Seven Reasons Why the US’s New Mental Health Law Is Dangerous

Noel Hunter, Psy.D.
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This article is reprinted, with permission, from Truthout.org.

This week, President Obama signed the 21st Century Cures Act, touting the bipartisan mental health measure as “bringing to reality the possibility of new breakthroughs to some of the greatest health-care challenges of our time.” However, the reality behind this legislation is not quite what it appears to be.

The 21st Century Cures Act will increase the ease with which individuals can be involuntarily hospitalized in a locked ward, increase funding for institutionalized settings, and demand that states implement forced outpatient treatment in order to receive funding. Many media reports are suggesting that it will fix a broken mental health system, incorporate patient voices into clinical processes, decrease mass violence and modernize clinical trials. But will it really? Here are seven reasons why Obama’s signing of the 21st Century Cures Act is less than grounds for celebration.

1. Sandy Hook and other tragedies will not be avoided by the measures contained in this bill. There is no debate at this point about the fact that individuals who are diagnosed with serious mental illness are more likely to be victims of crime than perpetrators. Further, they are rarely violent in the first place.

Yet, the “reform” this bill seeks was formulated largely in reaction to the tragic Sandy Hook killings in 2012. It is a product of the assumption that “mental illness” is responsible for mass acts of violence, and that the answer is more psychiatric treatment, often treatment of a coercive and restrictive nature.

However, the story that doesn’t get told is that the perpetrator of that mass shooting was in psychiatric treatment and on numerous psychiatric drugs at the time of the killing. In fact, almost half of all of those who’ve committed homicide were on their prescribed psychiatric drugs at the time of offense. Moreover, forced treatment is associated with increased violence, as are some of the drugs being touted as the answer. Yet, with this bill, forced hospitalization in locked wards becomes a go-to response for an individual who is in extreme emotional distress.

Why does anyone think that doing more of what was already being done is the answer?

2. The “reform” actually sets back many advances made in the 20th century. While hospitals may be a source of respite and healing for many, taking individuals by force and locking them away in the name of “help” is akin to prison and has been ruled inhumane by the United Nations.

How is it that the public has been led to believe that imprisoning individuals who have committed no crime, taking away their privacy and rights, and forcing them to ingest toxic and brain-damaging chemicals for the rest of their lives are advancements? We can all look back and shake our heads in disgrace at the thought of blood-letting, insulin comas and lobotomies. Who will be shaking their heads at us in the future?

The mental health system as a whole has spun a story asserting that if an individual disagrees with a psychiatrist’s framework or understanding, then this is evidence of that person’s disease. This is true even if the dissenting voice is another mental health professional.

The treatments being promoted by this bill are, in fact, associated with increased violence, increased negative attitudes from clinicians, and increased discriminatory attitudes among the public. In turn, this may lead to worse outcomes, poorer quality of life, decreased employment and increased self-hatred.

Despite this, many alternatives to mainstream mental health care have arisen throughout the world demonstrating superior outcomes, increased satisfaction and decreased overall costs to society. This bill ensures that no such programs, in their current form, will ever find their way to the United States.

3. It does not help people live in the community. The Cures Act excitedly references Assisted Outpatient Treatment and its ability to keep people in the community. However, what this treatment entails is holding individuals’ freedom and housing hostage unless they take their drugs and follow the rules. If they do not follow the rules, they may face forced hospitalization as a violation of their court order.

There is no evidence to support the conclusion that forced hospitalization actually decreases violence, aggression or re-hospitalization. It doesn’t. The results are mixed at best and largely are due to mandated efforts to keep people out of hospital, no matter their behavior or reactions.

In fact, this bill takes money away from more humanistic, community-based programs that allow for people to eventually work and function in society. These housing-first alternatives actually appear to be just as effective if not more so than Assisted Outpatient Treatment, without the coercion, loss of rights or force. People also tend to prefer these interventions.

4. No extra money is going towards helping people. In the Cures Act, money is being redistributed away from current programs, such as Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration programs, toward institutionalized settings and medical interventions. This might not be a problem if there was actual certainty of the medical nature of emotional distress, but there is not.

Money is also being taken away from peer support efforts, as these are deemed inessential and a waste of money. Peers, in the mental health system, are considered any individuals who use their own lived experiences with similar issues to support those in crisis. In other words, those who have been there help out those who are having difficulty finding their way. At the same time, the peer supports that are being funded are going to be transformed into some kind of clinical caricature, wherein peers must follow clinical guidelines established by medical doctors that, basically, amount to telling people to take their meds.

Peer support, which can be enormously helpful for many, is being corporatized and “manualized” to fit into the current psychiatric machine. The thing is, relationships don’t always require a manual. And sometimes, when a person has been through something and come out the other side, that person might actually have an idea or two on what could be helpful to someone else.

Imagine if Alcoholics Anonymous followed a strict manual and could no longer exist independent of corporations and institutions.

5. Effective treatment is not the focus of this bill. Congress has told the public a fairytale in suggesting that “early intervention” and faster “treatment” are innovative advancements being promoted by this bill. What these words actually mean is getting drugs to people immediately.

The bill ignores the fact that effective interventions that result in actual biological healing, decreased suffering, increased life satisfaction and decreased aggression tend to come in the form of healthy family relationshipspsychotherapy and exercise. Drugs may play a significant role, particularly during times of crisis, but are not the only helpful tool, and they are certainly not a one-size-fits-all solution.

This bill explicitly takes money away from holistic and relationship-based interventions and shifts the money to the profiteering administration of drugs that are only clinically and functionally helpful for a fraction of patients. Even then, drugs are often helpful for short periods, after which the problems are sometimes made worse.

6. This bill is not based on the advocacy of users of mental health services. Many sources cite mental health advocates as a major force behind the development and passage of this bill. However, people with lived experiences of hospitalization, forced treatment and other interventions that will be increased under the provisions of the bill generally do not support this bill. Many have actively and vocally fought against this bill since its original inception in 2013.

The “advocates” described as supporting this bill are largely comprised of family members who are overwhelmed, desperate and motivated not to reflect on family dynamics as possible contributing factors to an individual’s emotional distress in the first place.

The organizations to which many of these so-called advocates belong (such as the National Alliance on Mental Illness) are largely funded by pharmaceutical companies. Pharmaceutical companies are by far the largest benefactors of this bill.

7. Pharmaceutical greed and conflicts of interest underlie everything about this bill. Bernie Sanders summed up quite nicely just how much the pharmaceutical companies (and in turn, Congress members who developed this bill) will stand to profit off such “reform.” Elizabeth Warren went further in describing how the bill and the mental health system have been “hijacked” by the pharmaceutical industry.

Currently, psychiatric drugs already get approved in part due to pharmaceutical companies’ suppression of information about dangerous effects, fatal outcomes, and lack of evidence of clinical efficacy. This bill will now make it even easier for the drugs to quickly come to market.

