The Catch 22

The American public is in a catch 22 when in need of help for personal problems such as depression, fears, poor sleep, confusion, anger and the like. Citizens are afraid to consult with the MI-MT experts because they would be labeled as “Mentally Ill” in national directories, which may bring undesirable consequences such us the mentally ill stigma. Therefore people avoid consultation. In desperation some people take a chance with professionals knowing they cannot guarantee confidentiality, i.e., the professionals must report the information to the health insurance carrier or other third parties.

There are two deep roots to the problem. The first root is the forced psychiatric treatment (Civil Commitment) of people adjudicated as Mentally Ill. This means that a US court, upon the advice of a MI-MH expert (psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers or others), may order mental hospital confinement and treatment of a citizen against her/his stated will. As a rule, the MI-MH expert advice is that, due to MI (any of the 400 plus diagnoses listed in the official list known as DSM IV), the person has lost the capacity to tell what is good for her/him.   It is true that the majority of MI-MH patients are not treated involuntarily. However, there are many people who sign in “voluntarily” to psychiatric treatment, under the threat of involuntary treatment. It is like choosing the lesser of two evils. At any rate, while Civil Commitment remains the law of the land, citizens remain at risk if in the hands of a MI-MH professional.   As in Alice in Wonderland, the MI-MH experts’ trouble gets worse because they keep digging deeper instead of getting out of the hole. The experts would assure the judge that the MI is caused by a brain problem which could be demonstrated by running some modern sophisticated tests of the brain. That is not true. The truth is that if such test, any and all of them, were to be shown to MI-MH experts, anywhere in the world, no one could diagnose MI with the test alone, without seeing and talking with the patient and conducting a MI background investigation (once you get MI diagnosis it stays in the records probably for life). Contrariwise, just about any Medical Doctor in the world could diagnose pneumonia from a simple x-ray of the chest without seeing or talking to the patient. The same is true for all other objective medical diagnoses.   More so, no MI-MH expert would be able to tell, by doing a complete medical and psychiatric examination and ordering any medical tests, whether a person has a MI, or if she/he is an actress or actor impersonating a MI. The only way to tell one from the other would be to conduct a MI/theatre background investigation on the person.   Deeper in the hole is the fact that the MI-MH establishment pretends to know human nature; this is a person’s will. That is not possible: God, or whoever, did not provide us with an instruction manual at birth. Therefore human will is, and has been, a wide open field of good and bad ideas, depending on what side of the track the critic is.   The invented “brain problem” has led to blaming the brain for undesirable behavior. This completely unscientific ideology has generated two terrible consequences: personal irresponsibility for willful behavior (“not-guilty-due-to-insanity”) and the reliance on drugs in the care of personal problems. These two consequences implement each other and discourage people from taking inventory of their lifestyles as a possible cause of the personal troubles.

The second deep rooted problem is the “Not-guilty-due-to-insanity” ideology. It has produced a social and legal circus. Obvious cases of outrageous murder are adjudicated as “Not-guilty-due-to-insanity” while carrying a sub-text of compassion to the puzzlement of the public. Worse, the “Not-guilty-due-to-insanity” is an invitation to the murderer-to-be to commit the crime blamelessly. Even worse, it biases as potentially “involuntary murderers” all persons who that have consulted for emotional problems. In reality the “MI stigma” is a creation of the MI-MH-MT industry.   People’s physical condition, be it in “good or bad health”, has nothing to do with their will. One can be in great pain or disability, sober or drunk, and still will to kiss one’s spouse or child. Will is a mystery beyond medical or any science.

Since the Civil Commitment implies that Psychiatry/Psychology is able to predict personal behavior which is not so, its practitioners are obligated by law, to report to the authorities that the patient is dangerous, even if the patient is not under civil commitment. Obviously that does away with confidentiality.

Will or willing is synonymous with minding. The way one minds may be judged wrong by others, but it cannot be labeled “sick”, unless the term “sick” is used metaphorically.   We humans have the right to be left alone with our pains, sadness or illness provided we do not physically, objectively, pass it on to others, as in the case of proven contagious diseases such as tuberculosis. We also should have the right to be wrong or foolish in the management of our souls and bodies. After all, we own our bodies and souls.   The mismanagement of life can cause problems, not unlike the mismanagement of a business. Citizens have the right to consult with experts to help with personal problems without being called MI and suffer the consequences of such capricious, dehumanizing, demoralizing, arbitrary and discriminatory labeling.   Citizens should have the right to consult with experts privately and confidentially about personal problems, be it with a medical doctor, a psychiatrist, a psychologist, a social worker, an attorney or clergy. Such consultations should be contractual and free of coercion.   Psychiatry and Psychology do have some means to help people with their personal problems, emotional or otherwise. As a rule the best results occur when the person seeking the help is active and honest in working with the professional.

Psychiatry/psychology should do away with the forced treatment of people and the insanity defense practice.