Tag Archives: Mental Health treatment

MacArthur Violence Risk Assessment Study

I work at Oregon State Hospital (OSH) in Salem, OR. It exists because in Oregon as well as most everywhere else, there is an assumption in the legal system (in society in general) that the people who have a mental health diagnosis are more prone to violence than others. This assumption is reflected in the functioning of the Psychiatric Security Review Board (PSRB), the primary instrument of oppression of those with a mental health diagnosis in this state.  This is a direct opposite to reality/ evidence. (See also reports here and here and here. Or here– or even here.)

The best research available is the The MacArthur Community Violence Study, a gigantic longitudinal project spanning several years and thousands of people. This study included 1,136 male and female civil patients between 18 and 40 years old. The project monitored violence to others every 10 weeks during their first year after discharge from a mental institution. Patient self-reports were augmented by reports from collaterals and by police and hospital records. The comparison group consisted of 519 people living in the neighborhoods in which the patients resided after hospital discharge. They were interviewed once about violence in the past 10 weeks.

The most comprehensive study ever done regarding mental health and risk of violence found that even among the “mentally ill” who commit violent crimes, the likelihood of that person committing further violence is considerably less than an individual who has no mental health diagnosis. For individuals who simply have a mental health diagnosis, the likelihood that they will commit an act of violence is substantially less than the average person.

(The MacArthur study is so named because major funding was provided by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation’s Research Network on Mental Health and the Law with a supplemental grant from the National Institute of Mental Health (grant # R01 49696) to interview the collateral informants.)

One factor is that many people who have behaviors labeled as mental illness have developed these symptoms as a result of (and a coping mechanism for) being victims of violence. Having a “mental illness” actually conveys a certain degree of immunity from any tendency towards violence.

The one variable that really messes up this finding is substance abuse. People who have both “mental illness” and active substance abuse are more likely to commit violent crimes.

Judging risk of violence by public opinion is as worthwhile as using your horoscope

It would make sense that if people have adequate support in their community they would be less likely to use alcohol or street drugs to self-medicate. In this way the mental health system as it exists in the United States today contributes to violence.

So- I propose that Oregon do the following:

  1. Reform the PSRB system- starting with the elimination of the PSRB.
  2. Eliminate the State Hospital (and quit building the new replacement facility- maybe the building could be turned into something else- another prison?).
  3. Use the money saved to create a system of community services that is fully funded, consumer driven and based on a compassionate, recovery oriented ethic.
  4. Create an emergency/ acute care system that is based on the Sanctuary model, that makes use of natural/ holistic medicine and provides a variety of choices in terms of treatment styles and settings.

Meanwhile, I won’t hold my breath. The public perception of those of us with “mental illness” is such that fear over-rides sense. A inmate escaping from the State Prison merits 2 inches of news space on page 6. A patient who leaves OSH (“absconds”) without PSRB permission is front page, lead story and a week of prominent follow-up articles.

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Filed under inhumanity, Mental Hell Treatment, Oregon State Hospital, wellness and systems change

Small post

It’s Sunday night, I’m tired and still want to share a couple things.

First, Update on Blizzard, our cat that had her eyes removed (surgically) because she was suffering from glaucoma. She’s doing exceptionally well. Wayy better than when she was going bind from the glaucoma. She gets around the house without any difficulty, hardly ever uses the walls to roam the place. One of these shows her eating with her sister Annie.

A great little short story:

09-02 You’re Ugly Too – Lorrie Moore

Anxiety a problem? Step into my office for your hypnosis session:

Attacking Anxiety Relaxation Session – Female Hypnotist Guided

Before:

After:

Never Give up. I mean it.

Never give up

Miscellaneous-


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Filed under animated gif, animation, cats, comedy relief, Mental health recovery, mp3, sound bite

Absolutely Beautiful, plus news clips

Cherry trees in bloom at Oregon State Hospital (click for full size, as usual)

Other news from OSH:

State Furloughs = Lack of Logic!

Controversial Ruling by PSRB!

Dying in Plain Sight!

Let the Feds Clean it Up!

Increased Federal Oversight Needed!

Maybe there are really serious problems!

Why Dr. Robinson didn’t come to work!

Duh!!! (Thanks, Gary)

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Filed under bees on cherry trees, Mental health recovery, Nature, Oregon State Hospital, pictures, politics

News Roundup Plus+

I have been so completely swamped by events and work so far this decade that it has been difficult to keep y’ll updated, inspired or entertained. So, today I resolve to correct this problem. At least a little bit.

working backwards:

March 19-26, Romero Legacy Delegation to El Salvador

March 24, 2010 marks the 30th anniversary of the assassination of Monseñor Oscar Romero, Archbishop of El Salvador, on the orders of a graduate of the School of the Americas. SOA Watch and Father Roy Bourgeous will be leading a delegation to El Salvador to commemorate this individual who died fighting for the rights of the common folk in that country.

If you are interested in learning more about Oscar Romero and go here:

http://soaw.org/docs/esdelegation.pdf

More blogging on Bishop Romero: http://annaarcosdiary.wordpress.com/2009/11/08/archbishop-romeros-murder/

For even more about Romero:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Óscar_Romero or

http://www.silk.net/RelEd/romero.htm

Friday night is MLBM- Mad Radio

And we have especially good reasons to be mad this week. Portland police have shown how they handle people in crisis once again. This week, police killed a man who was suicidal following the death of his brother that same day.

News excerpt:

Police said Frashour shot and killed Aaron Marcell Campbell only after Campbell began making statements to officers that they were going to have to shoot him and behaved in a threatening manner.

According to a news release, Campbell had told a friend that he wanted to commit suicide by having the police shoot him.

The shooting followed by less than 12 hours the death of Campell’s brother, Timothy Douglass, who succumbed to heart failure at an area hospital.

Campbell’s mother, Marva Campbell, said Campbell was “distraught” about his brother’s death.

The mother was distraught. I’d think so after losing 2 children in one day. What else did the police say about this?

Police said the man came out after 6 p.m. and initially cooperated. But they said Campbell then stopped complying and told officers would have to shoot him. Wheat said an officer first fired beanbag rounds but when Campbell “acted threateningly,” Frashour shot him with an AR-15 rifle.

For the police information release, you can go here.

As long as we’re on my home town, Shock (Electro Convulsive Therapy, ECT) is alive and well in Portland, Oregon. At least we are not alone.

It’s the new/ old thing.

In modern ECT, the patient is sedated and paralyzed. Then an electrical charge is delivered through the scalp, inducing a seizure. Because of the muscle-relaxing drugs, the convulsion is barely observable.


Judi Chamberin dies at age 65

The “grandmother of mental health consumer advocacy passed away after a long battle with a chronic illness. Judi reported on her condition and struggle in her blog, Life as a Hospice Patient.


