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Acquiring A New Set Of WIngs

Social control is becoming very scary business these days. The supreme court of the USA just decided putting a limit on political campaign contributions is unconstitutional. This is the same USA that has a majority of millionaire elected officials serving in congress. Millionaires are, on the other hand, a very small minority of the overall population. Billionaires, too, but now billionaires have renewed opportunities to buy political influence from millionaires. As they say, follow the money. Following the money is apparently the only way you’re going to find out what’s really going on here. If 1 % of the population owns 80 % of the nations wealth, a great deal of the population is going to be under represented in the political process.

These elected millionaires often got to be millionaires through their associations, specifically their associations with politics and politicians. Not only is influence peddling big business, but big business is influence peddling. All sorts of lobbyists are making cracker jack deals with politicians. Should the lobbyists be lobbying to advance the interests of poor people, well, there’s no money in that, is there? Social justice takes a backseat to profiteering. Representatives, who get paid by the state, also tend to be lawyers with their own law practices. These law practices are more likely to serve people with money than they are to serve people without money. The law business must run on something, too, after all. Much of the business of law is about protecting the money of people who have money.

Living In a country where more and more people own less and less can be very frustrating. Sometimes this frustration shows up in the crime rate. Sometimes this frustration explodes into an excessive overt expression of gratuitous violence. It is convenient, in a such a case, especially for the profiteers, to come up with a scapegoat to blame this gratuitous violence on. By doing so, the manufacturers of social discontent themselves are left off the hook as far as accountability is concerned. One way they have managed to do this in recent history is by scapegoating the customary scapegoat. The customary scapegoat is, was, and remains, anybody with the misfortune of being swept up into the mental health system dragnet as a mental patient, or “consumer”.

“Mental illness” itself is a pretty sketchy concept. There are no reliable tests for it. Troubles, a universal phenomenon, of any sort, are enough to elicit a labeling response from the thin skinned mental health profession. Frustration, as you may well suppose, can be listed among troubles. Essentially, a person with a “mental illness” is a person who has been made into a scapegoat. “Stigma” itself started as a brand or a tattoo used to mark slaves as property or to identify criminals as wrong doers. Although that mark is gone, the paper trail that goes along with commitment hearings and inpatient treatment, brands any individual who has been through the mental health system a perpetual outsider as surely as a glowing iron set among hot coals. All that person has to do to run into a snag is to fill out any form that screens for mental health by asking about psychiatric treatment history.

Psychiatry’s answer is to claim that scapegoats are scapegoats because they have scapegoat genes. This circumspect approach, of course, misses entirely the social connections that contribute to any determination of success or failure. Take a classroom situation, for instance. A student turns in a paper that elicits some sort of objection from a teacher. The teacher gives the student a poor grade. Another student gets a good grade. All sort of social considerations, many of them unstated, go into who shall get the passing grade and who shall get the failing grade. Sometimes the determining factor can be something as slight as the color of a person’s skin. Of course, skin color is in the genes. Academic performance, on the other hand, should be in the knowledge, and in the acquired knowledge at that.

Abolition Is Not Reform, Abolition is Emancipation

There are those who like to call the mental health system “broken”. There are usually two reasons for doing so. One is that a person would like to see more money pumped into the mental health system. The other is that they are encountering people they don’t want to encounter, and they feel that if the system worked, the sight of these people would not be disturbing them so.

I don’t call the mental health system “broken”. The mental health system is actually a “mental illness” system and, if anything, it “works” altogether too well. We’ve got a saying, “Children should be seen and not heard.” This saying leads up to a further, but unexpressed, saying, “Adult children should neither be seen nor heard.” What do we do with our adult children? There’s the loony bin. You figure it out.

If “mental illness”, as the late Thomas Szasz claimed, is a metaphor. “Mental health” is a metaphor as well. Bodies get physical diseases. Minds just get fuzzy, half-baked ideas, and illogical thoughts. The pursuit of folly though is not a disease any more than the pursuit of wisdom is a cure. We are free to chose either pursuit, or neither, as we wish. Of course, despite the fact that no disease has been found to explain aberrant behaviors, that doesn’t prevent people from speculating about “disease” as a cause.

