Woman Arrested For Defending Her Child

Yesterday I posted a story about school children taking a psychiatric drug, and getting a big surprise…namely, “sick”. Today the issue is a wee bit more serious. Today I’m posting about a story on a woman who has had her daughter taken away from her because she wasn’t drugging her.

Last year, in Detroit, Maryanne Godboldo, the mother of a 13 Year old home-schooled girl took her daughter to a Children’s Center, a group working with troubled children, because her daughter had a bad reaction to a series of immunizations she had received. The girl wanted to attend a public Middle School, and those immunizations were a requirement for admittance. As a part of the Center’s treatment plan, her daughter saw a psychiatrist who put her on a neuroleptic drug. The neuroleptic drug only seemed to make her daughter worse, and so Mrs. Godboldo took her daughter to another doctor for a second opinion. This doctor recommended she take her daughter off the psychiatric drugs she had been prescribed. She did so, and her child’s condition seemed to show a world of improvement. Child protective services objected to Mrs. Godboldo’s child being taken off her former treatment plan, and they told Mrs. Godboldo to put her child back on the program, or she would have to surrender her daughter to them.

Thursday of last week CPS workers and police showed up at Mrs. Godboldo’s apartment claiming to have a warrant that said they could take Mrs. Godboldo’s child. Mrs. Godboldo demanded to see the warrant, but no warrant was produced.

As covered on mlive.com in a story with the heading, Was a Detroit mother right to resist efforts by Child Protective Services, police to take her child?

A standoff ensued. A gunshot was fired from inside the house — though, according to [Wanda] Evans [Godboldo’s lawyer], not at officers. Finally, after long hours of tense negotiations, Godboldo — a mother, a teacher, a dancer and a respected figure in the city’s arts circles — surrendered, was jailed and, on Sunday, was arraigned on multiple felony charges.

The child is now being held by the state although a number of Mrs. Godboldo’s relatives have offered to care for her in her mother’s absence.

But for now, at least, the drugs are off the table. A Wayne County Circuit Court judge ordered the medication discontinued until further review.

Mrs. Godboldo was released from jail Wednesday on $200,000 bond. This $200,000 bond had been reduced earlier at a special hearing from the $500,000 the judge thought excessive.

As Judge [Deborah] Thomas’ remarks suggest, the incident has sparked shock and outrage among many in Detroit who believe that Child Protective Services overreacted (and that state agencies are often far too quick to recommend medication for kids, especially black children). A rally of support for Godboldo is being held at Detroit’s Hartford Memorial Church on April 2.

This is not a localized problem, this is a national problem. The state can take children away from their rightful parents if the state feels they aren’t following a treatment plan it favors. Although in the past there was an effort to enact a national Child Safety Medication Act, this effort failed. Now more than ever we need legislation, on whatever level, to insure that the government doesn’t make those decisions that should rest with a child’s parents alone. This is a safety issue. Neuroleptic drugs can cause neurological damage, and bring on metabolic changes, whether the state recognizes this fact or not. Parents need the right to protect their children from injury at the hands of the state. This woman’s only crime was in being a good mother and in trying to protect her child. She shouldn’t be punished for doing what any other mother in her circumstance should have done. I hope community members, friends, and supporters are ultimately successful when it comes to correcting this miscarriage of justice.

Drug Sends School Children To Hospital

Seroquel, a neuroleptic or so-called antipsychotic drug, despite recent press coverage regarding its use as a street drug, is not the kind of chemical compound that makes for a great recreational drug. It may make you groggy, and it may put you under, but it isn’t going to make you feel terrific. Some students at a Florida Middle School had to learn this lesson the hard way. Miami/Ft Lauderdale’s Channel 7 News covered the story, Students hospitalized after pill overdose at school.

According to Hialeah Fire Rescue, five students from Palm Springs Middle School were transported to Palmetto General Hospital after they took Seroquel, a drug prescribed to treat bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. “That’s psychiatric medication,” said Hialeah Fire Chief Lazaro Guerra, “meant to treat a psychiatric condition.”

