The association is a Human Rights organization that opposes psychiatric coercion and aims to abolish psychiatric coercive measures altogether and to promote the fundamental rights of self-determination, liberty, and human dignity.

UN: "Insanity defence" must be-
abolished !

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights acceptetd our demand put forth in our statutes article 2.(B) h. to abolich the UN resolution 46/119 of December 17, 1991 on the treatment of "mental patients": In a report to the General assembly of UN of "on enhancing awareness and understanding of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities" the High Commissioner definitly states, that
  • the Insanity defense "must be abolished" (see Article 47 below)
  • and that the "Convention radically departs " from the UN resolution ...on treatment of "mental patients" (see Article 48 below)
  • that all mental health laws using the pretex "as the likelihood of them posing a danger to themselves or others" "must be abolished" (see Article 49 below)

    "47. In the area of criminal law, recognition of the legal capacity of persons with disabilities requires abolishing a defence based on the negation of criminal responsibility because of the existence of a mental or intellectual disability.41 Instead disability-neutral doctrines on the subjective element of the crime should be applied, which take into consideration the situation of the individual defendant. Procedural accommodations both during the pretrial and trial phase of the proceedings might be required in accordance with article 13 of the Convention, and implementing norms must be adopted.5. Right to liberty and security of the person

    48. A particular challenge in the context of promoting and protecting the right to liberty and security of persons with disabilities is the legislation and practice related to health care and more specifically to institutionalization without the free and informed consent of the person concerned (also often referred to as involuntary or compulsory institutionalization). Prior to the entrance into force of the Convention, the existence of a mental disability represented a lawful ground for deprivation of liberty and detention under international human rights law.42 The Convention radically departs from this approach by forbidding deprivation of liberty based on the existence of any disability, including mental or intellectual, as discriminatory. Article 14, paragraph 1 (b), of the Convention unambiguously states that “the existence of a disability shall in no case justify a deprivation of liberty”. Proposals made during the drafting of the Convention to limit the prohibition of detention to cases “solely” determined by disability were rejected.43 As a result, unlawful detention encompasses situations where the deprivation of liberty is grounded in the combination between a mental or intellectual disability and other elements such as dangerousness, or care and treatment. Since such measures are partly justified by the person’s disability, they are to be considered discriminatory and in violation of the prohibition of deprivation of liberty on the grounds of disability, and the right to liberty on an equal basis with others prescribed by article 14.

    49. Legislation authorizing the institutionalization of persons with disabilities on the grounds of their disability without their free and informed consent must be abolished. This must include the repeal of provisions authorizing institutionalization of persons with disabilities for their care and treatment without their free and informed consent, as well as provisions authorizing the preventive detention of persons with disabilities on grounds such as the likelihood of them posing a danger to themselves or others, in all cases in which such grounds of care, treatment and public security are linked in legislation to an apparent or diagnosed mental illness....

    mercoledì 2 maggio 2012

    Mental dysfunction and addiction caused by benzodiazepines

    Currently among the most widely-prescribed psychiatric medications, benzodiazepines or tranquilizers can produce a wide variety of abnormal mental responses and hazardous behavioral abnormality, including rebound anxiety and insomnia, mania (especially Xanax) and other forms of psychosis, paranoia, violence, antisocial acts, depression, and suicide. These drugs can impair cognition, ranging from short-term memory impairment and confusion to delirium. They can also induce dependence and addiction. Severe withdrawal syndromes with fever, lowered blood pressure, shakiness, muscle cramps, blurred vision,  abnormal sensations and perceptions, psychosis, seizures, and even death can develop. The short-acting benzodiazepines, alprazolam (Xanax) and, to an even greater extent, triazolam (Halcion) are especially prone to cause psychological and behavioral abnormalities. Especially when given high doses over many months, many people suffer from mental and emotional instability and cognitive problems long after stopping these medications. These adverse drug effects can wreak havoc in the lives of individuals and their families.
     Dr.Peter Breggin