Duh

Metabolic risks remain largely unmonitored in Medicaid patients taking
antipsychotics* January 4th, 2010 in Medicine & Health / Medications


*Despite government warnings and professional recommendations about diabetes risks associated with second-generation antipsychotic drugs, fewer than one-third of Medicaid patients who are treated with these medications
undergo tests of blood glucose or lipid levels, according to a report in the
January issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives
journals.*

In 2003, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) began requiring a warning on labels of second-generation antipsychotics-including olanzapine, fluoxetine and risperidone-describing an increased risk for high blood sugar and diabetes, according to background information in the article. The warning
stated that glucose levels should be monitored in patients with diabetes, at
risk for the disease or with symptoms of high blood glucose. At the same
time, the American Diabetes Association and American Psychiatric Association published a consensus statement describing the metabolic risks associated with second-generation antipsychotics and specifying a monitoring protocol for all patients receiving these medications.

Elaine H. Morrato, Dr.P.H., M.P.H., of the University of Colorado Denver,
and colleagues studied laboratory claims data from the Medicaid population
of three states (California, Missouri and Oregon) between 2002 and 2005.
Metabolic testing (testing of blood glucose and lipid levels) rates were
compared between a group of 109,451 patients receiving second-generation
antipsychotics and a control group of 203,527 who began taking albuterol (an
asthma drug) but not an antipsychotic. Rates were also compared before and
after the FDA warning.

Initial testing rates for patients treated with second-generation
antipsychotics were low-27 percent underwent glucose testing and 10 percent underwent lipid testing. The FDA warning was not associated with any
increase in glucose testing and only a marginal increase in lipid testing
rates (1.7 percent). “Testing rates and trends in second-generation
antipsychotic-treated patients were not different from background rates
observed in the albuterol control group,” the authors write.

New prescriptions of olanzapine, which carries a higher metabolic risk,
declined during the warning period. Prescriptions of the lower-risk drug
aripiprazole increased, but this may also be attributable to the elimination
of prior authorization for the drug in California during the same timeframe.

“Although this retrospective study was not able to identify or quantify
reasons why laboratory screening did not increase after the FDA warnings,
whereas prescribing practices did change, we might speculate on some
possible explanations,” the authors write. Switching to lower-risk drugs or
avoiding drug treatment altogether may be simpler than the initiation of new
screening procedures. In addition, although surveys have shown that
psychiatrists are aware of the metabolic risk factors of these drugs,
primary care providers who would generally order the necessary laboratory
tests may not be.

“More effort is needed to ensure that patients who receive second-generation
antipsychotic drugs are screened for diabetes and dyslipidemia and monitored for potential adverse drug effects, beginning with baseline testing of serum glucose and lipids, so that patients can receive appropriate preventive care and treatment,” the authors conclude.

*More information:* Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2010;67[1]:17-24.


MLBM

Did I happen to mention that Friday night, tomorrow, 2/5/10 at 1 am (I know that this is technically Saturday the 6th but- hey, give me a break, it’s only radio, right?)?

As always, we’ll be on KBOO, 90.7 FM in Portland or streamed on the web at kboo.fm.  You can join the conversation- Call 503-231-8187 between 1 and 2 am Friday night.

You can also find our old shows (at least for the past year or so) by clicking the MLBM tab above.

Another thing you can find on Moonsoup today, if you haven’t had time to check out the secret pages, is this memorial to those of us with mental illness diagnosis who have died too young. Go here.

Now for Something Completely Different

Hare Rama Hare Krishna – 05 – Dance Music – Part 1

Hare Rama Hare Krishna – 09 – Dance Music – Part 2

Krishnamurti + David Bohm – The Future of Humananity

Bird Songs on Bear Creek – Relaxation Meditation – 47 min

Bye for now, happy new year and such.

(really big space picture below, click for full size- it’s the Subaru observatory (ESA) deep field view of the “Jewel Box”.

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Filed under CS/X movement, Free Audio Books, Free Music, Mad Radio, Mental Hell Treatment, mp3, Music, sound bite, wellness and systems change

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.

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

The New Max

new-maxSo, this is a view of the construction area on the site of the demolished sections of the old J Complex at Oregon State Hospital. Some parts that are not yet demolished are in the foreground. The walls coming up in back are going to be the “ABC” (Acute Behavioral Care?) section of the new hospital- corresponds with the current maximum security unit on 48B. If you click the pic it will bring up the full-res 8-megapixel shot. But here’s what’s even more cool- they have put up a webcam that refreshes every 15 minutes and shows various angles of the construction zone.

Go here.

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Filed under Mental Hell Treatment, Oregon State Hospital, pictures

My Boss Retired, etc.

First off, June 30th was the last work day for my supervisor at the Oregon State Hospital. He has been a supportive and wise boss, not something you find everyday. My new boss can’t fill his shoes. My co-worker and I (there is essentially just one other person here doing the same job as myself) feel like we’ve been hung out to dry.

This is something that he wrote before retiring, click for download (word doc)

The Lighter Side of 45 Years Working in St

Other news at work- Next week the Department of Justice comes to visit. Oregon State Hospital is under fire, in trouble, up sh*t creek (pick your metaphor) due to problems in patient care, staffing, use of seclusion & restraints, etc. Staff have been told they shouldn’t try to talk to the DOJ Team. Especially we should not mention the horrible understaffing, mandated overtime and burnout which has not improved since their last visit. Patients have to sign up with their ward/ unit staff to be put on a lsit to talk to the Team. Some wards, notorious for poor conditions, treatment, have tried to spruce up; treating patients better for the past week in hopes that everyone will forget how things really are.

Some links to articles about the visit:

http://www.disabilityrightsoregon.org/usdoj-coming-back-to-oregon-state-hospital

http://www.mentalhealthportland.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/oregons-letter-to-the-federal-department-of-justice.pdf

http://www.oregon.gov/DHS/mentalhealth/osh/news/0709.pdf

http://www.statesmanjournal.com/article/20090712/NEWS/907120329/1001/news

sign-realitycheck

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Filed under Mental health recovery, Mental Hell Treatment, wellness and systems change

Stories From Mental Hell Treatment

These are stories of people subjected to torture and humiliation in the name of “treatment” for mental health issues. They are found (with many others) on the website: http://psychrights.org/index.htm

CHOMP Hell

On October 15, 2007, I was kidnapped, put in solitary confinement, and I was physically abused for 3 days.

My husband had called the suicide prevention hotline and thought he would get help for me coping with stress and depression. My husband was ignorant and admits that he was wrong. Two police officers showed up with paramedics. They brutally pulled me out of my bed, injected me with something and transported me to the Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula (CHOMP). I remember being sexually molested in the ambulance, I remember being tied up in the hospital bed for hours, one doctor screamed at me, another doctor laughed sarcastically when I told him I was held against my will. During the 3 day ordeal I was numerous times injected with medication and was forced to swallow piles of pills. Nobody talked to me about the treatment and medication; asked for my consent or cared about my well being. CHOMP nurses also drew my blood and catheterized me against my will.

