Florida Agency Reviews Deaths At Private Run State Facility

I found the story in the San Francisco Chronicle, (Department of Children and Families) DCF reviews deaths at GEO-run state hospital.

Three gruesome deaths at the privately run South Florida State Hospital triggered an investigation that revealed concerns that employees were overmedicating patients and failed to call the state abuse hotline after a patient died in a scalding bathtub, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press.

GEO pulls the strings of Rick Scott, our present governor, being a big time contributor to his election campaigns. If Governor Scott is good to his friends, well, GEO must be considered one of those friends.

GEO runs three other facilities in Florida: the Florida Civil Commitment Center in Arcadia, which treats sex offenders; and mental health facilities in Indiantown and Florida City for patients who aren’t competent to stand trial or have been found not guilty by reason of insanity.

What is this about? 3 deaths within the scope of 2 months, unreported, and in one instance, with accusations of a cover up.

1. Aug. 2011, Lois Espina, head slammed through a wall, or so it is thought.
2. Jun. 2011, Luis Santana, found dead in scalding bath skin sloughing from his body.
3. Jun. 2011, James Bragman, known to be suicidal, breaks from his attendant, and leaps off a roof.

None of the three deaths were reported to the state abuse hotline, which triggers a formal investigation. The new contract will include a fine if the facility doesn’t report all deaths to the hotline, [DCF Secretary David] Wilkins said.

These deaths hardly break the surface when it comes to what’s wrong with Florida’s mental health facilities. Let’s hope these incidents send a strong message to people enduring that mental health system, the mental health system here is oppressive, hierarchical and ultimately harmful. People trapped within that system need empowerment and choice. It’s time to pressure the state government to change it’s policies and practices with regard to people in distress.

Pre-packaged Excuses For A New Millenium

When I wrote “mad people are everywhere” I didn’t mean “schizophrenics”. “Schizophrenics” are an entirely theoretical construct. No one has yet supplied any convincing proof of their existence. They’re like the sasquatches of the post-modern era–all unicorn.

This brings me to a post in the National Post, written a few days later, We’re all schizophrenics now: Jonathan Kay on James Holmes, Sam Harris, and the morally terrifying case against free will.

Sam Harris is a neuroscientist. I find it no surprise at all that a neuroscientist, blood brother in research terms to your bio-medical psychiatrist, would be disputing the existence of free will. Funny thing though, I understand he wrote a short book on determinism that he called Free Will. The book isn’t about free will at all, it’s about his belief that free will is an illusion. I’m wondering if it would be feasible to write a book called “Determinism” all about free will.

I have no desire to read the book Sam Harris authored. I am free not to read his book, and so there. He can’t make me read his book either.

Not surprisingly, again, the author of this piece on that piece is indulging in what seems to be fast becoming a national pastime, namely, the pathologizing of criminality, or pin the “mental disorder” on James Holmes.

But a new book raises a question that puts the very existence of that continuum into doubt: What if none of us are truly “responsible” for our actions?

I’m also a firm believer in responsibility and accountability. I don’t see a lot a movement taking place in the human world that isn’t guided by some semblance of consciousness. Yes, let’s say that this person or that person acted this way or that way because he or she made the conscious decision to do so.

By way of example, Harris provides a list of five hypothetical killers — (1) a four-year-old who accidentally shoots someone while playing with his father’s gun; (2) a severely abused 12-year-old who kills a tormentor; (3) a child-abuse victim who, as an adult, shoots his ex-girlfriend after she leaves him; (4) a 25-year-with a solid upbringing, who kills a young woman “just for the fun of it”; and (5) a seemingly heartless murderer who later is discovered to have a large tumor that is short-circuiting his prefrontal cortex.

I feel like we’ve entered the lair of the forensic shrink. Could you please make it five hypothetical lovers instead? Oh, Okay. I guess not.

