Husband puts wife in the hospital

There was an disturbing story heard over BBC radio about a man who had his wife force treated under Great Britain’s notorious Mental Health Act. The piece was called, ‘Why I sectioned my wife over her bipolar disorder’. It involves the relationship of William and Kate Lyons.

He had Kate ‘sectioned’ – this is where an individual is placed in a psychiatric hospital under Section 4 of the Mental Health Act, 1983 – when he felt he could no longer cope with the situation.

William had his ‘reasons’ I suppose.

Kate, on a high, had literally not slept for four days, and was exhibiting very eccentric behaviour. A friend advised William to take her to the doctor, who in turn recommended the hospital.

Here’s where it gets sticky.

The breakdown came after Kate had stopped taking her anti-psychotic drugs. Several years of living symptom-free, while on medication, had led them to think that perhaps she was no longer ill.

Note: “anti-psychotic” drugs?! Incredibly somebody is admitting neuroleptic drugs are, well, drugs.

If the girl had been taking neuroleptic drugs for years, as we learn from the above, the body adjusts to functioning under those drugs, and when the body then has to function without the chemicals, it is unable to do so. All the information I have ever read on the subject suggests that nobody who has been on these drugs for any substantial length of time should quit cold turkey. The way to detoxify from neuroleptic drugs is to lower the dose gradually until you are capable of functioning without the drugs. Should one quit suddenly, just like Kate, one is likely to end up in the nut house. Neuroleptic drugs have addictive qualities, and I submit that the behaviors exhibited by Kate were probably withdrawal effects from the drugs rather than a recurrence of any mental disorder.

Her husband William didn’t know this apparently, and whether or not he could have had the patience, the courage, and the presence of mind to deal with the matter in another fashion represents a completely hypothetical circumstance, given this hospitalization.

Kate nonetheless obviously still has many issues with the psychiatric drugs she is taking.

“But I would say that my thoughts on the drugs generally are that they’re very, very unsophisticated for mental illness. They seem to be very, very, very strong. You see people with mental illnesses, you know, on the streets, wherever – inside hospitals, who are just completely zombified. They’re not able to function because this drug’s just crushing them.”

Her husband and his associates unfortunately have this idea that what actually might have been withdrawal effects from the drugs taken was a recurrence of symptoms of the disease. I don’t see a good resolution to this dilemma until that kind of leap of intelligent thought, not faith, can be made. In other words, it’s drug maintenance for Kate rather than complete recovery as long as this over reliance on chemicals rather than on human will power and ingenuity is promoted and fostered.

There is another way, and if only William and Kate knew such to be the case, Kate might now be on the road to fully recovering her mental stability and self-determination.

7 Responses

  1. On the programme itself they state that the Lithium she was taking was not stopped overnight, but they went through a long, controlled, reducing regime until she was without the drugs. This was not because she was determined to live without the drugs but because they were considering starting a family and were concerned about the effect of Lithium on any foetus. Her subsequent relapse, which occurred very quickly on a holiday was around a year after her complete, controlled withdrawal.

    • I’m listening to the show now. I will get back to you on this. What is printed on the BBC website makes no mention of Lithium nor of any long, controlled, reducing regime.

  2. She was on lithium once when she says she just stopped taking it. ‘Just stopped taking it’ is no long, controlled, reducing regime.

    Lithium can create complications of its own. I know one person who had both kidneys temporarily shut down due to lithium poisoning. I know another person who is walking around with somebody else’s kidneys in this person because of lithium poisoning. I know still another person who has suffered brain damage because of lithium poisoning. Lithium, like the potassium cyanine in any child’s chemistry set, is something you have to be very careful about handling.

    Drugs, neuroleptics are drugs, and heavy metals like lithium, are not good for foetuses, nor are they good for older creatures for that matter.

    “Bipolar disorder” seemed to be more of a concern in a child for the father than birth defects. Were he to look at the real statistics on the matter that one should diminish a little I think. I know they’re not that great.

    She has faith in psychiatrists, but not in drugs, she claims. Were Kate to use a psychiatrist who wasn’t so seeped in the biological medical model of psychiatry, the detoxification she seems to desire so much might become more of a viable option.

  3. Hi, initially she said ‘just stopped’ but then clarifies it with the potential pregnancy issue later in the programme. I was initially taken aback by the ‘just stopped’ and so listened intently to see if that was actually the case.

    Incidentally, I’m not commenting here in order to dispute your main arguments, just the accuracy of a couple of your references to the programme.

  4. I’m extremely dubious about entering into any discussion about psychotrope withdrawal or “rebound psychosis”. Too often any such discussion can be made to appear to the simple minded majority to support the shrinks.

    I say that psychotropes if stopped suddenly can bring about real physiological symptoms of distress. This can definitely act as a nocebo. This will be amplified nocebowise if the patient believes that they may have a mental illness as defined by psychiatry and that “rebound psychosis” can result.

    Shrinks should choke and drop dead in a way that cannot be seen as evidence by even the most stupid people that the shrinks were somehow martyrs for a rational cause.

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