Archive for May, 2012

Protect Yourself Against Misdiagnosis and Abuse

Wednesday, May 30th, 2012

Anyone diagnosed with a psychiatric (mental) disorder and/or their parent or guardian has the right to informed consent before any treatment is undertaken. Unlike diagnoses for medical conditions, psychiatrists do not have blood tests or any other biological tests to ascertain the presence or absence of a mental illness. It is important to know that according to one state government medical manual, “Mental health professionals working within a mental health system have a professional and a legal obligation to recognize the presence of physical disease in their patients” and to rule out any physical condition causing “a patient’s mental disorder.”

Psychiatrists rarely conduct thorough physical examinations to rule out medical conditions, thereby misdiagnosing the patient. This can result in inappropriate and dangerous treatment, added to the fact that the real underlying medical condition is left untreated. Treatment for alleged mental illness is also extremely expensive to you or to your insurance company.

Further, if a psychiatrist asserts that your mental condition is caused by a “chemical imbalance” in the brain or is a neurobiological disorder, you have the right to ask for the lab test or other test to prove the accuracy of that diagnosis.

Fill out this Psychiatric Diagnosis Abuse Report Form for your protection and provide it to your legal representative and insurance carrier to take further action.

You might also wish to prepare a Psychiatric Living Will. A Living Will lets you specify decisions about your health care treatment in advance. Should you be in a position where you are to be subject to unwanted psychiatric hospitalization and/or mental or medical treatment, this Letter of Protection from Psychiatric Incarceration and/or Treatment directs that such incarceration, hospitalization, treatment or procedures not be imposed, committed or used on you.

Missouri Legislative News

Monday, May 28th, 2012

The 2012 Missouri state legislative session ended May 18. This means that all bills listed below as killed are now truly dead (for this year.) Bills that are listed as passed have been passed by both houses of the legislature but still need to be signed by the Governor. He has until mid-July to sign or veto all bills presented. For more information about each bill, including its full text, go to http://www.house.mo.gov/billcentral.aspx and search on the bill number (e.g. “SB 446”).

PRO-PSYCH BILLS KILLED for the 2012 session

SB 446
Specifies that drug courts may be funded by the county law enforcement restitution fund.

SB 500
Modifies state legal expense coverage of certain health professionals and modifies hospital patient safety policies. This act provides coverage under the state legal expense fund for any licensed doctor, therapist, dentist, podiatrist, optometrist, pharmacist, psychologist, or nurse who is hired on a contract basis to serve as a consultant for the MO HealthNet division or family support division of the Department of Social Services, or to serve as a consultant to the Department of Mental Health.

SB 518
Creates a mental health assessment pilot program for criminal offenders.

HB 1322
Authorizes the Director of the Department of Corrections to establish, as a three-year pilot program, a mental health assessment process.

HB 1456
Authorizes the Department of Corrections to establish a mental health assessment pilot program for certain criminal offenders.

SB 634
Requires insurer to provide coverage for eating disorders.

HB 1509
Requires all health insurance carriers and health benefit plans to provide coverage for the diagnosis and treatment of eating disorders.

SB 710
Establishes a Prescription Drug Monitoring Program. Includes treatment for impaired professionals.

HB 1122
Establishes the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program Act to monitor the prescribing and dispensing of controlled substances.

HB 1193
Establishes the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program Act to monitor the prescribing and dispensing of controlled substances.

HB 1372
Changes the laws regarding the dispensing of controlled substances and establishes the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program Act.

SB 768
This act authorizes circuit courts or a combination of circuits to create veterans treatment courts. These courts will dispose of cases involving substance abuse or mental illness of current or former military personnel. Treatment referrals by the court shall be through the Department of Defense health care, Veterans Administration, or community-based treatment programs. The court shall dismiss, reduce, or modify the charges against the participant upon successful completion of a treatment program. Community based treatment programs must use programs certified by the Missouri Department of Mental Health unless no certified program is located in the same county as the court. Community based programs shall receive state or federal funds for referrals from veterans treatment courts.

HB 1110
Allows a circuit court to establish a veterans treatment court to dispose of criminal cases which stem from substance abuse or mental illness of military veterans or current military personnel.

