Thursday, January 26, 2023
Wednesday, January 25, 2023
During an interview with two scientists featured in the New York Times Science Times section yesterday ("Physics and the Future" beginning on page D1) cosmologist Michael Turner of the University of Chicago commented, "That's the hallmark of great science: You ask a question, and often it turns out to be the wrong question, but you have to ask a question to find out it's the wrong one. If it is, you ask a new one."
I frequently find myself asking the question, Who is telling the truth? If that is the wrong question, perhaps I should instead ask, What do these people really want?
In the nuthouse, I think "patients" mostly want freedom without having to bear much responsibility, plus pleasure, safety, and maybe a decent game in life. "Staff" mostly want professional respect without having to demonstrate much professional ability, plus money, security, and maybe prospects for a better job. There are outliers, of course. Some people just want power to steal and destroy, some just want to do God's will.
But the project for the overwhelming majority in the nuthouse, is to negotiate an acceptable compromise. That means "patients" have to demonstrate better behavior, and "staff" have to exercise better control.
Demonstrating better behavior is completely bound up with communication ability. So you have to be able to: 1. be there; 2. get an idea across to someone without bothering or upsetting them; 3. notice whether they did get the idea that you communicated; and 4. hear and acknowledge their communications in return. These are skills that can be taught. No one will ever think your behavior has gotten better unless you have these skills. If you do have these four skills, you're golden, nothing else is fundamentally necessary.
Interestingly, exercising better control is also completely bound up with communication ability. Unless you can master the same four component skills, you will have to use brute force. You will be an oppressor, not a doctor or helper; you will be fought and you will have to fight back.
This may seem simplistic, but it is true. Applying it as truth will get you what you want.
Tuesday, January 24, 2023
Gus stated his complaints in staffing this afternoon about, inter alia, Drs. Sharpe and Meyers threatening him with extended confinement for making "untrue" complaints. Dr. Sharpe deflected this accusation, but he (conspicuously) did not deny it. It was very clear to me that Gus' original version of the meeting on January 11 was probably quite accurate. And although I was unable to add this in the conversation, the fact is, nobody ever identified exactly what was untrue in any of Gus' written complaints.
After some back-and-forth discussion and argument about who was lying and who was only trying to help people get better from their mental illness, I explained to the team that it seemed to me Dr. Sharpe was unwilling to actually say he wouldn't extend Gus' confinement for complaining too much, or that he never threatened Gus, or never said the words which Gus accused him of saying. (See, my recent earlier article.)
I tried repeatedly to insist: this is Gus' accusation against you, Dr. Sharpe -- do you deny it? He wouldn't say he denied it, or even that he didn't remember for sure. His only statement was that he would recommend a conditional release when he felt it was clinically appropriate, that was his job. That's about like asking a weatherman if it will rain tomorrow, and having him say he will definitely report on weather conditions. Sharpe also actually tried to relate Gus' eligibility for release to whether he uses the correct number of salt packets in the cafeteria, or some such ridiculous deflection.
To me this was a dead giveaway: Sharpe (and Meyers) absolutely did threaten Gus on January 11. After the fact they knew it was wrong, they realized they could actually get in trouble for mental abuse, so in today's staffing they lied about it or refused to answer the accusation.
They also complained about the staffing, or objected to me being angry in the staffing. I was angry, because these people were arrogantly lying about my client and expecting to get away with it! I will come to as many staffings as I can, and when the staff lie, I might get angry, and call them liars as I see them.
Friday, January 20, 2023
Public defenders are a unique class of attorneys. They don't get paid much, and they don't get to choose their clients. Many of them are a bit demoralized and they don't do good work. This may be true in mental health courts even more than in other venues.
However Kane County, Illinois is lucky to have Sandra Blake. I've known Sandy for several years, and any time I've entered an appearance in mental health court in Elgin, she has been very cooperative and helpful. (I can't say the same for a couple guys in the PD's office in Cook County.)
The Director of Court Services at EMHC told me this morning that Sandy has been winning almost every forced drugging case recently. That is wonderful, because petitions for involuntary administration of psychotropic medication are most frequently a bluff, used by clinicians or administrators at EMHC to threaten patients into taking their meds "voluntarily". If the petitioners lose frequently enough, the threats will become less credible.
In 20+ years at facilities run by the Illinois Department of Human Services, I've never met a patient who liked psychiatric drugs. They generally take them "voluntarily" because they are threatened into it. Absent the legal coercion of involuntary commitment laws and the insanity defense, the medical specialty of psychiatry as we know it would wither completely away.