By conventional analysis, #3 and #4 would be branded evildoers; #1 and #5 would be given a free pass on grounds of age and biology, respectively; and #2 would lie somewhere in between. But Harris’ point is that, once you put aside our mythical religious baggage about good and evil (as he sees it), all of these cases are motivated by the same amoral whirling of a human brain’s synaptic gears. But not for the luck of the biological draw, any one of us — in another life — could be #1, #2, #3, #4 or #5: There is no magical, spiritual, free-willed force within our minds that will allow us to overcome the fate that is wired into the physical universe.

I’m not sure anyone should be given a free pass, especially when that free pass is a pass to murder. I also think at least one of the hypothetic killers should have been a police officer. Police officers, you might have noticed, kill a lot of people.

I’m still awfully curious about those hypothetical lovers. I wonder, do lovers choose their victims?

Actually I think the people who come up with these unlucky schemes for other people find a loophole that allows them to count themselves among the lucky ones. How convenient! I, on the other hand, think there is something to planning that can potentially avert disaster in the long run. When disaster can be diverted, it isn’t determined. Free will, in other words, for me, is no illusion.

Free ADHD testing goes the way of free lunches at UF

If you thought “stigma” was the only obstacle to seeking mental health treatment, think again, there is also the little matter of costs. The University of Florida, which previously had given free ADHD tests, will soon start charging. Diagnosis is going to cost students money starting this fall.

The story is in the latest edition of the Independent Florida Alligator, under the heading, UF will charge students in Fall for currently free ADHD testing.

The new four-step process will take seven hours and will cost $175 per student.

That’s right! It may now cost you $175 to acquire an ADHD. Consider, too, that this is only the price for purchasing the disorder. Feeding, maintenance, and vet costs follow close behind. An ADHD, with the advent of ADHDs for adults, can last well beyond the lifetime of a single individual.

These tests, despite being more elaborate than previous tests, are designed to determine the aptitude and dedication an individual might display in caring for an ADHD.

First students must be screened because you wouldn’t want a student with an ADHD that couldn’t properly care for that ADHD.

Students will go through two 90-minute screening sessions, one of which costs $25.

As you can see ADHD is a very peculiar animal.

The third step is a three-hour, $150 evaluation including an IQ test, a personality test, an achievement test and a specific test for ADHD.

Reportedly this deal at UF is a very good one as an alive and kicking ADHD can run you as much as 2Gs from a private collector.

ADHDs have gained increasing popularity over the years, especially among school age boys. It is estimated that almost 10 % of the male children in this country are the proud owners of ADHDs.

Those students without the necessary funding to purchase an ADHD may be able to get around this shortcoming by applying for financial aid.

Mad People Are Everywhere

An associated press headline today read, Colorado shooting suspect was brilliant science student. Don’t you know the authorities are going to start looking for signs of “mental illness” in this (sic) brilliant science student. They can’t attribute his acts of violence to “mental illness”, or blame “the mentally ill”, if they don’t do so. Any defense team in the country is going to be scrambling for the most handy excuse available for what is absolutely inexcusable.

Another irony is that the major this (sic) brilliant science student was reportedly dropping out of in college was neuroscience. Apparently, at some point or other, the mad student had his sights set on becoming a mad doctor.

As the organization MindFreedom International posted on its front page recently in a story about Mad Pride Celebrations throughout the world, Mad Pride 2012 in 5 + Nations “We Are the 100 %”. 99 % of the world’s population may make under a certain economic figure every year, but 100 % of the population are nuts.

The legal definition of insanity has typically been given as ‘a danger to oneself or others’. Ironically there are few people more dangerous to themselves or others on earth than politicians, and allegations of mental infirmity can destroy a political career. These ladies and gentlemen, in other words, fill the bill, but they’re not crazy as long they haven’t come under “the care”–another one of those funny words with the exact opposite of its dictionary meaning–of a psychiatrist.

Every soldier in a wartime situation is insane under the legal definition of insanity. The thing is, the legal definition of insanity is a ruse, they don’t lock mad folk up because they’re dangerous, they lock them up because they’re different. We don’t, as a rule, have another path for the person who doesn’t fit the mold to take. Some of the unwanted ones are thought of as “defective”, and given to the loony bin.

