DJ Jaffe never misses an opportunity to stir the forced treatment advocates up. He latest post about Sharon Stone's stalker is typical of his "reporting" on "serious mental illness." This guy's byline used to be "advocate for the seriously mentally ill;" now it's, "Founder, mentalillnesspolicy.org." The Mental Illness Policy Org. website states it is an effort to provide, 'unbiased' information for policymakers and the media." Apparently DJ does not have an understanding of what "unbiased information" is. DJ's organization uses the same biased information other pseudo-advocates who are advocates for forced treatment, not necessarily the people who will be subjected to it. E. Fuller Torrey with the Treatment Advocacy Center, and Pete Earley, a "Minds on the Edge" participant, use the same misinformation in their 'advocacy.'
DJ's claims to be 'reporter' and an 'advocate for the serious mentally ill' would be laughable, if his fear mongering and discriminatory advocacy were not part of the problem; DJ's work is NOT helpful to anyone who has been diagnosed as 'seriously mentally ill' and wants to recover. DJ's advocacy relies on biased research, information developed in collusion with the pharmaceutical industry; basically, propaganda. The laws for Involuntary Treatment and "Assisted" or "Assertive" outpatient "treatment" are based on misinformation and bigotry, rely on coercive, dishonest manipulative tactics, e.g. social control strategies; to ensure "treatment compliance." The 'treatments' cause iatrogenic illnesses, disability and early death, and have harmed hundreds of thousands of patients. Using social control strategies in standard clinical practice while calling these methods 'assertive' or 'treatment protocols' or 'practice parameters' does not change the nature of what is being done. Calling it medical treatment does mean that coercion is less unethical, and it sure as hell doesn't make neuroleptic drugs any safer or effective medical treatment. How could anyone believe coercion, Court Orders, and neurotoxins are helpful? How could causing iatrogenic illnesses, cognitive impairment, and early death be an acceptable outcome of 'safe and effective medical treatment'?
Laws for involuntary commitment or "assisted" outpatient treatment when implemented, more often than not, violate the targeted individual's civil liberties. It is common for lawyers appointed to mount absolutely no defense for the mentally ill individuals whom they are paid to defend. As a result, Constitutional Rights to Procedural Due Process of Law are effectively denied the people involuntary treatment orders target, "the seriously mentally ill" DJ claims to be advocating for.
The fact that neuroleptics are not "antipsychotic" and do not work for a significant percentage of individuals who are diagnosed with schizophrenia, does not seem to matter to DJ Jaffe and his fellow pseudo-advocates. It also seems to not be worth mentioning the fact that those for whom neuroleptics do work, are at risk of developing iatrogenic illnesses, due to the teratogenic effects of the drugs. The illnesses, which can be disabling, cause sudden death, and also shorten a person's life span by 25 to 30 years! Recently, it was finally reported in the mainstream press that neuroleptics SHRINK BRAIN tissue and the amount of shrinkage is correlated with dosage and length of "treatment." DJ claims his organization and it's website will provide "unbiased" information, since there is NO mention of these facts, or in his "policy development;" and the fact that DJ refuses to respond to valid criticism of his strategies and "advocacy," it is obvious that "unbiased" is not a term that is understood by the man. I really do not think it is because his "Mental Illness Policy Org" website is in the "beta" stage of development that his "unbiased" presentation of information does not include the above pertinent information.
My experience over the last several months reading this guys column, and his ignorant responses to the comments made by myself and others; when confronted this pseudo-advocate waffles and does not stand behind his own statements. This "advocate" and his "Mental Illness Policy Org." is nothing but an effort to further the forced treatment agenda, regardless of efficacy, outcome, social or financial cost. DJ Jaffee is not an advocate for people with a diagnosis of mental illness, he is an advocate for an agenda that robs these people of their Human Rights and compels them to have psychiatric treatment forced upon them regardless of the consequences.
Jaffe claiming to be an "advocate" for anyone is laughable. He is unable to support or defend his own mental illness policies about how to help "the seriously mentally ill" when thoughtfully challenged by people who question his agenda. Given his inability to defend his position, or even answer a simple question in person, begs the question, how in the hell did this guy come to be published in any publication? How can he be taken seriously, when he is inarticulate, uninformed and wholly incapable of supporting or defending his own argument? Did his hero psychiatrist, E. Fuller Torrey get the uber-rich Stanley Family to bankroll his protege and lead sycophant?
This video made by Lauren Tenney in Albany, NY at the Joint Budget hearing on "Mental Hygiene" held on March 2, 2011 shows a man who is inarticulate, and seemingly incapable of conversation, and at a total loss to answer a question with any clarity. All due respect, how can he speak with any authority, or "advocate" for anyone else, let alone a group of people, if he is unable to respond or, defend, or validate his own opinions about public policy with something more substantial than restating his opinion or evading questions altogether?
Thank you Lauren for adding the sub-titles and for making this video available.
How can Mental Health practitioners and psychiatrists fail to realize and understand the importance of a supportive, positive, therapeutic relationship that is most needed by a person seeking help for psychosis or any other psychiatric symptom? This idea is not some newfangled liberal agenda developed to bring psychiatry down. A therapeutic relationship can only be built on a foundation of positive regard, mutual respect, and trust. A therapeutic, meaningful relationship is the strongest determinant of a positive outcome, for "the seriously mentally ill." It is impossible for such a relationship to develop when the patient is not listened to, is not validated and is otherwise effectively excluded from meaningful participation in treatment decisions. Effectively, this sends the message that once labeled by psychiatry, a person is considered unable to participate in planning one's treatment, and determining the course of one's own life.
Almost universally, survivors report that being encouraged, emotionally supported, and offered real hope that recovery is not only possible, but expected; that having at least one person who believed in them, and their ability to transcend their madness that was preeminent, not psychiatric treatment. Many also report that reductions in number and dosages of drugs was also critical to their recovery. It makes sense that a "therapeutic relationship" would help; and that being ignored, minimized and invalidated would harm not help.
Every single comment critical of his slanderous column about the Alternatives Conference that took place in Anaheim last October 2010, has been removed from the Huffington Post comment thread. There were no small number of professionals who commented; some of them have been active in advocacy since Jaffee was in grade school; he deleted all of their comments. DJ Jaffe showed a great deal of disrespect for the people who have recovered from serious mental illnesses because they choose to identify themselves that DJ does not approve of, ironic since it is people given psychiatric diagnoses that DJ says he is advocating for. In my opinion, these men and women need to be heard. The people who have "been there" and who have come through crises transformed so to speak, are the very people who should be given more of a forum; not removed from a discussion about mental health.
Apparently, the Founder of the Mental Illness Policy Org. whose stated mission is to provide "unbiased" information to the public, Policymakers, and the Media, just saying you're an advocate for 'the seriously mentally ill' doesn't mean respecting people who have psychiatric diagnoses is necessary. If you are the "Founder," you don't actually have to provide the "Public Service" ethically or honestly, when you're the boss---This guy is utterly clueless. Jaffee has no understanding that having Constitutional Rights spelled out in the Involuntary Treatment laws is not what protects people's rights. More often than not, when sought and obtained these Court Orders deprive individuals of their Constitutional Rights to Procedural Due Process of Law; since Proper Notice is not served, Effective Assistance of Counsel is not provided, Rules of Evidence are ignored and Standard Court Procedures not followed; in the real world (not in pseudo-advocacy fantasy land) individuals with psychiatric labels are effectively stripped of their dignity and deprived of their Constitutional Rights.
See how DJ responds to being challenged: here