I feel like I was mentally raped. When I started menstruating and blood was running down my legs, nobody at the hospital offered a tampon or a feminine pad. I received no water or other fluids during my 3 day ordeal. I did not receive any food either. I was humiliated, laughed at and degraded by the staff of CHOMP. The nurses and doctors were destroying my self-worth, self-respect and dignity. Instead of simple depression I suffer now from Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome. I am still terrified that it can happen again. I am afraid to go to bed at night. I have daily flashbacks of the trauma. This experience is haunting me now for 15 months. It impacted my professional life and completely destroyed my private life.

More than anything else it would help me tremendously if CHOMP would not be allowed to conduct these torture techniques on other human beings. CHOMP officials, the suicide prevention hotline, the Seaside Police Department and the ambulance service all claim that they went by the “BOOK”. If this “Book” really exists, it needs tremendous improvements. I also believe the medical code states “DO NO HARM”, Why is then CHOMP running their psychiatric ward like a concentration camp? Why is CHOMP restraining people, putting them into solitary confinement, humiliating them and torturing them? I was simply depressed and would have needed somebody caring and compassionate to talk to but I experience hell instead.

Jeffrey James – Death by “Restraint”

by Don Weitz

For two or three days, I attended the recent inquest in the tragic death of Jeffrey James, it ended in Toronto on October 10, 2008. Although there were some good and detailed recommendations from the Empowerment Council and Coroner’s Jury, the Jury did not demand the end of physical restraints (e.g. 2-point & 4- point restraints) and “seclusion”(solitary confinement, but the Council did.

The Jury should have at least recommended phasing out all physical restraints and seclusion because they’re forms of cruel and unusual punishment or torture. The fact is that physical restraints triggered the “pulmonary thromboembolism” (blot clot in lungs that traveled from James’ leg) that killed Jeffrey James. A young 34-year old black man, Jeffrey died a horrible death in the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), Toronto’s notorious psychoprison, on July 13, 2005. Approximately one month before he died, James had been transferred from Oak Ridge/Penetanguishene Mental Health Centre, another Ontario psychoprison notorious for its brutality; he ended up CAMH’s “medium-security” Unit (3-2) – but not for long. For 5 1/2 consecutive days, Jeffrey was severely restrained – tied down with 4-point restraints wrapped around his ankles and wrists, forced to lie on his back so he couldn’t move his arms and legs, forbidden to get up and exercise, “chemically restrained” (forcibly drugged) with the powerful neuroleptic Loxepine and ‘minor tranquillizer’ Lorazepam – while languishing in solitary confinement (“seclusion”)! CAMH psychiatrists and doctors repeatedly ordered physical restraints ad seclusion; in fact, they didn’t even examine Jeffrey before writing restraint orders – facts confirmed during the cross-examination of Drs. Siu and Darby by lawyer Anita Szigeti. Psychiatrist Siu was the last doctor to see Jeffrey, he wrote restraint orders one and two days before Jeffrey died. According to Szigeti, who represented the Empowerment Council at the inquest, Dr. Siu also failed to request an “external consult” (a second opinion) after 72 hours of continuous physical restraint. This sounds unethical to me– a violation of hospital or provincial government restraint guidelines, medical neglect, or a breach of medical ethics.

It’s bizarre as to how James ended up in physical restraints and “seclusion” in the first place. The psychiatrists threw James into “seclusion” after some nurses complained to a psychiatrist that James was “masturbating” in front of the nursing station – horrors at such “inappropriate sexual behaviour”! Although he was previously accused of “sexual assault”, James had not assaulted or harmed any CAMH staff or patient. It’s also important to point out that no nurse and no psychiatrist or doctor bothered to communicate with and understand James as a person before he died. Apparently, dialogue (not to mention empathy or compassion) is a ‘privilege’ at CAMH and other Ontario psychoprisons. 2-point and 4-point physical restraints and “seclusion” in psychiatric facilities constitute cruel and unusual punishment or torture sanitized as “restraint”. I may report these psychiatric tortures to Amnesty International and the United Nations Committee Against Torture; owever, I’m not hopeful of action since neither human rights body has officially condemned physical restraints, forced drugging or electroshock (“ECT”) as forms of torture. So far, no doctor or psychiatrist is being held accountable for Jeffrey James’ death – unfortunately the Coroner’s Act of Ontario forbids the corner or coroner’s jury from blaming or charging anybody with unethical conduct or a crime. Let’s get real here. Like coroners, most judges uncritically accept or believe that psychiatry’s fraudulent medical model is “medical science”; coroners and judges rarely challenge psychiatric “expertise”, they rarely question bogus psychiatric procedures including forced drugging, electroshock, physical restraints or “seclusion” (solitary confinement).

Nevertheless, some of the jury’s 66 recommendations were constructive and helpful- if acted on. For many years, the Ontario government has been notoriously and routinely negligent in refusing to enforce jury recommendations, especially those concerning psychiatric survivors and homeless people. One recommendation in the James inquest states that the Chief Coroner of Ontario must call an inquest when anybody dies while in physical restraints, but why limit the call to only physical restraints? Many more psychiatric prisoners (involuntary psychiatric patients) also die from chemical restraints (forced drugging), some from electroshock (‘ECT’). Obviously, this recommendation doesn’t go far enough. When a person dies in an Ontario jail or prison (by whatever means), the Coroner must call an inquest, but the Coroner doesn’t have to call an inquest if a person dies in a psychiatric facility or “mental health centre”; according to the Coroner’s Act, that decision is “discretionary”. In a recent human rights case, the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal justly and wisely ruled that inquests into deaths in psychiatric facilities should be mandatory- just as they are for prisons, but an Ontario Superior Court judge recently overruled this important Tribunal decision.

In the meantime, physical restraints, seclusion, trauma, deaths and cover-ups continue at CAMH and every other psychoprison in Ontario and other provinces. Unfortunately, psychiatric torture is not and never was an election issue – it should be. Another national and international shame!

Biographical information: Don Weitz is an antipsychiatry activist, Executive member of the Coalition Against Psychiatric Assault (CAPA), and Co-editor of Shrink Resistant: The Struggle Against Psychiatry in Canada.

 

My name is Elise . . .

I am twenty-one years old; however, the events that have taken place in my life so far seem to have delayed the progress of my life. In many aspects, I am still a child. I don’t believe I am lacking in emotional maturity, yet I have been lodged in a socially retarded position. I believe this degraded standard of living is a direct result of my involvement with the mental health community.

Six years ago, I began to see a psychologist. My parents were concerned, as I had been displaying signs of depression. At that point, I didn’t necessarily agree with this assumption. Granted, I was a little distressed due to my recent transition into high school… but aren’t all freshman? There was also the added stress of my choice to attend a Catholic high school and this meant many if not all of my friends from grammar school would no longer be in my class. I had to make all new friends, and I gravitated toward the kids with similar interests to my own, which have been inexplicably morbid for as long as I can remember. I do have a dark sense of humor, but when I was fifteen it was nothing more than that. The real trouble came later, after my visits to the psychologist became visits to the psychiatrist.