Snake oil, the infamous placebo that made many a salesman rich over 100 years ago, at least did not kill people.

The 21st Century Cures Act is an epic failure that will result in major profits for pharmaceutical companies and their representatives in Congress. It will increase the suffering of hundreds of thousands of individuals and strip away what little progress has been made in humanistic and holistic care of individuals in emotional distress.

Note: For more in-depth information on the science behind this bill see Regarding the Helping Families in Mental Health Act and The Campaign for Real Change in Mental Health Policy.

Copyright, Truthout.org. Reprinted with permission.
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Noel Hunter, Psy.D.
Noel Hunter is a clinical psychologist, specializing in a psychosocial approach to emotional distress. Her work focuses on the link between trauma and altered states, human rights, and alternative approaches to healing. She has published and presented papers on the link between trauma and various anomalous states, stigma and negative attitudes towards patients, and the need for recognition of states of extreme distress as meaningful responses to overwhelming life experiences. She is on the Board of Directors for both the Hearing Voices Network - USA and the International Society for Ethical Psychiatry and Psychology, and is a passionate advocate for alternatives to the current mainstream biomedical approach to human suffering. Follow her on Twitter or Facebook.

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94 COMMENTS

  1. Thank you for your article.

    We must fight back against the Psychiatric System. But we cannot do it by making appeals to pity. And we cannot do I by endorsing Psychothearpy, Recovery, or Healing. These are just more ways of trying to make people believe that there problems exist in their own heads.

    Poverty and homelessness are caused by social marginalization. And so is the state of desperation and hopelessness which we mistakenly call mental illness.

    And more often than not, this starts with familial exploitation, with being used by parents who do not live up to their own values.

    So we need to start holding these parents accountable, instead of letting them send their scapegoat child to doctors.

    I helped 3 girls put their father into San Quentin. I am convinced that if these girls had instead listened to their Pentecostal church, then those girls would have eventually ended up as the targets for that church’s outreach ministry, as well as for our mental health system.

    So we have to organize and fight back.

    Nomadic

  2. Wow, Truthout, cool! Is this a breakthrough?

    First, thanks for this, we really needed an article of substance and practical import to sink out teeth into. Also let’s make it clear that “21st Century Cures” is “Murphy’s Law,” as the long-hated Murphy bill was combined with other bills to create this amalgam.

    The first thing I noticed is that the first few points are simpatico with the Anti-AOT/Murphy talking points some of us came up with last summer. (The current version is here: https://www.madinamerica.com/forums/topic/revised-anti-aot-talking-points/ )

    Noel, you are absolutely correct in pointing out that the political motivation for the Murphy bill had nothing to do with so-called “mental health,” but was seen as a Homeland Security-type bill to address mass shootings by shifting the debate around such from the focus on “gun control” (which is also a false solution, of course). Murphy emoted to Congress while pushing the bill about the pictures of Sandy Hook victims he kept on his desk. And let’s not forget DJ Jaffee’s infamous line: “… from a marketing perspective, it may be necessary to capitalize on the fear of violence to get the law passed.”

    “21st Century Cures” is worse than the original Murphy bill in that it also contains elements of a former Senate bill which focus on fusing “mental health” care with actual health care (more antidepressants handed out by GP’s), and subjecting toddlers to psychiatric “screening” and “early intervention” (i.e. drugging). It is a truly Orwellian bill.

  3. I agree with the points made in the article, and with Oldhead’s comment. I like bcharris’s comment, and I think an android companion would probably be more helpful than a psychiatrist or drugs for many.

    I just want to pick a nit, something I’ve stopped myself from doing in noisier discussions where the point would be lost. It’s about this statement, which is made often when “mental health” and violence are discussed:

    “… individuals who are diagnosed with serious mental illness are more likely to be victims of crime than perpetrators. Further, they are rarely violent in the first place.”

    My nit-picking is pointing out that the odds of being violent versus experiencing violence have no bearing on whether those with “serious mental illness” diagnoses are, on average, more violent than those without such diagnoses. If I am not mistaken, the data on hand says they are. Presumably the use of psychiatric drugs and other drugs explain that.

    Making the comment about the higher risk of being attacked than attacking invites opponents to point out what I just pointed out, and in any case, the risk ratio is probably true of everyone, diagnosed or otherwise. Since so few people are killers (for example), and there are more people killed than there are killers (given that some killers kill multiple times), everyone is more likely to be killed than to be a killer.

    To mention that most mass shooters have been patients of psychiatry or mental health service providers and taking psychiatric drugs undermines the attempt to convince an audience that those with psychiatric diagnoses are no more violent than the general population, but it’s the stronger and more important point to get across, in my opinion.

    • I’m not sure if you fully understand the situation you’re talking about, regarding ‘mental illness’ and violence.

      Like Noel said, many/most school or other mass shooters in the U.S. were on or withdrawing from psychiatric drugs at the time of their killing spree. Meaning, it was not their fictitious ‘mental illness’ that caused them to be violent, it was the psychiatric drugs that caused them to be violent.

      It is well known (though maybe not to the layman) that certain types of psychiatric drugs can cause violent, homicidal, and/or suicidal ideation/action. It’s even on some black box warnings for the drugs that they can cause violence or homicide/suicide.

      So to sum up, those given a psychiatric diagnoses are typically more likely to be the victims of violence than the perpetrators of it, unless they are given psychiatric drugs in which case they may become violent as a direct result of the psychiatric drugs, not their ‘mental illness’.

      • You may be assured that, as a key contributor to the aforementioned talking points, Better Life is keenly aware of all these issues, more so than most. This has piqued my curiosity however:

        the odds of being violent versus experiencing violence have no bearing on whether those with “serious mental illness” diagnoses are, on average, more violent than those without such diagnoses. If I am not mistaken, the data on hand says they are.

        I hadn’t heard this before, and I’m a little confused about the phrasing. BL, do you mean those with such “diagnoses” are deemed “more violent” than the public at large, or compared to those with other “diagnoses” or what? My impression has been that sociological research has consistently shown the opposite. Do you have any particular studies in mind?

  4. Based on a past experience, this law scares the hell out of me. Why? I will tell you about a personal experience BEFORE this law came into existence.

    I was in a very bad point in my life. I was abusing alcohol trying to forget my problems. I was very low one evening, but I had not had any alcohol. It was very late and I tried calling several “help” numbers just for the simple reason I wanted to talk to someone. I did not have any family or friends that I could reach out to. I finally called a suicide prevention hotline to talk to SOMEONE. I was not suicidal. I just needed to talk to someone. After talking to “Amy” for about 30 minutes, her attitude was somewhat confrontational, I said I did not want to talk to her anymore, said I was fine and told her I was going to go to sleep and I hung up.

