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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.

Sacred Cow Mental Health Mental Illness Dogma

A great sacred cow of our times is the idea of “mental illness”.  Expose the sacred cow for the myth that it is, and you are, according to some of its most fervent adherents, converts, and devotees, “stimatizing” people who are convinced they have it, hampering people who would treat it, and dismaying people who use it as a convenient excuse to get annoying people out of the way.

The dogma is just that, dogma. You’ve heard the dogma before, “Mental illness is real, it is biological, it is brain disease”.  Given these premises, and they’re only premises, nothing has been established here. People with it, that is, “mental illness”, are thought to be beyond self-control. They are, as it has been put, thought to be “controlled by their illnesses”.

The executive function of the brain has been short circuited by an idea. We’ve replaced the demons of religion and sin with the no less far fetched demons of “mental illness”. You can’t find it on a microscope slide, you can’t test for it, you can only ascertain its existence through the services of certain professionals trained to diagnose it. This diagnosis, according to some of these professionals, is more of an art than a science.

Given that we are dealing with what purports to be medical science, exposing this fraud for the fraud that it actually is can bring you accusations of raising the suicide rate. People don’t kill themselves for reasons. They kill themselves because they are ‘sick’, according to theory. Negative emotions, unhappiness, sadness, moodiness, are all “sicknesses”, according to theory. Cause is “disease”, the opposite of good fortune. Effect is a label and treatment.

Excuse me, excessive negative emotions are “diseases”, and they are excessive if they are enough to bring you before one of these imposters trained in picking them out. In other words, everyday ordinary emotions are not excessive until they send one into the presence of a “disease” detector, and if one crosses the thresholds of one of these “disease” detectors, one’s negative emotions must have been excessive.

 As far as Catch 21s go, you’ve hardly scratched the surface of the number of ways a person might get caught up in this process. The new heretics, disbelievers in those initial premises, must be dealt with, and they are dealt with in a number of ways.  Dismissal for the employee, treatment for the patient, silence and persecution for the critic, ostracism and discrimination among them.

The panacea of this new religion is the pharmaceutically achieved chemical lobotomy, the chemical strait-jacket, the chemical coffin.  People can now live in the community rather than be segregated from it because they are on these wonderful new anti-mental illness drugs goes the story. Suppression is cure. Suppression of the self. Self-expression here seen as an assemblage of unwanted ‘symptoms” equaling “disease”.

What you’ve got to realize is that before these drugs are even used you’ve got a diminishment of the human being into something less than a human being in the dogma. Anybody who doesn’t make the cookie cutter fit for a 9 to 5 dismally gray existence is by default “mentally ill”. Mental health treatment isn’t about healing “sick” people, it is about eliminating maladaptive behavior.

Some people don’t learn the ropes, and for those people we have a psychiatric label and treatment. The ropes I’m speaking of are conventional steps to conventional success. Problem: conventional success often means unconventional failure. One answer to a misstep here or there is the motivational specialist in the self-help field. as a career option. Another answer is the sky, about which I hold my tongue.

Overcoming Namby Pamby Disorder And, With It, The Psychiatric Nanny State

Iranian born Dr. Nassir Ghaemi in a MedScape piece, Fallacies of Psychiatry, actually only succeeds in revealing his own bias.

His first conjectured fallacy, the psychological fallacy, he would answer with a fallacy of his own. Namely, the flat earth fallacy. If enough people think a person “needs” psychiatric “help”, in other words, it must be so, and this makes the difference between a biological basis and a psychological, social, or psycho-social origin for “mental disorder”. If the person makes his way into the doctors office, at his friends and associates bequest, his or her “illness” must be biological.

These psychological judgments are essentially made on the basis of common sense. But if common sense were enough to explain things, then our patients would have convinced themselves, or been convinced by their friends and family. If a patient crosses the threshold of a clinician’s door, then common sense has failed — no need to keep using it. What is needed is scientific sense, which is quite different than common sense.

Suddenly because a doctor has entered the picture, we’ve got science. Really? Conventional wisdom may not apply here, but reason doesn’t cease to apply. I wouldn’t be beyond suggesting that our mad doctor’s uncommon sense was a little tainted with an unreason of his own.  If a pseudo-scientific credentialed elite says it is true, it must be true. Right? I’d say, reasonably, that it isn’t true until it is proven true. Here we have one theory in competition with others. The winner is only a poser. The scientific method is about disproving, not proving.