I don’t see anything wrong with “going to therapy.” I’m sure talking to a therapist was a good outlet for me at that fragile stage in my life. The problem I’d like to address is not general psychiatric treatment; but the specific dangers of psychiatric medication. I believe the introduction of substances like these to a child or a teen is extremely dangerous. Although I was thoroughly warned of any health risks I could encounter, I based my decision on the positive changes I would encounter. Yes, I chose to take these medications-but I was a profoundly naïve sixteen year old girl. I was under the impression that all I would ever have to do was swallow the magic pill.

I had no clue how the next five years of my life would play out. If anything, I anticipated to glide through high school smoothly, happy and productive. I had to drop out of high school junior year, despite the fact that my grades were among the top of my class. I missed too many classes due to several nights in a crisis center, outpatient therapy that took place in the morning, and eventually a two-week inpatient stay on an adolescent psychiatric ward. When I was sixteen, I started drinking alcohol, smoking cigarettes and marijuana, indulging in acts of self-mutilation, and “running away” from home. My parents did everything they could. My psychiatrist did more. Between the ages of sixteen and twenty I was prescribed over 20 different psychiatric medications.

As I said, I am twenty-one years old now. It was my 2008 New Year’s Resolution to gradually reduce my daily doses of Lithium and Seroquel; these were the last two medications I took regularly. They were also the two medications I had taken the longest, over three years each. I was finally clean in March, and I was so relieved to be done with that whole experience… I feel wonderful. But this newfound clarity has revealed a side of my treatment I had been too distracted to grasp. I was coerced into becoming a legal drug addict at a disturbingly young age. The real trouble came after I was medicated.

Immediately after I dropped out of high school, I took the GED exam. My score was exceptional, and I started to take a few classes at a community college. Then I dropped out of college, too. I’ve lost half a dozen jobs. I do not know how to drive a car. I have never had the opportunity to manage my own life. Because of this, my wedding to the man I love has been postponed indefinitely. I am suffering extremely high levels of anxiety when it comes to re-orienting myself with society, and I do not truly believe this has everything to do with a preexisting medical condition. The past five years of “treatment” have been traumatizing.

I have had to request disability benefits to try and support myself; my parents have spent an obscene amount of money on my medical treatment and have gone bankrupt. There were other contributing factors to my parents’ financial difficulty, though my expenses are monumental. My family and I have had to move into a house that is half the size of our old house. I am one of six people; I also have a nineteen-year-old sister, a fourteen-year-old sister, and a ten-year-old brother. I volunteered to occupy the unfinished basement so that everyone else could have a bedroom. I do not blame my family for this mess, as they have been unrelentingly supportive. They’d like me to have a better life, just as much as I do… but they cannot help me financially anymore. Medicaid simply doesn’t cut it. My entire life has been reduced to a prescription.

The phrase “If only I hadn’t swallowed that first pill…” is constantly on my mind. My fifteen-year-old self had so much potential; I was a great student, I was my art teacher’s pride pupil, I was a blue ribbon equestrian. I didn’t have any scars. For the first time in five years, I feel like I can be that kind of girl again… at least that’s how I feel. I am five crucial years behind any normal person of my age-and I am so emotionally damaged, I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to catch up.

It should not be legal in any way, shape, or form to medicate children like this. Psychiatric medication has stunted my growth as an individual. The companies that make and sell these drugs have an inherent responsibility to refrain from distributing them to people who are simply not capable of comprehending the long-term effects. As an adult, I am well aware of the things I should have considered before swallowing that first pill. As an adolescent I certainly was not. A person presented with that kind of choice should have enough life experience to make it properly. Now, I fear I may never have the chance to experience adult life the way it was meant to be.

I am certainly not saying my psychiatrist or the medications he prescribed caused my “disorder.” I am saying that in the case of a troubled adolescent, certain medications should not be implemented because some “side effects” may not occur until much later in that person’s life…physical, and emotional side effects. I think drug manufacturers are aware of this risk, and yet they continue to sell these drugs without taking the precaution of imposing an age restriction. I think it should be illegal for any person under a certain age to consume medicines like Lithium and Seroquel. I do not think these companies should be able to sell them, otherwise.

I will suffer the stigma of a mental patient for the rest of my life, even if I no longer take psychiatric medication. I want drug companies to outline the emotional side effects of their product just as clearly as the physical side effects, and offer this information to potential patients who are of an appropriate age to understand that kind of risk. I wish to be compensated for my personal losses on account of their negligence.

 

The Truth can set you Free
Felice Debra Eliscu

The first time I saw a Psychiatrist, I was 8 years old. My parents were going through a very messy divorce. My Father wanted custody of my 2 brothers and I. This was very hard on me; it did not fit into my reality of what a family was. Divorce was a new thing back then in 1973, we were the first in our neighborhood. The “shrink” asked me who I wanted to live with. It was right then I realized that there was something very wrong with Psychiatrists. What kind of person would ask an 8 year old girl to pick between her parents? I loved both of them the same, the way I now love both of my Daughters the same.

FAST FORWARD>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

I am 13 years old and my Father tells me we have an appointment with a Psychiatrist in Downtown Chicago. I have a few problems, but what 13 year old does not? I watched my Father mentally destroy my mother. He then used her mental instability against her to take away the only thing that mattered in her life…her children. He then married his mistress of 7 years (also his secretary). I was not exactly thrilled to be living with the woman who helped to destroy my happy home. Not to mention the fact that she was an adulteress. I wished her dead several times a day and even prayed to G-D at night to take this wicked woman away. Eventually I got to know her and she was very kind and loving to me. I liked her. She would never be my Mom, but she was my friend for sure.

While on Vacation in Mexico with my Father she became very sick. She assumed this was her pregnancy. However it was not. She was not only carrying my half-brother in her womb, she was carrying a tumor the size of a large orange in her brain. My Father truly loved this woman and did everything he could to save her life. In the end he brought her home to die. It was a terrible sight to see. She was in a vegetative state. You could see where the Doctors had cut a huge hole in her skull. There was nothing left of her, just a body waiting to die. It was a constant reminder of how I had prayed to G-D to take her life and how I had wished her dead. Of course I do not have that power, but at the time I felt a lot of guilt. I was sent to summer-camp knowing I would never see her again. On July 1st I awoke around 6:00 a.m. and demanded to call immediately.  I knew she woke me up on the way out, I could not explain it but I knew. The counselors at the camp assured me that if something had happened my Father would have called. Two days later my Father called to say she had died (at the time and date I woke up). I later found out that when my Father went to his safety deposit box all the watches in there were stopped at the exact time of her death. I guess you could say I was a little twisted from this trauma. My Father a member of the Jewish Priesthood most high has never set foot in a synagogue since. One day, I went to this appointment at Northwest Memorial Hospital and met Dr. Derrick Miller a shrink from England, only I was not allowed to leave. This was my new home; an Adolescent Treatment Program. It was a locked unit for teens with a system based on reward and punishment with a level system. The higher the level the more privileges you earned. There were day patients there to teach me all about street drugs and crime. One day we stole the unit key and escaped into downtown Chicago where I got so drunk I passed out in the stairwell of some high-rise.

