Euthanasia for mental health reasons, although far from hot, rising in popularity in the Netherlands

13 people with psychiatric diagnoses had “assisted suicides” in the Netherlands last year. According to the story in Dutch News 13 psychiatric patients were helped to die last year.

Failing at suicide can get you a psychiatric label, but not to fear, now having a psychiatric label can get you “assistance” in murdering yourself.

In cases of senile dementia, a neurological not a psychiatric condition, when you can see it coming, you can nip that eventual confusion in the bud.

Euthanasia among people in the early stages of dementia also rose last year to 49 cases, double that of 2010.

Euthanasia is gaining popularity as a sport these days it would seem.

The figures are in line with a general upward trend. The total number of euthanasia cases rose 18% last year to 3,695 and the number of cases has doubled since 2006, the report said.

A small portion of people in the Netherlands are taking this option. I imagine a few of them are actually in real pain.

Assisted suicide now accounts for 2.8% of all deaths in the Netherlands, researchers from four Dutch teaching hospitals and the national statistics office CBS found earlier this year.

I expect this means we will be seeing a rise in “assisted suicides” for mental health reasons in the years ahead.

When we say “assisted” we are talking a number of accomplices. The patient must be said to be “suffering unbearably”, the doctor must be convinced the choice is “informed”, and the concurring opinion of a second physician is a mandatory requirement.

Nonetheless, and despite these restrictions, 13 people in reasonably good health presumably, managed to get approved for “assisted suicides” due to their alleged “mental ill” health in the Netherlands last year.

Keep counting. These numbers are sure to rise.

UPDATE 9/26/12

A news story just out in LifeSiteNews claims Euthanasia out of control in the Netherlands.

This article points out that the 13 people with psychiatric labels who opted for “assisted suicide” last year was up from 2 people with “mental illness” labels who opted to do so the year before.

A report cited in the same article from The Lancet noted that 23 % of the incidents of euthanasia go unreported.

Up up up is the word.

It is important to recognize that the number of reported euthanasia deaths in the Netherlands has increased by 19% in 2010 and 13% in 2009

Since ’06 this incline is as follows…

There were 1923 reported euthanasia deaths in 2006.
There were 2120 reported euthanasia deaths in 2007.
There were 2331 reported euthanasia deaths in 2008.
There were 2636 reported euthanasia deaths in 2009.
There were 3136 reported euthanasia deaths in 2010.
There are 3695 reported euthanasia deaths in 2011.

This spate of euthanasia has just been given a shot in the arm by the recent launch of mobile euthanasia units.

On March 1, the euthanasia lobby in the Netherlands launched six mobile euthanasia teams. The NVVE, euthanasia lobby in the Netherlands, announced that they anticipate that the mobile euthanasia teams would carry-out 1000 euthanasia deaths per year.

Misfits in the psychiatric system are going to be targeted by these mobile teams.

The mobile euthanasia teams plan to fill unmet demand for euthanasia for people with chronic depression (mental pain), people with disabilities, people with dementia/Alzheimer, loneliness, and those whose request for euthanasia is declined by their physician. In 2010, 45% of all euthanasia requests resulted in death by euthanasia.

If it is still apparently easier to do it yourself, given legal euthanasia, I expect this 45 % approval rate to rise to well over 50 % sometime in the future. When it comes to approval for “assisted suicide”, a greater demand for euthanasia will mean more doctors willing to meet that demand.

Stay connected all you anti-lifers. It seems ‘death-wish’ fulfillment has got a very bright future indeed.

Living My Life Without ‘Mental Illness’

I don’t have a “mental illness”. I don’t have multiple “mental illnesses”. I don’t see a doctor who says I have any “mental illness”. If I did see such a doctor, it would still be my big secret. I think there are some things you should never discuss with a member of the psychiatric profession, and that is just one of those things. If I felt I had a “mental illness”, or if I wanted a “mental illness”, as some people seem to do, the situation would be different. Psychiatrists dispense “mental illness” labels, and the pills used to treat such labels, as if they were candy. Doing so, I would imagine, fits the psychiatrist job description as it is defined today pretty much to a tee.

