Category Archives: nation’s laws and mental health

The NYT got it wrong in ‘When the Mentally Ill Own Guns’


Ok. Look, it’s December 29. I’m not in the mood for fancy arse commentaries here today. After all, year-in-year out only a handful of internet pedestrians walk by this site, so I can expect less visitors at this time, the end of the year.

So, the only comment I have about that NYT’s editorial, to which readers are not allowed to comment, is the following:

If this is true…

Most mentally ill persons are not violent, though The Times’s analysis of 180 confiscation cases in Connecticut (dealing with people posing an imminent risk of injury to themselves or others) found that close to 40 percent of those cases involved people with serious mental illness.

then logic dictates that it is the other 60%, the ‘sane’ ones, whom you need to deal with. Those are the ones on whom you need to focus to confiscate their guns if any guns are going to be taken away. Why focus on the minority? The 60% sane ones are a “threat to themselves or others”, that’s more than the 40% who are non-violent mentally ill.

There, I said it.

Happy New Years to all the crazies. Let’s make it our new year resolution to  scare the hell out of the politicians this new year.

 

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Under cover of law: Extortion as punishment and the high cost of stigmatizing the mentally ill


From the Washington Post

D.C. woman’s number of 911 calls prompt city to request that she be given a guardian

At stake in this case is that the state (D.C.) wants to take the money (SSD checks) of this person and the only way to do it is by stripping her of her civil rights. The excuse for this atrocity is that she calls 911 “too frequently”.

The ´disability´in mental disability is in how society perceives the illness and the person bearing it, it is not the actual symptoms or manifestations of the illness that matters. You are not accepted as a functioning member of society if you are perceived as ´disabled´.  The disabilities movement have tried to show that if you put ramps, for example, they are not a ´burden’ to society  and can function and work like any other person. Clearly, the refusal to put a ramp was what caused these people to be ‘disabled’.

The same with mental illness, well, they don’t need a ramp. What I mean is that, portraying the mentally ill as a ‘burden’ is stigmatizing and it is what causes them to be ‘disabled’. We have to thank our States’ mental health system for their  good work at impressing that stigma in the public.

In this post I try to show, with this article,  how the process of stigmatizing is achieved by our government, nation-wide.

Anatomy of a stigma

The issues or problems stated by the D.C. officials in the article are:

1) Repeat callers to 911

2) …well, there’s no #2 nor 3 or 4 for that matter.

Unburdening society of the burden of people with mental disabilities: make them non citizens.

The only real issue that the officials can present in this case is the frequent 911 calls by one person. They have to deal with it as with any other situation.

The rest of their ‘reports’ constitute only unfounded accusations using mental illness as the basis to legally punish and extort money from Mrs. Rigsby by declaring her incompetent. Her crime: being mentally disabled.

This is also, and very important, a test case to be applied in the future, if they succeed, to other people with or without mental disabilities: using guardianship to punish people who use services “too frequently”. All they have to do, if you are not mentally ill,  is tag a label of a a mental illness with the help of psychiatrists, who are always at hand for the job.

I can see nothing more stigmatizing than the officialdom and the psychiatric and mental health systems abusing their powers to conjure a lie using mental illness as the legal basis to deprive people of their civil rights. In order to do all that, they have to paint the mentally ill as a burden to society. That’s EXACTLY what these people are doing here. Just see how many times the word “burden” was used by them in the article.

The article states that there are “concerns from D.C. officials about the impact of one woman’s troubles on public-health and safety resources” and “repeat 911 callers have long been identified as burdens on the health system and a drain on public-safety resources.”

Shared delusions of Impending doom

As stated in the article, there have been NO research AT ALL about how ANY repeat callers, let alone this woman in particular, has an impact on the resources. That explains the fact that D.C. official speaks ONLY of a “concern”: “concern that if [a supposition, it hasn’t happen yet in all those years] if crews are tending to Rigsby, the next 911 caller with an emergency might [another supposition, hasn’t happen yet either]get a paramedic from a farther distance, said Miramontes, the medical director…“There will come a time [another supposition, that time has not come yet] when one of these [frequent 911 callers] will call and they will [nope, not yet] cost someone else their life,”

These are all words meant to portray the mentally disabled as a ‘burden’. There’s no concrete EVIDENCE they can show that would cause them to have the concern that, if they don’t take this woman’s civil rights away, the system is about to collapse…unless they share with Mrs. Rigsby the delusion of “impending doom”, as the psychiatrist thought she may have.