If you’re going to call the mental health system “broken”, the first question one has to ask is what is the purpose of the mental health system. For example, is the mental health system there to “heal sick” people, to “fix broken brains”? If so, it has always done an absolutely lousy job not “healing” and not “fixing” them. I submit that the real purpose of the mental health system is to keep people with psychiatric labels out of other people’s hair. This, the system, considering the shots it has taken due to scandals arising from institutionalization, does sufficiently enough.

What is a mental hospital? Is it a place for “healing sick” people, or is it a place for punishing people who behave “badly”? While the nurses station found on most psych wards suggests the former, the locked doors found in nearly all of them says it is the latter. All you have to do is to consult the dictionary to get the idea that something is awry here. A mental hospital is a peculiar hospital, to say the least, but it is a particular prison. The distinction between the two depends upon whether you think it does a better job “healing the sick”, or punishing the misbehaving.

I echo Dr. Szasz in calling for the abolition of forced mental health treatment. The system, as meat grinder, as a destroyer of men and women, isn’t broken in the slightest. It does it’s job of breaking spirits, of swallowing up bodies, and of spitting out bones exquisitely well. I think, if they really and truly cared about their clients, more mental health professionals would be taking the same position. This destroying of people, by going straight at their potentials, and watching them fizzle, is a thing that should not be tolerated. Difference should be expected and encouraged, not suppressed.

This accent on perceiving a “broken” system is a call for reform, and this reform usually means one of two things. Either people think it is too hard to get people treatment, or people think the treatment they receive too harsh. I am against reform as reform is always piece-meal, and there’s no end to it. Reform always, and of necessity, leads to further reform. I support the abolition of forced mental health treatment. Prejudice and discrimination, so-called “stigma”, comes of force. End forced mental health treatment, and you will also be ending so many things that are wrong with the mental health system today. There is no reason, no good reason anyway, in my opinion, for persevering in the present farce of pretending otherwise.

Diagnose Not Lest Ye Be Diagnosed

There are few people more in need of mental health treatment today than mental health professionals, unless perhaps we think about treating the relatives of people with “mental illness” labels. Yes, the very people who lock people up should be locked up on account of their proclivity to lock people up. We should give it a “disease” label and treatment. Fair is only fair as foul is awfully foul. It’s just plain un-American.

My reason for going there? I’m seeing all these well intentioned people interested in doing something about “mental health issues”, and that something amounts to, in effect, throwing a flammable liquid on the fire in an effort to put it out. We have an epidemic of “mental illness” labeling in this country, and the method we’ve come up with for dealing with it is by doing everything within our powers to increase the amount of labeling going on.

Our schools, deathly afraid of producing psycho-killers, are training teachers to screen their classes for any indication of “mental illness”.  Isolating and treating the labeled student is supposed to be a violence prevention measure. If the kid is just a little weird and not violent in the slightest. It doesn’t matter. The weird student must bear a psychiatric label, and be scrutinized for his or her potential to do harm, however speculative.

It was rumored when I was a kid that we’d driven a teacher to distraction, or insane, for lack of a better term. No more. Now schools have got the conduct problem licked as conduct is no longer a grade on a report card. Bad conduct, misbehaving, is now, according to our pediatric psychiatrists, a bona fide “mental health disorder”. Given this circumstance, class clown is no longer bound for the circus, but rather for the loony bin. That’s right, clowning is a certifiable “disease”.

I had this friend with the “borderline” label who was going on to me about how important it is to take “mental disorders” seriously. I fell automatically into disagreement with this person. I think taking “mental disorder” seriously is the most direct way to developing a more “serious mental disorder” that I can imagine. Maintaining a sense of humor is the best medicine for this sort of thing. Whatever sort of “disorder” you might have developed, as long as you take it lightly, it can’t be serious.