    domenica 29 aprile 2012

    Antidepressants and brain damage

    Even as harmful as psychiatry's (so-called) antidepressants and lithium and (so-called) antianxiety agents (or minor tranquilizers) are, they are nowhere near as damaging as the so-called major tranquilizers, sometimes also called "antipsychotic" or "antischizophrenic" or "neuroleptic" drugs.  Included in this category are Thorazine (chlorpromazine), Mellaril, Prolixin(fluphenazine), Compazine, Stelazine, and Haldol (haloperidol) - and many others.  In terms of their psychological effects, these so-called major tranquilizers cause misery - not tranquility.  They physically, neurologically blot out most of a person's ability to think and act, even at commonly given doses.  By disabling people, they can stop almost any thinking or behavior the "therapist" wants to stop.  But this is simply disabling people, not therapy.  The drug temporarily disables or permanently destroys good aspects of a person's personality as much as bad.  Whether and to what extent the disability imposed by the drug can be removed by discontinuing the drug depends on how long the drug is given and at how great a dose.  The so-called major tranquilizer/ antipsychotic/neuroleptic drugs damage the brain more clearly, severely, and permanently than any others used in psychiatry. Joyce G. Small, M.D., and Iver F. Small, M.D., both Professors of Psychiatry at Indiana University, criticize psychiatrists who use "psychoactive medications that are known to have neurotoxic effects", and speak of "the increasing recognition of long-lasting and sometimes irreversible impairments in brain function induced by neuroleptic drugs.  In this instance the evidence of brain damage is not subtle, but is grossly obvious even to the casual observer!" (Behavioral and Brain Sciences, March 1984, Vol. 7, p. 34). According to Conrad M. Swartz, Ph.D., M.D., Professor of Psychiatry at Chicago Medical School, "While neuroleptics relieve psychotic anxiety, their tranquilization blunts fine details of personality, including initiative, emotional reactivity, enthusiasm, sexiness, alertness, and insight. ... This is in addition to side effects, usually involuntary movements which can be permanent and are hence evidence of brain damage" (Behavioral and Brain Sciences, March 1984, Vol. 7, pp. 37-38).  A report in 1985 in the Mental and Physical Disability Law Reporter indicates courts in the United States have finally begun to consider involuntary administration of the so-called major tranquilizer/antipsychotic/neuroleptic drugs to involve First Amendment rights "Because...antipsychotic drugs have the capacity to severely and even permanently affect an individual's ability to think and communicate" ("Involuntary medication claims go forward", January-February 1985, p. 26 - emphasis added).  In Molecules of the Mind: The Brave New Science of Molecular Psychology, Professor Jon Franklin observed: "This era coincided with an increasing awareness that the neuroleptics not only did not cure schizophrenia - they actually caused damage to the brain.  Suddenly, the psychiatrists who used them, already like their patients on the fringes of society, were suspected of Nazism and worse" (Dell Pub. Co., 1987, p. 103).  In his book Psychiatric Drugs: Hazards to the Brain, psychiatrist Peter Breggin, M.D., alleges that by using drugs that cause brain damage, "Psychiatry has unleashed an epidemic of neurological disease on the world" one which "reaches 1 million to 2 million persons a year" (op. cit., pp. 109 & 108).  In severe cases, brain damage from neuroleptic drugs is evidenced by abnormal body movements called tardive dyskinesia.  However, tardive dyskinesia is only the tip of the iceberg of neuroleptic caused brain damage. Higher mental functions are more vulnerable and are impaired before the elementary functions of the brain such as motor control.  Psychiatry professor Richard Abrams, M.D., has acknowledged that "Tardive dyskinesia has now been reported to occur after only brief courses of neuroleptic drug therapy" (in: Benjamin B. Wolman (editor),The Therapist's Handbook: Treatment Methods of Mental Disorders, Van Nostrand Reinhold Co., 1976, p. 25).  In his book The New Psychiatry, published in 1985, Columbia University psychiatry professor Jerrold S. Maxmen, M.D., alleges: "The best way to avoid tardive dyskinesia is to avoid antipsychotic drugs altogether. Except for treating schizophrenia, they should never be used for more than two or three consecutive months.  What's criminal is that all too many patients receive antipsychotics who shouldn't" (Mentor, pp. 155-156).  In fact, Dr. Maxmen doesn't go far enough.  His characterization of administration of the so-called antipsychotic/anti-schizophrenic/major tranquilizer/neuroleptic drugs as "criminal" is accurate for all people, including those called schizophrenic, even when the drugs aren't given long enough for the resulting brain damage to show up as tardive dyskinesia.  The author of the Preface of a book by four physicians published in 1980, Tardive Dyskinesia: Research & Treatment, made these remarks: "In the late 1960s I summarized the literature on tardive dyskinesia ... The majority of psychiatrists either ignored the existence of the problem or made futile efforts to prove that these motor abnormalities were clinically insignificant or unrelated to drug therapy.  In the meantime the number of patients affected by tardive dyskinesia increased and the symptoms became worse in those already afflicted by this condition. ... there are few investigators or clinicians who still have doubts about the iatrogenic [physician caused] nature of tardive dyskinesia. ... It is evident that the more one learns about the toxic effects of neuroleptics on the central nervous system, the more one sees an urgent need to modify our current practices of drug use.  It is unfortunate that many practitioners continue to prescribe psychotropics in excessive amounts, and that a considerable number of mental institutions have not yet developed a policy regarding the management and prevention of tardive dyskinesia.  If this book, which reflects the opinions of the experts in this field, can make a dent in the complacency of many psychiatrists, it will be no small accomplishment" (in: William E. Fann, M.D., et al., Tardive Dyskinesia: Research & Treatment, SP Medical & Scientific).  In Psychiatric Drugs: Hazards to the Brain, psychiatrist Peter Breggin, M.D., says this: "The major tranquilizers are highly toxic drugs; they are poisonous to various organs of the body.  They are especially potent neurotoxins, and frequently produce permanent damage to the brain. ... tardive dyskinesia can develop in low-dose, short-term usage... the dementia [loss of higher mental functions] associated with the tardive dyskinesia is not usually reversible. ... Seldom have I felt more saddened or more dismayed than by psychiatry's neglect of the evidence that it is causing irreversible lobotomy effects, psychosis, and dementia in millions of patients as a result of treatment with the major tranquilizers"(op. cit., pp. 70, 107, 135, 146).
              Psychiatry professor Richard Abrams, M.D., has pointed out that "Tricyclic Antidepressants...are minor chemical modifications of chlorpromazine [Thorazine] and were introduced as potential neuroleptics" (in: B. Wolman, The Therapist's Handbook, op. cit., p. 31).  In his book Psychiatric Drugs: Hazards to the Brain, Dr. Breggin calls the so-called antidepressants "Major Tranquilizers in Disguise" (p. 166).  Psychiatrist Mark S. Gold, M.D., has said antidepressants can cause tardive dyskinesia(The Good News About Depression, Bantam, 1986, p. 259).
              Why do the so-called patients accept such "medication"? Sometimes they do so out of ignorance about the neurological damage to which they are subjecting themselves by following their psychiatrist's advice to take the "medication".  But much if not most of the time, neuroleptic drugs are literally forced into the bodies of the "patients" against their wills.  In his book Psychiatric Drugs: Hazards to the Brain, psychiatrist Peter Breggin, M.D., says "Time and again in my clinical experience I have witnessed patients driven to extreme anguish and outrage by having major tranquilizers forced on them. ... The problem is so great in routine hospital practice that a large percentage of patients have to be threatened with forced intramuscular injection before they will take the drugs".

