Tag Archives: mental health

An old one, by Jim, new one by me

One-Flew-Over-the-Cuckoo-s-Nest

Reprinted from years ago when he lived in a dirty old concrete box full of overcrowded rooms [now he lives in a new, clean concrete box with only one roommate!]. One of the first poems he showed me. It was in the first year of my work as the last watercooler in hell. We spent months just talking and sharing poetry every week.

This one broke my heart.

Girlfriend

written 2/21/09 6:25 p.m.

lone

We watched a butterfly be born into the world

Held hands at a scary film

Thought silly jokes were funny

Smiled with our eyes

I love you was spoken a lot

Mingled with other couples

Broke up once or twice

People talked about our relationship

She wrote when I was gone in jail

This is where we failed

My time was longer than her love

Have a picture of her I can’t tear up

It looks like she is shaking her finger at me in the picture

Wish I wouldn’t have made my mistake

Stakes were too high for me

Alone again with 40 men

This next is mine, this morning.

Welcome to-

Arrive by jail van

drive through a garage door that closes behind you

the world has turned upside down

everyone has latex gloves

“Take off your clothes and get in the shower to the right”

frightened, you look for a human face

without success

you may not see those clothes again

people are watching you through a mirrored window

instructions come from the wall mounted speaker

high above reach

“If you can’t clean yourself properly we will send someone to help you”

you don’t want to be touched by those rubber hands

you do your best to obey but it is hard-

nothing makes sense, you suppress an urge to scream out loud

they are making sure you don’t have anything

anything at all

you are truly stripped by the time they let you into the next room

“Put on these clothes. We will help you if you can’t do it by yourself”

again you comply

“What is happening to me?

What happened to your face?”

“We will help you to get better”

time, ushered along, nothing is right

[correct, true, accurate, factual, fit, satisfactory]

go to your room

.   .   .   .

Doctor: “My job is to diagnose your illness,

prescribe medications

and take you to court if you refuse them”

“I’m not here to talk to you or listen-

in fact, if you see me coming that’s bad news for you”

and, you think,  I still haven’t gotten my self back

(or my clothes and by the way

NPR never sent me the tote bag they promised during the fund drive)

.   .   .  .

oh God, if I’m crazy what does that make

You

welcome-to-hell

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Filed under Crazy is not even the word for it, Jim, Mental Hell Treatment, pictures, poetry, Uncategorized

old year/ new

Q: why?

Last Week at Work

I thought last week would be easy. I expected a quiet workplace with most activities on hold and many people (including my supervisor) gone.

Not to be. Life comes at you fast. Best to slow it down from the inside, the outside not being reliable.

I guess the most shocking thing was that someone killed themselves. Someone I knew. Someone I had seen earlier in that same day. Someone who appeared to be in a better mood than usual.

It isn’t like this is an odd occurrence here. It’s happened a couple times before since I’ve been working here. It’s still very hard on people. I spent a lot of time hanging out with folks who were especially effected. Mostly just being available. Some wanted to talk, some wanted to sit next to someone who understood.

The effects were not contained just within the ward where the suicide happened. Lots of people knew the woman. She’s been there awhile. She’s wanted to die for as long as anyone remembers.

The building where it happened. Top floor, Unit 50 I.

Another event, a much better one, came at midweek; also unexpected. On Monday I met someone who was new- that is new to the environment where I work. They found themselves locked up through December and their landlord sent a letter saying that they were throwing out her stuff, cleaning out her room and… well, tough luck landing in psychiatric prison.

I was able to take a state car up to Portland and along with a very nice nurse we went through the garbage in the compactor room and saved, retrieved much of her stuff. Probably the unit staff will throw most of it out but we got her some clothes, some personal papers and many many technical manuals in English and Chinese. We did not find some of the papers she wanted- her citizenship documents.

In the new hospital there will not be any real storage room to speak of. An oversight, I guess. But it means that people admitted here will basically lose everything.

