Category Archives: mindfreedom news

DSM 5 drafted, Kill Ugly Radio and Friends

In what has to be considered a bold move, the APA has posted the draft of the DSM 5 on the web and made it available for reading and comment here. A variety of changes and non-changes are already attracting attention. One of my favorite blog authors, at Furious Seasons, has inspected enough of it to raise some concerns.

You can see for yourself (please), but here are the things I noticed browsing through the current draft in order of appearance:

Disorders usually first diagnosed in infancy, childhood, adolescence

I am especially concerned with the labeling of children with psychiatric disorders. For the most part, kids don’t “misbehave” because they are crazy. More likely explanations are that their behavior is a natural and even positive coping mechanism for dealing with seriously wrong family environment issues. Other common reasons for “odd” behavior in children are food or environmental allergies and medical or metabolic problems. Regardless of what the behaviorists might say, the reason why people act the way they do is sometimes very important and is often their best response they can have to biological, social and traumatic factors in their lives.

Temper dysregulation with dysphoria is proposed with the parameters available here. The positive side of this potentially stigmatizing new diagnosis for kids is that it is not the Child Bi-Polar Disorder that has been promoted by both the FDA and the friendly shrinks at Harvard. Of course any diagnosis invites the possibility of medicating the behavior but at least it won’t be an automatic road to a jumbo list of potentially dangerous mind altering chemical restraints. So, no doubt, they will have to develop a new list for this new diagnosis.

Another new diagnosis for kids, a conduct disorder, is labeled Callous and Unemotional Specifier for Conduct Disorder. This was not in the previous DSM. The jury is out how this might be suppressed with drugs.

Non Suicidal Self Injury has been added as a diagnosis for kids. I can hardly wait for the good folks at GSK or Lilly to bring out a new pill for this one. Since self-injurious behavior is often a normal response to severe trauma, it might be good if someone looked behind the curtain before attaching the label.

Some old/DSM 4 disorders for kids are being removed or subsumed under the heading of other existing disorder categories including Childhood Disintegrative Disorder, Asperger’s Disorder and Pervasive Developmental Disorder NOS, all of which will be under the general heading of Autism Spectrum Disorder. (That Child Disintegrative thing sounds very dangerous.)

For grownups

We now have Psychotic Risk Disorder. There are plenty of subjective, unscientific criteria for this one. Like this phrase- “but of sufficient severity and/or frequency so as to be beyond normal“- I suppose you have to go to school to know what normal is. Just sop you won’t confuse it with other disorders they say “characteristic attenuated psychotic symptoms are not better explained by another DSM-V diagnosis“. That’s a relief.

Several types of Schizophrenia are being removed- paranoid type, catatonic type, disorganized type etc. I suppose they are all going to be under the general heading of Schizophrenia. Another to be removed is something called “Shared Psychotic Disorder”.  I need to look that up- sounds like a friendly sort of illness. Misery loves company but psychosis no longer does in the new DSM.

Mindfreedom News/ lazy blogger

Off the subject (really) but related, there is a good collection of news from Mindfreedom here about the impact of the mental health consumer movement in Lane County, Oregon. Two news items of interest to Oregonians and others originated from Lane County today:

** Eugene Weekly newspaper covers alternatives to psychiatric drugs.
MindFreedom activists are quoted several times.

** Now you can compare Lane County’s ‘guidelines’ for empowerment of
mental health clients, with a stronger version recommended by Lane
County Mental Health Consumer/Survivor Council.

So check it out at the link above.

Kill Ugly Radio-

Check out the archived show celebrating famous people who died in 2009. There is not much more to say.

Everything else

Dao de jing, T. Chilcott

limitlesslifesutra

Tunes-unto-the-Infinite

WilliamPennReGeorgeFox

The Project Gutenberg EBook of Rootabaga Stories

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Chinese poetry, CS/X movement, Free E-Books, Friends, Mental Hell Treatment, mindfreedom news, Music, silly, sound bite, Spirituality

Sunday Brunch

Appetizer

SorrentoRuins

layers

Playing with Hugh

Or, rather, hue (and contrast, and saturation etc.). All these taken in the past week or two. Click for real size, which is big, btw.

I call this one “very close to fall”.

near_fall

Oregon Rainforest- Silver Creek trail
Oregon Rainforest- Silver Creek trail

Ground Foliage
Ground Foliage
Looking Up

Looking Up

More woods in rain

More woods in rain

Bird, tower, moon- composit of several pictures

Bird, tower, moon- composit of several pictures

The J Complex (what's left of it) as envisioned by Prince

The J Complex (what's left of it) as envisioned by Prince

“General Pictures, Sir!”

above Oceanside near Tillamook

Palm.Bunny

pirate_storm-drain

baby

1991-kids_tow

kids_row

35 year old picture of me

35 year old picture of me

earth-sea-sky

sexyflower

I_am_Legion

From:

MindFreedom Oregon News Alert – Please Forward
http://www.mindfreedom.org/oregon

Descartes_mind_and_body

MindFreedom International News – 22 October 2009
Ray Alert #22 – Unite for Real
Mental Health Advocacy
http://www.mindfreedom.org/ray – please forward

Today is Victory Day for Ray Sandford!

No More Forced Electroshock for Ray, Ever!

Today, Ray Sandford of Minnesota phoned the MindFreedom office with
some very good news:

It is official.

After more than 40 involuntary, outpatient electroshocks (also known
as electroconvulsive therapy or ECT), Ray has won.

The court agreed to his change of guardianship. Ray’s new guardians
support his right to say “no” to intrusive procedures such as
electroshock.

Ray made this comment for MindFreedom International members and
supporters, who have backed his campaign for almost exactly one year.

“I’m a bit overwhelmed. This is wonderful! I’m very thankful. Without
your help I probably would still be sitting somewhere getting more
forced electroshock. So thanks a lot to and your group. Praise and
thank the Lord, amen!”

Said David Oaks, Director of MindFreedom International, “Ray’s courage
and laser focus led to a campaign that proves the ‘mad movement’ is
alive and well. The sheer level of people power had to break through.
I know some feel discouraged by the immense oppression of sanism.
Think of Ray. There is an ancient Persian saying: ‘No one is tired on
victory day!'”

THE SHORT STORY OF RAY’S VICTORY DAY

MindFreedom is encouraging all of Ray’s supporters to celebrate this
week, especially this Tuesday, 27 October 2009.

One year ago this week, on 27 October 2008, Ray Sandford first phoned
up the MindFreedom office. He had asked his local library about
organizations that support human rights in mental health. The
reference librarian gave him MindFreedom’s phone number.

Ray phoned up the MindFreedom office. He said that every Wednesday
morning
he was escorted from his group home to a hospital for another
involuntary forced electroshock, under court order.

MindFreedom International investigated and kicked off a public
campaign
that became global. Issuing 21 alerts, MindFreedom’s campaign
activated thousands of people who peacefully but passionately
contacted elected officials, held protests, mailed Ray stationery
supplies, won extensive media coverage, visited him, and much, much
more. At least one elected official said they felt ‘inundated.’

But MindFreedom also found that Ray’s oppression was systemic and deep.

MindFreedom volunteers identified and listed on the MFI web site more
than 30 agencies and individuals receiving taxpayer money to
supposedly help Ray. Only a few agencies helped Ray, and most actually
opposed his rights. Because MFI’s web site is so popular, many of
those who oppressed Ray can “Google themselves” and discover their MFI
listing near the top.

Ray’s last forced electroshock was on USA tax day, 15 April 2009.

By coincidence the 15th of April was also the date of the very first
forced electroshock, back in 1938 in Italy, when the subject cried out:

“Non una seconda! Mortifierel” which means in Italian, “Not another!
It’s deadly!”

On 13 May 2009, Ray was escorted all the way to a hospital bed. He was
prepped for another forced electroshock. Because of outrage, hospital
authorities
cancelled Ray’s shock at the last second, and he was sent
home.

More victories quickly followed.

Ray’s psychiatrist quit because he said his insurance company was
concerned about all the public attention. MindFreedom helped Ray find
a new psychiatrist supportive of Ray’s human rights.

Ray’s family joined in the campaign. MindFreedom organized a YouTube
video
with Ray and his Mom, begging for the shock to end. Ray’s
guardians, an agency under the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
(
ELCA), tried to stop the video from going public, but it got ought.

Ray’s family found a better attorney. Ray found great pleasure in
firing his ineffective court-appointed attorney.

Several concerned Minnesota agencies formed an “ECT Work Group” to
change the law in Minnesota. Two MindFreedom representatives serve on
the committee, but are asking for more than just minor reform.

“SINGLE, SMALL VOICE IN THE FACE OF A MEDICAL GIANT.”

And today, Ray’s final victory is in place: Ray successfully replaced
his general guardians who had supported his forced electroshock.

One of Ray’s new guardians, Daryl Trones, announced:

“MindFreedom has just won a substantial victory! Today I received an
‘Acceptance of Appointment” from Ramsey County District Court
regarding the changing of guardianship for Ray Sandford. Ray no longer
will be subject to ECT treatments. The powers of Successor
Guardianship include the power to ‘withhold consent for treatment of
service, including  neuroleptic / psychotropic medications,’ under
Minnesota Statute 524.5-314.”

Daryl, Ray and his family want to thank all of Ray’s many supporters.

Said Daryl, “My appreciation to all the MindFreedom members and
volunteers and especially to David Oaks who orchestrated requisite
forces and passions to pull Ray Sandford from harm’s way. MindFreedom
now bas a successful case study outlining the necessary steps to
extricate persons subject to forced electroconvulsive therapy (ECT).
Congratulation to MindFreedom Staff and Members and most of all to Ray
Sandford who one year ago was just a single, small voice in the face
of a medical giant.”

Supporters should finally be able to postal mail to Ray Sandford
directly without delay.

You may postal mail your congratulations to Ray here:

Ray Sandford
Victory House
4427 Monroe St.
Columbia Heights, MN 55421-2880 USA

You can read the history of Ray’s successful campaign at:
http://www.mindfreedom.org/ray

free_your_mind_02_big

Utne Reader magazine periodically names “50 Visionaries Who Are
Changing Your World.”

A psychiatric survivor activist is named as one of these visionaries
in Utne’s November/December 2009 issue, which hits the stands now:

David W. Oaks, Director of MindFreedom International, an independent
nonprofit for human rights and alternatives in mental health.

Utne’s listing of David Oaks also zings ABC-TV’s recent national news
coverage of the “mad pride movement,” which has been widely criticized
by activists.

~~~~~~~~~~~

For Utne’s listing of David Oaks, and to make a public comment, go here:

http://www.utne.com/Science-Technology/David-Oaks-Director-MindFreedom-International.aspx

or use this link:

http://bit.ly/utne-oaks

~~~~~~~~~~~

For Utne’s entire list of 2009 visionaries, starting with the Dalai
Lama
who is on the cover, go here:

http://www.utne.com/Politics/50-Visionaries-Changing-Your-World-Hope-2009.aspx

or use this link:

http://bit.ly/utne-vision

~~~~~~~~~~~

Said David Oaks, “Utne is one of the few media leaders to acknowledge
the ‘mad movement’ to deeply change the mental health system. Utne’s
recognition is really of our whole movement’s vision. This shows we
are still connected to all the other movements for social and
environmental justice, just as when our movement first started. Can we
have a
nonviolent revolution now?”

eclipse_corona

Another Suspicious Death Inside Oregon State Hospital

According to the below MindFreedom Oregon Exclusive Report, another
psychiatric patient died inside Oregon State Hospital in
Salem, Oregon
under suspicious circumstances on Saturday, 17 October 2009.

The man — known here as “Patient M” — had apparently been
complaining repeatedly for a month about chest pain, which staff had
allegedly dismissed because of his psychiatric diagnosis. Instead of
medical care, staff reportedly just gave him more
psychiatric drugs.

After the patient died, the report says he was left undiscovered all
day by staff who were supposed to be checking on him regularly.

The below is based on several anonymous reports from patients on ward
50F with access to telephones, who took great risk to speak out.
Because of a long pattern of abuse and neglect in Oregon State
Hospital
(OSH), this information is offered immediately in the public
interest, but has not yet been investigated by authorities. Each
allegation needs to be investigated before confirmation.

At the bottom are ways you can speak out to demand an investigation,
and also demand support for a state-wide voice for Oregon’s mental
health consumers
and psychiatric survivors.

Patients supplying this news did not ask to be anonymous but patients
at OSH have reported retaliation for getting information out in
public. For example, this past week a minimum security patient was
allegedly moved, in shackles, to a more restricted area after he spoke
with Salem reporters about his lawsuit against Oregon State Hospital.

MindFreedom calls on the Governor, the US Dept. of Justice and the
media to immediately investigate the below allegations, especially the
RED FLAGS marked in this report.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

EXCLUSIVE REPORT to MindFreedom Oregon

“The medicine is not working.”

The Passing of “Patient M” on Ward 50F in Oregon State Hospital
(OSH)

Over one month ago, “Patient M” had a fellow patient — “R” — help
him write a special letter to the ward medical officer.

In the letter Patient M complained of his chest pain, stomach pain and
trouble breathing.

Instead of medical treatment for the chest pain, because of his
psychiatric diagnosis Patient M was given more psychiatric drugs as
staff felt he needed them, known in medicine as “PRN.” These
psychiatric drugs were often minor tranquilizers, usually Ativan
(lorazepam) or Klonopin (clonazepam). The psychiatric drugs were
administered whenever he complained of pain.

Two weeks ago, Patient M spoke directly to the Ward Medical Officer
and said that, “The medicine is not working.” He continued to complain
of chest and stomach pain with difficulty breathing. [RED FLAG] He
continued to be given “PRNs.” He was not given a pain reliever, heart
medication or any cardiac testing.

This past week, Patient M has told everyone on the ward who would
listen that he was in serious pain. Other patients were already very
worried about his health. He continued to receive tranquilizers when
he complained.

Last Thursday and Friday — 15th and 16th of October — were
particularly bad. [RED FLAG]

Patients say it’s important to know that it is policy that all
patients be checked for “location and condition every hour.” For
example, in a widely-publicized escape a month ago, staff had not been
checking on the patient.

Saturday morning, 17 October 2009, Patient M got up for breakfast, and
he was known as a man who never misses a meal. Some said eating seemed
to be his greatest enjoyment, and he was always the first person to
get his food. Because he is sloppy, he got his food delivered to him
outside the kitchen.

At 8:30 am he was given his morning meds. He told the nurse that his
chest hurt “really bad” and he had trouble breathing. He was given his
usual psychiatric drug PRN.

Patient M went to lay down.

A nurse checked at 9:30 am and saw he was lying down. He seemed okay.

Patient M resided in a very over-crowded room typical of the “50
building” at OSH. A short time later one of his roommates said his
eyes were rolled back. “But sometimes he sleeps like that” because of
the PRNs, said one roommate.

No staff checked his condition for the rest of the morning. [RED FLAG]

Lunch on 50F is served between 11 am and 11:30 am. Staff brought his
tray down to his room. They called his name and there was no response,
even though it is well known that he always eats. [RED FLAG] Staff
left, and took his lunch back to the kitchen.

Mid-afternoon a roommate shook his foot to see if he’d wake up. There
was no response. No staff looked in on him to check his condition all
afternoon. [RED FLAG]

Dinner time, 4:30 pm, staff called into his room to announce the meal.
No response. Patient M did not get up for food. Staff did not bother
to bring a tray down for him. No staff checked him.

His roommates complained of the stench of “shit” in the room. This
odor was probably from the natural course of a person who is lying
dead for hours as their bowels evacuate. Staff still stayed out. [RED
FLAG]

Finally, at 7:45 pm OSH medication staff went to his room to give him
his evening pills. This time he was checked. He was so dead cold, no
attempt was made at resuscitation. Some patients believe he was in or
past rigor mortis at this point.

Between 7:45 and 8 pm, patient eye-witnesses allege several things
happened. The room was sealed. Staff were called into what one person
called a “bubble” to speak privately.

Based on patient reports: “It was quiet for a few minutes. Then the
staff became very active. We could see through the nurses’ station
windows that they were handling documents, making photocopies. We
heard one staff say, ‘We’ll need six more of those.’ Then we could see
staff shredding originals of documents they had just photocopied. By 8
pm things had returned to normal. The body was carried out later.”

Over the weekend Patient M’s soiled bed and personal area were left as
is in the crowded room. “The smell was unbelievable,” said one witness.

On Monday morning, 19 October 2009, two days after the death, at the
ward meeting, patients complained about the unsanitary conditions in
this room. Staff took out the bed, bedding and sanitized the area. As
of that evening there was no counseling about the death, and no extra
help provided to other patients on that ward.

No memorial was suggested until patients brought it up at the ward
meeting.

Patients were questioned at the meeting about “What do you know?” and
“What will you report?” One patient referred to the meeting as an
“inquisition.”

Patients around the hospital heard about the death only by word of
mouth.

Many are reportedly saddened.

Because of the request by patients, a memorial is planned.

– end –

~~~~~~~~~~

ACTIONS * ACTIONS * ACTIONS

Please forward this alert to others who support human rights in mental
health.

The Governor has not responded to e-mails. Please telephone.

PHONE GOVERNOR TED KULONGOSKI AT (503) 378-3111

In a civil but strong way, in your own words:

1) Ask the Governor to personally investigate suspicious deaths at
Oregon State Hospital.

