Add this Page to Facebook!   Submit to Twitter   Submit to Reddit   Submit to Stumble Upon   Pin It!   Fark It!   Tell A Friend  
Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite Save As Favorite View Article Stats
3 comments

General News

Stop FDA from voting to make mental illness treatment more difficult

By (about the author)     Permalink       (Page 1 of 1 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

View Ratings | Rate It

Headlined to H3 1/12/11
Become a Fan
  (2 fans)

opednews.com

On January 27th and 28th, the Food and Drug Administration is having a meeting to decide who controls your right to choose mental illness treatment. On one side are doctors, scientists, patients and their advocates. On the other side is a doctor who doesn't believe mental illness is real.

The FDA will have to side with one or the other, and the outcome is by no means certain.

The hearings concern the continued availability of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT, or "Shock Treatment").

In spite of Hollywood portrayals like that in "One Flew Over the Cukoos Nest," almost all acknowledge the scientific efficacy of the treatment. These include the National Insitutes of Health, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, American Psychiatric Association, the Surgeon General, and the Center for Mental Health Services which concluded:

Broad agreement exists within the medical-psychiatric community about the effectiveness and safety of ECT for the treatment of people with certain mental illnesses.

ECT is often the treatment of choice for pregnant women and the elderly because it has fewer and less intense side-effects than some other treatments. To deny them the right to choose ECT, would be cruel. Patients with mental illness who have been helped by ECT include Kitty Dukakis who wrote Healing Power of Electroconvulsive Therapy, based on her experience with it, and Dick Cavett who told People Magazine, his treatment was "miraculous."

On the other side of the argument are Dr. Peter Breggin and the Citizens Committee on Human Rights (CCHR).

Dr. Breggin's opposition is the outcome of his belief that mental illness is a myth. If I didn't believe schizophrenia, depression or bipolar disorder were real, I too would be against treatment. Dr. Breggin gave his version of the origins of bipolar disorder on The Huffington Post, stating the drug companies had to create a new patient population market and that market became "bipolar disorder." As to schizophrenia, in "The Psychology of Freedom" he argued that people with schizophrenia bring the symptoms on themselves because of "cowardice" or "failure of nerve."

The other organization expected to testify with Dr. Breggin is the Citizens' Commission on Human Rights, which was founded by a religion that believes psychiatry is an "industry of death". Again: If I thought Psychiatry was an industry of death, I would oppose letting them offer treatment too.

NAMI brought the religion's attempt to limit access to treatment to Washington's attention over 15 years ago. I wrote on the core of the issue before this most recent hearing was scheduled.

Like all treatments for any disorder, ECT has side-effects that should be disclosed to patients. And if those patients choose other treatments, they should be allowed. But after so many years of being used successfully to help people, trying to outlaw it now is not in anyone's interest.

To comment to the FDA or arrange to be heard, go here
http://www.fda.gov/AdvisoryCommittees/Calendar/ucm234979.htm

 

http://mentalillnesspolicy.org

DJ Jaffe is a long-time advocate for people with very serious mental illness. He has written for NY Times, WSJ, Wash Post and others. He blogs on mental illness on Huffington Post
Add this Page to Facebook!   Submit to Twitter   Submit to Reddit   Submit to Stumble Upon   Pin It!   Fark It!   Tell A Friend
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Follow Me on Twitter

Contact Author Contact Editor View Authors' Articles

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

There's No Stigma to Mental Illness

9/11: Another excuse to ignore seriously mentally ill

Carson City: Mental Illness Compromises National Security

Jared Loughner, Gabrielle Giffords, Mental Illness, and the Unabomber

California can comply with order to release prisoners by reforming mental health system

Paul Ryan's Medicaid Proposal could help mentally ill (if no one else)

Comments

The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

Comments: Expand   Shrink   Hide  
3 people are discussing this page, with 3 comments
To view all comments:
Expand Comments
(Or you can set your preferences to show all comments, always)

Can you tell me why the FDA would give any weight ... by Wayne Turner on Wednesday, Jan 12, 2011 at 7:36:35 PM
those patients take expensive and possibly less ef... by Mark Adams JD/MBA on Wednesday, Jan 12, 2011 at 10:28:15 PM
Congress is mental, Government is mental. With all... by Debbie S on Thursday, Jan 13, 2011 at 2:23:44 PM