Dr. Nassir would then debunk such a biological reductivist view for certain “mental illnesses” that, in his view, have a psycho-social basis. This creates an even more serious dilemma for our doctor because now we have two entirely distinct species of “mental illnesses”, those with a primarily biological basis, and those with a primarily psycho-social and environmental basis. I would suggest that if “mental illness” is not actually “brain disease”, but erroneous ways of thinking, you don’t need two species of “illness” at all to explain it. Simply put, removing consciousness from the equation does not, at the same time, remove consciousness from the organism.

The doctor’s view is a pretty conventional one, but it asks many serious questions about the profession of psychiatry today. He establishes the psychiatric divide. His examples of biologically based disorders is pretty orthodox, as are his examples of more psycho-socially based disorders. On one side we’ve got schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and major depression, the holy trinity of the “mental illness” belief system, and on the other side, we’ve got PTSD, adult ADHD, and borderline personality disorder. I’ve seen this divide presented before. Recently I encountered a person attributing minor disorders to stress factors and major disorders to heredity and biology. In psychoanalytic theory, what has become the divide between major and minor “mental illness”, constituted the division between psychosis and neurosis. If these “disorders” existed on a continuum–big if, but they could–you’ve still got the psyche in psychosomatic. I don’t think it has, by any stretch of the imagination, been proven that they don’t exist on a continuum.

Big problem, little problem. Major “disease”, minor. The big secret is that diagnosis doesn’t represent the eternal biological curse that some professionals would have it represent for people given serious diagnostic tags. Some people manage to get out of the system, and to cope, and even to flourish, despite the cynicism of professionals. The devastating statistics actually represent a systemic challenge. When you’ve got a system based on unequal power relationships, that’s what happens. The success and independence of professionals is based on the failure and dependence of patients. Step back a little bit, and consider, the success of the professional actually depends on failing his patients. You’ve got more job security when your job is keeping a junkie supplied with dope (and this dope could be methadone, heroin, haldol or clozapine) than you would have if your job was getting him or her off drugs entirely.

Initially asylums were set up to segregate and imprison lunatics, i.e. people believed afflicted with any earlier version of the holy trinity in the psychiatric belief system. The advent of psychoanalysis expanded that field a great deal to include people suffering from more minor afflictions and offenses. General anxiety disorder, for instance, is in many ways the mental health equivalent of a skinned knee. Recently, psychiatry has been accused, due to the absolutely absurd number of “diseases” proliferating in the DSM, of pathologizing “normal”. Since the genesis of psychoanalysis, utilizing professional services has been put forward as a way of life. I’d suggest that there are other roads to take besides that of treatment, and maybe we’d better look to them. Take the case of what used to be called hysteria, or the case of what used to be called hypochondria, when a crutch is imaginary, perhaps a person would do better to get along without it.

Some Awarenesses We’d Do Better To Live Without

A local mental health, oops, wrong word. A local “mental illness” system advocacy group, the Mental Health Coalition of North Central Florida, is going to have their own little NAMIfied shindig. They are holding this event for what they call “Mental Illness Awareness Day”. My immediate response on hearing the announcement is found in the following question. Wouldn’t it be better to hold a “Mental Illness Unawareness Day”? When it comes to awareness, “mental illness” awareness is just not the kind of awareness I find particularly helpful. I kind of have this feeling, you know, screwed up enlightenment isn’t really enlightenment.

This group. the MHCNCF, has even given the event a name. It’s called Gainesville Day of Understanding For Mental Illness Recovery. Again, I’ve got an issue with the name. Why the heck would anybody want to recover a “mental illness”? And if this or that person had a “mental illness”, and managed to lose it, would that really be such a bad thing? I suppose some people are really sentimental about their problems, but those problems are probably not such good things to hang onto. They’re not answers anyway. What sort of understanding should anybody have then of this “mental illness” a person has recovered? Now tell me that isn’t a bad choice of words.

Another possibility would be to throw a Mental Health or Mental Wellness Awareness Day shindig, and to talk about understanding the recovery of complete mental well being, but I imagine the thought is beyond the capacity of this little group of mostly scoundrels to comprehend. Where is this little shindig going to be? In a community senior recreation center? Already I’m seeing a few young heads, look both ways, and then walk off in the opposite direction. I don’t know. Yes, yes, old age and feeble minds might go together, but let’s not cut to the hearse chase if we can help from doing so. I don’t want to sound too critical, but a senior recreation center sounds less neutral to me than another location that might be less apt to scare off the few ingenues among them.

