Thursday, June 05, 2014


If you have been paying attention to the major media outlets over the past few months, you may have concluded that the only way to keep yourself and your family safe is to support those calling for more money to be put into the present mental health system for more forced treatment.  The people quoted make forced treatment sound sane.  However; there are a few problems with the arguments they are making.

1) The fundamental rights of the person are being denied and the state takes on the role of a parent or guardian.  I am not a lawyer so I cannot explain this to you in legal terms, but in straight language your personhood is denied and the government becomes you.  When they locked me away I was no longer Ed, I was the property of the state.

2) The medical science used by mental health professionals to get some sort of court to commit you to a hospital is based on what most scientists would deny was real science.  No other medical specialty uses only what a person can tell them to make a diagnosis, but because there is not a single physical test to verify any of psychiatry’s labels they have only their patient’s words and presentation to decide which label found in DSM-5 they are going to give them.

3) Even if you agree there is a psychiatric disorder such as bipolar, how have you helped the person by taking away their identity and making them mere property of the state?  If you think that is a sane way to begin a healing process, then you have never faced any problem in your life.  Imagine the worse time in your life and then imagine someone coming into your home and taking you away to a locked ward where they took your clothes and all your personal possessions.  Do you think it would have helped you get over the worst time in your life?

4) Because no one can accurately predict when a person is going to be violent, locking people up that some professional decides needs to become the property of the state will never make you safe.  Read the previous sentence again because it is the most important sentence in this blog entry.

I do not believe in forced or coerced treatment under any circumstances.  Unless a person has committed a crime I do not think the state has the right to put them behind locked doors.  I don’t think the state has a right to make laws allowing them to lock me up because they think I might kill myself.  I am not the property of the state.  My body is not the property of the state.

To be sure, no forced or coerced treatment becomes more of an issue when I get manic which is why for most of my life I have always hit the road before anyone could lock me away.  The road trips were costly in more ways than one.  I should not have had to run.  I should have had a safe haven to run towards.  Maybe the church needs to become a safe haven for us. Isn’t there a tradition of the church being a safe haven?
 James O'Kelley's Chapel 

© Ed Cooper, 6/5/2014, Stoney Creek, Tennessee 
    All rights reserved

No comments:

Post a Comment