Enough about work. There were several good moments and many useful ones.

Some of What I’ve Been Thinking

The wave of fear has strong momentum but if you stop pushing it, it subsides.  So maybe I don’t need to worry about fear, although it’s hold on me still scares me 😉  -It dies of starvation when I’m done feeding it.

My most intrusive fears have to do with my sense of self-worth. I’ve a sneaking suspicion that I’m not okay- not adequate, not acceptable. It comes out in interpersonal communication when somebody is angry with me or thinks the worst of me. Not always, just sometimes. I’m trying to be aware- this seems to help. When I see what it is I can stop pushing the wave.

I half know my connection with everything. I say “half” because I notice it only intermittently and I’m often completely oblivious. When I look, it emerges from the edges of my self-perception- my wholeness withing the world is made real through the very same spaces/ surfaces/ thoughts that separate me. For example: My skin would seem to be both my boundary and my bridge to the world. Same thing for eyes/ vision, sound, speech, breath… I can’t really speak this adequately so it’s time to stop.

“I felt a suddenness.”

Maybe I’m not done- I am falling slowly through an intangible screen. The screen is the surface upon which the movie of time is being played/ shown. Behind the screen is the light, the projector that creates the illusion of movement, shape and everything else that can be named- the movie. As I am passing through the screen, the projector, the light and … it all disappears.

Once, following a particularly high meditative state, I found that I could not look at anything, any separate thing, without losing myself in oneness with the Big Picture. Then I would find there was no picture at all. I would lose any awareness of self and regain self-consciousness much later. Then I would look at something again, or have a thought, or breathe- and it would start all over again. Sometimes I am still passing through that screen, or just about to- clumsily- falling into reality as though by tripping over my shoelaces.

How things work- from various sources

(click if it doesn’t animate automatically)

Newcomen Engine

Wikipedia says: The atmospheric engine invented by Thomas Newcomen in 1712, today referred to as a Newcomen steam engine (or simply Newcomen engine), was the first practical device to harness the power of steam to produce mechanical work. Newcomen engines were used throughout Britain and Europe, principally to pump water out ofmines, starting in the early 18th century. James Watt‘s later engine was an improved version. Although Watt is far more famous today, Newcomen rightly deserves the first credit for the widespread introduction of steam power.

Stirling Engine

“Air in the engine is cyclically heated (by an alcohol burner) and expands to push the power piston (shown in blue) to the right. As the power piston moves to the right, the yellow linkage forces the loose-fitting, red “piston” (on the left half of the machine) to displace air to the cooler side of the engine. The air on the cool side loses heat to the outside world and contracts, pulling the blue piston to the left. The air is again displaced, sending it back to the hotter region of the engine, and the cycle repeats. 

The Stirling engine cycle can also be used “in reverse”, to convert rotating motion into a temperature differential (and thus provide refrigeration).”

Stirlings can be made inexpensively, are robust, and can use a variety of fuel sources, such as animal dung, which makes them valuable for areas which lack forests or other common fuel sources.

-description by beatnik

Wankel Engine

A pretty high revving engine, but the low compression ratio meant stinky efficiency. Even in racing, better fuel efficiency means you don’t stop for fuel as often. (larryrose11)

“a lot of the issues people associate with wankels have been pretty well suppressed or solved entirely in the current generation (renesis), but you still can’t park an RX8 on grass, and they do still need a bit of special treatment.” (Akaishi)

Above: Torpedo- boat destroyer system- Also how Transformers poop.

Constant Velocity (CV) Joint. They’re in pretty much every front wheel drive car. This is a very simplified diagram of how a CV joint works- the real thing is hella durable.

Manual Transmission Mechanism- Wikipedia says: ”

manual transmission, also known as a manual gearbox or standard transmission (informally, a “manual”, “straight shift”, “stick (shift)”, or “straight drive”) is a type of transmission used in motor vehicle applications. It generally uses a driver-operated clutch, typically operated by a pedal or lever, for regulating torque transfer from the internal combustion engine to the transmission, and a gear stick, either operated by hand (as in a car) or by foot (as on a motorcycle).

