Thursday, December 3, 2020

Comments by David Son

Showing 19 of 19 comments.

  • In Pennsylvania, when purchasing a handgun the questions ask, “Are you mentally defective?” And, “Have you ever been committed to a psychiatric hospital?” I don’t think either of these questions are adequate to ‘red flag’ a person and deny them their Second Amendment rights. Not all people with psychiatric diagnoses are homicidal or suicidal. There are people who are genuinely afraid for their safety, just like anyone purchasing a handgun for self-defense. If someone is afraid- paranoid may be the case for everyone- of being assaulted or attacked, they should have a right to protect themselves. Just is the case most people purchase handguns. Society creates feelings of unsafety- through the media, for example. Creating a database, is, foremost, an invasion of privacy, secondly, as the author states, it is a form of social control. If a handgun gives a person a sense of security from potential harm, why are we denying this right? Owning a handgun can give them a sense of security that medication may not. Recovery is possible for all and just because a person was committed, say years ago, why are they are denied a Constitutional right? This is not sense. Other measures can be put in place… other questions more to the point can be asked, “Are you going to kill yourself?’ Do you intend to murder someone?” “Do you feel unsafe?” Owning a handgun does not imply you are a homicidal actor, but that is what a database infers.

  • I am a Christian man. I think the ‘mental health system’ is made of both profit and not-for-profit companies, including Pharma, and, though, religious institutions are not-for-profit, they are not the mental health system. Religious institutions are affected by the ‘brain-disease narrative,’ just like everyone else, and also by profit based companies, whichever. I think not-for-profit companies can confuse their mission relative to profit, no doubt.

  • Yes, there is much to say for language, the terms we use to refer and describe. It is like a palette in many ways and when we write or speak we choose the color or tone in which to communicate. “Control,” “treatment,” and “system” all can imply power- and a difference in power. Though, I did not mean to offend. I’ve been on the other end of the power spectrum and have perceived the imbalance. At the same time, there are many who do not see the imbalance and do not intend the difference to affect others in a negative or offensive way. And, there are others, myself included, who are aware and do not intend offense, either.

  • On the one hand, the argument stands that peer support services is only a job for the ‘mentally Ill.’ It is a job provided by the system for those who have an SMI or who can not find work elsewhere. On the other hand, it holds all the policies and practices of work, that is, it is accountable to federal employment laws, as well as the American Disabilities Act (ADA). One issue- and a big one in my estimation- is the fact that a peer specialist discloses at the very start their disability. Actually, their disability is a necessary requirement of the job, and being hired. You can not be hired and work as a certified peer specialist unless you have disclosed an SMI. So, the SMI works as a credential, just like a college degree. May sound strange, but true. Personally, I don’t think of it as a service program of the system. Its real work, paid and taxed.

  • I found it extremely challenging when working as an instructor at a small college to carry a diagnosis. I wore a cover, which felt like a fa├žade. I couldn’t be completely genuine, particularly in relationships. I felt I was concealing something, like a secret, classified in a special category that only my therapist and doctor had privilege to know.

  • Thank you, too, for commenting. I’ve seen- so often- the term ‘chronic mental illness’ which only suggests recovery does not happen or it is extremely limited. The system needs to wake up and help people realize the extent and depth that people can and do recover, and not be resigned to anything less.

  • I’ll add, the tasks and responsibilities of a peer specialist work can be challenging, and which means it opens up doors for many other job possibilities. No, no one is pigeon holed into a singular profession. Work is work. Work they suggest is good for wellness. I find this true.

  • Dr. Kelmenson, thank you for stating the problem clearly. I agree there is an overmedication epidemic, its become part of the heart and soul of our culture to take pills, pills for anything, everything. As someone diagnosed with an SMI, its a nearly impossible feat to refrain from taking antipsychotic drugs- drugs that have become far too pervasive. The argument I find personally troubling is a person diagnosed with an SMI seemingly must take drugs for the safety of others. This is ludicrous, whether the diagnosed person actually needs the drugs or not, society expects- and demands- the person be medicated, that is, for society’s sense of safety more than the safety of the suffering individual, even when there are proven alternative ways to modify that individual’s emotional stress or psychosis without drug use or sole drug use.

  • Thanks for sharing your story. Yes, horrific but more narratives like yours need to be told. Otherwise, psychiatry will continue to abuse and ignore our voices, voices that are the most important to treatment, the system, and care in general. People deserve better, you deserve better. I have been hospitalized repeatedly and, no, its no vacation. Trapped and helpless, trying, and trying, to make sense to get to the outside. I am glad they figured out the toxicity in your blood, something that should have been noticed, identified, much sooner than having to go through what you did. You are a true survivor. Stay well.

  • Thank you doctor for insight, if a somewhat glib presentataion. Psychiatry has always been in the shadow-subordinate- of ‘real’ medical science, and now, possibly, they see new opportunity to make justification on issues not accurately medical, like hunger, as well as poverty, and homelessness for that matter. Overreaching, no doubt, crying for greater legitimacy. These issues are social ones, more to the point.

  • They seem interconnected, though, twisted together. The medical model comes to these less technologically advanced (system development, know how) and they offer advanced medical help to save life and heal while at the same time they are colonizing, controlling, cornering markets, capitalizing on what underprivileged and under-cared for people lack. I attribute it to greed, capitalism, and its not a single handed conspiracy, more so human nature. The actors/agents are under the belief they are the good people, doing the right thing. In terms of the DSM-5, that is a poison that will only allow pharma to gain strong footholds and become what we know as ‘drug’ imperialists.

  • Personally, I find this a highly complex topic, particularly when the word ‘decolonizing’ is used. I think rather in terms of demarginalization, prefer. I do believe disability should not be relegated to a lessor grouping, but rather each individual should account for his or her own abilities, skills, and achievements. Normalizing disability is one way to undercut the medical model- not that we are not mentally challenged, just carry a different skill set, as each person who I know having a so-called disability had something positive to offer me, and no doubt others as well. My concern here is the term ‘colonizing’ and ‘decolonizing,’ which harks back to political imperialism- and it may just be the case Big Pharma is tightening its haunches to strike at the same peoples that triggered WWI. Not through war, but through medicalized, systems of oppression, control, through ‘agency and structure’ as opposed to ‘sovereignty and property.’

  • Psychosocial approaches are understudied primarily due to the funding allocated to drug research. More money needs to be appropriated- not in the name of research and development, such as pharma would have, but for humanitarian need and cause. Psychosocial approaches have a soft, trauma-based lens in which real suffering can be addressed in a compassionate and mutual way- not as an in-balanced power structure of doctor writing a prescription to a patient in a matter of seconds. ‘Patients’ are human and need human connection. Humans also need dignity and respect, not to be treated like rats in a cage to be experimented on. As a hearing voices facilitator, I find the lack of research on the topic of support groups refreshing. Moreover, the stats of growing interest and number of participation are enough, at least for the moment to give evidenced based utility to group’s effectiveness, primarily composed of peers who have right to confidentiality.