2) Ask the Governor to support the state-wide voice of mental health
consumers
and psychiatric survivors.

~~~~~~~~~~

BACKGROUND on OSH & MORTALITY:

Oregon State Hospital has a long history of suspicious deaths.

OSH is nationally famous when its secret discolored copper canisters
were revealed that contain the ashes of some 5,121 patients who died
between 1913 and 1971. The identification of many of the patients is
lost.

See the Time Magazine article on Jan. 2009 about OSH ash cans here:

http://www.time.com/time/arts/article/0,8599,1869177,00.html

For more photos of the canisters go to this web site from July 2009:

http://thephotobook.wordpress.com/2009/07/06/david-maisel-library-of-dust/

or use this link:

http://bit.ly/osh-ashes

Mortality and people in the mental health system continues to be a
national controversy today in the USA.

A major study by the National Association of State Mental Health
Program Directors showed that people who use the US
public mental
health system
die about 25 years earlier than the general public:

http://www.mindfreedom.org/kb/psychiatric-drugs/death

One possible reason provided in the study is the over-use of
psychiatric drugs, including multiple prescriptions, but this factor
is often omitted or downplayed by those in the mental health system
discussing these deaths.

Instead, the mental health system today is promoting “integration” of
physical and mental health as the answer to this mortality rate.
“Integration” is now a major buzz word in mental health.

Sound good?

Unfortunately, there’s no definition of this “integration.” Is this
the “integration” of psychiatric institutions into the community, as
mandated by the Olmstead Supreme Court decision? A draft of Oregon’s
plan to implement Olmstead does not emphasize the importance of
supporting the voice of
mental health consumers and psychiatric
survivors.

In some places this “integration” buzz word has simply meant increased
prescription rates of psychiatric drugs in clinics that had previously
focused on physical health. Sad about your heart condition? There may
be a
psychiatric drug prescription waiting for you, too.

People with psychiatric labels continue to be among the most
disempowered Oregonians.

How can this “power imbalance” change without a voice?

Since the exact month Governor Ted Kulongoski took office, Oregon
became one of the few USA states to provide zero — 0 — funding for
the state-wide voice of mental health consumers and psychiatric
survivors.  For more than seven years, there has been zero state
funding for any of those activities — a newsletter, conference,
office of mental health consumer affairs.

Nothing.

During tough times, people with psychiatric labels are supposedly hit
hardest. That’s when we should be supporting the voice of mental
health consumers
and psychiatric survivors the most.

However, apparently based on advice from his closest staff, Governor
Kulongoski continues to recommend zero for this state-wide voice each
budget.

You can read about the Governor’s legacy of “zero” for mental health
consumers and psychiatric survivors here:

http://www.mindfreedom.org/zero

~~~~~~~~~~

TWO ACTIONS:

1) PLEASE forward this covered-up news to all interested people.

2) PHONE GOVERNOR TED KULONGOSKI AT (503) 378-3111

Be civil and strong, ask for investigation of deaths at OSH, and for
his support of a state-wide voice for mental health consumers and
psychiatric survivors.

~~~~~~~~~~

ADDITIONAL ACTIONS:

US Department of Justice (DOJ) is supposed to be investigating Oregon
State Hospital
.

In your own words, ask that all appropriate results of investigations
by DOJ of OSH be made public, and also be provided to you.

You can e-mail DOJ here:

AskDOJ@usdoj.gov

Or for more DOJ contact info, go here:

http://www.usdoj.gov/contact-us.html

You can also e-mail or postal mail Governor Kulongoski, contact info
is here:

http://governor.oregon.gov/Gov/contact_us.shtml

Please also bring this to the attention of any interested media.

If you did not receive this alert directly from mindfreedom-oregon
news service, you can get on this free, public alert system here:

http://www.intenex.net/lists/listinfo/mindfreedom-oregon-news

For more info about MindFreedom Oregon go here:

http://www.mindfreedom.org/oregon

Update:

Autopsy was supposed to be done Friday- I have heard nothing. Key information would be stomach contents, since the hospital claimed he had all his meals that day (whereas eyewitnesses say he was left dead in his room all day).

Titan atmosphere

From Librivox- free audio books

(click to play)

A Century of Recorded Poetry, Vol 1, 01, Walt Whitman – America

A Century of Recorded Poetry, Vol 1, 02, William Butler Yeats – The Lake Isle Of Innisfree

A Century of Recorded Poetry, Vol 1, 03, William Butler Yeats – The Song Of The Old Mother

A Century of Recorded Poetry, Vol 1, 04, Robert Frost – The Road Not Taken

A Century of Recorded Poetry, Vol 1, 05, Robert Frost – Birches

A Century of Recorded Poetry, Vol 1, 06, Robert Frost – The Gift Outright

A Century of Recorded Poetry, Vol 1, 07, Gertrude Stein – If I Had Told Him A Completed Portrait of Picasso

A Century of Recorded Poetry, Vol 1, 09, William Carlos Williams – The Red Wheelbarrow

A Century of Recorded Poetry, Vol 1, 19, Langston Hughes – The Negro Speaks Of Rivers

communist_party

Have fun, be safe, eat as much candy as you want.

Leave a comment

Filed under CS/X movement, mindfreedom news, mp3, Oregon State Hospital, pictures, poetry

News from MindFreedom

Just sharing-

1 May 2009 – This Friday!
State Capitol Rotunda, St. Paul, Minnesota, USA

May Day for Ray: Protest Forced Electroshock of Ray Sandford

Join MindFreedom International in protesting the ongoing forced 
outpatient electroshock of Ray Sandford of Minnesota wherever you 
live: Vigil, write letters to the editor, speak out! If you can get 
to Minneapolis/St. Paul you can join MindFreedom activists David W. 
Oaks of Oregon and Al Galves, PhD, of New Mexico in several days of 
protests, vigils, news conferences and activism.

See ‘Gateway to Ray Campaign’ for info, including downloadable flyer 
and news release:

http://mindfreedom.org/ray

~~~~~~~~~~~~~
9 May 2009
Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Say No to Electroshock

Comite Pare-chocs is holding a gathering on Mother’s Day to protest 
ECT, highlighting the fact that it is used much more frequently on 
women than on men.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~
10 May 2009
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

‘Stop Shocking Our Mothers and Grandmothers!’

The Coalition Against Psychiatric Assault (CAPA) is organizing a 
protest that will take place in Toronto, this Mothers Day.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~
10 May 2009
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Electroshock Protest

Another Mothers Day protest against ECT is being organized by the 
International Campaign to Ban Electroshock (ICBE).

~~~~~~~~~~~~~
14 to 15 May 2009
San Francisco, California, USA

Two Seminars Presented by Ron Unger

Two seminars, led by Ron Unger LCSW, will be held just before the 
protest of the APA convention in San Francisco. The first seminar on 
May 14
will be an introduction to cognitive therapy for psychosis, 
which is a psychological approach to helping people who hear voices 
or have beliefs so ‘far out’ that most mental health workers would 
propose drugs as the only possible treatment. The second seminar on 
May 15
will focus on the relationship between ‘psychosis’ and trauma, 
a relationship usually denied by the mental health system which 
instead attempts to convince people they have a strictly ‘biological 
illness’ or ‘biochemical imbalance.’ Ron is coordinator of 
MindFreedom Lane County Affiliate in Oregon.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~
15 May 2009
San Francisco, California, USA

Free Meeting Before the APA Protest

MindFreedom will hold a free reception in advance of the protest of 
the American Psychiatric Association Annual Meeting in San Francisco. 
Come to meet other MindFreedom members, socialize, organize, boost 
your spirits, maybe make some signs, and get informed!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~
17 to 18 May 2009
Moscone Center, San Francisco, California, USA

Nonviolent Protest of the American Psychiatric Association

When the American Psychiatric Association holds their large Annual 
Meeting in 2009 in San Francisco, once more MindFreedom International 
will be there to greet them with a nonviolent protest, this time 
complete with skits that will be YouTubed. Sunday, May 17 at 1 pm
and Monday, May 18 at 10 am.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~
30 May 2009
Cork City, Ireland

‘Stop Shocking our Mothers and Grandmothers’

MindFreedom Ireland is holding a peaceful protest against ECT this May.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~
22 June 2009
Dunstan Hall, Norwich, United Kingdom

Critical Psychiatry Network Conference 2009

The Critical Psychiatry Network is hosting its tenth annual 
conference, entitled ‘Promoting the critical mental health movement.’

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

13 to 19 July 2009
Everywhere!

Mad Pride Week!

Mad Pride events are again planned in Europe, Africa, North America 
and more. Hold your own Mad Pride event, small or large, wherever you 
are and let MFI know.

While you can hold Mad Pride events at any time, The City of Toronto 
in Ontario, Canada has proclaimed July 13 to 19 2009 as MAD Pride 
Week! Ruth Ruth of Friendly Spike Theater, who is chair of the 
MindFreedom International Mad Pride Committee, said MAD Pride 
Organizers in Toronto will be holding an exhibition, theater events, 
an Annual Bed Push Parade and more. Planning meetings are every 
Friday afternoon at 3 pm
from now until June.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~
9 to 12 September 2009
Phoenix, Arizona, USA

NARPA 2009 Annual Conference

The next conference of the National Association for Rights Protection 
and Advocacy (NARPA), which was a founding organization of the 
MindFreedom International coalition, is scheduled for September.

For more info:
http://www.narpa.org

~~~~~~~~~~~~~
9 to 10 October 2009
Syracuse, New York, USA

ICSPP 2009 Conference

The International Center for the Study of Psychiatry and Psychology, 
Inc. (ICSPP) is a sponsor group of MindFreedom. This is an excellent 
conference, especially to network dissident mental health 
professionals critical of the current psychiatric system.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~
28 October 2009 – 1 November 2009
Omaha, Nebraska, USA

Alternatives 2009 – Save the Date

This is an event funded by the US federal government. From their 
publicity material: This is the largest national annual mental health 
conference organized by and for people with psychiatric labels. Each 
Alternatives conference offers technical assistance on peer-delivered 
services and self-help/recovery methods. Deadline for scholarship 
application to federal government: 5 June 2009.

Leave a comment

Filed under CS/X movement, Mental Hell Treatment, mindfreedom news

Ray Update from MindFreedom

MindFreedom News – 15 April 2009
Nonviolent Revolution in Mental Health
http://www.mindfreedom.org/ray – please forward

    Ray Sandford Declares “Guarded Victory” for MindFreedom Ray Campaign

    Because of Public Pressure, Ray’s Psychiatrist May Quit Case

The bad news is that this morning, 15 April 2009, Ray Sandford of 
Minnesota had another involuntary, outpatient electroshock, also 
known as electroconvulsive therapy or ECT.

The good news is today’s forced electroshock could be Ray’s last.

Maybe.

Ray Sandford called the MindFreedom office this afternoon to say that 
because of growing public pressure, Ray’s main psychiatrist Dean K. 
Knudson plans to quit as Ray’s psychiatrist. Dr. Knudson has been 
ordering the forced electroshocks.

If Ray is quickly assigned a new psychiatrist more sensitive to Ray’s 
human rights and need for humane alternatives, then Ray could be free 
of his ongoing forced electroshocks. Ray has had more than 40.

Dr. Knudson had scheduled Ray’s next forced shock for 30 days from 
today. The court order allowing Ray’s forced electroshock does not 
mandate the psychiatrist to prescribe it.

Ray said that his general guardian, Tonya Wilhelm of Lutheran Social 
Service, told Ray in a phone call today that she had talked to Dr. 
Knudson personally. According to her, Dr. Knudson’s insurance company 
expressed concern to him about the enormous grassroots campaign that 
MindFreedom is building to stop Ray’s forced electroshocks.

RAY CAMPAIGN TO CONTINUE

“Tonya told me that because of all the controversy, Dr. Knudson’s 
insurance company may force him to stop being my psychiatrist,” said 
Ray. “Absolutely this is a guarded victory. I want to be sure to 
thank people for their diligence, and for everything they’re doing to 
support me.”

David W. Oaks, Director of MindFreedom International commented, 
“Today is USA Tax Day. If Ray’s supporters keep it up, it looks like 
taxpayers may get a break, and not waste their money torturing Ray 
any more.”

The Ray Campaign will continue, said Oaks. “We need to stay vigilant 
about Ray’s rights, make sure Dr. Knudson quits, and help Ray find a 
better lead mental health professional pronto.”

The Ray Campaign also raises a question: How many other Ray’s are there?

Said Oaks, “It is proven beyond a doubt that there are others 
throughout the USA and internationally who are getting electroshock 
over their clearly expressed wishes. Every USA state and every nation 
needs a ‘Ray Law’ to stop this nightmare forever.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    ACTION ACTION ACTION

*** PLEASE SHARE THE GOOD NEWS OF THE RAY CAMPAIGN’S “GUARDED VICTORY”!

Forward this alert to appropriate places on and off Internet!

*** LEARN ABOUT THE RAY CAMPAIGN!

For background including Ray Frequently Asked Questions, Ray’s Web of 
Links, YouTube video of Ray and his mom, National Public Radio 
coverage
, how to participate in campaign, and more, see:

http://www.mindfreedom.org/ray

*** UNITY WORKS!

MindFreedom International unites to take action for a nonviolent 
revolution in the mental health system.

Leave a comment

Filed under CS/X movement, Links: Recovery, mindfreedom news, wellness and systems change

News from MindFreedom and other discussions

It’s been a while since I posted information from MFI or other mental health consumer discussion, so, here, from old to newer; have a full bowl-

picasso_donquixote

NY Times says minor reform is not enough, but stops short of calling
for what is needed: Laws that criminalize extreme psychiatric
corruption. Please forward. See BOTTOM for actions, including
nonviolent protest, you can take.

lunar2009

~~~~~~~~~~
New York Times Editorial – 4 January 2009

No Mugs, but What About Those Fees

New pharmaceutical industry guidelines should stop most drug
companies from distributing a wide range of trinkets and office
supplies designed to keep their brand names before doctors as a
subliminal inducement to prescribe high-priced drugs.

The new code, which kicked in on New Year’s Day, bars the free
distribution of everything from pens to coffee mugs and staplers by
some 40 drug companies that have agreed to the restrictions. That may
seem like small potatoes, but in the aggregate the promotional
products probably cost about $1 billion a year, as Natasha Singer
reported in The Times. The updated rules are the industry’s latest
attempt to restore public confidence that doctors are prescribing
medicines in the patient’s interest. The code still has too many
loopholes.

Although it prohibits company sales representatives from providing
restaurant meals to health care professionals, it allows the sales
teams to continue providing modest meals in professional offices
while pitching their products. It allows companies to continue paying
for so-called continuing medical education for physicians while
correctly leaving the selection of content, speakers and study
materials to conference organizers. There appear to be no loopholes
in bans against providing free tickets to the theater, sporting
events or resort junkets.

None of the steps yet contemplated by industry or professional groups
would completely sever the medical profession and many individual
doctors from their far more disturbing financial ties to the drug
industry.

Over the years, prominent physicians have received hefty fees for
conducting research, consulting or giving “educational” speeches
touting the virtues of drugs to their colleagues. The new industry
code would limit consultants’ fees to “fair market value,” but
critics believe that still leaves far too much room to pay individual
doctors handsomely.

Two investigations now under way at prominent universities show how
much more needs to be done to aerate undisclosed conflicts of interest.

A prominent psychiatrist at Emory University is accused of taking
large payments from a drug maker – and misleading his university
about the amounts – while heading a government study of the company’s
antidepressant drugs. Three psychiatrists at Harvard whose work
fueled an explosion in the use of powerful antipsychotic drugs to
treat children are accused of failing to report large payments from
the drug makers, most of which they had not disclosed to their
institutions.

Congress needs to pass legislation that would force all drug and
medical-device companies to report a wide range of payments to
doctors through a national registry so that all conflicts are known.
This is a reform that the industry itself now seems willing to
accept. Better yet, the medical profession needs to wean itself
almost entirely from its pervasive dependence on industry money.

~~~~~~~~~~
** ACTION ** ACTION ** ACTION **

Please forward

~~~~~~~~~~
You may e-mail letter to editor of *LESS* THAN 150 WORDS to The NY
Times here: letters@nytimes.com. Include your contact info. Letters
referring to a recent NY Times editorial have a better chance of
being run.