HB 1032
Adds a licensed professional counselor to the list of those authorized to conduct a full investigation into whether an individual is suitable as an adoptive parent.

HB 1082
Specifies that licensed professional counseling includes the diagnosis of mental, emotional, and behavior disorders and requires these counselors to complete certain educational coursework.

HB 1583
Authorizes the juvenile court to order psychiatric evaluations of a juvenile and to order admittance to a mental health facility upon the recommendation of specified evaluations.

 

ANTI-PSYCH BILLS PASSED for the 2012 session

HB 1318
Prohibits a state employee working in a maximum or medium security mental health facility from being required to work more than 12 hours in any 24-hour period, although the final version had the guts taken out of it by allowing it in a “work-force shortage.”

HB 1608
Repeals provisions and sections of law regarding unfunded and obsolete programs and establishes expiration dates for specified provisions. Includes some psych programs among those being axed:

The Student Suicide Prevention Grant Program (Section 161.235);

The requirement that licensed physicians providing obstetrical or gynecological care to a pregnant woman counsel all patients as to the perinatal effects of cigarettes, alcohol, and controlled substances and that the Department of Health and Senior Services establish a toll-free information line to provide information on resources for substance abuse treatment, establish protocols based on a risk assessment profile to be used by health care providers to identify high risk pregnancies, and conduct periodic tests on a sample of women or infants at the time of delivery. (Sections 191.727, 191.733, 191.735, 191.741, and 191.745)

The psychiatric oligarchs who medicalise normality

Sunday, May 20th, 2012

[http://www.bmj.com/content/344/bmj.e3135 by Des Spence, general practitioner, Glasgow, in the 2 May 2012 British Medical Journal
BMJ 2012;344:e3135]

“Mental health should be a priority for all societies and its stigma always challenged. However, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that a staggering 25% of people in the United States have a “mental illness.” This is so large a figure that there can be only one conclusion: psychiatry is medicalising normality. The definition of a “mental illness” is one of opinion. These opinions are drawn from a small group of psychiatric oligarchs [a member of a small governing faction] who author the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). Their opinions are polluted, however: 75% of the authors of the new, fifth edition of the DSM report conflicts of interest.

“The DSM mental health model is a reductionist biological one: behaviours are explained away as “chemical imbalance” and of course open to drug treatment. Thus, tens of millions of normal but inattentive, disruptive, unruly, moody, or shy children are labelled for life as mentally ill. Boys are disproportionately coerced into chemical control. Figures from North Carolina show that 15.6% of children are labelled as having attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. In New Jersey one in 30 boys is considered to have autistic spectrum disorder, and bipolar illness in children rose 40-fold in a decade in the US. Such numbers are hailed as “better” diagnosis, not the obvious calamity of overdiagnosis and childhoods lost. How will these labels affect future employment, relationships, and esteem?

“So, will the DSM-5 seek to reverse overdiagnosis? No. New proposals will see bereavement reclassified as clinical “depression” should it last a mere two weeks. The definition of ADHD is being loosened further and will consume ever more. A new condition, “disruptive mood dysregulation disorder,” is defined. Three “temper outbursts” a week and being negative, “irritable, and angry” are enough for children to be labelled forever. In adults the new “attenuated psychosis syndrome” attempts to label people at high risk of developing psychosis, this despite recent research indicating that only 8% of those at high risk develop a psychotic illness.

“These changes defy common sense and will serve only to undermine psychiatry’s professional standing. It is yet more industrial mass production psychiatry to serve the drug industry, for which mental ill health is the profit nirvana of lifelong multiple medications.

“To be critical of psychiatry is often conflated with dismissing suffering. It is not. Psychiatrists have a duty to the sick but also to the well, and we are in a mental health disaster zone. DSM-5 (and psychiatry) is riddled with conflicts of interest; its definitions are soft, non-specific, and seem counterintuitive. I know that many psychiatrists believe this too, so it is time to take a stand against the mayhem of modern psychiatry.”

~o0O0o~

Wow, we couldn’t have said it any clearer. What should we do about it?