Of course, if you don’t take your “mental disorder” seriously you are in danger of being nabbed for conduct disorder. Everybody has a “mental disorder”, even if the “mental disorder” a person has hasn’t been invented yet. Some of us just haven’t been caught. Were your “mental disorder” actually an order, that wouldn’t be so bad, unless, of course, it involved orders from the planet Xylon. Disorders from Xylon, that’s okay.

My point? Well, judging from the news, everyday of the week, we are locking up the wrong people. The people least responsible for greenhouse warming, mass extinction, corporate imperialism, poverty and international conflict are often the people who we have selected to endure our psychiatric institutions as patient-prisoners.  I’d like to point out that this is more an instance of ruining the world rather than it is  of saving it. Have we made a mistake? Yes, I think so, and many mistakes at that.

Psychiatry Drumming Up More Business From School Children

An abstract in HealthDay News announces, Most Teens With Psychiatric Disorders Don’t Receive Care. By care the article means psychiatric treatment. Consider, did we replace the words psychiatric disorders with the words personal problems, and if we replace the word care with the word solutions, we would be saying something entirely different. The question is whether, given a kid with overwhelming troubles, would the mental health system help the kid resolve those difficulties any better than the kid going at it alone. I think there is a great deal of question as to the effectiveness and benefits in the mental health system for doing so. In so many instances, people who enter that system only get worse. This is particularly true when there was little to nothing intrinsically wrong with the kid in the first place.

Let’s look at these disorders and their rates. We’ve got two types of disorders we are dealing with here. We’ve got specifically childhood and adolescent disorders, and we’ve got disorders that have a potential to persist into adulthood. I submit that both types of disorder are, in the main, entirely bogus. Let’s look at the stats given.

45 % of adolescents labeled with a psychiatric disorder received some sort of treatment during the course of a single year. If “having a psychiatric disorder” is synonymous with “receiving treatment”, maybe it is not such a bad thing that 55 % of the adolescents given diagnoses no longer receive treatment. The person, for example, who is unable to back out of “receiving services” is a lifelong or “chronic” mental patient.

Most likely to receive mental health services

ADHD                                                          73.8 %

Conduct Disorder                                     73.4 %

Oppositional Defiant Disorder              71   %

Least likely to receive mental health services

Specific Phobias                                        40.7  %

Anxiety Disorders                                     41.4  %

Services received

School setting                                            23.6 %

Specialty mental health setting             22.8 %

General medical setting                         10.1 %

Where are the statistics saying that 55 % of the kids given psychiatric labels are going to hell in a handbag because they aren’t receiving mental health treatment? Where are the statistics saying that 45 % of the kids are headed for the pearly gates because they are receiving services? Mental health workers and drug companies do better when they have more students doing business with them, but this doesn’t mean that the students are doing any better in treatment than they would do outside of treatment.

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder only officially reached the age of consent with the recently published DSM-5. Previously ADHD was  primarily a juvenile chaos. Mine may be a minority opinion but I don’t think of this milestone as particularly conducive to good mental health. Quite the reverse. Now that adult ADHD is an official disorder label we are likely to see much more of it than we have seen in the past.

Conduct used to be a grade on a report card. Conduct was then previously not a disorder. Certainly making it a disorder might make things easier for teachers. I definitely don’t think making conduct a disorder makes things any easier for school children. Should conduct disorder progress into out and out criminality, the child would probably have to put some distance between him or herself and the school system. Or get expelled. I imagine conduct disorder helps flustered parents get disobedient children back into school following suspension or expulsion.

Oppositional defiant disorder is sheer nonsense. It means a child is being rebellious. Children do become rebellious. In fact, they go through phases that include rebelliousness. The terrible twos and the teenage years are two such phases, but they are by no means the only periods in childhood and adolescence potentially beset with disobedience and rebellion. If the child doesn’t grow out of it, the good news is that there is no adult ODD. Not yet anyway.

