Thank You for Protecting my Useless Right to Refuse Treatment.

 

Thank You for Protecting my Useless Right to Refuse Treatment.

This post started life as a comment:

The only way to get past the stigma against Mental Illness is for we who must live with it to get angry and speak out.

We are not criminals, many of us would not be homeless if we were not systematically reduced to poverty, we are not  “behaviors,” and we are not parasites, laggards, lazy, and malingering.

In fact, many of the shootings by people with a euphemistic “history” would not have happened if we had a fully funded mental health system that treated people when they need it instead of placing obstacles in their way and reducing the pain of mental illness to the shame of not thinking nice thoughts.

As for the “horror” of imposing treatment on people who are too sick to know how sick they are my thoughts are these: I am sorry that rich families produced selfish bastards that abused the earlier system by trying to have their parents and grannies locked up to get their money.

However, shutting down the hospitals and making it impossible for the genuinely ill to get treatment is idiotic, if not evil.

There are worse things than a short imposed hospitalization, especially when the illness affects insight, judgment and impulse control.

There is waking up to realize that in your delusions you have tossed your babies into the San Francisco Bay because you thought God told you to.

There is decapitating your wife because you are psychotic and violently paranoid.

If I am destructively ill and unable to see that I am ill then I say hospitalize me.

The idea of making me homeless to “protect” my civil rights is insufferably stupid, unless my death is the goal.

There are far worse things than a month in the hospital and mandatory medications that will bring me back to sanity.

One of them is life in prison.

RG 2015

Blog for Mental Health 2015mhwgmember2015

20 thoughts on “Thank You for Protecting my Useless Right to Refuse Treatment.

    1. I’m honored. As someone with a mental illness that impairs my ability to survive I’m horrified by people who refuse to acknowledge that no state hospital has ever be as degrading and inhumane as people dying from lethal medical neglect on the streets of a rich nation.

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    1. Obviously this comment was for the post I came from, sorry. Your post makes absolute sense. I have met and spoken with many homeless people and have been briefly homeless myself (though fortunately feeling confident and strong about it). It is criminal to abandon people like that 😦

      Liked by 1 person

  1. As we don’t live in the same country I’m not up to speed on this, but is it illegal to forcefully put people in hospital if they are very mentally ill? Even if they pose a threat to themselves or others?

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    1. As long as a person will say that he does not intend to hurt himself or anyone else he is free to create mayhem. It does not matter if he obviously cannot care for himself or is floridly psychotic and paranoid.

      What matters is that he can say that he is fine.

      An example is a scene I witnessed last week on Market Street in San Francisco. A young man was lying on a curb and rolling into traffic.

      A cop car pulled up and a police officer got out and pulled him out of the street. He asked the person if he wanted to go to the hospital. The person said no. The cop asked the person if he was suicidal or homicidal and the person said no. The cop got back into his car and drove off. The person returned to rolling into traffic, which forced the drivers to veer into each other to avoid him.

      In the States there is a rule against the use of common sense.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. If privacy wasn’t such an unresolved issue, then I would advocate police and such using a database to determine if the person in question has agreed to give over the responsibility to a specific person, or to a number of authorities, including the police.

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      2. First, please forgive my tardy reply. I’ve lost a couple of days. I think that if we had a fully functional mental health system the police would only be needed for people who are in treatment and in crisis. They don’t need to know who is in charge because people who are severely compromised would be in treatment, rather than acting out on the streets to articulate their pain.

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  2. Wonderfully thought provoking. Forced hospitalization can reduce incarceration and homelessness. I’m inclined to advocate for civil rights, but you make a strong argument for exceptions. I know that even if mental health services were readily available to everyone at all times, emergency services would still be needed, and sometimes some of us would still need strong guides to overcome our irrational thoughts. When I let strong guides take over my decisions, it went wrong every time. I benefit the most from people who have earned my trust, and who I choose to guide me. I am so injured that any threat of imposing treatment on me causes a huge emotional response that magnifies and complicates my need for treatment. I have seen that care practitioners have done damage like greedy relatives whom you refer to.

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    1. Many psych patients arrive at psych emergency and they are either confused or unable to make the decision themselves. I have been mandated twice and each time it was a relief to have the decision made for me. That what it means to be in a regressed state–I agree with you on the issue of Civil Rights, which is why I think that mental health care in general must be subject to strict oversight–but as it is, treating serious mental illness as a civil rights issue serves neither the ill nor the public. We have raised our children to normalize the sight of people who are sick and unpredictable and huddled in filthy rags. Care practitioners are doing even greater damage by abusing the “right to say no” as an excuse to discharge people to the streets with only a bag of medicine. Some of them are discharged without shoes, only hospital socks. As far as I am concerned, there is no difference between Alzheimer’s and severe Schizophrenia. Nil. We do not release a confused Alzheimer’s patient to the streets. Could the difference be that it is easier for people to foresee themselves in the same position when they become elderly? If we had a fully funded mental health system the Civil Rights aspect would make more sense…but San Francisco has only one psychiatric emergency room. 200,000 people with mental illness are in jails or prison in the U.S.–so the mentally ill are locked up–but in the wrong place.

      http://sfpublicpress.org/news/2014-11/kqed-tackles-junction-between-homelessness-mental-illness

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      1. Thanks for the link. I’m glad that the book author is getting the word out. I might look into what’s involved in getting that book into the local libraries.

        I have a hard time letting practitioners make decisions for me. Care plans can include such provisions, and I only let my husband make such decisions for me. I would like to be able to opt out of a universal mandate. I have been over – treated too many times.

        I was stunned by your comparison of mental illness and dementia. So true. Still, I want to choose who can make such decisions for me.

        I want universal health care so this can be a civil rights issue. Neglecting health care hurts everyone. I was speechless when a young man said that he doesn’t want to pay for maternity care because he’ll never use it. I’d like to go back and say, “but your mother did.”

        Another person said that he doesn’t want to pay for conventional care that he’ll never use. I pointed out that he might wind up needing extreme emergency services. If we distribute the costs over the many, then we can afford to take care of everyone.

        Great “talking” with you 🙂

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      2. Thank you for that comment. Most of the pain of this world can be directly traced to people who think that they brought themselves to life and did everything by themselves. It is the most idiotic delusion of our age. Thank you for engaging me on this…I enjoy good conversation.

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