Take Action Now!

And be sure to check out http://www.havidol.com/ for a fine time!

The annual NARPA rights conference

Thursday, May 17th, 2012

NATIONAL ASSOCIATION FOR RIGHTS PROTECTION AND ADVOCACY

NARPA AT 30:

Celebrating Our Past, Creating Our Future

September 5-8, 2012

Conference begins Wednesday evening & ends noon Saturday

The Millennium Hotel
Cincinnati, Ohio

For 30 years, NARPA has provided an educational conference with inspiring keynoters and outstanding workshops. Learn from each other and come together as a community committed to social justice for people with psychiatric labels & developmental disabilities.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS) is providing financial support to individuals who are current or former recipients of mental health services, in order to enable these individuals to develop or improve advocacy skills from information available at the conference. The deadline for application is May 29th. Go to http://narpa.org/ to download the application form.

NARPA‘s mission is to promote policies and pursue strategies that result in individuals with psychiatric diagnoses making their own choices regarding treatment. They educate and mentor those individuals to enable them to exercise their legal and human rights with a goal of abolition of all forced treatment.

NARPA is an independent organization, solely supported by its members. It is a unique mix of people who have experienced psychiatric intervention, advocates, civil rights activists, mental health workers, and lawyers — with many people whose roles overlap. NARPA exists to to protect people’s right to choice and to be free from coercion, and to promote alternatives so that the right to choice can be meaningful.

Interesting Books

Sunday, May 13th, 2012

Anatomy of an Epidemic, by Robert Whitaker.

“There is a story that psychiatry doesn’t dare tell, which shows that our societal delusion about the benefits of psychiatric drugs isn’t entirely an innocent one. In order to sell our society on the soundness of this form of care, psychiatry has had to grossly exaggerate the value of its new drugs, silence critics, and keep the story of poor long-term outcomes hidden. That is a willful, conscious process, and the very fact that psychiatry has had to employ such storytelling methods reveals a great deal about the merits of this paradigm of care, much more than a single study ever could.” (page 312)


Born With a Junk Food Deficiency: How Flaks, Quacks, and Hacks Pimp the Public Health, by Martha Rosenberg

“Why have Big Pharma, the government, and the medical establishment turned a blind eye to patients who fall victim to suicide as a result of antidepressants and other psychoactive drugs? … Having gained the trust of more than twenty doctors, researchers, and experts who were willing to come forward and finally tell all, reporter and editorial cartoonist Martha Rosenberg presents us with her shocking findings.”


Psychiatry – The Ultimate Betrayal, by Bruce Wiseman

“In the name of help, it has brutalized hundreds of thousands of individuals, hacking at their brains, searing them with electricity or numbing them with drugs. It has left in its wake shattered lives, ruined bodies and even the dead. The destruction has been almost incomprehensible. … Psychiatry – The Ultimate Betrayal examines psychiatry from its historical beginnings to the present and traces its rise to influence in our society. … The influence of psychiatric thought upon our lives has been catastrophic. In this searching examination, you will learn exactly how this has happened, how so much of what we casually think of today as ‘the way it is’ had its beginnings in the faulty theories of men who had less than our best interests at heart.”


Psychiatrists РThe Men Behind Hitler, by R̦der, Kubillus, & Burwell

“The result of years of research, this highly explosive and well-documented book will reveal the hidden forces behind the Nazi movement during the Third Reich – which not only inspired the atrocities of the Holocaust, but actually helped carry them out. Incredibly, the Men Behind Hitler are very much with us today, still hidden but intimately involved in almost every aspect of our day-to-day life in education, medicine, law, government and even religion. … This book names the names and presents the facts.”


The Myth of Mental Illness: Foundations of a Theory of Personal Conduct, by Thomas S. Szasz (50th anniversary edition, 2010)

“Fifty years ago, the question ‘What is mental illness?’ was of interest to the general public as well as to philosophers, sociologists, and medical professionals. This is no longer the case. The question has been answered — ‘dismissed’ would be more accurate — by the holders of political power: representing the State, they decree that ‘mental illness is a disease like any other.’ Political power and professional self-interest unite in turning a false belief into a ‘lying fact.’

