What is a contradiction in terms? Perhaps it is today’s headline….

The mad gene hunt gets odder and odder. The headlines are more and more becoming fit fodder for late night television comedy. The Times of India had this to say.

Childhood adversity ups genetic disorder risk

You can imagine the faces of their collective readership registering shock and dismay. “Are children really having that much unprotected sex!?”

1. Childhood adversity is an environmental factor
2. Genetic make up is a biological factor

Either/or, according to researchers, is trying awfully hard to be a both/and. Good luck with that!

This brings us back to an even more prehistoric question: which came first, the chicken or the egg? How can childhood adversity equal genetic disorder? Uh, actually, it can’t.

If you have a genetic propensity that gets unleashed by environmental factors, you’re a gulled victim of the mad gene con. Not to fret, there is a solution to this matter. Kiss your happy childhood back, and forget about it.

Do not call us. Do not try to sue. You have no rights. You cannot win. There is nothing you can do about anything. This is science, baby! You’ve fallen into the bad childhood bad genes black hole.

End forced mental health treatment and reduce “stigma”

How’s this sentence, from a blog, for a leading statement: “Many people think that talking with a mental health professional is a sign of weakness in the individual seeking counseling, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.” Actually the question as to whether counseling could be a sign of weakness for some hasn’t been answered here. I would say that it always depends upon the circumstances. Seeking counseling could be a sign of strength, but it could also be a sign of weakness. When a person decides he or she can’t handle something on his or her own, and this person seeks a counselor to assist with the matter, that’s one thing. When a person uses counseling as an excuse, or a crutch, or makes an addiction of it, that’s another. I’m not beyond saying that both instances occur.

A “stigma” attached to the “mental illness” label is perceived as the reason why many people don’t seek professional counseling. The assumption behind this claim is that there are many people out there in need of counseling who are not receiving it. Such an assumption serves the mental health business above all other interests. How convenient it must be to have an endless supply of potential clients? This kind of slant leaves a number of essential questions unasked, such as, do all the people receiving counseling need this counseling, could not some of the people entering counseling not be in need of it in the first place, and is this counseling at all detrimental. There is also much question as to whether the assumption behind the need is even correct. We haven’t answered any of these questions by making sure our weird Aunt Carol or our goofy Uncle Sol are taken care of.

Some people, most people in fact, don’t seek mental health treatment. I would say that this is probably due to the fact that most people don’t see themselves as “mentally ill”. I think that it is perfectly okay for most people not to think of themselves as emotionally disturbed. I think that if some of the people who thought of themselves as disturbed decided that they weren’t so disturbed after all that this would be a good thing, too. You’ve got a problem person when you’ve got a person convinced that he or she is emotionally or mentally unstable. If there’s any “stigma” attached to emotional turmoil, maybe it had better just as well remain a “stigma”. When donning the “mental illness” label becomes a fashionable trend, then we will be on the verge of what is referred to in medical parlance as an epidemic. An epidemic, and I hear we’re having one now, of “mental illness” would not be a good thing to have.

While some people actively seek mental health treatment, there are other people who make no effort whatsoever to be treated for any mental health issues, but who find themselves in treatment all the same. A “stigma” isn’t preventing them from seeking treatment, they don’t want any such treatment in the first place. In some cases, the treat they receive seems much more like a trick, and an occasion of much horror. I’m speaking about people who find themselves committed to state hospitals against their will and wishes by a court of law. This can only happen through a loophole in the Constitution of the USA, with its Bill of Rights, known as mental health law. People are treated involuntarily, and against their will, regardless of any “stigma” attached to you name it. No other branch of medicine treats people in a, essentially totalitarian, and like manner. People in this system are locked up, not because they’ve broken any of the laws of the land, but merely because it is feared they will break a law in the future. Mental health law is pre-crime law. The fact is we shouldn’t have laws against crimes that have not been committed. We couldn’t have people locked up from crimes that have not been committed (i.e. involuntary mental patients) if it weren’t for mental health law.

