Medical Science Argues Against Forced Treatment Too

Robert Whitaker
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The argument that is usually made against involuntary commitment and forced treatment is that these actions, under the authority of a state, violate a person’s basic civil rights. They deprive a person of liberty and personal autonomy, and do so in the absence of a criminal charge. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons With Disabilities upholds that position by prohibiting discrimination in relation to these rights. That is a morally powerful argument, and it should stand at the center of any protest against forced treatment.

However, there is another argument, one of adjunctive value, that can be made against involuntary commitment and forced treatment. Medical science argues against forced treatment too.

The “state,” in order to justify involuntary commitment and forced treatment, will argue that such coercion is necessary to provide “medical treatment” to individuals who, because of their impaired state of mind, won’t give their consent to such treatment. The implication is that if the “psychotic” individual were of sound mind, he or she would want this treatment, and thus the state is serving as a helpful guardian. But this “medical” argument falls apart upon close examination.

First, there is evidence that psychiatric hospitalization itself—whether voluntary or involuntary—leads to an increased risk of suicide. In a 2014 study, researchers at the University of Copenhagen looked at the psychiatric care received by 2,429 individuals in the year before they committed suicide, and after matching this group of completed suicides to a control group of 50,323 people in the general population, and after making adjustments for risk factors, they concluded that the risk of dying from suicide rose as people received increasing levels of psychiatric care. Taking psychiatric medications was associated with a six-fold increased likelihood that people would kill themselves; contact with a psychiatric outpatient clinic with an eight-fold increase; visiting a psychiatric emergency room with a 28-fold increase; and admission to a psychiatric hospital a 44-fold increase.

In an editorial that accompanied the article, which was published in the Journal of Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, the writers—all experts in suicide research—observed that these were robust findings. The Danish study, they wrote, “demonstrated a statistically strong and dose-dependent relationship between the extent of psychiatric treatment and the probability of suicide. This relationship is stepwise, with significant increases in suicide risk occurring with increasing levels of psychiatric treatment.” This link was so strong, they concluded, that “it would seem sensible, for example, all things being equal, to regard a non-depressed person undergoing psychiatric review in the emergency department as at far greater risk [of suicide] than a person with depression, who has only ever been treated in the community.”

These researchers concluded that it is “entirely plausible that the stigma and trauma inherent in (particularly involuntary) psychiatric treatment might, in already vulnerable individuals, contribute to some suicides. We believe that it is likely that a proportion of people who suicide during or after an admission to hospital do so because of factors inherent in that hospitalization.”[ii]

Second, from a medical point of view, the “therapeutic relationship” between “patient” and “doctor” is understood to be an important factor to a “good outcome,” and forced treatment regularly leads to a breakdown in that relationship. The personal accounts of people who have been forcibly treated regularly compare it to torture, rape, and so forth. Moreover, these accounts cannot be dismissed as the writings of people who are “impaired” in their thinking, either at the time or later; such personal accounts often reveal an extraordinary level of detail and clarity.

Third, forced treatment regularly involves injections of an antipsychotic, and such initial treatment is regularly a precursor to long-term treatment with such drugs (and often in a coercive manner). However, there is now substantial evidence that such drug treatment over the long term does harm. For instance:

  • There is evidence that the drugs shrink brain volumes, with this shrinkage associated with an increase in negative symptoms, functional impairment, and cognitive decline.[iii]
  • The drugs induce tardive dyskinesia in a significant percentage of patients, which reflects permanent damage having been done to the basal ganglia.
  • Martin Harrow, in his longitudinal study of psychotic patients, found that medicated patients fared worse over the long-term on every domain of functioning. The medicated patients were eight times less likely to be in recovery at the end of 15 years than those off the medication.[iv]

This is simply a quick review of the medical case that can be made against forced treatment. But even this cursory review tells of treatment that increases the risk of suicide, can prove devastating to the “therapeutic relationship,” and may set a person onto a long-term course of medication use that has been found to be associated with a variety of harms and poor outcomes. As such, the argument that involuntary commitment and forced treatment are in the best “medical” interest of the “impaired” person falls apart when viewed through this scientific lens, and once it does, involuntary commitment and forced treatment can be clearly seen for what they are.

They are not a means for providing necessary “medical help” to an individual. They are an assertion of state authority and power over an individual, and that assertion of authority violates the person’s fundamental civil rights. Any societal discussion of involuntary commitment and forced treatment needs to focus on that issue, and not be distracted by the “medically helpful” claim.