A conventional manual transmission is frequently the base equipment in a car; other options include automated transmissions such as an automatic transmission (often a manumatic), a semi-automatic transmission, or a continuously variable transmission (CVT).”

The sewing machine.

I have always wondered how this worked. This is so cool.

Reciprocating movements

Radial Engine

Comments:

“it doesn’t get better when you realize there were versions of this where the driveshaft was hard-mounted to the plane and the propeller was bolted to the crank case.”

“Radials don’t leak oil they mark their territory. A little contancorous but so sooo nice!”

“Some of the finest piston engines ever built were radials. Perhaps most notably the Pratt & Whitney R-2800, without which, it can easily be argued, the Allies would have lost the air war in the Pacific.”

blandoon sez: “I would agree with that assessment – from what I hear, there are only a handful of shops left, at most, that can overhaul something like an R-3350 (Anderson Airmotive is the one I know of).

The R-3350 in particular has always been a troubled beast, because it was pushed into wartime service when not altogether ready (primarily to power the B-29), and it had a long and painful early life before it became something close to reliable. But it has never been as dependable as its smaller, older stepbrother, the R-2800. From what I understand this is why there are a good number of Pratt-powered Douglas DC-6s left, but almost no DC-7s – they used the Wright engine, and were discarded almost as soon as jets became available.

FIFI, the only remaining flyable B-29, had its four early-model 3350s replaced with later units that are not authentic to the airplane, but were custom-built (by the aforementioned Anderson Airmotive) out of a hybrid of different later-model parts, with custom engine mounts and exhaust and so forth. It cost something like $4 million to do this, but otherwise it would have been impossible to get the airplane reliable enough to tour the airshow circuit.”

Maltese Cross Mechanism

Comment: “Nicholson Baker wrote a fantastic essay about the Maltese Cross mechanism and its use in film projectors/cameras in his book The Size of Thoughts.” -vidiot

Unrelated, so far

Goopy New Year!

Click the pictures below for full size-

Space

Some pictures I’ve found. Click for full size these are big.

M31:

NGC 206b

M64

Keck observatory, related landscapes:

Double rainbow:

Nonsense

the Crab Pulsar

Lightening Xrayed:

fives

8jhanas

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Filed under animated gif, animation, Mental Hell Treatment, mp3, personal story, pictures, silly, Spirituality

