Maryland Hopes To Get The Potentially Potentially Violent Into Treatment

The U.S. government has been very successful in its effort to lay the blame for mass violence on pathology rather than individuals. The disturbed individual is no longer an individual. He or she now has a psychiatric label, whether bestowed by a doctor or a newspaper reporter, and thus belongs to a grouping of disturbed people. People with psychiatric labels aren’t their own moral agents goes the ruse.  They are adult children instead requiring full or part time professional supervision.

If violence is a matter of pathology rather than choice, fine and dandy, and this pathology is a matter of biology, alright. The thing to do is to catch violent offenders before they violently offend. When his “disease” made him (we’re talking mostly young males here) do it, after all, we’re looking at “diseases” and not individuals. Individuality is not an option. People either conform to custom and law (regardless of whether that custom and law means wearing a suit and tie or a tee-shirt, jeans and ponytail) or they are “diseased”.

The idea of pre-psychosis, although deferred from categorization as a bona fide “mental disorder” in the DSM-5, is back. The Baltimore Sun reports, New Maryland mental health initiative focuses on identifying and treating psychosis. This headline doesn’t tell you everything. Maryland is beefing up it’s mental health police state system in an effort to catch more pre-psychotic pre-killers.

Founded using a $1.2 million state appropriation approved this year, the Center for Excellence on Early Intervention for Serious Mental Illness has a goal of identifying psychosis in a fresh way: by taking notice in the earliest stages and providing support before symptoms spiral out of control.

I guess they think that by busting pre-psychotics they will be preventing psychotic mass murder in the long term. The problem I see with this plan is that you don’t have a psychotic “until symptoms spiral out of control”, and my understanding is that the majority of pre-psychotics don’t go psychotic, and so, by targeting them for treatment, one could be acting in a causative rather than a preventative fashion.

[University of Maryland child and adolescent psychiatrist, Gloria] Reeves and her colleagues say they’re working to ensure patients can live normal lives by short-circuiting the possibility of a deeper psychosis that could intensify if left untreated.

When a patient is already a patient, hey, what have you got? Shallow psychosis or pre-psychosis? In which case prevention is a matter of preventing deep, “deeper” ,or what is known in the trades as ‘full blown’, psychosis? My point is that maybe sometimes it is better to completely prevent the problem by eliminating the doctor patient relationship in its entirety first. Labeling a person “disordered” is the way you make a mental patient. Once a mental patient has been made, and is being subsidized by the state, unmaking a mental patient, unburdening the state of the financial expense, becomes a major problem in itself.

A growing body of research over the past two decades, however, has shown patients are much more responsive to treatment if they’re diagnosed early, and there are early warning signs that suggest when a person is at risk for developing psychosis.

Patients again. If we have more psychosis, but more treatment compliant psychotics, are we 1. upping the number of over all patients labeled psychotic, or 2. lessening the number of disturbed mass gunman in the nation? My feeling is that we are certainly doing # 1 while it is entirely questionable as to whether we’re getting anywhere with # 2.  Next question, do we really want a larger population of psychotics in the nation?

Before you think that the impetus for this measure is entirely medical, let it be known that the funding for this initiative was voted in by the Maryland General Assembly at the prompting of  Governor Martin O’Malley. Mental health treatment then is the state of Maryland‘s answer to massive acts of violence. Of course, this is providing that they’ve got the right suspects, uh, I mean patients, and that pre-psychosis leads to psychosis which, in turn, leads to massive acts of violence. I don’t even think that is a great theory on paper, but Maryland is not the only state that sees the answer to extreme violence in the nation as a matter of increasing the amount of oppression directed against people with psychiatric labels.

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A Disorder Is Manufactured

One of the most obvious and pervasive examples of the fraudulent medicalizing of everyday life can be seen in the pathologizing of childhood through the historically recent invention of the attention deficit hyperativity disorder (ADHD) diagnosis. Children grow up, but therapeutic relations based on fraud don’t dissolve into a “normality” disorder diagnosis overnight. The American Psychiatric Association put its official stamp of approval on these relations in it’s new Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-5), the latest edition of the shrink bible, by adding an adult version of this fabrication.

Clinical Psychiatric News, as you would expect, has published an article on this fabrication by a doctor who believes, as it were, in the legitimacy of this fraud. The story, as if ADHD were a good grade, bears the heading, Adult ADHD: Making the diagnosis. Making up the diagnosis is more like it.

