Psychophobia

20 April, 2007

Friend hymes of blog Charlottesville Prejudice Watch is an advocate for the rights of those with psychiatric disabilities, and works to oppose forced treatments. She has a nice rant up about the VT shootings and how ridiculous some of the proposals for preventing such events in the future have been. An excerpt (emphasis mine):

…They also claim that changing the standard for commitment in this state would somehow have prevented this tragedy when no one even tried to have this guy committed since 2005. If he had been committed to an inpatient unit in 2005, he would have been out at least a year ago…

It is as if people with psychiatric illness are not people nor fellow citizens to these folks, let alone most likely members of their family… It is also as if psychiatry had superior[ity] to other medical specialties scientific methods of determining who is ill, what their illness is and what if any risk they might pose to themselves or others. That is a myth. A dangerous myth to people who daily die from the side effects of psychiatric drugs or from being restrained in state hospitals…

Even more amazing is folks denial that they could ever themselves be the subject of a psychiatric intervention…Are we so complacent about our liberties and the good intentions of our federal government these days that we want to trust them with more opportunities to lock up inconvenient or troublesome citizens?

I’ve been trying to keep in mind, as I hear people scramble around for someone to blame this tragedy on, that it’s merely human nature and this response will subside. After all, nobody REALLY thinks there is a way to reliably predict who is going to commit a violent act, and that administrators and authorities in Blacksburg were negligent in doing so…do they?

What do you think, readers?

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