Few shining examples of upstanding humanity ever graduated cum laude summa from the loony bin. Perhaps you’ve heard the mantra, “I think I can’t, I think I can’t, I think I can’t”. The loony bin is not the railroad track to success, it’s the other railroad track, and so a lot of its boarders resign themselves to the trappings of defeat. When you’re mode of operation is the logic of the casino, that happens. The world is divided into two irreconcilable camps, the lucky and the screwed.

The lord of random chance is not the lord of an inhabitable environment. You need a lot of people who are a danger to themselves or others if the lord of random chance is to have his way. Actually random chance is never so random as it may seem because the house has to win. This is a win scored for the politicians who run the national casino. Expanding on a theme, the owners of the house include politicians, their bankers, and the corporations that have bought them.

If you’re going to support a small number of big rollers, you need a large number of losers. These losers are the poor suckers who vote for, and who work for, the big rollers. They are, in a word, insignificant in the big rollers view, and very dispensable. In the world of big rollers, big rollers are the only things that count. I think there needs to be some kind of reappraisal so that monetary gain, and corruption, are not the highest value around. The community of people at large should not be dissolving, the way it is today, into shantytown wastrels and the service industry for a tiny colony of rich people.

Why, you ask, should we turn things around in such a dramatic fashion? Alright. Let me start with the example of a movie theatre in Colorado where 12 people died and 58 people were wounded. I kind think of this kind of thing is the result of bad city planning. Massacres of this sort are becoming more and more common. I think these massacres are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to humanity’s mistreatment of humanity. When you build places that are good for people, people are good to people. When they are good to people, they don’t shoot them. All the people, not just the upper crust.

The Church of Biological Psychiatry and its Discontents

The collusion of business interests, academic stuffed shirts, and a media elite has ensured that the public gets the views of compliant converts to the Church of Biological Psychiatry much more frequently than it hears from non-compliant, and completely recovered, survivors of psychiatric human rights violations and oppression.

The goody two shoes of psychiatry are multiple, and the deception is deep. Your step and fetch it wierd Aunt or Uncle Tom of the treatment world is not the only animal around. She or he is just the media‘s, and the media that is courting psychiatric industry interests and corporate drug company money, darling. Drool on yourself for the camera, dear.

The Church of Biological Psychiatry includes a loose confederation of interested parties seeking to ward off funding cuts, independent examination, criticism and free thought. These parties include mainstream psychiatry organizations, torture advocacy organizations, institutions of high education, law enforcement officials, and pharmaceutical manufacturers, plus a bunch of dumb hacks that don‘t know shit.

The God of the Church of Biological Psychiatry goes by the name of chronic and irreparable “mental illness”. The Church of Biological Psychiatry asserts that a certain percentage of the population have been chosen to express the genes fashioned expressly by this God of Madness. Here, “mental illness” is a noun and never a verb. Furthermore, “mental illness” is possessive. If it’s not what you are, it’s what you have, and it’s not what you do.

The belief in “mental illness” genes has not put us one iota closer to developing a “mental illness” litmus test. After all this time, this “mental illness” bug or defect, just like the Gods of the Greeks, the Romans, and the God of the Christians, has eluded capture. Converts and evangelicals alike, despite being certain that “mental illnesses” are caused by defective, inferiority, or submission genes, readily admit that they don’t know the source of “mental disturbances”.

The great God “mental disorder” demands further research and development into the potent capacity chemicals have to maintain, contain, and otherwise control the more unruly select among his flock. Without these pills and potions they would be lost forever. Sorry fuckers who can’t cope with the world outside of an institution. These chemical compounds were created expressly in order to correct the mistakes of nature. The church has an expression for its solution to these mistakes, “In pharmaceuticals, and the profits they pull in, we trust.”