I would like to thank Sandy Blake for making it more difficult for psychiatrists to threaten patients with half a dozen security people forcibly holding them down as a nurse stabs a needle into their body and injects hated, debilitating, harmful drugs over their desperate, screaming protests.
Such a violent, dehumanizing scene is the precise reality of every court order for involuntary medication. Everyone tries to pretend otherwise, but in the end, psychiatry is a violent activity. The worst part is the pretense that it "helps", and the robotic public acceptance of that absurd pretense. If we had more public defenders like Sandy Blake in Illinois, we would be closer to ending this ugliness, which insults modern medicine as much as it demeans our justice system.
Psychiatria delenda est!
Thursday, January 19, 2023
I would like to make an EXPLICIT promise to anyone whom I mention by name or otherwise identify in this blog. This is prospective and retrospective.
If I write something about you that is not true, and you call me and tell me, I will retract any untruth. If I insult you in a way that is not fair, and you call me to complain, I will pay attention and amend my written comments to be less unfair.
My cell phone is 847-370-5410. I’ll talk to anyone. I will never mention or reveal that you have called me if you ask me not to. I only want the truth to be known and justice to be served. I believe that an overwhelming majority of people are well intended and want to help others.
EMHC has been losing clinicians and administrators recently. The place is falling apart. Even some M.D. psychiatrists are contractual part-time workers now. One can't help but wonder whether well-intended career professionals are jumping ship because they just want honest jobs. But the new guys might not really know the ropes as well as the regular IDHS employees.
Robert Sharpe, M.D., is one such contracted, part-time psychiatrist. He recently threatened a client of mine. My guy (Gus) is somewhat of a nuisance at EMHC, because he complains when staff violate rules and boundaries. Gus frequently writes his complaints down, and sends them to the proper authorities. That occasionally means somebody has to investigate, and maybe somebody (like Suzie Knaus, or the K Unit nurse Victoria, or Michelle Bogle, or Erica Ware; or one infamous, unmentionable social worker who nobody -!!- ever suspected -!!- was having actual -!!- sex with patients -!!- a few years ago) has to be moved to a different unit, or sent home for awhile. It's not even unheard of that maybe somebody has to go to jail.
So Robert Sharpe had a conversation with my guy on Wednesday, January 11, 2023, at about 9:40AM in the K&L conference room. Dr. Meyers the psychologist was also there, and Robert Sharpe told Gus he'd better stop writing complaints, or it will take him a lot longer to get out of EMHC. Sharp actually said to Gus (more or less these exact words): "We can just write negative things about you, from the concern forms other patients have written. We can send those concern forms to Administration. We can write in the chart whenever we want, and the court will believe us, not you. So you'll never het a conditional release, and you'll Thiem out in te 2030's."
But the official line is that patients are free or even encouraged to make complaints about abuse and neglect. That's what Peter Neumer's OIG investigators are supposed to be there for, to investigate complaints about staff who break rules and violate boundaries, and to protect Illinois' most vulnerable citizens. So a lot of people apparently figure if patients aren't threatened by the likes of part-time psychiatrist Robert Sharpe against writing too many complaints, OIG might actually do its job instead of just classifying every complaint that comes in as unfounded. Lots of people get on board against a guy like Gus, they turn up the pressure any way they can.
In fact, even patients get recruited by staff to complain about each other and deflect issues of staff misbehavior. Several guys on K Unit, who have frequently been given special favors by Suzie Knaus according to Gus's written reports, have ganged up on Gus in retribution. These guys ostentatiously waved to Victoria the nurse, as she was transferred over to L for the unprofessional conduct (actually, the assaultive conduct) of throwing a paper cup across the room at Gus. They called out, "Don't worry Victoria, we'll fight for you." Victoria was switched with a nurse named June, who came to K from L. Fighting for Victoria simply meant writing lots of complaint forms about Gus, so Dr. Robert Sharpe could make them available to Administration and get everybody to pathologize Gus for writing legitimate, truthful complaints which cause inconvenient traffic for staff. It becomes a coordinated campaign.
Another example is Cedric Sterling, an STA-II (2022 salary $95,500) who was quickly transferred between clinical units not long ago, when he reportedly was sexually "inappropriate" with male patients. I haven't had the chance to ask Gus about Cedric, but Cedric definitely knew about the sexual relationship between Mickey and Michelle Bogle. Of course he never reported anything. There will be defendants and deposition witnesses like Cedric and Suzie Knaus and nurse Victoria, in federal lawsuits coming down the pike soon. These are low-level, idiot suck-ups, who just don't follow OIG Rule 50 because they are stuck in the plantation mentally, the culture of slavery. They think the staff own the patients because the patients are mentally ill. And Peter Neumer's OIG just lets them all get away with it every day.