The literature these days seems to suggest that there is a “stigma” against seeking treatment for a “mental” condition. What this literature seldom goes into is that much of the treatment going on today, as it was yesterday, is unsought and unwanted. It is coercive treatment given by way of court order to a person who somebody found annoying, and who doesn’t want that mental health treatment imposed on him or her. Unfortunately there aren’t so many people saying that we should end forced treatment so that the only people in treatment are those who want to have such treatment. This leaves the person who disagrees with forced treatment with a limited number of choices. Released from confinement he or she can either join the chorus of people crying for more and more treatment reputedly to end “stigma”, he or she can vanish into a quiet but unmolested and ignoble obscurity, or he or she can speak out on behalf of all those who are treated against their will and wishes.

The first path was always out of the question for me on account of the fact that I could never be so dishonest. I know there is much incentive, after forced and life disrupting psychiatric interventions, for choosing the second path, but I have chosen the third, and I would imagine more arduous path. Why? I think the value of one brave soul surpasses that of a thousand cowardly souls when it comes right down to it. A number of us feel that that violence that the state uses on people deemed to be of unsound mind is quite literally torture. This torture amounts to cruel and unusual punishment in a circumstance where no crime has been committed. Persuading the victim of this torture that torture is treatment, and that treatment is a necessary “good”, gives the torturer quite an edge over his detractors I would say. It cannot, for instance, as in this case, be said that oppression takes place without the acquiescence of the oppressed. I, for my part, aim to acquiesce as little as possible.

When I was first introduced to psychiatric treatment I was wary of psychiatric drugs not because they were dangerous but because they made me feel miserable. Learning, as I have learned, that these drugs do damage to people, and that the misery I felt was indicative of their destructive nature, I have not become any less wary of their usage. I have in fact become an advocate for non-compliance to treatment plans because of the damage wreaked by these drugs. This is only the beginning though when it comes to my complaints about conventional psychiatry. Some of us, and I include myself in that category, have better things to do with our lives than waste our days in mental health limbo. Some of us had rather be leading a purposeful existence. When it comes to this purposeful existence, we don’t need a psychiatrist telling us just what that purpose should be. We can figure these things out for ourselves.

Imagine a psychiatric label. Imagine a pair of scissors. With a couple of snips from the scissors imagine the psychiatric label divorced from the human whose neck it hung around. Imagine this psychiatric label lying by its lonesome. Imagine freedom. I don’t have to imagine that freedom any more because that freedom is mine. The label had no magic hold over me, and it wasn’t attached by super(crazy)glue. It was only a matter of words in a text on some mental health professional’s bookshelf. I have my own words. I can put the dictionary to work for my own ends, too. I don’t need to be debilitated by language. I don’t need to be removed from any meaningful dialogue and social context. I don’t need to be exiled from the community at large. I am not logically challenged, nor am I communication dysfunctional. I don’t have a “major” or a “minor mental illness”. I don’t know about you, but me, hey, I’m Okay.

Thomas Stephen Szasz, 1920 – 2012

“I am probably the only psychiatrist in the world whose hands are clean,” Szasz told the newspaper. “I have never committed anyone. I have never given electric shock. I have never, ever, given drugs to a mental patient.”

~Update: Thomas Szasz, Manlius psychiatrist who disputed existence of mental illness, dies at 92, John Mariani, Wednesday, September 12, 2012, The Post-Standard, Saracuse, New York.

Saturday Morning I saw the close of the historic 30th Anniversary Nation Association for Rights Protection and Advocacy (NARPA) conference in Cincinnati. The grand finale of this event was a rousing and invigorating talk by Bruce Levine lambasting corruption in psychiatry, and in his own profession of psychology. He was, in fact, calling for the abolition of the profession of psychiatry on the grounds of the extent to which it was contaminated by that corruption.

Sometime during the evening of the same day, a giant among giants as far as critics of mainstream psychiatry go, Dr. Thomas Stephen Szasz, passed away.

I flew back to Florida from Ohio on Sunday, September the 9th.

On the afternoon of Monday September 10th, during a teleconference, on a facebook page I ran across a report of Dr. Szasz passing. I immediately made mention of this comment to the people who were taking part in this teleconference. We did a quick Google news search, and decided it was probably nothing more than an internet rumor. There was nothing in Google news to indicate that he had died. Dr. Szasz, although 92 years of age, had just last year presented to an enthusiastic crowd at the International Society for Ethical Psychology & Psychiatry (ISEPP) conference in Los Angeles.

