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Old 10-20-2012, 06:27 PM
76 posts, read 233,716 times
Reputation: 37


I posted a similar warning a few years ago but it's worth repeating

If you're looking for help for depression or some other mental illness, avoid hospitals, "screeners," and community mental health associations and calling 911. You can be involuntarily committed for weeks before you get a hearing. And they will charge you thousands of dollars for your own commitment. It just happened to a relative of mine. There are a number of free or low-cost private mental health clinics like SERV.

Investigations found that some screeners and doctors were getting bounties from psychiatry hospitals and wards for directing patients to them. The hospitals get paid one way or another--through insurance, by the patient himself if not insured (and they charge the uninsured much more), or by charity care paid by the government for impoverished patients. The psychiatrists just approves whatever the screener recommends since that's also in their own interest.

"U.S. Representative Patricia Schroeder of Colorado held hearings investigating the practices of psychiatric hospitals in the United States. Her committee's summary: "Our investigation has found that thousands of adolescents, children, and adults have been hospitalized for psychiatric treatment they didn't need; that hospitals hire bounty hunters to kidnap patients...that psychiatrists are being pressured by the hospitals to increase profit; that hospitals 'infiltrate' schools by paying kickbacks to school counselors who deliver students; that bonuses are paid to hospital employees, including psychiatrists, for keeping the hospital beds filled.

"The supposed experts responsible for these "diagnoses" are usually biased in favor of commitment because of their personal economic concerns or their affiliation with the psychiatric "hospital" or ward where the "patient" is or will be confined. Psychiatric "hospitals", like all businesses, need customers. In the case of psychiatric "hospitals" [or wards], they need patients. They not only want patients, they need them to stay in business. ..Keeping all those psychiatric beds filled is critical, and administrators are aggressively ensuring that they will be. Some facilities even resort to paying employees and others bonuses of $500 to $1,000 per referral. An administrator at a psychiatric "hospital" told me competition between psychiatric hospitals is "cut throat". Combine this intense competition with America's poorly written involuntary commitment laws and judges who refuse to impose protection from unwarranted commitment that bona-fide due process requires, and the result is a lot of people being deprived of liberty and suffering psychiatric stigma unjustifiably."

Unjustified Psychiatric Commitment
Ill-Treated - Reason Magazine
Campaign For Liberty — Involuntary Psychiatric Commitment - A Crack In The Door Of Constitutional Freedoms
Involuntary Commitment

"Some psychiatric hospitals made a practice of admitting adolescents in distress, using the diagnosis of bipolar disorder. The federal government finally intervened, charging the hospitals with fraud and assessing fines of millions of dollars. Many of these children did not have bipolar disorder at all, but were acting inappropriately because of stresses in their families, with their friends, and at school." --Edward Drummond, M.D., Associate Medical Director at Seacoast Mental Health Center, Portsmouth, New Hampshire, in _The Complete Guide to Psychiatric Drugs_ (John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York, 2000, pages 13-14.) Dr. Drummond graduated from Tufts University School of Medicine and was trained in psychiatry at Harvard University."

Report Psychiatric Abuse - Citizens Commission on Human Rights
"Vulnerable people who have sought help from psychiatrists and psychologists have been falsely diagnosed and forced to undergo unwanted and often harmful psychiatric methods."

While in theory, a patient is entitled to a hearing before a judge before longer term involuntary commitment, in practice this provides little protection.
1. In most states, you can be held for 3 days just on the recommendation of a "screener," who need not even be a psychiatrist. Psychiatrists just rubber stamp the screener's recommendation.
2. You can be and many people are involuntarily committed if they are considered a potential danger to themselves, i.e., if they've had
thoughts of suicide. But thoughts of suicide are a common symptom of depression; indeed, it's one of the standard DSM-IV diagnostic criteria for clinical depression.
3. For the reasons noted above, it's in the financial interest of both screeners and psychiatrists to commit people.
4. It often 3 weeks or longer to get even a preliminary hearing before a judge, during which time the person remains committed and the bills pile up.
5. Judges usually just follow the recommendation of the psychiatrist/screener, who have a vested interest in commitment. Unless you can afford to hire your own lawyer and psychiatrist, you may stay committed.
6. The person is often released before a hearing can be held, which is often weeks. That still amounts to tens of thousands of dollars in hospital and other medical bills. If you don't have insurance, they can and will charge you for it.


Last edited by ann_lepore; 10-20-2012 at 06:31 PM.. Reason: Font size
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