Anxiety is human, not medical. Nonetheless, psychiatrists and drug company exes make money treating it as medical. Ditto, phobias. This is a particularly sticky subject because children are particularly prone to anxiety and phobias. Adults, given much more life experience than children dealing with such, tend to be less seriously affected. Anxiety and fear are symptoms of inexperience. Inexperience is a disease that can be cured fairly easily. I suggest that parents and teachers experiment with ways to cure their school children’s inexperience as that is part of the job description.

The good news is that 55 % of the teens in this study once receiving mental health treatment are no longer receiving services. The bad news is that psychiatric researchers want even more teens to receive services. Swallow hard and go figure.

Changing Life Scripts

I don’t advocate consuming mental health services. I advocate not consuming mental health services. I advocate non-compliance with mental health treatment plans, in fact, as those treatment plans usually consist in little more than drug taking regimens. Those services that call themselves mental health are actually all about what is seen as “mental sickness”. Mental health services are a business then, and the business they are in the business of conducting is the business of labeling, managing, and “treating”  people deemed “mentally ill”. True mental stability, if there is any such thing, exists outside of the mental health services altogether, or at least, it isn’t a subject of concern for the mental health, actually “mental illness”, business.

This “mental illness” business that calls itself a mental health business is interested in doing what most businesses are interested in doing, and that is expanding. When you expand your business you add more employees and, to do that, you must take in more clients, therefore, you need more people to assent to seeing themselves as “ill” in the head. Here’s where it gets sticky. As there is no reliable test to prove the existence of any “mental disorder” whatsoever, this determination of “mental illness” is mostly a matter of suggestion and persuasion.

Few, if any,m mental health workers feel that their job is to work for the contraction of their profession. The result of this expansion of mental health “care” is an epidemic of so called “mental illnesses”. “Mental illness”  is advancing on physical ailments for the number one position when it comes to the numbers of people taking in federal disability payments. As “mental illness” is mostly a matter of suggestion and persuasion, with a bit of  drug induced brain dysfunction thrown in, what we’re talking about is a population of essentially artificially created invalids.

The mental health pitch being in actuality a “mental illness” pitch is a matter of public relations, deception, and advertising. If people talk “mental illness”, runs the ruse, they are doing something about “stigma”. That they are also selling this idea of “mental illness”, and with it, it’s treatment, is not so much a subject of discussion, not by the mental health industry anyway. The result is that the individual identity is lost  through a categorical designation, a member of this set of people designated “diseased”. You are not going to get fewer people claiming to have “mental illnesses” by saying, as they are saying now, “It is okay to be mentally ill.”

If it is okay to be “mentally ill” (or to have a “mental illness”), why do we have “mental health” workers? Basically because “mental health” workers have been much more successful at persuading people they are “sick” than they have at persuading people they are “well”. It’s okay to be “mentally ill” because “mental health” professionals have basically failed to achieve positive outcomes in their clients. They have failed to achieve positive outcomes in their clients basically because it is not in their interests to do so. The bread and butter of people in the mental health business is provided by the same people to which they’ve attached “mental illness” labels. Take those labels away, and you also take away your job.

We need a change of thinking in the community beyond the “mental sickness” business to change this situation in a big way. Mental stability, almost by definition, resides in that area outside of the whole field of mental health, actually “mental sickness”, treatment. Redeeming a person from “mental illness” one must also redeem the same person from the mental health system. Mental health is not to be found in the mental health system. Mental health is to be found outside of the mental health system where “mental sickness” is the first presumption. )Reality( exists outside of the bracketed (mental health system). When you’ve got an artificial invalid, the best antidote is a validation in reality. Consider the script of a drama. If the leading man or lady is an invalid, well, change the play and you’ve got a different, that is a vital and valid, leading man or lady. It is my contention that we can change the play, be it tragic, comedic, or romantic, for a number of people, and therefore, change the outcomes they face in life.