For decades a small but growing band of heretics have defied the dictates and decrees of the Church of Biological Psychiatry despite, if not total silence, irritation on the part of the illuminati. You must know your place, the clergy preach, and that place is either in receiving treatment, or in providing treatment, or in agreeing with everything we say. Stay tuned, although evangelicals and corruption have guaranteed that the Church of Biological Psychiatry is growing at a much faster rate than heresy, there is no room for improvement in the perfect doctrine.

The “mental illness” causes cancer and injury theory

John Hopkins Medicine has a story out, Cancer and Injuries More Likely In People with Serious Mental Illness. Theory has it that this is because people given “serious mental illness” labels belong to an entirely different species than the general run of humanity.

Newswise — People with serious mental illness —schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and disabling depression — are 2.6 times more likely to develop cancer than the general population, new Johns Hopkins research suggests.

Hmmm. Either “serious mental illness”, or the drugs used in the treatment of “serious mental illness”, are carcinogens. Frankly, I’m betting it’s the drugs.

“The increased risk is definitely there, but we’re not entirely sure why,” says study leader Gail L. Daumit, M.D., M.H.S., an associate professor of medicine and psychiatry at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. “Are these people getting screened? Are they being treated? Something’s going on.”

Well, maybe because the drugs being used are carcinogenic. Just like nicotine in cigarettes.

More bad news…

In a separate study, published online last month in the journal Injury Prevention, Daumit found that people with serious mental illness were nearly twice as likely to end up in a hospital’s emergency room or inpatient department suffering from an injury than the general population and about 4.5 times more likely to die from their injuries.

Again I think they should look into the relationship between psychiatric drugs and serious injury. There might be one there . Psychiatric drugs are known to cause serious injury in fact.

Wait. I know. We can’t do that. Think of all the crazies you’d be letting loose on the world. It’s gotta be ‘the disease’, right?

I feel that there is quite a bit less mystery involved in this phenomenon than do the authors of these research studies apparently. This is like the keystone cop holding some offending young punk up by the scruff of the neck, and not seeing him there in front of his nose at all. He’s just one more reason why there are vigilantes in the world today.

Harmful practices, ‘the golden rule’, and a better world

I’m not a religious person; in fact, I’m an out and out atheist. All the same, the one piece of scripture that has had a great influence on me is that concerning what has been termed ‘the golden rule’. ‘The golden rule’ goes like this, “do unto others as you would have done unto yourself”.

I remember going to a book signing event featuring Patch Adams, M.D. once, and if I recall correctly, during the course of this event Patch said something to the effect of, “I would never give psychiatric ‘medications’ to a person I liked.” This is not the case with most psychiatrists. Many psychiatrists dish powerful neuroleptic drugs out like they thought they were some kindly old lady with a candy jar. Physicians who have any regard for their patient’s health should show a little more reserve and caution.

Electro-shock therapy involves sending electrical currents through the brain, the bodies central command unit, and the organ of thought, in order to induce a grand mal seizure. Grand mal seizures, ironically, in some quarters, are thought to be the antithesis of psychosis. Grand mal seizures are not good for the brain. Anesthesia may be able to keep the person from realizing he or she has just undergone a physically traumatizing procedure, but this is, in fact, the case,

Both psychiatric drugs and electro-convulsive shock therapy are procedures that reduce brain mass, or destroy brain cells. Put differently, and to be more exacting, they damage the brain. On top of damaging the brain, atypical neuroleptic drugs also produce a metabolic syndrome that affects adversely the overall health of the individual taking these drugs. This metabolic syndrome causes excessive weight gain, diabetes, heart conditions, and a number of other ill health conditions.

Biological psychiatric theory has it that the annoying behaviors associated with mental ill health are caused by some abnormality in the brain, and therefore, treatment needs to target areas of the brain. We destroy the offending behaviors by suppressing or eliminating activity the area of the brain causing the annoyances. Basically, while we may have outlawed radical brain surgery in mental health treatment, our psychiatrists are still very gung ho about procedures that arrive at the same result.