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

Yesterday and Today at Oregon State Hospital

467 Poisoned at Oregon State Hospital
November 18, 1942
One of the most tragic incidents in Salem’s history was the poisoning of nearly 500 patients and staff at the Oregon State Hospital, on the evening of November 18, 1942. Many who ate the scrambled eggs served for dinner that evening would later claim that they had tasted funny, some saying they’d been salty, others saying they tasted soapy. Within five minutes of consuming them, the diners began to sicken, experiencing violent stomach cramps, vomiting, leg cramps, and respiratory paralysis. Witnesses described patients crawling on the floor, unable to sit or stand. The lips of the stricken turned blue, and some vomited blood. The first death came within an hour; by midnight, there were 32; by 4 a.m., 40. Local doctors rushed to the hospital to help out staff doctors. The hospital morgue, outfitted for two to three bodies, was overwhelmed.
Eventually 47 people would die; in all, 467 were sickened. Though five wards had been served the suspect eggs, all the deaths occurred in four; in the fifth, an attendant had tried the eggs, found them odd tasting, and ordered her charges not to eat them.
Officials were baffled, and immediately focused on the frozen egg yolks which all the victims had been served, and which had come from federal surplus commodities. It was thought that the eggs might have spoiled due to improper storage, or even that they might have been deliberately poisoned by a patient who could have gotten a hold of a poison while on furlough. The biggest fear, however, was the fear of sabotage: with the country engaged in World War II, this possibility loomed large. Oregon Governor Charles Sprague ordered all state institutions to stop using the eggs. The federal government issued a similar order, and the Agriculture Department ordered an investigation into the handling of its frozen eggs.
But the eggs were part of a 36,000-pound shipment which had been divided between schools, NYA projects and state institutions in Oregon and Washington, 30,000 pounds of which had already been consumed with no ill effects. State officials confirmed that the eggs had been properly stored, and the president of National Egg Products Inc. pointed out that eggs bad enough to kill would be so obviously spoiled that no one would eat them.
The day after the poisoning, with dozens still ill, pathologists determined that the sickness and death had been caused by sodium flouride, an ingredient in cockroach poison; pathology reports showed large amounts of the compound in the stomachs of the dead victims. Five grams–the size of an aspirin–would have been fatal; some of the dead had eaten more sodium flouride than eggs. Cockroach poison was known to be available at the hospital, kept in a locked cellar room to which only regular kitchen employees had keys. State Police launched an investigation, and began interviewing staff and patients at the hospital.
Finally, several days after the poisonings, two cooks at the hospital, A.B. McKillop and Mary O’Hare, admitted that they knew what had happened, that they had realized soon after the symptoms had struck, but had not come forward for fear of being charged. McKillop took responsibility, saying he had been the one to send a patient trusty, George Nosen, to the cellar to get dry milk powder for the scrambled eggs he was preparing. He had given Nosen his keys to the cellar, and Nosen returned with a tin half-full of powder, an estimated six pounds of which were mixed into the scrambled eggs at McKillop’s direction. When people had begun getting ill, he had questioned Nosen about where he’d found the powder, and discovered he had brought roach poison.
Despite McKillop’s insistence that O’Hare bore no responsibility for the poisoning, and over the objections of the State Police, who had determined that the poisoning was accidental, District Attorney M.B. Hayden ordered both cooks arrested. A grand jury declined to indict them; the patient George Nosen was never charged. Considered by many of his fellow patients to be a mass murderer, he became something of a pariah at the hospital where he spent the rest of his life. Two brief attempts at life outside the institution failed, and he died at the State Hospital 41 years later, after suffering a heart attack during a fight with another patient.
Compiled and written by Kathleen Carlson Clements
Bibliography:
Capital Journal, November 19-December 1, 1942

Oregon State Hospital has been in trouble for some time.

This from 2004, Oregon Bar Association-

Oregon State Bar Bulletin — DECEMBER 2004
Parting Thoughts

State Hospital Needs Our Help
By Bob Joondeph

There is trouble at Oregon State Hospital. So what else is new? The Oregonian’s reports of sex-abuse and hush money in the 1990s may seem like old news, but the hospital’s problems are not: deteriorating buildings, some of which are over 100 years old; chronic over-crowding with patients sleeping in closets and seven to a room; chronic under-staffing with nursing, psychiatric and therapist positions remaining vacant for months and years. And don’t forget the 70-plus patients who have been found clinically ready to leave the hospital but can’t because of the lack of step-down community living arrangements. Despite recent efforts to bring relief, things are getting worse.

Why? One cause may be state budget cuts that have left thousands of Oregonians without community mental health and chemical dependency treatment. Another contributor may be Oregon’s methamphetamine epidemic that has created a new cadre of psychotic and neurologically damaged individuals. Some observe that Measure 11 has changed the calculus used by defendants who are deciding whether to assert an insanity defense. Traditionally, a successful insanity defense resulted in more time in custody. Now, due to longer sentences and the sanctions of prison discipline related to behavior problems, a defendant cannot count on a shorter ride in the custody of the Department of Corrections.

