Monday, January 21, 2013

Update - Billy's case a win

A couple months ago I outlined the case of a client whom I called Billy. His motion for pass privileges was recently granted by the court, despite the objections of the State and the psychiatric expert who said Billy should never get any privileges at all until he takes meds.

Of course, the expert tried to say things like... Billy lacked insight into his mental illness, Billy was refusing treatment, etc., etc. But everyone knew perfectly well, that all she really meant was, unless and until Billy caves, and sucks up to us and convinces us that he truly believes psychotropic drugs help him and treat his illness - well, he'll just never go anywhere.

This became obvious when the psychiatrist admitted under cross examination that the standard of practice in psychiatry was supposed to be determined by results from scientific studies, none of which she had ever read. The State tried to make a point that academic psychiatry and research were, after all, less important than forensic psychiatry, which is for criminals and doesn't need to consider any science. But it was too late.

Billy's judge sustained various objections to my cross examination of the psychiatrist. He noted that she was just saying, well, Billy is a special kind of paranoid schizophrenic because he had committed a brutal murder, and therefore maybe he should be kept on drugs for the safety of the community. Really, the judge's comments often seemed like he was making the State's case.

But after several hearings, the judge said he wanted to think it over. When his decision was announced, Billy won.

I think this judge just wasn't buying into the whole orthodox psychiatric viewpoint any more. He heard the evidence in this case, and began to doubt if severe mental illness is really any known brain disorder or disease after all. His decision certainly was that Billy need not take the drugs just to have a supervised off-grounds pass privilege. And that, despite what the psychiatric "expert" swore to.

I was encouraged.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Lloyd Sederer, psychiatry and violent crime

The forced-drugging crowd think they can make hay with the Sandy Hook shootings. New York's director of Mental Health wrote in a recent Wall Street Journal op-ed about what he calls the tragedy of mental health law. 

Lloyd I. Sederer, M.D., thinks the tragedy is that mental health law doesn't work to protect communities. Well, guess what? It never has and never, ever will. The real "tragedy of mental health law" is that any state psychiatry exists in the first place.

Our version of this monstrosity was probably generated back in the 1950's by an apparently humane consideration: "Maybe instead of just punishing these people who do terrible things, we can fix them."

Of course, fixing people meant mechanically somehow, like fiddling with their brain chemistry, because people were, after all, understood to be just mechanisms....

It seems that any social institution based on a fundamental misconception will progress through predictable phases, from inspirational creation through ever more onerous work, confusion, complexity, enforcement, incomprehension, ultimately arriving as a nightmare, in dark and tragic farce.

One of the most frightening examples of Orwellian "newspeak" I've seen in a long time, is Lloyd Sederer's call for "user-driven design" of mental health services. User-driven, in the context of the easier forced treatment regime which Sederer favors, must be when patients become pieces of burning fuel to drive roaring combustion in the engine of state psychiatry, producing nothing, taking society precisely nowhere, but deafening and blackening the soul.

Sederer cynically complains that law plays a more prominent role in psychiatry than in any other medical specialty. But psychiatry is more an arm of the law than it is a real medical specialty. Psychiatrists themselves wanted it that way and planned it, beginning at least as early as the 1940's. And without such a prominent role of law - that would be without involuntary commitment or forced treatment, and without the insanity defense excuse for criminal acts - psychiatry would have a much-reduced presence in society or none at all. As Thomas Szasz often suggested, it might just wither away.

The claim that serious mental illness makes it difficult for patients to assess their own need for treatment is a veiled statement of the ultimate "anosognosia" myth which serves only to make the Hippocratic Oath irrelevant and medicine a blind servant of a totalitarian state. 

What really makes it difficult for patients to assess their own needs is psychiatric lies about the nature of mental illness itself, and about the risks and benefits of dangerous drugs, electroshock and other brutal methods of control merely disguised as "treatment".

The rules and procedures for patient protection do not exceed common sense so much as they exceed all comprehension. But that's not because they are outdated and unnecessary. It's because they're a product of constant back-and-forth efforts in evasion, mitigation, alteration and restoration over many decades, as the original, fundamental misconception has gradually produced incontrovertible empirical proof that the system will just never work.

What we need to do is give it the hell up. We can help our fellow man and make our communities safer, but never by "diagnosing" people with fake diseases and drugging them into disability.

We can start with total abolition of involuntary "hospitalization" and "treatment", and the insanity defense.

Only when we erect a wall of separation between psychiatry and the state will the tragedy of mental health law be over.