Mental Health Care Must Support Consent and Basic Human Rights

Coercion and involuntary treatment of mental health patients in Europe must be seriously re-evaluated.

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“You don’t have the freedom to walk around as you wish. Most doors are always locked, and it wasn’t unusual for patients to aggressively bang on and scratch the doors. (…) In three words, it was hell”.

This is not a passage from a book on the history of psychiatry, nor is it a script for a Hollywood horror movie. These are the words of a young woman who, following self-admission into a psychiatric facility in Malta in late 2020, began to write about and publish her experiences at the Mount Carmen Hospital. Her story quickly received a lot of attention in the most southern country of the European Union and beyond.

Photo of a person sihouetted against a window holding their face with their hand, looking sad or in pain

She continues, “At 7:00 AM, the bright lights are switched on and all the patients have to wake up. You head to the showers, in old cabins and with chipped floor tiles. Often, the showers are shared, and patients shower nude next to each other. (…) The common area was a dirty, a depressing room with chairs lined up against the wall as if the patients are convicts. With very few windows, there was no natural light. Two televisions displayed loud cartoons and the news.”

Unfortunately, her testimony of the hospital and its inhumane approaches to “treating” people experiencing mental health difficulties remains one among many in Europe and worldwide. There is also the story of a young boy in Belgium, who following a mental health crisis was escorted by police to a psychiatric facility where he was heavily sedated, tied to the bed (as documented in a medical report), and secluded in an isolated and dark room for several days (we do not know for how long exactly).

Mental Health Europe’s Mapping Exclusion reports showed that these practices can be found across the entire European continent.  And beyond Europe, we continue to discover practices of physical restraint, such as chaining and shackling persons with mental health difficulties.

One cannot help but wonder why these archaic systems of mental health persist. Deinstitutionalisation, or the shift from institutions and towards community-based support, has been a core issue for decades but progress continues to be slow. Such crucial changes have been met with hesitance from the psychiatric community and policymakers alike, despite the emergence of normative frameworks such as the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD), which the European Union itself and all EU member states have ratified. Implementation of this binding legal instrument falls short, particularly in the field of mental health.

The UN CRPD prohibits discrimination against people with mental health problems, and explicitly refers to forced hospitalization and forced drugging as violations of basic human rights. Involuntary “treatment” deprives a person of their freedom and bodily autonomy—without even having to be convicted of any crime.

The UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment explicitly told the member countries of the UN that involuntary treatment should be prohibited and abolished, as it is tantamount to torture.

This is corroborated by the lived experience of those who have undergone forced treatment, who regularly refer to it as among the most traumatic experiences of their life, where all the basic dignities that make up personhood are stripped away.

And although little is known about the long-term effects of forced treatment, researchers have found that it increases the risk of suicide and leads young people to avoid seeking mental health care in the future. And, researchers write, it is incompatible with the collaborative and person-centered model that seeks to empower individuals rather than oppress them.

But despite the UN’s strong stance against involuntary treatment, all European countries, as well as the US, Australia, and others, continue to uphold legislation that allows for involuntary treatment and placement of people with mental health difficulties. There are usually two criteria for involuntary treatment and placement: the presence of a so-called “mental disorder” and the existence of a threat to oneself or others due to that “disorder”.  How “threat” is defined and interpreted varies from country to country. Common threats include those to life, health, and safety.

However, how the law unfolds not only depends on common legal practice but on the role of the psychiatrist in charge. In almost all mental health laws in Europe, the psychiatrist has a special role in determining whether involuntary treatment is a “necessity”.

Even the Council of Europe, the political institution bringing together 47 European countries and with the European Convention of Human Rights at its heart (not be confused with the European Union), continues to enable involuntary treatment and placement – and even risks exacerbating these problems. To be more precise, the so-called Committee on Bioethics (DH-BIO), which is the monitoring body of the Oviedo Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine, has been developing an additional protocol to standardize involuntary treatment across Europe since 2014.

The final version of the protocol reiterates the key criteria, such as the existence of danger to oneself or others, but attributes an even stronger role to the examining “practitioner”. Only one evaluation is required and the same “practitioner” plays a key role in prolonging involuntary treatment over time.