The authorities have fewer qualms about psychiatric patients taking mega-doses of these pills than they do with school children taking them, but perhaps they should be kept off their shelves as well.

According to fire rescuers, the children, all girls, took between one and two tablets each with a strength of 450 to 500 mg. “That can really put their life in danger,” said a fellow student. “I would do a protest against all of this, if I could.”

Something of this sort may have happened before.

The student said she knows three of the girls and said Tuesday’s incident was not an isolated one. “They were drinking beer, tequila, Coca-Cola, whisky together and then some pills that they drink.

We will leave this rest of this part of the story to mom and dad.

Later in the day CBS Miami Channel 4 News covered the students discharge from the hospital, 4 Hialeah Students Treated For Taking Medications.

Four middle school students have been discharged from a Hialeah hospital after ingesting a prescription medication, and complaining of feeling sick, Miami-Dade School District officials said.

I would imagine the 4 students to be at the gates of puberty. So was there a snake in Eden? Or was this young man just another poor fool at the Magic Mart?

District officials said that a male student gave the three female students the medication off school property before class started.

Or did he just have a grudge against the girls?

District Officials said the male student is facing criminal charges, is suspended, and will be recommended for expulsion.

Efforts have been made to behead the snake then, you might say. If we’re only dealing with a fool, I guess you could say that efforts have been launched to compound the folly. Let’s hope, for fear of compounding the folly even farther, that none of these young ladies are romantically involved with the culprit.

A Hialeah Fire Rescue Spokesman said the students showed no obvious signs of overdose, and were not seriously injured.

Be forwarned, if any of these youngsters, heaven forbid, should wind up in long term mental health maltreatment, the injuries sustained could prove irreversible.

Researchers, genetics, and schizophrenia

You have to read this stuff in order to believe it. Here’s an article in the Science News section of UPI.com, Genetics of schizophrenia studied, you just won’t believe.

Just like snowflakes, no two people are alike even if they’re identical twins, Canadian genetics researchers studying the roots of schizophrenia said.

Talk about your weird conclusions, if the researchers weren’t geneticists, I think maybe they could have discerned that there were more major differences between any two snowflakes than there were between any two sets of identical twins. What if, just supposing, schizophrenia wasn’t genetically determined?…

Researchers at the University of Western Ontario have been working to determine the genetic sequencing of schizophrenia using identical twins.

They’d have to be researching something else, right?

Now flip a coin.

“We started with the belief that monozygotic (identical) twins are genetically identical, so if one member of identical twins has schizophrenia, then the risk for the other twin should be 100 percent, if it’s all due to genes,” Singh said. “However, studies over the years have shown that the risk of the disease in both twins is only 50 percent.”

Rather than concluding that schizophrenia is not genetic, these researchers have concluded that identical twins aren’t really identical. Go figure.

Two Schools Of Thought

Although I’ve dealt with this subject before, I don’t feel like I’ve dealt with it in a direct enough fashion, and so therefore I’m returning to it. In 2001 the National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression, or NARSAD, published the results of a survey it had conducted. Through this survey NARSAD would arrive at The Top Ten Myths About Mental Illness. This was a faq sheet that would supposedly explain away people’s presumed misconceptions about “mental illness”. These “facts” were derived from the 102 survey responses NARSAD received from those mental health experts who chose to fill out the survey. As anyone should know, there is nothing particularly scientific about survey results. We don’t, for example, arrive at the facts by voting on them. The facts are what they are regardless of whether we believe in them or not.

40 years previously, in 1960, psychiatrist and professor Thomas Szasz published a paper entitled simply The Myth of Mental Illness. Do I think there was a relationship between this survey to establish what NARSAD would have us believe are The Top Ten Myths About Mental Illness and the paper Dr. Szasz penned? Yes, I do. The very first myth these doctors sought to dispel goes right to the point of the matter. “Psychiatric disorders are not true medical illnesses like heart disease and diabetes.” The subtitle of a section at the beginning of the 1960 paper was “MENTAL ILLNESS AS A SIGN OF BRAIN DISEASE”. Sounds similar, huh? 40 years later, and the medical model psychiatric establishment is still looking for a way to cancel out the message that Dr. Szasz was seeking to deliver 40 years earlier. 40 years later then, 50 years now, and that message continues to resonate for some of us. 50 years later, and biological medical model psychiatry hasn’t managed to effectively prove its point.

Dr. Szasz recognized that there was a school of thought that attributed emotional disturbance to defects in the brain. These postulated brain defects are proving more and more elusive to find all the time. He recognized that some people have problems in living. Attributing these problems to pathology. as he pointed out, is side stepping the issue. Problems aren’t sicknesses. Problems have solutions. 50 years later, and biological psychiatry is no closer to making this very simple distinction, and thus arriving at the basic connections that stem from it than it was then. If we call a solution to a problem a cure, doing so does not make the problem a sickness, nor does it make the solution a cure. Calling troubles a disease does not take them away. 50 years on, and some forces in the psychiatric treatment world are still trying to transform troubling situations into permanent fixtures of life for some people. When they do so, the numbers of people described as seriously demented or disturbed doesn’t dwindle. The numbers of people so affected goes up. Given this predicament, perhaps looking for lasting solutions to temporary problems in living is not such a bad approach to take after all.

Conference Focuses On Drugging Of The Elderly

The use (always over use) of neuroleptic drugs, the so called anti-psychotic drugs, in nursing homes is an issue that just doesn’t get enough airplay. Oxnard in Ventura County California just held a conference on the subject. The headline of an article coming out of this conference should strike home in a number of communities around the world, Use of chemical restraints in nursing homes called an epidemic.

Neuroleptic drugs are not an acceptable method of treatment for dementia.

The drugs can double the risk of death for seniors with dementia and cause side effects ranging from stroke to delirium, according to speakers at an Oxnard conference called “Toxic Medicine.” Often the drugs are given in nursing homes or other facilities for dementia without the informed consent of residents or surrogates and are used as a restraint rather than to treat psychiatric conditions.

Senior citizens in nursing homes have fewer conditions that are psychiatric, strictly speaking, than they do conditions that are neurological in nature. Relatives of people in nursing homes who don’t want beloved family members to die prematurely should take serious note.

Anthony Chicotel, an attorney with the California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform, said there are appropriate uses of the medication, such as when a patient has illnesses like schizophrenia. But Medicare statistics from the second quarter of last year showed 24.2 percent of the residents in the state’s nursing homes were on antipsychotics. Medicare statistics from 2009 showed the use of the medication fluctuated greatly at different Ventura County nursing homes — from a low of 7 percent of the patients on the drugs seven days over one week to a high of about 30.6 percent.

The overall rate of “serious mental illness” labeling in this country is 4.5 % according to National Institute of Mental Health statistics. How, if the overall rate for “serious mental illness” is 4.5 %, do you get almost 25 %, nearly a quarter, of the patients in nursing homes on neuroleptic drugs? The NIMH statistics for the percentage of people with schizophrenia is an even smaller fraction at 1.1 %. So what are 24.2 % of California’s senior citizens in nursing homes doing on neuroleptic drugs, the drugs obstensively used in the treatment of people labeled schizophrenic!?

The United States is killing its elderly through the use of neuroleptic drugs.

Dave Merkley is administrator at the Glenwood Care Center, an Oxnard nursing home where data showed about 17 percent of the residents were on antipsychotic drugs at the end of 2009 — better than the state’s average. The facility already works to make sure that drugs are used only in appropriate situations, but Merkley said he planned to talk with the facility’s medical staff to make sure other options are being considered.

17 % is still a long ways from 1.1 % or even 4.5 %.

Other communities, not just in the state of California, but in other states throughout USA, need to be aware that this epidemic is taking place. At least in Oxnard a conference helped draw attention to the matter. This doesn’t mean that the elderly aren’t being subdued, and having their lives put at unnecessary risk, as a result of the use of these chemicals in lesser numbers outside of the state of California. It just means that, for a brief spell, a spotlight was turned on to the subject in Ventura County. For this, the residents of Oxnard deserve our praise.

Brits Study Potential To Scan For Mood Swings

How does a psychiatrist determine whether a person has a “mood disorder” or not? Why, by talking to him or her, of course. There is no litmus test to determine the matter here. No one can prick you with a needle, and have the prick mark change color, as in a TB test, and then say for certain, “You are bipolar off your rocker.”

Why am I not at all surprised that this is the case?…

There is an article in the Liverpool Leader, Bipolar breakthrough at Liverpool Hospital, about an attempt to develop just such a test.

RESEARCHERS at Liverpool Hospital may be on the threshold of developing the world’s first diagnostic test for bipolar disorder.

Careful! The key words here are may be, and that makes the hidden key words may be not.

People who are first “misdiagnosed” depressed often wind up being diagnosed with what used to be called manic depressive disorder, and what is now termed bipolar disorder. This article doesn’t touch on another subject regarding the matter. This is the knowledge that the antidepressant drugs given to some people for their depressive symptoms actually trigger mania in a certain percentage of cases.

“The gold standard of diagnosis at the moment is a psychiatric interview.” [Says study co-supervisor Peter Ward]

These researchers are hoping a brain scan will reveal the difference between being down in the dumps and taking the bipolar rollercoaster.

The test, a non-invasive brain scan, records electrical activity in the brain while patients perform certain tasks indicative of the disorders.

Remember…may be, may be not.

Another way, equally legitimate, to determine whether or not a person has bipolar disorder is to let the person draw straws, and if the person gets a short straw, viola! He or she must have bipolar disorder. This is especially true if the person receiving a short straw then throws a temper tantrum.

“Mental illness” training in the rear view mirror

The parenthetic zone of mental health treatment

(psycho-social rehab)         real world

has a natural analogy in the contrast between childhood play and adult responsibility.

(pretend)         actuality

One can of course invert the equation,

)pretend(         actuality

but that causes problems for the rest of us, and it can eventually land one in psycho-social rehab.

Answers to treatment addiction

Logic

Self destructive and suicidal actions aren’t sensible acts. Acting sensibly isn’t acting mad, “mentally ill”, out, what have you. Acting on self-interest is sensible. Doing those things that support self-interest and not doing those things that work against self-interest is a sensible way to behave.

It is not sensible for one to waste an excessive amount of precious time when one could be doing things that support self-interest.

Wisdom

Youth is prone to folly. Time and experience teach. It would be wrong to condemn anybody for the folly they displayed in their youth. Some people actually grow wiser over time even if some people continue to repeat the follies of their youth.

Acting

A role in life is not a permanent state of being. It is best to realise this transitory nature of reality, and not to give things more weight than they actually deserve. Confusing a role with a permanent state is a way for a person to keep themselves back, and it’s not a way for a person to move forward. You are what you do, and not the other way around.

Health

Physical health is interconnected with mental health. If it harms your physical health it can’t be good for your mental health. Concentrating on improving physical health is a way of staying mentally fit. It takes effort to stay physically healthy, and this effort in turn builds mental health (i.e. stamina).

De-tox

Should you be using a psychiatric drug to maintain your mental equilibium, something is wrong. Something like 95 % of the people in the general public haven’t been saddled with a “serious mental illness” label. Something like 5 % of the population has been tagged with a “serious mental illness” label. Mental health is a matter of ceasing to consume mental health services. Psychiatric drugs are a major reason why people have difficulty ceasing to consume mental health services. People who have difficulty ceasing to consume mental health services are people who have been labeled longterm or “chronically” “mentally ill”. (This “chronic” adjective is a contemporary update of the old term “incurable”.) Psychiatric drugs have toxic effects, and withdrawal symptoms that severely disable people, and these adverse effects go a long way towards explaining the large recidivism rate for people in mental health treatment. It is possible for people in the 5 % category to re-join people in the 95 % category, but they can’t do so through drug “therapy”, or “medication maintenance”. They can only do so through detoxification.