—-

C. Hjorthøj, Risk of suicide according to level of psychiatric treatment—a nationwide nested case control study. Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol (2014) 49: 1357-65.

[ii] M. Large. Disturbing findings about the risk of suicide and psychiatric hospitals. Soc Psychiatry Psychiatry Epidemiol (2014) 49:1353-55.

[iii] J. Radua, “Multimodal meta-analysis of structural and functional changes in first 
episode psychosis and the effects of antipsychotic medications,” Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Review 36 (2012): 2325–33.

[iv] M. Harrow. “Factors involved in outcome and recovery in schizophrenia patients not on antipsychotics medications.” J Nerv Ment Dis (2007) 195: 407-414.

 

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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25 COMMENTS

  1. Thanks for this Bob. The evidence is overwhelmingly dismal against force and yet it is Business as usual.
    As a plaintiff attempting to hold 2 psychiatrists accountable for the “chemical imbalance fraud” which they both had very interesting responses to in questioning; I experienced first hand how easy it is for the system to keep turning the tables on you in its favor. I was declared incompetent to try my own case. This is good news because I can’t and don’t want to; but the fall out is overwhelmingly against my HR/ UN rights etc. When assisted suicide became law here in Canada this year, I tried to warn people that there is no informed consent and regardless of what appears on paper, the reality of what goes on behind closed doors is a very different set of circumstances because the system welds all the power. Coercion can be very subtle and yet you know when you don’t have a choice, you have just been forced to do something against your own best interest and even though you were robbed of your choice, you will also pay for the consequences of what other people get away with doing to you. It is a real “crazy making” situation.

    This may be of interest. http://www.vox.com/2016/3/1/11134908/criminal-justice-mental-health
    How America’s criminal justice system became the country’s mental health system
    by German Lopez on March 1, 2016

  2. I think it has to be acknowledged that the power granted to psychiatry is essentially equivalent to ,agent of the *state* , under parens patriae doctrines that were adopted a little over 100 years ago — without public debate, or awareness , apparently as as this is aspect is never discussed. No democratic process was involved, — so we are a society waking up to the first act of the wealthy ruling class exerting social control to abate their fears during the first phase of mass expansion and immigration just before the 20th century.

    >>”They are not a means for providing necessary “medical help” to an individual. They are an assertion of state authority and power over an individual, and that assertion of authority violates the person’s fundamental civil rights. Any societal discussion of involuntary commitment and forced treatment needs to focus on that issue, and not be distracted by the “medically helpful” claim.”<<

    First and foremost, the historical context around our country/society adopting the theories and strategies of psychiatry must be exposed and explored. I am working on documenting this in the wake of recent publicity about the parents of Justina Pelletier filing a law suit against Boston Childrens Hospital, naming specific doctors . The complaint filed highlights both medical neglect/malpractice and civil rights violations.

    • I agree, Katie, understanding the “historical context around our county / society adopting the theories and strategies [of psychiatry] must be exposed and explored.” I, too, have been trying to understand this, since the psychiatric industries’ beliefs are almost 100% opposite of the beliefs written about in the US Constitution, and everything in which Americans were taught to believe.

      I will mention, I have a theory, yet to be proven, that the initial adoption of psychiatry stemmed from our society’s disgust at the “witch hunters.” And psychiatry provided a private / outside the law way for the “powers that be” to unjustly “crucify” anyone they want, for any reason they choose.

      I also have realized it does seem to relate to the beliefs of the European “wealthy ruling class,” particularly given the reality they used the psychiatrists in a similar fashion back during WWII.

      And based upon my personal experience, what an ethical pastor described as my dealing with, “the dirty little secret of the two original educated professions.” What I learned was that two of the primary functions of our society adopting the psychiatric “theories and strategies” is to cover up malpractice for the incompetent doctors, and child abuse for the religions, and wealthy within.

      I’d love to read or hear about your research into why the U.S. today, is now standing 100% in support of the scientifically invalid and unreliable psychiatric theology. Since it strikes me as the opposite of an American belief system.

  3. “involuntary commitment and forced treatment can be clearly seen for what they are.”

    Yes, what they are are attempts to profit from vulnerable people primarily – profit is the primary motivator behind the pseudoscience of psychiatry – and secondarily attempts to silence and control people that psychiatrists and family members would rather not take the time and make the effort to engage in less harmful coercive ways.