What I’m saying here is that if you want to do anything about any “stigma” attached to mental health issues, you’re talking through both sides of your mouth if you aren’t also for the repeal of mental health law. It is through this mental health law that people in the mental health system are disempowered, marginalized, and reduced to second class citizenship status. Involuntary mental health treatment wouldn’t occur if people thought better of troubled people in troubling situations. This involuntary treatment involves disarming people and violating their second amendment rights. It also involves violating their rights to due process of law. Being a civil matter, people are presumed “sick” until pronounced otherwise. There is no question of reasonable doubt. There is no jury trial. Life, liberty, and property are all at risk in this process. There is no sense in talking about a “stigma” attached to mental health issues if you don’t address the issue of the loss of power and confidence that comes of the keeping of mental health treatment records either. You’ve created a paper trail for purposes of damning unwanted people. If you don’t want to damn (“stigmatize”) them, repeal the law, burn the paper, and see to the welfare of the people involved. Some of them might be your siblings, some of them might be your children, and some them might even peer back at you from the mirror.

When we have an all volunteer mental health system, then and only then will emotional travails and troubles become less of a “don’t ask, don’t tell” matter. People who have survived and endured forced mental health treatment know better than to look on most mental health professionals without apprehension. We’re now calling abduction, assault, imprisonment, torture, and poisoning mental health “treatment”, and let me tell you, abduction, assault, imprisonment, torture, and poisoning are good for nobodies mental health. The two faced and hypocritical nature of contemporary mental health treatment will only change when force is removed from the equation, and this force can only be removed by repealing what amounts to an unjust law. If you want an end to any “stigma” attached to mental health issues get rid of the law that makes mental health issues a confineable offense. When we have done so, and only when we have done so, will we have made the matter of experiencing personal problems less of an object for shame, scorn, derision, and ridicule. You can say one thing, but when you do another, sooner or later your actions are going to give you away, and then the game will be entirely up for grabs. Much of this talk of “stigma”, because it doesn’t tackle the problem of coercion, is actually part and parcel of the very thing it would be attacking.

Patients and Former Patients In The Classroom

As a psychiatric survivor one article of note caught my attention recently, Listening to patients transforms psychiatric care at GHSU.

Much as I’ve tried to open a dialogue and educate people in higher education about the mental health system unsuccessfully due to their prejudice against people with psychiatric histories, I’m amazed that some place is actually listening to people who have known life from the inside.

Psychiatric care and teaching at Georgia Health Sciences University has been transformed by listening to an unusual source: the patients and former patients.

This unusual source consists of the very people they should be serving when they graduate. Why, one has to wonder, are most schools unwilling to listen to this very source? In some if not most instances they continue NOT listening to this source after they’ve graduated.

The Department of Psy­chiatry and Health Behavior at GHSU will be honored today with the Award for Crea­tivity in Psychiatric Edu­cation at the American Col­lege of Psychiatrists’ annual meeting in Naples, Fla.

Assuming they are actually listening, and that they aren’t just pretending to listen, or listening to cherry picked patients and former patients, this should be an Award they richly deserve.

The department is being honored for its Georgia Re­cov­ery-based Educational Ap­proach to Treatment (GREAT) program, which emphasizes the recovery model of care.

Let me tell you, the recovery model of care is a great improvement over the non-recovery model of care. I just hope that someday the full and complete recovery model of care, with recovered as the actual end of treatment, will be on the agenda. I hate to keep hearing from mental health consumers who feel they are stuck in their recovery. There is, after all, a “wellness” on the other side of any “sickness”.

Hopefully other university and schools of higher education have their antennas up and operating, and they are saying, “Hey, GHSU is listening to its mental health service survivors and consumers; maybe we should start listening to our mental health service survivors and consumers, too.” I’d really like to see more of this kind of thing developing into something of a trend. If it were to do so, maybe it would eventually even seep down here to the university town where I happen to reside.