This leads me to the agenda for this event. #1. Proclamation of Mental Illness Awareness Week. Yikes! Didn’t I just deal with this subject, and they want a week of it. Again, I would suggest a “Mental Illness” Unawareness Week. It makes more sense to me; I’d think it should make more sense to them, too. #2. Path of Understanding. Path of Understanding “mental illness” recovery I presume. Geez, just think…There are other paths, and some of them are even challenging. #3. Celebrity Walk of Fame. Uh, because celebrities make “mental illness” cool I imagine. #4. Resource Station. Yep, I believe that’s a sign taped over the word “police”. #5. Candle lighting service. I know, this is going to be about people believed to be destroyed by “mental illness”, and not about people believed destroyed by the mental health system. The horses are calm so long as they have their blinders on. #6. Moment of silence. Any longer and the gig would be up. Everybody would know this little event is a farce.

I get it. Really. Take your drugs, and enjoy the farce without ever attaining consciousness that it is a farce. Do so, as well as you can, anyway, despite the “side effects” from the drugs you are on. Consciousness, after all, is what people given diagnostic labels are presumed to be lacking in. If you are dosed sufficiently, then you shouldn’t be able to attain consciousness anyway. Perhaps your understanding will be limited to understanding “mental illness” recovery. The fact that some people really do recover from the upsets of a crisis period, and go on to live full and eventful lives, is not the kind of message these folks want to give. This event isn’t really about living an independent self-reliant and emotionally satisfying life anyway. It’s about holding out that little tin cup, and crying, “Nickels for your pity.” They’re hoping, beyond hope, that maybe the government is listening.

If I was in government, I could do better than support people in their “mental illnesses”. For one thing, I could get further more economically if I were supporting people in their “mental well-nesses”. Treatment can be darned expensive, and a burden on the entire nation. An expanding “mental illness” system, what these people are after, means an even bigger expense and an even bigger burden. Accountability, responsibility, for people who work in mental health services should entail helping people get out of the system entirely rather than encouraging them  to accept the dependency role of what amounts to a ward of the state. The system here has a whole lot of rethinking to do before it gets back on track. All I can do is  chuckle my amusement as I’m certain that that rethinking, in the long run, is inevitable. Let me tell you, it certainly represents an improvement over the current stupidity.

ACTION ALERT to Free Alison Hymes!

http://www.mindfreedom.org/mfi-faq/action-alert-to-free-alison-hymes

Free Alison Hymes From Western State Hospital… We were asked to post the following updated alert for Alison by her friend, Frank. Please address any questions you may have directly to Frank at: nfla@mindfreedom.org.

Alison Hymes

Resident and longtime MindFreedom member Alison Hymes, on Wednesday, 7/3/13, had a re-commitment hearing. This hearing marked the 6 month, 1/2 year point, in her imprisonment at Western State Hospital in Staunton, Virginia.

The result of this hearing is that she was given another 45 days in the hospital after which she will be given another hearing. The result could have been worse as potentially she could have had to wait another 6 months for a hearing.

The bad news, according to Alison, is that the staff at the hospital are not talking about releasing her. She wishes to return to her condominium, her community, and the life she was living before imprisonment at Western State Hospital.

Talking to her over the phone it is not always easy to understand what she is saying. Her words are slurred and garbled. She claims that this is so because the hospital staff won’t return  her dentures to her. Dentures they took from her.

In a previous alert we claimed she was taking lamictal rather than a neuroleptic. Following a previous hearing with her treatment team this is no longer true. Apparently her doctor thought it necessary to put her back on the drug prolixin. She is receiving shots of prolixin, a long acting injectable, every two weeks. She is also still receiving a daily dose of anti-convulsion drug lamictal.

She had gained much weight since being put on seroquel, the atypical neuroleptic she was receiving during her last hospitalization, and she is very sensitive, as you can well imagine anybody would be, about this issue. She doesn’t like the effects of the prolixin, she understands it is a harmful substance, with a potential for doing her a great deal of damage, and she wishes to be taken off it.

Alison was the recipient of a kidney following lithium poisoning after a previous incident of psychiatric malpractice. Her friends and allies worry that keeping her at Western State Hospital
for any length of time will only further endanger her health. She says the medical staff at Western say she needs an operation, on an ulcer, but that the hospital is slow to get around to operating.

Asked what she would tell other members of MindFreedom she said, “I need to get out as soon as possible. I need to get out.”

Direct Actions

Please, contact the following state officials, and urge them to free Alison Hymes from her confinement and maltreatment at Western State Hospital.

James M. Martinez
Director, Office of Mental Health
VirginiaDepartment
of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services
(804) 371-0091
Jim.Martinez@dbhds.virginia.gov

Senator Tim Kaine
(202) 224-4024
http://www.kaine.senate.gov/contact

Senator Mark R. Warner
(202) 224-2023
http://www.warner.senate.gov/public//index.cfm?p=ContactPage

Delegate David Toscano
(434) 220-1660
DelDToscano@house.virginia.gov

Delegate Rob Bell
(434) 975-0902
DelRBell@house.virginia.gov

Sample message. (In your own words.)