  4. I think psychiatry much more akin to police science than it is to medical science. I don’t think there is a great deal of concern about this “disease” factoring because I don’t see it as being about “disease”.”Disease” here is only a way to dismiss the functional capacity of a human being as a human being. The mental health authorities bust people for rule breaking in the same fashion that criminal justice authorities bust people for law breaking. There may not be a law, literally, but that doesn’t matter because there is a law, literally, and that law is mental health law. An infraction doesn’t need to be in the criminal code of law when you have a law to lock up people who haven’t broken any law. The justification for locking people up, when a crime hasn’t been committed, as in the movie Minority Report, is pre-crime. People are held in the mental health system under suspicion, for one reason or another, that they may commit crimes in the future.

    The argument that Thomas Szasz used for the separation of state and medicine was one of the best arguments going. If psychiatry were medicine, mental health cops wouldn’t be locking people up for “illness”. A person can refuse cancer treatment provided that person is above 18 years of age, and that person is perfectly within their rights to do so. Hospital wards, except for the psych-wards, don’t have locks on the doors, and don’t prevent patients from coming and going. Like I was saying, psychiatry is more akin to police science than it is to medical science. Medicine doesn’t take prisoners. Psychiatry isn’t real medicine.

    Paternalism is what keeps this machine operational. People are locked up because the state, the mental health system, and their families think they know what is better for a person than does the person under scrutiny.. Treatment, in this case, is imprisonment, and “disease” is seen as “unfreedom”, a lack of self-control, or victimization by erratic irrational-ism, this individual according to the state, psychiatry, and the family is acting against his or her better interests in the view of the state, psychiatry, and the family. Acting against the wishes of the state, the mental health system, and the family is seen as “disease”, acting in accordance to the wishes of the state, the mental health system, and the family is seen as “health”. Acting in one’s own interests? Well, one’s own interests are precisely what the mental health system exists to suppress and to deny.

    • Alright, let me put it another way, an argument against forced treatment is an argument against mental health law, and vice versa, an argument against mental health law is an argument against forced treatment.

      The CRPD attacks unjust local laws on the international level, through international law. You can always legislate against unjust legislation, of which, mental health law qualifies.

      What purports to be medical science argues for forced treatment while what purports to be medical science argues against forced treatment. Okay. There is no forced treatment without mental health law. This is not a problem with other areas of medicine. There is no physical health law. We don’t blame violence on broken limbs, some of us do blame violence on “broken brains”. I agree with you in saying that the science, what science there is, doesn’t support “locking people up” in the name of medicine.

      If the system is there to save people from their own hand, perhaps your suicide argument works. I have no doubt that all the attention put into “preventing suicide” has actually managed to increase it’s occurrence, and pretty significantly. Part of the reason for this is that “suicidal ideation” is seen as a “symptom” of “disease” rather than any sort of conscious choice. I think you really have to attack those matters that make people feel they have no reason for living. If people feel miserable, one option is suicide, another is a change of circumstances. Should people feel trapped, well, they shouldn’t actually be trapped, should they?

      Your second point makes much sense, problem is, however, should your therapeutic relationship be based upon force, as sometimes they are, the therapeutic quality of this relationship must always be suspect. Bully therapy has it’s innate disadvantages. One of these disadvantages, all too often, is the loss of the patient, via death, not cure.

      Thoroughly agree about the drug treatments, and if medical science looked at the matter closely, I think it would have to agree as well. The drugs do more harm than good, and they tend to impede the process of recovery rather than to aid it. What we need is for more of these doctors who think that the “disease” is so disruptive to research the drug effects, and that rather than evade such research. Get rid of the drugs, in many instances, and your “disease” is likely, like a rash, to clear up, courtesy of Dr. Nature and father time, however “serious”.

    • Police science has validity – finger print analysis, DNA testing for example. Psychiatric diangosis has no validity and psychiatric drugs are either tranquilisers or speed and not specific treatments for any mental state.

      That psyhciatry has a huge policing function is something I can only agree.

      • Yes, police science has validity in detecting crime. Yes, psychiatric science has no validity in detecting “disease”. Both deal with misbehavior. One with law breaking, the other with unwritten rule breaking. Certainly, locking people up for their misbehavior does not tend to be good for their physical health. Part of the problem is that the rationale given for doing so is threat for violence. The science tells us people in the mental health system are no more violent than people outside of it.

