Friday, July 30, 2010

Gimme a break, Judge!

I note in yesterday's Chicago Tribune that a federal judge was upset with nursing home operators who distributed deceptive information sheets to mentally ill residents. Hon. William Hart of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois accused the operators of employing scare tactics about a proposed legal settlement to convince vulnerable patients and family members not to take their business elsewhere.

I have to laugh out loud.

What else, exactly, do Judge Hart, the Trib and the public think the whole "mental illness" industry is all about? Medical psychiatry would not exist without fraud and coercion, which are its basic, essential stock in trade.

Ever since I have been advocating for patients at Elgin Mental Health Center, that state institution has continuously, freely and enthusiastically distributed the most deceptive information in existence about mental illness: NAMI fliers and brochures which attempt to convince the public that depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and anxiety disorders (along with anything else graced by a magic DSM code) are proven brain diseases.

This is a bald, flat-out lie, invented for no other reason than to sell drugs that dehumanize and control people. Every state institution I have ever been to in Illinois does the same thing.

I was in a monthly staffing at EMHC on Wednesday, during which the patient (my client) appealed to his treatment team with a manifestly rational and well-informed argument, that psychotropic drugs had never been helpful to him. They had in fact tortured him and damaged him. He wanted the help of these clinicians, to progress toward conditional release on a treatment plan without meds.

This patient was not demanding, hostile, or even very unrealistic. He hasn't taken any meds for about a year now, and there's nothing really wrong with him. If the treatment team dealt with him on just some part of his own terms, he'd quickly prove to them that he is in fact well.

But forget it! State psych-slave-keepers cannot bring themselves to think that way. At least, not until somebody demonstrates that it will cost too much not to.

They were all about interpreting every little disagreement, every departure from the most perfect adherence to their psychiatric religion and unconditional expressions of fealty, as the "rigidity of the patient's thinking" - caused, of course, by his not taking psychotropic meds. It's pure nonsense, every bit as despicable as the nursing home operators' deceptive information sheets, complained of by Judge Hart.

The treatment team seemed to actually believe the nonsense themselves, until I spoke up and agreed with the patient. I was rather quickly cut off with, "Well, enough has been said about meds, let's just move on." The truth was unacceptable, the motive was utterly malevolent.

There's no use in soft-pedaling any of this. The State of Illinois obstructs informed consent and perpetrates a continuing crime against humanity.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Maybe it's good to imprison the mentally ill

My friend C. Rodney Yoder recently brought an article co-written by George Pawlaczyk of the Belleview (Illinois) News-Democrat to my attention. George had been an ally years ago, but Rodney was disappointed because the article, about abuse of prisoners at Tamms Correctional Center, paid far too much lip service to the mental health racket. Rodney had been involuntarily committed for twelve years at Chester Mental Health Center.

Both Tamms and Chester are singular super-max facilities, the only ones in the state. Rodney commented in an email to me that he would much rather have done twelve years at Tamms than at Chester. I asked him to explain why.

NAMI and other such so-called "mental health advocacy" groups make a huge hue and cry over mentally ill people being imprisoned rather than treated. This is a ridiculous red herring, because there is no difference when they're treated against their will, which they almost always are.

The fact is people in "mental hospitals" are prisoners. In my experience, many of them would rather be in honest prisons.

Anyway, for what it's worth, here's Yoder's perspective:

For one thing, Tamms is safer than CMHC. There is no possibility there of guards dogfighting inmates who are always kept isolated physically from one another. I endured HUNDREDS of physical assaults at CMHC in twelve years. One could conceivably just behave well and catch up on their reading at Tamms, while getting three meals a day and free laundry and dish washing and dental and medical care, optometric care, etc.

