The Crazy Talk About Bringing Back Asylums


From the New York Times: When President Trump mused that the mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Fla., in February might have been prevented if the United States had more mental institutions, he revived a not-quite-dormant debate: Should the country bring back asylums?

Psychiatric facilities are unlikely to prevent crimes similar to the Parkland shooting because people are typically not committed until after a serious incident. Still, a string of news articles, editorials and policy forums have noted that plenty of mental health experts agree with the president’s broader point.

The question of whether to open mental institutions tends to divide the people who provide, use and support mental health services — let’s call them the mental health community — into two camps. There are just 14 or so psychiatric beds per every 100,000 people in the United States, a 95 percent decline from the 1950s. One camp says this profound shortage is a chief reason that so many people suffering from mental health conditions have ended up in jail, on the streets or worse. The other argues that large psychiatric institutions are morally repugnant and that the problem is not the lack of such facilities but how little has been done to fill the void since they were shut down.

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  1. Basically my bullshit detector is going off very loudly. Of course, I don’t have that much control over who, if anyone, The New York Times editorial board chats with.

    The problem is that I know institutionalization is increasing in some places, and this article takes a very ‘reformist’ stance employing specialist jargon. that, if anything, is certainly not going to sufficiently decrease institutionalization.

    We can certainly come up with some better slogans than their ‘alternatives’ to “Violence Might Be Prevented If We Had More Asylums. What’s wrong with them…I’m getting there.

    In contrast to the Joker in State’s sentiments, I prefer to think that Violence Might Be Prevented If We Had More Love.

    Back to Alt. Slogans: For example, the first slogan, replace Demand Sensible Commitment Standards with Commitment Isn’t Sensible. There. That was easy.

    Number two, replace Create A Continuum of Care with Smash Paternalism!

    As for the Stand Up For Insurance Parity, that’s nonsense, let’s try something like Jobs Over Drugs And Government Handouts.

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    • Number two is foolish. Entering the psych system is the best way to ensure you never are gainfully employed again. How is “treatment” supposed to prevent lost wages since those labeled MI are nearly always unemployed for crying out loud?

      “Less than half of all people with ‘mental illness’ receive help.” This is only a cross section of the population but 25% of all college students are getting “treated” for some kind of “mental illnesses.” Would 50% be an improvement? How about 90%?

      If enough people are drugged out their gourds won’t they run out of people to run the asylum? And even if most live in HUD housing who the heck will foot the bills? Not just the pittance these involuntary addicts subsist on but the costly “services” forced upon them by over-priced enforcers, thought police, and drug lords?

      The only good thing is with all the hostages Pharma-psychiatry has taken–many willingly–it will make it harder to monitor/control all of us.

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  2. The problem is no other country is calling in USA’s trillion dollars loans/debts, so there is unlimited money to spend.

    Supposed to cost $1000.00 a day in a hospital for all the people working and infrastructure.

    Google gave me this story today
    “…hundreds of children in the care of DCFS who are held each year inside psychiatric hospitals for weeks or months, even though they have been cleared to leave.”

    Cheaper to give a $1000.00 monthly cheque to people then to jail/hospitalize them at a cost of$1000 a day. With outpatient forced drugging of course.

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  3. Number of deaths in the USA in 2010:

    Homicides: 12,996 (1)
    Hypnotics: 320,000-507,000 (2)

    Legal crimes are MUCH more deadly than unlawful crimes.

    Our society is obsessed with delinquency and deviance, but in fact, legal and normal acts are MUCH more dangerous.


    Murder victimes, FBI

    Kripke DF, Langer RD, Kline LE. Hypnotics’association with mortality or cancer: a matched cohort study. BMJ Open 2012;2:e000850. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2012-000850

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  4. file this one under “bad idea.” I guess a certain segment of America’s elite thinks locking up more and more of the (growing…and growing…) under-class is the way to go? Obviously, the absolute -last- thing I want (or anyone on MIA, I would imagine) is to give Mental Health, Inc. -more- resources, -more- power, etc. As with all bullies…”give an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

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