        The USA has the largest prison population in the world. There is much reason for abolition of forced psychiatry, and for prison reform as well.

        • Frank, well before I had heard of “mental illness” as it was seen after 1980 or so, and well before I became a “patient” or, rather, prisoner of the System, I came to understand that imprisonment was not a very effective method of punishment nor at all a method to “rehabilitate” those who had truly committed crimes.

          As a young and rather idealistic person (as we all were) I enjoyed written correspondence via postal mail, in fact, more than most people. I had 20 pen-pals, many who were in prisons. Prisoners took the time to write, after all. These were men, all of them, and they used legal pads, as these were what they had.

          What amazes me to this day is that prison had, out of necessity, driven some young men to read and write. They were self-taught. They read anything they could get their hands on and corresponded out of desperation, out of need to communicate or out of need to find meaning in the world they’d been tossed into.

          Then, I entered the System. After a couple of years I became disillusioned. The “professionals” were not experts and didn’t even know what they were doing! After my suicide attempt in 1984, my best friend decided she wanted nothing to do with me. She did not ask why I did what I did. She called me up and said “I am not your friend anymore. Please do not call.” Decades later, I found her website and found she now advertises herself as “therapist.” Therapist who once decided that her rigid boundaries were far more important than asking a simple question, “Why?”

          My dear friend Roy, who was a prisoner, was the only one, during January and February of 1984, who was the one without these walls of fear. He didn’t see me as a monster. I am sure, that as a person who had once killed another person, he’d been called one himself plenty of times. I am so moved even now that he didn’t pull away. In fact, he drew closer. Back then, a long distance call was extremely expensive. He called me EVERY OTHER DAY! The cold-hearted nurses didn’t know who this man was with the “Southern accent.” I didn’t say.

          The nurses went back to painting their nails. I know that Roy continued to call, continued to remind me that life was indeed worth living, continued to tell me to hang on, even though those in my immediate surroundings did not provide any meaning for me nor saw value in me as a person. By all means, he did, he said.

          Often, I see around me those that do not value what I do. A good friend of mine told me she doesn’t care about writing. She told she hates to read. dislikes writing in general. Others who claim to be friends see no value in any of the causes I care about, or that the arts are useless and impractical. I was recently told by another friend that no one cares about eating disorders. My own siblings do not value my life work, in fact, they don’t know what it is or what it has been. This continued non-support, which has nothing to do with money and nothing to do with “having a shoulder to cry on,” neither of which are what I want nor need, makes my life difficult indeed.

          I have concluded that the only solution for myself is to seek out self-directed volunteer work with marginalized populations. It seems that those who have been shoved aside or who have totally fallen through the cracks or who have been DE-VOICED completely would welcome a person happy to work with them who has truly been there, ready and willing to give everything she can.

  5. Speaking of pragmatic, non-rights based arguments, has anyone ever studied how often forced treatment is a deterrent to people seeking help? Arguments for commitment talk about the people they benefit (though I’m skeptical), but what about the people psychiatry’s legal authority drives away? I know that at a particularly dark point in my life, I was reluctant to tell anyone for fear that “help” would come in the form of authoritarian and unempathetic bio-bio-bio quackery. I feared being legally stripped of my autonomy, dispossessed from whatever bits of care and support I still had — it would’ve been worse than anything I was already dealing with. (I think mainstream psychiatry completely discounts how much isolation and lack of autonomy can fuel feelings of despair, else its standard “treatments” wouldn’t be so disempowering.) I’d imagine that for many people, the mere the threat of losing one’s rights is itself an impediment to care.

    • I had 20 years of that (pseudo)”scientific”, “medical” “HELP”. The so-called “help” did me far more harm than good. The years I was given “psych meds” – really PSYCH *DRUGS* – I was sicker and more dangerous than I was either before, or since. In the 20+ years I’ve been shrink-free, and, off their poison pills, I’ve recovered and healed. What’s ironic, is that the “system” doesn’t want me to heal and recover. I’ve had more hassles, and really abusive treatment from the same system that thinks I’m a dangerous crazy guy. The system has done me far more harm than good. It literally almost KILLED ME. Of course I want nothing to do with it. And, the worst part is, it’s not just me. I’ve seen too many other folks turn out worse off for their “treatment”. It isn’t that we’re “too sick to know that we need treatment”, rather, we aren’t so sick that we don’t know the “treatement” will only make things worse. Toxic drugs, taking away rights, and even being locked up, are hardly “good medical treatment”.