Adult attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder is a common and treatable psychiatric condition the diagnosis of which is made more challenging because the disorder looks different than the classic picture in children.

I imagine this is the place to note that speed, the most common “treatment” for ADHD, affects adolescents and children differently than it does adults. Speed is now being peddled, not only as a illicit recreational drug, but also over the counter as a legal “performance enhancer” after the introduction of this invented disorder. Of course, it’s “performance enhancing” qualities are generally restricted to the short-term. We are talking about a drug, drugs work by disabling the brain.

The adult presentation of ADHD is more subtle than in children. It includes disorganization and poor time-management skills; impulsivity with poor self-control often demonstrated via rude comments and frequent interruption of others; emotional difficulties rooted in low self-esteem and poor affect regulation; and difficulty in concentrating and completing even simple tasks.

As with most other psychiatric fabrications, the person so diagnosed could also be said to be suffering from a profound alienation disorder. In so doing one must note that alienation is something that occurs in social relationships and between people, such as between a psychiatrist and his victims. Should we have a bad apple here, perhaps the reason is because somebody has managed to infest the barrel with worms.

The adult version of this fraud has a long way to go before it has anything like the pervasive presence that the adolescent or juvenile version has, but I expect that that presence, owing to the now official status of the disorder, is on it’s way.

“It’s a very controversial area outside of psychiatry but also inside psychiatry,” according to Dr. [Robert D.] Davies [University of Colorado psychiatrist]. “A psychiatric colleague of mine had diagnosed an adult patient with ADHD and then wanted to refer him to me. I asked why. He said, ‘Because I don’t believe in it.’”

Obviously the Church of Biological Psychiatry has some work to do before this diagnosis sells speed the way it’s adolescent and juvenile version does, but needless to say, that uphill slope is being mounted at this very moment. With the diagnosis now being  given official “disease” status, how long can it be before more and more spontaneously generated cases of adult ADHD start crawling out of the woodwork?

New ADHD study would push pills on minorities

Runaway “mental illness” fraud gallops on at an ever increasing pace. The latest example of this fraud that I’ve seen is in this comparative study, reported on by Reuters, under the heading, Fewer minority kids diagnosed with ADHD.

Black and Hispanic children are half as likely to be diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) as their white peers, according to a new study that followed U.S. kindergarteners through middle school.

You’d think that would be good news, right? Think again.

“It’s a consistent pattern of what we’re interpreting as comparative underdiagnosis for minority populations,” he (study leader Paul Morgan) told Reuters Health.

If we’re diagnosing more white kids with ADHD than we are black and hispanic, it’s not because we’re overdiagnosing it in white kids, it’s because we’re underdiagnosing it in black and hispanic kids.

Let me tell you, illogic like that is not going to reduce the overall “mental illness” rate in the world today one iota. If anything, it’s likely to increase it.

“If you’ve got certain groups of kids with a disorder who are not being picked up … they might not be accessing treatment that can help in terms of their school-based functioning,” he said. That, in turn, can lead to poor self-esteem and acting out.

Morgan then goes on to talk about the dangers of “untreated ADHD”.  The short list he gives includes anxiety (a disease according to the gospel of the APA), depression (ditto) and “substance abuse”, sometimes euphemistically termed “self-medicating.”

Just what we needed, huh? More ‘mental ill health’ in the world.

This study is not about benefiting the minority community. How is the minority community going to benefit from a larger population of people with “mental illness” labels within it? This comparative study is about selling mental health treatment, and with it, “mental illness”.  There is basically one form of treatment used in standard practice these days. That one form of treatment is the use of psychotropic drugs. The one group that stands to benefit from such a study is comprised of multi-national drug companies.

Excuse me. I was a little rash in my last statement. Two groups actually stand to benefit. Were we to impose equality of disease diagnosis, by increasing the rate of diagnosis in minority communities, the overall “mental illness” rate goes up. The two groups that stand to benefit would be “mental health” professionals who would then have greater job security, and the drug industry that would have an increasing profit margin. Everybody else loses.

Children with ADHD diagnoses, as Morgan pointed out, are also prone to be diagnosed anxious, depressed, and to take illicit drugs. Short list. We really need a lot more of that in this country. Oh, yeah!

I don’t see much upward mobility for minorities developing out of this predicament, instead I see a persistent downward slide. This sort of equality–equality in disease diagnosis rates–is much like equality of inopportunity, and equality of inopportunity is just the sort of equality we don’t need.