~~~~~~~~~~
Link to editorial:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/05/opinion/05mon1.html

or

http://tinyurl.com/nytimes-psychiatry

~~~~~~~~~~
MARK YOUR CALENDAR

Thought financial industry corruption was bad? Psychiatric industry
corruption kills kids.

Put psychiatric abusers behind bars. MindFreedom calls for new laws
and enforcement of current laws mandating prison time for extreme
psychiatric human rights violations.

Join nonviolent protests of psychiatric drug money corruption in
front of American Psychiatric Association Annual Meeting Exhibit Hall
at San Francisco’s Moscone Center, or WHEREVER you are, 17 to 18 May
2009
. Info about this and other events:

http://www.mindfreedom.org/events_sf

~~~~~~~~~~
Read more about USA Congressional investigation of psychiatric
profession here, including past NY Times articles and editorials:

http://www.mindfreedom.org/kb/psych-drug-corp/congress

~~~~~~~~~~
To thank USA Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) for leading the
congressional investigation use this web form:

http://grassley.senate.gov/contact.cfm

mp_yb

MindFreedom News – January 2009
http://www.mindfreedom.org – please forward

Another forced electroshock for Ray. ZAP BACK!

Join global nonviolent resistance ONLINE!

This Saturday, 10 January 2009, 2 pm ET, 11 am PT click into:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/davidwoaks

Live Free MindFreedom Mad Pride Web Radio – Special ZAP BACK SHOW.

Ray will be woken up early in his “Victory House” group home near
Minneapolis again this morning, Wednesday, 7 January 2009.

Ray Sandford is scheduled for another forced electroshock.

Under a court order and over his expressed wishes, he’ll be escorted
the few miles to Mercy Hospital, put under anesthesia, and given
another “electroconvulsive therapy” or ECT through his brain.

Ray says, “It is scary as hell every time I go.”

Today, involuntary electroshock continues for Ray and many others all
over the world.

houraidl4

New York Times Article:

Lilly Said to Be Near $1.4 Billion U.S. Settlement

By GARDINER HARRIS and ALEX BERENSON
Published: January 14, 2009

Eli Lilly, the drug company, is expected to agree as soon as Thursday to pay $1.4 billion to settle criminal and civil charges that it illegally marketed its blockbuster antipsychotic drug Zyprexa for unauthorized use in patients particularly vulnerable to its risky side effects.

Today’s Business: Gardiner Harris on the Eli Lilly Settlement
Related
Plea Agreement (U.S. v. Eli Lilly and Co.) (Findlaw.com>

Details of the agreement were provided by people involved in the negotiations.

Among the charges, Lilly has been accused of a scheme stretching for years to persuade doctors to prescribe Zyprexa to two categories of patients — children and the elderly — for whom the drug was not federally approved and in whom its use was especially risky.

In one marketing effort, the company urged geriatricians to use Zyprexa to sedate unruly nursing home patients so as to reduce “nursing time and effort,” according to court documents. Like other antipsychotic drugs, Zyprexa increases the risks of sudden death, heart failure and life-threatening infections like pneumonia in elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis.

The company also pressed doctors to treat disruptive children with Zyprexa, court documents show, even though the medicine’s tendency to cause severe weight gain and metabolic disorders is particularly pronounced in children. Over the last decade, Zyprexa’s use in children has soared.

The case is being prosecuted by the United States attorney’s office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Patricia Hartman, a spokeswoman for the office, declined to comment.

Angela Sekson, a Lilly spokeswoman, said she could not comment on the status of the Zyprexa negotiations. Last fall, the company, anticipating a settlement, had set aside $1.4 billion for that purpose.

The amount of the settlement is a record sum for so-called corporate whistle-blower cases, which are federal lawsuits prompted by tips from company employees or former employees. In this case, the whistle-blowers have not been publicly identified.

Lilly executives have for years insisted that the company’s Zyprexa marketing efforts were legal and appropriate. When asked whether she could repeat those assurances, Ms. Sekson said, “It would be inappropriate for me to comment further right now.”

It could not be confirmed on Wednesday whether the company would acknowledge wrongdoing as part of the settlement. Without a settlement, Lilly risks being barred from participating in the federal Medicaid and Medicare programs — a huge part of its business — even though such bans are almost unheard of for big drug makers because their products are considered so essential.

In the United States, most of Zyprexa’s sales are paid for by government programs because so many of those taking Zyprexa are indigent or disabled. Zyprexa had sales of $4.8 billion in 2007, making it the biggest seller by far for Lilly, whose revenue that year was $18.6 billion. Depending on dosage, the drug can cost as much as $25 for a daily pill.

The settlement may have little impact on how doctors actually use Zyprexa, because physicians are free to prescribe drugs as they see fit. But drug makers are barred from promoting drugs for uses not specifically approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

Zyprexa has F.D.A. approval only for the treatment of schizophrenia and the mania and agitation associated with bipolar disorder.

Zyprexa has generated more than $39 billion in sales since its approval in 1996, making it one of the biggest-selling drugs in the world.

And despite mounting concern about Zyprexa’s risks and the negative publicity surrounding the legal case, sales were $3.5 billion for the first nine months of 2008, 2 percent higher than in the first nine months of 2007. Prescriptions for the drug actually declined, but Lilly raised prices on the drug enough to increase its revenues.

Zyprexa was initially received as a significant advance over an earlier generation of antipsychotic drugs. But a series of landmark studies in recent years have cast doubt on that long-held view and suggested that Zyprexa is no better than older drugs that sell for far less.

A government study published in September, for instance, found that Zyprexa was no more effective in children than an older medicine but caused more serious side effects. The children receiving Zyprexa gained so much weight during the study that a safety monitoring panel ordered that they be taken off the drug.

In December 2006 articles in The New York Times detailed hundreds of internal Lilly documents and e-mail messages among top company managers that showed how the company sought for years to play down Zyprexa’s tendency to cause weight gain and metabolic disorders, including diabetes, while promoting unapproved uses.

One 2000 e-mail message, for instance, described how a group of diabetes doctors that Lilly had retained to consider potential links between Zyprexa and diabetes had warned the company that “unless we come clean on this, it could get much more serious than we might anticipate.”

After those articles were published, Lilly threatened to seek criminal contempt charges against Dr. David Egilman, a Massachusetts physician and associate clinical professor at Brown University, who made the documents available to The Times. In September 2007, Dr. Egilman agreed to pay Lilly $100,000 in return for the company’s agreement to drop the threat of criminal sanctions.

On Wednesday, Dr. Egilman said he felt vindicated by the imminent settlement. “I’m glad Lilly is acknowledging their wrongdoing,” he said. “Patients and doctors now know more about the side effects of the drugs they take.”

The government’s case will remain sealed until at least Thursday, when a judge is expected to approve the settlement. People involved in the negotiations say that prosecutors pressed for a resolution in the waning days of the Bush administration to avoid having to get another set of approvals from new bosses at the Justice Department in Washington.

While the settlement is intended to resolve all pending government claims, it is unclear whether all states, which are parties to the case through the federal-state Medicaid program, have agreed to the terms.

Some of the claims and evidence in the government’s case are similar to those made in a pending California state whistle-blower lawsuit in which Jaydeen Vicente, a former Lilly sales representative, described years of what she said were illegal Zyprexa marketing efforts.

Ms. Vicente and other Lilly sales representatives distributed a Lilly study contending that elderly patients who were prescribed the drug “required fewer skilled nursing staff hours than patients prescribed other competing medications” and reduced “caregiver distress,” the lawsuit states. Zyprexa often induces sleep in patients.

“In truth, this was Lilly’s thinly veiled marketing of Zyprexa as an effective chemical restraint for demanding, vulnerable and needy patients,” the lawsuit states.

In October, Lilly agreed to pay $62 million to 32 states and the District of Columbia to settle consumer protection claims related to Zyprexa. It has also paid the state of Alaska $15 million to settle a separate suit and agreed to pay $1.2 billion to 31,000 Zyprexa plaintiffs. Some private Zyprexa claims remain unresolved.

mad-in-americajun03b

MindFreedom News – 14 January 2009
http://www.mindfreedom.org/ray – please forward

Another forced electroshock for Ray Sandford today.

Decision: Protest the mental health system, or not?

by David W. Oaks, Director, MindFreedom International

As I e-mail out this message, Ray Sandford is being escorted again
this Wednesday morning, 14 January 2009, from his group home near
Minneapolis, Minnesota to Mercy Hospital for another involuntary,
maintenance, outpatient electroshock under court order.

There is a decision each and every one of us needs to make.

It is the same decision Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rosa Parks
and thousands of others in the civil rights movement had to make.

To protest, or not?

One of my resolutions for 2009 is to nonviolently protest.

Ray — summoning that unstoppable human spirit that always impresses
me in so many psychiatric survivors — asks us to protest.

Survivors of electroshock human rights violations on the MindFreedom
“Zapback” e-mail list, where the Ray Campaign is being coordinated,
also say it’s time to protest the mental health system.

There are many ways, times, places and reasons to protest.

But it begins with a decision.

Ray’s forced electroshock today is not a fluke.

Ray’s forced shock is not because the mental health system lacks
money, though good programs need more resources.

Ray’s forced shock is not because of a few “bad apples” in the mental
health system
.

Ray is surrounded by an array of taxpayer-funded agencies and
professionals who are charged with protecting and helping Ray.

Ray has had court hearings represented by a court-appointed attorney.
He has a conservator, general guardian and a guardian ad litem.
Minnesota legal advocacy, ombudsman and mental health consumer groups
are well aware of Ray’s shock. Minnesota’s Governor Pawlenty has
received hundreds of complaints. MindFreedom filed a torture
complaint with the United Nations.

The headquarters of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
[ELCA], whose six Synods in Minnesota own Ray’s guardian agency
LSSMN, say they have been inundated with hundreds of complaints.
Their official response: They’re not in charge of Ray’s shock, though
we never said they were. We asked ELCA to stand up publicly against
forced electroshock, they refuse.

Ray’s forced shock is a sign and symptom of how extremely oppressive
today’s mental health system remains, and how so much of our society
is complicit with this oppression.

Ray’s forced shock is an excruciatingly painful lesson and wake up
call to us all about an oppression so deep, it is seldom named: sanism.

Ray’s courage has educated so many people. Because Ray called the
MindFreedom office this Fall, many people now know forced
electroshock exists, and that psychiatrists sometimes give ongoing
“maintenance” electroshock. Many now know electroshock is often given
on an outpatient basis.

Many people now know that even Americans living in their own homes,
which are supposed to be our “castles,” out in the community, without
being convicted of any crime, can be court ordered to receive such an
invasive, potentially-irreversible procedure.

Now we know.

Don’t let this knowledge become normal. As MLK said, show your
“creative maladjustment.”

When I was an activist in the peace movement, there was a saying. “To
know, and not to act, is not yet truly to know.”

Reading about this on the Internet is not enough.

Each of us needs to decide and prepare:

Protest or not to protest?

When it’s time for a forced shock, Ray is told because preparation
must begin.

The day before, all food is removed from his fridge because to get
ready for anesthesia he cannot eat for a number of hours.

Then early in the morning staff wake him up and he is brought to the
hospital. Ray is put under anesthesia, and electricity is run through
his head inducing a convulsion. He wakes up with more memory and
cognitive problems.

Ray has had more than three dozen and he says, “It is scary as hell
every time I go.”

Ray’s forced shock is not because of a lack of public attention.

Hundreds have spoken out against this ongoing forced shock. Last
month, Ray’s plight was aired on National Public Radio. Ray’s own
elderly mother, a retired psychiatric nurse, has recently pleaded
with Ray’s psychiatrist to stop (since Ray is under guardianship, she
has no official say).

Most recently, Ray was sent to a neurologist for a check-up, but that
did not stop his shock.

The only change this past month is that instead of weekly
electroshock, Ray is now on a complicated pattern of every other
week, followed by every third week, back to every other week. Instead
of receiving his maintenance electroshock last Wednesday as Ray at
first expected, his shock is today.

Why are we surprised?

Based on the hard-won lessons of so many other groups that have
organized for their basic human rights, how can we expect real change
without protest?

In my 33 years in this field, I have seen many colleagues begin to
work in organizations and agencies that are funded by the mental
health system, and many of them are doing tremendously helpful and
crucial work. This work must continue, it’s a sign of hope.

Today it is common to hear mental health system leaders claim this
system’s values have changed to:

* Mental health consumer self-determination.

* Client empowerment.

* Advocacy and human rights.

* Recovery.

* Consumer-driven trauma-informed peer-delivered services.

And again, there are signs of hope.

But we ask:

Why is Ray Sandford getting involuntary maintenance electroshock this
morning?

Why is there a mental health “Abu Ghraib” operating before our very
eyes?

Why does forced electroshock and forced psychiatric drugging continue
in other states in the USA?

Why is forced electroshock growing internationally?

In my study of history, minor reform of psychiatry is not a solution,
minor reform is one of the problems.

Minor reform fuels more of the same.

When you hear a simple call for “more money” for the mental health
system
— without addressing the required fundamental change, watch out!

Remember Ray.

Truly, we need a nonviolent revolution in the mental health system.

Historically, nonviolent revolution requires nonviolent protest.

So there is one question now:

Protest, or not?

Protest begins with a decision. I hope you make that personal
commitment.

If you agree it is time for protest, please forward this to a
colleague and add in your own words, “I agree, it’s time.”

Remember Ray.

– David W. Oaks, Director, MindFreedom International

For links to latest news, Ray Campaign blog, and frequently asked
questions about the “No More Shock For Ray Campaign” go here:

http://www.mindfreedom.org/ray

MindFreedom International
454 Willamette, Suite 216 – POB 11284
Eugene, OR 97440-3484 USA

lunacy-titleCrazy is not even the word for it:

Old news from an unknown source:

“A new generation of drugs is needed,” said Dr. Thomas R. Insel, director of the National Institute of Mental Health. “It is clear from this data that antidepressants are not the answer.”

Dr. Insel admits that another major treatment outcome evaluation study sponsored by NIMH, “Effectiveness of Adjunctive Antidepressant Treatment for Bipolar Depression,” the largest study yet, confirms that the widespread practice of prescribing antidepressants lacks clinical justification. The drugs were of no value for the treatment of depression thereby challenging US psychiatrists’ aggressive use of combined psychotropic drugs. U.S. psychiatrists’ “strongly held beliefs about the efficacy of antidepressants in treating bipolar depression” is not supported by evidence. The practice can be traced to the influence the drug industry has on U.S psychiatry.

The randomized, placebo controlled study was conducted at 22 major research centers participating in the Systematic Treatment Enhancement Program for Bipolar Disorder (STEP-BD). It focused on patients diagnosed with bipolar I and II who were treated with any mood stabilizer approved by the FDA with and without an antidepressant. Of 366 patients enrolled in the study, 179 were randomized to mood stabilizer and the antidepressant, Paxil, and 187 were randomized to mood stabilizer and placebo. The study was published online in The New England Journal of Medicine, March 28, 2007, and is available free: [Link] Eighteen of the 20 investigators have extensive financial ties to drug manufacturers.

Patients who were randomized to placebo rather than the antidepressant fared better in all outcome measures-except the switch to mania which was reported a fraction of a percent higher among placebo patients-20 (10.7%) compared to 18 (10.1%) of patients on mood stabilizer and Paxil. However, the validity of this outlying finding is uncertain. In his accompanying editorial, Dr. Robert Belmaker point out: “Patients who had become manic in response to antidepressants in the past would not have enrolled in the trial, casting doubt on whether the drugs are safe for all bipolar patients.” [Link]

Another confounding element–which is almost always a problem in psychiatric research–is prior exposure to the drugs: Dr. Belmaker notes: “Almost 90% of the patients in the study by Sachs et al. were using a mood stabilizer at randomization. Thus, the study does not address the possibility that antidepressants can cause mania in patients with bipolar depression in the absence of a mood stabilizer.”

And the STEP-BD authors report that some patients were also taking an antidepressant at the time of randomization which was tapered by 50% the first week and withdrawn by second week. Clearly the effects of prior exposure to these drugs and the effect of tapering (i.e. withdrawal symptoms) may bias the results. Nevertheless, the findings are clearly against use of antidepressants in this population.

Table 3 provides the primary and secondary outcome results of the 26 week study. The primary outcome was “durable recovery” defined as 8 weeks of euthemia (non-depressed). The result: 42 of 179 patients (23.5%) achieved “durable recovery” on mood stabilizer + adjunctive antidepressant compared to 51 of 187 patients (27.3%) on mood stabilizer and placebo.

Results of secondary outcomes: “transient remission” defined as 1 to 7 weeks of non-depression: 32 patients (17.9%) achieved “transient remission” on mood stabilizer + adjunctive antidepressant compared to 40 (21.4%) on mood stabilizer and placebo. Discontinuation because of adverse effects: 22 (12.3%) on stabilizer and antidepressant compared to 17 (9.1%) on stabilizer and placebo.

Finally, an unclear secondary outcome criteria “treatment effectiveness” defined as “50% Improvement from baseline SUM-D score* without meeting DSM-IV criteria for hypomania or mania.” No indication of a duration criteria is given. The finding: 58 (32%) of patients on mood stabilizer and antidepressant compared to 71 (38%) patients on stabilizer and placebo.

The authors acknowledge: “we did not study a “pure” placebo group (one in which no active psychotropic medication was administered) and hence cannot establish the effectiveness of treatment with a mood stabilizer alone.”

Dr. Insell got it half right: “It is clear from this data that antidepressants are not the answer.” However, why does it follow that “A new generation of drugs is needed” ???

What disorder of the imagination do mainstream psychiatrists in the U.S. suffer from that they cannot fathom a world beyond the “next generation” of drugs-all the more so, in light of the evidence that the second generation antidepressants and antipsychotics have proven not only no better than the first generation, but arguably worse ?

ca_suicidal
MindFreedom International – 6 February 2009
Mind Your Freedom in Mental Health
http://www.mindfreedom.org – please forward

Four (4) very brief MindFreedom news items for a nonviolent
revolution
in mental health:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

1) Academy Award and Forced Electroshock

Ray Sandford of Minnesota has now had as many or more forced
electroshocks as the fictional character portrayed in the Academy
Award-nominated film _Revolutionary Road_:

Thirty-seven (37).

Ray Sandford, though, is a real human being.

Involuntary outpatient electroshock re-started for Ray Sandford, and
is slated to continue indefinitely.

Unless everyone acts.

Last week MindFreedom reported that Ray Sandford postponed one of his
series of forced maintenance outpatient electroshocks because of a
health problem.

Ray phoned the MindFreedom office with the sad news that his doctor
approved him for another involuntary electroshock, and Ray received
it yesterday morning, 5 February 2009.

It looks like thousands upon thousands of united people are needed to
unite to stop involuntary electroshock for Ray, and many others. Let
that include you!

For more info on the Ray Campaign to Stop Forced Outpatient
Electroshock, see this gateway:

http://www.mindfreedom.org/ray

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

2) “Have a Heart – End Forced Electroshock” Show!

Next Guest on MindFreedom Mad Pride Free Live Web Radio:

Mary Maddock of Ireland — Electroshock survivor, author, and
community organizer.

On Valentine’s, Saturday, 14 February 2009, tune in for live free
Internet radio with MindFreedom, and guests that include Mary
Maddock, co-author of the book _Soul Survivor_. Mary is a MindFreedom
International board member who survived forced electroshock.

You can call in live using either your computer or telephone. We’ll
have the latest news about the Ray Sandford campaign.

Time: 11 am Pacific USA, 2 pm Eastern USA, 7 pm [1900] London UTC/GMT

More info on how to tune in every “Second Saturday” in 2009:

http://www.mindfreedom.org/radio

Get Mary’s book at MindFreedom’s Mad Market at http://www.madmarket.org

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

3) Australia Electroshocking Toddlers

Australia is now electroshocking toddlers, including 55 children aged
four and younger, and two kids under the age of four, according to
news reports.

Read essays and news items here:

http://www.mindfreedom.org/kb/mental-health-abuse/electroshock

In that folder you will find:

a) Essay by dissident psychologist Bruce Levine on Australia
electroshocking young children:

http://tinyurl.com/kid-shock
or
http://www.mindfreedom.org/kb/mental-health-abuse/electroshock/
electroshocking-toddlers

b) Essay by dissident psychiatrist Peter Breggin on same:

http://tinyurl.com/breggin-australia
or
http://www.mindfreedom.org/kb/mental-health-abuse/electroshock/
breggin-australia-electroshock

c) Australian news story on electroshocking kids, with statistics:

http://tinyurl.com/child-shock
or
http://www.mindfreedom.org/kb/mental-health-abuse/electroshock/child-
shock-therapy

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

4) World Health Organization leader praises MindFreedom International
and Executive Director David W. Oaks

In its legal handbook, the World Health Organization (WHO) called for
zero use of involuntary electroshock over the expressed wishes of the
subject:

http://www.mindfreedom.org/kb/mental-health-abuse/electroshock

WHO is the official health organization of the United Nations.

Benedetto Saraceno, MD, Director, Department of Mental Health and
Substance Abuse at WHO said some very positive words about the work
of MindFreedom International, and MFI director David W. Oaks, here:

http://www.mindfreedom.org/about-us/david-w-oaks

psychiatry346185227_std

From the Independent:

Voluntary psychiatric patient fights for

freedom

By Tim Healy
Wednesday January 21 2009

A WOMAN yesterday asked the High Court to order her release from a psychiatric hospital, claiming her detention is not in accordance with the law.

The 69-year-old woman, who suffers from bipolar disorder, was admitted to the hospital on December 9 after being arrested by gardai.

She challenged this and yesterday a High Court judge ruled she had been lawfully detained at the hospital.

But the woman had taken separate proceedings, which opened yesterday, seeking her release when the hospital decided she should remain after she had agreed to be a voluntary patient.

The woman became a voluntary patient after an order committing her involuntarily was revoked on December 19 by order of a Mental Health Tribunal.

Last Thursday, the hospital refused to discharge her because it was not satisfied this would be in her best interests. The hospital invoked a provision of the Mental Health Act giving it power to detain voluntary patients.

Last Friday, the woman brought a second set of proceedings claiming the hospital has no power to do so because the MHT had already found she was not suffering from a mental “disorder” as required under law before a person can be committed involuntarily.

The case continues.

– Tim Healy

lunacy-kitten_with_a_gun

Leave a comment

Filed under CS/X movement, Links: Recovery, Mental health recovery, mindfreedom news, wellness and systems change

Excellent!

First- a Mind Freedom News Alert:

(click pics for animation, full size etc.)

filepile-enforcers

MindFreedom International – please forward
Human Rights in Mental Health – 26 Dec. 2008

BELOW, the main weekly newspaper in Eugene, Oregon, USA — home of
MindFreedom International — published a brief article about how
psychiatrist Darrel A. Regier is a link between revising the “label
bible” of psychiatry and the drug industry.

Dr. Regier is in charge of preparing the new, fifth version of the
American Psychiatric Association’s (APA) powerful “Diagnostic and
Statistical Manual” (DSM). Dr. Regier has forced psychiatrists
participating in the DSM process sign a secrecy agreement, and he has
refused to respond to contacts from organizations such as
MindFreedom, despite encouragement from World Health Organization.

Dr. Regier is also head of the APA’s “APIRE,” their research arm that
collects millions of dollars in psychiatric drug company donations to
psychiatry.

In the article, MindFreedom’s director David W. Oaks says that
democracy needs to get hands on with psychiatry in order to “green”
the mental health system.

AT BOTTOM is more info, including a web page of links to how Dr.
Regier connects the dots between the DSM and psychiatric drug
industry corruption.

