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.

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4 Responses

  1. Let’s reanimate Guislan, who died about 150 years ago, and give him a dose of Risperidone.

    • I’m afraid poor Dr. Guislain is probably too far gone for the drugs to do him any good.

      Don’t let the drug companies get wind of this suggestion though, with them any excuse for ‘off label’ prescribing is as good as another, and reanimating cadavers would present a perfect opportunity for them to expand their markets.

      I was listening to some rich fart on the boob-tube the other day talk about the possibility of people living longer, perhaps indefinitely, in the future. I’ve already got the suspicion that the only way they’re going to achieve an inkling of this increased longitivity is through chemical means. This is, in other words, drug research and development talk, and it runs like this, we will increase the lifespans of people living on this planet appreciably even if it kills them. Okay, and if they do, rich fart, of course, is one of the few who will be able to afford it.

  2. I think the museum sounds quite good – the problem is they have teamed up with Janssen. Quote on the award webiste http://www.drguislainaward.org/ from Manji Husseini, Global Therapeutic Area Head for Neuroscience, Janssen Research & Development, LLC (what a grand title) “If we can eliminate stigma as a global society, we are one step closer to getting people treatment and finding cures”. Aren’t there enough people getting treatment? The last time I looked it was, in the UK, about one in 10 people every year. However many do they want?

    If you look at the committee http://www.drguislainaward.org/selection-process/committee/ there are four men who all seem to be into brain biochemistry and then two women who are writers. I can’t see them agreeing over much. Anyway I will be interested to see who the award goes to – I might make a nomination myself.

    • It, like other passages on “stigma”, evades the issue of forced treatment. Some people don’t want to be treated. Some people believe we should have that right we don’t have, the right to refuse unwanted mental health interventions.

      There was a time when almost all treatment was forced treatment. I’d like to see a time when all treatment is voluntary treatment. If we’re talking forced treatment, do we really need more people to lose their liberty in the name of “mental health care”? If they think they’re trying to force psychiatric treatment on more people, no wonder the so-called “stigma”. If you don’t support slander, abduction, imprisonment, assault, poisoning and torture in the name of treatment, you’re “stigmatizing” people. If that’s treatment, I’ll take the “stigma” instead any day of the week, thank you.

      In most inpatient facilities, voluntary patients today are not voluntary patients. They are held on locked wards in which it is up to the discretion of those in charge whether they can sign themselves out for good or not. I would like to see a time arrive when they could come and go as they please. Given this level of coercion, the wonder is that so many people are in favor of losing the freedoms their forefathers fought so long and hard for them to know. Myself, I’m for holding onto those freedoms, “stigma” or no “stigma”.

      When mental health treatment is a matter of slander, abduction, assault, imprisonment, poison, and torture, no wonder so many people are reluctant to ask for it. There is very little that is therapeutic about torture, and many of the people who are subjected to it end up leaving the institution in worse condition than they were in when they were first admitted.

      Want to do something to lower the rate of “mental illness” in the world? End forced treatment, and you’ve just shot a big hole in that balloon.

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