December 27, 2012
TOO BUSY MAINSTREAMING DEVIANCE TO RECOGNIZE THE DAMAGE:
Our Failed Approach to Schizophrenia (PAUL STEINBERG, 12/25/12, NY Times)
TOO many pendulums have swung in the wrong directions in the United States. I am not referring only to the bizarre all-or-nothing rhetoric around gun control, but to the swing in mental health care over the past 50 years: too little institutionalizing of teenagers and young adults (particularly men, generally more prone to violence) who have had a recent onset of schizophrenia; too little education about the public health impact of untreated mental illness; too few psychiatrists to talk about and treat severe mental disorders -- even though the medications available in the past 15 to 20 years can be remarkably effective.Instead we have too much concern about privacy, labeling and stereotyping, about the civil liberties of people who have horrifically distorted thinking. In our concern for the rights of people with mental illness, we have come to neglect the rights of ordinary Americans to be safe from the fear of being shot -- at home and at schools, in movie theaters, houses of worship and shopping malls.
It is not an act of love to treat people who are mentally deranged as if they were normal. Nevermind whether they are a risk to us, it requires us to stand idly by as they damage themselves.
Posted by Orrin Judd at December 27, 2012 9:37 AM