~~~~~~~

Eugene Weekly, Oregon, USA – 24 December 2008

Greening of Mental Health?

by Ted Taylor, Editor

Psychiatrists are wrestling with changes in definitions and diagnoses
that will be included in the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and
Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
(DSM). The final edition will
have consequences for insurance reimbursement, research and
individuals’ psychological identity for years to come, according to a
Dec. 18 story by Benedict Carey in The New York Times. But will the
content reflect any input from millions of mental health patients?

“We definitely tried to have input and dialogue, and there was none
allowed. Period,” says David Oaks, executive director of MindFreedom
International
, based in Eugene.

MindFreedom was founded [in 1986] to advocate against forced
medication, physical restraints and involuntary electroconvulsive
therapy
, says Oaks. Members worldwide identify themselves as
survivors of human rights violations in a mental health system
heavily influenced by outdated practices and pharmaceutical interests.

[Oaks] says Dr. Darrel A. Regier, a key figure in the new DSM, is
also head of the special “research” wing of the American Psychiatric
Association
. APIRE, an independent component of the APA, [led initial
planning for] the DSM and “tends to get millions upon millions of
drug company dollars.”

“Even though Dr. Regier got federal money to hold international
seminars on the ‘future of psychiatric diagnosis,’ he has absolutely
refused to even respond to civil inquiries from anyone outside his
closed-door process,” says Oaks.

Oaks says a prominent official with the World Health Organization’s
mental health section, “has twice personally asked Dr. Regier to
respond to requests from MindFreedom about having mental health
consumer input in the re-writing of the DSM,” and was told “no.” “So
these few hundred unelected mainly rich, mainly white males are
cooking up behavioral guidelines for us all, with zero input from the
public who is impacted by these rules.”

MindFreedom is working to break the undemocratic domination of mental
health care
by the medical establishment, says Oaks. “Our issue is
kind of like where energy policy was in the 1950s, totally dominated
by the system. Now we’re pushing for ‘greening of mental health,’ to
allow for more holistic, empowering, non-chemical approaches, and
especially direct involvement by citizens in helping to plan mental
and emotional well-being programs.”

The revised DSM, due out in about three years, is expected to reflect
some public pressures. Early editions of the book defined
homosexuality as a mental disorder. Protests by gay activists
provoked a scientific review, and the diagnosis was dropped in 1973,
replaced by “sexual orientation disturbance,” and then “ego-dystonic
homosexuality.” Homosexuality as a disorder was dropped from the book
in 1987. Some GLBTQ activists are now lobbying for similar changes
regarding gender identity issues, but others are wanting to keep
transgender identity as a formal diagnosis so that treatment or
surgery can be covered by insurance.

The story can be found by a web search for “NYTimes DSM,” and
MindFreedom International’s website is www.mindfreedom.org — Ted
Taylor, Editor, Eugene Weekly

– end –

original article [corrections bracketed]
http://www.eugeneweekly.com/2008/12/24/news.html#1

APIRE is the repository for much of the millions of dollars that the
psychiatric drug industry pours into the American Psychiatric
Association and its related organizations. As director of APIRE, Dr.
Regier also is in charge of the new DSM.

For a version of above with links at bottom to more info about APA,
DSM, Dr. Regier and APIRE:
http://www.mindfreedom.org/campaign/media/mf/greening-mental-health

congressman-lets-c

ACTIONS:

** Ask your Congressperson to investigate the links between Dr.
Regier, APIRE, APA, psychiatric drug industry, and DSM.

** Mark your calendar: MindFreedom plans another protest of APA
Annual Meeting in San Francisco, May 2009! Attend, or plan actions
wherever you are from May to July.

** Join MindFreedom! For information about joining MindFreedom today,
click here:

http://www.mindfreedom.org/join-donate

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

PLEASE FORWARD THIS NEWS!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

MindFreedom International Office:

454 Willamette, Suite 216 – POB 11284; Eugene, OR 97440-3484 USA

web site: http://www.mindfreedom.org
e-mail: office@mindfreedom.org
MFI member services phone: (541) 345-9106
MFI member services toll free: 1-877-MAD-PRIDe or 1-877-623-7743
fax: (480) 287-8833

(click the pic)

ani-lightning-bolt

Next- News you can really use-

The very best link ever (not an exageration):

http://www.gethuman.com/

Leave a comment

Filed under animated gif, Links: Recovery, Mental health recovery, mindfreedom news, politics, wellness and systems change

Hey! Check this out!!

First- I want to introduce you to a service offered by someone I know.

From her web page:

Welcome to Blue Pacem.  We offer creative and quality video communication services to empower community at affordable prices.

Ann is own of the most creative people I know. Plus she is a beutiful person with the highest possible integrity. If you need help putting together high quality media presentations and want to reach your community in a way that is unique and strikes the chord that needs to be heard, contact Blue Pacem at http://www.bluepacem.com/index.html

Other things:

MindFreedom News- The Ray ECT Campaign

By David Oaks

 

23 December 2008

Dear readers of the MindFreedom News Public Alerts:

Ray Sandford phoned the MindFreedom office this morning, as he does
most days.

As you probably know, Ray has received about 35 involuntary
electroshocks. MindFreedom’s Ray Campaign has activated hundreds of
people like you to support Ray. This won Ray national publicity and a
new hearing last week.

Ray gave me the bad news that the judge ruled against him. Again.

That means Ray is scheduled for another of his every-other-Wednesday
involuntary electroshocks tomorrow, 24 December 2008.

Christmas Eve.

Ray says, “I’m really disappointed in that.” Ray thought that maybe
his family’s holiday get togethers would delay this week’s forced shock.

But Ray said that instead of the gathering, “I’ll be having tacos
with my aunt tonight to celebrate Christmas.”

So tomorrow morning Ray will be woken up early in his group home, and
escorted to a forced shock.

Ray told me this morning:

“It’s a painful awful experience. Every time. It takes away memory
viciously. It is scary as hell every time I go.”

Ray says he always objects.

“I say, ‘I don’t want to do this, I don’t want to do this,’ which
I’ve known since the first time. Everyone figures I’m totally nuts.”

Ray is not giving up.

So we are not giving up.

We ask that you not give up.

Eye-witnesses at Ray’s hearing, held in a dreary hospital basement,
knew he did not have much of a chance.

Ray’s court-appointed attorney, Jon Duckstad, refused to call any
expert witness to testify for Ray’s side. (See MFI Blog for more on
the hearing.) Mr. Duckstad has refused to respond to any offers of
help from MindFreedom, including a number of skilled attorneys we’ve
found who offered to assist for free.

Ray is keeping his spirits up.

Ray is so grateful to MindFreedom members and supporters for speaking
out. Ray is proud that even a relative in Alaska heard him oppose his
forced shock on National Public Radio (click on http://
www.mindfreedom.org/ray to hear that, and read more about Ray).

I am deeply impacted by Ray’s ongoing psychiatric torture out in the
community.

All abuse is bad, but severe outpatient abuse is traumatizing to all
of us, like me, who have experienced mental health system human
rights violations. It means none of us are safe, even in our homes.

 

MindFreedom International – please forward
http://www.mindfreedom.org/ray
Human Rights in Mental Health – Ray Alert #8

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

521

Christmas Eve 2008

What Would Jesus Do About Forced Electroshock?

An Open Letter to the Lutheran Church [ELCA] from MindFreedom
International [MFI]

by David W. Oaks, Executive Director, MFI

As we send you this, we understand Ray Sandford of Minnesota is
receiving another involuntary electroshock this Christmas Eve
morning, 24 December 2008.

As you know, your agency Lutheran Social Services of Minnesota
(LSSMN) is charged with being General Guardian for Ray. This is a
reply to your recent misleading public statement about the
MindFreedom Campaign to End Ray Sandford’s Forced Electroshock
(copied at bottom).

Regularly for months — presently every other week — attendants wake
Ray up early in his group home, Victory House. He is escorted the few
miles to a hospital. Under court order and against his repeated and
clear objections, Ray is put under anesthesia, electricity is run
through brain head, and he is given another electroshock, also known
as electroconvulsive therapy or ECT.

Ray has received about 35 so far.

Ray calls our office most days, and it’s always good to hear from
him. He told me yesterday, “It’s a painful, awful experience. Every
time. It takes away memory viciously. It is scary as hell every time
I go.”

Ray says he always objects. “I say, ‘I don’t want to do this. I don’t
want to do this,’ which I’ve known since the first time. Everyone
figures I’m totally nuts.”

One day Ray asked his local library about groups working on human
rights in mental health, and Ray contacted MindFreedom International.
Ray asked us to start a public campaign to support his right to say
“no” to electroshock.

I had hoped your church would be an ally in Ray’s campaign. Instead,
I have found you to stand by silently with arms folded, or even worse
your spokespeople appear to at times oppose Ray’s campaign.

In my 32 years of human rights activism, Ray is one of the most
focused individuals I’ve ever encountered in his persistent and
reasonable requests to end his forced electroshock. The fact that his
forced shock is outpatient and ongoing is especially outrageous.

Ray’s heroism has moved me and many others. Countless people have
responded to support the Ray Campaign, and Ray reached millions of
people on National Public Radio.

On 16 December 2008, the “Evangelical Lutheran Church in
America” [ELCA] issued a reply to a number of people who have
expressed concern about Ray as a result of MindFreedom’s human rights
alerts. (See below.)

It is significant for ELCA to issue a public statement about a
MindFreedom International campaign. With more more than four million
baptized members, ELCA is the largest Lutheran denomination and one
of the largest Christian denominations in the USA. We at MindFreedom
are eager for dialogue with ELCA.

Unfortunately, Miriam L. Woolbert of ELCA’s Communication Services
replied to those contacting ELCA that groups like MindFreedom are
“misdirecting you and many other people.”

Ms. Woolbert did not provide any example or quote of such
“misdirecting.” Her main points appear to be that ELCA is not a
“participant” in any involuntary electroshock, and that ELCA cannot
speak about Ray because of confidentiality.

MindFreedom’s alerts never claimed that ELCA is in charge of the
involuntary electroshock of Ray. MindFreedom International encourages
people to contact ELCA to ask you “to stand with Ray.”

Even if ELCA representatives feel you cannot speak specifically about
Ray, we ask ELCA to stand shoulder to shoulder with all their agency
clients, like Ray, who are receiving involuntary electroshock. ELCA
could at least begin by expressing concern or joining in dialogue.

We continue to encourage all people who care to contact ELCA, and
ELCA’s local congregations, with strong but civil messages.

Because of ELCA’s misleading statement about the Ray Campaign this
action is especially urgent, including for those who have already
contacted you.

Most importantly, Ray is asking us all to take this action.

300_221267

~~~~~~~~~~~~

* ACTION * ACTION * ACTION *

People may e-mail ELCA headquarters at info@elca.org or use their web
form:

http://archive.elca.org/mailto.asp?to=info@elca.org

We also encourage all concerned people in the USA to contact local
ELCA congregations, which they can find by entering their postal code
here:

http://www.elca.org/ELCA/Search/Find-a-Congregation.aspx

~~~~~~~~~~~~

MindFreedom Suggested Message to ELCA and Local Congregations [your
own words from the heart are best]:

I am not being misdirected by MindFreedom International or anyone else.

I am not saying you are in charge of anyone’s forced electroshock.

I am not asking you to break confidentiality of any client.

I am simply asking:

Will you stand now with Ray Sandford, and all those who are oppressed
by extreme psychiatric abuse?

What is ELCA’s position on the forced, outpatient, maintenance
electroshock of clients you and your agencies are charged to guard?

Why isn’t ELCA expressing concern about these human rights
violations, which amount to torture?

How can ELCA use this opportunity to seek dialogue on human right and
alternatives in the mental health system?

[your name & contact]

[Please copy your e-mail to news@mindfreedom.org; selected e-mails
will be published on the web and/or mailed to Ray.]

~~~~~~~~~~~~

brain

For more info the Ray Campaign see:

http://www.mindfreedom.org/ray

The MindFreedom Board of Directors includes several individuals who
have personally experienced the unimaginable horror of an involuntary
electroshock.

The board endorses this public statement to ELCA, and asked me to
quote from the famous letter written by Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.
in the Birmingham Jail on 16 April 1963.

Forty-five years ago, Rev. King was responding to church leaders who
discouraged his own activist campaign:

“…I felt we would be supported by the white church. I felt that the
white ministers, priests and rabbis of the South would be among our
strongest allies. Instead, some have been outright opponents,
refusing to understand the freedom movement and misrepresenting its
leaders; and too many others have been more cautious than courageous
and have remained silent behind the anesthetizing security of stained-
glass windows…

“So often the contemporary church is a weak, ineffectual voice with
an uncertain sound. So often it is an archdefender of the status quo.
Far from being disturbed by the presence of the church, the power
structure of the average community is consoled by the church’s silent
and often even vocal sanction of things as they are.”

ect-bw

[More excerpts below.]

