...what a depressing article from such an unexpected source. I'm not even sure where to start.
1) I do not believe we would be better back in the "asylum days". I think the abandonment of the asylum was a good thing.
2) Anti-psychotic drugs help people more than the author will admit.
3) I think an insurance system designed to keep you away from being hospitalized for "months to years" is a good thing.
4) The local hospital is designed to cover the crisis a patient is going through. It's not for long term treatment.
5) There are more legal constraints on a psychiatrist because they aren't dealing with visible physical injuries like a broken leg.They're also dealing with incarceration and often treatment against a patent's wishes. People with broken legs don't refuse treatment.
Jeez, I could go on because I disagree with almost ever thing this guy says. It's not that bad out there and people are getting better. Good lord is it better than the days of the asylums.
And here were my thoughts:
I agree with you...asylums aren't the answer....but if it takes a person longer than exactly 30 days to come out of an episode, there should be more options available....
I agree with you that long term hospitalization is not always necessary or desirable. When I was 19 I spent 14 months in a hospital and had, I think, two or three other 6 month long stays. The 14 month one was a waste of taxpayer's money...but actually, both of the 6 month-ers were pretty much necessary....so who's to say what the limit of time spent in hospital should be? There's a difference between receiving treatment and expensive housing. And it is a tough call for the insurance companies to make to determine which is taking place on an individual level. So I believe that rather than struggle with that question and the abuses and insurance fraud that I'm sure took place, they erred on the "safe" side (safe for them, note) and just said 30 days max. Period.
And yeah for some people, it sucks. And it puts pressure on social workers etc in the hospitals, often to arrange for living and treatment situations quickly...and I think that because of the difficulty of that, they just don't even really try to do that any more or to get heavily involved with the aftercare plan. And unfortunately, this may have resulted in a greater percentage of homelessness and suicides than would have occurred should adequate plans have been in place.
You're right , a lot can be said about it...on both sides of the argument (between long and short term care.) As far as "asylums" : I don't think ANYONE is arguing for that to return....except this article.
And as far as medical advances:? I had been treated on EVERY single antidepressant and antipsychotic drug available back in the 80's at unbelievably high doses.....to no avail....The drugs simply weren't available then which would help me. Thank God for the advances in this area....while not ideal, they are a far cry from the misery I was in back then.
However I do agree that the term "Behavioral Health" is misleading in a very negative sense. It relegates a serious mental and physical illness to a matter of mere behavior, implying that perhaps all that's needed is a "smack on the hand" or retraining and the problem will resolve or go away. This is a fallacy; and a dangerous one.
It will not be until Schizophrenia is seen as a serious brain disease, that funding, research and a cure will be found....Too many people call mental illness "emotional illness" or "emotional problems " and think that it is an equivalent term. No amount of effort, therapy, or rehabilitation is going to cure schizophrenia or reverse it's damage. This is a common misconception and is reiterated by such terms as "behavioral health" and it perpetrates and perpetuates a common public misunderstanding of a devastating illness leading to even greater misery among the population who suffer from it.