    I did go to bed and approximately 10 minutes later there was a pounding at my door. I got out of bed and answered the door. There were 3 police officers at my door. I asked what was up and they (LE) asked me what was going on. I told them about my call and I was tired and wanted to go back to bed. I assured them I was okay and had no thoughts of harming myself or anyone else. I closed the door and bolted it and turned to go back to my room when the next thing I knew, the police busted through my door, tackled me, and handcuffed me. I was then placed into a squad car and driven to a mental health facility. This occurred because I simply wanted to talk with someone. I never threatened harming myself or anyone else. Yet I was treated like a criminal!!! I asked why I was in custody and was told that they were taking me to the facility for “your own protection”.

    As stated above, I did nothing verbally or physically to warrant this type of action. I was held for 72 hours, against my will, and when I finally was allowed to talk with a psychiatrist, I explained my version of the events. The doctor said he understood and he immediately ordered my release.

    My point is this. If this could happen to me, BEFORE this new 21st Century Cures Act was signed by the President, what would or could have happened to me?!? The laws that the President has enacted could and most likely will contribute to more and greater violence.

    Noel Hunter is correct in her observations. I agree with her article 100 %. How can the over powered government be granted even more power in deciding who should be incarcerated for non violent actions and then have the power to hold these individuals for as long as they consider someone to be a “threat”. To who? Or whom? How can the government decide who may or may not be a threat? Leave these decisions to the professional doctors that are educated in diagnosing and the treatment of mental illness.

    As stated in the article, even if the government and there laws could stop Sandy Hooks, Columbine, 911, The Pulse and all the other terrible events that have occurred, where would their power end? All this act does is take away MORE rights of the American citizen. President Obama has now taken away rights bestowed on legal American citizens designated and assured by the Constitution of The United States by a simple stroke of his pen. When will this political madness end?!?

    • You honestly don’t think the government serves the people do you? The same can be said for psychiatry.

      Politicians have sold to the public that this ‘cures act’ is to help people, but nothing could be further from the truth. This so called ‘cures act’ was never about helping people, it was always about maintaining and expanding the status quo of power, profit, and control. More power and control to the government and psychiatry to lock people up against their will because of a label, and more profit for the pharmaceutical industry for the mass drugging of the human population.

      With this law in place psychiatrists and/or the government can point the finger at any activist, protestor, or dissident, anyone who questions the authority or abuses of power by psychiatry or the government, slap an arbitrary label on them, then throw them in jail (sorry, I meant a ‘mental hospital’) against their will and forcibly medicate them with toxic drugs to keep them zombified and away from the public so they can’t be a nuisance and inform the people of what’s really going on.

      “See that activist over there that pointed out governmental abuses of power? Well, don’t listen to them cause they’re mentally ill and we all know the mentally ill are violent and a danger to society cause the television says so! And to make sure you don’t listen to their crazy conspiracy theories about human rights abuses by psychiatry and the government we’ll disappear them, sorry I mean hospitalize them, and torture, woops I mean treat them, cause we’re here to help! We’re the government and we’ll step on your face with our jack booted thugs cause we own your sorry ass you stupid slave, wait, I meant to say help you and give you lots of hugs cause we love you.”

      The 9 scariest words in the English language are “I’m from the government and I’m here to help.”

      • This is exactly what Russia did (and maybe still does) and China is accused of the same kind of thing. Of course, our government also did a modified version of this during the seventies when we locked up young, African American men who were angry and protested civil rights abuses against their community. This just legalizes it now.

        You are correct; this is very frightening to say the least. So what do we do about it?

    • Considering the widespread apathy this so-called “movement” exhibited when we had a fighting chance to stop Murphy, we can expect more of the same. People love to complain but, until we give them a reason to believe otherwise, our opponents can now safely make the assumption that when push comes to shove we can be counted on to roll over. 🙁

      • What “movement”? You’ve got D.J. Jaffe, NAMI et al. doing their best to work for passage. Then there was a news item MIA picked up on that mentioned all the lobbyists responding to this legislation. That kind of story set the tone. Given that kind of reportage, we become just another special interest group, and it’s easier for congress members to ignore us completely. It wasn’t entirely honest how they stabled the Murphy Bill onto their other bill either, but, as far as they are concerned, it worked. This is Obama and “his record” again, using Murphy and company, and vice versa, to advance their respective agendas. I’d like to think there was something we could have done. There were a lot of people fighting this legislation, and I’m not out to disparage that fight, nor them.

        • Lots of people were complaining about it but I see no evidence that there were lots of people fighting it, I think this was just lots of lip service on MIA. Plus some of those who claimed to be fighting it were primarily concerned about losing their SAMHSA funds, and had been prepared to support the equally noxious Senate bill in exchange for the elimination of AOT. I wanted to believe for a long time that there were important people “out there” who would ultimately draw a line in the sand, and there were for sure those who put out serious energy fighting Murphy, far more than I. But for the most part, if there was any kind of “movement” to stop Murphy I sure couldn’t find it. And when key events went down — such as Murphy’s July 4 and Thanksgiving “sneak attacks” — those who had positioned themselves as anti-Murphy “leaders” were nowhere to be found.

          • There was the National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery that was opposed to the Tim Murphy bill but supported the Chris Murphy bill as what they thought was the lesser of two evils I believe. Were you a Facebook user, there was a Facebook page on the matter, too. I’m not saying they were out there like they should have been, but they were out there all the same.

            Sneak attack is an apt way to put what happened when the one bill was stapled to the other. It was devious and deceitful, but it was also something you’ve got to expect from the kind of politicians we’ve got. Did we have a direct democracy, someone besides Donald Trump would be entering the White House in January.

          • NCMHR is one of the above organizations I was referring to. Their lame talking points were what prompted us to develop alternate ones that were at least palatable to non-“consumers.” And as Surviving & Thriving and others would probably attest, they were nowhere to be found when it mattered on those holiday weekends.

            That’s not the point though, as NCMHR is not an anti-psychiatry organization and doesn’t pretend to be, nor can a group so-named be expected to grasp the political realities involved, or how to effectively respond; after all they think we’re talking about “mental health recovery” when the other side is talking about Homeland Security. (Though, to her credit, I think it was Val Marsh who came up with the Japanese internment analogy, which was a good point.)

            But it’s not a primarily question of what others didn’t do; it’s the responsibility of those who understand clearly the harmfulness of psychiatry and the need for it to disappear to be on top of this stuff and at the forefront of campaigns against it. This goes beyond stirring denunciations of Murphy on MIA, etc.

          • Right, and I don’t need to blind-side myself by pretending that there is a large population of people with an anti-psychiatry perspective. I applaud your emotion, OldHead, but I realize what we’re up against, and it’s not going to be easy to make much of an impression there.

