So now a sizeable portion of Illinois’ citizenry has no choice but to be subjected to psychiatric evaluation and the very solid possibility of forced treatment if found to be, in the opinions of the screening shrinks, in need of treatment. Millions of people who would not have previously had the misfortune of running afoul of this batch of pillpushing finger-pointing pathology-insinuating arbiters of normality now get to queue up and see how many of them can make it through the checkpoint with their sanity unquestioned.
This is the best argument against reproduction since Zero Population Growth. If I were a pregnant woman in Illinois, I’d either move or have an abortion. Pity the established families with kids!
There’s scanty enough evidence that psychiatric services do a significantly greater good than harm even for people who come to them desperately seeking help. Their track record for identifying and helping allegedly “mentally ill” people who don’t consider themselves to be in need of psychiatric services is more akin to the body of success stories of the medieval inquisition in locating and successfully exorcising witches and restoring them to their happy lives.
In modern western civilization where even in the face of outbreaks of lethal and highly contagious diseases mandatory medical screening is fairly rare, Illinois is going to subject all of its children to a screening process that’s subjective *, not in any way based on labs*, for a noncontagious disease they don’t know how to cure and are as likely to do major harm as help when they try to treat, and which conveys upon the diagnosee a heavy and permanent stigma which can mark them for different treatment for the rest of their lives, and make it part of their permanent record.
• When you pay a body of people to identify occurrences of a problem, they have an interest in finding some of those problems. If they found very few, it would appear unnecessary to continue to have them engaged in this task, and their positions within the bureaucracy of state agencies would be found expendable.
• The perspectives of the psychiatric profession are at this point heavily informed by the pharmaceutical companies, which are heavily invested in and involved in shaping the curricula. Some may deny that this is the case, but as Loren Mosher, President of the American Psychiatric Profession put it in his resignation letter in 1988, After nearly three decades as a member it is with a mixture of pleasure and disappointment that I submit this letter of resignation from the American Psychiatric Association. The major reason for this action is my belief that I am actually resigning from the American Psychopharmacological Association. Luckily, the organization’s true identity requires no change in the acronym. It’s a profession where the alleged “diseases” and “disorders” are poorly defined, cause and etiology are unknown, cure rates as a consequence of treatment statistically nonexistent, and even ameliorative symptom reduction from treatment controversial and problematic, but the one thing a psychiatric doctor can do — and fewer creatures are more unhappy than doctors charged with treating a condition who have at their disposal nothing they know of to do — is prescribe a psychiatric drug. And if it isn’t working, prescribe a different one. There are a lot of them out there, new ones every year, and it can take a long long time to try them all, especially if you play mix-n-match with different combinations. And as far as the pharmaceutical companies are concerned, this is all, as Martha Stewart would say, a good thing. So, to get to the point, this initiative is all about “let’s find some people who ought to be on psych drugs and put them on them”.
• Nowhere in the initiative is focus given to forced treatment, but where psychiatric evaluation goes, forced treatment is allowed to follow whenever and wherever it is legal for psychiatrists to order treatment over the wishes of a patient. Or a parent.
The scary part is the suspicion that this is just a test bed, and that they’ll be rolling out something similar nationwide soon.
- links to recent posts by me and KillerKatt in a current thread on being diagnosed bipolar. Expansions on the concepts, rather than supportive empirical data, but I’ll dig up references if anyone demands them.