Expectations are rising for consumer decision making in the purchase of health care and selection of treatments.Decision-making ability often is not anticipated or supported and often is challenged.

Decision making ability is more than "challenged;" and the professional perception of a psychiatric patient's decision making in-ability extends to others. Parents and guardians can find that their right to make Informed Consent decisions on behalf of a child is compromised, if not stripped from them altogether without Due Process of Law for not giving a child a neurotoxic teratogenic drug. Mary Anne Godboldo had CPS bring the Police with a Swat Team and a tank come take her 13 year old daughter away from her when she sought a second opinion, and made the decision to withdraw her daughter off of Risperdal. I was told by a psychiatrist who taught many of the psychiatrists who have "treated" my son: "Parents who objected to medical treatment they would see as at best ill informed and at worst impaired themselves."
In effect, parents apparently do not have the right to refuse to drug their children...

I can attest that I was never appropriately informed about the drugs prescribed to my son when he was a minor. I say this in retrospect, after having read the Ethical Guidelines for Informed Consent, and after hundreds of hours of research. I can further attest that my now adult son has never been informed of the serious risks for the drugs he takes on a daily basis; drugs he has been taking for over a decade, since he was 13. 

My point is simply this: the stigma is so entrenched and embedded within our society, within psychiatry and the public mental health system, that not a single one of the 6 psychiatrists who have prescribed him the drugs in the last 8 years have thought to inform, educate or obtain consent for the drugs they are prescribing. Even worse, none have listened to him. 

Due to the manner he has been treated, my son has no small amount of fear associated with clinics and hospitals, and he doesn't have any reason to trust any of the professionals he knows. I am utterly at a loss to explain or understand how mental health professionals seem to lack any awareness for how he has been traumatized repeatedly by drugs, and inpatient treatment---his PTSD symptoms are so bad when he has to go to appointments; he becomes utterly terrified. 

There is no compassion or any recognition, validation or offer of support or empathy for how he feels. No offer of any actual help to process his traumatic experiences, or any help coming to terms with the profound iatrogenic neurological and emotional injuries he has sustained. No apparent willingness to understand that his lack of trust is valid; Isaac's initial iatrogenic injuries were not inflicted by the professionals he sees now; but he is acutely aware of the cause of his iatrogenic injuries. 

If any professional would bother to open their mind and stop looking at him as a "mental patient;" perhaps simply consider and maybe come to realize, that his perceptions and his fears, even of them, just might be valid. His injuries were caused by the type of treatment they provide him now. I wonder why there is no understanding of that? Or that they need to earn his trust? Without it, there is little chance he will come to feel safe enough for them to be trusted by him. How will they ever be able to actually help him, much less learn what his level of awareness and his abilities are without his being able to trust them? First things first: earn his trust. Stop being willfully blind by refusing to acknowledge his injuries. Stop pretending that his trauma and fears are not valid; all things considered, it's despicable. 

It is as if professionals do not even see him as a human being, and have absolutely no clue at all that what is causing his ongoing lack of trust of them; and is also causing him further trauma, is their unwillingness to even consider his truth. His story of what happened to him and how it hurt him is irrelevant, it seems. 

The most profound negative effect of my son's treatment resulted from the denial of his humanity, the invalidation of him as a person. He was a kid who had problems; eventually he came to believe, he was the problem. Shortly after going to Child Study and Treatment Center, he realized no one was ever going to listen to him, or help him process his trauma; and that is when, "I went into my head because it was the only safe place left." He told me because he trusts me; my hope is someday he will know he can trust other people too.

Almost eight years ago I brought him home and it has only been in the last couple of years that he has shown a little self-confidence. It was obvious to me within the first week he was home that Isaac perceived any and all correction as criticism and condemnation. He was a kid who had problems who eventually felt and believed he was the problem. When a human is traumatized repeatedly and is without escape; they are being tortured.
One cannot recover overnight or without trust. I believe my son when he tells me his story. I am grateful he trusts me and his brother; it's a start. He's doing great, all things considered.

via The National Center for Biotechnology Center Bookshelf: