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My Anti-Treatment Tirade

I don’t like mental health treatment. I don’t like it firstly because I think it is unhealthy. I don’t like it secondly because I think it is deceitful.

A Citizens Commission on Human Rights post I read once said a person is only “mentally ill” until the insurance runs out. There is certainly a lot of truth in such a statement as a person can only be a mental patient so long as it is paid for.

“Mentally ill” is always presumptive. Nobody has ever found a “mental illness” for starters. There is no “mental illness” on a microscope slide, or in a petri dish. The symptoms are a matter of disturbing behaviors. The disease itself is thoroughly elusive. If, in fact, it is at all.

Even if by a stretch of the imagination we credit “mental illness” with a tangible existence, there have been “un-sick” people stuck in psychiatric facilities just as surely as there have been innocent people on death row. Mental patient is more real. Mental patient is the role assumed by a person caught up in the mental health treatment system.

If there were no mental patients or mental health consumers as they call themselves these days, there would be no mental health workers. You’ve got two tiers of parasitism here. You’ve got people living off insurance, and you’ve got the people these people who are living off insurance are paying off, by means of insurance, to validate their own insurance claims.

This leads to my third objection to mental health treatment. I don’t like mental health treatment because it is unethical.

Mental health treatment assumes that this group of people is too immature to deal with matters in an adult fashion, and so they must be tended by that group of people who are presumed to be more responsible. Why are they deemed more responsible? They aren’t living directly off insurance payments; they are rather taking insurance payments indirectly from the first group.

I don’t care how many excuses a person gives for not going out and getting real work, an excuse is just an excuse. Tending adult kindergarten flunkies is not a real job. A radical form of mental health shock therapy would involve subsidizing neither group of freeloaders.

In my view, when we start firing mental health workers, and when we start hiring former–for there are no mental patients without insurance payments and mental health workers–mental patients, then we will be beginning to make some real progress.

7 Responses

  1. I agree with you on 99 percent of what you have to say.
    The only argument I have is about work.

    Psychiatry uses some powerful “medicine.”

    And AFTER taking these mind-altering, brain-damaging, body-inurying, spirit-numbing drugs, people find themselves “disabled.”

    And in many cases, it can take months, years to slowly taper OFF of them, and allow the body and mind to recover.

    I share the passion,

    Duane Sherry, M.S.

    • If psychiatry could get rid of some of the ineffective and harmful treatments it uses, maybe it could downsize rather than upsize.

      The problem is not what some people seem to think it is. The problem is not that there are too few people receiving psychiatric “care”. The problem is that too many people are receiving psychiatric “care”, and ineffective and harmful “care” at that.

      Many of the problems with psychiatric treatment today are systemic. People get into the system, and then they can’t get out of it. There is often no official there entrusted with the task of transitioning people out of this system. This is sad. We don’t need an endlessly expanding mental health system. We need a contracting mental health system. When it shrinks, that means people are leaving it.

      When it comes to community care, there are good things and bad things to be said about it. I see the medical model as a hindrance. The cure for a bad situation is a good situation, but first you have to acknowledge the problem as situational. Don’t acknowledge that the problem is situational, and the bad situation continues indefinitely.

  2. In my great state of Indiana, our dear governor has refused to have any dealings with Planned Parenthood. The Federal Government has threatened to withhold its payments for Medicaid. Though I totally support Planned Parenthood and I think Mitch Daniels is an idiot, I would be all for mental health services and psychiatry getting cut from the government teat.

    Likewise, I find the situation in Florida highly riveting. Governor Scott and his health services company was charged with bilking Medicaid and Medicare for millions and millions of dollars. He knows exactly what health insurance scams look like because he’s perpetrated them on an astronomical level. Now that this old boy sits on the other side of the table, I hope he cuts the paychecks for the nonexistent work of those who tend to adult Kindergarten flunkies with nonexistent illnesses.

    • Governor Rick Scott is a piece of work. Most recently he would give drug tests to people applying for Welfare, and then deny benefits to those who flunk the drug tests. He has a founding interest in a company that conducts drug tests. Penalizing drug users in this fashion is not going to eliminate anybodies very real need for assistance. The constitutionality of the law is under scrutiny now, and I have a feeling that it probably isn’t going to go over even in the state of Florida, let alone beyond the borders of this state.

  3. After reading your post more closely, I see who you were saying should be getting “real jobs”. My apologies.


  4. I can think of three kinds of mental illness off the top off my head. They come from feelings. The feelings of fear anger and despair.
    Feeling fear, too much fear, in an example makes people hord things. Cat/Animal horders and nonliving thing have an inability to part with their belongings.
    Feeling anger, as in too much anger .
    “There are four main types of situations that tend to provoke anger: frustrations, irritations, abuse and unfairness. Some situations fall into more than one category.”

    Despair , hopelessness or lack of hope. With the feeling of despair people stop working , stop personal grooming. Might commit suicide as a solution of ending the feeling.

    All three have to be addressed by whoever is in authority.

    • You know more than most professionals do if you can say for certain that “mental illnesses” come from feelings.

      I’ve seen a lot of pathologizing of negative emotions, and personally I don’t think negative emotions need be seen as pathological.

      I haven’t got a whole lot of use for the “mental illness” label myself. I think it comes between people and their humanity. Some people face more problems than other people face. Calling those problems “ills” isn’t going to “cure” them of problems. If there isn’t a “cure”, well, maybe there is a solution.

      I’m not saying that some people don’t need assistance and support at some time during their lives. I just have issues with the depersonalization involved, and the jargon used, in medicalizing this very human need for concern.

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