I am writing (or calling) to complain about the forced drugging and false imprisonment of Charlottesville resident Alison Hymes at Western State Hospital in Staunton, Virginia. She is a danger to no one. She has been detained at the hospital for over 6 months now, and her continued detention serves no purpose. She is also being given periodic injections of prolixin, a powerful  neuroleptic drug, that is affecting her health in negative ways. Please, stop the abuse, release her from her confinement to WesternStateHospital, and allow her to return home to her community, her life, and her friends.

Update on Alison

Alison Hymes reports that she recently had the 45 day hearing she had been
scheduled following her 6 months hearing. She was at this hearing given another
two months. “Two months”, she says, “is too way too long”. She is appealing the
decision.

Suggested direct action

If you haven’t written the commissioner and representatives from Virginia,
please, do so. Also Alison would ask that you write or call the present Governor
of Virginia, Bob McDowell, to express your dismay at her confinement, and
to demand her release from Western State Hospital.

Governor Robert F. McDonnell
(804)786-2211
http://www.governor.virginia.gov/AboutTheGovernor/contactGovernor.cfm

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?

Television Broadcaster ‘Off His Meds’?

NBC newscaster Brian Williams has been making irrational claims about Cleveland multiple kidnapper and rapist Ariel Castro. Brian Williams suggested Ariel Castro had a “mental illness”. Could it be that Brian Williams has a “mental illness”? This has got to be “delusional” thinking on his part. Do you think maybe it runs in his family?

The story, as run in the Orlando Sentinel, bears the heading, Brian Williams’ mental illness remark draws fire.

So when she [Candy Crawford, director of the Central Florida Mental Health Association] tuned in her favorite national news anchor Thursday — NBC’s Brian Williams — she was horrified. Opening his newscast with the sentencing hearing of Ariel Castro, who held three Cleveland women captive for a decade, Williams called the kidnapper and rapist “arguably the face of mental illness, a man described as a monster.”

“Mental illness” and monster equals a man possessed. Does this describe you, Brian Williams? We just have no way of calculating how many people have been gunned down by the news, and it is news these days, hardly impartial, that is paid for by big multinational corporations with many hooks in what news is considered newsworthy. This is something for a person to think about the next time he or she takes an advertising break from the evening news broadcast to visit the frig.

As Ms Crawford puts it.

“When people hear these types of comments over and over, especially from someone so influential, it can sway their beliefs,” she says.

NBC did apologize, but executives and staff are probably still wincing over the public reaction.

For its part, NBC issued a quick reply. “Brian immediately realized his poor choice of words, and he updated the broadcast to omit that phrase for later feeds,” said spokeswoman Erika Masonhall. “We sincerely apologize for the unintended offense caused by these remarks.”

Maybe it’s time people pay more attention to how many news shows are sponsored by drug companies. The USA and New Zealand are the only countries on earth that allow direct to consumer advertising for pharmaceutical products. If it’s not “restless leg syndrome”, it’s “erectile dysfunction”, or any number of other ailments, many of them highly questionable in nature. Then there are the happiness pills that are known to be ineffective, and to give more side effects than they give happiness. As it is doctors who do the prescribing, the advertising should be going to doctors. Outlaw direct to consumer advertising, and you will also clean up many slips of the tongues made by newscasters who are presently, consciously or not, complicit in the legal drug trade.

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.

Drug Company Toady Charles Nemeroff Cons British

For shyster shrinks, these must be glorious days indeed. Lying drug company lacky, Charles Nemeroff, after getting booted off Emory University campus for lying about the extent of funds he received from prescription drug cartels, gets hired by the University of Miami, and now is being honored (for his dishonor?) in Great Britain. Conflict of interest, literally corruption, has never had it so good before.

The headline in The Independent, Honoured in Britain, the US psychiatrist who took $1.2m from drug companies, doesn’t quite tell the whole story. It wasn’t that he took well over a million dollars from drug companies. There is a law in the USA requiring US doctors in academia to reveal the amount of money they received from prescription drug companies, and scofflaw Dr. Charles Nemeroff lied about this matter to the tune of 1 million smackers and 2 hundred k.

The good news is that, at least, this decision has generated controversy, and there are people in England who challenge it.

The decision by the Institute of Psychiatry at Kings College, in central London, Europe’s largest psychiatric research organization, to invite Professor Charles Nemeroff, an expert in the treatment of depression, has split the psychiatric profession and been attacked by members of the institute itself. Professor Nemeroff, a leading authority on the biological causes of mental illness, is one of the highest profile doctors to have been exposed for concealing large payments from pharmaceutical companies.