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.

On Restricting The Citizenship Rights Of People With ‘Mental Illness’ Labels

Lawmakers, politicians, and some mental health professionals complain that our jails and prisons are  becoming holding cells for people labeled with “mental illness”. They call this detainment criminalization, and they look to jail diversion, mental health courts, and other such  methods to minimize the problem. There is another type of criminalization. This is the matter of adding every patient who has been hospitalized involuntarily, and even some that have been hospitalized voluntarily, onto a national criminal background check system. If that isn’t criminalization, tell me what is? Every time a violent crime is committed the name of anybody in this database is going to come up as a potential suspect.

There is much talk in certain quarters about some “stigma” or other attached to “mental illness”.  This “stigma” is thought to be whatever prevents a person labeled “mentally ill” from receiving the special treatment he or she thinks he or she needs or deserves on account of his or her conjectured “disease”. Countering “stigma” has become any man or woman’s excuse to convalesce for a lifetime. Anti-“stigma” campaigns accompany the biological medical model theory of psychiatry.  The biological medical model theory of psychiatry has a profoundly cynical attitude towards people’s natural ability to recover from the downturns and pitfalls of everyday living. These anti-“stigma” campaigners are fine with fighting the insults and abuses that occur on a mostly surface level, but when it comes to such matters as adding names to a criminal background check database, these campaigners grow curiously silent.

Opposition to “stigma” has essentially become a two faced lie supporting the prejudice and discrimination directed against people who have known imprisonment in this nation’s psychiatric institutions. People recover from the major upsets and defeats they’ve encountered in day to day living and they get on with their lives. There is no “stigma” attached to mental and emotional stability. There is a great deal of prejudice and discrimination directed against those people who have had their lives disrupted by medical model psychiatry. While prejudice and discrimination are real, “stigma” is a ruse.  “Stigma’ is the flip side of the psychiatric label. You don’t have one without the other. All the damage that takes place in the psychiatric system starts with a diagnostic tag. Become more lax about applying the label, and you save a lot of people from the damage that accompanies treatment, including “stigma”.

Mental health treatment has become an excuse for enacting laws violating the constitutional rights of certain citizens of the USA. According to medical model psychiatry these people have defective genes, and thus they must be somewhat less human than the rest of the population with their more capable genes.  This physical defect, in other words, prevents them from ever completely recovering their sanity, and behaving in a reasonable fashion. Given a less than fully capable  human population, our law makers feel obliged to restrict the freedoms of this population in the same way that they once restricted the freedoms of people owned by other people due to the color of their skin. As anybody and everybody is a potential candidate for the loony bin, this assault on the freedom of a minority is a threat to the freedoms that our forefathers were so intent on  preserving and defending for everybody.

When you  deprive people of the rights that our constitution grants them as citizens, you create a subordinate class of less than full citizens. You create a second, third, or even lower, class of citizenry. Doing so, you devalue the human beings who have had their freedoms so restricted to a place beneath that of other human beings who have not had their rights so restricted. If, as the Declaration of Independence states, we are all created equal, and endowed with inalienable rights, this would not be true if some of us were condemned by birth to a more restrictive existence on account of mutated and defective genes.  There is no more evidence that emotional distress and mental disturbances are due to defective genes than there is that racial distinctions are due to defective genes.  While we no longer keep slaves, once held to be a fraction of the value of a human being of European ancestry, we still keep people who have experienced the mental health system down by denying their basic humanity.

Many people who have known the abuses of the mental health system first hand realize the struggle ahead of them to achieve equality of rights will be a hard one. Freedom and equality will never come without  a ferocious struggle to attain them. People in power have a vested interested in keeping other people down. Institutionalization, labeling, drugging, screening, prejudicial legislation and intimidation are ways of keeping some people down and out. Keeping people down and out are the ways some people have of keeping themselves up and in. When people have been reduced to the state that some of these treatments and laws have reduced them to, there is only one direction to go in, and that direction is up. There is also only one way to achieve one’s personal aims and goals in this upward climb, and that is by attaching oneself in solidarity to the aims and aspirations of one’s fellows. So long as there is one person who is devalued as a human being, those aims for each and every one of us cannot be said to have been fully met.

