Our Broken Mental Health System: Just Released

Just Released
A victim of the greed that broke America’s Mental Health System

She said she was “Just released!”

I guess she was just released from an in-patient psych unit.

For all the snake pit hysteria anyone who thinks we in the early 21st Century do a more humane job of caring for our mentally ill than the barbarians of the 1950’s are in denial.

 Schizophrenia is the Alzheimer’s disease of the young.

Schizophrenia is easier to treat than Alzheimer’s Disease and when we treat it we benefit from the creative talents of people who are young enough to create lives for themselves.

This is not to diminish the pain of Alzheimer’s disease but to highlight how we should clinically care for people who have a medical illness that is just as devastating for patients and families as Alzheimer’s.

Mental Illness is not a choice.

Most of the choices we punish are not choices at all.

What we really punish is not goose stepping to the lie that the U.S. is a
nation of self-made people and that if you wish hard enough you can think
your way out of chronic illness.

“Just released!”

That’s what she said when she asked me to take her picture.

I assume that she told the judge or the shrinks that she
wouldn’t hurt herself or anyone else .

As if she would know.

I could see that she was internally preoccupied.

Internally preoccupied is shrink speak for hearing voices or
having hallucinations.

I took several shots of her and got this one just as she
was responding to her voices.

“Just released!”

How fucking sad.

RG 2015-2016



Dissociative Identity Disorder/Multiple Personality Disorder and Schizophrenia – Clinical differences

An excellent and concise explanation of Dissociative Identity Disorder

Tell About Abuse

So much misinformation and misunderstanding exist about DID and schizophrenia – many studies show they both affect around 1% of the population world-wide, yet schizophrenia is diagnosed more often whereas DID takes an average of 6 years of obvious symptoms until diagnosis.

A key difference here is that the only known cause of Dissociative Identity Disorder however is extreme childhood abuse beginning at a young age, this history exists in around 95% of those diagnosed with DID. DID is one of a range of Dissociative Disorders: including Dissociative Amnesia, Dissociative Fugue, Depersonalization Disorder and Dissociative Disorder not otherwise specified.

While both psychotic episodes/schizophrenia and dissociative identity disorder commonly feature hearing voices these typically appear external with schizophrenia and internal with DID (i.e. thoughts).

Mood disorders are not part of the diagnostic criteria for DID and can be very much a red herring. Signs of amnesia are key though – forgetting…

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We are the Idiotes


Idiotes: An idiot in Athenian democracy was someone characterized by self-centeredness and concerned almost exclusively with private—as opposed to public—affairs. Idiocy was the natural state of ignorance into which all persons were born. In Athenian democracy, idiots were born and citizens made through education (although citizenship was also largely hereditary). Refusing to take part in public life, such as democratic government of the polis (city state), was considered dishonorable. “Idiots” were seen as having bad judgment in public and political matters.  Wikipedia

“The Nazis are just a gang of stupid hooligans, but they do serve a purpose. Let them get rid of the Communists. Later, we’ll be able to control them.” Maximilian von Heune, Cabaret

I’ve considered the possible consequences of writing a post like this.

I’m aware of my vulnerabilities and the fact that this really isn’t a good time to dissent from the prevailing cultural norm.

The prevailing cultural norm looks like an ersatz stance of rebellion based on the most superficial and self-serving mythology surrounding the youth movements of the 1960s.

This ersatz rebellion predates our ubiquitous access to the Internet and the age of memes.

This ersatz rebellion appeared in the 1970’s with disco and new wave; and saturated the globe in the 1980’s with MTV.

It now occupies a dominant place in U.S. politics with the rise of the libertarian tea party movement and its new rock star, Donald Trump.

The Donald refers to his people.

Imagine his audience screaming like adolescent girls at an early Beatles concert as Trump sings the tunes that only they want to hear.

The ersatz tea party rebellion is also a rebellion against teachers and intellectual discipline.

It denies hard science and rejects independent thought.

