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Let’s Just Say She’s In Recovery From A Bipolar Bear Mauling

So-called “mental illness” involves much mis-education, building years and years of dependency on a broken system, taking psychiatric drugs that only make matters worse, and simply not having or perceiving an exit from the system into sense.

Take Sarah Martin, for instance, in her special to the Arizona Daily Star, Mental-health issues are a bear, but, people, don’t ever give up.

(Aside: “Don’t ever give up what? One’s role as a mental patient!?”

The litany of Sarah’s diagnostic history (She has had many “diagnoses”.), her mis-education, beginning around the time of her parents divorce (Here one wonders about the particular psychiatric system rat who must have then taken custody.), runs as follows.

Age 10: panic attacks
Age 15: temper tantrums, bouts of “extra energy”. The doctor has had her on anti-depressants for years, but nothing helped her “symptoms”. (Apparently her doctors seems to be thinking her, at base, depressed.) If you could see a bipolar diagnosis coming, well, you aren’t alone.
Age 16: bipolar disorder 1 with generalized anxiety disorder.
Age 18: experiments with drugs, alchohol, and sex. Develops an addiction to cocaine.
Age 22: she’s a pot-head.
Age 25: Bipolar 1 disorder with schizoaffective disorder, and she says she had symptoms of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

Alright, let’s be a little more precise, and run down the actual gamut of disorders that we find sprinkled throughout her history. There is Panic Attack (the DSM-IV does register a Panic Disorder often associated with Agoraphobia), Bipolar Affective Disorder 1, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Substance Abuse Disorder, Schizoaffective Disorder, and finally, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. On the surface of it, we’ve got six more or less identifiable disorders, and possibly, given an overzealous psychiatrist, quite a few more.

I would say that at this point Sarah Martin could be writing a thesis for her master’s degree in disorders of the mental variety.

I would not suggest following her advice to the letter though.

If you or someone you know is having a life-threatening mental- health emergency always call 911. Tell the dispatcher and responders if mental illness or substance abuse is involved.

Nor would I suggest opting for her second strategy if you can do anything else.

If your crisis is urgent but not immediately life-threatening, call the Community-Wide Crisis Line at 622-6000 or 1-800-796-6762. The Crisis Response Network will answer the phone and help 24 hours a day, seven days a week, including holidays.

Self-reliance is an American virtue that has often been under rated of late, but one thing utilizing it is likely to do is it is likely to keep one out of the muck of the mental health system that Sarah Martin has gotten herself so stuck in.

Although she has gotten with a program, found a caring soulmate, etc., etc., I would not write Sarah off as a recovering normality disorder sufferer quite yet. Sarah Martin is only 27 years old now. She has plenty of time with which to develop further crises, and to receive even more debilitating psychiatric labels in, before her little boat has finally run aground for good.

Thus runs our hope anyway.

The State, Mental Health, and Jared Lee Loughner

Following a psychiatrist’s newspaper diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia soon after the Tucson shooting, I guess Jared Lee Loughner has his defense.

Insanity is the only supposed “sickness” I know of that has been legislated. While the line between church and state was clearly demarcated by our forebears, the line between medicine and law has been crossed time and again in that branch of law known as Mental Health Law.

The American Psychiatric Association and the American Academy of Psychiatry and The Law have become involved in the Tuscon shooting case. The story, as printed in The Sacramento Bee, bears the headline, Groups ask to voice views on meds in Loughner case.

A decision was made in the Missouri prison facility where he is held to forcibly drug Jared Lee Loughner. An appeals court temporarily halted this forced drugging, but prison officials decided his condition had deteriorated, and the drugging resumed. The court in turn lifted its ban on his forced drugging.

The American Psychiatric Association and the American Academy of Psychiatry and The Law made a request to become a party in the case as the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals considers whether the decision to forcibly medicate Jared Lee Loughner with psychotropic drugs can be made by prison officials or a judge.

Don’t be fooled, this move is about defending the power and status of psychiatry, and it is not about seeing that justice is served, or that mental health is attained. As the article explains, psychiatry associations have done the same sort of thing in other cases.

The psychiatric groups say in their friend-of-the-court brief that the decision to treat dangerous patients should be made by those who have custody of them, not by a judge who lacks the background to make appropriate treatment decisions.

I would imagine that they would say the same thing about a jury were a jury to sit in judgment over his “mental health”. Unless, of course, it was a jury of psychiatrists. Let’s see…”appropriate treatment decisions”, in shrink-speak that usually means forced drugging, doesn’t it?

They also say requiring a prison to seek court approval for such medications is likely to delay treatment and prolong patients’ risks to themselves or others.

Right, as if it didn’t have anything to do with restoring the patient/suspect’s competency to stand trial. We know what psychiatrists say, the psychiatric way is the only and the best way. They’re very invested in it, to say the least.

My view is that nobody should ever be forcibly drugged against his or her will and wishes even in the federal penitentiary system. Drug treatment has been proven effective, if that, only in the short run. In the long run you have really bad outcomes, and it is likely to do more harm than good. The range of the damage caused by this legislated “treatment” extends well beyond the case of Jared Lee Loughner himself. There are many, many other people who are apt to be damaged as long as this type of treatment is standard.

I suppose the question that remains is which course of action will get him to trial sooner, psychotropic drugs or no psychotropic drugs, and does it really matter, so long as he is in treatment/custody. So long as he is kept off the street and away from firearms, there is no need to dose him up, too, is there? If he dies before he gets to trial, so be it.

Another thing, I’m not in favor of the use of the “mental illness” excuse for escaping justice in serious violent crimes, especially murder, and most especially multiple murder. “Mental illness” is not a reason. Insanity should not be allowed to serve as a defense in trials involving such crimes. Regardless of a person’s mental state at the time of the crime, ultimately he or she needs to, just like the rest of us, account for his or her actions.