            There is another side to this issue that is not going to listen to anything you have to say. These are people desperate to do something about their wayward relatives. You can talk about the harm of psychiatry all you want to, and to them, it’s just the thing the doctor ordered to deal with somebodies “self-injurious” behavior. Complaints about, say, drug damage, are off-set by what they see as ‘stability’, and they aren’t going to agree.

            Psychiatry/psychology has helped transform “health” into an abstraction here. When “health” is no longer explicitly physical, how do you plead for physical health? One group claims life endangered by drugs, another group claims such drugs “medicine”. If the onus is on us, we’ve still got an uphill climb.

            I think there is a sense among people in the “mental illness” industry that whatever the service they provide is, it isn’t, strictly speaking, medical. Okay, since so many boundaries are being crossed at the outset, and it’s based upon a lie, it’s not going to be any easy task to reestablish them.

            The idea of turning to medicine for violent crime prevention is ludicrous from the outset, but try telling that to the authorities. They’ve got their constituencies to deal with following any major act of violence, and detaining people is merely a matter of, for them, containing the situation.

          • I’m saying, OldHead, that this legislation is a train-wreck that, given our best efforts, we might not have been able to prevent from happening. We aren’t the only people lobbying capitol hill. The TAC is there, drug companies are there, the MHA and NAMI are there. It’s not only grassroots lobbyists, too, there are also well paid professionals involved. Stapling the Murphy bill onto the 21st Century Cures Act, you’d have had people arguing, well, that may be true, but it only pertains to this section of the bill, and if we’re to get this, this, and this through, we have to go with it, too. So they, the bills supporters, would be saying. Of course, given this outcome, we, the people affected by this legislation, have a much harder fight ahead of ourselves. We’ve just suffered a major setback over previous advances. Okay, the war is not lost, waxing philosophical, you pick yourself up, and prepare for the next battle.

          • I don’t necessarily see it as a setback, it just changes the landscape somewhat and challenges us to be resourceful and creative, and adapt our tactics to meet whatever changes this brings. As for Murphy it was a done deal between corrupt pols long ago. Part of their strategy was knowing there was no organized opposition, and they will continue taking this as a given until it stops working.

      • I agree with you and ask what you think we can do at this point? I’m asking a serious question and not something rhetorical.

        I suspect that as a peer worker push will come to shove and I will have to speak out in the “hospital” where I work rather than become a toady for the system who goes around telling the “patients” that they’d better take their toxic drugs. I’m already experiencing pressure from some clinical staff because I don’t tell the people I work for and with that they need to take the drugs and do everything told to them without any questions.

  5. Well done – this is a well-written, incisive, and carefully referenced article that hits all the high points about what is wrong and harmful in the 21st Century Cures act. Thank you for helping to get the word out to more people about what our government and elected representatives are doing.

    As usual in the USA, the money and benefits of legislation go to the corporations and the wealthy, while increasingly more young and vulnerable people are added to the “get your daily meds” line. It’s important to speak up respectfully – but firmly and clearly – about these inequities and not to allow oneself to be hushed by agents of the status quo.

    Your article notes how people with lived experience and their families often feel quite different about what constitutes a helpful intervention or attitude compared to politicians or mainstream professionals. I find this too – in speaking to young people and their family members, opinions about psychosis and the mental health system that are upsetting to Mds and PhDs are not upsetting to those with lived experience and their families. Experiencing this emboldens and encourages me.

    Thank you again; I wish more people were speaking out the way you do.

  6. On the bright side this bill will produce more survivor activists if the number of people subjected to psychiatric kidnapping and inpatient assault goes up.

    I predict they are going to fail what I am going to name the “Living Holocaust”. The original Holocaust of course used death to rid society of deemed undesirables but the Living Holocaust is an attempt to use drugs to disable and control those they deem to be undesirable and a burden. The common slang used by people subjected to the drugging is “they turned me into a zombie” – a person whose behavior or responses are wooden, listless, or seemingly rote; automaton. The walking dead.

    “If they do not follow the rules, they may face forced hospitalization as a violation of their court order.”

    Lets have a look at how that goes down all to often.

    Mental patient Jason Harrison shot by Dallas police. Complete 18 minute video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Slbm143lN1M

    Great idea guys, make a bill that increases the interactions between police and upset people you very likely abused before who don’t want to be kidnapped into a psychiatric prison and see how that works out. You have court order come along now, strip searches, locked doors and needles full of scary drugs are waiting. Oh OK, a ‘legal’ home invasion and kidnapping, let me just ignore the massive surge of adrenalin and my natural instinct to defend myself and go quietly. I am ‘sure’ everyone will. Lol.

    It would take me all day to point out the all the different ways the The 21st Century Living Holocaust will fail due to untended and unforeseen consequences but this is going to be a disaster before it finally does fail for the same reasons they have failed so far but keep doing the same thing over and over stupid psych industry wile calling your targets the crazy ones.

  7. There has got to be a way legally that one can protect themselves from this new legislation. This is nothing but financial blackmail and subsidies for the pharmaceutical industry. Being able to be sequestered and forcibly drugged or hospitalized without one’s consent could lead to bankrupting that person. The number one reason for going on welfare is inability to pay for medical services.

    There has got to be a way around this, such as refusing to sign anything. You will need to sign a slip of paper so that the hospital can bill you and without it they can’t hold you financially responsible. There has got to be loopholes around this atrocity of a bill. We just have to find it’s Achilles heel, if you will.

    I don’t know but we are going to need legal help to fight against this.

      • I absolutely agree to block the bill that supports the spending spree for Pharma and I will again have my representatives on speed dial at that point. And oldhead, we do need to thank you for all your work. I know I’ve thanked you before but it should be said again. So thank you!

        I was also thinking of individual rights and how one can protect themselves once this is passed. It seems likely it will go through. We had no opposition for the other bill and each representative gets about $429,000 each from Pharma lobbyists as of now. That figure is going to increase because instead of 240 million, they are increasing it to 340 million for lobbyists.

        • Legal advocacy is a whole different arena. We used to have a lot of good attorneys, Bruce Ennis comes to mind. Now we have Tina Minkowitz who is already doing far more than one person’s work, and Jim Gottstein, whom I don’t know but is probably doing the same. These are the only two I’m aware of. We need to train multitudes of lawyers to confront psychiatric testimony as vigorously as they would anyone else who is trying to get someone locked up, and to expose psychiatric double-talk, not just get the best deal. And we need to get Miranda protections applied to psychiatric interrogations.

