full.

    Universal Health Services, Inc. (NYSE: UHS) is a Fortune 500 company based in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania. Universal Health Services, Inc. (UHS) is the largest operator of behavioral health facilities.

    Revenue = 8 billion dollars > http://www.uhsinc.com/media/288196/2014-annual-report.pdf

    This site is dedicated to all the people who were harmed or killed in UHS facilities. They speak for those who have no voice, to protect others from experiencing the pain they endured.
    https://watchinguhs.wordpress.com/

    I endured it. 8 billion dollars and the jail like patient phones don’t make “long distance” phone calls outside the hospital area code. Who even says that antiquated term long distance phone call anymore ?? But anyway after these b*stards strip search you and illegally confiscate your cell phone and your phone numbers inside it then your up against the long distance thing next.

    Then if you don’t like your pill lobotomy and the ‘side’ effects they do the usual threat of injections and long term lockup in the state hospital.

    When they came at me with the injection threats I told them to think about the fact that some day in the future I will be outside on the street with them away from their panic buttons and goons and that they should think about how they are treating me.

    In case anyone is wondering I had a nervous breakdown and drank all day long for a little over a week , felt real sick and went to the ER looking for detox and got transported to a UHS hellhole to be subjected to the inpatient nightmare. These clowns never even met me and diagnose alcohol detox as “bipolar” to get at the insurance money and attempt to subject me to nasty 3 drug cocktail including Haldol and again my refusal is met with there threats of violence – body penetration violation rape like with a painful needle full of scary drugs. A complete nightmare that didn’t need to happen. Stuck there for a month wile they stole from my insurance company.

    If they would have assaulted me with a needle they would not have ever wanted to run into me outside that place. I was abused as a child, I am grown up now and can retaliate.
    I don’t see anything wrong with violating people who violate you.

    Anyway that ordeal is what started me writing on MIA. This needs to stop.

  6. “Contrary to popular belief, the choice to refuse drugs is rational. Even if you meet diagnostic criteria, there are many good reasons to ‘just say no.’ ”

    So in the process of calling my nervous breakdown and week long alcohol binge “bipolar” to rip off my insurance company, one of the drugs the tried to force into my body along with the Haldol was Trileptal the brand name for oxcarbazepine pills. As with any anti-seizure ‘mood’ drugs discontinuation has a risk of seizures even if you never had one before !!

    Anyone ever witness a person having a seizure ? I have. So like I already wrote above my refusal to ingest that awful stuff resulted in threats of assault and injection of who knows what scary brain and body damaging drugs. Please stop the threats, your scaring me, I just need some rest and recovery in a safe place you psychos !!

    I really don’t know how to explain to readers who may think I somehow brought this abuse on myself. I was just having a bad time, made it worse by drinking and wanted detox to get back on the wagon and start doing well again and how the hell does walking into an ER sick , shaky and asking for help make someone a danger to self and others ?? To top it off I was never even given any detox medication cause I was sober when I walked in looking for help that morning instead of buying more alcohol !

    All this inpatient abuse does is make the public less safe because the inpatient nightmare makes people avoid “help” and the “hospital” even if they know they are bugging out and want assistance.

  7. Are you suggesting that people with psychotic mania should be left to take their chances on the streets? Do you think that pimps , rapists and sadists are going to see them as “off limits”? If you are not concerned about the collateral damage from your 100 % opposition to forced incarceration , just please state that clearly. In other words, there are those whose outcome you don’t care about. Right? Does their suffering and death in the hands of criminals mean nothing?
    Do you think that they will be a negligible minority compared to the number of those who are really not so bad off and could probably survive without forced incarceration? Please forgive me if I have overlooked some important point in your writing, but I just can’t fathom your thinking.

    • Daisy Valley,

      Sarah is suggesting that people who are experiencing crises should not be forced against their will into a setting where they would feel more threatened than whatever their present situation (not necessarily “on the streets,” as you assume). Did you read her blog? Have you read the responses by people who were subjected to the dehumanizing experiences that are inherent in forced incarceration? What makes you think someone experiencing “psychotic mania” is less vulnerable in that setting than wherever they’d choose to be? How safe is it to be locked in with people who have total control of you, refuse to recognize — let alone respect– your basic human rights, violate your bodily autonomy at will, for as long as they say so? Do you have the capacity to empathize with those who’ve had exactly that experience? Walk a mile in those moccasins and see how quick you are to advocate “forced incarceration.”