An Open Letter to Rep. Tim Murphy On The Rights of the Mentally Ill

Dear Rep. Murphy,
Our mental health care system has always been broken.It has never been effective or efficient, but for some, the ineffectiveness and inefficiency has created a money-making system.We need to question why is there a growing epidemic of mental illness?

What flaws in this system are we overlooking?

One major contributing factor involves how our medical and mental health professionals continue to use the DSM-5 with a flawed “Chinese menu” approach.

Individuals who suffer symptoms of severe mental illness are being labeled with schizophrenia/bipolar/etc. without consideration of, or testing for, underlying medical conditions or substances that induce these symptoms.

This unscientific, rubber-stamp labeling system results in a blanket drug treatment regime and leaves patients at risk of unnecessary and prolonged suffering.

Psychiatry’s “Chinese Menu” approach is an unfair and unethical medical practice that seriously jeopardizes the health, safety and welfare of the public.

Psychiatry must move towards adopting Best Practice Assessment Standards and integrative care for their patients.

All ethical mental health advocates should be advancing best practice standards.

The Court’s decision in Wyatt v. Stickney  325 F.Supp. 781 (M.D.Ala. 1971), determined that patients have a “constitutional right to receive such individual treatment as will give each of them a realistic opportunity to be cured or to improve his or her mental condition.”

Our mental health patients under observation for psychosis have the fundamental right to know their diagnosis based on Best Practice Assessment standards.

By consensual agreement within the American Psychiatric Association (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual III-revised, 1987), psychiatric diagnoses are descriptive labels only for phenomenology, not etiological or mechanistic explanation for syndromes. Thus, a psychiatric diagnosis labels a pattern of signs and symptoms, but offers no hypothesis concerning the mechanism(s) of the clinical phenomena.(Davidoff et al., 1991).

Our citizens loose their personal freedom and right to contract services when they are rubber-stamped with generic psychiatric labels based on descriptions only.  Psychiatric labels create a class of people who can be legally forced into contracting the services of mental health facilities and limited providers of psychiatric services.

Forced treatment creates forced contracts between patients and providers/facilities.

Bills for products, services and treatment submitted to patients and their insurance companies for forced treatment are illegal contracts and should be considered unconstitutional.

It is a travesty of justice for lawmakers to support forced treatment, that is not the correct treatment.

Respectfully,

Maria Mangicaro

mangicaro829@aol.com

 

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