It’s Getting To Be A Mad Mad Gene Hunt

The wierdness the mad gene hunt has taken on becomes apparent with a heading like the following one in Science Alert, Schizophrenia variants present in all. We’re all mad, in other words, but now we’re looking for DNA patterns that would link the mad ones with the ones who haven’t been caught yet.

While previous studies have pinpointed several genes along with rare chromosomal deletions and duplications associated with the disease, these account for less than three per cent of risk of schizophrenia.

I remember reading about a chromosomal deletion that was found in 1 % of the schizophrenic population. Ironically the population labeled schizophrenic comprises about 1 % of the entire population. 1 out of 4 people with this chromosomal deletion were found to develop schizophrenia…

This coincidence is no smoking gun, surely.

But the new method found that about a quarter of schizophrenia is captured by many variants that are common in the general population.

These mad gene patterns occur in a lot of people who aren’t mad, too. Imagine that.

According to QBI’s [University of Queensland’s Queensland Brain Institute], Associate Professor Naomi Wray, who led the international study, this suggests that we all carry genetic risk variants for schizophrenia, but that the disease only emerges when the burden of variants, in combination with environmental factors, reaches a certain tipping point.

Great going, Naomi! You get Lunatic Fringe’s Mad Scientist Of The Hour Award!

Genetic risk variants, in combination with environmental factors? Oh, and do environmental factors alone explain the other 75 % of the mad population? As we are dealing with biological psychiatry, I imagine the correct answer given would have to be no. The claim being we just haven’t found all the other genetic risk variants we are looking for.

I’ve read where researchers thought “mental illness” was 70 % biologically determined. Alright. We’re onto 1 in 4 cases, but we’ve still got a long long ways to go before we’ve get the other 45 % figured out.

What test did they use to come up with this 70 % figure? Well, it has to be over 50 % as they’re biological psychiatry proponents. It has to be under 100 % because there are a lot of blurred lines in the field. Just think about the number of people initially with ADHD, depression, and other disorder labels that were later tagged bipolar. In theory, supposedly based on evidense, the bipolar gene is connected to the schizophrenia gene, and so on. I imagine maybe somebody held that a 7 being his or her lucky number would look good with a zero following it.

Anyway someday we will have all these mad genes that everybody has figured out. You think?

All the young Scots nutters

The headline in The Scotsman screams, 47% of youth hide mental ill health. Next question, 47 % of what percent? The figure is given as 47 % of 10 % of Scottish youth. Alright. If 10 % of the youth in Scotland are wacko, I suggest that perhaps medicalization, and in particular the medicalization of childhood, and the growing up process, has gotten a little out of hand in that country.

This is part of another “end of stigma” campaign, and so the implicit message behind such campaigning is that young people should not be ashamed to seek counseling.

Meanwhile, just 17% believe young people with mental ill health will recover.

So encourage a kid to seek counseling, receive a diagnostic tag, and a drug prescription, and you’ve probably doomed the kid, or so most psychologically disturbed young people believe, for life. The figure via subtraction is 83 % of these disturbed young people, and treatment experts from first hand experience, believe the absolute worst about this devastating news. These are not good odds, folks.

This line of questioning leads to another question. If the situation is so dire, why have another “end of stigma” campaign? Maybe the kid’s better off untreated.

A fresh campaign has been launched by the organization [See Me] to try to encourage young people to think about their attitude and behaviour towards people of their age with such health issues.

Your mum, your pop, your school, your nation, your spam detector, etc., didn’t think to scare off such treatment salesmen and women? How incredibly (and I mean incredibly) sad!

Either I’m misreading something here, or somebody is over-reacting. Complete recovery can and does occur, believe me! It’s called reaching adulthood.