But, no, they are not delusional. They are simply conspiring to abuse the power given to them by the citizens and commit the crime of extortion under cover of law.

 

First lie: it’s all in her mind

They allege “that Rigsby, 58, has bipolar and borderline personality disorders and does not have the mental capacity to handle her medical affairs.”

The implication all along the article is that her illness is in her mind, except that “About 40 percent of the time, she dials 911 on her own. Other times, she’s out in the District when passersby see her fall and call for help, the testimony indicated.”

So, 60% of the times “passersby” make the call because they see her fall; clearly, it’s not in her mind for other people have witnessed her problem.

This case is a hands-on experience on How to Stigmatize People with Mental Disabilities.

Second lie: she uses the services EVERYTIME she calls 911.

In the article we find that “About 55 percent of the time, she refuses to be transported in an ambulance and signs a waiver allowing emergency responders to leave.” Clearly, less than half of the call-events end up in her being transported, this shows that the officials are exaggerating and lying about her.

Third lie: they are trying to save the city money (by spending millions)

That’s a good one. Hundreds of thousands of $$ will be spend on a court case, the city will be spending thousands on a neurologist for an expensive neurological test to prove she’s crazy, thousands on a psychiatrist and other “mental health experts” hired to lie in court on behalf of the city…she only ‘owes’ $61 grand after so MANY years, for crying out loud!

In addition, a guardian cost money to the city too because she doesn’t have enough $$ to pay for care at home. If they send her to a home…

Fourth lie: Mrs. Rigsby, not the system, is a burden to the city.

Well, if more than half the times she calls (55% of the times) she REFUSES to be carted away, that means that she is CONSCIOUSLY trying to NOT burden the system, but that’s not what you get from the article.

What they don’t elaborate in the article is that she REFUSES to be carried by the EMS, that’s the word they used, REFUSES. That means that they TRIED to take her just because they showed up, even though she is refusing. We don’t know whether she offered to go on her own, must likely, but it is clear she REFUSED to be taken by ambulance. Why are they making her look like an unreasonable person?

Well, without the unreasonableness, without the ‘crazy’ there’s no stigma and no stigma means no power over her because the truth that it’s all an abuse would be clear to all. Ergo, she must be made to look crazy, unreasonable and a burden.

When you read the comments posted for the article, EVERYBODY is taking as true that she is mentally ill and a burden to the system simply because the ‘officials’ say so. Her words don’t count.

It’s not about the money; it’s about the civil rights

“If the District’s petition is successful, the medical guardian could take responsibilities for such things as hiring a home health aide, filling prescriptions and proposing a different living environment. But it would still be possible for Rigsby to dial 911 because the guardian would not be a live-in caregiver.”

The issue of ‘repeat calls’ will not change. The problem is one of quality of services.

Cutting funds and leaving the communities dependent on punitive measures to squeeze money for services, or to cut expenses by criminalizing the poor and the mentally ill is the correct way to break our society apart.

We spend trillions on wars. That’s all I have to say.

Important news in the media about people with mental disabilities.


The information in the first headline below is disturbing. It’s another attempt at depriving people with mental disabilities of their civil rights.

The other two are news about how politicians of both parties continue to use people with mental disabilities as pawn for their personal and parties’ political gains. Well, that’s my interpretation of the information in the articles. If you believe what the government wants you to believe, that parity has been achieved…I don’t know what to tell you.

D.C. woman’s number of 911 calls prompt city to request that she be given a guardian

Equal Coverage for the Mentally Ill

Rules to Require Equal Coverage for Mental Ills

Man sets himself on fire on the Mall


Man is critically injured after setting himself on fire on the Mall

WARNING! Image that may be considered disturbing by some people is included in this post.

In the USA, contrary to Europe and the Middle East, the  visible evidence of the consequences of the war on the working class unleashed by their elected law-breakers…um…I meant to say law-maker’s policies, is not the working class seen in the streets fighting their corrupted elected politicians and their police-state. No. In the USA, the visible evidence of that class war is the disintegration of the public mental health in the form of self-immolation, increase in suicide rates, increase in ‘mass shootings’. It’s not ‘chemical imbalance’, it’s mental illness due to political imbalance. Mental illness  in healthy societies is very low and not a problem to that society.

