From the very first day of Psych 101, students are taught the following:
1) Always be skeptical;
2) Follow the scientific method, which includes forwarding the null hypothesis;
3) Remember we are a soft science.
That's all I'm doing here: just following the basics of this soft science.
You or your child has a problem and you of course want help. And the helping field is always right there ready to help. Just remember that to help isn't always to help.
Be Careful What You Ask For
"She wants to live in the Rockies
She says that's where we'll find peace
Settle down, raise up a family to call our own
We'll have a home.
We sailed into the sunset
Never gave a thought for tomorrow
300.29 NOS is here with me
Let tomorrow be."
Johnnie Rivers, Summer Rain
Mental health services in the schools?
Okay, I know how this sounds. You're probably thinking I'm a horrible guy for wanting to take away services for students, but I hope you'll hear me out before passing judgment. I just want you to take a few moments and think about the effects and unintended consequences of bringing mental health (i.e., the clinical model) into the schools. At first glance, it may seem like a great idea to provide mental health services for students, but when you think about it, how many children from poverty must be targeted and diagnosed by APA as having an attention-deficit disorder so that pharmaceutical companies can get rich[er]?
You need to be aware I'm not the only human with these views. In fact, there is a growing number of persons who hold similar concerns. In fact, there is a growing rebellion from deep inside APA's own Humanist Division:
See Miss Diagnosis' "Archive: 2012 Humanistic Movement."
In the old days, if a parent felt their child needed a diagnosis, meds, or a lifetime of therapy, the parents would take their child to the local mental health center for the [treatment] at parent expense. Mental health was considered an "outside agency" by the schools. The mental health counselors and therapists, though, kept looking across the street and the hundreds of students in the schools and spent some considerable time and effort trying to gain access to all of that money. Their initial attempt failed (they tried to eliminate school psychologists). That coup was unsuccessful, but with a lot of politics, they finally got legislation to bring their anger management and medications and therapy into the schools. And in spite of the fact that in the schools, there is a law to provide a free and appropriate education (FAPE), mental health still charges for their services, primarily by targeting the poor, who are covered by Medicaid insurance.
The feds have budgeted a lot of money to integrate "comprehensive mental health services" into the schools. This means we now have not one, not two, but three big federal programs in the schools to provide services for students with disabilities:
1) Special Education
2) Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
3) Comprehensive Mental Health Services
I have some concerns about the integration of these mental health services into schools. This system (aka "the clinical model" or "the medical model") results in many humans being misdiagnosed with sometimes invented disabilities and put on a course of treatment that is often ineffective and sometimes harmful for human beings.
I intend no disrespect towards anyone, especially humans who have real-life difficulties and conditions. I have great respect for mental health workers, who diligently strive to help humans. XPsych is not an "antipsychiatry" site, but rather a pro-human and empowerment site. There is nothing personal in the views presented herein... it is the system that needs to change. Each individual clinical worker is only doing what s/he was trained to do.
Humans who have been misdiagnosed and incorrectly placed into the system are referred to as, "false positives" by the soft science community. If asked, any social scientist would admit false positives are an unfortunate byproduct of the system. If and when the system works perfectly, any social scientist would admit 5% of humans are misdiagnosed one way or the other -- however, when the system breaks down due to a variety of reasons (greed, power plays, money, hidden agendas, politics, incompetence, etc.), that number can significantly increase... you might start seeing 10%, 20%, 30% or more humans being misdiagnosed.
Why do you think there has been a 359% increase in the diagnosis of autism? Do 20% of all males really have ADHD? There is only one explanation; either: 1) the actual number of humans with disabilities is significantly increasing, or 2) the number of humans being [mis]diagnosed with disabilities is significantly increasing.
"When half the population is in the pen, they're no longer criminals... they're the norm."
Former Nebraska Senator, Bob Kerry
The number one ethical principal of our field [psychology] is, "do no harm." But the system is harming children and other humans. The system is disabling America. That's why The XPsych courageously speaks out. That's what this is all about.
My views are primarily based on over twenty-five years within the field as a professional psychologist observing the human suffering that so often follows a misdiagnosis of a mental health condition. An increasing number of citizens and even professionals within the field are starting to get it.
How about you? I hope you will read what I say and then consider what I and so many others are saying... think... and then courageously speak up... and then do what you can to keep comprehensive mental health services out of the schools.