And the whole enterprise would be intrinsically more HONEST at Tamms. One would be there to be punished. The guards there are arguably not under intense pressure to concoct spurious bad behavior reports or to engineer "incidents" to be used as justification for the custody. I was on pins and needles at Chester when my involuntary commitments were about to expire, because I knew the pigs, nurses, and administrators would be wanting "incidents" to put in their latest petition. It was easy for a nurse or pig to give some subhuman animal a cigarette or candy bar or cup of coffee to start a fight with me or assault me (they'd then claim my defense of myself was an act of mental illness-driven agression). The Tamms guards don't have any conceivable interest in fabricating bad behavior claims against inmates. At Chester the pigs had an additional psychological need to cast me and other inamtes as wicked, deranged, perverse, symptomatic, or whatever description rationalized their psychiatric slave trade. At Tamms the inmates aren't EXPECTED to act or "be mentally ill".

At Tamms I would never have had to have some punk criminal tell me I'd be there for all my life while he'd be quickly liberated via psychoquack ass-kissing and shucking and jiving. And I wouldn't have had to watch that same punk criminal return and repeat this scenario multiple times all the while evading punishment for serious crimes.

At a place like Tamms. outside do-gooders and bleeding hearts would have given a shit about my welfare. None of these people ever protested what goes down in CMHC. They laughed at my plight and DENIED THE REALITY of it. At Tamms, no Mark Heyrman type lawyer would work to hurt me and claim he was actually helping me.

Incidentally, I tried while at CMHC to get arrested and removed to the safety of a jail.Years later, when I was SPURIOUSLY jailed, I wrote and stated that I much PREFERRED jail to the CMHC. Lest anyone doubt my sincerity.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Psychiatry vs. medicine in seven steps

On a number of occasions, I have explained to people my personal understanding of the difference between psychiatry and other medical practice. I don't think anyone has ever said this particular explanation was inaccurate. Some people have seemed thoughtfully skeptical perhaps, but no one has ever said, no, you're misrepresenting it, or no, that's not true.

I'll try to concisely outline this explanation here, so anyone who reads it can think about it and tell me if, and how, it may be off the mark.

I think of this as a narrative sequence of interactions among a doctor, a patient, possible other people, and facts in a clinical setting.

In most medical practices and specialties it goes this way:

1. A person has some sort of pain, malfunction of the body, or other symptoms.
2. The person takes himself to a doctor and complains, asking for a solution.
3. Doctor listens, inspects the body, does any of various medical tests, verifies presence or absence of objective abnormalities.
4. Doctor evaluates the data and makes a diagnosis.
5. Doctor offers the patient a recommended treatment with full information regarding risks and benefits.
6. Informed patient accepts the treatment or goes elsewhere for another opinion.
7. Patient or third party pays doctor.

In psychiatry, by contrast, it goes like this:

1. A person behaves in ways upsetting to someone else.
2. Someone else who is upset with the person convinces him to go to a psychiatrist, or takes him to one like-it-or-not, and complains about the behavior, asking for a solution.
3. Psychiatrist listens, believes the complaints, briefly interviews the patient.
4. Psychiatrist prescribes treatment which he hopes might restrain the patient's unacceptable behavior about which someone else complains.
5. Psychiatrist looks in the DSM for a diagnosis to justify treatment.
6. Patient is convinced by various devices, or coerced, to accept treatment.
7. Patient or third party pays psychiatrist.

OK. It seems to me the most notable difference is the precisely reversed sequence of steps 4 and 5. (I wrote about this at least once before.) But the only step that is the same for regular medicine and psychiatry is number 7, somebody pays.

You, readers, please tell me what's wrong with this understanding.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Amazing amazing

Another Elgin Mental Health Center staffing, same day as (actually immediately following) the one I wrote about on Friday, July 9th. Same psychiatrist, Dr. C....

My client, Mr. N, is a foreign national. He's been at Elgin 3-4 years now, NGRI on an aggravated battery charge, Thiem date circa 2028. Never took meds. I don't remember what his Axis I diagnosis is. (But of course, with Dr. C, that's "not so important".)

It took a long time to convince Dr. C that this guy could progress toward expanded privileges and even conditional release without ever taking "prophylactic" psychotropic meds. I went to court once and took Dr. C's deposition. More recently, though, N was finally on a treatment program which consisted of therapy groups only. It still always seemed to me, until this staffing the other day, that Dr. C would make it take as long as possible for N. He seemed in no rush to admit that this patient, with whom absolutely nothing was wrong medically, psychologically or any other way, was progressing at all.