          • Yes Oldhead!
            Has Legal Aid been so decimated that they are nonplayers now?
            We almost need to have a major financial angel create and establish a law school chair for Mental Health Advocacy
            Also there used to be MSW/JD degrees that have the potential for help if they haven’t been brain washed
            Maryland used to have an Advoacy NGO that assigned both a JD and MSW to cases for the DD many were for getting out of the institutions
            at Great Oaks there units I as a field placement student was not allow to see and this was with my previous experience with being at a field placement state institute in Ohio and advocating for DDchildren placed directly from the state institute to a nursing home
            Maybe they were afraid I would act if I saw something
            They had had some issues to state an euphemism
            What and how did Dr Sidney Wolfe work on getting movement?
            Again Ithink on the book and entertainment industry there was a flurry of documentaries and movies and books on that theme
            Best Boy was a great documentary and Bill played by Mickey Rooney
            Again we have the brainwashing and the huge monies involved that make it so much more difficult now
            Activists now are using cards and have an established legal group to call when arrested
            at a protest
            We should have cards to hand out and legal help for those being pink slipped
            I guess we need an Anti Advocacy Treatment Center
            To have a location and staff would be so helpful to all here
            As long as there is punkslipping asking individuals to advocate by themselves is a lesson in failure
            All or nothing!

          • Catnight — Yes, there is lots of room for law students to be doing lots of the legwork, research, etc. needed to bring court cases. Hopefully someone legally inclined could coordinate with established attorneys to work on specific projects, funding proposals, etc. Hopefully they’re reading this.

            And handing out cards with legal contact #s is a good idea but first we need some trained people to actually answer those calls.

            Incidentally reading your poetry/prose writing style is at times vaguely reminiscent of reading Ginsberg.

    • Anonymous

      Actually, whether you sign any papers or not when you’re brought to the Admissions Dept. of the “hospital” doesn’t really matter. It’s only a formality to make people think that their rights are respected. One of the places I work in the “hospital” where I was once held and when people refuse to sign the papers the Admissions workers says that’s ok and you can go and sit down. You are still admitted and you are still given a bill at the end of your stay. Signing is just a nice formality.

      • Good to know, thanks. I heard one woman who tried to cancel her health insurance while she was there but because they would not let her leave, she couldn’t do it unless it was in person. Maybe there would be a way to do it legally beforehand so that the system wouldn’t be so happy to take you because let’s face it, if there’s no incentive to get paid there’s no chance they are going to force you into treatment.

        • I think that state “hospitals” must take you no matter whether you have insurance or not. You will not get away from the system once they get their hands on you.

          Many people brought to state “hospitals” are on SSI and SSDI so they get a check for disability. State “hospitals” could not operate and stay open without Medicare and disability checks. What happens is that once you stay in the said “hospital” for a specific amount of time (and I’m not sure what that is) the said “hospital” becomes the recipient of the disability check. They get the money from that check each month from then on and the so-called “patient” gets nothing. Convenient isn’t it? It’s important for the said “hospital” to make sure that people stay as long as possible but then you might run into problems with CMS if you lollygag too much in discharging people. When the so-called “patient” gets out they must re-apply for Disability and go through all that hassle to get their check reinstated. State “hospitals” are always under the scrutiny of CMS which is a branch of Social Security Medicare, if I understand things correctly. If CMS says you’ve done something so bad, as a “hospital”, that they have to step in and discipline you, you just might lose your Medicare monies and then you’re up a creek of unsanitation without the proper means of locomotion. So, state “hospitals” do their best to not draw the attention of the CMS evaluators to their front door step.

          The private psychiatric “hospitals’ are the ones who scrutinize people’s insurance with a fine toothed comb. When your insurance no longer will pay for any more days in their fine institutions they immediately kick you out or send you on to us at the state “hospital”.

          I guess my point is that it’s really very difficult not to get trapped in the system once it gets its hands on you. The best thing to do is stay out of the clutches of psychiatrists and therapists and the police.

  8. Great post, Noel, and I agree with all of the points on your list, especially the last one, with the acknowledgement that much of the matter is about political corruption as well. We’ve got politicians enacting bad legislation because they are concerned about the appearance, and mainly the appearance, of their political careers to posterity.

    The biggest beneficiary of the “21st Century Cures Act” is the pharmaceutical industry. Nothing, as far as I can see, more clearly illustrates the great need we have to get ‘the money out of politics’. This is all about corruption of the political process by big money. This is not a bill advanced by the incoming billionaire chief executive representative of the 1 % Donald Trump. This is more of an attempt by the outgoing chief executive Barrack Obama to shore up some of the big spending embodied in the doomed Affordable Care Act. After the signing of this legislation into law, and after he had already appointed a drug company friendly official to head the FDA, I don’t think, in practical terms, any other chief executive has been more friendly to the drug companies in history. I’d say that this situation, in itself, has got to provide fodder for thought for some time to come.

  9. Like most other bills in the various legislative bills, it is a bill created out of fear and basically bad science and fake news. Yes, there was Sandy Hook and all the rest; but Ms Hunter is right in that many of the perpetrators were in “treatment” and “taking their drugs” or “just gone off them, in withdrawal.” In my state, we had HB2, which has since lost the current governor his “job” and put a new governor in office. However, the “outgoing” party is now maliciously and with mean-spiritedness trying to strip the new governor of his inherent authority. The point is that we may be eventually be able to override this bill and put new officials in power who oppose it, yet those who were for it, may still elicit roadblocks.
    I do envision “psychiatric survivors” rights as being the “gay civil rights fight” of the next few decades and I envision that we will WIN, because so many have been affected. But, the “battle” will not be easy and there are many positions and parts to play, some quietly in the background; some loud and noisy. I choose quietly and in the background.
    This bill “sucks” but I think in the end it may be a “catalyst” for perhaps the greatest civil war fight of our lives; the fight to be ourselves and return ourselves to ourselves. As e. e. cummings said and I paraphrase, it is the biggest fight of our life. And it is even bigger now, in our times, as we have the drugs sanctioned by the government and those who prescribe them who want to strip this inalienable and natural right from us. Who are the biggest drug pushers in our society? Not the “hoodlum” down the street; but the psychiatrists, physicians, the government, Big Pharma, and their little sycophants. Thank you Dad for teaching me that word.

  10. So now that the first round of people have checked in, let’s look at some of the other points:

    The mental health system as a whole has spun a story asserting that if an individual disagrees with a psychiatrist’s framework or understanding, then this is evidence of that person’s disease.

    This is what might be called “reverse Catch-22,” the famous novel based on a (supposed) Army dictum that requesting a discharge on the basis of being insane is always denied, because if you know you’re crazy that makes you sane, thus fit for combat.

    The question is, why does the public not instantly recognize the outrageous irony embodied in such concepts as “anosognosia,” to the extent of their also being the subject of constant ridicule and running jokes? How can we communicate this better than we have been?

    the peer supports that are being funded are going to be transformed into some kind of clinical caricature, wherein peers must follow clinical guidelines established by medical doctors that, basically, amount to telling people to take their meds.

    Well, the latter has been my understanding of the “peer” system as it essentially is already, with a few exceptions.