Psychiatric labeling, prejudice, and the media

The Ottawa Citizen has a story on a study conducted by the Mental Health Commission of Canada. There are good things and bad things to say about this study. A bad thing was the consistent use of the word “stigma”. People who have experienced the mental health system from the inside are not tattooed, or marked, the way Jews were required to wear yellow stars during the German Third Reich. The study bore the headline, ‘Lazy’ media stigmatize mentally ill. The claim that the media has created a slanderous spin is perhaps a better way to put it in this instance.

“Danger, violence and criminality were direct themes in 39 per cent of newspaper articles, and in only 17 cent was recovery (or) rehabilitation a significant theme. Shortage of resources and poor quality of care was discussed in only 28 per cent of newspaper articles, even though these are perennial problems.”

Danger violence criminality themes 39%
Recovery or Rehabilitation theme 17 %
Shortage of resources and inferior quality 28 %

People in the mental health system often end up there because they would get a low score on a charisma or popularity test anyway. Like jews, and other minority groups, they serve as a convenient scapegoat. Seeing as “mental illness” labels come between people, and the opportunities they might have previously seen in the world, I prefer to approach the matter in terms of prejudice and discrimination. Law enforcement officers do racial profiling targeting African Americans, likewise, here you’ve got the news media aiding and abetting in a similar type of profiling directed at people labeled “mentally ill”.

The analysis was based on 8,838 articles published between 2005 and 2010 that mentioned any of the terms “mental health,” “mental illness,” “schizophrenia” and “schizophrenic.”

The “schizophrenia” label is generally at the bottom of the mental health salvageable people list status-wise. Mood swing disorders, personality disorders, every other sort of label is seen as less severe, and more likely to respond to treatment than psychosis. This, in some measure, is due to the drugs used to treat the label. Long term use of neuroleptic drugs, the drugs used on schizophrenia, can exasperate the symptoms of schizophrenia, and are associated with overall cognitive decline.

[Researcher Rob] Whitley said 12 per cent took an optimistic or positive tone about mental health, while 29 per cent were “directly stigmatizing.” Fully 84 per cent did not quote a person with a mental illness, and 74 per cent did not quote an expert.

Optimistic or positive tone 12 %
Prejudicial and denigrating 29 %
Patient/ex-patient voice absent 84 %
Other expert voice absent 74 %

The media is owned by big money and corporate interests. It should not come as all too much of a surprise that the mass media demands a scapegoat. The mental patient has traditionally served as a scapegoat. It was no accident that NAZI Germany prepared for exterminating the Jews with eugenic policies aimed at exterminating the so-called “feeble minded”, and what were then termed “useless eaters”.

Sensationalism, a common phenomenon in media coverage, was contrasted with “advocacy journalism” that sought to bring the matter of “mental illness” labels to the attention of the general public.

The article concludes blaming the media on public stinginess, and suggesting that if the media claimed people in the system could recover, the public would be more responsive.

As corporate controlled media sources are always going to be prejudicial, it is important for people who have known the psychiatric system from the inside to use the internet for generating their own media. It is also important for mental patients and former mental patients to ally themselves with other movements for social justice and systemic change. Only by facing this prejudice head on, and by challenging corporate control of the media, are mental health consumers, psychiatric survivors, and former mental patients likely to make much of a dent on the long standing tradition of prejudice and discrimination that they are still enduring in the present day.

The Anti-‘Stigma’ Feint

The notion of “stigma” is one of the biggest piles of crock in the mental health literature world today. I can hear the gasps and strenuous objections coming from some of its most devoted adherents already, but that’s my learned opinion on the matter. Why do I see the notion of “stigma” in this fashion? Let me explain.

In the Niagara Falls Review under local news there is this report, COLUMN: Stigma prevents mental health sufferers from reaching for help.

One in five children, youth and adults will have a mental health illness in their lifetime. Seventy per cent of these individuals will begin having their mental health problems during childhood or adolescence. Yet, only about one-third of all these people will reach out for help with their mental illness, even though we know treatment works.