Despite a wide outcry by civil society organisations and UN experts such as the UN CRPD Committee and the UN Special Rapporteurs on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the Right to Health, the DH-BIO voted to move forward with the draft protocol, with 28 in favour, 7 abstentions and 1 against. If adopted at the Council of Europe, it could lead to further friction with international law and cement the use of coercion in psychiatry.  Information about this process including the movement opposing the draft Additional Protocol to the Oviedo Convention is available at https://www.withdrawoviedo.info/join.

These laws address forms of involuntary treatment. Yet the young woman we quoted at the top of this piece self-admitted to the hospital—she chose hospitalization, rather than being forced into it. But what her case makes apparent is that self-admission makes no difference, since it leads to the same level of disempowerment. In fact, it seems that the moment one enters the psychiatric facility as a patient, one’s rights are stripped away. You lose your freedom, your privacy, your property.

“Mount Carmel is anything but a place to heal. If you aren’t mentally ill to begin with, the conditions the place is in will certainly drive you mad” she continued.

The blurred lines between voluntary admission and involuntary hospitalization have also been highlighted in reports of the Committee on the Prevention of Torture (CPT) at the Council of Europe. In one of its latest reports following its ad hoc visit to Bulgaria and visiting several psychiatric hospitals, the CPT documented persons being physically abused by staff (slapped, pushed, punched, kicked, and hit with sticks). The report states that some persons consented to hospitalization but then have not been allowed to leave the premises (such as exercising outside), which can be interpreted as a form of detention.

The report demonstrates that persons who are hospitalized have well-founded fears of being coerced or forced into any form of “treatment”—including forced medication. But even worse, they are also subject to forms of violence that are inhumane and degrading, even amounting to torture.

The persistence of human rights violations associated with psychiatric hospitalization point to the institution as a space with little accountability and transparency. While again the disability movement has long been calling for deinstitutionalisation, COVID-19 has further revealed the shortcomings of the institution’s very nature – with fatal consequences.

Several studies have since underlined that people residing in institutions were and continue to be at heightened risk of both COVID-19 infection and death. Family members and friends alike are refused entry, exacerbating feelings of isolation and despair. The disproportionate impact of the pandemic on those in psychiatric hospitals proves, as mentioned by the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities, that deinstitutionalisation is no longer a mere human rights imperative but indeed a public health emergency.

‘Coercion is not care’ is a motto rightly coined by a growing movement of advocates, including people with lived experiences and psychiatric survivors. It refers less to specific forms of ill-treatment but rather to the overall archaic mental health traditions that simply cannot be acceptable in the 21st century.

So why do these practices persist? Finding the answer to such a multifaceted question within the context of mental health treatment and practices that are historically entrenched, is far from easy. However, one central reason lies in the very existence of the so-called biomedical model. Seeing people only through the lens of their suffering, labelling them with categories that constitute the grounds for interventions, including forceful ones, far too often leads to mixing the toxic ingredients of reducing someone’s dignity, stripping off their fundamental rights, and creating a power imbalance between patient and doctor.

At the same time, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to leave its marks on everyone’s wellbeing. In Ireland, demand for mental health support has increased by over a third compared to the previous year. In the Netherlands, three out of four people have experienced negative consequences of the pandemic on their mental health. The latest OECD ‘Health at a Glance 2021’ report shows that the mental health impact of the pandemic has been huge, with the experiences of anxiety and depression doubling in most countries with available data. Helplines have reported a rise in calls with people expressing feelings of fear, loneliness, and helplessness. And at the outset of the pandemic, mental health services have been temporarily disrupted or halted altogether.

While Europe is slowly moving towards sufficient levels of immunity many still fear how the coming months will unfold. Indeed, what has been understood as the “new normal” might still not feel very normal to many.

So, hasn’t the past year taught us that exposure to mental distress is something human and that it could happen to anyone of us, with periods of discomfort being intrinsically linked to our personal feelings and situations? In a pandemic age, COVID-induced distress is an understandable human reaction to the adversities that we are all facing.

Going back to the testimony, the young woman from Malta concludes: “Psychiatric care is in dire need of funding and transformation. It is crucial for Malta to leave the 1800s lunatic asylum in the past and provide psychiatric patients with the care they need and deserve”.

The COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare the shortcomings of these archaic systems of mental health. Going forward, all efforts should be made to move to forms of mental health care and support which are based on people’s consent and upholding their inalienable human dignity.

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Mad in America hosts blogs by a diverse group of writers. These posts are designed to serve as a public forum for a discussion—broadly speaking—of psychiatry and its treatments. The opinions expressed are the writers’ own.