One tool that the hospital used for years to control its population was taken away by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in Oregon Advocacy Center v. Mink, 322 F.3d 1101, (2003). ORS 161.370 requires defendants who have been found mentally incapable of facing criminal charges to be committed to a state hospital or released. It was the practice of OSH to refuse transfer of such inmates from jail for weeks or months in order to control the hospital census. The Ninth Circuit upheld Judge Panner’s determination that this practice violated the substantive and procedural due process rights of the inmates and his injunction requiring OSH to admit mentally incapacitated criminal defendants within seven days of a judicial finding of incapacitation. In is interesting to note that OSH still employs a similar tactic for inmates who are awaiting a determination of their fitness to proceed under ORS 161.365.

Whatever the cause, we do know that Oregon’s jails and prisons have recently been flooded with mentally ill inmates and that state hospital admissions of “criminally insane” patients have grown three times faster than planned. Despite the efforts of state and county officials to create new community placements with the money at hand, they are being overwhelmed by the numbers of new customers and hamstrung by the need to use scarce resources to maintain the crumbling infrastructure of Oregon State Hospital. (And no, the problem is not that Dammasch Hospital closed. We would have even fewer services available if Dammasch were still around.)

The solution? This is not a case of not knowing what to do. Nor is it a case of competing interests: staff working conditions, patient treatment and the public purse would all benefit from the changes suggested by the just-released report of the Governor’s Mental Health Task Force. Among key task force recommendations are the following:

  • The Legislature should appropriate sufficient funds to permit the orderly restructuring of Oregon State Hospital and the construction and operation of community facilities to support populations of individuals who will no longer be hospitalized.
  • Local mental health authorities with support from the state will continue to accept increasing responsibility for assisting individuals to leave state hospitals.
  • State and local mental health authorities will create a rolling three-year plan for the construction and operation of community facilities.

The good news is that the governor and the legislature have gotten the message. In November, the legislature’s Emergency Board permitted the shifting of funds within the Department of Human Services to support the creation of 75 new community placements for OSH patients and to go forward with a planning process for addressing the hospital crisis. The question remains whether the 2005 legislature will maintain its resolve to tackle the OSH problem in light of the massive budgetary shortfalls. Not doing so, to paraphrase hospital-speak, would constitute self-harming behavior.

The task force recommendations will take strong leadership to achieve. They will require a short-term influx of money to construct a smaller and/or refocused modern hospital and community facilities needed to accept the present residents of Oregon State Hospital. They will require collaboration among state agencies including the Department of Corrections and the Oregon Youth Authority to assure that acute psychiatric services are available for their inmates.

It is worth the investment. Transforming OSH and accompanying changes in how we use state hospitals will free our mental health system of a gigantic financial weight and allow the dedicated OSH staff to work in safer, more efficient environments. Patients will be safer and receive better treatment. The 25 percent of the state mental health budget that is dedicated to state hospitals will be more available to leverage federal matching funds. Compassionate care and community safety will be best realized by implementing a more modern, cost-effective approach to mental health treatment. The governor and legislature deserve our support to get this job done.


© 2004 Bob Joondeph

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
The author is the executive director of Oregon Advocacy Center.

Right about the same time as the article above, State Senator Gordly requested a Federal Investigation of the Hospital.

Another article made it to the blog  Alas, A Blog:

Rape and Abuse at Oregon State Hospital

Posted by Ampersand | October 15th, 2004

Sheelzebub at Pinko Feminist Hellcat comments on this Oregonian article, documenting a pattern of abuse and rape by Oregon State Hospital workers at Ward 40, a treatment center for children and teenagers. Even worse, the hospital had a pattern of hushing up these crimes.

The article itself is a litany of horrors, such as a fired hospital staffer using his knowledge of the hospital’s scheduling to kidnap and rape a teenager. (This same staffer apparently raped or molested five other patients; two later committed suicide). The most distressing thing for me, however, is the hospital staff’s apparent refusal to treat sexual abuse of patients as a serious problem. For example, regarding hospital employee and rapist/molester/abuser Ronnie LaCross:

On Valentine’s Day 1991, a day before [supervisor] Brakebill observed “No problems!” with LaCross’ behavior, the psychiatric aide, in violation of hospital policy, gave Darcey [a patient] a red and white teddy bear with a plastic tag that said, “I love you.”