I would be released and re-admitted to the same unit one more time. The day patients would bring in drugs, we were allowed to smoke cigarettes it was not so bad. I liked my shrink, because he said my Father was the one with a problem.

My next Adolescent Treatment program was at Chicago Lakeshore Hospital. Same basic program of behavior modification, only this time they added medication. I did not like medication. My “shrink” was Dr. Luinbuk, a wealthy Psychiatrist from Israel who wore alligator shoes. He told me that manipulation was a positive thing. All I had to do was be Daddy’s little Jewish Princess and the world would be mine. For my Birthday I was given a “Dental Pass”. My Father and new Step-Monster took me and a friend to see The Rolling Stones. We were seated separately. My friend brought all kinds of goodies. I was returned to the Hospital “tripping” and put in solitary confinement. Many years later I was told by another Psychiatrist that the combination of medications I was on at that Hospital were not approved for people under 18 and the combination could have killed me. In both Hospitals there was this rumor/threat that if we did not succeed we might end up at a horrible place called Élan. “The last resort”.

In 1981 that is exactly where my Father wanted to put me. We went in front of the School board for some type of meeting. The School would not pay for my placement there and furthermore stated that I that I did not need to be in Élan. I could go to Public school. My Father said “fine then I will pay for it myself”  My first day at Élan I was escorted to a bathroom, made to strip in front of two strangers and take a Quell shower. I was told I would be a resident of House #3. There were many Houses in Poland Spring, Maine. #3, #5, #7, #8 and Administration #1. There was also a house in Waterford, Maine #6 and two houses in Parsonsfield, Maine #2 and #4. Élan #3 was “the big House.”

The first thing I noticed was all the costumes. These were called Learning Experiences or L.E.; they were made from mostly cardboard and came from the communications Dept. Dunce caps Cigarette hats. Nuclear Reactor Boxes, Whore and Pimp costumes the list goes on. Whatever the “issue” was there was a L.E. to go with it. With every L.E. there was a sign sometimes you only got a sign. These would always start out “Please confront me as to why……..” It was not unusual to see someone with 15 signs. One night at school a kid walked into class from another house wearing a huge penis on his head with a sign in it that said “ Please confront me as to why I think with one head and not the other” I had to hide behind my book to not laugh. If you laughed at someone’s L.E. you got the same one.

There were boxing rings to beat you into submission, Haircuts where 3 people yelled at you over trivial stuff. General Meetings where hundreds of your peers were whipped into frenzy in the dining room before you arrived and when you did then would all rush at you to yell and spit in your face. Then the Director would emotionally lambaste you for hours. At the end you were given an L.E. and “Shotdown” made to scrub floors and toilets all day. Then there was the Corner for those who would not “get with the program”. It was meant to be used for a couple of hours, because it was unbearable. You could not talk or read or listen to music or anything and some other poor kid had to supervise you the whole time. I stayed in the corner for 5 months. I refused to abuse my peers. I was not going to humiliate others. For this I was severely abused, but I did not care. I gave it right back. I was not going to join a cult.

In a last effort to get me to conform, my Father flew up and told me that I was going to be there until the bulldozers came. Three weeks later he returned to pick me up; I had done the impossible I had been kicked out of Élan in eight months. My Father and Step monster tried to drop me off in Mass. It was a school for mostly mentally handicapped Teens. I told them I would raise hell and they would not take me. Unwillingly me Father had no choice but to take me home. I took the G.E.D. and tried to go to Columbia Collage. There was something wrong with me at this point, socially although I could not put my finger on it. To cope while in the corner I would use different techniques that I had read about. I was not allowed to close my eyes so I would stare at the vertex until everything went black. Each time it was easier. I would at first astral travel. After the meeting with my Father I decided to try “Creative Visualization”. I had read a small book by the same name before entering Élan and it was the perfect time to try it out. I imagined the same scenario over and over again. When it actually happened I was sure I was still in the corner visualizing it. Only after the visualization went past the point of my creation did I know that it had worked. I think I was in shock.

Whenever I hear anyone arguing for slavery, I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally. -Abraham Lincoln

FAST FORWARD>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

For many years I did not have a relationship with my Father and Step-monster. One day in 1998 I was given the opportunity for my Children and I to get away from my abusive Husband and move to rural Wisconsin. Choosing what I felt was the lesser of two evils I took the bait. There was one condition I had to see a Psychiatrist. This should have been a big red flag for me, but it was not. My Children were enrolled in School and were doing well. I had a job at Lands’ End main headquarters. It was located 3 blocks from where I lived in Dodgeville, WI. On the weekends I would have brunch with my Father an Step monster who never failed to condescend. I put up with it for monetary benefit.

On August 16th 2000 a Social Services worker showed up at my door and requested to see my oldest Daughter. She was sleeping at a friend’s house. I told her this. Within minutes my house was surrounded by The Dodgeville Police Department, The Iowa County Sheriffs and Unmarked vehicles, I agreed to let a Dodgeville Police Officer search my house, he confirmed my Daughter was not there. My Daughter then called on the phone I told her what was going on. She agreed to speak with Social Services. To make a long story short, both of my Daughters were taken from me that day. At the request of my Step-monster. They were put into Foster care, where one remains today. They were 8 & 12 at the time. I was sent to a Mental Hospital the very same day, for getting “Hysterical”. If you ask me, if you do not act a little “Hysterical” when someone comes and takes your Children away you really have a serious problem. For the next 2 years I was systematically harassed in an attempt to criminalize me. I think it might have  worked exxcept for the fact that I pleaded NGI. I also opted for a bench trial for reasons that I will not make public at this time. If you take my kids away on the basis of my Mental Illness, please do not call me a criminal. When I found the actual paper in my case file at the court house that contained the evidence of my Step monsters report to Social Services I was irate to say the least. It said I had been diagnosed with Mental Illness and she did not care what happened to me but she wanted my Children to be put in Foster Care. Before my Children were taken from me in 2000 I was seeing a Therapist and Psychiatrist of my own choice. I was on 2 Medications. I had a healthy and happy life. I had no criminal charges. We need to look at how this is seen for a reason for removal of Children from the home. I have never in my life experienced such stigma and open hatred for wanting to get some help in the MH industry. I also have to state that this event has been the most Traumatic thing I have and continue to experience in my life.