9 COMMENTS

  1. Hi Laura.

    Good to read your blog, particularly as a European caught up in the Mental Health System.

    I’d like to highlight for you concerns with my countries ( Ireland ) mental health act and how it overrides Constitutional rights based on the subjective observations of ‘Doctors’.

    I hope you have the time to read this as I’d love your feed back.

    Article 40.1 conveys the right to equality before the law.

    Yet, as someone with unusual experiences and an unusual story to tell I have been marginalised and discriminated against under the MH Act in the name of ‘care’.

    I have been ignored, my story has been cherry picked and twisted to fit my diagnosis. I’ve been infantilized. The power to overrule me in my child’s disciplining has been handed to my family ruled by a sociopath to whom I’m a scapegoat child against my express wishes.

    I’ve even been outright told by a young ‘doctor’ “Yes, it is blackmail.” when saying they’d weaponized my daughter against me to gain ‘compliance.’

    And on and on…

    Article 40.4 states I have a right to not have my death unnaturally accelerated.

    My meds I’m being forced to take shorten ones lifespan as I was informed by my MH nurse.

    That article also states I have a right to personal liberty.

    Where was my personal liberty when I was forcibly held in an A&E against my will by strangers, security going on the orders of a ‘doctor’. I was not a danger to myself or others. I had committed no crime.

    Article 40.6.1.I states I have freedom of convictions and opinions.

    This is what ‘doctors’ call ‘unusual beliefs’.

    How does one define unusual?

    I believe in reincarnation, I believe what the ‘doctors’ call psychosis I call a Spiritual Emergency ( Stanislav Grof ). I believe many other things.

    The shrinks say they are unusual….yup here but not elsewhere. So you don’t believe in them. So what?

    “Because it shows you lack insight.” they reply.

    The right to fair proceedings.

    At my Tribunal during Involuntary Commitment all mine and my Solicitors efforts came to naught simply because the ‘doctor’ said “He’s getting Ideas Of Reference.”

    That was the end of that. Continued detention even though she offered no evidence I was getting them. She couldn’t provide that evidence because the 79 page document I drafted pertaining to this did not contain Ideas Of Reference. They contained time stamped files proving that I consistently wrote about events before they were reported in the media, sometimes up to a year before. Ideas Of Reference happen after a media report not before. Before indicates one has more information than the average person does no?

    How is it fair that my rights were stripped from me again based on the mere utterance of a Consultant Psychiatrist who provided no evidence of her assertion?

    The right to bodily integrity.

    The state cannot willfully harm a citizens body.

    First on my first ‘admission’ I was drugged unbeknownst to me and once the drug took hold the ‘doctor’ showed up for the ‘assessment’. It acted like truth serum. I even broke confidences I was so out of my mind on that injection. I poured my guts out and it was all written down.

    Over 7 years of state sponsored stalking later and a whole diagnosis were based on that interrogation. One cannot assess a persons mental health when they are drugged. This is a well-known torture method and it is not allowed. Even a drunk won’t be assessed until they are sober yet I was sober on admission and drugged on purpose to give up my story.

    So, in my case, apparently, the preferred therapeutic method is to drug and psychologically mind rape a ‘patient’ in their ‘care’.

    Also as I said my life is probably shortened, I’ve gained weight and my sex drive is ruined. I’m only 43 years old.

    But the ‘doctor’ knows best yeah?

    The right to privacy is also implied in the Constitution.

    Where is my right to privacy when my personal life is contained in files forcibly taken from me by the representives of the HSE?

    Where is my privacy when MH workers can show up out of the blue to ‘assess’ me without anyone having called them? They apparently couldn’t understand why I got ‘agititated’ because I had strangers in my home asking me about my personal life.

    Inviolability of a citizens dwelling.

    Police to an innocent man who happened to have had strangers in his home ‘assessing’ him the day before.

    “Open the door or we’ll force it in.”

    Enough said there I think.

    The right to freedom of Religious expression.

    On my first involuntary hospitalisation I was not allowed to leave the hospital to seek a priest.

    A direct violation of that Constitutional right.

    I was hospitalised the second time because my ‘symptoms’ might get worse.

    How did they know that by only seeing me the once? My solicitor said that doesn’t matter. Its perfectly legal.

    Well it matters to me. How in the name of Jaysus can two strangers judge the trajectory of ones illness based on a ten minute conversation? Its impossible.