This  evidence of the  increased mental deterioration of our people is what our president callously referred to as that pesky

ritual that we go through every three or four months

I know you don’t like to hear this but, our president’s and law-breakers (in both houses of Congress and both parties) laws redistribute our wealth up to the billionaire elite of Wall Street, to the war-mongering arms dealers and builders, the health insurance industry’s CEOs, the pharma and to the surveillance industry’s CEOs (among other privileged elitists) through trillions of dollars spent in contracts. This leaves the public safety-net destroyed when we need it the most.

The ignored-by-the-media epidemic increase in homelessness, usurious loan interest rates that guarantee the debt will be unpaid by an unemployed working class, the trillions in student loan debt that guarantee the students will not have a living-salary because the interest is prohibitive, veterans returning home without health and mental health services, all of this and more can have ONE guaranteed result: trauma to the mental health, individually and collectively.

But there are TWO public expressions of this problem: class struggle in the streets, as in Europe and the Middle East, or collective and individual depression expressed in self-directed violence and/or spontaneous, unplanned violence against the society. This last one is the one the law-breakers fear because they know it can turn into class struggle in the streets with THEM as the target.

Soo, before that happens, they and their media have DISCONNECTED from the public view the chain that ties  the INCREASE in ‘mental health issues’ to the economic and political war on the working class, and put the blame on mental illness as a threat to society, with the mentally ill turned in the public eye into a ‘terrorist’.

http://thoughtcatalog.files.wordpress.com/2011/01/pavss.jpeg?w=584

Famous photo of Vietnam era Tibetan monk protesting the war.

Self-immolation has got to be the most extreme form of political statement. The Tibetan monks used it to protest the Vietnam war and even today. We have yet to see why that man in the mall here in the US set himself on fire but, whatever the reason, it’s a bad omen of the extreme effect this ‘economical crisis’ is having on our people.

These laws taking away the civil rights of people with ‘mental illness’ are NOT created for your protection. They have been created for the protection of the elected officials and the banking and financial elite AFRAID of what may happen to them when we finally wake up.

People, the medicine we need is ‘the people united’ putting the fear in the elite’s heart.

Psychiatric Profiling as Blood Libel | Mad In America


This is Tina Minkowitz’ post at Mad in America. It presents interesting questions to our mental health advocacy community about what is to be done with the current political state of our nation’s mental health system and the prejudism against mentally ill people. Please, take a look at it. Thanks.

Psychiatric Profiling as Blood Libel | Mad In America.

Americans Fault Mental Health System Most for Gun Violence


Interesting Gallup poll.

One thing: according to the poll, Americans have NOT change at all, since 2011, in their believe that the “failure of the mental health system to identify individuals who are a danger  to others” is the MAIN cause of mass shootings (48%). But, there was a REDUCTION of 6% since 2011 to 2013 in the amount of people who believe that guns are the culprit. The question is Where did those 6% put the blame now? Evidently their change in perception is NOT reflected as an increase in the category of people who believe that the mental health system is to be blamed.

Surprisingly enough, Democrats are MORE likely to believe that guns are NOT the main culprit (51%), which brings the question: Why is the Dem Party so intent in ramming down our throats gun control laws as a panacea to this problem? As I showed in my previous post, Obama stated that the MAIN reason we have ‘ritualistic mass shootings’  is because “we” (the public) refuse to adopt “firm background checks”, a sad and absurd statement from the president of “hope and change”.

“Independents” are MORE inclined to blame guns than republicans themselves (44 vs 49% respectively).

This all leads me to believe that the Democratic Party PREFERS to blame guns so it doesn’t have to explain Why are they cutting funds for mental health services while the American people understands that bad quality of mental health services is the main cause of mass shootings.

If we were to accept that Gallop poll as valid, then these would be some points for the mental health advocacy community to consider:

1. Is the NRA succeeding in its message that guns are not to be blamed for mass shootings?

2. Is blaming the ‘mental health system’ equivalent to blaming the mentally ill individuals? That would be disastrous for us.