~~~~~~~~~~~~

For those who would like more detail about this exchange between
MindFreedom and ELCA about the Ray Campaign:

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS about Lutheran Church [ELCA] and Forced
Electroshock of Ray Sandford

*** How does Ray Sandford’s feel about Lutheran Social Services of
Minnesota (LSSMN)?

Ray has approved this alert, and asks everyone to contact the
Lutheran Church [ELCA]. Ray knows that their agency LSSMN is not
directly in charge of his forced shock. Ray said, “In some ways
Lutheran Social Services is compassionate and helpful. They’ve
visited me and are a support system. They manage my finances my
fairly. But Lutheran Social Services does not listen to me. They
don’t see you. They asked me to not do this campaign. They should
support the person who doesn’t want electroshock. Tell them I don’t
want shock!”

*** Does ELCA oversee Ray’s forced electroshock?

To repeat, ELCA is not directly in charge of Ray’s forced
electroshock. We can understand ELCA being sensitive to this
question. Media are starting to pay attention, and National Public
Radio covered Ray’s story.

The legal jargon can get complicated. On 16 December, television
station WCCO-TV in Minnesota mis-reported that Ray’s “guardian ad
litem” Terri Bradley, who is the court-appointed person specifically
and narrowly in charge of overseeing Ray’s forced electroshock, and
who testified in court for Ray’s forced shock, works for LSSMN. WCCO-
TV has since issued a public retraction.

Legally speaking, LSSMN is “general guardian” for Ray, but not
“guardian ad litem” specifically on the electroshock.

*** What has ELCA said about forced electroshock?

Representatives of Luthern Social Services of Minnesota (LSSMN), an
agency that is sponsored by ELCA, have refused to speak out about the
abuse of their clients like Ray by repeated, “maintenance” forced
oupatient electroshock.

On the contrary, LSSMN representatives, including their employee
Tonya Wilhelm, have sought to discourage Ray and advocates such as
myself from speaking out publicly about Ray’s abuse. My first contact
with Ms. Wilhelm ended with her laughing loudly, saying this would be
between our lawyers, and hanging up.

Helpful MindFreedom voluteers in Minnesota are now prohibited from
even visiting Ray. Ray is kept from a follow-up visit to the
Minnesota Center for Independent Living. Ray is not being offered
humane alternatives to electroshock. Mail sent to Ray is re-directed
to LSSMN for screening. LSSMN attorney George Borer wrote MFI on 1
December “emphasizing” that they do not consent to MFI disseminating
info that Ray provided for the campaign that they consider “private.”

In a newspaper report on 18 November, Eric Jonstaard, director of
LSSMN, did speak out about Ray to a reporter. Unfortunately, Mr.
Jonstaard took the opportunity to chastise MindFreedom for using
Ray’s full name in the Ray Campaign, as Ray has specifically and
repeatedly authorized MindFreedom and NPR to do.

For more info on the Ray Campaign see:

http://www.mindfreedom.org/ray

*** What is ELCA’s link to LSSMN?

Through his bravery, Ray has offered us all an opportunity to create
dialogue. Instead, Mr. Jonstaard seeks to distance ELCA from the
situation by saying that ELCA is “not related to the situation”
except for a “loose” sponsorship of LSSMN.

Not related?

Loose?

ELCA’s sponsorship of LSSMN is official, financial, legal, direct,
public and documented.

LSSMN’s web site states that LSSMN is “owned” by six Minnesota synods
of ELCA, and credits ELCA as one of its “primary” funding sources for
their 2009 budget of $90 million.

Owned? A primary funding source?

How is that “loose”? Perhaps a lack of close oversight is part of the
problem.

This dialogue should not be about technical quibbling. ELCA has a
deep moral obligation to address oppression of any of their clients,
or any human being for that matter. ELCA’s agencies receive millions
of dollars in scarce taxpayer funding to guard these clients.

In Minnesota alone, Mr. Jonstaard says that LSSMN is responsible for
800 “vulnerable adults.” How many have experienced involuntary
psychiatric drugging and electroshock? LSSMN’s Tonya Wilhelm told
MindFreedom’s David Oaks that involuntary electroshock of LSSMN
clients like Ray in Minnesota is “not uncommon.”

The moral failure of involuntary electroshock over the expressed
wishes of the individual is not only committed by the individual
flipping the switch, but by all those aware of the torture but who
remain silent.

*** What about Ray’s confidentiality?

First and foremost, Ray has repeatedly, consistently, and
passionately spoken out, as he puts it so clearly, for “No more shock
for Ray.” He has signed a release of information form. He approved
MFI and National Public Radio using his full name in a broadcast that
reached an estimated two million people. LSSMN’s attorney admits the
First Amendment protects the rights of this campaign.

The ELCA statement claims that “confidentiality” keeps them from
addressing Ray specifically. In MindFreedom’s opinion, agencies such
as LSSMN have the legal discretion and moral obligation to speak out
about abuse of their clients to legislators, media, and the public if
they choose. Ray has asked for LSSMN to do this.

At what point does confidentiality become cover-up?

However anyone interprets privacy laws, everyone admits it is
completely legal for ELCA and LSSMN to speak out in general to the
media and legislators about the policy of involuntary electroshock
itself, which can impact a number of their agency’s clients.

ELCA has addressed other tough issues over the years. For instance,
one of ELCA’s predecessor churches ordained female pastors as early
as 1970. ELCA publicly wrestles with other controversial topics
including abortion and homosexual pastors.

So what about joining a discussion about issues impacting people
diagnosed with psychiatric disabilities? Isn’t it time? Isn’t it past
time?

*** Isn’t ELCA right that this is a matter entirely up to the courts?

According to eye witnesses, and Ray himself, his most recent court
hearing on 16 December, held in a hospital basement, was a mockery of
justice. Ray was not able to secure a better attorney. His court-
appointed attorney, Jon Duckstad, who Ray says has barely
communicated with him, did not call one independent expert witness to
defend Ray, and has refused offers of free help from other attorneys.

Social justice requires not just courts, but a sense of individual
and group moral responsibility.

Washing ones hands as Ray is escorted to a forced shock on Christmas
Eve is not acceptable.

*** Where else can people raise concerns with the ELCA community?

You may choose to bring this matter up with your own faith community,
and ask them to begin to address these topics themselves and contact
local ELCA congregations.

Also, by coincidence, the next ELCA Churchwide Assembly will take
place 17 to 23 August 2009 in Minneapolis, the very region where Ray
is receiving his regular, outpatient, forced electroshock.

It is time for all religious organizations to dialogue about the
human rights and dignity of some of society’s most oppressed
citizens, people who experience psychiatric atrocities.

One would expect many of ELCA’s participants would want to lead the
faith community on the neglected social justice issue of human rights
in mental health, rather than silence public discussion.

To quote ELCA’s web site about their church:

“It’s a story of a powerful and patient God who has boundless love
for all people of the world, who brings justice for the oppressed.”

*** Why do you quote a civil rights leader such as Martin Luther
King, Jr. about psychiatric oppression?

The civil rights movement was the inspiration for many social change
movements, including the movement led by survivors of psychiatric
abuse that began in the USA in 1970.

Other relevant quotes by MLK from his letter from a Birminham Jail
include the following:

MLK:

“I am cognizant of the interrelatedness of all communities and
states. I cannot sit idly by in Atlanta and not be concerned about
what happens in Birmingham. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice
everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality,
tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly,
affects all indirectly….

“An unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal law and
natural law. Any law that uplifts human personality is just. Any law
that degrades human personality is unjust. All segregation statues
are unjust because segregation distorts the soul and damages the
personality…

“You may well ask, ‘Why direct action? Why sit-ins, marches, and so
forth? Isn’t negotiation a better path?’ You are quite right in
calling for negotiation. Indeed, this is the very purpose of direct
action. Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and
foster such a tension that a community which has constantly refused
to negotiate is forced to confront the issue…

“I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s
great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White
Citizen’s Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate,
who is more devoted to ‘order’ than to justice; who prefers a
negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace
which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: ‘I agree with
you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of
direct action’; who paternalistically believes he can set the
timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by a mythical concept
of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a ‘more
convenient season.’ Shallow understanding from people of good will is
more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill
will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright
rejection.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Here is the reply ELCA has been sending to many people who have
expressed concern about Ray:

Statement from Evangelical Lutheran Church in America [ELCA] About
Campaign Against Forced Electroshock of Ray Sandford

