8. Notes on Forced Treatment
Famous psychiatrist Thomas Szasz once said during a discussion, that words like mental illness cannot be abolished, but what should be abolished, regardless of the country, is the fact that a physician can have somebody locked up in a building and call that building a hospital, an institution for the mentally ill, and call his actions treatment. He said that he considers that a medical crime. I have never found a better expression than medical crime for the forced treatment which was inflicted on me.
I am of the opinion that locking people up for a presumed mental illness such as schizophrenia, whatever that may be, should be prohibited.
If an in involuntary hospitalization were effected anyway, the reason why such is necessary, the necessity, and the goal should be clearly and carefully indicated.
Being ill is not a crime, and neither is hearing voices or thinking that you're Napoleon. Detention is also not a remedy for that. For the record, I myself have never had these phenomena. The claim that a person has no insight into his illness should also not be a reason for involuntary hospitalization or treatment with psychoactive drugs. One of the few things, as far as force goes, that seems admissible to me, truly as a last resort, is administering sedatives, in the least possible amount, in order to bring a person to a conversational state when necessary.
The physician's role is to cure disease, not proselytize insights. Lack of insights, insofar as they are caused by an organic disorder, will disappear automatically when the disorder is treated correctly. That is unfortunately not (yet) always possible.
When a person can no longer function properly from a certain age, there is a reason. Nobody becomes mentally ill spontaneously. Even if mental illness existed, it would not materialize out of nothing. (And if it exists, there is no reason why psychiatrists would never get it!)
If I were to believe some psychiatrists, then around my 21st birthday I suddenly started suffering from a disorder of function without anything else being wrong with me. Even if that were true, I still wouldn't understand how that disorder, ever determined by a single psychiatrist, could be the source of my problems. Such views have no logical basis.
What is plausible is that since I am 21 I could no longer concentrate well, I was easily fatigued, and had little initiative due to the exhausting effects of the organic disorder which manifested itself at that age. There is no denying that the latter did occur to me.
Therefore, if in the cause of any involuntary hospitalization it is claimed that a psychiatric or functional disorder is present that is not caused by an organic disorder, then such should be proved before a court order is issued. Medical statements should be devoid of anything that is irrelevant and suggestive. Previous hospitalization should not be taken into account as a sort of confirmation of that once crazy always crazy in order to facilitate future hospitalizations. On the contrary, judges should wonder why previous hospitalizations were not effective.
When contemplating involuntary hospitalization any damage from previously prescribed medications should also be considered. Using "indecision" as a reason for involuntary treatment, as was done in my case, is of coarse totally absurd. (My refusal to decide to return to the institution was labeled indecision.)
When a disease is not visible, that can be because we have insufficient scientific insights into it, but it can also be because the insights we do have are being incorrectly applied. In 6 I noted that a well-known psychiatrist told me that long-term psychiatric symptoms are almost always caused by organic disorders. At that time he also expressed the expectation that within several decades the genetic causes of schizophrenia would be discovered. If therefore schizophrenia became curable, that would be a giant leap forward in medicine. Schizophrenia sufferers will in that case be treatable by their family doctors. Hopefully the same will happen in the near future with other psychiatric disorders, and then psychiatry can be abolished, because it is not a science at all. In that respect the recent genetic discovery regarding manic-depressive disorder is hopeful.
Increasingly politicians wish to facilitate involuntary hospitalization for so-called care dodgers, supposedly in their best interests. They seem to assume that when all is not well with a person, involuntary hospitalization will improve the situation. People can always be found to confirm in front of a TV camera that they were improved thanks to electroshock or involuntary treatment. Care dodgers seem to me to be people to whom psychiatry has nothing to offer. There are in any case more than enough people who have been psychiatrically drugged for years without any indication that their situation has improved, on the contrary, they probably live in an even larger hell than before the psychiatric treatment was started. The idea that forced treatment could improve anything in such a situation is not based on any reality.
The above is not a an argument to abandon these people. It is only an argument against insane forced medications. Those people who were not helped by electroshocks and forced medication cannot tell their story on TV for understandable reasons.
I cannot imagine many cases in which I would consider it justified to facilitate involuntary hospitalization. Perhaps politicians should listen more to the people at the receiving end of these practices.
Involuntary hospitalization also doesn't seem to me to be useful regarding suspected suicide. In my case that was also mentioned in the "medical" statement as a reason for involuntary commitment, even though up to my involuntary hospitalization I had never attempted suicide. I learned from a document that I happened to see that I was not considered suicidal. My suicide attempt wasn't until 1972, and was motivated mainly by the unbearable feelings that medicines like fluanxol, the umpteenth that was not effective, and the misery that the forced treatment had caused me!
Paranoia is also often cited as a reason for force. In 2.1 I described how psychiatry itself causes people to become paranoid.
Another frequently mentioned reason for involuntary hospitalization is the trouble that care dodgers cause. I believe that such trouble is much more frequently caused my asocial elements towards which the authorities are much too lax than by care dodgers. Conversation with the latter is possible, not with the former.
Judges seem to have no problem trusting psychiatrists' insights. That is why it is so easy for psychiatrists to have people locked up. If it had been up to P. I would surely have been locked up for the rest of my life. He could then also have continued unnecessarily drugging me indefinitely. I would rather not think about what would have happened to me in that case.
On the basis of my own personal experience, I would say that it would be much better to always try first to surround a person with help and social care in his own environment. When the person can be helped that way, he is spared a lot of misery, and possibly also his family. Money is saved to boot.
Obviously, it is most humiliating to be forced to cooperate with damaging oneself. A more detestable way of violating one's bodily integrity than damaging forced treatment is unimaginable. Every time I hear or read about objections due to violation of the bodily integrity, such as regarding taking a mucous sample from the mouth for DNA testing when someone is suspected of a serious crime, I think what are they talking about? There is such a more terrible violation of bodily integrity in our society, and nobody cares!
Society should occupy itself much more with people who imagine other people to have things which they don't, and who on the basis of their error have those people shot up with drugs, but are in no way held accountable.