This article talks much about a Mend The Mind website all about this “stigma” and campaigning against it. I don’t think that website’s existence lessens the significance of anything I am going say on the subject.

First, this one in five, or 20 %, of the entire population includes a lot of people who are only marginally affected at best. The “illness” here, if that’s what you want to call it, is by no means long term. It’s going to evaporate anyway. Calling them “mentally ill” is something of a stretch to start out with. Then they say that 70 %, 7/10ths, almost 3/4ths, of this figure caught their “disease” as children or adolescents. It goes onto say that only 1/3, or around 33.3 %, of this 20 % group seek help.

Alright. I feel well off enough is well off enough if well off enough is left well alone. ADHD, oppositional defiant disorder, conduct disorder, social anxiety disorder, and childhood bipolar disorder are just ingenious ways that the psychiatric profession has found to make money pathologizing childhood. Pathologized children have a major tendency to grow into pathologized adults. Little wonder then that from psychiatrized kids we often wind up with psychiatrized families.

Much of the above 20 % figure deals with what amounts to little more than the mental health equivalent of the common cold. The numbers of people labeled seriously disturbed or “mentally ill” generally comprises about 5 % of the entire population. This is primarily people who have been labeled schizophrenic, bipolar, and clinically depressed. People labeled schizophrenic, for example, are calculated to make up about 1 % of the population.

This “stigma” complaint is actually about the selling of biological medical model psychiatry. The mental health treatment offered generally tends to be biological psychiatry, specifically the belief and theory that psychiatric disorders stem from biological conditions requiring drug maintenance. Such psychiatrists like to point to low recovery rates as their excuse for drugging people. This depressing recovery rate is due to their primary method of treatment, specifically drugging. Countering “stigma” is now offered as an explanation for the suppression of approaches other than, and any criticism of, biological psychiatry.

You mix a little bit of confusion about the very real and devastating prejudice and discrimination that people who have had their lives disrupted by psychiatric incarceration face, and you can imagine the outcome. This counter “stigma” movement actually endeavors to replace very real and legislative efforts to correct those deficits with facile and superficial measures that are doomed to failure. This is because the unstated aim of the counter “stigma” campaign is often not the ending of prejudice and discrimination. The real aim of the counter “stigma” campaign is to drum up more business for the psychiatric treatment and the drug making industries.

What’s Needed To Improve Mental Health Recovery Rates?

Psychiatrists have long emphasized low recovery rates for serious mental health issues resulting in a great number of what are called long-term or chronic cases. My feeling is that this low recovery rate has 2 major causes. The first is due to the fact that the primary form of treatment, drug treatment, is crippling in its own right, and it doesn’t really address the underlying circumstances behind whatever dilemma a person may be facing. The second is that we’ve got an expansive self-perpetuating mental health system that isn’t really interested in seeing people released from that system. If the rhetoric says one thing, the facts suggest another.

Biological psychiatry, which would blame these bad outcomes on heredity, is blinded by its own prejudices and presumptions. All research in this area of expertise can only be approximate, by no means is psychiatry an exact science. If you are saying that these people have bad genes, you still have to demonstrate that all of them have bad genes, and not just a fraction. Biological psychiatry is trying to say that that fraction includes a greater rather than lesser number of people it has labeled. This theory has been disproved by World Health Organization (WHO) research into recovery rates in developing countries. If recovery rates in some countries in the developing world were twice those in the more industrial nations, obviously the fraction suffering from bad genes, in this instance, becomes smaller rather than greater. Under the skin, people in the developing world are the same as the people in the developing world.

The real and only difference between a mental patient, and much of the rest of the world, is meaningful and paid employment. The mental health system, as it is now set up, being based upon insurance disability claims, can’t co-exist with meaningful employment. People receive disability when they are deemed unfit to work. There is no graduated system within the mental health system of getting people back into the working world. Loss of disability serves as a disincentive to working, especially when job insecurity and relapse fears abound. The idea of doing something innovative, like incorporating a small labor force, flounders when you reach the bureaucratic insurance company and governmental red tape involved.