Here is the letter to President Obama and the petition I put on the White House' site a couple years ago. It gained no signatures but I've always been ahead of my time. Maybe it's not too late? Maybe the zeitgeist is correct now. Maybe someone who reads this information will try again right now? Good luck! You will be going up against some pretty huge lobbying groups (big pharma, APA, certain advocacy groups, etc.)...
Eliminate $5.9M from the 2012 federal education budget designated to integrate mental health services into the schools. Disadvantaged/poor students are targeted to receive services; thus, possible discrimination. Others, without Medicaid, are excluded from receiving services. Comprehensive services should be available for all and they already are available at the local mental health center - there is no need to bring services into the schools. Concerns exist regarding the validity of the DSM. 20% of American males have been misdiagnosed with ADHD; there is a 359% increase in the misdiagnosis of autism. The majority of students served by mental health will receive medications to make pharmaceutical companies money. We already have two federal programs to serve students with disabilities (special education and 504). Don't disable America any more.
Dear President Obama,
In the proposed 2012 Federal Education Budget, $5.9M has been designated to integrate comprehensive mental health services into the schools. We, the undersigned, ask that this funding be withdrawn or eliminated.
We have several concerns, including the following:
1) Disadvantaged and poor students have been targeted to receive these services, seemingly because they are more likely to be able to pay for these services through Medicaid. Some, like myself, might say these groups are being discriminated against by being more likely to receive diagnosis, services, medications, etc. Others might say that students from a higher socioeconomic status are excluded or being denied an opportunity to receive these services. Either way, it's a "lose-lose" situation. Comprehensive mental health services should be available for all students and they already are at the local mental health center -- there is no need to bring these services into the schools.
2) There are laws in the schools that students are to receive a free and appropriate public education. If/when mental health enters the schools, they will be subject to these laws. The clinical model (i.e. mental health) often requires that students (i.e., their parents and/or the taxpayers) directly (through cash or Medicaid) or indirectly ($5.9M in taxes) pay for these comprehensive mental health services. Some would call this process “double-dipping,” similar to a teacher being paid a salary to teach and then charging each student $25 as they enter the classroom to receive their free and appropriate public education. Providing services in this manner is arguably illegal and unethical.
3) Many educational, psychological, and mental health professionals hold serious concerns regarding the use of the clinical model, which utilizes the Diagnostic & Statistical Manual (DSM) and sometimes or oftentimes results in the misdiagnosis of sometimes or oftentimes invented “disorders” (such as internet addictions, social anxiety, and many more) and usually results in prescriptions for unnecessary medications, seemingly to help big pharmaceutical companies make money. In addition, an increasing number of children are receiving "brain stimulation" (aka "Electroconvulsive Shock Therapy). It is difficult to believe all of these "services" aren't money-based. President Obama, as part of this petition, we hope you will be able to initiate a House or Senate committee to begin investigations into these practices. As outlandish as this seems, even the archaic practice of lobotomies, now know as "psychosurgery," are making a comeback.
4) In some areas of the United States of America, up to 20% of males have been diagnosed/disabled with an attention-deficit disorder (ADHD). Nationally there has been approximately a 359% increase in the misdiagnosis of autism. With mental health coming into the schools and gaining access to millions of students, these outlandish numbers can only increase.
"When half the population is in the pen, they're no longer criminals, they're the norm."
Bob Kerry, Former Nebraska Senator
Bringing another big, federal education program into the schools will mean there will now be not one, not two, but three such programs (special education, §504, and comprehensive mental health services). How many such programs must there be in the schools, at what expense to the taxpayers, and at what human cost to the millions of new targeted students?
President Obama, this petition is not looking to deny services to anyone. If a student requires mental health services, then his or her parent should take him or her down to the local mental health center to receive the services.
The budget figures quoted in this petition are from the 2012 Proposed Federal Education Budget found at USDE site:
U.S. Department of Education
Successful, Safe, and Healthy Students
(B.A. in millions)
Successful, Safe, and Healthy Students
Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities
Elementary and Secondary School Counseling
Physical Education Program
Foundations for Learning
Mental Health Integration in Schools
Alcohol Abuse Reduction
Under this proposed consolidation of several existing, narrowly targeted programs, the Department would award grants to increase the capacity of States, districts, and schools to create safe, healthy, and drug-free environments in a comprehensive manner, so that students are able to focus on learning and teachers on teaching. Further, it would provide increased flexibility for States and local educational agencies to design strategies that best reflect the needs of their students and communities, including programs to (1) improve school climate by reducing drug use, alcohol use, bullying, harassment, or violence; (2) improve students’ physical health and well-being through comprehensive services that improve student nutrition, physical activity, and fitness; and (3) improve student’s mental health and well-being through expanded access to comprehensive services, such as counseling, health, mental health, and social services.