Anyway, first item in the staffing: the facility has a letter of detainer from the Immigration and Naturalization Service. INS wants N, so the Illinois Department of Human Services will give him up.

But ... what of the fact that N is still in need of mental health services on an in-patient basis?

Well, Dr. C says that's no problem. Since INS wants the patient, it'll be easy to convince the criminal court he's suitable for conditional release. If INS didn't want N, he'd be kept at Elgin for more treatment, but a letter of detainer from a federal agency is apparently an instant cure for N's mental illness. It's all a matter of clinical psychiatry, of course.

Or rather, it's all a matter of forensic psychiatry. The "clinical" pretense is only there as marketing. This is not medicine, it's carefully euphemized punishment for and restraint of crime. Psychiatrists who work for the state are not doctors so much as they are jailers and hangmen.

And guess what? Their work only confuses everything and everybody. This system is a disaster and a fraud. It should be torn down, the foundations should be ripped out, and the ground should be plowed with salt so nothing will ever grow there again for the rest of time.

Friday, July 9, 2010

An amazing admission

I had a staffing at Elgin Mental Health Center for a client who's had a tough time of it on-again-off-again. He's had various diagnoses, been put on various drugs, and almost killed. (I wrote about this same guy as "Mr. D" back on June 23.)

The psychiatrist in charge of the treatment team (Dr. C) had been contacted by Mr. D's family attorney (not me), and asked why there appeared to be so many different diagnoses over the short one-year period the guy has been at Elgin.

During the staffing, Dr. C made the point that for purposes of getting Mr. D a conditional release, he was very confident that he could thoroughly support and justify his own diagnosis. This comment, of course, did not answer the reported attorney's question about why there had been so many different dx's. Either I had missed something or Dr. C was being kind of evasive, so I asked him if he had any feeling for why the family attorney, as an attorney, had asked about the multiple diagnoses. He shrugged and smiled, and it suddenly occurred to me that maybe he figured I had put the guy up to it (which I had not). Simultaneously I realized, maybe the family was preparing a malpractice action (which they probably should).

Well anyway, there ensued a somewhat longer discussion relating to this than I had intended. It was mentioned that it's not particularly unusual for a patient at Elgin to be diagnosed with various different mental disorders by different doctors over a period of years.

It also came up that it's somewhat unusual for a criminal court judge to pay a lot of attention to the nature of any particular diagnosis, but it's not unusual for a judge to expect such things to be pretty settled and stable for a while before a patient is released. This was the specific context in which Dr. C said he could thoroughly support his own dx for Mr. D.

Then came the (in my opinion) bombshell comment from Dr. C. I wrote it down word-for-word.

"Diagnoses are not really so important. Symptoms are what's treated with psychotropic meds."

Many people do know this. But in these circumstances, it was a highly incriminating admission. The psychiatric slaves at Elgin Mental Health Center, Chester Mental Health Center, Alton Mental Health Center, and all the other state nuthouses in Illinois, are always told that they must understand they have mental illnesses, which are legitimate brain diseases, which require lifelong medical treatment. They must take medication, or they will never be released.

These often unwilling "patients", and their families, and the public, are told over and over again by very professional salesmen and PR experts and TV advertizing, that mental illnesses are just like any other illness. Elgin has all of the propaganda of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) prominently displayed and freely available to anyone who comes there. All state mental health workers are trained to think this way, expected to implicitly believe in this orthodoxy.

Supposedly there is "stigma" attached to mental illness. But man, I can tell you, I myself am severely stigmatized, not for being mentally ill, but for (supposedly) not believing in mental illness. Countless times, I've apparently earned the scorn of state employees for questioning the objectivity of a psychiatric diagnosis or for saying it's all arbitrary.

Now here's Dr. C: "Diagnoses are not really so important."

What he means is, psychiatric diagnoses have NOTHING to do with whether and in what way anybody ever gets "treated" by mental health professionals. Psychiatry is not help, but covertly coercive control. The dx's are all justifications after the fact, subjective b.s., pseudo-medical, anti-scientific ... fraud.

Sooner or later society is going to catch on to this, and there will be some kind of hell to pay.