 “You do not examine legislation in the light of the benefits it will convey if properly administered, but in the light of the wrongs it would do and the harms it would cause if improperly administered.”-Lyndon B. Johnson

I was sent to the state Hospital and Diagnosed with 5 different things. I am now court ordered to take 6 different kinds of medication and 1 more because they make me physically Ill.  I have a D.O.C. worker who gives me random urinalyses. I have a Conditional release worker. I have a Court appointed Psychiatrist and a court appointed Therapist. We must not forget the Social services worker either. I never had any freedom in America to begin with. I am not paranoid I have justified fear. Outpatient Commitment is Unconstitutional, but so is The Patriot Act. Without a lawyer, like many Americans find out you have no chance for justice. I have a good cases against the State of Wisconsin for both unjust removal of my Children and continued denial of my Civil and Constitutional rights. As far as my “Conditional Release” I have a good case there too. I just cannot afford a lawyer. If you look at the statistics, people most affected by this are the ones who cannot afford proper legal representation. Any lawyer out there willing to help? Here is a list of the Court ordered Medications I am forced to take:

· Adderall 30mg. tab 3 times daily
· Paxil 40mg. tab 2 times daily
· Topomax 100mg. tab 1/2 tab in a.m. 2 tabs in p.m.
· Ativan 1mg. tab 1-4 tablets daily as needed
· Trazadone HCL 100mg. tab 2 at bedtime
· Ambien 10mg. 1 at bedtime
· Hyoscyamine sulfate 0.375mg.ter (gen.Equiv for Levbid) Take one Tablet by Mouth every twelve hours for Abdominal cramps & Diarrhea. (Because now I have Irritable bowel syndrome from the other six medications)

My first hand knowledge of Outpatient forced treatment is basic. You cannot force someone to change. You can monitor them, provide services, overmedicate them (this applies to me) and check their bodily fluids to make sure that G-d forbid they do not use any herbal medications of their own choosing. But real change comes from within. As an alternative to Prison it is of course the preferred route to go. You have to ask yourself, how far backward have we gone? Let’s take a look at my Outpatient Commitment. After my release from WHMI I was given all of the above mentioned services with the threat that I could be re-hospitalized at any moment for not following my Conditional Release Plan. This could be initiated by any of the above mentioned people. This causes additional anxiety. Knowing what I know now. I would never seek help. My “confidential” MH files were used against me in court to take my Children. Knowing what my “issues” were: I was provoked and harassed daily.

(I was also Drugged with everything from neuroleptics’ to antipsychotics’ and SSRI’s you name it! I was forced to report to the Iowa County Sherriff 4 times daily for Medication and if I was late I was charged with Bail Jumping.)

After 3 years of taking my Medication by myself, The Judge has ordered Medication Monitoring after a revocation hearing where I was sent home.

Now my Conditional release worker wants’ to hire 3 students from the U.W. Platteville to bring me my Medication 4 times a day.

I am currently taking 3 medications

1. Adderal- 20 mg. 8 and Noon and 10mg. at 4p.m.
2. Ativan- 2mg. (8 a.m., noon and 4 p.m.)
3. Ambien- 20 mg. at Bedtime. (They would like my Bedtime to be 8 p. m.)

I consider this an invasion of privacy.

There is a lot more to this story, if you are interested.

Thank You,

Felice Debra Eliscu

Behind Locked Doors

(Click for full size)

behindlockeddoorsr600

 

To whom it may concern

I believe that my civil rights were violated and that I was discriminated against based on the perception of mental illness. Ten years after divorcing my battering husband, I was assaulted by my roommate. Initially I did not want to file a complaint against him for several reasons. First, I was physically ill. Secondly, I knew what I would have to go through if I filed a complaint. Thirdly, a friend who introduced us pleaded with me not to press charges.


After the local police convinced me to file a complaint, the man was arrested. He and his friends immediately retaliated. They violated both the judges’ terms and conditions of release and an Order For Relief of Abuse (ORA). The local police refused to enforce the two judges’ orders. I was frightened after the local chief of police entered my home without a warrant and threatened me with criminal prosecution if I did not permit a violation of the ORA. I did not feel safe in my home. I stayed in hotels. I started having panic attacks. I was suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I contacted the local mental health organization repeatedly and was put on a waiting list. I went back into therapy with my former therapist. I changed the locks, installed alarms on the doors and searched for an attorney. I contacted the victims advocate, legal aid and the domestic violence center to no avail. I sought legal representation and attempted to file a complaint with the Vermont State Police. I was told point blank that I could not file a complaint against the officer because “We take care of our own.”


After interviewing my neighbors about me, not the man who was arrested, the police contacted my mother who severely abused me as a child. She told them that I was mentally ill and not taking my medication. I was not on any medication. I was in therapy. The local police persuaded the State Attorney’s Office to drop the charges against the man who assaulted me because “I was not a credible witness due to my mental illness.” He had confessed to assaulting me in front of me and two police officers. He showed them the object with which he assaulted me at the time of his arrest. I was there.


I was told that if I could prove that I was not mentally ill, that only then would the State Attorney’s Office consider reinstating the charges against him. I tape recorded the conversation. I have the tape in my possession.


When I did not drop the complaint against the police officer, I was falsely accused of arson. I was investigated by the State Police after the local police made false statements about me. When I requested a copy of the report, my right under state law, my requests were ignored. I was subsequently arrested fro stalking a police office and his wife. I did not even know their names much the less engage in stalking them. Ironically, I was volunteering at a batterer’s intervention program as the voice of the victim. I had not history of arson or violence. I had no criminal record. I had never been committed to a mental institution.


I was arrested and placed in Vermont State Hospital. I was suffering from a gallstone that was 3/4 of an inch in diameter, a hemorrhaging uterine tumor and a neurological disorder that may be Lyme Disease. My current physician has ordered testing at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center fro Lyme Disease. I had surgeries for both the gallstone and the uterine tumor after being discharged from Vermont State Hospital. I was told that my medical conditions were a symptom of my mental illness while at Vermont State Hospital.


I was forced into solitary confinement for being demanding and manipulative when I asked repeatedly for a doctor. I was not permitted off the small ward or outdoors for nearly four months after I told the doctor that I was severely claustrophobic and suffering from Post Traumatic Stress disorder. My uterine tumor was described by my psychiatrist as a “delusion” on an application for forced antipsychotic drugging. My friend of ten years, a 30 year veteran of the Tampa Police Department and instructor at the police academy, flew from Tampa to Vermont for my commitment hearing. He was not permitted to testify by my attorney. I was never read my rights.


I was accused by the wife of the police officer of handing her a photograph of Osama Bin Laden and a photograph of a woman attacking a child. There was neither a child nor Osama Bin Laden in either photograph. This was pointed out in court. She was delusional not I. One advocate at the hearing stated that if he were not told who was who, he would have concluded that she not I was the person suffering from mental illness. The police officer commented that the witness appeared to be mentally ill not I. There was no physical evidence or other witnesses to confirm her accusations against me.


