Years ago I remember the outrage when the first edition of the Murphy Bill was presented. It changed somewhat in its different incantations but in the end Representative Murphy won.
Last night he really won.
He was basically given veto power over who the new head of SAMSHA. Last night President Trump nominated his nominee for the post Dr. Elinore Mccance-katz a psychiatrist who thinks Donald Trump is a gift to the mentally ill because he understands what they need http://amp.nationalreview.com/article/442382/donald-trump-mental-illness-needs-more-aggressive-treatment
and Tim Murphy in a very real way became the de facto mental health czar of the United States mental health system. What was once unthinkable became law and expectation and policy. What you can veto you define.
So what does it all mean? In the long term I think it will mean more and more we will define social problems as symptoms of what is wrong with the person instead of the results of the wrong done to the person. More problems will be looked upon as a defiency in psychiatric hospitalization or medication and coercion will be standard operating procedure with people intent on making their own choices more than it has ever been before.
Below is a quote from a post I wrote about the pillars of coercive psychiatry. More and more it looks like it will become the blueprint of the mental health system.
1. You either are or you are not. There is a clear distinction between those who are or are not severely disturbed. Psychiatric diagnoses are statements of medical fact and convey the essence of who a person is and what they can expect from life. Murphy defines away exceptions. “If you had a diagnosis of severe mental illness and are doing better in life the diagnosis was in error because people with severe mental illness will be forever limited by their illness. ”
2. If you have a severe mental illness we know how to help you. That help requires the advanced knowledge and skill of a psychiatrist. His knowledge and decisions should count more than anyone else and attempts to limit that authority are ultimately harmful to the people he alone knows best how to help.
3. The “severely mentally ill” are victimized by a system which ignores their needs, often for the personal gain or agenda of those who work in the system especially “mental health advocates”. This is the conspiratorial leg of the theory. It explains why many of the ideas they have meet a lot of resistance. If they can make the conspiracy claim seem real they marginalize any criticism of their position. They identify the bogeyman and define the battle as a holy crusade to save the “severely mentally ill” from those that would ignore them and leave their needs unmet.
4. The “severely mentally ill” have no insight into their problems and thus for their own good need to be forced to accept the treatment they need by people who know better. Any reluctance, criticism, or refusal of the treatment provided them does not reflect their real thoughts or decisions they wish to make but is instead a symptom of their illness.
5. There is a real limit to how far they can expect to improve. There is no point in false hope and unrealistic claims and all the recovery stuff needs to be strongly tempered. Their disease is life long and chronic and they will always be dependent on the help they get from the system.
6. And finally the crown jewel. Severe mental illness makes them dangerous and we must protect ourselves. We have had many, many tragedies that could have been avoided if people had been forced to accept the treatment they needed.
Trump is a an endless source of things to be angry about. This is one that will affect thousands and thousands and thousands of people. I am afraid it will get lost in the chaos. I hope I am wrong.