    I don’t understand why people haven’t recoiled from the start at the usage of the term “peer”; it’s very existence exudes a caste mentality. To use a (horrors) “slavery analogy” (or a Malcolm analogy) “peers” might be seen as the “house mental patients” as opposed to the “field mental patients.” I don’t understand why anyone would identify as a “peer” in this sense, as the very word implies that there are others with higher, more authoritative status (and I don’t mean God).

    • I personally think “peer” insulting. According to the dictionary “peer” means an “equal”, but people who have been through the mental health system are as varied as the rest of the population, which is to say, unequal. I had a mental health professional serving as a teacher of human services once, and that’s just the kind of thing I was getting from him, the idea that we were somehow connected, those who had been patients, by virtue of that fact, and he seemed to think we should feel it, some kind of special kinship there. It was also something that must have made him feel superior. He was not a “peer”, he was a mental health professional (in employment terms, a superior.) It is demeaning to have other people expecting this “peer” connection of us. A “certified peer support specialist” doesn’t have a lot of people, except perhaps for “non-certified non-specialists”, to look down upon in what amounts to the adult baby sitting business, being, essentially, almost on the next to bottom rung.

  11. Yes, the “patient” in question is “stable” because due to the toxic drugs he or she is taking daily; he or she becomes a TRUE ZOMBIE, DEAD INSIDE. If you are familiar with the Bible passage, “the wages of sin are death.” this is where it truly applies. I can not help but agree with the few Christians who do believe taking these toxic drugs is “sinful” and I will admit “sin” is theological question mark in my thought and moral process.
    For years, no one would admit to seeking “counseling.” You mean, you or your son or daughter? It would be whispered wherever the good folks gathered. But, thanks to Big Pharma’s and the psychiatrists and other physician’s push, it is becoming way too acceptable. We must also thank talk Television, “Reality TV’s Parent” for the acceptable “airing of ‘dirty laundry’ in public” and then there are the movie, television, rock stars and athletes who have “decided to ‘come out of the closet’ on this one. Now, people are truly hurting, who only needed caring support and maybe just a few ideas and push to get them started or re-oriented in a “crazy” world. NOT DRUGS OR A FALSE DIAGNOSIS THAT DOES NOT EXIST!!
    And, what do we get as a country? A population of zombies destined for an “early grave” getting criticized repeatedly for something that is not their fault or that they did not create.
    I think “psychology” in its pure state can help people find their purpose, their way, their path in life, who they are and are meant to be; but psychiatry has poisoned it. And if you ever read of lost societies and cultures in the Bible, Ancient History, or Mythology, please meet one now. All you need look to is our beyond reasonable thought last presidential election, the present congress, and so many state legislatures. In legal terms, there is considered the “fruit of the poisonous tree.” Today, we harvest that fruit. But, today, each one us can plant the new and strong seed that will thrive!

  12. So………how are they going to go about explaining what’s going on when the mass shootings continue to happen, perhaps on even greater scale since this bill will work to drug as many people as possible?

    I’m sure that they’ll pull something out of their hat; the drug companies will provide them with talking points of some type that will absolve the companies and the federal government from any guilt resulting from all this. The devastation of human life is going to be phenomenal and it will all be done for “our own good”.

    Once again this just goes to show that neither Republicans nor Democrats, neither the Left nor the Right, are the friends of the so-called “mentally ill”. Politically we are on our own in the fight that will result from this. How are we going to take care of ourselves? Everyone and anyone who has been labeled, at one time or another, as “mentally ill” will be up for grabs. There is a county in California that wants to make a law mandating that everyone who has been labeled must carry a particular card identifying them as such. What color of star are we going to be mandated to wear on our clothes when we go out in public?

  13. Stephan that is why for your very comments we need to have a TRAINED legal entity behind our backs like the activists have
    Standing Rock will be the norm I fear in terms of governmental and corporate payback for protesting. The fear is something I struggle with all the time
    One person told me always have a change of clothes but I really don’t want to live in that mindset
    STAT is open to ideas from readers
    I would push them and others to do a Nelly Bly
    Someone out there must have the courage because it won’t end with us it could easily be all encompassing- too easily
    And thanks Oldhead for the compliment
    More Emily Dickinson letter writing that I tried to learn from as a writing technique
    She was an outsider and everyone respected her as she was
    No police or docs!
    But we all should read “Howl”
    again!

  14. The bad news. Congress was able to make this horrendous piece of legislation part of a package deal that they were able to push through allowing outgoing President Obama to stick another feather in his hat regarding his accomplishments.

    The good news. Top of the psychiatry news, 3 psychiatry professors are calling for a mental health evaluation of Donald Trump. I wouldn’t imagine that doing so is likely to make President elect Donald Trump a friend of psychiatry any time soon.

    http://dailycaller.com/2016/12/19/psychiatry-professors-ask-obama-to-command-trump-to-submit-to-mental-examination/

    • That’s what I thought too when I heard that. Then I imagined all the liberals thinking that giving Trump an psych evaluation is a cool idea. And also proves how psychiatric labels double as ways to insult people. We should remind him of this should the situation present itself.

      • People should be prepared for the paradoxical situation of Trump being accused of “mental illness” and our having to defend him from the onslaught of psychiatric “experts” who may be pitted against him. This could expose psychiatry and how it’s used to attempt to discredit and silence people, and whether or not you like Trump this could be an opportune time to help expose psychiatry’s contradictions, and its essentially political rather than medical nature.

        Speaking of Trump, why is no one saying anything about Kanye West being strapped down and forcibly involuntarily committed (probably being released only after agreeing to drugs)? He can’t be happy about being treated as a “nut case.”

        • I was struck too by the juxtaposition of entertainment and politics colliding with forced treatment for Kayne and then Dr Judith Herman suggesting Trump be given an evaluation
          This timeline we are living in continues to be so bizzare
          I was watching OA on Netflix and thought that had a nice anti NAMI message and then no the guy turned bad
          T S Eliot had a breakdown before moving to England
          He just waited it out but his family did have money
          Theodore Roethke had issues all the time but I never heard anyone bad mouth him
          My fear is that the letter Herman wrote could put more of us in danger because now the Trump folks have to defend against it and any mention of disability
          Kayne may rue the visit
          Also Hitler and his armies were full of drugs
          Sometimes I think that is why our voice is not deliberately heard
          Too many are on the spinning wheel and don’t want to or can’t get off
          Docs smoking kept the tobacco industry in good stress for many years
          See old adds targeting docs
          e e Cummings is a great poet – interesting fellow write The Enormous Room after WWI

          • As a teen in the 60’s I wrote a poem about Norman Morrison patterned after “I Sing of Olaf.” (What a tangent!) While we’re on the subject let’s not forget Hemmingway, who for some reason is used by mh shills to encourage “treatment,” but who in fact said “great cure doc but you lost the patient” following electroshock (and preceding suicide). Also, yes, Hitler was a meth freak, which is almost never mentioned. If he were here today would it be Adderall?

