There are great things being done in this country to transform the mental health service system. What needs to be discarded is the current standard practices using manipulation and coercion of clients, family, friends and other support people a client has; to stop drugging people without informed consent! Psychiatry as a profession, has never conformed to the Ethical Guidelines for Informed Consent. How coercion, force and fraud became acceptable tools to use in an endeavor to heal the human psyche, is a mystery to anyone with a conscience and respect for human life. To move forward effectively, transforming the mental health service system, we must discard what does not work for what does. Making these changes is the only ethical way psychiatry can hope to regain the public trust; psychiatry can't truly be trusted without being trustworthy; and having the ethical integrity to keep it.
Psychiatry has lost it's way; and it has lost ethical, scientific, and moral credibility. The biased subjective labeling of various human behaviors as symptoms of brain pathology without ever producing an iota of scientific evidence supporting such a claim, is the elephant in the room. Starting with this fraud, psychiatrists proceeded to "treat" thousands with drugs that initially were seen to benefit the patient by providing the effect of a lobotomy, without the need for surgery. This medical specialty is not practiced scientifically or ethically. Psychiatry has diverged from the scientific practice of medicine and now practices in the realm of science fiction. The sole basis of medicating what are not actual diseases, are the subjective opinions and often biased interpretations of a person's observed behavior, family history, and using the subjective opinions of others---obviously there are conflicts of interest in using only subjective opinions...
In effect, gossip and innuendo are used when developing a diagnosis of "mental illness." Based on opinions, not exactly reliable 'evidence', to say the least; patients are prescribed with impunity teratogenic drugs that have the potential to cause illness, disability, and early or sudden death. The APA, colluding with the pharmaceutical industry, has told this lie to desperate families and enlisted their self-help programs to perpetrate this fraud through their "sponsorship" of support groups, advocacy training, and educational literature. Subjective opinions are not considered scientific evidence by any standard in any field of study I am aware of. Do psychiatry and psychiatric research adhere to no recognized ethical scientific standards?
Psychiatry is the medical specialty a person experiencing difficulty distinguishing fantasy from reality, fact from fiction is treated by. A group that relies on flawed science, does not adhere to ethical guidelines for informed consent, uses coercion and subterfuge and is armed by the force of law to 'practice medicine' is not who should be trusted with vulnerable people. How did society once again, allow a group to mount what basically an effort to target an entire class of people for 'special treatments' that have the potential to cause serious illness and even death to those getting 'special treatments'? Treatments that rely on coercion and force while denying the basic human rights of those treated, are Human rights crimes. When medical treatment has the potential to cause disability and death, yet is done regardless of the patient's actual benefit, are by definition human experimentation, without Informed Consent makes it criminal. Just because it is done by doctors does not magically turn this heinous practice into therapeutic medical treatment!
How did so many others not realize what was happening? We were not only unaware, many of us were unwitting accomplices to what will I believe be known as a practice known historically, to be the worst violation of human rights in human history. To quantify what I mean by "the worst," I am referring to the number of people who have and will lose their liberty, and the number of people who ultimately will lose their lives from iatrogenic illness and early or sudden death. This includes those who commit suicide because they had no way to retrieve their lost dignity or hope. Add to this the damages to familial and societal systems, who realize in retrospect, they acted as unwitting accomplices by coercing family members and friends to "comply with treatment;" believing their trust in the professionals well placed. Some pushed and voted for legislation, not knowing it would facilitate the gross violations of the human rights of the very people whom these efforts are supposedly to directly benefit. Are these practices representative of ethical medical treatment? What of the Hippocratic Oath to, "First, do no harm?"
Many diagnosed with schizophrenia are not told their diagnosis, "for their own good," and virtually nothing about the "treatment," risks, again, "for their own good." Informed Consent is not considered necessary by many who practice in the mental health field. If the person has a diagnosis which includes psychosis, or mania this is particularly true. Patients are often coerced and even threatened when complaining about negative "side" effects, when requesting to reduce the dosages. In effect, they are lied to. Some survivors and family members are told it is their illness that caused the cognitive decline and disability that is drug-induced. When patients or family question the benefit vs. risk ratio, (mistakenly thinking they should have a say?) they can then be labeled, "resistant" or "non-compliant." This label is further translated into the patient or family lacking insight, lacking intellectual capacity and/or ability to determine for themselves whether or not to consent to a particular treatment. Many are not even aware that this decision has been made for them. This can happen simply by disagreeing with the Dr. or other mental health professional, who often seem to believe their professional opinion is preeminent and trumps any and all other concerns...
The first lapse was when a "scientific standard" was not necessary to determine whether or not a behavior or other symptom was caused by an underlying pathology which can be treated with medication. To cover this up, informed consent was dispensed with, out of necessity. Now it is standard practice to coerce, lie to, or force under court order a person to take medication; to achieve "treatment compliance." The targeted, those labeled and stigmatized are subjected to medical "treatments" that do not in fact 'treat' mental illnesses. Some treatments used actually are known to cause the behavior they are prescribed to treat, minimize, and/or extinguish;" a fact which defies logic and reason.
Psychiatry's elephant in the room has trampled the Human Rights of countless thousands, eroded the public's trust in the moral and ethical integrity of the medical, legal, mental health, academic, and pharmaceutical professions. Individuals who see nothing wrong with what they do when using coercion or force of law to "treat" those labeled mentally ill, are dismissive of the fact that doing so is not ethical and can in fact be harmful to their patient.
Psychiatry's "Elephant in the Room" is the idea that behavioral and emotional symptoms are indicative of brain diseases; diseases treated regardless of informed consent, risk, benefit or outcome for the patient; is not humane, moral or ethical; why it is the foundation of standard psychiatric practice?