    • Bean
      I am not sure whether any studies have been done, but I will not EVER tell any medical person if I am struggling. You see, I did, and I was locked up and drugged involuntarily. Was treated appallingly, lost all my rights, lost all trust in society and medical “care”.

      Not long after I was let out hospital, I decided I really couldn’t live without any human rights as that effectively meant that society saw me as less than human (I was still treated as such), so made a very serious attempt at suicide.

      I totally thought the world would be a far better place if I wasn’t in it and that my children would be better off too. I saw it as an act of love for a world that didn’t need such sub-human beings as me.

      That’s where psychiatric “treatment” took me.

      Fourteen years down the track and I am drug (psychiatric…but I don’t use others either) free and managing to live a decent life, although I lost my career, and much besides. I still cry when I think about what they reduced me to.

      Psychiatry is not part of that life and never will be again.

      • Yeah, I’ll never speak to a psychiatrist about my troubles again either — never been committed myself, but I’ve experienced enough harm from psychiatry and seen enough of how it hurts others to know shrinks are not to be trusted. I don’t think your or my decision to never again talk to someone who could take away our rights is at all uncommon. How many of us are there? As I see it, the argument that forced treatment is harmful and a violation of human rights isn’t a very strong one with the public, so I have to wonder if it wouldn’t be a useful tactic to point out the ways forced treatment is counterproductive even according to its own standards because it discourages people from seeking care. The first priority is to eliminate psychiatry’s legal power to compel “treatment” and strip people of their rights, because it’s among the profession’s greatest evils. After that, we can focus on delegitimizing psychiatry as a whole.

  6. Consumer protection and contract law also seem to argue against coercive psychiatric treatment.

    Under most circumstances, individuals in the United States who are forcibly treated are also responsible to pay for the products, services and accommodations they receive and consume.

    The psychiatric drugs they are forced to purchase are products the manufacturers openly admit are defective and may cause harm.

    Unlike any other manufactured products, when the products don’t work and are not of any use, consumers who purchase defective pharmaceutical products are not entitled to refunds or exchanges.

    The psychiatric consumer is expected to throw away defective merchandise regardless of how much it cost, perhaps hundreds of dollars for just one small bottle. Lawmakers and the so-called “mental health” advocates are OK with “mentally ill” patients and insurance companies wasting their money.

    Individuals labeled “mentally ill” can be legally forced to purchase defective products and their consumer rights fail to be protected.

    Consumers can be legally forced to stay at a “treatment” facility without being told how much money it will be costing them, or for how long they will be “treated”.

    Although there are treatment options, consumers are not provided with them.

    Individuals who become labeled “mentally ill” can be forced into blind contracts with providers and facilities.

    To illustrate the point, what if medical experts had the power to label certain individuals as Walmart shoppers who could be legally forced to shop only at Walmart.

    Even if other stores had better selection, better quality and lower prices, those diagnosed as Walmart shoppers, could only shop at Walmart. They will be forced into blind contracts with Walmart and have to pay whatever Walmart feels like charging them for Walmart’s one-size-fits-all selection of limited products. If the Walmart products they purchase are defective, there are no refunds, they will just have to throw the products away and they must purchase more defective merchandise from Walmart.

    That is exactly what psychiatry does and the Helping Families in Crisis Act will expand coercive psychiatry while ignoring consumer protection.

  7. Hi Bob,
    BTW, Your writings have changed my views on psychiatric medication dramatically, but somehow this article left me wondering about something.

    There seems (in my own opinion), to be a missing piece to this article. You seem (to me) to imply that the studies show that psychiatric treatment is correlated (or might cause) suicide. It also seems to me
    that these studies compared people with the same risk profile (and I guess that means they were
    having similar psychosocial/stress issues), yet (I believe) it could be argued that the group that sought psychiatric help might have been less able to cope with whatever stresses were going on with their life, and the forcibly medicated groups might have been even less resilient, and therefore were more
    vulnerable to suicide. To me, this is the hole in the argument, especially since we can’t really dig into
    every person’s psyche and see which person is more at risk for suicide.