I was committed by the judge who stated in her decision that I had committed those acts even though there was no criminal proceeding. I was not permitted to know my defense strategy by my attorney. I was not permitted to use the psychiatrist of my choice for my independent examination. I was deprived of due process. I was falsely imprisoned. I was deprived of medical care and my civil liberties. I was coerced into taking medication by the threat of continued imprisonment or forced drugging or both.


After my release, I was hounded by the State Attorney’s Office at my home and my church. I was prosecuted to the tune of $10,000 in legal fees for two misdemeanor charges. I finally was given the offer of court diversion after my attorney was repeatedly denied access to state’s evidence (discovery) and exculpatory evidence was destroyed. It was revealed that I was handcuffed and shackled to the floor in a cell for 15 hours prior my psychiatric exam, denied anti-anxiety medication in my purse and denied access to an attorney for 10 days after my arrest.


I want to bring suit against the police, the hospital and the State Attorney’s Office for violating my civil rights, false imprisonment and denial of medical services. One newspaper has carried my story. The US Department of Justice CRIPA Division threatened to sue Vermont State Hospital after a year long investigation revealed that doctors routinely misdiagnosed patients, exposed them unnecessarily to dangerous drugs and civil rights violations among other serious problems with quality of care. The report was released 3 months after my release. A state investigation of my case concluded that there were substantial grounds for my complaints against the hospital. Please help me find legal assistance.
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Mostly the teachings of a Mad Man

looneymoon

Moon not exactly full

Last nights show was great, though a week late. I’ll get the MP3 up as soon as possible for the archives. Only 3 callers who hung on (several hang-ups when lines were busy). Enough on that topic.

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My Friend, Senor Ref. C. on Ward 34D

Yesterday I saw a man at the “hospital” where I work. Of course, the term hospital is not a true description of what happens to people there. So much suffering, so much torment. but enough of that- this is the story:

(For those of you who are unfamiliar with my work, I am a loose cannon patient support person at a “Forensic Mental Health Facility”- read: a place where people are kept who have been judged by the courts of Oregon to be “Guilty but Insane”.)

So, this guy, I’ll call him “Mr. Castle” for the purpose of confidentiality; I met him the first couple weeks I was there at a time I was doing Hospital Improvement Surveys as a tool for getting to know the place and it’s people. He live in a gero ward, 34D, with other older and physically limited folks. I really enjoyed talking with him. He is smart and very thoughtful, insightful (despite his current diagnosis of dementia and organic brain disease). He is a deeply spiritual man.

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He transferred from the Oregon State Prison a few years back when they could no longer care for him adequately. He is serving a life sentence, convicted of a “terrible mis-deed”  (his words), or, conversely, “Murder” according to his chart. (I once asked him about his treatment in prison compared to the Hospital- he said that Prison was where God had opened his eyes to the world of the spirit and the true purpose of his life. Here he was just surviving and trying to keep devotion to “God and The Mystery” while watching what he realized was a progressive condition that will eventually take away his mind.) In his former life he was a father of 9 children, a US war veteran and a social worker. He has studied psychology and is extremely smart. His memory sometimes fails him. He has had strokes that have affected his mobility. He has PTSD and traumatic brain injury from his military service.

I used to go see him every week the first few months I was working there- I enjoyed our talks. His religious devotion along with a penetrating insight is a joy. Lately I haven’t seen him in at least 2 months. I’ve been busy as I’ve had to work toward a balance in my efforts to be useful to the over 600 patients who live in that island of  Mental Hell Treatment.

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I decided to go see Mr. Castle yesterday in the morning after I finished some paperwork. I didn’t think he would remember me. I did not call ahead. I walked to 34D, across “campus” about a quarter mile or more from my office.

I walked into the downstairs lobby. Mr. Castle was with a small group of staff and patients waiting for the elevator to go back to the ward from “crafts class”. He saw me with a puzzled look. I said, “You might not remember me. Can you recall my name?”

He said, “Of course, Mr. Rick. You have arrived just in time. I will only need a small amount of your attention. We can be through in about 20 minutes.” I had a very strong feeling he was seeing me for what he considered an appointment and that he was glad I was not late. “This will work well because I have lunch in about a half an hour from now,” he added.

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We went up the elevator, through the locked doors that get us eventually into 34D. He said, “It will only take me a few minutes to get my papers together.” He walked down the hall (with his walker) and gestured for me to follow him.

In his room, he rummaged through papers he had been keeping, seemingly for his anticipated discussion with me. The papers included print-outs from a group he had attended and some writings of his own (in Spanish, but he translated).

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First he read to me the key points in his recent writings. Part had to do with a topic we had discussed before- the “purpose of Man in God’s plan and the Ultimate Penetration of the Holy Mystery”. As he translated his own writing he came to several places where he could not find an English equivalent. The most simplistic summary would be: Man is composed of 3 principles- Spirit, Soul (to this he included mind, emotion, habits, attachments) and Body (simply the physical form and it’s basic needs for survival- not the physical desires, which he insists are attributes of Mind). “So, these 3 things make a man. They are all required for Man to fulfill his purpose and promise in the world. One can not outweigh the others or there will be problems, illness and “mis-deeds”.

Then he pulled out a handout from a group he had attended on the ward. He said, “I am a college graduate with much training in psychology. So, you see, I am capable of focusing my mind in the study of this information. I have applied my concentration to understanding what is here.” He had marked up the pages in various parts- mostly underlines and asterisk.

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“Psychology is a great and powerful science”, he said, “but it is flawed and does not have a complete understanding of who we are and why we are.” He went on to critique the handouts, respectfully but completely. I won’t go into detail.

In summary, Mr. Castle explained that too much emphasis on the mind and it’s needs and habits is detrimental to a Man in the fulfillment of God’s purpose. The Spirit and the Body must receive appropriate nourishment. Without proper sustenance of each element of our being we cannot penetrate the mystery. He told me a story from his life, the gist of which was that his mind had led him into “terrible misdeeds”. His eyes became red and he began to cry. “I have been locked up for 30 years and suffered great remorse because I did not know the proper balance of my whole being”.

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Then he stopped crying. His eyes cleared. He said that everything that had happened was part of his education. He said, “Man always wants to blame God or blame anyone else for their own mistakes. Adam blamed Eve and God, Eve blamed the serpent and God. Ever since then all Man wants to do is place the blame on someone else.”

Then he said it was time for me to go. His lunch would be arriving soon.

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Study 15

From the Washington Post:

A Silenced Drug Study Creates An Uproar

By Shankar Vedantam
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, March 18, 2009; A01

 

The study would come to be called “cursed,” but it started out just as Study

15.

It was a long-term trial of the antipsychotic drug Seroquel. The common wisdom

in psychiatric circles was that newer drugs were far better than older drugs,

but Study 15’s results suggested otherwise.

As a result, newly unearthed documents show, Study 15 suffered the same fate as

many industry-sponsored trials that yield data drugmakers don’t like: It got

buried. It took eight years before a taxpayer-funded study rediscovered what

Study 15 had found — and raised serious concerns about an entire new class of

expensive drugs.