It despises art, philosophy, curiosity, vision, and the value of reason.

It equates bad manners and bullying with individualism.

It confuses ignorance and dogma with principle and refuses to question itself

“School’s been blown to pieces.” Alice Cooper, Schools Out

It’s as if a fundamentalist interpretation of the Pink Floyd lyrics to “Another Brick in the Wall, Part Two) became domestic policy in the United States.

We don’t need no education
We don’t need no thought control
No dark sarcasm in the classroom
Teachers leave them kids alone
Hey! teachers! leave the kids alone!
All in all you’re just another brick in the wall.
All in all you’re just another brick in the wall.

These lyrics don’t say “We don’t need to acquire knowledge and intellectual discipline.”

The song closes with these Lyrics:

“Wrong, do it again!”
“Wrong, do it again!”
“If you don’t eat yer meat, you can’t have any pudding.
How can you have any pudding if you don’t eat yer meat?”
“You! yes, you behind the bikesheds, stand still laddy!”

Pink Floyd, The Wall, Part Two

The last line is fraught with implications of physical and psychological abuse.

We are so used to the idea of rich rock stars that we forget that many of the most popular rock stars of the 1950’s and 60’s were from the lower and lower middle classes.

John Lennon describes life as a child of the British working class in “Working Class Hero”:

“As soon as you’re born they make you feel small
by giving you no time instead of it all”

By giving you none of the leisure time and information that you need to really absorb an education and use it to develop a mind.

I wonder if Lennon gained this insight from Yoko Ono, a woman descended from Japanese nobility.

John Lennon was a working class man who used his evolving intellect to tell us about his oppression as a child of the working class.

And he had some sharp words for the working class bigots of his day:

“Keep you doped with religion, sex and T.V.
and you think you’re so clever and classless and free
but you’re still fucking peasants as far as I can see”

John Lennon, Working Class Hero

John Lennon – Legend
Published September 5, 2015
Topics John Lennon
Full Album
Community Audio

Not peasants because of who they are; but peasants because they allow superstition and propaganda to dictate their reality.

How can people who refuse to think for themselves become themselves?

One way we neutralize the ideas and expressions of visionary leaders is to place them above ourselves; as if they are more than human.

In the same way we distance ourselves from great men who do great evil.

Hitler might have been a visionary genius had he not been cursed with self loathing megalomania.

But no monster, no matter how charismatic, can organize factories into weapons of genocide on his own.

Hitler got 90 percent of the vote when he became Chancellor of Germany on Aug. 19, 1934.

If I slice 40 percent off that figure to account for vote rigging and fraud he still gets 50 percent.

The Nazi’s had a brilliant propaganda machine; but I’m convinced that people aren’t so stupid that they don’t know a lie when they hear one.

Some Germans didn’t know; but I’m convinced that most did, especially as I watch the pattern play itself out again in the United States.

The Myth of the Charismatic Idiot

Sarah Palin blames Obama for her Son’s  behavior and she is roundly dismissed as an idiot.

But is she?

The Governor of Texas vetoes a bill to improve access to mental health treatment in his State by saying: “I don’t believe that mental illness exists.”

My first thought is that he is an idiot.

But what if the truth is worse?

The role of a political leader is to check the facts and to make the best possible decision.

If I Google the question ‘Does Mental Illness Exist’ the first result I get from Google is a page full of “No” primarily from people without expertise in mental illness.

The top result is a quote from a WordPress blog.

I reviewed that blog and the writer is not a psychiatrist, nor is he involved in medical research. He is an “investigative reporter” with a right-wing bias:

First page Search Result Does Mental Illness exist
Objectively speaking?

I had a look at the rest of his site and it promotes the typical mendacious hyperbole that I’ve come to associate with right-wing ideologues.

I won’t link to the site because I don’t want to give it more traffic.

But you are welcome to find it by googling whether mental illnesses exist.

His Word Press blog will be the first in the list of results.

