Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Witchfinder General and the Sad Clown

D. J. Jaffe's Wall Street Journal oped of March 26, together with an April 9 response by Michael J. Reznicek, M.D. demonstrate the near total confusion of psychiatry and the law. I believe the single biggest social advance of the twenty first century could come with a precisely opposite trend, separation of psychiatry and the law.

Jaffe writes of a "young man obviously in need of mandatory lifetime violence-preventing medications", and Reznicek claims "incarceration and medication often work well together" to enhance public safety. Both presume with these statements that traditional criminal justice -meaning punishment reliably administered upon conviction for crimes clearly defined - is impractical or useless.

Jaffe's concept of "violence-preventing medications" is not merely idealistic, as characterized by Reznicek. It's Orwellian psycho-totalism, anti-scientific and ultimately incoherent. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (an organization to which Jaffe's Treatment Advocacy Center happens to be closely related) has always insisted that mental illness itself does not make anyone more prone to violence. That's supposed to be a cruel falsehood, born of superstition and conducive of discriminatory stigma.

More than a few people believe the exact drugs Jaffe is pushing actually cause increased violence. It seems to me that recent black box warnings required by the FDA directly imply this.

The best violence-preventing medication would probably be cyanide: 100% effective, the patient is never violent again after a single dose! Psychotropic meds only "reduce violence" by giving a human being sufficient neurological disability to prevent self-determined action. Dehumanization is the real medical plan. "Therapy" is utter fraud.

Reznicek's combination of "incarceration and medication" is much closer to reality than Jaffe's delusion, but it's not socially palatable. People are supposed to be either punished or treated depending upon whether they are bad or mad. The pretense that we can separate bad from mad is the justification for "forensic psychiatry" and the insanity defense. Anyone who spends more than a couple hours in a state nuthouse knows perfectly well this is a very bald pretense. It keeps lots of public union members employed as security therapy aides and encourages the citizenry to believe they are liberal and enlightened, but it doesn't improve conditions anywhere or make anyone safer.

The violent criminals who are released from Elgin Mental Health Center under the standard plan - i.e., as brainwashed mental health consumers-for-life forced to believe they have a chemical imbalance in their brains they must treat with psych drugs - are pissed off, ticking time bombs. Sooner or later they stop taking the meds because they just can't stand them. Then they look around for their best chance at payback.

This is where we get Columbines and Fort Hoods from. Guys like Jaffe and Resnicek use those tragedies to hook us again with their bogus solutions. NAMI Massachussets has recently been trumpeting the stats of military suicide as an indication of a need for more treatment. But any increase in suicide is coincident with more psychiatry in the armed services! It's all a rolling disaster of misconceived causes and effects, slow motion mass hysteria on a level not seen since the great witch hunts and the plagues of the middle ages.

Michael J. Reznicek, M.D. is a sad clown with a bad job, who probably knows better. I work with a lot of guys like that.

D.J. Jaffe on the other hand, may be our modern Matthew Hopkins. Let's just hope that ultimately, his career will look as short as that of the notorious Withchfinder General.

1 comment:

  1. You forgot to mention the Va Tech shooter. When I heard the news that morning, I immediately thought, Boy, whoever is doing that has to have had extensive truck with mental health. It's the only way he could have been so disturbed.

    From the horse crap I've encountered with psychiatry, I know that the number of people like this are legion. It certainly makes me watch my back.

    The sad thing is that psychiatry never takes responsibility for the consequences of what it does, but always tries to blame the patient, the parents, the legal system and the insurance companies. Every one and every thing else except themselves.