Brits Call For Inquiry Into Child Drugging

A review has been called for in the United Kingdom because children there under the age of 4 years old, in violation of National Health Service guidelines, are being prescribed stimulants for the treatment of ADHD, according to an article in the UK Guardian, Behaviour drugs given to four-year-olds prompt calls for inquiry. Family-based therapy has recommended treatment with such drugs only if the child is over 6 and all other options have been exhausted.

The figures, based on data from 479 GPs, show prescription rates were highest for children aged six to 12, doubling to just over eight per 1,000 in the five years up to 2008. Children aged 13 to 17 had the second highest rate at six per 1,000, while those aged 25 and over had less than one per 1,000.

I would definitely worry about the rates being highest for children 6 through 12, too, as that could spell an eventually rise in overall numbers.

He [Professor Tim Kendall] said: “There are two reasons why parents go shopping for a diagnosis. The first is to improve their child’s performance at school, and the second is to get access to benefits. There are always GPs that will do it, but it’s wrong to give a child a diagnosis without also consulting schools and teachers.”

Diagnosis shopping, I like that.

You notice that there are 2 reasons given, and while the 1st reason would indicate an interest in the child’s welfare, the 2nd reason has more to do with a families living situation, and it certainly might not be about doing the best thing for the child.

Want a cause for alarm!? Look at the following.

According to Nice guidelines, between 1% and 9% of young people in the UK now have some form of ADHD, depending on the criteria used. NHS figures show a rise in all methylphenidate prescriptions across all age groups by almost 60% in five years, rising from 389,200 in 2005 to 610,200 in 2009.

We began with a rate of 8 and 6 per 1000, but here we are seeing figures that approach 1 to 9 per 100. 1 per 100 is pretty bad, but not nearly so bad as the rate of almost 10 in 100, or 9.5 % that, according to the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control, we have here in the United States. I seriously doubt Great Britain’s ADHD rate could begin to approach the high 9 % mark in most cases. The ages given for these children in the USA, where the NICE [National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence] guidelines don’t apply, is 4 to 17.

Bravo, United Kingdom! At least there is some concern there about the potential for harm in giving speed to children who have scarcely left their terrible twos. I’m still hopeful that maybe child specialists will find an expression for children who have left their terribles twos and entered their horrible fours and sixs. I have never felt that “sick” was a very good characterization for that phase in life either.

Not enough bipolar disorder in low income nations spin doctors complain

The USA, at 4.4 %, has the highest ratio of lifetime bipolar disorder in the world. This factoid was exposed recently by a study of 11 nations published in the Archives of General Psychiatry. Unfortunately, rather than seeing the obvious, this study has been slanted into a shrewd maneuver to expand prescription drug markets. At the same time, you can be sure that if drug companies expand those markets into the developing world, the bipolar rate in low income countries is going to go up correspondingly. Why else would an article on this study, missing the statistic from the USA, bear such a misleading headline as Bipolar disorder vastly undertreated?

The eleven countries included in the study were:

Her team conducted surveys of adults in the United States, Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, Bulgaria, Romania, China, India, Japan, Lebanon and New Zealand.

This is the same study that gives India a bipolar disorder rate of .1 %.

There are many reasons for the high rate of bipolar disorder diagnoses in the USA. Let’s cover a few of those reasons. There is anti-stigma campaigning, mental health screening, direct to consumer advertising, psychiatric drugs that trigger mania, etc. Direct to consumer advertising is legal only in the USA and New Zealand. When it comes to direct to consumer advertising, you can’t sell a drug without also selling a “disease”. Mental health screening tests are often designed to discover depression. Mental health screening tests have incredibly high false positive rates. Psychiatric drugs used to treat depression trigger mania. What is so often taken to be bipolar disorder misdiagnosed major depressive disorder is more often than not actually a toxic reaction to certain psychiatric drugs.