His credentials…

He was forced to resign his post at Emory University, Atlanta, in 2008 after an investigation revealed that he had failed to report more than $1.2m of payments from GlaxoSmithKline, despite having signed an undertaking to limit payments to $10,000 a year.

This firing resulted in a subsequent appointment to the University of Miami and a research grant on top of it. What’s it to the University of Miami so long as drug companies are being sued and not institutions of higher education? The crook they took is now being honored as a conquering hero.

In what other field would lawbreaking be considered an advantageous career move? Drug companies are receiving the highest civil suit penalties in history for off-label prescription practices and here, one their pigeons, is being honored for his deceit.

Not everybody is happy with this decision. Some people object to this advancement of the criminal element.

Now a group of UK psychiatrists have written to the Institute of Psychiatry protesting against its decision to invite Professor Nemeroff to give the “inaugural annual lecture for the new Centre for Affective Disorders”, which is due to take place at the institute next Monday.

Knuckle rapping is one thing, promotions, that’s another. This leaves the question open as to which psychiatrist will be the next to turn criminal activities into a strategic career move.

More Or Less Biology In Psychiatry–That Is The Question

Much newsprint has been wasted recently on the split between the APA (American Psychiatric Association) and the NIMH over the revision of the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders)  that is going to be called the DSM-5. In my view, letting the 100,000 manuals bloom is not going to be any better of a solution than letting the 100,000 diagnoses bloom in the long run. If we are going to treat every patient as an individual, for the sake of the individuality of his or her condition (and genetic makeup), that’s going to make for a whole lot of variation in disorder (and/or order) expression.

The New York Times covers the story, regarding the NIMH APA divide, in a story with the heading, Psychiatry’s Guide Is Out Of Touch With Science, Experts Say. Of course, it always depends on which experts you ask. The experts the mass media is still slow to consult, and the New York Times is no exception in this regard, are those experts with lived experience on the receiving end of mental health treatment.

While typically critics of the DSM have tackled the subject from one side of the political psychiatric spectrum, here comes mob boss Thomas Insel, godfather of the NIMH, attacking from the other. In the first instance, you have people who object to the biology in biological psychiatric theory, (Theory, now there’s as important a word as any.) in the second, you have a group that doesn’t think the APA is biologically grounded enough.

The expert, Dr. Thomas R. Insel, director of the National Institute of Mental Health, said in an interview Monday that his goal was to reshape the direction of psychiatric research to focus on biology, genetics and neuroscience so that scientists can define disorders by their causes, rather than their symptoms.

The DSM focuses on symptoms precisely because we don’t know the causes. Dr. Thomas R. Insel, apparently, thinks otherwise.

Precision seems to be a big part of the problem. In psychiatric diagnosis, theoretical speculations aside, there are no precision tools.

The creators of the D.S.M. in the 1960s and ’70s “were real heroes at the time,” said Dr. Steven E. Hyman, a psychiatrist and neuroscientist at the Broad Institute and a former director at the National Institute of Mental Health. “They chose a model in which all psychiatric illnesses were represented as categories discontinuous with ‘normal.’ But this is totally wrong in a way they couldn’t have imagined. So in fact what they produced was an absolute scientific nightmare. Many people who get one diagnosis get five diagnoses, but they don’t have five diseases — they have one underlying condition.”

Or, a possibility not considered here, we’ve got five misdiagnoses floating around for which there was no underlying condition in the first place.

Solution. The NIMH is developing it’s own manual, Research Domain Criteria, or RDoC.

About two years ago, to spur a move in that direction, Dr. Insel started a federal project called Research Domain Criteria, or RDoC, which he highlighted in a blog post last week. Dr. Insel said in the blog that the National Institute of Mental Health would be “reorienting its research away from D.S.M. categories” because “patients with mental disorders deserve better.” His commentary has created ripples throughout the mental health community.

Consider, ripples sent throughout the mental health community, ripple throughout the “mental illness” community (i.e. the mental health ghetto). Now whether “patients with mental disorders” are going to get “better” treatment thereby is a big leap. Too big a leap in fact to make. So sorry, my poor victims of standard psychiatric malpractice!

Whatever you call it, my guess is that this switch still represents a way of billing insurance companies, the most important role for patient consumers a psychiatrist assumes. Of course, given that this paradigm change is all about biological explanations, I expect the treatment the insurance companies will be paying for is a chemical fix. Given this situation, the extent to which pharmaceuticals damage patients is still the great unasked question biological psychiatrists do their best to avoid asking.