I personally think many of the psychiatric practices currently being engaged in run completely counter to ‘the golden rule’. I don’t think there are many psychiatrists who would approve of brain damage and physical harm being done to their own persons. This makes it all the more ironic that they are so very enthusiastic about doing damage to other people. I know there are other ways besides the way of biological medical model psychiatric treatment, and I feel like one of those other ways has got to be following ‘the golden rule’.

Through adherence to ‘the golden rule’ I think it may be possible to reach a better world than the one we have presently got at hand. There is one major snafu in ‘the golden rule’ though, and that snafu involves people who persistently violate this rule. People who put their own selfish and narrow minded interests above the interests of their fellows, these people put this better world in jeopardy.

Violators of “the golden rule”, such as medical model psychiatrists, Wall Street bankers, and other evil doers, have to be punished and contained if we are to hold onto to this vision of a better world for everyone in the future. “Doing unto others as you would not have them do unto yourself”, or, to put it another way, bigotry, is not the kind of behavior that we will be able to tolerate. We must, in other words, tolerate all behaviors except intolerance if we are ever to reach this better world.

We Need More Liberties For American Citizens, Not Fewer

I generally don’t think anybody should be forcibly treated in a psychiatric hospital, but I make an exception in the case of David Vognar. I think Mr Vognar, and another Huffington Post blogger mentioned previously, DJ Jaffe, might be able to benefit a great deal from forced mental health intervention. Mr. Vognar claims to have been diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder. Mr. Vognar has apparently not spent much time imprisoned in a state hospital, or he wouldn’t have written a Huffington Post blog post like the one he did recently calling for an expansion in the use of involuntary treatment on people labeled “mentally ill”. The post bears the leading, and extremely prejudicial, heading, We Need to Expand Involuntary Treatment for Severe Mental Illness. I happen to vehemently disagree with Mr. Vognar on this issue. I don’t think we need to expand the federal penitentiary system, one of the largest in the world, in this country either.

If Mr. Vognar and Mr Jaffe were confined to a state mental hospital for the length of their lives, I think it would be fair to say that a great number of the rest of the people on this planet could sleep more secure. If Mr. Vognar and Mr. Jaffe were subjected to a perpetual regimen of mind snuffing pharma-tortures, and seizure inducing mini-electrocutions, as well as the complete suppression of their personal opinions, I have no doubt that the world as a whole would be a much better place in which to live. Intolerance and hate crimes are a plague, and the best way to deal with this plague is by putting the worst offenders out of commission. Mr. Vognar and Mr. Jaffe are too ‘seriously disturbed’ to ever be ‘cured’. They are, like I say, ‘seriously disturbed’, and to suggest that they could change their behavior in any way, shape, or form is merely to “stigmatize” them. They, being “sick”, don’t have the control necessary to manage such a transformation. We should therefore, out of the kindness in our hearts, imprison them in a state hospital for the duration of their days. Understand that this is a preventive measure, by detaining them in this fashion we have prevented the detention of a great many more people in coercive *cough* ‘care’.

Just Another Kiss-Ass Medal Of Dishonor And Disgrace

The story appears in The Sacremento Bee, under the heading, Inaugural Dr. Guislain Award – “Breaking the Chains of Stigma” Makes Global Call for Nominations.

You know when Jenssen Research and Development, the folks who brought the world the atypical neuroleptic drug Risperidal, partners with a Belgium museum to present an “anti-stigma” award all is not up and above board.

The inaugural Dr. Guislain Award – “Breaking the Chains of Stigma” – and call for nominations is announced today by Museum Dr. Guislain in Ghent, Belgium, with support from Janssen Research & Development, LLC (“Janssen”). The $50,000 award will honor an individual, project or organization that has made an exceptional contribution to reducing the stigma associated with mental illness. Nominations can be submitted at http://www.drguislainaward.org, and will be accepted until August 4, 2012.