“The claim that ‘mental illnesses are diagnosable disorders of the brain’ is not based on scientific research; it is a lie, an error, or a naive revival of the somatic premise of the long-discredited humoral theory of disease.

“For more than fifty years I have maintained that mental illnesses are counterfeit diseases (‘nondiseases’), that coerced psychiatric relations are like coerced labor relations (‘slavery’) or coerced sexual relations (rape), and I spent the better part of my professional life criticizing the concept of mental illness, objecting to the practices of involuntary-institutional psychiatry, and advocating the abolition of ‘psychiatric slavery’ and ‘psychiatric rape.’

“Anyone who seeks to help others — whether by means of religion or by means of medicine — must eschew the use of force.

“Formerly, when Church and State were allied, people accepted theological justifications for state-sanctioned coercion. Today, when Medicine and the State are allied, people accept therapeutic justifications for state-sanctioned coercion. This is how, some two hundred years ago, psychiatry became an arm of the coercive apparatus of the state. And this is why today all of medicine threatens to become transformed from personal therapy into political tyranny.”

Mental Health Courts

Thursday, May 10th, 2012

Mental Health Courts are facilities established to deal with arrests for misdemeanors or non-violent felonies. Rather than allowing the guilty parties to take responsibility for their crimes, they are diverted to a psychiatric treatment center on the premise that they suffer from “mental illness” which will respond positively to antipsychotic drugs. The assertion that criminal behavior is caused by a psychiatric problem and that treatment will stop the behavior has no evidence to support this false premise. It is simply another form of coercive psychiatric treatment.

In a review of 20 mental health courts, the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law found that these courts “may function as a coercive agent – in many ways similar to the controversial intervention, outpatient commitment – compelling an individual to participate in treatment under threat of court sanctions. However, the services available to the individual may be only those offered by a system that has already failed to help. Too many public mental health systems offer little more than medication.”

There are clear indications that governments’ endorsement of mental health courts and “community policing” (as it is referred to in some European countries) will see more patients forced into a life of mentally and physically dangerous drug consumption and dependence, with no hope of a cure.

Mental health courts, starting in the 1980’s and 1990’s, attempt to link offenders who would ordinarily be prison-bound to long-term community-based treatment, connecting with the Community Mental Health Centers system that was established in 1955. Mental health courts proliferated in the early 2000’s due to funding from the federal Mental Health Courts Program administered by the Bureau of Justice Assistance.

Community Mental Health Centers became legalized drug dealerships that not only supplied drugs to former mental hospital patients, but also supplied psychiatric prescriptions to individuals not suffering from any serious mental problems. Community Mental Health programs have been an expensive and colossal failure, creating homelessness, drug addiction, crime and unemployment all over the world.

For more information download and read the free CCHR booklet “The Real Crisis in Mental Health Today“.

Neuroleptic Discontinuation Syndrome

Monday, May 7th, 2012

Big words, simple idea:

Neuroleptic = Capable of affecting the brain; Having a tranquilizing effect; Tending to reduce nervous tension by depressing nerve functions; A condition prone to cause violent seizures. From Greek neuro-, nerve + leptis, seizure.

Discontinuation = Withdrawal from, stopping. From Latin dis-, apart, opposite of + continure, to continue.

Syndrome = A group of symptoms that collectively indicate or characterize a disease, psychological disorder, or other abnormal condition. From Greek syn– similar + dromos, race, running.

Putting it all together = the reactions or side effects that occur when one suddenly stops taking a drug or lowers the dosage; i.e. withdrawal symptoms.

Side effects (also called “adverse reactions”) are the body’s natural response to having a chemical disrupt its normal functioning. One could also say that there are no drug side effects, these adverse reactions are actually the drug’s real effects; some of these effects just happen to be unwanted.

Jackson’s First Law of Biopsychiatry: “For every action, there is an unequal and frequently unpredictable reaction.”

This kind of reaction can last weeks or even months.