    Rigid oversight and safeguards are necessary. ‘Care Teams’ have too much power and in my experience many do not hesitate to use them against ‘patients’ who protest the violation of their rights.

    Also the constant power plays by many of my ‘care team’ over the years can be very ‘agitating’.

    Who are these people? What have they got to do with me and my life? Who are they to be allowed to dictate to a man living in a Democratic Republic?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. A little boy is no longer here because his mom’s basic human rights to evade any care came first.

    The mortician could barely count the bruises on his little frail body.

    As many care staff interviewed that mom as there are care staff who lock up entirely harmless people.

    I guess the risk to a little boy got deemed superfluous to his mom’s needs. It was not just his mom. His dad was in on the beating. Two grown adults punching a child until there was no child left anymore whose marvellous human rights can be looked at.

  3. “But despite the UN’s strong stance against involuntary treatment, all European countries, as well as the US, Australia, and others, continue to uphold legislation that allows for involuntary treatment and placement of people with mental health difficulties. There are usually two criteria for involuntary treatment and placement: the presence of a so-called “mental disorder” and the existence of a threat to oneself or others due to that “disorder”. How “threat” is defined and interpreted varies from country to country. Common threats include those to life, health, and safety.”

    Two Criteria for Involuntary Treatment in Australia? WRONG.

    Let me explain, our Chief Psychiatrist has removed ANY AND ALL Criteria from the Mental Health Act as a means to allow arbitrary detentions.

    The law provided a protection of “The referrer, needs to suspect on reasonable grounds that the person needed to be an involuntary patient”. Thus the person referring the individual would be required to meet the Criteria set out in s. 26 of the MHA. (1) the person MUST have a mental illness (ie must be being treated by a psychiatrist, ie a “patient”) (2) a Risk (3) the illness must be treatable and (4) the lest restrictive method of getting the individual that treatment must be used.

    Our Chief Psychiatrist writes in a letter to the Mental Health Law Centre that he has changed those legal protections, and the law now reads that “the referrer need only ‘suspect’ on grounds they believe to be reasonable that the person requires an examination by a psychiatrist”.

    Commonly referred to as ‘suss laws’. This means that the protections afforded the community of “reasonable grounds” no longer exists, and the Criteria you speak of as being required in Australia are no longer there. Especially if the person who is charged with enforcing those protections, doesn’t even acknowledge their existence. Putting Dracula in charge of the Blood Bank was NOT a good idea.

    The reasonableness of a referral defined by the individual (subjective) rather than the objective use of logic and reasoning in the courts.

    Also note that the requirement of forming the opinion that the person should be an “involuntary patient” (incarcerated and force drugged against their will) is changed to “requires an examination by a psychiatrist” (nice little chat with a pleasant doctor? I’m afraid the image is far from the reality. 15 thugs holding you down [not a lot of necks being broken, but….,. it is a possibility that such a negative outcome might occur] while your told “I’m the Boss around here” and injected with a chemical restraint. Note their is no standard as to what constitutes a chemical restraint so I wonder what would occur if someone had their heart stopped as a side effect of this administration? These ‘unintended negative outcomes’ may be of some benefit to the State).

    And then we have the corrupt practice of ‘verballing’ being used to produce fraudulent “reasonable grounds” while citizens are subjected to acts of torture. I note that the method used here to enable uttering with such fraud is to have police retrieve any and all proof of the ‘verbal’, and to subject witnesses to threats and intimidation. Verballing means that ALL of the laws designed to protect human rights legislation can be subverted, ….. especially when the Chief Psychiatrist is aware of the practice being used, and who then claims that pointing out the breach of the laws relating to Oaths Affidavits and Statutory Declarations is simply offering “Justifiable explanations”. Really? Pointing out that it is not possible that a Community Nurse can travel through time and space, and read minds is offering “justifiable explanations” for the matters he “observed”?

    Of course they were reasonable grounds, there would be little use in committing an act of fraud which didn’t result in what appear to be “reasonable grounds”. The confirmation by the Chief Psychiatrist that they were reasonable grounds simply proving that the fraud has worked and nothing more, and that s. 16 of the Oaths Affidavits and Stat. Dec. Act has been breached.