The new program would also include a national activities authority, under which the Department would reserve funds for school emergency preparedness initiatives; comprehensive, community-wide "Safe Schools/Healthy Students" drug and violence prevention projects; a truancy prevention initiative; drug prevention and campus safety programs at institutions of higher education; and emergency response services to LEAs and IHEs under Project SERV (School Emergency Response to Violence).
Shocking Investigative Report
In the recent past, APA (American Psychological Association), through their Model Licensure Act (MLA) attempted to gain access to million$ of students in the schools, basically by attempting to remove school psychologists and replace them with APA's Ph.D.-level psychologists. That scheme fell through [for now].
For a brief, two-page PDF summary of what APA was trying to do, click on the link (from NASP):
So APA had to think of some other way to gain access to these million$ of students who haven't yet had the opportunity to be diagnosed with ADHD, Aspergers, Substance Abuse Disorders, Vaginismus, Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder, and, you know, all the rest of them.
The goal was quite obviously to find a way to integrate mental health into the schools; there had to be a way to, um, "serve" all these students. Why not lobby Washington D.C. to seek federal funding? The October XOG's shocking investigative report has found that appears to be exactly what happened.
Go to APA's site to get the info directly from them through many related links. Here are a couple:
PI-GRO Health Reform Overview -- March 2010
"As you know, President Obama signed the health reform bill into law (P.L. 111-148) on March 23, 2010. This new landmark law reflects over a year of tireless advocacy by the APA Public Interest Government Relations Office (PI-GRO), in collaboration with the Executive Office; the Education, Science, and Practice Government Relations Office; and several coalitions..." Click here for the rest of the article
Click here to download the PI-GRO Health Reform Overview (PDF, 50KB)
Health Care Reform Matrix PDF (go to page 4)
"SCHOOL-BASED HEALTH CENTERS (SBHC) (pp. 428-432)
Authorizes grants for the establishment and operation of school-based health centers, which provide
comprehensive primary health services (including mental health).
For grants to establish an SBHC,
preference will be given to centers that serve a large population of children eligible for Medicaid.
For grants to operate an SBHC, preference will be given for schools that serve communities with
evidenced barriers to primary health care and mental health and substance use disorder prevention
services for children and adolescents, communities with high per capita numbers of children and
adolescents who are uninsured, underinsured, or enrolled in public health insurance programs, and
populations of children and adolescents that have historically demonstrated difficulty in accessing
health and mental health and substance use disorder preventive services."
You can read all this information and make up your own mind and you are, as always, encouraged to do so. When I read the above paragraph, here's my interpretation in real language (IRL): mental health is coming into the schools to provide comprehensive services to large populations of students eligible for Medicaid to prevent substance abuse disorders (i.e., to keep kids off illegal drugs by prescribing legal drugs). Research and experience has demonstrated that if the population cannot pay for these services, then please don't apply for the grant because you and I won't be making very much money there!
So now in the proposed federal education budget, $5.9 million is slated to begin or continue the "integration of comprehensive mental health services" into the schools.
Be careful what you ask for...
How could Washington D.C. or anyone say no this request -- we all want to "help" students, right? We don't want to deny services to anyone, especially disadvantaged students, correct? Think of all the money that is to be made by so many people... and big pharma has some pretty powerful lobbyists.
Mental health will not go away, it is a huge business; I ask that mental health (i.e., the clinical model) stay out of the schools. If a student requires mental health services, then his or her parent should take them down to the local mental health center -- not to the local school -- to receive the ADHD diagnosis and be prescribed medications. Speak up now. If your child's school or district is considering applying for this grant and bringing comprehensive mental health services to your child, get a group of parents and caring teachers to go to the school board meeting and speak up!!!
If you don't, no one else will.
Less is more.
YOU COULD DO SOMETHING TERRIFIC RIGHT NOW!