“So, there have been many examples throughout the history of psychiatry where patients who were never psychotic, but who were placed on anti-psychotic drug, came off of that medicine only to become acutely psychotic or acutely agitated. To the extent that psychiatrists themselves frequently have not thought about these syndromes, means that we have, perhaps, misinterpreted many relapses when we should have been thinking about medication withdrawal syndromes. And when you resume treatment with the medicine in these cases, you eclipse the withdrawal syndromes. The patients almost always seem to get better when the drugs are resumed.” [From a speech by Grace E. Jackson, MD; thanks to Dr. Gary Kohls and to PsychRights.org for this information.]

It could be dangerous to immediately cease taking psychiatric drugs because of potential significant withdrawal side effects. No one should stop taking any psychiatric drug without the advice and assistance of a competent medical doctor.

Some of you may know someone who has tried to come off of psychiatric drugs only to find it too overwhelming to cope with the anxiety, insomnia, fatigue, brain zaps, headaches, weight gain, or flu like symptoms. It is possible to safely withdraw from these drugs. One resource is The Road Back Program at http://www.theroadback.org/.

But what about those who say psychotropic drugs really did make them feel better?

Psychotropic drugs may relieve the pressure that an underlying physical problem could be causing but they do not treat, correct or cure any physical disease or condition. This relief may have the person thinking he is better but the relief is not evidence that a psychiatric disorder exists. Ask an illicit drug user whether he feels better when snorting cocaine or smoking dope and he’ll believe that he is, even while the drugs are potentially damaging him. Some drugs that are prescribed to treat depression can have a “damping down” effect. They suppress the physical feelings associated with “depression” but they are not alleviating the condition or targeting what is causing it.

The drugs break into, in most cases, the routine rhythmic flows and activities of the nervous system. Given a tranquilizer, the nerves and other body systems are forced to do things they normally would not do.

Click here for more information about how drugs work.

There are ;many workable alternatives to psychiatric drugging. Psychiatry, on the other hand, insists there are no such options and fights to keep it that way. Patients and physicians must urge their government representatives to endorse and fund non-drug workable alternatives to dangerous drugs. Write your government representatives and tell them what you think.

Autism

Thursday, May 3rd, 2012

We wish we could give you all the true data about autism, but we don’t know it all. Instead, we can give you many related facts and a few opinions; perhaps these can help you evaluate the subject. The reason we discuss it at all is because the psychiatric industry has claimed this disorder for its own purposes, and continues to wrestle with the line between unusual and abnormal behavior. For obvious reasons, we mis-trust anything that psychiatry has to say about the condition, especially about treating it with psychotropic drugs.

The word “autism” was coined in 1912 by Swiss psychiatrist Paul Bleuler (1857-1939) from the Greek autos- “self” + –ismos a suffix of action or of state. The notion was originally of “morbid self-absorption.”

The number of people diagnosed with autism has increased dramatically since the 1980s, partly due to changes in diagnostic criteria and practice; the question of whether actual prevalence has increased is unresolved, since diagnosis is based on behavior, not cause or mechanism.

Autism, sometimes called “autism spectrum disorder,” “pervasive developmental disorder,” or “Asperger syndrome,” apparently does not have a single definitive definition that can be used across the board to correct the condition; it generally refers to a range of symptoms characterized by impairment of the ability to form normal social relationships, by impairment of the ability to communicate with others, and by stereotyped behavior patterns.

A study was once done to figure out how common Asperger’s was, and the results were clear — it was vanishingly rare. Then Allen Frances put it in the DSM, and the number of kids diagnosed with the disorder exploded.

There are many competing theories about its etiology [its causes or origins]. We have seen articles relating autism to toxins (mercury, pesticides, etc.), nutrition, vaccination, genetic predisposition, neurological brain disorders, an alteration in how nerve cells and their synapses connect and organize, birth defects, the stress of circumcision, antidepressants, ad nauseum.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), psychiatry’s billing bible, may perpetuate the perception, whether true or false, that autism is related to mental retardation where it discusses atypical autism arising most often in profoundly retarded individuals.

Where to go from here?