Not that long ago, in the 1990s, a Harvard psychiatrist with financial ties to the drug companies developed a theory that much ADHD in this country was actually early onset bipolar disorder. Shortly thereafter it was found that as a result of this change in perspective the childhood bipolar disorder rate in this country had shot up 40-fold. Those psychiatrists in charge of editing the future edition of the DSM, the DSM V, in what looks like a strange case of damage control, have come up with an entirely separate juvenile mental disorder to cover some of the young people who might be so labeled in the future.

Back to the spin put on the study.

They found that less than half of those with bipolar disorder — also known as manic-depressive illness — received mental health treatment during their lifetimes. In low-income countries, only 25.2 percent of bipolar patients said they had any contact with the mental health system.

This begs the issue of what the bipolar rates are in poor countries as opposed to in the developed world. If, as in India, you’re talking 1 in 1000 people, investing in mental health treatment might also prove a way of investing in “mental illness”. Let me be the first to point out that an investment in psychiatric disability, and an investment that would certainly mean more psychiatric disability, is probably not the best kind of investment to make.

Three-quarters of those with bipolar disorder also met the diagnostic criteria for at least one other disorder, with anxiety disorders being the most common shared illness, the team found.

More than ½ said symptoms started in adolescence.

Co-morbidity (multiple diagnoses for a single patient), in the mental health treatment world, is invariably a result of over-diagnosis. The diagnosis of co-occurring disorders we see here serves merely as an excuse for polypharmacy, or the prescribing of multiple psychiatric drugs. It should come as no surprise to anyone that drug companies profit from polypharmacy. It may though come as a surprise to some people that the practice of polypharmacy is notorious for its lack of good outcomes.

Skip this therapeutic version of over kill, spare the patient, spare the country, and spare the world. The gig is up! We know that the treatment pushers of the psychiatric state are desperate for more treatment junkies. The real, and underplayed, story here is still that bipolar disorder rates are so high in the good ole’ US of A.

Perhaps her teacher was busy mistaking papers

In the diagnosing of mental disorders, if it isn’t this or that, it must be bipolar disorder. According to a press release in FitCommerse.com:

Researchers have recently found that as many as 69% of initial diagnoses of people with bipolar disorder were incorrect, underlining the importance of seeking a second opinion.

This is the era of letting a thousand “mental illness” labels blossom, and so a lot of second opinions are like first opinions–very limited and limiting.

“Accuracy” in the fine art of diagnosing, psychiatrists call it an art, has always been problematic. We don’t have bacterial cultures in petri dishes, or germs under microscope slides, but we do have professional opinions. As an article about Bipolar Statistics on Bipolar-Lives.com website explains.

Other DBSA bipolar disorder statistics from 2000 shows that people with the disorder suffer through as long as 10 years of coping with symptoms before getting diagnosed accurately.

Only 1 person in 4 receives an accurate diagnosis in less than 3 years!

We could spin a roulette wheel to come up with a “proper” diagnosis, but coming up with a diagnosis a patient is alright with, that’s an art. Take this case from Wales, in a silly little BBC piece, Board game aids understanding of bipolar disorder.

Ms [Jocelyn] Duncan’s bipolar disorder was triggered aged eight by a major trauma in her life.

She describes receiving her diagnosis finally at the age of 57 as “one of the best days of my life. I now had a face to my enemy.”

After 49 years Ms Duncan has found a diagnostic label that suits her.

Just in case Ms Duncan doesn’t know what afflicts her, there is a book out there, Bipolar Disorder for Dummies. Should she buy a copy of this book, she can fixate on having this disorder to her heart’s content. She will anyway have gained a good working understanding of her new found identity. It may not fit a pocket, but if she has a convenient niche on a shelf somewhere about the house, it could have found a home. Gee, wouldn’t it be nice for her to know how she should be behaving?

I’m afraid there is no Mental Health for Dummies book out there. Consider the benefits of reading how to achieve mental health over how to acquire a mental disorder. I would think the merits of such a book incalculable. Unfortunately, as both professional human service workers and drug company executives know, mental health doesn’t bring home the bread and bacon, nor does it pay the bills.