Tuesday I had more than enough reliable reports to conclude that he had expired. First there was an announcement on the ISEPP facebook page, and a link was provided to the article that sparked that announcement.

The New York Times on Wednesday reported on his death with an article that quoted E. Fuller Torrey and Edward Shorter, by no means friends of, nor friendly to, Dr. Szasz and his ideas. Vera Hassner Sharav, president of the Human Alliance For Human Research Protection, uses the occasion to voice his differences in opinion from those expressed by Dr. Szasz rather than emphasizing any places where they might have been in agreement.

Usually when you are remembering a person, you turn to his friends rather than his enemies. Although it is curious that the New York Times should turn to Dr. Szasz’s enemies when remembering him, certainly Dr. Szasz’s legacy neither begins nor ends with the New York Times.

I think it goes without saying that some segments of the mainstream mass media are as corrupt as the psychiatrists they quote. A much more just and balanced appreciation, The Passing of Thomas Szasz, can be found in The New American.

Dr. Szasz’s distinctive voice, and his singular presence, will be sorely missed by many.

Poor and struggling people “mental disorder” prone. Duh!

The UK Daily Mail reports, The true cost of debt: People struggling to pay loans are ‘three times more likely to have mental health problems’, as if this were news. Why am I not at all surprised?

Among people with the most difficult debt challenges, including arrears on mortgage or rent payments, the rate of mental health problems rises to three times higher than in the general population, scientist said.

People with money problems have “mental” problems. Any excuse will do. Maybe you can get the government (i.e. taxpayers) to pay your way if you, personally, cannot afford to pay your own way.

He [University of Nottingham Dr. John Gathergood] said: ‘One striking finding of my research is that many people with debt problems describe feelings of being unable to concentrate on day-to-day activities or make normal decisions. This has wider effects on their attitudes and general health.”

Uh, right. My debt threw me. Anybody else wanna take it on? I just love those challenges other people face. Particularly when they are insurmountable.

Remember the great depression of 1929? Me neither. I’m just not that old, but we’ve had these things called economic recessions ever since that are essentially the same thing. We call them recessions so people won’t get upset, and because we know there is going to be an readjustment made to fix the thing. On the other hand, nobody has an emotional “recession” because it would mean a diminishment of the seriousness of “the problem” when “the problem” is conceived of as primarily “mental”.

I wouldn’t think that many people, as a rule, want to waste their lives working on seeking a solution to an insoluble problem. “The problem” in your head is insoluble. “The problem” with the economy will eventually give way to a solution for some bodies if not for others.

Just consider, what if the “mental” problem were not all that “mental”? What then? Maybe, just maybe, that would make “the problem” in your head soluble.

The point I would like to make is that a revolution for a more equitable redistribution of wealth may result in an improvement of both conditions. This is particularly true if we are in reality talking one condition here, and that one condition is the economic condition.

Professional Zombie Psychiatry Not Invinceable…Yet

Straight off the bat I’m insulted. I’m not “mentally ill”. “Mental illness” is psychiatry-speak. Listen and you’re damned. Flip ’em the finger, and you’re saved.

Speaking in more general terms, if you were to draw a circle, and title the circle “psychiatry”, you want to stand outside of that circle in the broader world where things are still possible.

What you don’t want to be is a victim of psychiatric predation. ‘Here’s a label, hang it around your neck for the duration of your days, and let’s play “psychiatry says”.’ You want to say “no” to that kind of psycho-tyrannical ego annihilation.

Don’t confess. Admit nothing. They want to hang you on your past. You don’t want to get caught in that kind of terminally lost and perpetually frozen time frame. Be forewarned, and dress accordingly. The coldest people on earth work in the mental health system.

Psychiatry says, “take a pill.” Psychiatry says, “fit into the square hole.” Psychiatry says, “once a loony always a loony.” Psychiatry says, “my voice is the only voice.” Psychiatry says, “I’m the authority.” Psychiatry says, “you’re not the authority.” Psychiatry says, “worship at the shrine of the prescription pad.”