Well, we’re not going to spend any more time discussing etiology and treatment, since you can google those thousands of articles as well as we can. The real point we want to make is that psychiatry currently owns autism, and they are on the move to re-define it for the next DSM version. They may change the DSM to make it easier to diagnose, increasing the number of children into the mental health system; or they may make it harder to diagnose, excluding children whose families are currently receiving, or hope to receive, some kind of monetary disability support. In either case, the hue and cry will go up demanding more psychiatric funding for whatever they are currently calling autism.

At least a million children and adults have an autism diagnosis or a related disorder, such as “pervasive developmental disorder, not otherwise specified.”

There are as many recommended therapies for autism as there are theories about the condition; these therapies may include diet, nutrition, behavioral modification, and many other non-invasive alternative health treatments. Of course, the treatment of choice for psychiatrists is the usual list of harmful and addictive antidepressants, antipsychotics, and anti-anxiety drugs, whose devastating side effects are well-documented.

Autism is big business. The word “autism” appears 1,880 times on the Missouri government web site (www.mo.gov); and “autistic” appears 607 times.

The proposed Missouri Department of Mental Health budget for the next fiscal year (House Bill 2010) includes $10,621,176 for various autism services.

A search through the Missouri Accountability Portal (for the purchase of goods and services by the state) for the word “autism” finds expenditures for 2012 in the following table:

Service Vendor Name Payments
EDUCATIONAL SERVICES CENTER FOR AUTISM EDUCATION $1,600
CLIENT ASSISTANCE SERVICES TOUCHPOINT AUTISM SERVICES INC $50,376
MEDICAL ASSIST SERVICES TOUCHPOINT AUTISM SERVICES INC $134
MEDICAL ASSIST SERVICES TOUCHPOINT AUTISM SERVICES INC $361
MEDICAL ASSIST SERVICES TOUCHPOINT AUTISM SERVICES INC $379
MEDICAL ASSIST SERVICES TOUCHPOINT AUTISM SERVICES INC $69
COPIES OF RECORDS TOUCHPOINT AUTISM SERVICES INC $25
CONVENTION, CONFERENCE & TRAINING
FEES
AUTISM PARTNERSHIP INC $85
ADVERTISING SERVICES MISSOURI AUTISM REPORT $205
PROFESSIONAL SPEAKER & ENTERTAINER
SERV
TOUCHPOINT AUTISM SERVICES INC $600
MENTAL HEALTH PAYMNTS-1099 CENTER FOR AUTISM EDUCATION $1,498
MENTAL HEALTH PAYMNTS-1099 JUDEVINE CENTER FOR AUTISM $95,252
MENTAL HEALTH PAYMNTS-1099 THOMPSON FOUNDATION FOR AUTISM $24,996
MENTAL HEALTH PAYMNTS-1099 TOUCHPOINT AUTISM SERVICES INC $2,467,598
PUBLICATIONS &
SUBSCRIPTIONS
TOUCHPOINT AUTISM SERVICES INC $518
CONVENTION, CONFERENCE & TRAINING
FEES
TOUCHPOINT AUTISM SERVICES INC $55
  TOTAL $2,643,750

Granted, there is social justification for providing help to children and families coping with traumatic health situations. Given, however, psychiatry’s history of fraud, abuse, and use of damaging drugs, due diligence suggests examining this field very closely for exaggeration and mis-use.

This just in

An article in the Los Angeles Times on April 23, 2012 headlines, “Report says studies overstate drugs’ ability to treat autism symptoms.” It goes on to say that “Antidepressants are not specifically approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for treating autism, but they have become the go-to drugs for trying to control some of its key symptoms. By some estimates, the drugs have been prescribed for as many as one-third of children with the diagnosis. … A series of standard statistical tests designed to check the consistency and reliability of the published data [about the effectiveness of psychiatric drugs prescribed for autism] strongly suggested publication bias. The effect appeared to be so great that the researchers could no longer deem the anti-depressants effective.” [Publication bias occurs when studies that show a drug or treatment is effective are more likely to be published than studies with negative findings.]

Find out more about what you can do to expose psychiatric fraud and abuse, and support CCHR St. Louis so that it can continue to expose psychiatric fraud and abuse. Go to http://www.cchrstl.org/takeaction.shtml.