1. Corinna,

    I think we may underestimate just how very powerful the drug companies are and how they have infected the thinking, functioning, and funding/lifeblood of mental health professionals and organizations through this country. Most mental health professionals are much more interested in maintaining their income – which automatically means maintaining the myths about life problems being illnesses treating with drugs – than taking an honest look at what is really going on. Who would put themselves out there and be honest if it meant losing their job?

    With middle class or upper-middle class people experiencing “mental health problems” – those suffering but with at least some financial resources and social support – I think the goal should be to never engage with the mental health system or if possible to extricate oneself from involvement with it as quickly as possible. The mental health system is like a dangerous cancerous organism that can severely wound and kill if one gets too close.

    For lower class people, they’re often fucked by the lack of resources. It’s a terrible tragedy that if they look for help or get into trouble and get forced into “treatment”, they are met by the idiocy of the “I will diagnose your life problems as a brain illness and you have to take drugs” approach.

    Although I hope I’m wrong, I expect that the next approach at dialogue will be quite similar to this one.

    One of the most important steps to take would be to prevent drug companies from advertising directly to doctors and the public, as in all other countries except New Zealand. At least some people like Bernie Sanders are supporting this. I think we should support and call for this initiative. This would change professional and public opinions if less people were being bombarded by misinformation about drugs.

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  2. The problem is that this entire discussion has been dominated by ideology.

    This national discussion was called for by president Obama after several mass shooting events.

    Violent crime here is seen as a “mental health” issue. Every mental patient (mental health consumer, whatever) is guilty by association. Every person who has not been caught up on the receiving end of the “mental health” system is innocent by association.

    Was there ever a more pointed instance of the insanity defense hurting more people than it helps? Here the distinction between criminal behavior and medical emergency is moot because the line between the two has become completely blurred. The criteria for hospitalization (sic) is perceived as a potential for crime. Growth in the “mental illness” industry is driven by this fear on behalf of the general public of violence from crazy people. It, in fact, serves as the basis for many ongoing human rights violations (i.e. treating human beings as less than human). To turn this matter around, I imagine it needs to be addressed, and in as direct a manner as possible.

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