    The brain assault: Yesterday and Totay

    Whitaker unveils a truly frightening history of prominent psychiatrists joining with the eugenics movement to rid the gene pool of the "insanity gene" by classifying mental health clients as debased and subhuman. Eugenicists sought to cleanse America of the mentally ill by forcibly segregating them in asylums so they couldn't procreate, and then sterilizing tens of thousands of patients to prevent them from breeding.

    The U.S. eugenics movement was a key inspiration for Nazi Germany's similar programs to segregate and sterilize mentally disabled people, and German scientists even traveled to California to study our program of forced sterilization.
    American eugenics may have reached its apotheosis in 1935 when Alexis Carrel, a physician at Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research in New York, wrote that the mentally ill "should be humanely and economically disposed of in small euthanistic institutions supplied with proper gases." The U.S. psychiatrists who embraced the program of compulsory sterilization directly influenced the doctors of the Third Reich, who would soon begin the "mercy killings" of mental patients.
    As psychiatry advanced in the 1940s and 1950s, the scientific assault on the brains of patients became, if anything, more methodical and in some cases more terrifying. Insulin coma, metrazol convulsion therapy, electroshock and lobotomies were used to cripple the frontal lobe and the higher brain functions that separate human beings from the lower primates.
    This assault on the brain then came fully into the present with the widespread use of neuroleptic drugs such as Thorazine and Haldol, and the current use of the new "atypical" antipsychotic drugs Zyprexa, Clozaril and Risperdal.
    Both the neuroleptics and the atypicals create brain pathology by blocking the flow of neurotransmitters, leaving patients dulled, lethargic and vegetative. The neuroleptics unleashed a devastating epidemic of "persistent Parkinson's" symptoms and the terribly disfiguring neurological dysfunction called tardive dyskinesia. The new atypicals have already been linked with immense weight gain, diabetes, and the dangerous depletion of white blood cells.