The Clinical Model (IRL)
For those who are unaware, here is a brief description of how the clinical model [doesn't work]:
Concern emerges (usually because student is not paying attention or broke a school rule)
Student is referred to mental health
Payment schedule is determined
Student is [informally] diagnosed with ADHD (called a "working diagnosis")
Counseling and/or anger management is provided
If that didn't work (and there is still money available)...*
Therapy is provided
If that didn't work (and there is still money available)...*
Medications are initiated and long-term therapy is scheduled (for life)
Formal assessment and diagnosis of ADHD occurs
If that didn't work (and there is still money available)...*
Ongoing "comprehensive services" are provided (therapy, med management) for "stabilization"
If that didn't work (and there is still money available)...*
Brain stimulation (ECT), sometimes for children as young as three years old
If that didn't work (and there still money available)...*
Consider psychosurgery (aka lobotomy)
If that didn't work (and there is still money available)...*
A lifetime of treatment in group homes, community settings, psych units, institutions, etc...
Diagnosis of ADHD occurs a long time before the formal assessment for ADHD (it's called a working diagnosis).
*And it, um, hardly ever "works." View the video in a subsequent section, "Psychiatrists on Psychiatry." There are no "cures." Once in the system, the student is usually or often in the system for life (or as long as there is still money available).
Well, there you have it -- the clinical model in real language (IRL), easily understood by others.
IT IS ESSENTIAL that you understand the differences between the "clinical" and the "educational" models. There are many differences way beyond the scope of this brief resource, but here are the main differences:
The APA clinical/medical model uses the DSM, drugs, therapy, brain stimulation, and other services.
The educational model uses IDEA, special education classes, DIS, and other services.
In case you think I'm unfairly attacking the clinicians, don't worry, I freely acknowledge misdiagnosis and questionable services in special education in the public schools. The school model, uh, doesn't work so well either. Moron that later.
Based solely on this brief video, some or many in the modern clinical field are quick to try to discount the works of Thomas Szasz. They say, "Look at that video, he's a Scientologist -- you can't believe him!"
Note: Dr. Szasz has recently passed away. He was always a hero to me and probably the most courageous and outspoken persons in the field. It is important to note that he was a psychiatrist... I understand if you don't listen to me, but will you listen to him?
Dr. Szasz did not need me to defend him as he was quite capable of defending himself. But keep in mind he was Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry at the State University of New York, Syracuse. He had been practicing in the field longer than I've been alive, and I've been alive for 58 years!
He was one of those rare professionals within the field courageously speaking out... and he always had spoken out. He was a leader in the field and society.
Just because someone makes a speech to any given group, doesn't necessarily make him or her a member of that group. I don't know if Dr. Szasz was a member of any church or belief or not and I don't care. Either way, he was asking the correct questions and forwarding the right answers.
And while we're on the topic, it is important to note that, whatever their beliefs or motivations, some religious and other groups appear to be asking legitimate questions too.
This Secret Agent believes everyone and anyone has a right to ask a great question without necessarily being immediately discounted and called crazy because of their affiliation or perceived affilliation.
You should know The Myth of Mental Illness was required reading for me in my APA- and NASP-approved graduate psychological school and is required reading in many (but not enough) psych schools throughout the nation.
Dr. Szasz was asking important questions and encouraging you to think. At the very least, he was forwarding the null hypothesis; at the most, he was exposing an ongoing national tragedy.
Dr. Szasz has been a hero and an inspiration to me throughout my career. If you read his works, he will no doubt become a hero and inspiration to you too.
There are two ways a person can look at the primary question/debate: 1) either you buy into all of this DSM stuff (e.g., you have an internet addiction so you require years of therapy, meds, and possibly ECT for treatment); or 2) the DSM is pretty much mostly (not all, just mostly) made up, kind of like, er, alchemy or sorcery.
Much of what Dr. Szasz said also appears to relate to special education in the schools (invented conditions, disabilities, disorders, impairments, misdiagnosis, treatments and services, etc.).
I encourage you to listen to Dr. Szasz' message, read his books, writings, and then, as always, you get to decide. In fact, if you don't read anything else on this page, I hope you watch his video.
Links & Resources:
As long as the public wants new drugs, they will be provided [by someone].
The Primary Question (Part II)
Dr. John Breeding has been a courageous and effective leader in the struggle against psychiatric oppression and coercion, ECT, and many more related issues. He fights for and supports the rights of psychiatric survivors. A true expert and modern-day hero in the field, you need to watch this video and visit his websites:
Read about and join the Coalition for the Abolition of ECT.
