Of course, the law doesn’t protect everyone. In fact, it’s more and more used to further injure the already vulnerable. Washington State just passed a law that made involuntary commitment to a psych ward much easier – now, you don’t need a court injunction. You just need a “concerned” family member willing to petition a judge. But no one’s talking about that. We’re not talking about the ethical concerns of some of the “treatment” we’re instructed to encourage our hurting friends to seek.
The gratuitous loss of life in the French Alps is the latest in a constellation of catastrophes that impel us to a short-lived, frenetic discussion about mental health – mostly, as it turns out, how dangerous it is when people who work in any capacity with people don’t have it. Until recently, there was very little discussion of psychoactive substances, sometimes known as medication, their side effects, the perils of withdrawal and appropriate lengths of time on these drugs. In fact, it’s still mainstream messaging, even from organizations and nonprofits legitimately trying to help, to “ask your depressed friend if he’s taking his meds” or to “check in with his GP” as if doctors are more and more the new drug reps. Continue reading Germanwings and the Flight Against Stigma