Former Washington Post Reporter Pete Earley talks about his book “Crazy: A Father’s search through America’s Mental Health Care Madness”

Uploaded by on Jan 29, 2010

Program Description:
Pete Earley will use his personal story to illustrate how difficult it is to get a loved one with a severe mental illness meaningful help. He will specifically focus on how and why persons, such as his son, often end up in our criminal justice system and why that is wrong. In addition to telling his sons story, he will describe the results of a nine month investigation that he conducted as a journalist inside the Miami Dade County jail where he followed persons with severe mental illnesses through the criminal justice system and out into the community to observe what services were available to them. The goal of his presentation is to explain why jails and prisons have become our new asylums, why this is wrong, why it wastes money, and how communities can better serve persons with mental illnesses by focusing on a variety of successful programs that help people recover rather than punish them for being ill.

Program Presenter:
In a *Washingtonian Magazine* cover story entitled, Top Journalists: Washingtons Media Elite, Pete Earley was described as one of a handful of journalists in America who have the power to introduce new ideas and give them currency. A former reporter for *The Washington Post*, he is the author of nine nonfiction books and three novels. His first book, *Family of Spies: Inside the John Walker Spy Ring*, was a New York Times bestseller and was made into a five hour miniseries shown on CBS television. For his book, The *Hot House: Life Inside Leavenworth Prison*, Earley spent a full year as a reporter inside a maximum security prison. His book, *Circumstantial Evidence* helped lead to the release of a black man from death row after he had been wrongly convicted of murdering a white teenager in Alabama. His book, *CRAZY: A Fathers Search Through Americas Mental Health Madness, *tells two stories. It describes his attempts to help is college age son, Mike, after he becomes ill with bipolar disorder and is arrested. It also describes a year that Earley spent at the Miami Dade County Jail where he followed persons with mental disorders, who had been in jail, out into the community to see what sort of services they received. His book was one of two finalists for the Pulitzer Prize in 2007 and has won awards from Mental Health America, National Alliance on Mental Illness, and the American Psychiatric Association.

Advertisements

“Crazy” author Pete Earley tells “his story” about dealing with mental illness

Uploaded by on May 15, 2011

There’s a good chance that you — or someone you know — will experience emotional or behavioral challenges at some point.  After all, some form of mental illness affects one out of every five American families each year. It is an equal-opportunity disease that can happen to anyone at any time.  Whether you have anxiety, stress, depression, drug or alcohol addiction, or bipolar disorder — or any other mental health challenge — it doesn’t have to take over your life or your loved ones’ lives. Arapahoe/Douglas Mental Health Network is there to help.  Author/journalist Pete Earley came to town to talk about his personal involvement with mental health issues in his family.

 

I remember buying a copy of Donald Trump’s first book, The Art of the Deal, inside the Kansas City airport to read on a flight home. The book was a bestseller and I wanted my book to be one too when it was published. I wanted to see how Trump had done it.

This was at the very start of Trump’s rise in fame — before he became a “business magnate, socialite, author and television personality,” which is how Wikipedia describes him now.
As I read his book, I remember thinking that some of the traits that Trump saw as virtues were only a hair different from the claims that many criminals were making to me in Leavenworth. The inmates talked about how they were the ultimate risk-takers, were not bound by society’s rules, were willing to bully people to get what they wanted, were at “war” with their opponents, and  respected power over mercy.
I wasn’t impressed with the book or many of Trump’s teachings.
So you can imagine the smile that broke across my face recently when I came across this report on the Internet.
“ In 2005, psychologists Belinda Board and Katarina Fritzon at the University of Surrey, UK, interviewed and gave personality tests to high-level British executives and compared their profiles with those of criminal psychiatric patients at Broadmoor Hospital in the UK. They found that three out of eleven personality disorders were actually more common in executives than in the disturbed criminals. They were:
1.  Histrionic personality disorder, including superficial charm, insincerity, egocentricity and manipulation.
2. Narcissistic personality disorder: including grandiosity, self-focused lack of empathy for others, exploitativeness  and independence.
3. Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder: including perfectionism, excessive devotion to work, rigidity, stubbornness and dictatorial tendencies.
The authors described the business people as successful psychopaths and the criminals as unsuccessful psychopaths.”
Don’t misunderstand. I admire many business executives, especially those with a social conscience. I also wonder if you can’t find these same disorders among journalists whose single-mindedness helped them get to the top.
Just the same, I had to chuckle. ~ Pete Earley