Many in the public, but still way too few, are starting to wake up and ask the right questions. How about you?
Doctors of Deception (Prof. Linda Andre)
Electoshock Quotationary (Frank)
Free download at: www.endofshock.com
Are you in a group targeted for destruction?
You are highly encouraged to visit Dr. John Breeding's site right now for all the info and links you need.
Remember Past Medical Improvements?
Wow! Modern science sure has has come a long way. Remember ECT? A medical miracle! The article above is from Popular Science, 1940 -- 71 years ago! Thankfully ECT is gone forever now that we're living in a more humane world.
Or is it...?
Now They're Called Current Medical Improvements!
ECT is now called, "Brain Stimulation" and it is apparently thriving in Europe, Australia, and the United States.
Brain Stimulation Volume 1, Issue 4, Pages 326-336 (October 2008)
Efficacy of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation/transcranial direct current stimulation in cognitive neurorehabilitation
Carlo Miniussi, PhDa, Stefano F. Cappa, MDb, et al.
Summary of article:
"Cognitive deficits are a common consequence of neurologic disease, in particular, of traumatic brain injury, stroke, and neurodegenerative disorders, and there is evidence that specific cognitive training may be effective in cognitive rehabilitation. Several investigations emphasize the fact that interacting with cortical activity, by means of cortical stimulation, can positively affect the short-term cognitive performance and improve the rehabilitation potential of neurologic patients. In this respect, preliminary evidence suggests that cortical stimulation may play a role in treating aphasia, unilateral neglect, and other cognitive disorders. Several possible mechanisms can account for the effects of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) on cognitive performance. They all reflect the potential of these methods to improve the subject's ability to relearn or to acquire new strategies for carrying out behavioral tasks. The responsible mechanisms remain unclear but they are most likely related to the activation of impeded pathways or inhibition of maladaptive responses. Modifications of the brain activity may assist relearning by facilitating local activity or by suppressing interfering activity from other brain areas. Notwithstanding the promise of these preliminary findings, to date no systematic application of these methods to neurorehabilitation research has been reported. Considering the potential benefit of these interventions, further studies taking into consideration large patient populations, long treatment periods, or the combination of different rehabilitation strategies are needed. Brain stimulation is indeed an exciting opportunity [italics added] in the field of cognitive neurorehabilitation, which is clearly in need of further research."
Keywords: cognitive deficits, cognitive rehabilitation, memory, attention, language, repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation, transcranial direct current stimulation
This article should be of particular interest to, well, everyone.
"Brain stimulation is a much nicer term than ECT, don't you think?"
Even More Medical Improvements...
Prefrontal lobotomy is another practice from the clinical field's dark past that is no longer used, correct?
I couldn't sleep last night. Being the skeptical social scientist I am, I kept thinking, what if lobotomies, just like ECT, have reemerged in present times? I tossed and turned all night. It became a hypothesis, then a null hypothesis, then again a hypothesis.
I performed my web search today.
Lobotomies are now known as "psychosurgery."
I sadly had to reject the null hypothesis and accept the hypothesis. Somehow I knew that would be the outcome.
Go to you favorite search engine and type in "modern day lobotomy" or "psychosurgery."
Don't listen to me, listen to what Harvard Medical School has to say:
"Psychosurgery is a much nicer term than lobotomy, don't you think?"
I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.
Still More Medical Improvements?
New Tool To Diagnose ADHD?
The FDA has recently (7/15/13) approved the marketing of the first brain wave test to help assess children and teens for ADHD. As always, I ask you to read every word of their press release. The FDA approved the MARKETING of this brain wave test. That means that if you are willing to pay for it, the developers will be happy to $ell their results to you, baby! Hook your kid up to this box, the printout shows active brainwaves... it's ADHD alright! Keep your eyes open for the new treatment, coming soon.
From FDA's website: "The FDA, an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, protects the public health by assuring the safety, effectiveness, and security of human and veterinary drugs, vaccines and other biological products for human use, and medical devices." In other words (IRL) hooking your kid up to this box won't hurt them (hey, it's just measuring brain waves), but the rest is up to you...
Alright, well this guy says it better than I can: "Is this a new tool to diagnose ADHD or is it just another neuroscam?"
No Biological Cause & No Cures
Don't listen to me... listen to psychiatrists in their own words!
"Psychiatrists on Psychiatry," a YouTube video is quite insightful.