electrocon

~~~~~~~~~~~~

From: Info@elca.org

Date: December 16, 2008 7:36:03 AM PST

Thank you for writing concerning a story you have heard or seen in
the public media. The ELCA is not related to the situation, except as
a sponsor of Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota, one of 280 such
organizations in the Lutheran Services in America network.
Sponsorship is a fairly loose term from a churchwide perspective, and
usually means that people in the area of the affiliated agency
represent the church on the agency’s board, and individuals and
congregations may also contribute some funding to the agency.

Here is a response from Lutheran Services in America which explains
the situation about which you are concerned:

To respond to your inquiry and comments regarding a recent story
about the medical situation of a vulnerable adult under a civil
commitment proceeding, who also has a court appointed guardian:

As a guardian, Lutheran Social Service has both a legal and ethical
duty to keep the specific details of clients’ care and treatment
confidential. While we can’t discuss the client specifically, we can
speak in general about how we carry out our work.

Lutheran Social Service is appointed by the court to serve as a
guardian or conservator to over 800 vulnerable adults in Minnesota.
We are court-appointed to take on this role when individuals lack the
capacity to make decisions about their affairs and there are no
family members who are either able or willing to take on that
responsibility.

A civil commitment is a separate proceeding in the State of
Minnesota. When a person is civilly committed, a decision to impose
electroconvulsive therapy (“ECT”) is a decision made by a commitment
court and not the court appointed Guardian. In the commitment process
someone, normally a health care professional, brings a petition for
ECT treatment for the individual. The individual is assigned an
attorney and a guardian ad litem (not Lutheran Social Service) who
act as advocates either to oppose or to consent to the petition. The
commitment court hears evidence from medical professionals and then
makes a decision on whether to impose the ECT treatment. The court
decision is then appealable by the client and the client’s attorney.
Under Minnesota Statute §524.5-313, a general guardian such as
Lutheran Social Service has no authority to impose ECT treatment
against the known conscientious, religious or moral beliefs of the
individual. The general guardian is not a participant in the civil
commitment process regarding the forced imposition of ECT treatment.

Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota has a long tradition of serving
vulnerable children and adults, and careful systems are in place to
ensure that decisions are made with the person’s best interest in mind.

Sincerely,
Eric Jonsgaard, Senior Director
LSS Guardianship Options

I hope this helps you understand the situation, and that you will
tell whoever suggested that writing to the Evangelical Lutheran
Church in America might help make a difference that they are
misdirecting you and many other people.

Miriam L. Woolbert
ELCA Communication Services

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The above was sent by ELCA to a number of people in response to Ray
Alert #7 about National Public Radio coverage of Ray’s campaign,
which you can hear or read here:

http://www.mindfreedom.org/shield/ray/alert-7-sandford

For more information on the Ray Campaign see:

http://www.mindfreedom.org/ray

electricity_is_your_friend


Oregon Consumer/ Survivor Coalition

 

Health and disability forum

 

Hi All,

WowDHEC (Women with Disabilities Health Equity Coalition, www.wowdhec.org) is a dynamic non-hierarchical group that I belong to and we are gathering information for the Obama-Biden Team. Please join us on 1/30/08 in Portland for the forum. Men are welcome too!

If you can’t make it, please fill out the survey at
http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=Qh2E4sc3d9ffNEp7CHyt9A_3d_3d

warm greetings,

Ann
www.bluepacem.com
evolve.
_____________________________________________________________________________

Are you a person with a disability or know someone who is?

Is it hard for you to be healthy, because of conditions in society and the health care system?

Well, here?s your chance to do something about it!

(For those that can?t attend, please fill out a short Health and Disability survey at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=Qh2E4sc3d9ffNEp7CHyt9A_3d_3d)??

We would love to hear your opinions!

WowDHEC (Women with Disabilities Health Equity Coalition) http://www.wowdhec.org
is hosting a Health and Disability Forum to talk about the negative effects
of our health system on people with disabilities and to brainstorm solutions.?

We want to hear from as many voices within the disability community as
possible! We are a cross-disability group that includes people with visible and ?invisible? disabilities (mental health issues, cognitive disabilities, etc.)? Our aim is to be as inclusive as possible.?

This is urgent!?
Right now President-elect Obama is asking for feedback about how to improve our health system — and the Obama Transition Team is asking people around the country to hold community discussions through Dec. 31st.

What we learn from you will be shared with the Obama Transition Team and used to advocate for policy change locally and statewide.

Please join us and pass this along to others in the disability community.? To get a head count, an RSVP is appreciated, but not required.

To RSVP or if you have any other accommodation needs, questions or concerns,

contact Marcia
Muench at muenchm@ohsu.edu
or 503-494-2685.

____________________________________________________________________________
QUESTIONS

1. What conditions in your life do you believe affect your health? (for example, support from friends and family, your economic status, how you are treated by others, etc.)

2. What conditions make it harder or easier for you to protect your health?

3. What needs to change in your life conditions in order for you to be healthier?

4. What do you perceive is the biggest problem in the health system?

5. How do you choose a doctor or hospital? What are your sources of information? How should public policy promote quality health care providers?

6. Have you or your family members ever experienced difficulty paying medical bills? What do you think policy makers can do to address this problem?

7. In addition to employer-based coverage, would you like the option to purchase a private plan through an insurance-exchange or a public plan like Medicare?

8. Do you know how much you or your employer pays for health insurance? What should an employer’s role be in a reformed health care system?

9. Have you gotten the prevention health services you should have? If not, how can public policy help?

10. How can public policy promote healthier lifestyles?

Marjorie McGee, M.S., L.P.C.
Director

Women with Disabilities Health Equity Coalition (WowDHEC)
3181 SW Sam Jackson Park Road, UHN 50
Portland, Oregon 97239-3098
Ph.503-494-2685
Email: mcgeem@ohsu.edu (best)
www.wowdhec.org

 

 

EFT and Trauma

Emotional Freedom Technique

Studies show that up to 97% of those of us who carry a diagnosis of mental illness are trauma survivors. I asked 100 people who have been so labeled and all of them had significant trauma history with most being traumatized over and over again through the agencies and hospitals that are supposed to help them. I also asked each one:

“Have you ever received treatment for trauma as part of your mental health treatment?”

Out of 100 people I had 3 who told me they had formal treatment for trauma. Two said they had experienced EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitizing Reprocessing) and one said they had both EMDR and EFT (see below). I myself had very good results from EMDR but I have found EFT to be a much more useful tool because I don’t need a therapist to use it. I don’t even have to buy (another) self-help book.

EFT is a self-therapy that I have found especially useful in dealing with my own trauma history- Emotional Freedom Technique is available free, there is a free download-able manual, free ongoing information and forums. Download the manual here.

Pictures of Macaques:

or, haven’t you always wanted a monkey (click for full size)

close-view-of-a-baby-macaque

babyboybonnetmacaque

baby_barbary_macaque

baby_macaque

nursingbarbary_macaque_baby

babymacaque_withbirdfriend

macaques-grooming

tibetan-macaque-macaca_thibetana

ostoo-00000026-001japanese-macaques-or-snow-monkeys-three-monkeys-in-hot-spring-with-infant-in-the-middle-japan-posters1infant_rhesus

Other pictures

brb-jesus1

handofharmony

redwood-national-park

jess-blog-20061127052253715

m81_1920

bye for now

1 Comment

Filed under animated gif, CS/X movement, macaques, Mental health recovery, mindfreedom news, pictures, silly

I talk to the trees

but they never hear me.

My First week at Work at OSH

5 Days of orientation- some parts very dull (people reading from powerpoints (said PPs both displayed on screen and provided as handouts). Some presentations sort of interesting (even with dull topics, a few funny stories go a long way). The last 2 & 1/2 days was devoted to Assault Response Training (“PRO-ACT).

I’ve had assault training before, a coule different versions. I’m pretty sure that as a state employee I’m not supposed to say anything publically that would reflect badly upon the agency I work for; so I will be brief…

All the presenters were well coached to say the things that the new administration requires them to say: patients are human beings, deserve respect and dignity, have rights, etc. Still, the undercurrent of much of the orientation, especially the PRO-ACT part was one that reinforces the patients as “other”, an us-them mentality, they are dangerous, they are alien. The primary trainer could barely contain his dis-satisfaction with tjhe hospital’s move toward more humane treatment, was openly sceptical of the planned reduction and elimination of seclusion and mechanical restraints (e.g. “Staff will be injured in larger numbers”). Barely disguised contempt for the idea of switching from bed retraints with metal key-locks to sturdy velcro restraints designed to cause less injury.

The hospital is very overcrowded. Staff are burned out in many cases. The administration is committed to change toward a recovery based model, not everyone is on board with that. Some things that are on-going violation of human dignity, rights and quality of life are simply artifacts of the hospital as a model of treatment. When you congregate large numbers of people and security/ containmnet is one of your most important products, you can’t help but create situations in which a patients only rational response is violence towards his keepers.

Example: For some reason they felt it necessary to show us the diagram ofd Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. One of the more important needs is the human need for love. Staff are prohibited from touching patients except to restrain them. Patients are prohibited from touching each other (sexual behavior with other patients will earn you possible seclusion and restraint, general loss of privaleges).

Teacher! I have a question! If we systematically forbid people from meeting basic human needs, aren’t we asking for patients to either be better sneaks or to create violent confrontations with staff? Answer: Well, in this setting there is no way to control things if we don’t keep a lid on behaviors that may lead to… well, things that are hard to control. Teacher! Teacher! Is maybe the hospital itself the problem then? Is it maybe possible that the entire notion of controlling large numbers of miserable people in a state of tyranny is just wrong?

Next Wednesday I get to go on a tour of the facilities (a 3 hour tour…). This will be a real treat. Will I see the vacant, crumbling halls of the notorious J-Building? Will they take us down into the underground tunnels connecting the buildings on campus to the State Penitentiary? I’ll let you know.

Now for something different

Some pictures, maybe funny.

Electricity is your friend

electricity_is_your_friend

Suicide Box

suicidal

aaaaarrrgggh

Gmix- Missing Bacon

gmix-missing-bacon

-)(-

ani-frozen-in-time

Constitution-Free Zone:

Fact Sheet

by ACLU

Global Research, October 23, 2008

Fact Sheet

The problem

*
Normally under the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, the American people are not generally subject to random and arbitrary stops and searches.
*
The border, however, has always been an exception. There, the longstanding view is that the normal rules do not apply. For example the authorities do not need a warrant or probable cause to conduct a “routine search.”
*
But what is “the border”? According to the government, it is a 100-mile wide strip that wraps around the “external boundary” of the United States.
*
As a result of this claimed authority, individuals who are far away from the border, American citizens traveling from one place in America to another, are being stopped and harassed in ways that our Constitution does not permit.
*
Border Patrol has been setting up checkpoints inland — on highways in states such as California, Texas and Arizona, and at ferry terminals in Washington State. Typically, the agents ask drivers and passengers about their citizenship. Unfortunately, our courts so far have permitted these kinds of checkpoints – legally speaking, they are “administrative” stops that are permitted only for the specific purpose of protecting the nation’s borders. They cannot become general drug-search or other law enforcement efforts.
*
However, these stops by Border Patrol agents are not remaining confined to that border security purpose. On the roads of California and elsewhere in the nation – places far removed from the actual border – agents are stopping, interrogating, and searching Americans on an everyday basis with absolutely no suspicion of wrongdoing.
*
The bottom line is that the extraordinary authorities that the government possesses at the border are spilling into regular American streets.

Much of U.S. population affected

*
Many Americans and Washington policymakers believe that this is a problem confined to the San Diego-Tijuana border or the dusty sands of Arizona or Texas, but these powers stretch far inland across the United States.
*
To calculate what proportion of the U.S. population is affected by these powers, the ACLU created a map and spreadsheet showing the population and population centers that lie within 100 miles of any “external boundary” of the United States.
*
The population estimates were calculated by examining the most recent US census numbers for all counties within 100 miles of these borders. Using numbers from the Population Distribution Branch of the US Census Bureau, we were able to estimate both the total number and a state-by-state population breakdown. The custom map was created with help from a map expert at World Sites Atlas.
*
What we found is that fully TWO-THIRDS of the United States’ population lives within this Constitution-free or Constitution-lite Zone. That’s 197.4 million people who live within 100 miles of the US land and coastal borders.
*
Nine of the top 10 largest metropolitan areas as determined by the 2000 census, fall within the Constitution-free Zone. (The only exception is #9, Dallas-Fort Worth. ) Some states are considered to lie completely within the zone: Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont.

Part of a broader problem

*
The spread of border-search powers inland is part of a broad expansion of border powers with the potential to affect the lives of ordinary Americans who have never left their own country.
*
It coincides with the development of numerous border technologies, including watch list and database systems such as the Automated Targeting System (ATS) traveler risk assessment program, identity and tracking systems such as electronic (RFID) passports, the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI), and intrusive technological schemes such as the Secure Border Initiative Network (SBINet) or “virtual border fence” and unmanned aerial vehicles (aka “drone aircraft”).
*
This illegitimate expansion of the extraordinary powers of agents at the border is also part of a general trend we have seen over the past 8 years of an untrammeled, heedless expansion of police and national security powers without regard to the effect on innocent Americans.
*
This trend is also typical of the Bush Administration’s dragnet approach to law enforcement and national security. Instead of intelligent, competent, targeted efforts to stop terrorism, illegal immigration, and other crimes, what we have been seeing in area after area is an approach that turns us all into suspects. This approach seeks to sift through the entire U.S. population in the hopes of encountering the rare individual whom the authorities have a legitimate interest in.

If the current generation of Americans does not challenge this creeping (and sometimes galloping) expansion of federal powers over the individual through the rationale of “border protection,” we are not doing our part to keep alive the rights and freedoms that we inherited, and will soon find that we have lost some or all of their right to go about their business, and travel around inside their own country, without interference from the authorities.

constitution-free-zone

MindFreedom News Break

Direct from MindFreedom:
MindFreedom International — 7 November 2008
Human Rights Alert: Involuntary Electroshock
http://www.mindfreedom.org – please forward

If it’s Wednesday, then Ray Sandford is Getting
Escorted from His Home for Another Forced Electroshock

Minnesota Resident Gets Involuntary Electroconvulsive
Therapy
(ECT) On A Weekly Ongoing *Outpatient* Basis

ACTION: How You Can Easily E-mail Minnesota Governor

by David W. Oaks, Director, MindFreedom International

The past Wednesday morning after the historic USA election what were
you doing?

I know what Ray Sandford, 54, was doing.

Each and every Wednesday, early in the morning, staff shows up at
Ray’s sheltered living home called Victory House in Columbia Heights,
Minnesota
, adjacent to Minneapolis.

Staff escorts Ray the 15 miles to Mercy Hospital.

There, Ray is given another of his weekly electroconvulsive therapy
(ECT) treatments, also known as electroshock. All against his will.
On an outpatient basis.

And it’s been going on for months.

Ray says the weekly forced electroshocks are “scary as hell.” He
absolutely opposes having the procedure. He says it’s causing poor
memory for names such as of friends and his favorite niece. “What am
I supposed to do, run away?” Instead, Ray phoned his local library’s
reference desk to ask about human rights groups, and the librarian
referred him to MindFreedom International.

Ray called me at our office here at MindFreedom International about
two weeks ago. At first I wasn’t sure I believed him.

Of course, MindFreedom International has documented proven cases of
electroshock against the expressed wishes of the subject all over the
world, including in the USA. MindFreedom succeeded in having the
United Nations World Health Organization call in writing for a global
ban on all involuntary electroshock.

But this is the first time I’ve been on the phone with someone
getting court-ordered forced shock while living out in the community,
on an outpatient basis.

This is the ultimate double whammy.

I confirmed Ray’s story by calling two staff at Victory House as well
as his court-appointed conservator, Tonya Wilhelm of Luthern Support
Services of Minnesota.

Ms. Wilhelm said, “We are following the letter of the law.” She said
the State of Minnesota had secured a variety of court orders that
require Ray to have forced electroshock against his expressed wishes.
Ms. Wilehlm says it’s all legal and she can’t do anything about it.

Krista Erickson, chair of MindFreedom’s Shield Campaign, sees it
differently. “This is terrible. This is a serious human rights
violation that should stop. I hope MindFreedom members and supporters
speak out. Even if Minnesota is following the letter of the current
law, the law ought to be changed. And Ray has not had the legal power
to appeal to higher courts.”

I pointed out to Conservator Wilhelm that the public — when they
find out about forced electroshock — is passionately opposed to
their taxpayer money being used to force such brutality on citizens.
Ms. Wilhelm did let slip that what is happening to Ray — involuntary
outpatient electroshock — is not that uncommon in Minnesota.

But when Ms. Wilhelm found out we at MindFreedom are issuing one of
our public human rights alert to you and others, at Ray’s repeated
request, she said something chilling.

Ms. Wilhelm claimed she had a legal right to stop MindFreedom!

Ms. Wilhelm told me, “Only I can give you permission legally to say
anything publicly about this.”

I pointed out we are not a medical facility, and that if she falsely
claims we’re doing anything illegal then this is defamation. Which
really is illegal.

Ms. Wilhelm laughed loudly in the phone, said “let our lawyers talk,”
and hung up on me. I hope she hung up to read the First Amendment.

Let’s disobey Ms. Wilhelm!

Spread Ray’s alert far and wide! Speak out against this electrical
torture, now!

Because… Remember… While the world marvels at the power of USA
democracy:

If it’s Wednesday morning, then Ray Sandford is being led from his
home — which is supposed to be his castle — to get another weekly
forced procedure that can cause brain damage and wipe out memories.

– David W. Oaks, Director, MindFreedom International

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Mind your freedom. Disobey Ray’s conservator now!

Forward this alert to all appropriate places on and off the Internet,
IMMEDIATELY!

And take the *below* actions. Thank you. Ray and I are counting on you!

~~~~~~~~~~~~

* * * ACTION * * * ACTION * * * ACTION * * *

You can do this in a moment. It’s free! DO IT NOW!

E-mail your firm but polite message to Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty.

SAMPLE MESSAGE — your own words are best:

“Investigate the weekly involuntary outpatient electroshock of Ray
Sandford. Every Wednesday morning, MindFreedom says Ray is brought
from Victory House in Columbia Heights, Minnesota to Mercy Hospital
for forced electroshock. Stop all forced electroshock today! Taxpayer
money should not fund torture!” [Your name/contact.]

E-mail address: tim.pawlenty@state.mn.us

Or use this handy web form:

http://www.governor.state.mn.us/contacts/Forms/askthegovernor/index.htm

or this link:

http://tinyurl.com/mn-governor

~~~~~~~~~~~~

* * * ADDITIONAL ACTIONS TO SUPPORT RAY! * * *

1) E-mail a complaint to Luthern Social Services of Minnesota (LSSMN)
about Ray’s conservator.

Sample message:

“Investigate allegations that LSSMN employee Tonya Wilhelm tried to
stop a public human rights alert by MindFreedom International about
her client, Ray Sandford, who is receiving weekly outpatient
involuntary electroshock at Mercy Hospital in Minneapolis. If
verified, please reprimand, fire and replace Ms. Wilhelm, and please
place this in her permanent personnel record. Please support human
rights.” [Your name/contact.]

Use LSSMN’s web page:

http://www.lssmn2.org/contact_lss.htm

Or phone Luthern Social Services at: (218) 726-4888

You can copy your message to headquarters of The Evangelical Lutheran
Church in America (ELCA):

info@elca.org

From ELCA’s web site about their church: “It’s a story of a powerful
and patient God who has boundless love for all people of the world,
who brings justice for the oppressed.”

More at:

http://www.elca.org/What-We-Believe.aspx

2) E-mail a complaint to Allina Hospital and Clinics, owner of Mercy
Hospital
.

Sample message:

“Investigate allegations that your patient Ray Sandford of Victory
House is receiving involuntary outpatient electroconvulsive therapy
against his will each Wednesday at Mercy Hospital.”

Use this web page:

http://www.allina.com/ahs/help.nsf/page/contact

Or phone: (763) 236-6000

3) Ray is open to visitors and supportive postal mail:

Ray Sandford
Victory House
4427 Monroe St.
Columbia Heights, MN 55421-2880 USA

MindFreedom will print out and mail to Ray some of your e-mail
messages to the Governor and others, and put some on the web. E-mail
a copy of what you write to news@mindfreedom.org.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

AND ONE MORE THING!

Say “no” to mental health system censorship!

Disobey Ray’s conservator now!

PLEASE forward this public human alert to all appropriate places on
and off the Internet, IMMEDIATELY! Thank you!

~~~~~~~~~~~~

More info:

See the latest news and updates at the MindFreedom website at:

http://www.mindfreedom.org

Plenty of data on electroshock on the MindFreedom web site, click here:

http://tinyurl.com/zapback

Watch upcoming blog entries by David W. Oaks, MFI Director:

http://www.mindfreedom.org/mfi-blog

~~~~~~~~~~~~

NONVIOLENTLY ZAP BACK against forced electroshock!

NOW are you ready for nonviolent revolution in mental health?

Join, renew, and support MindFreedom TODAY!

Be part of the MFI Fall 2008 Support Drive, click here:

http://www.mindfreedom.org/join-donate

~~~~~~~~~~~~

If you are a current MFI member you’re welcome on e-mail lists
currently discussing Ray’s support campaign. Members can ask for more
info at member@mindfreedom.org.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

MindFreedom International Office:

454 Willamette, Suite 216 – POB 11284; Eugene, OR 97440-3484 USA

web site: http://www.mindfreedom.org
e-mail: office@mindfreedom.org
MFI member services phone: (541) 345-9106
MFI member services toll free: 1-877-MAD-PRIDe or 1-877-623-7743
new fax: (480) 287-8833

More:

Quick quiz:

Did you know State of Oregon is one of the *easiest* states in the
USA to give *involuntary* electroshock? That’s electroshock over the
expresses of the subject.

In most states you at least have to get a court order for involuntary
electroshock. But Oregon still uses an antiquated “override” form.
I’ve seen one. The psychiatric institution just has to obtain an
outside physician’s signature to sign off on the forced electroshock!

True, forced electroshock is not done A LOT. This past year we bugged
our friends at Oregon’s mental health system until finally we got a
little data. It’s only one or two people who get classic forced
electroshock — over their expressed wishes — in the Oregon mental
health system.

But that’s one or two too many!

Let’s close the loophole on forced electroshock in Oregon.

In the meantime BELOW is an example of what forced electroshock is
all about. It’s about a forced electroshock on OUTPATIENT basis,
“maintenance ongoing” (every week). It’s in Minnesota, but it would
be good if people in Oregon speak out — shows there’s national
interest.

Plus it will help get you PRIMED to help BAN involuntary electroshock
FOREVER in Oregon, in the next legislative session, stay tuned.

PLEASE ACT ON ABOVE ALERT, READ IT, AND FORWARD IT!

meshspirals

Bollywood Horse-slide

ani-bollywood-horse-slide

Coincidence?

enterprise-sink

Check out this sort of interesting science trivia:

the-arecibo-message

And this, also:

x-rays

scary-christian-puppets

Bye fer now,

Rick

2 Comments

Filed under animated gif, animation, comedy relief, CS/X movement, Mental health recovery, mindfreedom news, pictures, silly, wellness and systems change

Moon-Day Soup

Buddhist Video

The Wandering Mind – Andrea Fella Audio Dharma ; Insight Meditation Center ; Andrea Fella

go here.

PORTS

This from Mike’s blog, New Directions:

Peer Operated Recovery Treatment and Support (PORTS)

A Mental Health Recovery Model

Developed by Michael Hlebechuk

PORTS is a mental health self-directed care model that combines mental health brokerage services with a peer counseling/advocacy education program and a couple of evidence based practices that actually work. There are no outcome studies to demonstrate the efficacy of PORTS. It has never been implemented. I drafted it up in response to a question for a job interview. I firmly believe, however, that if implemented this model would help people along the road to recovery in ways we haven’t seen yet through a formal program. The 2 page draft that outlines PORTS is located at:

http://www.oregon.gov/DHS/mentalhealth/consumers-families/ports.pdf

Here is an excerpt from the first page of the pdf linked above:

Recovery has become a major buzzword in the mental health community. Mental health systems are
beginning to focus seriously on assisting people with psychiatric disability to recover and move on
with their lives.i Scientific research has yielded practices that have an evidence base to support their
effectiveness in helping people recover from mental illness. People with psychiatric histories have
provided valuable input into system design, pointing to new treatment methods and principles that
foster their gaining productive roles in the community and having meaning restored to their lives.
SAMHSA’s Center for Mental Health Services has investigated treatment modalities that put
control into the hands of people receiving treatment. Self-directed care, person centered planning,
and consumer operated services along with evidence based practices have become the cornerstones
to achieving the promise of transforming mental health care in America in ways that promote the
dignity, respect, and recovery of the individual. The paragraphs that follow offer an example of how
various recovery-oriented treatment approaches can operate in concert to promote people moving
on with their lives.
The Peer Operated Recovery Treatment and Support (PORTS) Project lies at the core of the
proposed treatment delivery system. PORTS is a consumer-operated service program (COSP) that
provides treatment coordination and resource brokerage services. Individual customers who have
agreed to engage in a recovery plan that includes the goal of obtaining paid or voluntary
employment are referred to PORTS by the behavioral health organization. Customers are linked
with a Peer Advocate Mentor (PAM) and a Recovery Specialist. The PAM is supervised by the
PAM Project, a third party COSP. The PAM will work with the customer to develop recovery
strategies and ensure that services are provided in a dignified and respectful manner. The Recovery
Specialist is a PORTS employee who will coordinate the customer’s mental health and resource
brokerage services.
Customers will receive a PORTS orientation within a week of being referred. During orientation
customers will hear recovery stories from individuals with similar diagnoses who have taken firm
steps to move on with their lives. They will gain hope in learning that people can and do recover
from mental illness. Customers will also learn about PORTS’ mission, self-directed care, selfdetermination
and recovery principles during this first week.
All PORTS services are delivered through a person centered planning process. Through this process
the customer develops a person centered plan with the assistance of a PORTS Recovery Specialist,
the PAM, and any individuals the customer invites to be members of the circle of support. Circles of
support are generally composed of the family members, friends, and professionals the customer
believes are most supportive. The resulting person centered plan is more than a treatment plan. It is
a life-plan; complete with the individual’s dreams and goals and steps to make them a reality. These
steps are detailed in Action Plans.
Each PORTS customer will be allotted an individual resource budget of $2,000 for the first year of
service. Through this budget customers may purchase services and supports within the community
or from a participating mental health provider to carry out an Action Plan. Take, for example, an
Action Plan with the stated goal of obtaining employment. A step toward this goal may be the
purchase of a set of clothes to wear at job interviews. The Action Plan would detail the budgeted
amount for each of these purchases. Core mental health services such as symptom monitoring,
medication management, addictions counseling, acute care and crisis services are provided by the
behavioral healthcare organization per the person centered plan and are not purchased through the
individual resource budget. Fifty percent of the funds that remain in the individual resource budget
after an annual cycle of service are carried over into next year’s budget. An additional $500 is
added to the second and subsequent year’s budgets. All brokered community services and supports
purchased through individual resource budgets must be approved by the Recovery Specialist. All
purchases over $100 must be approved by a representative of the behavioral health organization.

