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

Jan 29, 2011

Demand Accurate Information About Mental Health

"... improve care for the seriously mentally ill and keep the public and patients safer. It requires euthanasia and reincarnation: Eliminate the Office of Mental Health and place programs that serve the seriously mentally ill within the Health Department."

The above quote--oddly enough, is from a man whose byline is, "advocate for the seriously mentally ill."  

As an advocate the only solution or help for the "seriously mentally ill" I ever read of being supported by DJ Jaffe is enforcement and expansion of "assertive" or "assisted" and involuntary commitment laws.  Apparently, we as a society are being asked to practice willful ignorance about a complex social system which seeks to control rather than prevent or effectively treat "serious mental illness."   

Coercion can not become  something else simply because it is  now being  used in, "assisted outpatient treatment" and "assertive outpatient treatment" programs.  Using coercion, with or without force of law and attaching the act of coercion to the word "treatment" does not make the act of coercion "therapeutic" or "medical treatment," in any medical sense either.   The nature of what is actually occurring on a human level is still disrespectful of those who are so "treated."  Willfully ignoring reality does not really change reality does it?  A rose by any other name is a rose.  Coercion is a social control tool to manipulate another person's behavior to conform to a norm.  It is a social control tool when it is used by anyone.  It remains coercion and does not magically become something other than what it is by calling it something else.  Coercion is and always was a tool of social control used only and always, "for their own good."  

How we as a society help those whom Mr. Jaffe claims to advocate for is not so simple as legislating forced drugging and mandate by law the compliance with a social construct that is developed by psychiatry in an effort to legitimize using coercion in the supposed "medical treatment" of behaviors and symptoms that are used to diagnose an ever expanding catalog of diagnoses of "mental illnesses."  This is an effort to legitimize psychiatry as a valid Medical Specialty.  The facts are available, but they are hidden behind the haze of the massive media machine which advertises, sometimes under the guise of Advocacy and education "in the public interest" or "as a public service" or "support or advocacy/ group"--(NAMI, CABF, the APA, E. Fuller Torrey &  the TAC, DJ Jaffe, Minds on the Edge)   

The fact sheet below is from the University of Washington School of Social Work, which has a project to provide accurate information on mental health issues and raise awareness of ethical considerations in reporting on mental illness to journalists.

Facts About Mental Illness and Violence

Fact 1: The vast majority of people with mental illness are not violent.
Here is what researchers say about the link between mental illness and violence:
- "Although studies suggest a link between mental illnesses and violence, the contribution of people with mental illnesses to overall rates of violence is small, and further, the magnitude of the relationship is greatly exaggerated in the minds of the general population (Institute of Medicine, 2006)."
- "…the vast majority of people who are violent do not suffer from mental illnesses (American Psychiatric Association, 1994)."
- "The absolute risk of violence among the mentally ill as a group is very small. . . only a small proportion of the violence in our society can be attributed to persons who are mentally ill (Mulvey, 1994)."
-"People with psychiatric disabilities are far more likely to be victims than perpetrators of violent crime (Appleby, et al., 2001). People with severe mental illnesses, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or psychosis, are 2 ½ times more likely to be attacked, raped or mugged than the general population (Hiday, et al.,1999)."
Fact 2: The public is misinformed about the link between mental illness and violence.
A longitudinal study of American’s attitudes on mental health between 1950 and 1996 found, “the proportion of Americans who describe mental illness in terms consistent with violent or dangerous behavior nearly doubled.” Also, the vast majority of Americans believe that persons with mental illnesses pose a threat for violence towards others and themselves (Pescosolido, et al., 1996, Pescosolido et al., 1999).
Fact 3: Inaccurate beliefs about mental illness and violence lead to widespread stigma and discrimination:
The discrimination and stigma associated with mental illnesses stem in part, from the link between mental illness and violence in the minds of the general public (DHHS, 1999, Corrigan, et al., 2002).
The effects of stigma and discrimination are profound. The President’s New Freedom Commission onMental Health found that, “Stigma leads others to avoid living, socializing, or working with, renting to, or employing people with mental disorders - especially severe disorders, such as schizophrenia. It leads to low self-esteem, isolation, and hopelessness. It deters the public from seeking and wanting to pay for care. Responding to stigma, people with mental health problems internalize public attitudes and become so embarrassed or ashamed that they often conceal symptoms and fail to seek treatment (New Freedom Commission, 2003).”
Fact 4: The link between mental illness and violence is promoted by the entertainment and news media.
"Characters in prime time television portrayed as having a mental illness are depicted as the most dangerous of all demographic groups: 60 percent were shown to be involved in crime or violence" (Mental Health American, 1999).
"Most news accounts portray people with mental illness as dangerous" (Wahl, 1995).
"The vast majority of news stories on mental illness either focus on other negative characteristics related to people with the disorder (e.g., unpredictability and unsociability) or on medical treatments. Notably absent are positive stories that highlight recovery of many persons with even the most serious of mental illnesses" (Wahl,etal.,2002).
Tip of the Day
Fact sheets that do not say where the facts come from are NOT reliable sources of accurate information, unless the source(s) of the information is cited !  I posted the link to the source of the tip sheet as it includes where the information came from, so those of you who want to check your facts can.  

Ask yourself these questions, "If Psychiatry is practicing medicine, and providing  "medical treatment," and mental illnesses are illnesses like any other illness, (diabetes or cancer) why are people diagnosed as, "mentally ill" the only people we force to get "drugged" whether the drugs are helpful to the individual patient or not?  Why are these the only illnesses that require the treatment providers to use coercion and subterfuge?  and court orders? 

 Coercion is NOT Therapeutic.  Why would it be?   


Anonymous said...

Excellent article Becky. Keep up your fight for Human Rights,coercion free environments, dignified and respectful care and treatment for people experiencing mental Health issues.:)

Nigel Gray said...
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