Reflections On The President’s Mental Health Conference From A Grateful Non-attendee

President Barack Obama didn’t have a hare’s chance in hell of enacting legislation to ban assault rifles. He ran his second presidential election campaign on making a scapegoat out of people in the mental health system. Towards the start of his second administration there were three atrocious acts of mass violence perpetrated by lone individuals in this country. All of these atrocities were perpetuated by young male misfits on a failure track. Misfit, in politically correct campaign jingo,  translates “mentally ill”.

The president’s answer to massive acts of violence by maladaptive individuals was to throw a conference on mental health. What do you get out of such a mental health conference? All of these people claiming to be advocates for the “mentally ill” come out of the woodwork asking for more resources, essentially, more money. Theory goes, all these people who need therapy aren’t receiving it, and so we need more money so we can get more people into therapy. If we get enough people into therapy, we will also get a few of those guys with itchy trigger fingers.

Problem. We could end up getting a lot more people into therapy while missing many people who go onto commit massive acts of violence at the same time.  If you’ve read the news, on campus, “mental illness” rates are going up, presumably in response to student killings. Alright. The one gap that we haven’t been able to bridge in this construct is the gulf between mental health problems and violence. There isn’t a tangible link that touches everybody in mental health treatment, and yet everybody in mental health treatment is expected to pay for the gross misdeeds of a very few.

What if beefing up the mental health system doesn’t prevent a few lone and disappointed individuals from going out there and shooting up movie theaters, political rallies, and school houses? What then? Oh, I know. Time for another conference on the nation’s mental health. Seems we missed a few crazies. Okay, so long as crazed isn’t human somehow…Once crazed becomes human it ceases to be a behavior outside of the “norm” of everyday life. We don’t, after all, want a lot of people going around taking their frustrations out on the world with firearms, stress-reduction afternoons spent at the gun range aside.

I’m back to that point I keep making time and time again. “Mental illnesses” don’t kill people any more than guns kill people. People kill people. There is no “mental illness” demon that pulls the trigger in the absence of conscious thought. There is a body behind the weapon. A body at the mercy of a conscious entity. Murder is a crime. “Mental illness” is a confusion of terms used to describe what amount to wide range of problems people experience in their lives. Obviously, if violence is the culprit, somehow we’re investing our time and energies into an entirely wrong direction. Doing so is not dealing with the real issue, and that issue is the amount of violence that we are putting up with in this country.

Some gun fanatics have suggested that issuing more concealed weapon permits might be the answer to mass violence in America. We have even seen legislative initiatives in some states to allow concealed weapons in school rooms and barrooms. Thing is, soon as a concealed weapon carrier uses his or her weapon on a large number of innocent people, he or she becomes, in the eyes of the mass media, disturbed. Sure, “normal” concealed weapon holders might be able to put down a crazed gunman, but what if your concealed weapon holder snapped. I’ve heard these mental health advocates, so-called, say anyone and everyone is susceptible.

I think we need to address the real issue. That issue is violence in America, that issue is not mental health. The president’s attempt to bring ‘mental illness out of the shadows’ is going to send mental health back into the shadows. Mental health treatment is not mental health. It is a business, requiring a large number of people thought “ill”, to prosper. The danger is that by focusing on this business we will end up increasing both the numbers of people labeled “mentally ill” and the numbers of people committing massive  acts of violence. We have a violence obsessed culture, inspired by a violence obsessed entertainment industry, and as such, it is little wonder that we have much violence. Blaming violence on “mental illness” is missing the point. The problem is violence, the problem isn’t “illness”, and the solution isn’t going to come from medical science.

Crazy Is The Coming Psychiatric Police State

If you’ve been watching the news recently you should be able to see it coming. By it, I mean the Psychiatric Police State. The Psychiatric Police State is, partnering with Hollywood, President Obama’s answer to massive acts of violence perpetuated by a few lone gunmen. We’re going to beef up the mental health system in this country, and that’s supposed to prevent individuals from getting frustrated, and taking their frustrations out on crowds of people in a violent manner with gunfire. (Or, not.) If we can catch these gunmen before they start shooting, runs the theory, we can prevent atrocities from occurring. The way to catch lone gunmen before they go to war with the nation is to call them “mentally ill”, and to get them into a mental health treatment program.