Scare Tactic I
Don't listen to me, listen to the former spokesman for Bristol Meyers Squibb.
Ask your doctor if your medication is wrong for you.
Scare Tactic II
There's nothing wrong with the kids.
Confessions Of An Rx Drug Pusher
Intermission: Take A Video Break
"Soda pop and Ritalin...
...there's nothing wrong with me."
"I don't care if you don't care."
Billy Joe Armstrong, Green Day
APA's Ethical Dilemma (Part I)
APA's psychologists participated in the torture of humans.
"The entire system is designed to inflict harm."
Listen* to the video... I cant' go on.
*Listen, don't watch... the soundtrack has to be at least twenty seconds off from the video -- just listen to the content. It's a very annoying video to watch, but the content is important enough to be included here.
APA's Ethical Dilemma (Part II)
A few years ago, APA clinical psychologists were facing a tough ethical decision... to torture or not to torture?
That had to be a tough call, eh?
This topic was hotly debated during and after the election. APA finally appears to have resolved this tough ethical question.
Click here for APA's 2007 "reaffirmation against torture and other cruel, inhumane, or degrading treatment or punishment... and it's application toward "enemy combatants."
I try to be fair: it looks like APA finally made the right decision on this one. Alright!
The current 2011 APA President, Melba J.T. Vasquez, PhD, has established not one, not two, but three presidential task forces addressing: 1) immigation, 2) racism, and 3) educational disparities.
Click here for the full text of her speech.
"The third task force will address the issue of educational disparities, with the goal of developing evidence-based strategies to reduce the impact of educational disparities -- especially for poor and/or racially and ethnic minority students."
Each of these three projects is designed to highlight psychology's scientific basis, our understanding of behavior and the value the discipline can bring to improving the health and well-being of individuals and communities."
In her closing remarks, "I have confidence, however, that our collective goal is to promote a thriving discipline."
XP commends the 2011 APA President for setting the goal of developing some kind of real evidence for their strategies, because there is very little real evidence that what they are doing now actually works (i.e., helps).
It is unfortunate but expected that poor and/or racially and ethnic minority students would be targeted. Why not provide great services for everyone who needs them?
Further XP commendations are forwarded for her intent to highlight psychology's scientific basis; however, in this effort, XP asks APA to always remember the basic foundations of our [soft] science -- to always be skeptical (what if there is no such thing as ADHD?) and never forget to forward the null hypothesis (i.e., what if it is something other than ADHD?).
It is unfortunate but expected that APA's collective goal is to promote a thriving discipline (i.e., to make a lot of money). I always naively thought the goal of helping professions was to help humans.
A Great Recommendation From A Mental Health Therapist...
I burned my DSM a few years back.
Before you freak out too much about a "book burning," please remember I'm not asking you or anyone else to burn their DSMs.
I just chose to burn my DSM, that's all. It made for a pretty good fire. And I haven't missed it since.
Burning my DSM doesn't make me crazy... there's no DSM condition related to an individual choosing to burn his or her DSM.
In fact, you should know I was conversing with a mental health therapist, who recommended that humans should consider building a [real or symbolic] fire and in a [real or symbolic] gesture, burn those items that are causing him or her stress or anxiety. I actually have to admit that in this instance, the mental health therapist gave a good recommendation (hey, I try to be fair).
Yes, I know you will be offended that I burned a book. But I'm offended that so many children are 'rounded up every year and placed on meds so that others can make a lot of money in this system we have.
And yes, I know you will think I'm crazy for burning a book But I happen to think the system is sometimes pretty crazy for what it does to, uh, thrive as a discipline.
So we can all be offended and keep calling each other crazy if we want... that's the way Republicans and Democrats enter important and necessary debates. Or...
As always, you get to think and then choose to do whatever is best for you (and the world).
And remember, not to decide is to decide.
You Ever Get Sad?
You ever get...
You ever get sad?
You ever get angry?
You ever get nervous?
You ever get confused?
You ever get frustrated?
You ever have a bad day?
You ever have a problem?
Will you be next?
Is he wearing a tin hat or a thinking cap?
National Depression Screening Days
Mental Health America
Here is information from Mental Health America related to National Depression Screening Days held annually all across America.
The XOG visitor is highly encouraged to visit this site as well as their sponsors. Gather information from many sources, think, and make up your own mind.