I see, in this case, $50,000 going out for drug promotion and sales as I don’t think they’d give this award to anybody who bashed their company or its product. Opposition to stigma has become a ploy used on behalf of biological psychiatry for promoting the notion of chronic psychiatric disability, and the selling of pharmaceuticals that goes along with that notion…

“Museum Dr. Guislain is very pleased to honor the memory of Dr. Guislain through the creation of this award,” said Brother Rene Stockman, general manager of the Museum Dr. Guislain. “In recognizing the important contributions of individuals and organizations who have helped to reduce the stigma associated with mental illness, we both acknowledge Dr. Guislain’s legacy and demonstrate the continuing need to educate the general public on harmful effects of social exclusion faced by many with mental illness.”

Wow, and they haven’t made much of a dent in “stigma” since 1860, the year of Dr. Guislain’s death? Funny, It says nothing here about the harmful effects of debilitating and health destroying drugs. One thing though, we can’t blame Dr. Guislain for neuroleptic drugs because he died a few years before they became the fashionable treatment they are today. The use of these drugs as a psychiatric treatment only started around about 1955 or so.

Conflict of interest is conflict of interest, and I’m gagging on the reek of conflict of interest in this piece. I’ve always had qualms about the slant history takes, too, when too many views are not represented. I hope the museum does a better job at presenting the past than it does at choosing its friends in the moment. Histories are not, to paraphrase a saying, written by the winners, histories are written by the survivors.

Big Rift, Little Rift, Crossable Channel

The mental health system has very little to do with mental health, and the mental health system has a whole lot to do with “mental illness” labeling. Mental health experts are not so much mental health experts as they are “mental illness” experts. They don’t treat “well” people, they treat people who are seen as “sick”, and if “wellness” is the aim, it isn’t the typical condition people “under their care” are thought to possess.

There are a number of problems with conventional mental health treatment that attributes immature and irresponsible behavior to biological defects. Belief in biology of this sort doesn’t even allow for personal growth. The folly of youth can’t give way to the wisdom of experience when that folly is a predetermined physical condition. Contemporary theory has replaced psychosomatic with somatic psychological.

By definition “mental illness” is psychosomatic. Brain disease proper is an illness, or damage to, a specific bodily organ, the brain. A blurring of the lines between neurology and psychiatry has obscured this basic distinction between these two disciplines of study to the detriment of all people in mental health care. The answer to the psychosomatic dilemma is psychological. There is no answer to the somatic psychological condition, psychology being an individual response to matters beyond one’s control.

What people don’t realize is that much of the cynicism regarding mental health treatment today is based entirely upon theoretical bias. Without responsibility there is little or no freedom. When choice is removed from an equation, the possible outcomes are severely limited. It should come as absolutely no surprise then that negative outcomes are often the self-fulfilling prophesies of negative expectations.

Responsibility comes of taking charge of one’s behavior. Where self-control is accounted lacking, taking charge is thought to be unattainable. It is this matter of control that is at the crux of our dilemma in mental health care today. The assumption is that “disease” vanquishes all “self-mastery”. The reality is that this ouster has not been sufficiently demonstrated to justify abandonment to belief in it. If the “disease” were characterized as a “lack of self-control”, perhaps its severity is all too often exaggerated into mythology.

Some people have a great deal of difficulty, and if you consider their circumstances, it should come as little surprise, getting over this “mountain made out of a mole hill”. The question is how does somebody manage to shrink this “mountain” back down to a more manageable dimension again so that a person could step over it in order that he or she may move on with his or her life. Psychiatry has been supremely ineffective, to date, at arriving at a method for making this step possible.

I submit that we need to look closer at the relationships this person has with people who inhabit his or her social sphere before we jump to any conclusions about his or her character. These relationships include business and therapy associations as well as family and friends. Between the 5 % of the population who have been given chronic psychiatric labels, and the 95 % of the population who are deemed, relatively speaking, “mentally healthy”, I think the gap is much narrower than it has been thought to be. It is so narrow, in fact, that I think a great deal more people might be able to move beyond it than has been hitherto suggested.