Psychiatric Drug Facts via :

“Most psychiatric drugs can cause withdrawal reactions, sometimes including life-threatening emotional and physical withdrawal problems… Withdrawal from psychiatric drugs should be done carefully under experienced clinical supervision.” Dr. Peter Breggin

Oct 4, 2010

Advocacy Requires Understanding

via Huffington Post:

DJ Jaffe

DJ Jaffe

Posted: September 30, 2010 09:06 PM

People With Mental Illness Shunned by 

Alternatives 2010 Conference in Anaheim

an excerpt:
"During the first week of October, mental health advocates around the country will gather to celebrate Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW) by shunning the seriously mentally ill. The most egregious example of this "celebration" will take place this weekend at the Alternatives 2010 conference in Anaheim, California.

"The Alternatives 2010 conference is a gathering of "consumers and survivors of mental health services." They use that language, because many in the leadership believe mental illness doesn't exist and is merely a label society uses to control them. By failing to include "people with mental illness" in the list of 'consumers' and 'survivors' who are invited, they are sending a not-so-subtle message: mentally ill not welcome. The term "mental illness" isn't even allowed in the program." read here

D J Jaffe bills himself as an advocate for the seriously mentally ill, but shows a lack of understanding for what the word advocate means.  According to Merriam-Webster online the definition of advocate:

1: one that pleads the cause of another; specifically : one that pleads the cause of another before a tribunal or judicial court
2: one that defends or maintains a cause or proposal
3: one that supports or promotes the interests of another

He is not an attorney, so the first does not apply to his stated avocation.   The third appears to be what D. J. Jaffe is claiming as his intention, support and promote the interests of others, whom he refers to as, “the seriously mentally ill.”  All due respect, it appears to me that he somehow seems to believe this can best be achieved without input from the very people he is purportedly advocating for!  Which makes the second definition, “one that defends or maintains a cause or proposal,” the most accurate description of what Mr. Jaffe actually is doing.  And bully for him, he has found a cause he is passionate about; what I find disturbing is his inability to distinguish between advocating for a particular agenda or cause, like TAC, and/or ACT; and advocating for the individuals who are directly effected by these policies and “treatments.”  D. J. Jaffe’s blog post on September 30, 2010, was untrue, inflammatory, slanderous, and just plain mean-spirited.  It is ironic that he so thoroughly pissed off so many of the people who were labeled with a diagnosis that is considered to be a “serious mental illness.”  It is evident to me that he is an advocate for an agenda, not the “seriously mentally ill” as he proclaims himself to be.

I am in fact alarmed that such ill-informed opinions and discriminatory propaganda is considered 'newsworthy;' very disappointing that this man is provided a forum in the  Huffington Post.

There were many who cried foul over this gross misrepresentation of a group of people who are simply trying to have what everybody wants: human rights that those without a diagnosis of “mental illness” can take for granted; the right to choose for themselves how to best address difficulties, achieve recovery and live how and where they wish.

This is my response that was approved for posting:

Mr. Jaffe,
As a person who is diagnosed with bipolar disorder and the parent of son who is diagnosed with schizophrenia at the age of 12, I can assure you, your views are not representative of mine or my son's interests or values. While it is true that there are people who do not believe that "mental illness" exists, to state that the individuals who subscribe to this belief are responsible for those with diagnoses being shunned by the conference goers is inflammatory and slanderous; a thesis not supported by any evidence in your piece.

You sir labeled the high functioning consumers who are professionals the "Consumertocracy" and implied that these individuals exclude those who, are perceived to have not as yet attained the same level of recovery. You further stated that symptomatic individuals are inconsistent with the, "narrative that people with mental illness are just like you and me." This is not a narrative I associate with the consumer movement, but I recognize it as a version of the, "mental illness is the same as any biological illness" propaganda used to fight the stigma of a diagnosis. You referred a person to a previous post of yours in which you were critical of the drug industry, you stated in that post that, "NAMI is the only hope we have," Looks to me that it is you who shuns the mentally ill who do not fall in with your views.