But a guy like Robert Sharpe is no low-level, idiot suck-up: he's a doctor, one of the elite. He's a better target than Cedric Sterling or Suzie Knaus. When he threatens my guy Gus so plainly with patently illegal false charting and retribution, he puts any professional reputation he hopes he has right on the line. He's in the wrong place at EMHC, if he actually wants his private practice in Maywood to remain unscathed.
Then there's also Faiza Kareemi, the K Unit psychiatrist who has been sued. According to the nurse June, Dr. Kareemi signed an inappropriate order to have Gus chained the other day. How that was set up is anybody's guess; Kareemi hasn't even been on Gus' treatment team, she's really had nothing to do with him. But when a patient is targeted for retribution, shit happens, and everybody helps, everybody gets roped into it. The plantation is well organized to keep the slaves in line, that's critical.
There are so many names of idiots and criminals, it's hard for me to remember who is where and who told me what. But I'll do my best to be accurate and mention somebody new, somebody who is trying to punish my clients, anybody who is trying to hide or protect the real wrongdoers, with each blog article....
To paraphrase Kevin from Home Alone: "Happy New Year you filthy animals!"
Thursday, January 12, 2023
(This post in only partly satirical.)
In the nuthouse, on the plantation, everyone is reduced (mostly by their own devices) to a cog in the wheels of some bureaucratic machine that they don't own or understand and are not allowed to operate or control. Staff at Elgin Mental Health Center waste huge amounts of creative mental energy figuring out how to not be responsible for anything and still get their pension.
They have no concept or definition of any actual, exchangeable product which they want or which they can produce in their jobs; they only think in terms of administrative processes that they have to participate in, which might have some purpose that no one has ever adequately explained. It's pretty bleak for employees of the so-called "forensic mental health system" in Illinois. They are very degraded people.
Hence, a great many necessary forms.
In a staffing today, Syed Hussain suggested to a "patient" that if any conversation with him was unwanted, the "patient" could put a request in writing, and Hussain would refrain from any communication or evaluation from here on out. He added something about not being qualified....
So I suggest the following standard form, whenever it might apply, for any of Hussain's "patients":
NOTICE OF SPECIFIC REFUSAL
I, ________________________________, being a so-called "patient" on the Pinel clinical unit at Elgin Mental Health Center (EMHC), which is a facility operated by the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS), and which poses as a hospital, hereby direct, according to my rights as a human being and under the law, as follows:
1.) I wish to have no further communication, conversation or interchange, of any sort, direct or indirect, ever again, with Dr. Syed Hussain, M.D., psychiatrist.
2.) I hereby revoke any and all consent that I may have ever given or implied in the past, to be treated or evaluated medically by Dr. Syed Hussain, M.D.
3.) I hereby refuse all consent for any clinical or administrative staff at EMHC or in IDHS to receive, give or exchange any information or opinions concerning me, and all mention of me (by name or otherwise), from, to, or with Dr. Syed Hussain, M.D.
4.) I hereby refuse all consent for Dr. Syed Hussain, M.D. to read, review or access my medical and mental health records.
5.) I wish to never again view the unpleasant countenance of Dr. Syed Hussain, M.D., or hear his voice.
Although I have no need to justify the above wishes and refusals, as these are all within my rights as a human being and under the law, I nevertheless state the following, merely to clarify my own opinions about Dr. Syed Hussain, M.D., in case it might enable anyone at EMHC or in IDHS to benefit or clarify their own experiences with him.
1.) Dr. Syed Hussain, M.D. is extremely, capriciously arrogant. He appears to believe that he understands his patients better than they understand themselves, and can therefore dictate what medical treatment they should accept without adequate explanation, collaboration or consent.
2.) Dr. Syed Hussain, M.D. is extremely, and capriciously, dishonest. He lies under oath in court, and intentionally creates false records to be entered into evidence in legal proceedings.
3.) Dr. Syed Hussain, M.D. clearly harbors covertly hostile attitudes toward his patients, and organizes efforts among staff on the clinical unit to discredit his patients' efforts to advocate for themselves, thereby rendering collaborative treatment plans unlikely or impossible.
4.) Dr. Syed Hussain, M.D. clearly follows an extreme and eccentric faith characterized by apotheosis of the brain, forced medication and dehumanization of individuals who have been declared, however arbitrarily, to be "mentally ill". There is no possibility that I can ever benefit from his professional "help".