    And then we have the problem of the document being produced using a known method of torture (Article 15 of the Convention against Torture). The Chief Psychiatrist putting this document forward as justification for incarceration and forced drugging? Not that anyone would dare look at the proof I have…….. got families that will be fuking destroyed. Best they help out by throwing victims under a bus (hotshots in the E.D. being the preferred method of disposal. Police can quite easily look the other way in that regard. “Might be best I don’t know about that” right Senior Constable?).

    So your wrong about Australia in your assertion that we have Criteria. Don’t believe me? Care to see the letter?

    I did respond tot his letter and it was confirmed by the Chief Psychiatrist that he was the author (accepting that he had made an error in saying a doctor who worked at the hospital no longer worked there. Not bothering to actually ask him why he signed a fraudulent prescription for the date rape drug administered without knowledge of course. Shame such errors allow others to be harmed, but…. the argument form authority is quite convincing when your grandchildren are being threatened)

    In a State where documents can be “edited” to conceal human rights abuses while the victim is ‘outcomed’ using the mental health system…, difficult to believe anything. Mind you, having such abuses at your fingertips is certainly beneficial for corrupt Police (and many others who do have the stomach for what needs to be done). One telephone call and unpreferred truths are now dribbling in a cell for their “hallucinating” in the belief they have rights.

    • My argument to a local Politician was that they should tear up the agreements made with the U.N (on behalf of citizens) on the steps of Parliament. Better we know where we stand rather than living this lie that we are being protected from abuses, when they are simply ignoring the agreements and have found ‘loopholes’. Isn’t that causing the very problem they claim to be fixing? The whole community delusional in their thinking that they are protected from being snatched from their beds and force drugged to death for complaining about it? Because let me say, I can easily demonstrate how it is possible, AND that it is actually occurring.

      Chief Psychiatrist was simply playing tricks on me with his letter of response to the Law Centre? (who I note couldn’t find the time to read his response. Which was lucky because they are pretty smart people who might notice he had rewritten the law without asking Parliament for permission right?).

      Seems a bit …… cruel to be sending poison pen letters to people you know have been targeted by corrupt public officers for daring to complain about being tortured (Operations manager threatened to fuking destroy me and my family for daring to complain. Breach of Article 13. Oh lets just throw this document away, no one cares what it says anyway. Torture, maim and kill and cover it up with further offending, obfuscation, “editing” and threats to witnesses. What are they going to do about it anyway?).

      And I think that what I have seen written about true repentance is the ‘test’ of whether these people were actually aware of the offences they were committing. Ten years of my life being deliberately destroyed (and counting) and they continue to deny any wrongdoing (despite the proof being available). And the right to complain about acts of torture simply ignored. I wrote to the Attorney General and Minister regarding my ‘right to complain’ and got told basically to fuk off and get treated. They simply do not care about any of these agreements and laws, and rightly so. Why would they when they know they are applied on discriminatory grounds. I don’t see the torturers being tortured into confessions right? Though what a dilemma should they think their Master would be displeased if they confessed under ‘coercive measures’. They ALL confess in the end. Ask General Fouad Allam, Interrogator Interior Ministry, Egypt.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wmz_Ngdm1GY

      (13:15 – )

      The question then becomes NOT “Did they do it?” but “Do we want them to be the person who did it?” And when operating from a perspective of high ethical standards (ie we need to help this person to save them from themselves) then there is basically nothing that can not be justified as being necessary.

      And the ability to deny access to legal representation (or providing you with a lawyer they KNOW is compromised and who then throws you under a bus) makes such abuses so much easier to enable. My imaginary umbrella is great in nice weather, but isn’t very effective in a thunderstorm.

  4. Unfortunately, there are similar places in the states. And some state health departments ignore the damage they do and it involves people under the age of eighteen. And there are others that involve people over the age of eighteen. Even in my experience, which was nothing as horrible as what has been described here, the staff had the gaw to lie to my mother saying I had an some contagious infection of which I did not. Even after all these years, most places that are meant for the alleged mentally ill are just cesspools of alleged treatment. They are unfit for anything, much less healing of any sort. Thank you.

  5. “Going forward, all efforts should be made to move to forms of mental health care and support which are based on people’s consent and upholding their inalienable human dignity.” But this will never happen until forced treatment is made illegal, worldwide.

    “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” And the psychologists and psychiatrists who’ve bought into the scientifically “invalid” DSM “biomedical model” – who have unjustly been given absolute power – they have become absolutely corrupt.