    Yes, I do believe that most of these drugs cause suicide, and in fact it is well known(and proven) that a lot of anti-depressants cause suicide, but I have the above caveat. Perhaps the numbers are so
    overwhelming that my argument doesn’t matter, or perhaps you have a different explanation. IDK.

    Also, you write this:
    ‘contact with a psychiatric outpatient clinic with an eight-fold increase;’
    I’m not sure that people who contact a psychiatric clinic actually take medication.
    I’ve been a patient at four outpatient clinics, and they all offered psychotherapy as well
    as medication. In two of them, I got my medication from an outside doctor (and not from the
    clinic-psychiatrist). Maybe you could say people who are distressed enough to seek psychotherapy
    are more likely to kill themselves. Again IDK. I’m not a scientist or a journalist. I don’t even know if
    what I’m saying makes any sense.

    Don’t get me wrong, I am on your side. Since I read your work and the MIA articles I’ve realized how the medications have devastated my life, and how many hundreds of times I came so close to death directly or indirectly from these medications.

    These suicides, and my story are stories in a long list of people’s stories of psychiatric abuse. Thank
    you for bringing to light the link between suicide and psychiatric abuse.

    Thank you for you public service.
    Kind regards,
    Even.

    • You know how people talk about a rise in suicides at Christmas? In actuality, the month with the highest rate of suicide is April. At Christmas, these people get really miserable and depressed, but depression and the winter landscape also make you sluggish and unmotivated, but it’s always in the back of your mind. Anti depressants (just like April) frequently treat your sluggishness and lack of motivation before or instead of the depression. So, you’re still suicidal, but now, you also have energy and motivation.

    • Hello, “even”! I’ve been thinking about your comment a few days now, and I’ve got what I hope is a good reply…. Basically, you’re asking if maybe folks who seek so-called “psychiatric care” might be “sicker”(so to speak….), and less “resilient”, right? Something like that? And, therefore, to be more “difficult cases”, require more “meds”, and have “worse outcomes”, including suicides, etc., (Sorry for all the quote marks, but I’m trying to not get hung up on word games & semantics!) Yes, there COULD BE some truth to that, but let’s look a little deeper. Even if all that’s true, the drugs themselves are used far too quickly, and with a very poor evidence base. The more true neuroscience – neurobiology & neurochemistry- learns about the human brain & nervous system, the less evidence there is to support the whole pseudoscience of “biopsychiatry”, and forced treatment & forced drugging. And, the more evidence piles up that psych drugs themselves induce suicidal thoughts and behaviors. I took both Wellbutrin, and Zoloft, for over a year each, when I was working with an excellent licensed clinical psychologist & general practice family doctor. All those 2 drugs DID, was make me think about the general topic of suicide more frequently. The psychologist tried to “straddle the fence”, and say that “maybe the drugs helped a little”, but he couldn’t say for sure! The WORK I was doing with the psychologist was far beyond worrying about some stray thoughts of suicide! And, no, I wasn’t then, or now, at all “suicidal”! And, the decades ago now, when I was actually “suicidal”, I can now see it was the DRUGS, and the ABUSE in the “psychiatric system”, which actually drove me to seriously contemplate suicide. The pseudoscience LIES of “biopsychiatry” have done, and continue to do, far more harm than good. And the whole “Community Mental Health Center” – CMHC – social control experiment / drugs racket, is a HUGE FAILURE.
      This is the TRUTH of my LIVED EXPERIENCE, and sadly, I’ve lost too many friends over the years, whose epitaphs concur…. I’m glad you’re here, “even”! Thanks! ~B./

  8. The two notions regarding “mental illness” are disability and “acting out”. This is exactly the way it was for me. But when I stopped the treatment the behaviours stopped.

    Suicide caused by psychiatric drugs is an elephant in the living room. The medication is definitely the problem.

    I still needed help to come off the drugs and to cope with the longterm drug withdrawal effects, At the end of this my original problems seemed fairly small in comparison to the problems caused by my treatment.

  9. I’m glad to have all this spelled out in a single article. Of course, those of us who have been around for a while and were actually imprisoned ourselves have already known these things instinctively. Hadn’t we seen our friends take their own lives, right after leaving such places? Hadn’t we felt like crap right after our release? What had we told ourselves when we got home, if we had homes left to go to by the time “they” got through with us?

    “They” were soul-murderers. Thus the worst abuse has been described historically.