Study 15 was silenced in 1997, the same year Seroquel was approved by the Food

and Drug Administration to treat schizophrenia. The drug went on to be

prescribed to hundreds of thousands of patients around the world and has earned

billions for London-based AstraZeneca International — including nearly $12

billion in the past three years.

The results of Study 15 were never published or shared with doctors, even as

less rigorous studies that came up with positive results for Seroquel were

published and used in marketing campaigns aimed at physicians and in television

ads aimed at consumers. The results of Study 15 were provided only to the Food

and Drug Administration — and the agency has strenuously maintained that it

does not have the authority to place such studies in the public domain.

AstraZeneca spokesman Tony Jewell defended the Seroquel research and said the

company had disclosed the drug’s risks. Since 1997, the drug’s labeling has

noted that weight gain and diabetes were seen in study patients, although the

company says the data are not definitive. The label states that the metabolic

disorders may be related to patients’ underlying diseases.

The FDA, Jewell added, had access to Study 15 when it declared Seroquel safe

and effective. The trial, which compared patients taking Seroquel and an older

drug called Haldol, “did not identify any safety concerns,” AstraZeneca said in

an e-mail. Jewell added, “A large proportion of patients dropped out in both

groups, which the company felt made the results difficult to interpret.”

The saga of Study 15 has become a case study in how drug companies can control

the publicly available research about their products, along with other

practices that recently have prompted hand-wringing at universities and

scientific journals, remonstrations by medical groups about conflicts of

interest, and threats of exposure by trial lawyers and congressional watchdogs.

Even if most doctors are ethical, corporate grants, gifts and underwriting have

compromised psychiatry, said an editorial this month in the American Journal of

Psychiatry, the flagship journal of the American Psychiatric Association.

“The public and private resources available for the care of our patients depend

upon the public perception of the integrity of our profession as a whole,”

wrote Robert Freedman, the editor in chief, and others. “The subsidy that each

of us has been receiving is part of what has fueled the excesses that are

currently under investigation.”

Details of Study 15 have emerged through lawsuits now playing out in courtrooms

nationwide alleging that Seroquel caused weight gain, hyperglycemia and

diabetes in thousands of patients. The Houston-based law firm Blizzard,

McCarthy & Nabers, one of several that have filed about 9,210 lawsuits over

Seroquel, publicized the documents, which show that the patients taking

Seroquel in Study 15 gained an average of 11 pounds in a year — alarming

company scientists and marketing executives. A Washington Post analysis found

that about four out of five patients quit taking the drug in less than a year,

raising pointed doubts about its effectiveness.

An FDA report in 1997, moreover, said Study 15 did offer useful safety data.

Mentioning few details, the FDA said the study showed that patients taking

higher doses of the drug gained more weight.

In approving Seroquel, the agency said 23 percent of patients taking the drug

in all studies available up to that point experienced significant weight

increases, compared with 6 percent of control-group patients taking sugar

pills. In 2006, FDA warned AstraZeneca against minimizing metabolic problems in

its sales pitches.

In the years since, taxpayer-funded research has found that newer antipsychotic

drugs such as Seroquel, which are 10 times as expensive, offer little advantage

over older ones. The older drugs cause involuntary muscle movements known as

tardive dyskinesia, and the newer ones have been linked to metabolic problems.

Far from dismissing Study 15, internal documents show that company officials

were worried because 45 percent of the Seroquel patients had experienced what

AstraZeneca physician Lisa Arvanitis termed “clinically significant” weight

gain.

In an e-mail dated Aug. 13, 1997, Arvanitis reported that across all patient

groups and treatment regimens, regardless of how numbers were crunched,

patients taking Seroquel gained weight: “I’m not sure there is yet any type of

competitive opportunity no matter how weak.”

In a separate note, company strategist Richard Lawrence praised AstraZeneca’s

efforts to put a “positive spin” on “this cursed study” and said of Arvanitis:

“Lisa has done a great ‘smoke and mirrors’ job!”

Two years after those exchanges, in 1999, the documents show that the company

presented different data at an American Psychiatric Association conference and

at a European meeting. The conclusion: Seroquel helped psychotic patients lose

weight.

The claim was based on a company-sponsored study by a Chicago psychiatrist, who

reviewed the records of 65 patients who switched their medication to Seroquel.

It found that patients lost an average of nine pounds over 10 months.

Within the company, meanwhile, officials explicitly discussed misleading

physicians. The chief of a team charged with getting articles published, John

Tumas, defended “cherry-picking” data.

“That does not mean we should continue to advocate” selective use of data, he

wrote on Dec. 6, 1999, referring to a trial, called COSTAR, that also produced

unfavorable results. But he added, “Thus far, we have buried Trials 15, 31, 56

and are now considering COSTAR.”

Although the company pushed the favorable study to physicians, the documents

show that AstraZeneca held the psychiatrist in light regard and had concerns

that he had modified study protocols and failed to get informed consent from

patients. Company officials wrote that they did not trust the doctor with

anything more complicated than chart reviews — the basis of the 1999 study

showing Seroquel helped patients lose weight.

For practicing psychiatrists, Study 15 could have said a lot not just about

safety but also effectiveness. Like all antipsychotics, Seroquel does not cure

the diseases it has been approved to treat — schizophrenia and bipolar

disorder — but controls symptoms such as agitation, hallucinations and

delusions. When government scientists later decided to test the effectiveness

of the class of drugs to which Seroquel belongs, they focused on a simple

measure — how long patients stayed on the drugs. Discontinuation rates, they

decided, were the best measure of effectiveness.

Study 15 had three groups of about 90 patients each taking different Seroquel

doses, according to an FDA document. Approximately 31 patients were on Haldol.

The study showed that Seroquel failed to outperform Haldol in preventing

psychotic relapses.

In disputing Study 15’s weight-gain data, company officials said they were not

reliable because only about 50 patients completed the year-long trial. But even

without precise numbers, this suggests a high discontinuation rate among

patients taking Seroquel. Even if every single patient taking Haldol dropped

out, it appears that at a minimum about 220 patients — or about 82 percent of

patients on Seroquel — dropped out.

Eight years after Study 15 was buried, an expensive taxpayer-funded study

pitted Seroquel and other new drugs against another older antipsychotic drug.

The study found that most patients getting the new and supposedly safer drugs

stopped taking them because of intolerable side effects. The study also found

that the new drugs had few advantages. As with older drugs, the new medications

had very high discontinuation rates. The results caused consternation among

doctors, who had been kept in the dark about trials such as Study 15.

The federal study also reported the number of Seroquel patients who

discontinued the drug within 18 months: 82 percent.

Jeffrey Lieberman, a Columbia University psychiatrist who led the federal

study, said doctors missed clues in evaluating antipsychotics such as Seroquel.

If a doctor had known about Study 15, he added, “it would raise your eyebrows.”

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