Arguing with ideologues and conspiracy theorists is like arguing with people who have fixed delusions.

They are not swayed by facts.

They know what they know because they know it.

A search for the question, “Does Alzheimer’s Disease Exist” results in yes.

And this interesting page from the Texas department of State Health:

does alzheimer's disease Exist Texas health department
How curious; Schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s disease are both listed in the DSM 5 as mental illnesses.

I’ve worked with Alzheimer’s patients and people with Schizophrenia and my observation is that the only real difference between the two illnesses is age of onset.

Anyone who has seen the terrible sufferings of people with Schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s disease knows that
both exist and that both are degenerative.

We can’t cure Alzheimer’s disease but we can use medications and structured environments to salvage the lives of young adults with Schizophrenia.

Our economic system is rigged by an amoral ruling class that perpetuates ignorance and exploits the suffering of the poor and disabled for profit.

Does the Governor of Texas really believe that Mental Illness Doesn’t Exist?

I think he’s lying.

I think he’s dancing for his masters.

I think he knows that mental illness exists and that no one is immune.

Schizophrenia is an illness that first appears in young adulthood.

In Texas those young adults are more likely to go to jail because of Abbot’s veto.

Is that why Governor Abbot vetoed a bill to improve access to treatment for the mentally ill?

The GEO Group

“There’s this notion that the wealthy use their money to buy politicians; more accurately, it’s that they can buy policy.” Jared Bernstein

Within the $3 billion private prison industry, GEO Group is the nation’s second largest for-profit prison operator. NPR

Since its founding in 1984, the GEO Group has profited from federal and state policies that have led to a dramatic rise in incarceration and detention in the United States–an increase of more than 500 percent over the past thirty years. As of 2011, around half of all prisoners in state facilities were there for nonviolent crimes, and half of inmates in federal prisons were serving time for drug offenses. GEO has explicitly identified drug decriminalization and sentencing leniency as factors that could have adverse effects on its business. SourceWatch

GEO operates 26 facilities in Texas.

One of these facilities is the Lockhart Secure Work Program Facility, which is little more than a high-tech chain gang.

During the 2014 Texas gubernatorial the GEO Group donated a total of $94,921,348 to both political parties.


Of that Governor Abbot received $47,464,245 from the GEO group and won office.

Is that why Governor Abbot vetoed a bill designed to allow doctors in the state to detain patients assessed as symptomatic with serious mental illness?

According to the Houston Chronicle, a fringe group composed of Scientologists and conspiracy theorists is responsible for his decision.

Scientologists and conspiracy theorists are nothing more than useful idiots.

The governor states that he is concerned about 4th Amendment protections: “I was very concerned about the 4th Amendment rights and the protections of those detained by someone other than a law enforcement officer.” Houston Chronicle

The Fourth Amendment reads as follows: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things …”

The operating word is ‘unreasonable.”

I think the Governor is full of hooey.

A Texas citizen who is not a law enforcement officer may, without a warrant, arrest an offender when the offense is committed in his presence or within his view, if the offense is one classed as a felony or as an offense against the public peace. Code of Criminal Procedure

In Texas, it is already legal for people who are not law enforcement personnel to detain another citizen.

I think the Governor of Texas knows that mental illness exists and that he doesn’t care about the lives of those affected by it.

It is cheaper and more profitable for the GEO group to fill their prisons than it is for psychiatric patients to go to a hospital.

The pattern is clear: ignore the mentally ill until they commit a crime and use them to fill prisons for profit.

The only real question I have is this: Why have so many citizens of the United States become Idiotes? Why do so many of us continue to vote for corporate lackeys who hate their freedoms?

“…when government is polluted by officials who put corporate interests above their constituents and cost-cutting above the common good, it too often fails to fulfill even its most basic functions, such as protecting access to safe drinking water. But instead of giving in to anger and austerity, in this election, we should be having a vigorous debate about how government can be truly accountable to the people it serves.” Katrina vanden Heuvel