Work has been described as conducive to recovery when it comes to mental upsets and life crises. The mental health system is hiring Peer Support Specialists at this time because it just doesn’t make sense to tend so many under and unemployed people when you can put a few to work. People in the mental health system often want to work. Simply sending them to college for more training is not always the best policy for them. It would help if the mental health system made finding people suitable employment outside of the mental health system a part of its business. I’m not saying work solves everything. I am saying that work can be fun, and that it doesn’t have to be conceived of as nothing but tedium and drudgery.

Both of these causes will have to be addressed if recovery rates are to be substantially improved. Non-drug alternative approaches to disabling and damaging chemical treatments need to be studied and applied. The question and nature of the worth of people in the job market will need to be reintroduced and explored. Special and novel ways of achieving that worth need to be looked at as well. This is a social matter, and as such, it involves groups of people seeking solutions to the problems that people have in common. In order to come up with these solutions, something of the insular and segregating nature of the mental health system will have to give way before the need to engage more people in the active life of their communities.

The Big Lie: About Us Without Us

I know of this attorney in Virginia. His official title is Regional Human Rights Advocate. In such a capacity he serves people in the mental health system in that state. He has been known to give presentations at outpatient and inpatient facilities around the area. He has given presentations, inspired by Stephen Covey’s 7 habits of highly successful people, on what he refers to as The Seven Principles of Effective Self-Advocacy. Given that people within the mental health system often don’t understand the law, and their rights under that law, this kind of instruction can be a very good thing to have.

Often in some mental health literature you will read where people with psychiatric labels are referred to as “voiceless”. You will also see where they are lumped among what are referred to as America’s, or even the world’s, “most vulnerable citizens”. Are they actually “voiceless”? No, it’s just nobody has bothered to ask them about their wants and desires. Are they actually a segment of the world’s “most vulnerable population”? It probably varies from individual to individual. Given enough gumption, no, there are people who are much closer to death and eclipse than most of the people being treated, or mistreated, for mental health issues. The problem here then is one of these people wondering what the heck to do with those people.

There is a saying and slogan among people in the Disabilities Rights Movement that goes, “Nothing About Us Without Us!” When one claims to be speaking for other people, without those other people being present, we have to ask whose interests are actually being served. We don’t know whether this group or that group is truly being represented until we hear from members of the group itself. When any members of the group can express their own concerns, the need for an intermediary to express those concerns for them has vanished. Should such an prophylactic mediation persist, we have to question the motives of the intermediary.

There are many untruths in the current literature on mental health, but I don’t think there is any bigger untruth than this assumption that a psychiatric label magically takes away capacity, or perhaps, more pointedly, that a psychiatric label strips us of our connection to the rest of the human species. The implication is that somehow the very thing that makes a person human has been lost through the act of applying a label to that person. Humans can speak for themselves. They aren’t animals. The capacity to communicate, in fact, is the very thing that separates us from many species lower down on the evolutionary tree. People labeled “mentally ill” are usually not mute, nor are they incapable of intelligible speech.

The less people who have known the mental health system from the receiving end are listened to, the more distance the great lie that somebody must do their speaking for them gets. This is a dangerous lie. People are buried under this lie, real people. The great lie, in fact, takes lives. It takes the best of life, and it takes what makes life important. Your life is reduced to the words of a person who claims to represent you, and a person who doesn’t represent you in actual fact. He or she doesn’t think you should be speaking in your own words and from your own personal experience. He or she thinks he or she should be telling other people how to best respond to you. He or she has replaced you with a big fat lie.