            Anyway I don’t think there’s anything in the Constitution about giving incoming presidents psychiatric evaluations.

  15. First, I think we must abolish the words and the concept, “mentally ill.” After all these years, we still have no cogent definition and many times we are really speaking of “emotions” being “out of whack.” This leads to abolishing what is “mental health and being mentally healthy.” In fact, I think the word, “healthy” is a misnomer of a word, although I am reading a book on being “spiritually healthy.” Yet, “healthy” is a totally political term and as such, it is easy to use to denigrate, discriminate, enslave, and imprison people who are just different or have unique strengths and “non-strengths” that go against the prevailing norms of present society. What is healthy, mentally, physically, or otherwise? Who knows? Are we to put someone like Stephen Hawking or even the late President Franklin Roosevelt into an illegitimate “box” because they did not fit our false ideas of “health?” No! All this is purely political. We need to stop using words like “mental and/or physical illness” or conversely “mental or physically healthy.” We need to stop classifying people by their size, their weight, their looks, their alleged sickness or non-conformities. It is so easy for someone to think another person is “sick” just because they choose a different lifestyle or way of looking at life. It seems we no longer accept the fact that many in our human family do not or ever will run by the same time clock as we might. We concentrate on what are our similarities as differences and what our differences are, our similarities. We will never be free as long as others seek to define us “morally” by their “moral values” and not the unique ones we each have. The battle is for the heart and soul of America and to allow true Art, Poetry, Music, Dance and Crafts. We will never be free unless we can just be as we are meant to be and “make” as we are meant to “make.”

    • I agree, but “mental illness” is a creation of, actually the domain of, psychiatry; abolish psychiatry, and you take “mental illness” with it.

      While I’m not sure psychiatry can be literally abolished, just like that, it can be delegitmized through exposure as fake science. Psychiatrists can be relieved of the power over peoples’ lives that they presently hold. If it’s not a legitimate science, it follows that the subject of it’s expertise, “mental illness”, is of dubious validity, too.

      • Abolish psychiatry now! Abolish the republican party! Abolish the democratic party! Abolish the libertarian and green parties! Abolish all medical specialties, except those needed in absolute life or death situations! Abolish big pharma and all drugs except those needed in life or death situations! ( I don’t mean take away insulin from those suffering from diabetes or hope from those suffering from cancer, heart disease, etc. I just want those doctors to stop diagnosing for the sake of their pocketbooks or to drug us to a premature death!) Abolish public and private education from pre-school through graduate school! Abolish fake news stories! Return America to the people! We the people; not We the victimized. We are not victims. We are being victimized and it’s time we say “NO MORE! NO MORE!”

    • Rebel — You raise some important insights, esp. that both “mental” health AND illness are equally invalid concepts. They’re what some would call reified metaphors. I would take it further and say that at this point such terms are equivalent to hate speech, as they describe no legitimately medical situation, and serve to demean and disempower those to whom they are applied.

  16. Whether or not a “psychiatric evaluation” is done to “trump” is a “moot point.” When “trump” became the republican presidential nominee” I thought this is really beyond ironic. This man says things and does things I would never think of and yet he is the republican presidential nominee and me, they say I had some terrible “mental illness” and was “severely and pervasively mentally ill.” I guess, I must have thought, God help us!
    But, come to think of it, our children’s children will only see his presidency as a blip on the historic radar and as the result of an increasingly drugged nation. I even read on MSN a typical description of one of his “followers” as being maybe between 40 and 70 and taking at the very least several psychiatric drugs.
    I thank the Good Lord for getting me off the toxic drugs before this election. I can not say I am totally happy with the way I voted in 2016; but, I will say I was truly awake enough not to vote for “trump” or be one of “trumpettes.”

    • I even read on MSN a typical description of one of his “followers” as being maybe between 40 and 70 and taking at the very least several psychiatric drugs.

      Can you find a link to that? I don’t think there are enough 40-70 year olds to elect anyone by themselves.

      • You are probably right about not being enough 40-70 year old to elect someone by themselves; although that is a confluence of the baby boomers and gen x.
        The actual article was a few months before the election. On actual person, a woman, of about age 50-53 was profiled. She was excited that she had found someone to vote for who thought as she did; (several conspiracy theories were discussed; including one that Obamas children were stolen from Africa; that Mrs. Obama was actually a man, and the others such as Obama was not an American citizen-as you can see most were about the Obamas and were sent out via the internet and other media) The woman had worked for the railroad, lost her job, was now on disability, and was taking several different psychiatric drugs. The story actually was very sad to read. I just felt as I read her story that there were others like her; hard luck stories of people on these toxic drugs who have become vulnerable and gullible they could believe anything. And now that ‘trump” had been “elected” I do feel that maybe others like her may have had an influence on the election; in that they were drugged such they were ready to believe anything. But, I really don’t exactly remember the date or title of the story. It was on MSN; but, I think it came from another new source. I am sorry I should I have remembered more details.

        • It just sounds like a liberal smear job, using a sort of pathetic person to “represent” Trump supporters. It’s the same hypocrisy as with the liberal vendetta to have Trump psychiatrized out of spite.

          It’s frustrating that when people such as myself criticize liberalism others assume they must be “conservatives.” Aside from the fact that if you have no power in the system it doesn’t matter what your opinions are, the parameters of political thought go far beyond “liberal-conservative”; for me both those terms signify basic support for corporate rule.

  17. This comment is meant for Oldhead, Frank, rebel, and all other commenters replying to my original post. (if that was your intention, lol) All you have done in your replies, no matter how noble you think you are, is to convey your beliefs, whether political or not. You all have missed my intentions and my point of fact, when I relayed a personal injustice that I personally endured. Do any of you understand how absolutely terrified I was?!? My original reason for sharing what happened to me was to let people know what can and will happen to you if you contact ANY organization for guidance or help. And remember, this was before Act 21 was signed. I am in no way asking for sympathy. I made the mistake of talking to people who are, directly or indirectly, associated with government, IE: LE. What I AM asking for is empathy, so people can understand what happens in the REAL world. Until you, Oldhead, rebel, Frank, etc. have personally been through what I, and many other people in this United States of ours has been through PERSONALLY, shut up!! You can send links and give your rhetoric, but unless you have experienced the real thing, your expertise and opinions don’t mean squat!!!

    • Not sure what you’re getting at here, Mitch. I feel certain that some of the people you are referring to, myself included, have had experiences very similar to your own. There are many comments above. I can only speak for myself, but when I was responding to comments, yours was not one of the ones to which I was replying. I had to go back up to the comment that you had initially made to figure out what you were talking about. To clarify, in reply to your last comment: no, I wasn’t replying to your original comment.