Psychiatry is boorrinngg! Be wary though, psychiatry wants to bore you into a somnolent compliance. Psychiatry wants to hypnotize you into zombie-dom. Psychiatry is the new voodoo.

Grab an assault rifle. Park yourself by a window, and prepare for the new long night of the living dead.

Wait a minute! Maybe I’m getting ahead of myself. There’s no need to get yourself locked up in a maximum security forensic unit. You can fight this war on the street where 75 % of the population have nothing to do with “mental health” or “mental health” zombies. The mental health zombie authorities have still got a long ways to go before the DSM-XKM allows all citizens to be labeled “sick” by virtue of their citizenship.

It may be coming, but it’s still on a slow boat. However much psychiatry wants business to pick up, that much is too much. Too much for the moment anyway.

You have to understand that biopsychosocial rehabilitation isn’t just a nonsense term. Biopsychosocial rehabilitation is the new name for purgatory on earth. Biopsychosocial rehabilitation is rehabilitation that is expressly not rehabilitation. Biopsychosocial rehabilitation is the limbo of non-starters.

The psychiatry grimoire can’t work its magic when it’s closed or kept at a distance. You don’t need to have a “mental illness” if you don’t want to have one. What people don’t have is the classified information that the mental health zombie authorities like to keep from them. Anybody who gets with a “mental illness” can lose that “mental illness” whenever convenient. The technology of our mental health zombie authorities isn’t such that it can keep tabs on its victims everywhere they go. The zombie authorities, just like their labels, are very losable.

This thoroughly beatable non-threatening situation may not always be the situation, but it is the situation today. Biopsychobabble is very vulnerable to rational argument. The forces of psychiatry madness can be warded off by calling on alternate shamanistic powers when necessary. Be forewarned. This may not always be the case. Big pharma’s puppet doctor zombie wants you!

Epiphany On The Threshold Of A Better World

We need to say, and in no uncertain terms, “NO to forced mental health treatment!” Forced treatment is always mistreatment. This totalitarian loophole in our democratic system of government should be closed, and closed for good. The problem is not, and never was, forced this therapy or that therapy. The problem is force in and of itself because force involves denying one of the values we hold most basic to the democratic process, namely individual liberty.

There are just so many ways in which people are made un-free through mental health maltreatment. They can be restrained by restraining devices, they can be subjected to solitary confinement, they can be electro-shocked against their wishes, and they can be drugged regardless of their own feelings on the subject, even when out of the so called mental hospital, more literally a psychiatric prison, and in the larger community.

A new law is not going to fix this old problem at all. A new law will merely add to the confusion. There are so many laws, and in few places is this more true than in the mental health system, that are not being enforced now. We certainly don’t need another silly law on the books. What we need is for the old law that allows this over extended exercise in tyranny to be repealed. When force is not the law, as far as mental health treatment is concerned, then force is a violation of the law the way it is everywhere else.

The mental health system in fact serves as the way in which mental health authorities get around the law. People are neglected, abused, violated, and die in these facilities, and the offenders are let off with little more than a knuckle rapping if that. The people confined to these facilities are not schizophrenics or manic depressives, and they didn’t come from another planet. They are human beings the same as you and me. Schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are lying words in a lying book used to make human beings out to be something other than what they are.

Violence is growing more and more common in contemporary society. Violence is growing more and more common because of the lack of a sense of community, and because of a breakdown in communications. Violence is not growing more common because of an epidemic of “mental illness”. That is the myth. “Mental illnesses” don’t kill people any more than guns kill people. When all is said and done, it is people who kill people, and it is people who should be held accountable.

Tolerance is the answer. Tolerance and an end to these arbitrary and discriminatory laws. Intolerance breeds intolerance. We see the results of this intolerance in the multiple murders that take place on an almost daily basis here and there. These acts of violence weren’t perpetuated by people with “mental illnesses”. They are intolerant acts perpetuated by frustrated individuals reacting to other acts of intolerance. Build a more livable world, for everybody not just for some monied elite, and such acts of violence should subside to the degree that such a world is actually achieved. There is often a reason, you see, to unreason, and it’s not the sort of reason that should be ignored.