Advocating for the suppression of people’s rights in the mental health system is often confused with advocating for the rights of people in the mental health system. When people who have endured the system themselves become advocates, no such confusion is possible. The system right now is incorporating the use of certified Peer Support Specialists into its operations. Sometimes these Peer Support Specialists are not nearly so rights savvy as they ought to be. We’re not talking patient rights, or even mental health consumer rights, either. Out of that kind of talk you get the right to treatment without a corresponding right to refuse treatment. We’re talking human rights. We’re talking life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. All three of these rights are jeopardized by that psychiatric assault known as coercive mental health intervention. When the voices denied these rights, have been permitted a chance to speak in support of these rights, then and only then will you know that progress is being made.

On A Person’s Right To Refuse Mental Health Treatment

There has been much ink spilled over some sort of “stigma“ attached to seeking mental health treatment. I think there is some question as to just how much of this mental health treatment is freely sought. Some mental health treatment, after all, is entirely unwanted.

I was an observer at a meeting of a task-force connected with the Virginia Supreme Court commission to reform mental health care in that state. The chair of this taskforce gave an introductory speech stating that a person would have to be “mentally ill” to oppose coercive mental health treatment. I myself was amazed that nobody on this taskforce strenuously objected to that statement. I don’t think opposition to coercive mental health treatment makes people “mentally ill” any more than I believe that support for state sanctioned assault, kidnapping, false imprisonment and torture makes a person “mentally healthy”. I, in fact, believe that the notion of forced treatment runs counter to the ideal of independence fought for so fiercely by our forebears. I would go so far as to call it un-American.

I have heard ex-patients speak about being grateful for the forced treatment they received, but I have also heard ex-patients express much outrage over the forced treatment they endured. Responses vary, as they should, from individual to individual. I don’t think that an ex-patient being grateful for the forced treatment received justifies thinking there is some kind of “stigma” attached to forcing treatment on people that needs to be countered. My feelings are, “stigma” or no “stigma”, forced treatment is wrong.

On the wall of an outpatient facility I once frequented there was a list of what purported to be “mental patient rights”. One of the rights listed on this list was the right to receive treatment. Nowhere on this list was there mentioned a right to refuse treatment. This kind of caving in to tyrannical attitudes and policy I think outrageous. I don’t think a person should have a right to receive treatment who doesn’t also have the right to refuse treatment. I believe mental health treatment, like all other truly medical treatments, should be a matter of choice and not compulsion.

The mass media is such that it is easily manipulated by big money and power interests. The major vehicles within the mass media are often owned by such interests. This ownership often means that our free press is not nearly so free as its rhetoric would have us suppose. That press which is bought and sold, in other words, is not free. This has created a situation where the typical voice of mental health treatment in the media is a voice that has been hand picked by the mental health authorities for its qualities of obsequiousness. There are other voices within the mental health system, and I believe these voices should be listened to as well.

The voice of people critical to force needs to get a hearing, too. Not everybody is happy with having their civil liberties and human rights entirely ignored and disgracefully trampled on. There is certainly a great deal about conventional mental health treatment that needs changing. If the mainstream media won’t carry those voices of dissent that occur forward, then it is up to those critics to make their own media, and to see that those voices get a hearing in the arena of public opinion.

Studies have shown that provoking a disbelief in free will causes many negative effects in subject participants. Among these negative effects are increased lying, cheating and stealing. I think it sad that mental patients, and mental health consumers, are encouraged not to believe in their own self-control as self-control is a matter of free will. I also think that mentioning a right to receive treatment while denying any right to refuse treatment is a matter of trying to cancel any notion of free will.

There is way too much dependency, and way too little interdependency, in the mental health system as it is. Dependency is a one way street. The more powerful look down on the less powerful. Interdependency is a matter of equals working together to achieve goals each holds in common. As it is, the system is often more destructive, for this reason, than it is constructive. It often becomes, given this situation, a crippling matter for some of the people who get stuck in it. Understanding this trend, I think it is often better for some people to work for change in the mental health system outside of that system altogether.