    UN: Disability Convention on mental health laws abolition

    Only ratify the UN Disability Convention if, in doing so,
    all mental health laws are abolished

    (Resolution Point # 1 of the G.A. of April 24, 2007) 
    On 13-Dec-2006 the "Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights and Dignity of Persons with Disabilities" passed the UN General Assembly. On 30-March-2007 governments signed the Convention in New York. This signature marks the beginning of a political debate about this convention and its political implications for those countries who signed the convention, namely: Algeria, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Canada, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, Cote d'Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Estonia, Ethiopia, European Community, Finland, France, Gabon, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Liberia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia , Madagascar, Malawi, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Moldova, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Romania, San Marino, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Viet Nam, Yemen.

    The result of this political process will be that in each of these countries either the convention will be ratified by its legislating bodies (in democratic countries: the parliaments) or not be ratified, which would contradict the prior support of its creation by its government.

    Because this convention concerns the human rights of the disabled, it is crucial to terminate the systematic and wide-spread violation of human rights sanctioned by law legalizing psychiatric coercive measures, compulsory hospitalization and forced treatment as well as the arbitrary prolongation of imprisonment in the forensic unit as punishment. If the convention is to be ratified and thus become law in these countries without the psychiatric special laws being invalidated, it would become the opposite of what it intended: it would become another instrument against the civil and human rights of all individuals who were psychiatrically/medically slandered as allegedly being "mentally ill". These "diagnoses" are defined in the convention with the term "disabled" (Article 1, par. 2): "Persons with disabilities include those who have long-term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments … " [Bold and underlining added by us]

    The convention explicitly bears down on the legal discrimination of persons with disabilities (Article 2, par. 3):
    "… Discrimination on the basis of disability" means any distinction, exclusion or restriction on the basis of disability which has the purpose or effect of impairing or nullifying the recognition, enjoyment or exercise, on an equal basis with others, of all human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural, civil or any other field. …"

    The convention thereby explicitly forbids the possibilities which the national constitutions leave open by annulling constitutional rights with special laws if they have a "disability" as criterion. However that is precisely the case with the Mental Health Laws: the laws legalizing psychiatric confinement of non-criminals as well as the special forensic laws of the Penal Code have as an essential requirement a psychiatric assessment and/or a compulsory examination for this. They must therefore be abolished because they contradict the convention.

    Moreover, in Article 12 the convention obligates a ratifying state as follows:
    Equal recognition before the law
    1. States Parties reaffirm that persons with disabilities have the right to recognition everywhere as persons before the law.
    2. States Parties shall recognize that persons with disabilities enjoy legal capacity on an equal basis with others in all aspects of life.

    Thus any forced guardianship and the compulsory hospitalization, including coercive treatment which is thereby made possible, must be terminated. No longer can the words "protection" and the alleged "well-being" of the persons concerned serve as a cynical pretext for such measures.

    To support this legal interpretation of the convention we recommend commissioning an expertise by lawyers specialized in international Human Rights, taking into account the specific national laws.
    We call on organizations for persons with disabilities to urgently take a stance against a ratification of the convention by the national legislators if it does not fulfill that which it pledges: legally binding freedom from discrimination. Legal discrimination is exercised in its most radical, brutal and abhorrent form by the laws legalizing coercive psychiatry. Should organizations for persons with disabilities nevertheless press for a rapid ratification because they anticipate the effects of positive discrimination from the convention, a ratification without the abolishment of coercive psychiatry would come at an intolerable price: the continuation of the barbarity of coercive psychiatry with its torture-like practices and the denial of self-determination by individuals who were slandered in the psychiatric-medical jargon as alleged "mentally ill".

    A ratification which maintains the Mental Health Laws would make the convention a cynical caricature: The convention would become an additional instrument of camouflage and cover-up for psychiatric violence. It would become a part of the problem instead of its solution.