I was going to write an update today on how well Chris is doing. Instead, after reading a postcript to the Huffington Post article by DJ Jaffe, I realized that Chris couldn't possibly be doing well.
Jaffe is highly critical of the Alternatives 2010 Mental Health Conference, which took place Sept. 29 - Oct. 3 in Anaheim, CA. Jaffe is not a psychiatrist, but rather an opinion leader from the patient ranks. Jaffe is obviously a friend of state mind control, while maintaining he is a advocate for the mentally ill, so in that respect, people may confuse him with being a psychiatrist. He is no friend of the mentally ill because the opinion piece he wrote on the Alternatives Conference is a put down of human beings every step of the way in the best best tradition of institutional psychiatry. In a follow-up article today in the HP, Jaffe doesn't seem to get that so-called mentally ill people are exactly like you and me, and that's appalling, coming from someone who purports to want to help. He wants to lock'em up in a police state run by relatives in collusion with the police. He doesn't seem to get it at all.
This guy is a do-gooder by appearance but he has aligned himself with interests that are the opposite of empathetic. There are many like him out there. They are not on the side of the sufferer because they continue to deny that the labelled person has any mind of their own or any rightous reason to behave as they do. They continue to believe that there is something called serious mental illness, because not believing in it might turn the spotlight on their own biases towards the individual. They use the language of dependency. The mentally ill can't possibly know what is good for them, so we must protect them at all costs. According to Jaffe's bio, he's been advocating for the "seriously" mentally ill for over thirty years now. He only takes an anti-depressant. He's done a good job in advocating in favor of the seriously mentally ill because we still have lots of seriously mentally ill folks whose relatives like Jaffe's views.
Jaffe was very critical of Will Hall's workshop of coming off psychiatric meds. The organizers of the Conference wanted Hall to downplay the coming off psych meds. From my understanding, Hall refused to change the wording and that in effect cancelled the workshop. The organizers then backed down, and Hall agreed to deliver the workshop.
First, I looked up Will Hall's presentation - Coming Off Medications: A Harm Reduction Approach
Here's what I read today (Oct. 6) on the Internet:
Participants will learn what a harm reduction approach is, receive a copy of the Harm Reduction Guide, understand the goals of medication empowerment, and explore how to collaborate in a partnership with prescribing professionals. This workshop is not medical advice but is about educating participants to be more empowered and make wiser, more confident choices about mental health treatments including starting, continuing, reducing, changing, and going off medications.
If this was the wording that Will Hall signed off on, then that's exactly what I would want to see written.
Jaffe reports an updated description of the workshop which I reprinted below. If this is in fact what Will Hall agreed to, I am (a) very disapointed, to say the least, and (b) plenty discouraged today about Chris's prospects because apparently Chris is seriously mentally ill, a schizophrenic who needs his medications to prevent him from deteriorating. (I thought it was my job to help prevent the deterioration.) As a labelled schizophrenic he has been singled out from the rest of the mentally ill people attending the conference as the worst of the worst. Other people who are not as well informed as you and me are going to take this advice at face value. Once a schizophrenic, always a schizophrenic is the message I get from this. Don't ever separate these seriously whacko people from their medications or tragedy will always result. My job as a supportive parent who believes in her son's innate wisdom and mental health and accepts my own share of the responsibility has just been delivered a devastating blow. So has your job.
Jaffe's update on Oct. 2nd on what we are led to believe is the revised description of Will Hall's workshop :
Updated 10/2/2010: The following section was inserted: "For the 'labeled' participants, there will be a workshop on how to go off medications. That could be a dangerous, if not deadly, 'alternative,' should someone with schizophrenia who needs medication to prevent them from deteriorating decides to do it".
It replaces a section which previously read, "For the 'labeled' participants, there will be a workshop on how to go off medications. That could be a dangerous, if not deadly, 'alternative,' should any people with real mental illness be in attendance.
Jaffe's description sounds like it might have been taken from document not related to the Conference agenda, e.g. "there will be a workshop." Did Will Hall agree to deliver the workshop as described in the Jaffe update? Please, someone, tell me no.