Alright. One problem. Most of the people you’re going to be catching, as runs the rule with loony birds, are not going to be lone gunmen. They’re not even going to be threatening violence on people. They’re just going to be people pulled in by the round up of crazies. Crazy, slang for insane, is potentially violent by legal and legislative definition, that is, government proclamation. We got kooks. We got these kooks under lock and key by playing the potential for violence card. It’s all a ruse. By and large, they aren’t violent in the slightest, but they aren’t playing the game. Busted. Now there has got to be a great deal of irony involved in the state using violence to suppress hypothetical threats of violence.  This action isn’t about public safety, really, it’s about looking like you’re doing something about public safety.

There are any number of better things that our government could be doing. It is not really dealing with the causes of violence because it thinks that violence is produced by something called “mental illness”, and that violence is not produced by a man, conscious, with a gun in his hands. Malcontent, given the imperialistic aims of psychiatry, is interpreted as “mental illness”. Any child who rebels, especially if he or she is non-white, is now likely to receive an Oppositional Defiant Disorder label from the school mental health authorities. Just think, if this label had been around in King George’s time, and if he wasn’t such a case himself, maybe he could have had averted independence by having the leaders of the rebellion institutionalized in his own colonial version of Bedlam. ODD is not an adult disorder yet, but then we don’t have a King George any more either.

Failure is becoming increasingly common, especially when the measure for success is having something like 40,000,000,000 smackers. 20 % of the nation owns 90 % of the wealth. Where does that leave everybody else? Potentially, in therapy. The mental health system itself is a diversion from facing the real issues. If you don’t make a hell of a lot of moolah, you must be nuts. Money, money, honey; its the American way! Well, not so much any more when, as I pointed out, 20 % of the nation owns 90 % of the wealth. People are getting poorer and poorer while some big shot is doing his 18 holes, and getting away with murder at the same time. Expanding the mental health system, well, its happening, and with it, our problems are not diminishing, now are they? Yep, it would help if we opted for a solution rather than another problem but, where would we be if we didn’t make mistakes, er, I mean adjustments.

Give up? Okay. Well, I will enlighten you. Succeeding. Succeeding en masse, not just vicariously. Do you honestly think corralling misfits into mental health programs is going to help them succeed.? Look to results, look at outcomes. Nope, I guess not. Our mental health system has an atrocious record. It is a school for failure. In this school for failure, in fact, they have an expression for the training their most dedicated students receive, “learned helplessness”. Learning helplessness, despite the rhetoric, is not helpful. You, too, can learn to be a “burden to society”.  Sooner or later, the tab comes in, and it’s not just a tab rich tea partiers have to foot. The impoverished find themselves all the more impoverished paying for their impoverishment with monies they don’t have. Kind of like the nation, except the rich end of it. The mental health system, big government, is expanding, and the country is getting crazier, quite literally. Sure, it isn’t really a mental health system, it’s a “mental illness” system, and with a “mental illness” system, that’s what you have to expect.

Pre-psychosis In The News

Attenuated psychosis syndrome, alternately called psychosis risk syndrome, pre-psychosis and prodromal disorder is going into section 3 of the DSM-5. This is the section for disorder labels that need more review, and which will not be reimbursable. The bad news is that it is in the DSM at all, and being in the DSM, it’s going to be considered as a disorder. The good news is that it is not an “official” disorder label, insurance companies are under no obligation to pay for it, and so its not likely to explode into an epidemic next year.

Researchers, it seems, much less fastidious than DSM revisers, are intent in studying people afflicted with this fictitious and elusive label. The latest rage in pseudo-scientific discoveries concerns this nebulous early stage in the development of psychosis. An article in the Detroit Free Press, Schizophrenia may give early warning signs, is typical.

Researchers in Chapel Hill looked at brain scans of 42 children, some as young as 9, who had close relatives with schizophrenia. They saw that many of the children already had areas of the brain that were “hyper-activated” in response to emotional stimulation and tasks that required decision-making, said Aysenil Belger, associate professor of psychiatry at the UNC School of Medicine and lead author of the study.

Now whether psychiatrized families actually think differently from non-psychiatrized families is anyone’s guess, and it could always be the topic for additional research should anybody choose to go there.

People who have a parent or sibling with schizophrenia are about 10 times more likely to develop the disease than those who do not. Signs of the illness typically begin in the late teens to mid-20s. These include declines in memory, intelligence and other brain functions that indicate a weakening in the brain’s processing abilities. More advanced symptoms may include paranoid beliefs and hallucinations.