3. How can the mental health advocacy community take ‘advantage’ of the believe that the mental health system is the main cause of mass shootings? This point ought to be ‘exploited’: demand REAL reform in the mental health system NOW. While mental illness is NOT the ONLY reason for mass shootings (wars, national economy, environment of police-state, home foreclosures by Wall Street, joblessness, homelessness and many other social issues are part of the problem of mass shootings),  we could focus on QUALITY of services as much as on QUANTITY as a response to mass shootings.

We must battle against ALL background checks that stigmatize the mentally ill. Background checks are NOT the answer, not even enough to accept them TEMPORARILY because, once the legal damage is done, we can’t fight it for the next 50 years.

I’m a skeptic when it comes to polls, but, given that Americans tend to ‘buy’ them,  it would make sense to take advantage of this one.

 

Obama predicts shooting in 3 months


Obama made some remarks yesterday (Sept 17) in the Spanish tv station Univision which I consider APPALLING. I bring them for your consideration here because, hopefully, I misunderstood said remarks, and you can clarify them to me. Feel free to post your comment.

This is my transcript, you can hear him directly  in the video below. Highlights are by me and my comments follow below the vid.

“The fact that we don’t have a firm enough background check system is something that makes us more vulnerable to this kind of mass shooting…uhm…I do get concerned that this becomes a ritual that we go through every three or four months where we have these horrific mass shootings and yet we are not willing to take some basic actions we know can make a differenceUltimately, this is something Congress is gonna have to act on. I have now, in the wake of Newtown, initiated a whole range of executive actions, we put in place every executive action that I proposed right after Newtown happened. So I’ve taken steps that are within my control. The next phase is for Congress to go ahead and move.”

Now, my reactions to each of his ‘compassionate’ statements.

1. Obama says that the reason we go through this “mass killing every three or four months” is because background check system is not “firm enough”. That’s it. That’s all that needs to be fixed, our background check system. Even George W. Bush was more useful to the mentally ill people than this president we have now. After all, it was W who gave us the New Freedom Commission on Mental Health and the super important ADA Amendment Act of 2008.

I challenge ANYONE to tell me how has Obama gone above and beyond what W did for the mentally ill people. FYI, I’m not a republican (rather die)  nor do I support nor sympathize with W. But, to Caesar what belongs to Caesar

2. Also, Obama says that we are more “vulnerable to this kind of shooting” because of lax background checks. The implications: mentally ill people make this nation “more vulnerable”, and mentally ill people MUST be ‘firmly’ checked.

Given the path our government has taken, since Obama came to power, towards a surveillance state branding every citizen or group that it considers ‘subversive or dissenting’, these ‘background checks’ are bound to apply soon to any mentally ill person, whether or not applying for guns. NYS Office of Mental Health has started the trend already. See my post ‘NY Safe Act:…

3. The “ritual”. Now THAT was interesting. Was that scripted? Or was it ad lib’ed? Wow. Is he talking about mentally ill people having a ‘compulsion’ towards mass killing? Is he EXPECTING a mass shooting by,er, December or January 2014?

Funny thing is that, IF that’s what he meant, that mentally ill people have a RECURRENT death wish, why can’t he prevent the shootings? Evidently he expects them to happen consistently every three or four months. Does he expect that this compulsion and RITUALISTIC behavior can be stopped with “firm background checks”? HELLO. IS ANYBODY AT HOME!?

4. Who is “we” in that “and yet we are not willing to take some basic actions we know can make a difference.”? Is he blaming the public because they don’t want laws that are clearly oppressive and fascist? Or is he blaming the NRA supporters? It could help if he were more CLEAR. I think he is blaming BOTH. The “basic actions” entails depriving people who visit a psychiatrist of their civil rights, just to protect “we”.

5. And then there was the throwing of the towel. He is basically saying that he ‘tried’ to do something but, because “we are not willing to take some basic actions” he can do no more. It’s “up to Congress to move”.

That is THROWING THE TOWEL. He’s doing it because you voted against his gun law this year. He doesn’t care anymore, is what he’s saying. ‘Deal with it’ is what he’s saying.

Well, I’m going now to prepare my post for December’s mass shooting.

See you later.