    For God’s sakes, the primary actual societal function of both the psychological and psychiatric industries of America is covering up child abuse and rape.

    https://www.madinamerica.com/2016/04/heal-for-life/
    https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2019/01/23/18820633.php?fbclid=IwAR2-cgZPcEvbz7yFqMuUwneIuaqGleGiOzackY4N2sPeVXolwmEga5iKxdo

    All this systemic child abuse covering up is by DSM design.

    https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/your-child-does-not-have-bipolar-disorder/201402/dsm-5-and-child-neglect-and-abuse-1

    If you think the psychiatry and psychology will not stoop to any low life, criminal level – to cover up and maintain their multibillion dollar, systemic child abuse and rape covering up system. I’ve got a sick, twisted conservatorship contract – given to me under the disingenuous guise of an “art manager” contract – to prove just how criminal and desperate one of the systemic child abuse covering up American ELCA psychologists has become.

    Truly, the magnitude of criminality, and the attempted crimes, of the psychologists and psychiatrists I’ve dealt with are staggering. Oh … a conservatorship contract is “the only way” to write an “art manager” contract? NOT! But it is the only legal way to take control of all my assets, steal all my money, and “insightful,” but “too truthful,” “prophetic,” “work of smart female.” No thanks!

    But it makes perfect sense that child abusers, and child abuse cover uppers and profiteers, would stoop to the lowest levels, to cover up their systemic crimes.

  6. Tell this shit to the Dutch!!!! Google mental health and incarceration and the title of an article called, “The unique way the Dutch treat mentally ill prisoners,” and that should give you all of the information you should ever need in regards to this shit!!! The article is listed under bbc.com. If that shit doesn’t keep you up at night-you have a problem.

  7. “There are usually two criteria for involuntary treatment and placement: the presence of a so-called ‘mental disorder’ and the existence of a threat to oneself or others due to that “disorder”.

    Damningly, while involuntary commitment is almost always invoked to prevent “threat to self” (esp. with suicidal ideation, supposedly due to the “mental disorder” of depression), it is almost never invoked to protect others even when the danger is, in fact, quite real. Take, for example, the widespread antivax movement here in the U.S., which, for many is based on conspiracy theories and patently paranoid delusions. According to the DSM-5, many of those who resist vaccination–thereby creating a genuine “threat to oneself” and “to others” as a direct result of delusions–would easily qualify as “mentally ill” and could, therefore, be “treated” by forced vaccination, just like patients under involuntary psychiatric commitment.

    After killing more than 800,000 Americans to date, the coronavirus is an actual threat to both individual and public health, yet we wouldn’t dream of taking away the “personal freedom” of vaccine resisters, even for their own and the public’s good. In this regard, as the author notes in closing, “The COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare the shortcomings of these archaic systems of mental health.” Absolutely.

    If we won’t invoke involuntary commitment or coercive treatment for save the unvaccinated from themselves, why do we continue to invoke these vile, inhumane, archaic laws and so-called “mental health” policies to rob our most vulnerable citizens of their constitutional rights, autonomy, and long-term well-being?

    For more about this angle on the issue of involuntary commitment, see my article in Medium at: https://medium.com/@jayvalusek/if-covid-19-vaccine-resistance-doesnt-justify-forced-treatment-nothing-does-73e35503ab28

  8. Psych drugs in the U.S. have a proven, government-audited recovery rate of just .0005%, according to the First and Second Annual Reports on King County Ordinance #13974 (Seattle area). In 2002, out of 9,304 mentally ill DSHS treated with conventional psych drugs, only 5 recovered. If this isn’t a failed approach, what is? But the American Psychiatric Association and their business buddies fight tooth and nail to keep this system in place because it brings in such high profits. They spend an enormous amount of money to have lobbyists in Congress who do nothing but make sure no lawmaker tries to introduce a law to rein in mental healthcare. Currently, there is NO law requiring government oversight over which approach the APA uses on their unsuspecting victims, er, patients. The APA is 100% free to choose any approach they like and what they like is whatever brings them the highest profits. The APA has been fighting restorative approaches such as orthomolecular medicine and homeopathy for about 100 years. I’ve seen both of these approaches work miracles but, sadly, psych patients are denied these wonderful ways to truly heal. If we removed the profit motive, these patients could get well, naturally. Linda, author of The Secrets to Real Mental Health which is about the orthomolecular approach.

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