Perhaps this sounds like an astonishing figure until you realize that it actually means 1 in 10 people rather than 1 in 100 people.  This is to say that among the 1 in 100 people that get described as psychotic, 1 in 10 of their closest relatives could also be so described. Unlike in the rest of the world where the rate stays more or less at 1 %. 1 in 10 means that chances are, if you are in a family haunted by the phenomenon of psychosis in one of its members, 9 out of 10 of it’s members most probably wouldn’t be described as psychotic anyway.

“Of all the people who seem to have compromised circuitry in their brain, if we come back and image them in later years, some may be moving toward the cluster of symptoms for schizophrenia while others may have other types of deficits,” such as bipolar disorder or attention deficit disorder, Belger said.

The article goes on to add, “Still others may avoid serious disorders altogether”, but the damage has been done. If you were an agent of the inquisition, let’s say, looking for witches, you are not going to be questioning the existence of witches. If you want to find fault in anyone, or anything, no problem. Just conduct a fault finding mission. If you are out to praise those people, well, hunting for future “mental illnesses” is just not the way to do so.

I think these researchers have better things to be doing with their time. We really have a problem when the DSM starts predicting disorders in people.  Ignoring any fork in the pathway that may lead to dysfunction, from functionality, is a major shortcoming, I would imagine. Ditto, in the case of paths that lead to folly from reason and wisdom. You are postulating that mental and emotional disturbances are a matter of predestination, and I imagine such leaps of faith belong in the realm of superstition rather than in the realm of scientific inquiry and skepticism.

This doesn’t mean that pre-psychosis isn’t going to make it’s way as a reimbursable disorder in a future edition of the DSM. I imagine, if things continue going the way they are going, it will. There is a lot of nonsense in the DSM. I would say maybe 100 % of the DSM is sheer nonsense. All the same, quite literally, even a listing as a category for diagnosis won’t make future psychosis a real disorder in present time.

Civil Rights Under Seige

If you thought former President George W. Bush, who wanted to screen every man, woman, and child of us for “mental illness” was bad, President Barack O’bama has climbed onto the same band wagon. President Obama essentially wants to turn our entire public education system into a mental health police state.

According to a report in the Bangor Daily News on the subject, White House wants $235 million for mental health programs.

President Barack Obama’s budget proposal will include $235 million in funding for new mental health programs focused on initiatives to help schools detect early warning signs and train thousands of new mental health professionals, an administration official said.

Alright that sounds benign enough, but just keep reading.

The new budget plan will propose $130 million for programs that train teachers and other adults to help recognize the early signs of mental illness in students. That includes $55 million for a new program called Project AWARE (Advancing Wellness and Resilience in Education), which will give states and local school districts grants to administer such programs, while also collecting data on how well they work.

I’ve got nothing against ‘wellness’ nor ‘resilience’, I just have many reservations about whether that’s what we’re going to get out of these programs or not. On the other hand, training people to recognize signs of “mental illness” can be very questionable, especially when one of those early signs is being under the age of 18.

Another $50 million would go toward training master’s-level mental health specialists, such as psychologists, nurses and counselors, who work in schools. The idea is to expand the mental health workforce to prepare for the demands of millions of Americans who will gain health insurance coverage next year under the Affordable Care Act.

The “mental illness” labeling rate has been skyrocketing for years. Imagine the present “mental illness” labeling rate. Imagine that rate going up even further. It’s got to be extremely difficult to sell insurance plans, treatment options, and anti-“stigma” campaigns, without also selling the “diseases” that go along with them.

The consequences of this “mental illness” selling platform doesn’t concern the President very much as, following the Newton Connecticut tragedy, making scapegoats of people in the mental health system rather than achieving any real gun control legislation is one way for him to give the appearance that he’s doing something about the problem of gunmen in schoolyards. I’m afraid it is going to be causative in so far as increased “mental illness” labeling is concerned, and I’m also afraid that it’s not going to be preventative when it comes to massive acts of violence.

Sooner or later, later apparently, it’s going to come around to acknowledging that these citizens who have had their citizenship rights taken away from them are still citizens. Then comes the revelation, now that we’ve got two unequal castes of citizens, how do we refer to them? Dividing people into sick and well no longer works as what we’ve actually got is a legal distinction rather than a medical one. Sick people get well. Lower class citizens get lower wages, if they get wages at all, substandard living conditions, and the distinction of being deprived of their constitutionally guaranteed rights.