So, PORTS seems to be an approach to implementing person directed, brokerage style services and supports in mental health. Sounds good!

To: Members of the Oregon Consumer/Survivor Council and Interested
Parties
From: Michael Hlebechuk, Chair
Re: Meeting announcement

The next meeting of the Oregon Consumer/Survivor Council will be held
on Wednesday, October 8, from 1:00 to 4:00 PM in meeting room HSB-352
located on the 3rd floor of the Barbara Roberts Human Services
Building (DHS main office), 500 Summer St NE, Salem, OR.

Minutes of the previous meeting: csc-minutes-081308

Why has the font on my blog gotten so tiny??

From MindFreedom News:

Our soldiers deserve better than a bag of pills

With suicide rates higher than they’ve ever been, the stress of combat and long deployments, the US Military should be doing everything it can to address the mental health needs of its soldiers.

Instead, soldiers in crisis are currently being offered little more than pills.

They deserve better.

They deserve alternatives to the one-size-fits-all, pharmaceutical approach to mental health.

On October 5, 2008 MindFreedom International will delivered signatures to the campaign headquarters of both Barack Obama and John McCain.

From Beyond Meds, a recovery oriented blog found here. For the whole post, go to the source.

When I was at my acupuncturists the other day I basically collapsed on the table after pounding on her office door when I couldn’t tolerate sitting in the office. I REALLY needed to lay down. I can sit in recliner type chairs but an upright chair I can last in only so long and I had reached my limit at the health food store where I had lunch before I went to accupuncture.

I learned that it was the acupuncture that made my endometriosis pain almost non-existent. It is, after all, the reason I went to the acupuncturist in the first place but I didn’t expect such rapid results. Almost totally pain free after two treatments.  She told me that pain is usually the easiest symptom to treat and the rest of my hormonal issues and my basic poor health would probably take much longer to deal with.

Her diagnosis of my situation in the Chinese way of interpreting things is that my liver is in serious shape. Since Chinese medicine deals with the whole being I’m really being treated for everything my body is suffering from even though I presented saying I needed help balancing my hormones.

In any case, I collapsed on her table after being out for an hour—I was sick of staying in bed and so my husband took me to lunch. But that hour was really too much and as I collapsed on her table I burst into tears.

It ended up being like a therapy session. I told her I was dealing with so much anger. And rage. My circumstances so damn frustrating. Doctor after doctor mishandling me. Making me sicker. My rage is targeted mostly at my sister who doesn’t give a shit that I’m sick and at my last doctor who seems to have no interest in admitting any fault and is therefore just as bad as any drug pushing doctor. It’s also targeted at people in the recovery movement who think that their road to recovery is the only road to recovery and they seem to dare to think that if I only followed their way I would be well by now. One thing I’ve learned on this journey is that there are as many roads to recovery as there are people. My recovery stories page on this blog gives a glimpse of this—-all different methods of recovery…I borrow from many of their journeys, but ultimately I trust my gut. And so should anyone else struggling to recover…There is nothing tried and true for every person who has been labeled. No one thing. Perhaps the only necessary ingredient is believing that one can get better and all of these people have that and I do too, in spades.

In any case I have rage. It’s probably primal rage and it’s just glomming on to whoever is an attractive target right now.

How do I clear it out? How do I forgive my sister and my doctor? How do I embrace the giant egos of some of my recovered friends when they seem to condescend on my journey? (please don’t everyone assume I’m thinking of YOU…it’s just a couple of people really)

One thing is clear. I have no mental illness, but I’m very very physically sick. The drugs made me sick. The withdrawal made me sick. My prescribing psychiatrist who is watching me go through this process agrees. My husband who knows me intimately agrees. No mental illness…nope, just sickness caused by drugs and drug withdrawal.

Mad Liberation by Moonlight

The full moon is on October 14th this time. This would make the radio show happen on Friday night, 10/17/08. I have to clear this with Dan but so far, that’s the plan.

Mad Liberation

by Moonlight

Friday! On KBOO Radio 90.7 FM

1- 2 a.m. Late Friday night

(yes, I know that it is technically Saturday morning- relax, it’s just a radio show)

October 17th, 2008

This show is dedicated to Everyone

*who has ever been given a psychiatric label, *who experiences mental health challenges and of course to *anybody who has the misfortune (or good fortune) of being awake at that hour.

You can participate!

Call in at (503) 231-8187

We also hope to have some live in-studio musical

performance by CS/X performers on this show.

(Set your alarm if you aren’t usually up at that time)

Friday nights from 1 am to 2 am usually following the full-moon, will be a segment on KBOO radio (90.7 on your fm dial, to the left of NPR), also streamed on the internet on their website, http://www.kboo.fm/index.php will be time for Mad Lib by Moonlight. The program is part of the usual Friday night show, The Outside World.

Excerpt From: The Rape of the Mind

Source material- go to

http://www.ninehundred.net/control/

The Psychology of Thought Control, Menticide, and Brainwashing

by

Joost A. M. Meerloo, M.D

NOTE: This work has been long out of print, last known publication date 1956, the World Publishing Company. Of course, the technology has advanced and the techniques have been refined, but the principles remain the same.

from the Forward:

“And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul.” -Matthew 10:28

This book attempts to depict the strange transformation of the free human mind into an automatically responding machine a transformation which can be bought about by some of the cultural undercurrents in our present day society as well as by deliberate experiments in the service of a political ideology.

The rape of the mind and stealthy mental coercion are among the oldest crimes of mankind. They probably began back in pre historic days wheh man first discovered that he could exploit human qualities of empathy and understanding in order to exert power over his fellow men. The word “rape” is derived from the Latin word _rapere_, to snatch, but also is related to the words to rave and raven. It means to overwhelm and to enrapture, to invade, to usurp, to pillage and to steal.

The modern words “brainwashing,” “thought control,” and “menticide” serve to provide a clearer conception of the actual methods by which man’s integrity can be violated. When a concept is given its right name, it can be more easily recognized and it is with this recognition that the opportunity for systematic correction begins.

In this book the reader will find a discussion of some of the imminent dangers which threaten free cultural interplay. It emphasizes the tremendous cultural implication of the subject of enforced mental intrusion. Not only the artificial techniques of coercion are important but even more the unobtrusive intrusion into our feeling and thinking. The danger of destruction of the spirit may be compared to the threat of total physical destruction through atomic warfare. Indeed, the two are related and intertwined…..

from the first chapter:

The first part of this book is devoted to various techniques used to make man a meek conformist. In addition to actual political occurrences, attention is called to some ideas born in the laboratory and to the drug techniques that facilitate brainwashing. The last chapter deals with the subtle psychological mechanisms of mental submission.

CHAPTER ONE — YOU TOO WOULD CONFESS

A fantastic thing is happening in our world. Today a man is no longer punished only for the crimes he has in fact committed. Now he may be compelled to confess to crimes that have been conjured up by his judges, who use his confession for political purposes. It is not enough for us to damn as evil those who sit in judgment. We must understand what impels the false admission of guilt; we must take another look at the human mind in all its frailty and vulnerability.

The Enforced Confession

During the Korean War, an officer of the United States Marine Corps, Colonel Frank H. Schwable, was taken prisoner by the Chinese Communists. After months of intense psychological pressure and physical degradation, he signed a well documented “confession” that the United States was carrying on bacteriological warfare against the enemy. The confession named names, cited missions, described meetings and strategy conferences. This was a tremendously valuable propaganda tool for the totalitarians. They cabled the news all over the world: “The United States of America is fighting the peace loving people of China by dropping bombs loaded with disease spreading bacteria, in violation of international law.”

After his repatriation, Colonel Schwable issued a sworn statement repudiating his confession, and describing his long months of imprisonment. Later, he was brought before a military court of inquiry. He testified in his own defense before that court: “I was never convinced in my own mind that we in the First Marine Air Wing had used bug warfare. I knew we hadn’t, but the rest of it was real to me the conferences, the planes, and how they would go about their missions.”

“The words were mine,” the Colonel continued, “but the thoughts were theirs. That is the hardest thing I have to explain: how a man can sit down and write something he knows is false, and yet, to sense it, to feel it, to make it seem real.”

This is the way Dr. Charles W. Mayo, a leading American physician and government representative, explained brainwashig in an official statement before the United Nations: “…the tortures used…although they include many brutal physical injuries, are not like the medieval torture of the rack and the thumb screw. They are subtler, more prolonged, and intended to be more terrible in their effect. They are calculated to disintegrate the mind of an intelligent victim, to distort his sense of values, to a point where he will not simply cry out ‘I did it!’ but will become a seemingly willing accomplice to the complete disintegration of his integrity and the production of an elaborate fiction.”

The Schwable case is but one example of a defenseless prisoner being compelled to tell a big lie. If we are to survive as free men, we must face up to this problem of politically inspired mental coercion, with all its ramifications.

It is more than twenty years [in 1956] since psychologists first began to suspect that the human mind can easily fall prey to dictatorial powers. In 1933, the German Reichstag building was burned to the ground. The Nazis arrested a Dutchman, Marinus Van der Lubbe, and accused him of the crime. Van der Lubbe was known by Dutch psychiatrists to be mentally unstable. He had been a patient in a mental institution in Holland. And his weakness and lack of mental balance became apparent to the world when he appeared before the court. Wherever news of the trial reached, men wondered: “Can that foolish little fellow be a heroic revolutionary, a man who is willing to sacrifice his life to an ideal?”

During the court sessions Van der Lubbe was evasive, dull, and apathetic. Yet the reports of the Dutch psychiatrists described him as a gay, alert, unstable character, a man whose moods changed rapidly, who liked to vagabond around, and who had all kinds of fantasies about changing the world.

On the forty second day of the trial, Van der Lubbe’s behavior changed dramatically. His apathy disappeared. It became apparent that he had been quite aware of everything that had gone on during the previous sessions. He criticized the slow course of the procedure. He demanded punishment either by imprisonment or death. He spoke about his “inner voices.” He insisted that he had his moods in check. Then he fell back into apathy. We now recognize these symptoms as a combination of behavior forms which we can call a confession syndrome. In 1933 this type of behavior was unknown to psychiatrists. Unfortunately, it is very familiar today and is frequently met in cases of extreme mental coercion.

Van der Lubbe was subsequently convicted and executed. When the trial was over, the world began to realize that he had merely been a scapegoat. The Nazis themselves had burned down the Reichstag building and had staged the crime and the trial so that they could take over Germany. Still later we realized that Van der Lubbe was the victim of a diabolically clever misuse of medical knowledge and psychologic technique, through which he had been transformed into a useful, passive, meek automaton, who replied merely yes or no to his interrogators during most of the court sessions. In a few moments he threatened to jump out of his enforced role. Even at that time there were rumors that the man had been drugged into submission, though we never became sure of that.

[NOTE: The psychiatric report about the case of Van der Lubbe is published by Bonhoeffer and Zutt. Though they were unfamiliar with the “menticide syndrome,” and not briefed by their political fuehrers, they give a good description about the pathologic, apathetic behavior, and his tremendous change of moods. They deny the use of drugs.]

This is powerful reading- I encourage you to take a closer look. The book has ramifications that are very timely both in terms of geo-politics and psychiatric politics.

From my favorite mental health blogger, Ron Unger-

(his blog, Recovery from Schizofrenia-http://recoveryfromschizophrenia.org/blog/)

Guidelines for changing the mental health system

Posted by Ron Unger on October 5th, 2008

Here in Lane County Oregon, USA, a group known as the Consumer Council, working closely with MindFreedom, has been pushing to put in place official guidelines which would hopefully change the behavior of mental health professionals. Two of the important things we are asking them to do is to quit misleading and disempowering people into believing that genetic and biological explanations of “mental illness” are fact, and to let people know they may eventually be able to live successfully without medication and that help is available to them in making that transition.

So far we have gotten the local mental health system to move forward with some vague and poorly explained guidelines, though even these have gotten the professionals stirred up as they find themselves being asked to take into account consumer concerns. What follows is a copy of an email about the concerns of the “treatment team” of the county mental health department, followed by my rebuttal. I thought it might be of interest to those of you who are pushing for change in your own mental health system.

I have changed the name of the mental health worker who wrote this email, as I didn’t ask her permission to post it here.

From: Brenda
Sent: Tuesday, September 30, 2008 9:04 AM
To: LEVINE Al; *LC H&HS 2411 MLK Mental Health
Subject: RE: attached position on consummer empowerment

Hi, Al,

Sorry for the late reply. I hope this is timely enough for consideration.

Some concerns were expressed at Wednesday Treatment Team about this, both by the LMPs and by the clinicians.

Of particular concern was the paragraph on the second page requiring that “clients be correctly informed about what is known about their mental health condition and providers do not misinform clients with explanations that are disempowering (genetics, chemical imbalance).”

The problem highlighted with this wording is the assumption that information about biological factors that contribute to mental health issues is disempowering. There was a feeling voiced that this particular wording stemmed from local political pressures rather being based on empirical information.

There was also concern stated about the phrase in the third paragraph that stated that “current treatment, including medications, may be necessary for a limited time.” (Italics mine.)

Clearly, it would be misleading for anyone to tell a client that medications may be necessary only for a limited time. For many clients, that is not the case.

Finally, There was a question of what “alternative treatment” means, and an objection to the phrase “dependence on psychiatric medications.”

There is way too much in this document that seems to make specific directives without clear definition of what that entails.

Personally, I believe LCMH needs to make a position statement on consumer empowerment. I just have my doubts that policy and practice (Expressed in the Heading “Consumer Empowerment Guidelines”) should be guided by what appears to be local political pressure rather than by a broader “Memorandum of Understanding” (or some such) of what client empowerment consists of, and which LCMH takes the time and effort to draft on its own, taking into consideration an array of current policy and practice, as well as local consumer input.

If the Consumer Council wishes to make a definitive statement such as the one above, they have every right to do so and, I believe, should be encouraged to do so. However, I do not think it serves anyone well for LCMH to adopt a hybridized version that may bind practitioners to wording that could have unintended consequences down the line.

I think much better wording could be used to express a commitment to increased consumer participation in treatment and a strengths-based recovery model. My concern is that the statement as is stands is focused less on real client empowerment than on limitations placed on what providers may and may not say. I do believe that any clinical guidelines coming from LCMH need to recognize the fact that medication is certainly not the only answer in treating any mental health condition. I just don’t think this is the way to express that reality.

I refer you to the very excellent SAMHSA statement (thanks, Gina!) that answers the question: “What is Recovery?” It has a much more encompassing–and philosophically acceptable–statement on consumer empowerment.

http://mentalhealth.samhsa.gov/publications/allpubs/sma05-4129/

Thanks,
Brenda

[then what follows is my response:]

It was very interesting to read the concerns that came out of the Wednesday treatment team meeting. I understand that many of the guidelines didn’t make much sense to you, that they seemed to unnecessarily limit how providers talk about things and they seemed to you to just be based on politics, and not on any reasoned and evidence based efforts to improve mental health care. I think the fact that you got this impression points out a definite weakness in the guidelines, and that has to do with the fact that they included inadequate explanation of the reasons for their existence.

The guidelines you saw did not come directly from the Consumer Council, though they did start as a result of recommendations for guidelines that were made there. I don’t know who put all the words together as you saw them (and they have been changed more since) but it now seems clear they don’t sufficiently explain why guidelines are necessary, and the basis for them. I think that rather than weakening them till they say less and less (which seems to be happening as they go through more committees and reviews) they need to be revised to clearly explain why they are vitally necessary to protect consumers against harm imposed by the mental health system. Let me attempt to explain here.

If a woman has a physical injury which a doctor has reason to know will leave her permanently unable to walk, and the doctor informs her that she will have to depend on a wheelchair to get around for the rest of her life, the doctor is being perfectly reasonable in telling her that. It may be depressing and initially demoralizing news to her, but it helps her face reality and prepare to get on with her life.

Now let’s consider an example where a woman has a physical injury which is more ambiguous. In the history of medical observation, most people with this sort of injury have not been able to walk again, but a sizable minority have been able to walk again. Let’s consider that in this example the doctor also tells the patient that she will have to depend on a wheelchair to get around for the rest of her life. Do you see the problem with that? If the woman believes her doctor, she will not take an interest in therapy that might get her walking and spending time outside of her wheelchair, and she may well end up permanently disabled, not because of her injury, but because of misinformation from her doctor. This would properly be classified as medical system imposed disability.