Repercussions from the Sandy Hook tragedy slight in Florida

It looks like Florida may not suffer as extensively from the fallout over the Newtown Connecticut massacre as some other states. The Palm Beach Post headline,  State May Shrink Mental Health Spending, doesn’t tell the whole story.

Despite a growth in the state’s anticipated revenue for the first time in six years, Gov. Rick Scott’s proposed 2013-2014 budget does not include any increase for mental health services. Neither Scott nor GOP legislative leaders mentioned the issue as a priority on the opening day of the legislative session Tuesday. And lawmakers appear split on the only two proposals in play — mandatory mental health screening of elementary school students and extending the observation period for patients who are involuntarily committed by law enforcement or health officials.

The problem concerns these two pieces of legislation that I hope our legislators will have the common sense and decency to table or vote down. Busting school children for “mental illness” is what mandatory mental health screening is all about and, frankly, if there’s one thing we don’t need, that is it. Labeling children “mentally ill”, and putting them on powerful pharmaceuticals, is not good for their educations, nor is it good for their futures. Extending the Baker Act would be a completely absurd, unnecessary, and as far as humanity goes, a wasteful thing to do.

Thankfully, given our republican controlled legislature, as bad as things are, these representatives are not in hurry to make them worse. Praised be the tightwad when the spending he isn’t spending on is repressive and draconian legislation.

The issue with spending is that it could, if it were used for something else besides busting people for “mental illness”, reduce mental health spending in the state anyway.

More than half of Florida’s mental health spending goes to hospitalization. Other states, on average, spend less than 30 percent on hospitalization, said Florida Council for Community Mental Health President Bob Sharpe.

Hospitalization is very costly. Keeping people out of the state hospital system through building a statewide community mental health care system is one way to potentially save a lot of money.

As for the Baker Act…

DCF estimates that 35,000 out of 110,770 people held under the Baker Act last year had been Baker Acted before. Sharpe points to at least one man who was Baker Acted 100 times in a single year, meaning he was hospitalized nearly the entire year.

It would seem that one person would have a pretty good case for suing the state, if he had any legal rights to stand on at all, which apparently, as a mental patient, he doesn’t.  On the other hand, when the state can Baker Act one person 100 times in the course of a single year, there is certainly no reason to extend the Baker Act. It seems institutions here have that power already.

Policing Mental Health In The Schools

If you want to erase the “stigma” of “mental illness”, stop labeling people nutzoid. All the discrimination and harm that comes of “mental health” treatment has to start somewhere, and that somewhere is with the diagnostic tag.

The sad part is that now children are being labeled “mentally ill” at incredibly young ages, 2 year olds, 3 year olds, 4 year olds, 6 year olds, 8 and 9 year olds. I’ve got news for you people. Psychiatric drugs are no replacement for good parenting practices.

If folks knew this, perhaps they would be less inclined to label their toddler a problem toddler. All 2 year olds, for instance, are a world of trouble, as are all teenagers, and I’d think more than twice about labeling them, too.

I know it’s not bad parents, it’s ‘bad’ children, but all the same. I remember when we used to think of children as innocent, and when we used to put a great deal of emphasis on child rearing. If I remember correctly, there was much less childhood “mental illness” back then as well.

The problem we’ve got now is a big part of the Obama administration solution to violent school massacres.  Primary and secondary school workers, from principals on down to the janitorial staff, are being turned into mental health police. That’s right, the idea is to bust children for “mental illness”.

Well, the only thing we’re likely to get out of making our educationalists mental health cops is an increase in troubled peoples. When troubles are pathologized, hey, that’s a cinch for compounding them. The big tab for Obama care, as a result, is likely to get much much bigger.