“Crazy” author Pete Earley talks about his son’s treatment for psychosis and mania

Posted by Maria Mangicaro
mangicaro829@aol.com

Uploaded by on Jan 29, 2010

Program Description:
Pete Earley will use his personal story to illustrate how difficult it is to get a loved one with a severe mental illness meaningful help. He will specifically focus on how and why persons, such as his son, often end up in our criminal justice system and why that is wrong. In addition to telling his sons story, he will describe the results of a nine month investigation that he conducted as a journalist inside the Miami Dade County jail where he followed persons with severe mental illnesses through the criminal justice system and out into the community to observe what services were available to them. The goal of his presentation is to explain why jails and prisons have become our new asylums, why this is wrong, why it wastes money, and how communities can better serve persons with mental illnesses by focusing on a variety of successful programs that help people recover rather than punish them for being ill.
Program Presenter:
In a *Washingtonian Magazine* cover story entitled, Top Journalists: Washingtons Media Elite, Pete Earley was described as one of a handful of journalists in America who have the power to introduce new ideas and give them currency. A former reporter for *The Washington Post*, he is the author of nine nonfiction books and three novels. His first book, *Family of Spies: Inside the John Walker Spy Ring*, was a New York Times bestseller and was made into a five hour miniseries shown on CBS television. For his book, The *Hot House: Life Inside Leavenworth Prison*, Earley spent a full year as a reporter inside a maximum security prison. His book, *Circumstantial Evidence* helped lead to the release of a black man from death row after he had been wrongly convicted of murdering a white teenager in Alabama. His book, *CRAZY: A Fathers Search Through Americas Mental Health Madness, *tells two stories. It describes his attempts to help is college age son, Mike, after he becomes ill with bipolar disorder and is arrested. It also describes a year that Earley spent at the Miami Dade County Jail where he followed persons with mental disorders, who had been in jail, out into the community to see what sort of services they received. His book was one of two finalists for the Pulitzer Prize in 2007 and has won awards from Mental Health America, National Alliance on Mental Illness, and the American Psychiatric Association.

Pete Earley forced his son to take Depakote because he believed it was helping him.  Long after he wrote his book “CRAZY” he found out he was wrong.

Failure of Leadership at Abbott Breaks Its Promise

Yesterday’s announcement that the global pharmaceutical giant Abbott Laboratories had agreed to pay $1.6 billion to state and federal agencies in criminal and civil fines made me furious. This is not the first time that a large drug manufacturer has been caught illegally promoting unapproved uses for one of its medicines.  But the Abbott case is especially egregious because it executives  exploited two vulnerable groups: persons with mental illnesses and the elderly.

The settlement ends a four-year investigation into a wide number of calculated moves by the Illinois-based company to push sales of its neurological drug Depakote into so called “off label” markets where it didn’t belong.  One of the more scandalous admissions was that executives created a special sales force to promote Depakote in nursing homes.  The sales force was told to push Depakote as a substitute for proper staffing since one of its side effects was turning grandma and grandpa into compliant zombies thus reducing the need to hire employees and provide decent care.  ”Abbott essentially preyed on…the most helpless patient populations,” one attorney noted.

Not only did Abbott prey on the elderly, it took advantage of persons with mental illnesses between 2001 and 2006 to increase Depakote sales. Two studies  funded by the company failed to prove the drug’s effectiveness as a booster for antipsychotic drugs, yet the company waited two years after the conclusion of the second study to notify its sales force and another two years to publish its findings.

Depakote was prescribed to my son during this time frame and, like hundreds of other concerned parents, I urged him to take it because I believed it was helping him.

Up ↑