In the example above, perhaps the doctor was worried about nurturing hopes that might turn out false, or perhaps the doctor was worried that if she attempted to get out of the wheelchair and walk she would further injure herself and the doctor wanted to prevent any risk of this happening. It doesn’t really matter what the motivation of the doctor was: the patient has the right to hear that there is a possibility of recovery, and the right to pursue a course of rehabilitation therapy even if there is some risk of further injury in the course of the therapy. The doctor violated her informed consent by failing to give her critically important facts about possible treatment alternatives.

I used an example from physical medicine, but the same principles can be applied to a mental health problem. Brenda’s message stated that “There was also concern stated about the phrase in the third paragraph that stated that “current treatment, including medications, may be necessary for a limited time.” (Italics mine.) Clearly, it would be misleading for anyone to tell a client that medications may be necessary only for a limited time. For many clients, that is not the case.” Following the reasoning in Brenda’s message, the doctor in the physical injury example might have stated that he could not tell his patient that she might walk again and not have to depend on a wheelchair, because clearly for many of his patients with such injuries, they were not able to do that! I hope it is obvious to all of you that the doctor’s logic would be flawed. When we say a person “may” recover and walk again, or recover and no longer need medications, that is very different from saying the person “will” recover in that way. All we need to say that a person “may” recover is examples of some people with the given condition who do recover.

(One might also ask how many of this doctor’s patients weren’t able to walk again just because they had been misled by the doctor into not trying to recover. Predictions of failure can make failure more likely, which is why it is critical not to exaggerate the likelihood of failure, or especially critical not to make it appear inevitable.)

Some of you may feel that the above example does not apply, because you are sure that some of your clients definitely have no chance of getting off medications and doing well. I would challenge you though, to find empirical evidence that shows that mental health professionals are able to reliably predict who has no chance of making such a recovery. Harding did a long term study in Vermont of the people with the worst prognosis in psychiatry, people with a diagnosis of schizophrenia who had been hospitalized for years in the so-called “back wards.” She found that decades later, a third or more of these people were off medications, showing no symptoms of schizophrenia, and living lives that involved work and relationships. Similar studies elsewhere also show many recovering (though percentages vary: a similar study in Maine showed a lower rate of recovery, probably because Maine did not offer the same assistance in rehabilitation offered in Vermont.) It seems to me that when we do not objectively know who will recover and who will not, we should just say we don’t know, and let people know they have a chance.

Some of you may claim that you know certain people cannot ever live successfully off medication, because they have already tried a number of times and failed. But the fact that a person had even multiple relapses after quitting medications is still not proof that medications will always be necessary: it is also possible to find stories of people with such multiple relapses who eventually got off the medications successfully and then had decades or the rest of their lives living successfully without any medications. So again, where we don’t have the ability to make a reliable prediction, we would do better to back off, and admit that either outcome is possible, including the possibility that the need for medication may still be for just a limited time, even though there have already been multiple relapses. (Of course, if competent help is provided to a person attempting to get off, which includes not just medical oversight in withdrawing slowly but also development of a relapse prevention plan and assistance in shifting to alternative coping, then it is much more likely that a future attempt to get off the medication will succeed, or at least not end in disaster.)

The mental health system has traditionally been afraid to tell people they might eventually not need medications, because they worry this will make clients quit medications while they are in fact still necessary for that person. But when clients are told that they will need medications for the rest of their lives, or even subtly led to believe they will always need medications just by never discussing with them the possibility that they will recover to a point where they won’t need medications, then the effect is to misinform them in a way that is disempowering (which violates the principle of informed consent). We don’t have a right to do that, and it isn’t adequate mental health treatment. It is much more honest, and it works well, to simply discuss openly the danger of quitting medications abruptly while they are still perhaps needed, and to introduce instead the option of gradually reducing medications while shifting to other forms of coping, always knowing one can resume more medications if it is decided that is necessary. This allows facing the uncertainty squarely, in an honest and transparent manner, with the consumer having a choice about how much risk to take, without the professional attempting to make that choice for the consumer.

Another problem with telling people they will always need to stay on medications, when we really don’t know for sure this is true, has to do with the risks of the medications. If we tell 100 people that they will always have to stay on medications, when in reality 10 of those people could have gotten off successfully if they knew this was possible, then we are responsible for keeping those ten people on highly risky medications for no reason whatsoever. If some of these people die early because of the effects of the medications, then we are responsible for their deaths. We might argue that, if we told all 100 people that they might be able to get off medications then lots of people might try getting off them who can’t handle it and that would cause more trouble overall than would be caused by keeping some people on medications unnecessarily, etc. But my point is, we don’t have any ethical right to make these kinds of decisions for people, or to make the 10 who could get off suffer or even die unnecessarily because it is more convenient for us to not disclose the possibility that some can get off medications successfully.

Another issue: there is also a danger of mental health system imposed disability when people are convinced of explanations of their problem which have a greater sense of permanence and which are less likely to be controllable by the person. That is, when people are convinced that they are mentally ill because of their genes, or because there is some kind of problem in their brain which is strictly biological and has nothing to do with how they are choosing to react to things, such as a “chemical imbalance,” they naturally feel less able to do anything about recovery, other than perhaps depend on taking pills for the rest of one’s life (with usually only partial success at most.) If I have a brain tumor, I’m not going to believe I can get rid of the problems it causes by changing my thoughts and behavior. I think this should be obvious enough to not require research backing, but in fact, for schizophrenia at least, there is research that shows that genetic and strictly biological explanations are disempowering and increase stigma. One article that summarizes this research is attached. [Well it’s not attached in this post, but if you post a comment and request a copy I can email it to you at the address you registered with.]

I have a friend who was in the mental health system for years, where he received both many medications including neuroleptics, as well as electroshock. He described to me how he recovered by reconsidering all his ways of thinking and processing information, in a process that took years. He is now a college professor with national recognition for his work, and of course has not taken any medication for many years. He could not have done this had he believed that he would be inevitably mentally ill due to his genes or some strictly biological process in his brain. Fortunately, he was able to reject the misinformation he got from the mental health system, but I don’t think recovery should have to depend on consumers figuring out how to reject our misinformation: they shouldn’t be misinformed to start out with.

The truth is, we don’t know that any consumer we see has even a genetic predisposition toward a mental illness, much less a genetic “cause” because there are no genetic tests. (You may believe that the evidence that genetic differences contribute to mental illness is strong – some others differ with this – but one thing that definitely doesn’t exist is evidence to show that everyone with a particular mental illness has a genetic difference. For example, there is evidence that genetic differences create a predisposition to PTSD, but for any given person with PTSD, we cannot say that there is a particular genetic difference. There could be many other reasons why that particular person has a mental health problem.) We also don’t know that any consumer we see has any specific brain difference that is causing the illness: there is no brain test for mental illness specifically because there are no brain differences that reliably always show up in people with a given diagnosis and never in people without the diagnosis (nor are there any brain differences that even come close to meeting this criteria.) This means that genetic and biological explanations are simply unproven theories. (They are also rather dubious theories if one attempts to take them as a complete explanation, because no one has ever explained how a mental illness caused by genes or a biologically based brain difference could go away over time in the cases of people who get off medication and go on to live highly successful lives.)

What is essential to maximizing chances for recovery is that consumers be given explanations that suggest a role for the consumer in his or her own recovery. (These explanations do not need to be presented as fact, but just as theories or possibilities that offer hope.) For example, consumers can be told that their mental problem may result from a reaction to life events, reactions which over time they could learn to shift. This conveys the belief that complete recovery is possible and that the consumer has a role in it, which are beliefs that are cited by those who do recover as being essential in their journey.

Just a couple more issues: I was curious about the objection to the phrase “dependence on psychiatric medications.” Was this a purely political objection, or was it based on some kind of reasoning or evidence? It seems to me that from every objective criteria, this is an appropriate use of the term “dependence.” Dependence on something is not necessarily a bad thing: for example if I had an irreparable spinal cord injury, I would happily depend on a wheelchair, and I wouldn’t object to anyone calling it a “dependence.” Clearly, when a person cannot successfully get through a week or a month without taking a bunch of psychiatric medications, they are depending on them. The use of the word “dependence” might also bring up associations with dependence on other substances that have withdrawal effects, but even then this associations cannot be successfully argued to be misleading, because all classes of psychiatric medications have been shown to have withdrawal effects, or “discontinuation syndromes” or whatever you want to call them, at least in many people.

I agree that it would be helpful for the guidelines to go into more detail about what alternatives are and which ones might be accessed through LaneCare services. I think one of the best ways that LaneCare services can actually help is in having a therapist and/or case manager or peer support person guiding people in accessing things that are already available in the community for free, but which are ordinarily not accessed by people caught up in mental health problems. This includes everything from social groups, spirituality, family support, nature, building social support networks, free educational opportunities, exercise options, dietary and substance consumption changes, and other lifestyle changes. Of course, for a consumer to even see these as relevant, they often need to see the possibility of a broader understanding of mental health problems than that which they have often learned in the mental health system.

To sum all this up: I understand very much that the proposed guidelines would just seem an encumbrance on the everyday practice of mental health workers, if the justification for them is not well known. However, I hope I have made the case that there is a very strong justification for these guidelines, in that they contain suggestions which are necessary to avoid mental health system caused disability and even unnecessary death, to fully comply with the principle of informed consent, and to create the strongest possible assistance in recovery. It’s fine to have nice definitions of recovery, such as that found in the ten principles on the SAMHSA site, but it’s also important to have guidelines to insure that mental health workers don’t unnecessarily make such recovery less likely or impossible. I hope what I’ve written here makes apparent the reasons for these guidelines, and I hope in the future we will be able to include a better explanation for the guidelines within the guidelines themselves.

In many respects, these guidelines are a companion piece to the trauma guidelines, which also attempt to make mental health providers more aware of, and avoid, the possibility of mental health system imposed harm. I think we all have a lot to gain from such guidelines. They may temporarily make our work a little more difficult as we learn new things, but what we gain is increased competence in doing what we really care about, which is helping people. That’s a goal we can all agree on.

Ron Unger

Audio Dharma-

(for more talks like this, go here.)

recorded at the

Insight Retreat Center

eugenecash_anger

Insight Meditation Center began in 1986 as a small group meditating together once a week. Today, hundreds of people participate in events at the center throughout the week. Talks are shared with a world-wide audience through the online Audio Dharma program.

(Click the picture below- it makes a nice wallpaper)

Wei Yingwu

A POEM TO A TAOIST HERMIT
CHUANJIAO MOUNTAIN


My office has grown cold today;
And I suddenly think of my mountain friend
Gathering firewood down in the valley
Or boiling white stones for potatoes in his hut….
I wish I might take him a cup of wine
To cheer him through the evening storm;
But in fallen leaves that have heaped the bare slopes,
How should I ever find his footprints!

Bye for now!

-Rick

1 Comment

Filed under animation, buddhism, Chinese poetry, CS/X movement, Links: Recovery, Mad Radio, Mental health recovery, mindfreedom news, mp3, pictures, poetry, silly, sound bite, Spirituality, wellness and systems change

Madness, action and the slow dawning of awareness

First, a listing of events from MindFreedom News:

Listing of activities, conferences and gatherings related to MindFreedom International directly or indirectly.

Title Description Start Date End Date Location
Join our parade entry in the Eugene Celebration to change mental health! March with us for choice in the mental health system at the 2008 Eugene Celebration parade! Mad pride! 2008-09-13 08:30 2008-09-13 11:00 Eugene, Oregon, USA
Another Mad Word Is Possible Several days of events in September in Malmo, Sweden. 2008-09-17 00:00 2008-09-21 00:00 Malmo, Sweden
David W. Oaks to speak at World Psychiatric Association Every three years the World Psychiatric Association holds a World Congress. At this year’s event, David W. Oaks, Director of MindFreedom International, has been… 2008-09-22 18:45 2008-09-22 19:45 Prague, Czech Republic
CAPA holds Psychiatric Survivor Pride Weekend Sponsor group Coalition Against Psychiatric Assault (CAPA) sponsors a weekend of events to celebrate survivors of psychiatric human rights violations. 2008-09-27 13:00 2008-09-28 15:00 Toronto, Canada
Narpa 2008 Conference The National Association for Rights Protection and Advocacy 2008 Annual Rights Conference: “Seizing Opportunities for Change” 2008-10-01 00:00 2008-10-04 00:00 University of Texas Thompson Conference Center, Austin
Premiere for the film documentary about UK rock band Heavy Load. Heavy Load of England is composed of punk rock musicians diagnosed with learning disabilities. A new film spotlights the band’s success. 2008-10-01 00:00 2008-10-01 00:00 London, England
Last Day to Sign Petition October 4, 2008 is the last day to sign the petition “Stop the Psychiatric Drug Crisis in the US Military.” 2008-10-04 11:55 2008-10-04 11:55 Ah, Crap
Psychiatry and Freedom 11th International Conference for Philosophy and Mental Health International Network of Philosophy and Psychiatry 2008-10-06 00:00 2008-10-08 00:00 The Ritz-Carlton, Dallas, TX, USA
International Center for the Study of Psychology and Psychiatry’s 2008 conference. The International Center for the Study of Psychiatry and Psychology, Inc. (ICSPP) is a sponsor group of MindFreedom. This is an excellent conference, especially… 2008-10-10 00:00 2008-10-12 00:00 Tampa, Florida, USA
National consultation in India on citizens’ charter of human rights NAAJMI partners in India are organizing a two day National consultation on “Citizens’ charter of Human rights for persons living with a mental illness.” 2008-10-10 00:00 2008-10-11 00:00 Indian Social Institute, New Delhi, India.
Alternatives 2008 Since the 1980’s, the US federal government helps fund a large conference of several hundred mental health consumers and psychiatric survivors, many of whom are… 2008-10-29 00:00 2008-11-02 00:00 Buffalo, New York, USA
ENUSP Plans 2009 World-Congress Against Discrimination and Stigma The European Network of (ex-) Users and Survivors of Psychiatry are joining with other groups in Greece in the second half of September, 2009 for a world-congre… 2009-09-15 00:00 2009-09-30 00:00 Thessaloniki, Greece

And these:

Upcoming Events
UK Television Production Company Seeks Mad Pride Stories UK,
2008-08-19
Asylum! Conference and Festival Elizabeth Gaskell Campus, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK,
2008-09-10
Join our parade entry in the Eugene Celebration to change mental health! Eugene, Oregon, USA,
2008-09-13
Another Mad Word Is Possible Malmo, Sweden,
2008-09-17
David W. Oaks to speak at World Psychiatric Association Prague, Czech Republic,
2008-09-22

And this plug:

MindFreedom Journal is out-
(go to http://www.mindfreedom.org/free-sample/free-sample-journal for free copy)

If you’d like a free sample issue of the award-winning MindFreedom Journal and information about membership mailed to you, just fill out and submit the web form available here.

MindFreedom members include psychiatric survivors, mental health consumers, advocates, family members, and many mental health professionals. What do they have in common? A commitment to the importance of human rights and alternatives in the mental health system.

The new Fall 2008 MindFreedom Journal has 16 pages of the latest news on mental health human rights, with personal stories, color photos, interviews, poetry and a calendar of events as well.

Because we believe you will join once you see the exciting work MindFreedom is doing, we’re now offering a free sample of the Journal. We want to let everyone know what MindFreedom members, sponsors and affiliates are  doing to promote human rights and alternatives in mental health.

Oh- and don’t forget this:

(Does the Word “DUH” mean anything to you?)

Loneliness Harms Health
By Rick Nauert, Ph.D.
Senior News Editor
Reviewed by John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on September 9, 2008

New studies show that a sense of rejection or isolation disrupts not only will power and perseverance, but also key cellular processes deep within the human body.

Chronic loneliness belongs among health risk factors such as smoking, obesity or lack of exercise.

Feeling connected to others is vital to a person’s mental well-being, as well as physical health, research at the University of Chicago shows.

The studies, reported in a new book, Loneliness: Human Nature and the Need for Social Connection, show that a sense of rejection or isolation disrupts not only abilities, will power and perseverance, but also key cellular processes deep within the human body.

The findings suggest that chronic loneliness belongs among health risk factors such as smoking, obesity or lack of exercise, according to lead author John Cacioppo, the Tiffany & Margaret Blake Distinguished Service Professor in Psychology at the University.

“Loneliness not only alters behavior, but loneliness is related to greater resistance to blood flow through your cardiovascular system,” Cacioppo said.

Ah, Crap

It looks like the Mad Liberation by Moonlight September show will be canceled- It would have been Friday night, September 19th, 2008, 4 days after the full moon but this conflicts with the annual Coltrane Marathon. Listen anyway. It’ll be back in October (10/17/08, 3 days post lunar fullness).

Here’s a lunar calendar with some thoughts about the next few shows of 2008:

Looking at this schedule, you should get the idea that the next shows will be on 10/17, 11/14 (fortuitous!) and 12/12 (even more fortuitous!). I’ll let people know if this changes, as sometimes happens when Daniel has a special that conflicts.

Other Stuff:

political commentary (click for readable size)-

new illustration from my older son’s blog-

This is cool-

3d Hilbert Curve

3d Hilbert Curve

So is this-

Miscellaneous nonsense or not-

And with this, good-night:

john-lennon-mind-games

Leave a comment

Filed under animated gif, animation, CS/X movement, Links: Recovery, Mad Radio, Mental health recovery, mindfreedom news, mp3, Music, pictures, silly, wellness and systems change