Mr. Jaffe referred me to the TAC site in response to my published response which added insult to injury.  TAC supports coercion, and does not represent any values that I consider worthy of my support.

This is a response that was not approved that I posted after Ron Unger’s response to Jaffe's post:

"I wonder how many of the "seriously mentally ill" you claim to advocate for that you have befriended, seen on and off medication, invited into your home, and heart; much less support having the same rights as a human that I am sure you take for granted?  Holy smokes! You have nothing but lame excuses and deflections in response to honest criticism of your stated opinions and judgments of those of us who are offended by your outrageous views."
The basis of the consumer movement is self-determination--that being the case, it is obvious that coercion, manipulation and forced treatment of any kind is not part of what should be practiced or preached by professionals, peer providers, consumers, survivors or family and other informal support people, this includes those who proclaim to, “advocate for the seriously mentally ill!”

To advocate for a group or class of people requires that one understand the issues faced by them and support them in their position on those issues, to empathize with members of the group on an individual basis.  The only way I have experienced empathy for another is to accept that person's perception of who they are and that their understanding of their experience is always more valid than my opinion about their experience.  I know the truth about myself and what is helpful or hurtful and believe that everybody else does too.  There are consequences to the current practices in the mental health system that have caused a great deal of harm to me and my sons, directly and indirectly. I have a great deal of anger about this and sometimes it is effort to just stand up, and walk through the day. I, in despair and utter outrage, asked a friend, "are they trying to kill my son?!"  He answered no.  I want to believe my thought is paranoid--but my gut is screaming from a place that is so pain-filled, and my mother's heart is crying over what I harm I have seen done to my now adult son; I can hardly breathe sometimes.

My son is right now under court order to take medication, that has already caused him harm.  The reason cited for the necessity of the court order, “To maintain the ethical integrity of the medical profession.”  Not to benefit my son.  The only ethical reason a person should be medicated is for their benefit, and informed consent is required.  The "doctor" who obtained this court order to maintain the "integrity" of his chosen profession showed none in his treatment of my son.  He had the contact information for his current doctor, therapist, mother and brother and did not speak to any of us even once.  Dr. Jeffery Jennings put him back on a medication that Isaac was no longer on at twice his previous dose, despite having in his record upon admission that he had been taken off of it "due to cardiac risk."  I left multiple messages for him to please call me, to no avail.  How can obtaining a court order to  medicate my son to harmful medication maintain Dr. Jennings' integrity, let alone the "integrity of the medical profession?!"

If you wonder why I share this story at the end of my response to D. J. Jaffe's "People With Mental Illness Shunned by Alternatives 2010 Conference In Anaheim;" it is because Mr. Jaffe advocates for the very laws, policies and procedures which caused my son's Constitutional Rights to Due Process of Law to be violated when he sought to be hospitalized for the first time in more than 5 years--the laws in Washington State came straight out of New York State, and the Treatment Advocacy Center; co-founded by E. Fuller Torrey and D.J. Jaffe--and funded by the Stanley Family Trust to push legislation legalizing forced treatment using NAMI members as unpaid lobbyists.  As a result, my son has permanently lost his 2nd Amendment rights; and has been placed on a tracking system for life.  The crime was initiated by an Mental Health Professional who committed perjury and fraud it was perpetuated by a psychiatrist; both of these "professionals" were aided and abetted by the criminal acts of a Deputy Prosecutor and the Assigned Counsel for the Defense.  

Lying, coercion and subterfuge are tactics supported by D. J. Jaffe and E. Fuller Torrey in the "How to prepare for an emergency" tip sheet.  Perjury in Courts of Law and using fraudulent Affidavits as evidence, are the type of behaviors that Jaffe and Torrey, as Nationally renown "Advocates for seriously mentally ill," suggest that people use to obtain Court Orders for Involuntary Treatment. 

More on D.J. Jaffe and E. Fuller Torrey and other members of TAC (Treatment Advocacy Center)  from Pat Risser

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