A Thanksgiving question

If something was to happen good enough to make a difference in the mental health system,  something worth being thankful for what would it be for you??????


5 thoughts on “A Thanksgiving question”

  1. How much time and space do we have?! Most of my suggestions are inter-connected. First and foremost – Any/All services would be designed to meet the specific needs/desires of each individual person, as expressed by that person. Second, the focus would be on each person as a ‘whole’ human being – not just as a diagnosis/label. As such, each person’s basic needs (food, water, shelter, clothing, meaningful/gainful employment) would be a required part of the holistic services provided. Next – a complete abolition of any/all involuntary ‘treatments’ or services would be instituted. Finally, the goal/focus of all mental health services/treatments would shift from a paternalistic/fatalistic norm; replacing it would be a sense of hope, possibilities, personal responsibility and cure, not just treatment.
    VERY timely and great question, Larry! As a final note on this topic – The current trend in modern psychiatry/mental health/etc. seems to be on ‘pathologizing’ quirky behaviors. “Nose-picking while driving” – could very well become a DSM diagnosis in the not-so-distant-future, at the rate we are going. Frankly, this scares the hell out of me.

    Once a person is assigned a DSM diagnosis, a whole host of other events are triggered into motion. 1) The individual sees a counselor/therapist/psychiatrist – initially, it was for the diagnosis; now it is time to ‘treat’ the ‘sick’ person with therapy; 2) The individual is most likely prescribed any numbers of psychotropic medications. This would be done by a psychiatrist or another mental health professional who is legally allowed to prescribe medications. 3) The individual is referred to any number of varying agencies for ‘assistance’, such as Voc Rehab, the Office of Public Assistance and the local mental health clinic.

    Now – WHAT do all of the above have in common? Financial and job security!! Big Pharma, ‘The Mental Health System (including therapists, psychiatrists, case managers, etc.) are all “beneficiaries” of this one person’s new diagnosis.

    Lest you think me paranoid, I challenge you to research the topic. Today, on the TV show, “The Doctors”, a woman diagnosed with Bi-Polar Disorder was featured. She was requesting – and receiving – a second opinion on her diagnosis. To summarize, they discovered her diagnosis was given rather hastily – and not based on the requirements for a diagnosis. Apparently, her mother had a diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder, and this was known to the person who diagnosed her. This person ‘erred on the side of caution’, giving her the diagnosis even though she did not meet the bottom line criteria for it. The diagnostician was ‘concerned’ she might not get the services she needed if he did not give her this diagnosis!

    This leads me to something I just now realized. Our system is designed to provide for payment (by insurance companies) – and only specific diagnoses are worthy of payment by them! This is wrong on so many levels!! A person should be able to get the services/treatments he/she needs, regardless of whether or not he/she is assigned a diagnosis deemed ‘worthy’ of payment by them.

    Money/Payment is the driver behind ALL of these things/people – rather than on services/treatments the person actually needs or wants.

      1. Thanks! Occasionally, I AM capable of stringing together words, phrases and paragraphs that actually make sense – without engaging in “diarrhea of the written word”!

        Happy Thanksgiving to you, Linda, your friends, family and acquaintances! My son, Erik, will be here – and we are driving to my sister’s house in Conrad for a feast that is bound to be ‘a cut above the rest’!

  2. The thing I would be most gratful for is universal national health insurance for everyone in the USA. That would be a great step in the effort to create equity in our fractured healthcare delivery non-system. We can do that in America with everyone’s help.

  3. The thing I most want to see is that mental health can be treated as a regular health issue..laws,regulations, care ,no stigma, ,insurance, treatment, relationships, better understanding by society.

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