Records show that staff confiscated the tag when Darcey used it to carve bloody wounds on her arms.

About a month later, two teenage patients demanded that staff stop LaCross from abusing Darcey. But hospital officials failed to take action.

The hospital waited almost three days before calling her caseworker at the state’s children’s services agency. The hospital did not inform police as required by law. After pestering the hospital for two days to report the suspected abuse, the caseworker called state police herself, records show.

Five months later, Mazur-Hart, the hospital superintendent, ruled that Darcey’s allegations were true. LaCross, who spent several months on paid leave, was eventually fired and convicted of second-degree sexual assault.

The girl who made the first complaint about LaCross more than a year earlier was named as an “additional victim” in police reports in the Darcey case. She told police that besides fondling her breast, LaCross had sex with her three times on the ward. LaCross was never charged in that case.

KATU’s story (based on the Oregonian’s reporting) includes this tidbit:

Records also suggest that one of the hospital’s whistle-blowers was demoted from his job as a mental therapist and made to scrub pots and pans in the hospital kitchen after he came forward in an affidavit saying he had warned the hospital about the ongoing abuse, The Oregonian reported.

The only reason most of this is known is that sealed court records from 1994 were misfiled in a public-records area. There’s good reason to worry that Ward 40 has continued to be a home for rapists, pedophiles and abusers since 1994. The Oregonian discovered seven cases of alleged child sex abuse in the last four years that were never reported to the chief DHS investigator.

Needed security measures that have become standard at other hospitals have not been taken:

A former worker who has since been convicted of attacking young boys, however, said the hospital was a pedophile’s dream.

In a letter to The Oregonian, Frank Milligan detailed a litany of oversight problems at the hospital, including “far too many blind corners” and a “lack of cameras or even simple surveillance equipment.”

“Should a staff member be so inclined, he/she need only wait for an emergency situation, or a patient to act out and draw the attention of the other staff, to take advantage of the chaos and slip away with a victim.”

Hopefully, the Oregonian article will be a start towards getting Ward 40’s appalling conditions fixed (or better yet, towards getting Ward 40 closed down and replaced with modern small-group homes). If you’d like to write Governor Ted Kulongoski a note asking him to take action, here’s his contact information.

oregon-state-hospital

Some useful links:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oregon_State_Hospital

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jKEeavx3GfI

http://www.historycooperative.org/journals/ohq/109.2/brown.html

http://www.kirkbridebuildings.com/blog/oregon-state-hospital-the-library-of-dust

http://www.flickr.com/photos/photoinference/2994136725/

http://blog.oregonlive.com/politics/2008/01/feds_oregon_state_hospital_con.html

http://www.oregonlive.com/politics/index.ssf/2009/07/federal_investigators_return_t.html

http://www.statesmanjournal.com/article/20090920/NEWS/909200355/1001

last-J-tunnels

Special Master’s Report from last February

The Governor appointed someone to oversee the process of improving conditions at OSH- this is an excerpt, followed by a pdf  file of the full report:

Culture

Every organization develops its own culture; how it sees and responds to its world. The hospital is no different. Successfully changing the culture of this organization is the single most important factor in achieving the goal of establishing the Oregon State Hospital as a first rate hospital for the mentally ill.

For many decades the hospital has been under-funded, under-staffed, over-populated, under-managed, and housed in inadequate facilities. It is no wonder that over time it has become a highly calcified organization lacking in incentive to change and burdened by learned helplessness. It has been clear from working with a variety of people in the hospital that many problems have been well known and have existed for years with little or no attempt to solve them. There appears to never have been a culture in the organization that was supportive of people taking responsibility to do problem solving at the level where the problem is occurring.

