Photo Credit: David Hathcox
Thomas Insel, M.D.: “We're in the middle of a revolution. We have the chance to change the world—not tomorrow, but by staying on course.” here
Apparently, Thomas Insel is not aware of the Consumer /survivor movement. How this can be the case is not easily explainable. It is most disturbing that this man is the head of the National Institutes of Mental Health. This statement flies in the face of the Mental Health Transformation that is being implemented in this country. It is a statement I can relate to applied to my advocacy for myself and my family and fellow consumer/survivors; but not in the context to which Dr. Insel applies it. The context he applies it is indicative to me he is perhaps ignorant of the grave harm done by the bio-psychiatric model of defining and treating those people who have what are often trauma-induced symptoms: including maladaptive coping strategies, difficulty in social situations, and/or those who experience extreme emotional or spiritual crises which are misunderstood. Labeling a person with a "mental Illness" and then telling everyone mental illnesses are caused by a "brain disease," a "chemical imbalance " or a "neurobiological illness" has in fact been determined to be the cause of the stigma entrenched in human society. As reported in the Science Daily and The American Journal of Psychiatry Online
The abstract in the the American Journal of Psychiatry acknowledges claiming that "Mental Illness is like any other illness," was developed as an anti-stigma strategy meant to gain acceptance of the general public for those with psychiatric diagnoses. The reality is as reported, in the same journal Dr. Insel's article: that the general public were supportive of more treatment, but those labeled were rejected more! So it is this lie which became a strategy to decrease the stigma of "mental illness" did not; and worse, it increased the discrimination the very people this fraud was perpetrated to "serve!" The strategy enabled the general public to be more supportive of psychiatric treatment; but reports that those labeled with a psychiatric diagnosis were rejected and discriminated against more--by the general public! This lie, which became part of an anti-stigma strategy to decrease the stigma of "mental illness" did not have the effect that was intended, and worse, it misinformed people about the nature of psychiatric diagnoses. It is no surprise that dishonesty about psychiatric diagnoses caused further harm to those who have been labeled as "mentally ill" by psychiatrists.
Bio-psychiatry devotees medicate into disability and early or sudden death those whom they treat "traditionally" with medication; wanted or not, informed consent or not. It is common for coercion and manipulation to be tools used in "treatment." An example of this is the Assertive Community Treatment, or 'Program of Assertive Community Treatment', as it is known in Washington State.
The PACT Advocacy guide distributed by NAMI as part of it's PACT across America campaign, leaves no room for personal choice to forgo psychiatric drugs, for an individual or family that chooses to access more effective holistic methods of dealing with spiritual, emotional and behavioral symptoms which are called schizophrenia. It is plain that NAMI is advocating and lobbying for the pharmaceutical industry. This clearly is a Conflict of Interest with it's stated mission of being advocates for the people who have been diagnosed as "mentally ill," and their families.
The consumer/survivor movement has stayed the course for decades now, as has the NIMH. Why we survivors have stayed the course is obvious. Our recovery and very survival depend upon our staying the course; and taking a stand against the tyrannical practices to which we have been subjected. These experiences have forged among us a firm resolve to transform the current system to one which is grounded in science, morality, and compassionate care leading to recovery.
What is motivating the NIMH? It seems to me from this article, it is being driven by the same flawed thinking that drives the pharmaceutical industry and the media machine funded by Big-Pharma, cosigned by the American Psychiatric Association and perpetuated by a so-called grassroots movement of "Advocates for the Seriously Mentally Ill." Altruism is not the only thing missing from this type of advocacy; it lacks valid science. Most telling, is the failure to advocacte for the people diagnosed as "seriously mentally ill" AS IF they are worthy of having their fundamental Human Rights preserved or defended.
Shame on you Thomas Insel!
NIMH Head Urges More Emphasis on Mental Illness as a Brain Disorder
The Trouble With PACT
Programs of Assertive Community Treatment: A Critical Review
Practical and Legal Dangers of Outpatient Commitment