When you visit, please pay close attention to the "Mental Health Headlines" in the upper right-hand corner of the page. On the day I visited, here were just a couple:
"School-based mental health screening effectively identifies students as high risk for mental illness and connects them to services..."
"Nearly 1 in 10 children in America have been diagnosed with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), according to a new government study..."
Be sure to click on these links to see breaking news from the mental health field. Wow!
"To help is not always to help."
The online depression screening link provided at nmha.org appears to be broken. Hmmm. Why not try the link from psychcentral for still another free online depression screening instrument (there are a lot of these instruments offered by well, a lot of different people):
NOTE: The XOG is not endorsing this or any other online screening instrument... you are encouraged to visit solely in order to see for yourself what these instruments offer and then make up your own mind.
From the MHA site (in yellow print):
Screenings are often the first step in getting help.
Clinical depression is a serious medical illness.
National Depression Screening Day is held during Mental Illness Awareness Week each October. It is designed to call attention to the illness of depression on a national level, educate the public about its symptoms and effective treatments, offer individuals the opportunity to be screened for depression, and connect those in need of treatment to the mental health system.
Starting with only 90 sites in its first year, the Screening Day program has grown to reach more than 85,000 people at 3,000 sites nationwide. To respond to the year-round need, the program also maintains a toll-free, year-round phone line for free, anonymous screening locations in local areas.
From the MHA site (continued):
To find a free anonymous screening site in your area: www.mentalhealthscreening.org
Take an online depression screening.
What Is a Depression Screening like?
Attendees at screening programs, which are free and confidential:
- Receive educational materials on depression and other mental illnesses.
- Hear an educational session on depression.
- Complete a written screening test.
- Discuss the results with a mental health professional.
- If necessary, learn where to go for additional help.
Who Should Attend a Depression Screening?
People suffering from depression often experience some of these key syndromes*:
- A persistent sad, anxious, or "empty" mood.
- Sleeping too little, early morning awakening, or sleeping too much.
- Reduced appetite and weight loss, or increased appetite and weight gain.
- Loss of interest or pleasure in activities once enjoyed.
- Restlessness or irritability.
- Difficulty concentrating, remembering or making decisions.
- Fatigue or loss of energy.
- Thoughts of death or suicide.
Screenings are not a professional diagnosis.
Screenings point out the presence or absence of depressive symptoms and provide a referral for further evaluation if needed. You should see your doctor or a qualified mental health professional if you experience five or more of these symptoms for longer than two weeks or if the symptoms are severe enough to interfere with your daily routine.
Sponsors of National Screening for Depression
- Mental Health America
- American Psychiatric Association
- National Institute of Mental Health
- National Alliance for the Mentally Ill
- National Association of Psychiatric Health Systems
- National Depressive and Manic-Depressive Assn.
- Now known as Depression & Bipolar Support Alliance
XP Alert!!! A National Depression Screening Day is coming soon to location near you.
Massachusetts Mandatory Screening for 460,000 Medicaid Children
Alliance for Human Research Protection
Excerpt from the AHRP article:
"The real hook of the Massachusetts policy is to provide financial incentive to 'diagnose' children: With the diagnosis doors and services can open to you.
Children -- in particular those on Medicaid -- are being turned into a captive consumer drug market without regard to the harmful consequences."
Well, there you have it.
Take Still Another Video Break!
I will, uh, remember Massachusetts...
Shyness: How Normal Behavior Became A Sickness
Must-Read book by Christopher Lane (2008)
"Before you sell a drug, you have to sell the disease."
(from Publishers Weekly Review)
I spent most of the past 10-15 years feeling like I was in the minority. Frustrated, I took a couple years off from writing about this issue. But now, in 2013, I am more optimistic than ever that millions of people, both within the field and outside of the field, are starting to finally get it. I ask each and every one of you to continue to gather information about this important topic (i.e., inventing diseases so drugs can be sold) and join the growing list of those who courageously speak up.
"If your kid hates homework, it's probably not due to a brain disorder."
Will the once proud and influential profession of clinical psychology suffer the same fate as the alchemists?
The alchemists kept trying to make gold out of lead. Year after year, decade after decade, they tried every way they could think of to turn lead into gold.
Decade after decade, clinical psychologists keep coming up with new DSM magic formulas (ADHD, Aspergers, internet addition, gender identity disorder, etc.) and new magic treatments (anger management, therapy, meds, brain stimulation, psychosurgery, etc.).