Another aspect of the hospital culture that deserves mentioning is what I might call the “ward ” view as opposed to a “hospital” view. Largely, I believe, because of the original design of the hospital, staff and patients alike have tended to see each ward as a separate hospital and have tended to operate from that perspective. This has made the management of the hospital as an integrated whole a very difficult task. The centralized model for delivering treatment in the new facility should eliminate the “ ward” view and help facilitate the shift to a “hospital” view. This shift should enable the hospital as an organization to become much better managed and operated. This will be an extremely important transition and one that will be quite difficult for many in the hospital to make.

It also appears that the rather pervasive view of the hospital by staff has been to see it as a long term care facility instead of viewing it as an intensive treatment facility. These two different views produce two very different approaches to dealing with patients. The current view seems to be characterized by a general belief that most patients are going to be hospitalized for a long time and that there is no great urgency about moving them through treatment as rapidly as possible. The culture of the hospital needs to be one of viewing itself as an intensive treatment facility that is part of a treatment continuum. There needs to be an attitude by all management and staff and instilled in patients, that the hospital’s role is to complete their portion of the treatment of the patient as quickly as possible, consistent with best medical practice, so that the patient can move on to the next stage of recovery and return to the community as rapidly as possible.

These and many more hospital culture issues need to be identified, explored and new cultural norms created as needed to see that the whole atmosphere of the hospital promotes

the best possible treatment of patients in the least time necessary. The hospital needs to develop and implement a comprehensive, long term change plan to accomplish this cultural change. This issue of culture is one that will be a large component in a Request for Proposal (RFP) that is currently being drafted to bring professional consulting services to the hospital transformation project.

Download the full report: specialmastersreport

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I often wish that someone would make a serious effort to record the history of this place- from the patients’ perspective. I hear stories every day that would blow your mind. I heard about the story below from a patient who has been there for decades. He was not an eyewitness but he was around while some of the victims were still alive.

467 Poisoned at Oregon State Hospital

November 18, 1942

One of the most tragic incidents in Salem’s history was the poisoning of nearly 500 patients and staff at the Oregon State Hospital, on the evening of November 18, 1942. Many who ate the scrambled eggs served for dinner that evening would later claim that they had tasted funny, some saying they’d been salty, others saying they tasted soapy. Within five minutes of consuming them, the diners began to sicken, experiencing violent stomach cramps, vomiting, leg cramps, and respiratory paralysis. Witnesses described patients crawling on the floor, unable to sit or stand. The lips of the stricken turned blue, and some vomited blood. The first death came within an hour; by midnight, there were 32; by 4 a.m., 40. Local doctors rushed to the hospital to help out staff doctors. The hospital morgue, outfitted for two to three bodies, was overwhelmed.

Eventually 47 people would die; in all, 467 were sickened. Though five wards had been served the suspect eggs, all the deaths occurred in four; in the fifth, an attendant had tried the eggs, found them odd tasting, and ordered her charges not to eat them.

Officials were baffled, and immediately focused on the frozen egg yolks which all the victims had been served, and which had come from federal surplus commodities. It was thought that the eggs might have spoiled due to improper storage, or even that they might have been deliberately poisoned by a patient who could have gotten a hold of a poison while on furlough. The biggest fear, however, was the fear of sabotage: with the country engaged in World War II, this possibility loomed large. Oregon Governor Charles Sprague ordered all state institutions to stop using the eggs. The federal government issued a similar order, and the Agriculture Department ordered an investigation into the handling of its frozen eggs.

But the eggs were part of a 36,000-pound shipment which had been divided between schools, NYA projects and state institutions in Oregon and Washington, 30,000 pounds of which had already been consumed with no ill effects. State officials confirmed that the eggs had been properly stored, and the president of National Egg Products Inc. pointed out that eggs bad enough to kill would be so obviously spoiled that no one would eat them.