    • I really am sorry that you feel we, in some way, have been talking “theory” rather than really listening to your awful experience. I have never been taken to a “mental hospital” in a police car; but I have been a patient in one. However, I do know fear of that can inhabit you after being involved in this system. Since about 1991 until last year except for maybe two or three years, I have been a “patient” in the system. I have been wrongly diagnosed, told I was “severely and pervasively mentally ill” been forced in to special vocational “working conditions” been forced into day hospitals, psychosocial rehabilitation, therapy on weekly to bi-weekly basis, been dropped from a psychiatrist even though I was on the drugs because of my insurance, been forced into vocational rehabilitation, been harassed for not taking drugs, been told to take drugs or I would get a relapse (that’s been a year and half ago) and I get better every day. I can’t say as if I totally know your experience, but, please I have been there. I am A PSYCHIATRIC SURVIVOR JUST AS YOU ARE! And the only thing that saved my life was coming off the drugs, although the doctors actually forced me all of them at once, except lithium, because I allegedly had “sleep apnea” After being on these drugs for over twenty years, my body said no more and they could not wake me up. I ended up in the county hospital. My cat died while I was in there. Then they abruptly took me off everything, even the valium and tried to put me on stimulants. That was 2013. In spring of 2015, I realized I could not even take another pill again, ever. I had an allergy to alcohol. It has worsened and I can not take any pills without physical problems. I trust no doctors. I am on my own now. For my “health” I only trust “God.” I am sorry if you feel I was making light of your situation. I did not mean to. I, too, am a psychiatric survivor and thanks to waking up, I plan to live a very long and very “healthy” life without drugs or psychiatric intervention.

  18. we forget how name uses Vincent van gogh and his irises every spring to remember the “afflicted.” This is disgusting especially if you are aware how psychiatry has really tried to crush the artistic and creative spirit through drugs, ect, therapy, etc.

  19. This bill was authored by. among others, a Penn. psychologist and identified Republican congress person of the radical right wing. A number of people have told me they have previously filed an ethics complaint with the Penn psych board in response to his conflating mental illness with violence and distorting relevant research to sell his previous bill to the House. Given the results of the recent national election, we can only expect more of these repressive, deceitful tactics over the next 4 years. What is necessary is to organize as MAD professionals and submit letters, emails, and newspaper articles and letters-to-the editor to clarify these distortions and present a truthful picture of the state of so called “mental illness” treatment, and the devastation that ignorant psychologists and psychiatrists will cause for already hurting people

    • Are you talking about Murphy? We know all about Murphy. But this has nothing to do with party politics. Two extreme right-wing Republicans were the only people who voted AGAINST the Murphy bill in the House, so please don’t confuse the issues as to who our enemies are. They come in all political denominations.

  20. Please get your facts straight. Murphy is listed as a coauthor of HR 6. He manipulated the extremist faction and the democrats of the GOP to vote for this by conflating mental illness with violence and the problem with homelessness, when in fact it is the conservative fiscal policies that create homelessness and the failure to solve it, in spite of a plethora of research indicating viable solutions, the most effective, given world wide research, is provision of housing and contingency management, not coercive treatment as called for in the bill. In recent years, Murphy has made numerous public appearances conflating mental illness with violence to sell his original bill and this one. It is unethical for a psychologist to distort research facts to achieve an agenda. This is a radical GOP fear tactic used to manipulate agreement with number of coercive government and legal interventions.

    • Again, I know all about Murphy, and yes he’s an asshole. My facts are very straight.

      However the Murphy bill — HR 4626 if you’ve been following this — was passed by the House 422-2, and those two were Republicans. The “Democratic” (Senate) version of Murphy was equally pernicious except for the absence of AOT. This goes deeper than party politics, to the heart of capitalism and psychiatric oppression. And it was well underway long before Trump ever thought of running.

      Where were you when we were trying to stop this btw??

  21. I was actively opposing the Murphy bill and his right wing deceptions. I agree with your thesis of capitalism. But a Representative writes a bill to promote his or her own beliefs and enhance his or her own ability to generate campaign contributions to get reelected..whether they are grounded in reality or research, or merely a figment of ones imagination. That’s what makes this so political. If you trace Murphy’s support you will see he is associated with E. Fuller Torrey who has expressed fondness for Murphy and who has been at the center of calling for involuntary hospitalization and psychiatric oppression when he first started in NYS about 30 or so years ago. Torrey originally was one of the creators of NAMI, first a front organization for the pharmaceutical company until exposed by (Rep) Congress person Grassley. Torrey then cleverly started promoting the “Treatment Advocacy Center” to promote the same repressive policies across the US. Psychiatric oppression and oppression of anyone who acts differently than the fiction of what psychologists and psychiatrists defined as “normal” is a function of the distortions of human existence, i.e., deceptions, that are endemic in capitalism. Now, in recent press we see reports of the manipulation of perception by Russia and the US, something that the NAZI party was so good at. This manipulation of perception is likely why the state of “mental illness” is in such a regressive position with repression of those defined within the category.

    • I don’t know what to write it off as other than arrogance that would make you assume I don’t know the history of TAC, Murphy, Jaffee and Torrey (whom I have been well aware of since he wrote the book The Death of Psychiatry in the 70’s and then turned against the movement in the 80’s). I publicly debated NAMI when they first started showing up in the early 80’s, and won. Your comment about Russia makes me think you may be a liberal in denial. At any rate, the evolution of the Murphy bills (both versions) has been part of ongoing research and discussion in the Organizing Forum. The motivation behind “Murphy” was the need for politicians of both parties to report to their constituents that they were “doing something about violence”; it was also a way for “2nd Amendment people” to divert the blame for mass shootings from being placed on themselves (which also would also have been invalid).

      “The manipulation of perception” is sort of the definition of corporate media, btw, it didn’t start yesterday. But could you restate that last sentence?

    • One of the things I learned that assisted me in finally saying “no to the toxic drugs, toxic psychiatrists, and the whole entire toxic ‘mental illness system’ ” was when I realized there were no “drugs” and never will be “drugs” and even all the etc. that can stop “toxic” parenting at any age and also “drivers in the grips of ‘road rage.’ ” I really don’t have an answer yet or maybe never will. You can not necessarily take kids away from “toxic” parents and parenting without even more issues to arise. This is a complicated and complex issue and for a society and culture that wants answers and problems resolved in five to at most ninety minutes, it seems almost insurmountable. The greatest gift we can give our children, grandchildren, our family, friends, neighbors and ourselves is to allow them the freedom and the love so they can find their own unique self, talents, personality, path, and purpose in life. The “toxic mental illness system” steals that from the person searching by saying that are diseased and debilitated for life and must take these toxins, etc.