It seems to be working out okay at the present for the clinicians as they are still making a lot of money, huh? Their discipline is thriving.
But maybe humans aren't "lead." Maybe humans are gold? Maybe clinicians are turning gold into lead?
The alchemists finally had to admit that lead can't be transformed into gold. Their reluctance to face this truth ultimately doomed their craft.
In graduate school, I learned all about consultation. To this day my primary service delivery model is consultation. We talk about the issue, problem solve, make decisions, and together we determine the best way to proceed to help the student.
But I've always remembered and kept in mind the roots, the primitive origins of mental health consultation, a process which has evolved from three prototypical helping roles: the technological advisor, the healer, and the sage.
From the text:
"Another prototypical helper, the healer, evolved in all primitive cultures to attend to the the sick and injured (Moore, 1970). The healer, whose expertise came both from medical technology and from the supernatural, was both a physician and a priest or sorcerer (Sigerist, 1965). Healers usually treated visible illnesses -- such as wounds and fractures -- by rational methods, since their origins and the necessary services were obvious. But when symptoms were internal or of uncertain origins, healers turned to religious prayers and sacrifices or to tools of sorcery, such as amulets and potions. Thus society came to associate healing with the supernatural. Although the importance of non-rational elements in treatment declined with the growth of medical technology, vestiges of ancient beliefs frequently appear. For instance, people -- particularly those in crisis -- sometimes assume that doctors possess esoteric insights and curative powers. This attribution is at times extended to modern [mental health] consultants. In any case, consultants often find themselves in a healing or ameliorative role."
"The Profession and Practice of Consultation" by June Gallessich, Jossey-Bass Publishers, 1982, pp. 18-19.
You got a problem? Go to your mental health therapist to get healed... and now that comprehensive mental health services are to be integrated into the schools, all you have to do is send your kid to school with a note requesting that s/he is healed.
I wish I were a sage and I keep trying but true sages, such as Thomas Szasz, for example, are few and far between. Plus, the first lesson I learned when I entered the public school system is, "You can't be a sage in your own district."
Realistically, I'm a technological advisor, a scientific-practitioner, "[trying to] teach other members of society specialized skills" (i.e., how to cope when you're assigned four hours worth of homework per night).
But the healers... they seem to continue to "turn to tools of sorcery... such as potions." Take two of these three times a day...
"Put the lime in the coconut and mix it all up and then you'll feel better."
Parents, be sure to ask your child's therapist if s/he is a sage, healer, or technological advisor. If they are confused by your question, be careful what you ask for...
"They've given you a number and taken away your name."
Johnny Rivers, 1966
Congratulations to APA!
With the new federal funding to integrate comprehensive mental health services into the schools, I want to congratulate APA and all involved on your major legislative victory. I know you must be very excited to start implementing your DSM (especially your brand new DSM-V) in the schools, but please, I encourage you to start slowly. Things in schools work a bit differently than you've become used to in your private practice: there's more to it than just calling the kid ADHD, slapping him on meds, banking the kickback from the pharmaceutical company, and moving on to the next case. I know there's a lot of money to be made, but don't feel you have to make it all on the first day! Try to show some self-restraint. Good luck and let me know if I can help. Let me start by giving you some free advice: remember that there are laws that schools can't be prescribing or recommending drugs... also there are laws that students are to receive a free and appropriate education... so be careful if you're in the schools prescribing drugs and charging for those services, eh? And be careful about double-dipping. Have a great day!
Again, just a reminder that I don't hate anyone. I forward here a BIG thank you to all the APA psychiatrists, mental health workers, and doctors who use the DSM-5 to infer medical conditions and prescribe meds. I know you are just doing what you were trained to do and hey, everyone's gotta earn a living, eh?
If anyone has a response or opinion to share regarding this, um, plea for sanity (or whatever it is), feel free to share. It will be included, unedited, in this section.
NOTICE: I am not trained or certified to prescribe or administer medications. If you would like medications for your child, go to a psychiatrist, family physician, or mental health worker. Complete the ten-item questionnaire, and your kid will be on meds to treat his or her brain disorder real soon.
This famous XP resource has been around the internet since approximately 2006. It was previously known as, "Be Careful What You Ask For." I usually leave it up until the threats start rolling in.
Secret Agent © 2006, 2013-2020. Donald J. Asbridge, Ed.S., XPsych.com Bakersfield, CA USA. Some right reserved.