Paying More Down The Road

I’m not a big advocate for mental health insurance parity, and I will tell you why this is so. My feeling is that insurance parity legitimizes the labeling/diagnosis of mental illness, and it also serves as just another economic disincentive for affected peoples to recovering from any serious mental illness they may happen to have. Nonetheless insurance parity has made its way through Congress, and now the nation is going to have to pay for it. This is on top of the soon to be bankrupt Social Security system, and any other economic blunders this nation will have to contend with.

The Citizens Commission on Human Rights is an organization ‘dedicated to exposing psychiatric violations of human rights’. It is an organization that some people might characterize as a front group for the Church of Scientology. I’m not sure this characterization is quite fair, but let me add, the CCHR has a close relationship with the Church of Scientology. The CCHR weblog calls for the defeat of a couple of bills before Congress, HB 3200 and a related Senate bill. I fully support the CCHR in their efforts to quash these two bills.

As the CCHR points out in its weblog:

Psychiatric patients are traditionally “cured” when their insurance benefits run out. In this bill, those benefits never run out.

cchrstlweblog

The mental illness rate has been climbing dramatically since the middle of the 20th century. Despite this rise in the mental illness rate, biological psychiatry has gained a theoretical hold over the practice of psychiatry. Biological psychiatry would discount environmental and social factors in the development of mental illness, but given this sharp rise in the incidence of mental illness, environmental and social factors obviously have a great deal to do with that development. If the rate of mental illness can rise, it can also decline.

Psychiatrists typically prescribe drugs that can be debilitating to people in mental health treatment. These drugs are paid for through the insurance benefits mentioned earlier. A return to mental health often requires detoxification from such chemical disruptions. Psychiatrists, insurance companies, and drug manufacturers all profit from these chemical maintenance treatment programs. Mental health consumers are debilitated and impoverished through this same drug maintenance. As the insurance company is often not a private, but a public, insurance company, the already over burdened tax payer is often the one footing the bill for this broken system.

There must be a better way, and there is a better way! We have two words to characterize that better way in fact, and those two words are: ‘common’ and ‘sense’. Another way of putting this is by resorting to proverbs. One of these proverbs runs– “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.” Create a population of human vegetables, by doping them up, and by taking care of their every need, and you are not teaching that population to look after themselves. So we’ve got ‘crazy’ people in the world, do we? The question then becomes, who are the ‘crazier’ ones? The people who administer this system of ‘giving away fish’, or the people at the receiving end of this free ‘fish’ scam, or the people who turn a blind eye to the whole process?

So much ink has been spilled over pumping more money into the mental health system. Spending for ineffectual mental health programs is not a good place for that money to go. (Isn’t anybody else going to give this thing a good duh!?) Draining money through the next best thing to insurance fraud, however legal, is not a good direction to go in either. When we start to put money into actually getting people out of the mental health system, then we can begin to see some real progress. What I’m saying is that our investment in the mental health system is a big part of the problem. It’s a business, and it’s a growing business. When you start investing in a beyond the mental health system, for people trapped in that system, then you will be getting some place.

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