The day after the poisoning, with dozens still ill, pathologists determined that the sickness and death had been caused by sodium flouride, an ingredient in cockroach poison; pathology reports showed large amounts of the compound in the stomachs of the dead victims. Five grams–the size of an aspirin–would have been fatal; some of the dead had eaten more sodium flouride than eggs. Cockroach poison was known to be available at the hospital, kept in a locked cellar room to which only regular kitchen employees had keys. State Police launched an investigation, and began interviewing staff and patients at the hospital.

Finally, several days after the poisonings, two cooks at the hospital, A.B. McKillop and Mary O’Hare, admitted that they knew what had happened, that they had realized soon after the symptoms had struck, but had not come forward for fear of being charged. McKillop took responsibility, saying he had been the one to send a patient trusty, George Nosen, to the cellar to get dry milk powder for the scrambled eggs he was preparing. He had given Nosen his keys to the cellar, and Nosen returned with a tin half-full of powder, an estimated six pounds of which were mixed into the scrambled eggs at McKillop’s direction. When people had begun getting ill, he had questioned Nosen about where he’d found the powder, and discovered he had brought roach poison.

Despite McKillop’s insistence that O’Hare bore no responsibility for the poisoning, and over the objections of the State Police, who had determined that the poisoning was accidental, District Attorney M.B. Hayden ordered both cooks arrested. A grand jury declined to indict them; the patient George Nosen was never charged. Considered by many of his fellow patients to be a mass murderer, he became something of a pariah at the hospital where he spent the rest of his life. Two brief attempts at life outside the institution failed, and he died at the State Hospital 41 years later, after suffering a heart attack during a fight with another patient.

Compiled and written by Kathleen Carlson Clements

Bibliography:

Capital Journal, November 19-December 1, 1942

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Filed under Mental Hell Treatment, Oregon State Hospital, pictures

Mad Liberation by Moonlight

Re: Looney Radio 5/15/09

Mental Health consumer-talk-radio
Tonight, Friday night, 1 a.m. to 2 a.m.-
May 15th, 2009
KBOO 90.7 FM or streamed on the web: kboo.fm
Call in at 503-231-8187 to be on the radio (or show up at the studio).

Please set your alarm if you aren’t up at that time- we need your voice.
There are people listening
(all over the world, by internet)
Call in at 503-231-8187

Archived shows are available at
https://rickpdx.wordpress.com/mad-liberation-by-moonlight-archives/

KBOO 90.7 FM or on the web at kboo.fm (note the repetition)

The next Full Moon is June 7th.
With any luck at all next month’s show will be June 12th- the Friday following the full moon.
Be well,
Rick

superanim

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Filed under CS/X movement, Mad Radio

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)

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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.
icephoenix

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MLBM Announcement

Re: Looney Radio 4/17/09

Mental Health consumer-talk-radio
This Friday night, 1 a.m. to 2 a.m.-
April 17th, 2009
KBOO 90.7 FM or streamed on the web: kboo.fm
Call in at 503-231-8187 to be on the radio (or show up at the studio).

Please set your alarm if you aren’t up at that time- we need your voice.
There are people listening
(all over the world, by internet)
Call in at 503-231-8187

Archived shows are now available at
https://rickpdx.wordpress.com/mad-liberation-by-moonlight-archives/
We’re running a week late again this month due to my son’s birthday (this time)

last weekend.

KBOO 90.7 FM or on the web at kboo.fm (note the repetition)

With any luck at all next month’s show will be May 8th- not following the full moon, but within 24 hours of it (the moon is actually full on the 9th, which is technically when the show happens- don’t worry about it).

Be well,
Rick

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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.

rose_opens2

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.

daytime_moon

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).

owdm-a-lucky-break

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.

psychwardart-mycraftproject

“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”.

maid

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.

1162407703lunch_tray

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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.”

ascent_of_mount_carmel_

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