    More likely we say nothing. Perhaps only silence. I wished myself dead so many times, whether I was suicidal or not. “They” strip everything human from us and leave us bare and raw. To make things worse, toward the end, I was called “ungrateful” after I finally got up the guts to take legal action against a hospital.

    Rather recently, an alive and very courageous person contacted me out of the blue and asked about someone I had blogged about. I wrote back and said I am positive that the source is a reliable one as this person was a courtroom witness. There were two suicides immediately following their hospitalizations at a facility where I, too, had been housed. I was well aware of the ineffectiveness of their program and staff’s amazing inability to LISTEN. There were in fact more wrongful deaths I know about. I myself was not inpatient there at the time, of these two deaths and didn’t know either woman, nor know their names to this day. But I knew enough to write the story, based on what I did know.

    The first happened, then the second family sued and won. By all means, the hospital is 100% to blame. There wasn’t any question then, or now, lawsuit or not.

    I truly believe that when there’s a suicide, YES, this is indeed a suspicious death and should always be treated as such. There’s always a perp. Always a bully or abuser. These deaths often take decades to uncover, decades before the truth is uncovered and finally revealed. So often, it’s the mental health practitioner, the doctor. the pusher, or the institution or workplace or “special school,” or spouse who got her locked up. Or the professional who refused to listen, and instead, slammed the door shut.

  10. Mini Quiz: New Patient Consult
    March 03, 2016 | Psychopharmacology, Child Adolescent Psychiatry, Quizzes
    By Margaret J. Yoon, MD and Maryland Pao, MD
    A 19-year-old new patient comes to you wanting to discontinue all his childhood psychiatric medications. What is the best next step?
    Choices
    A. State you cannot work with him if he discontinues his medication
    B. Contact his parents to bring them into the next session to discuss concerns about medication nonadherence
    C. Review indications and informed consent for each medication to understand his history of treatment and current ambivalence
    D. Agree to discontinue medications if he appears stable and keep close clinical watch while building a therapeutic alliance
    -And the answer is: C. Review indications and informed consent for each medication to understand his history of treatment and current ambivalence
    88% (1696 votes)

    I see they are still working on brainwashing the patient. I voted to take him off if he seemed stable but what I have experienced time and time again is they take patients off psychiatric drugs abruptly causing so more mental torture than they experienced while taking the drugs. And yes, all the psych meds I was prescribed over the years caused so much suicidality that I was caught in the revolving door to the ER, ICU and eventually landing in more psychiatric hospitalizations. The madness only Stopped when I went off ALL the medications although I had to endure pure psychotic hell from the withdrawals to get there.

    • I’m a little confused – a little unclear as to EXACTLY what you’re saying here. Is this quiz in a psychopharmacolgy textbook written by Dr.s Yoon, & Pao? For a class you’re taking? Or is this just a quiz you found somewhere else? I’d think the CORRECT answer would be AT LEAST “C”, AND “D”, plus ask several other questions. Also, there’s lot of other information missing, that any GOOD clinician SHOULD want to know, about this case, before a better response could be given. Because, if *THIS* is an example of the “standard of care” in the pseudoscience of psychiatry today, NO WONDER there’s such a record of POOR OUTCOMES! Psychiatry is bogus, and the record PROVES that it does more harm than good. My personal story is too much like yours, “sanderella”, so you know where I’m coming from! Answer “E” should be “taper off drugs before iatrogenic neurolepsis & tardive dyskinesia and akathesia become permanent”! Thanks again, and Happy April, “sanderella”! ~B./

  11. Is there any chance that someone, MiA author(s) or contributor(s), could gather together a collection of articles such as this one, that point out psychiatric treatment, especially forced, is more harmful than helpful, or that psychiatric diagnosis is not valid or based on science, you know, just a bunch of information in an easy to read format that exposes psychiatry as a fraud, then give out copies to groups and especially lawyers that represent people who have been diagnosed and forced psychiatric treatment. Surely if we could use the legal system against them we could set a legal precedent that proves (with supporting evidence) that psychiatry is a psuedoscience and not real science, that psychiatric diagnosis is flawed and the various ‘treatments’ are of little benefit with many potentially fatal risks associated with them.

    Use the system against them like they’ve used it against us.

    Either the (legal) system will be changed in our favour or it will expose a legal/governmental system that defends a field not backed by science and an industry of death that makes yearly profits of billions of dollars while ignoring the plight of the people.