Maria Mangicaro – ISEPP is My Type of Mental Health Advocacy

Volunteering for International Society for Ethical Psychology and Psychiatry (ISEPP) is my way of giving back.   I feel I have been very blessed.  It was very difficult for me to find providers who offered alternatives to mainstream psychiatry, and it was even more difficult to find a psychiatrist who would work with me s to try to taper off  psych meds.  ISEPP helps people connect with alternatives to mainstream psychiatry and psych meds.

ISEPP supports alternatives to conventional psychiatry and medication.

ISEPP supports alternatives to conventional psychiatry and medication.

Volunteering for ISEPP gives me an opportunity to help provide support to mental health professionals who are open-minded enough to explore, expand and create awareness of evidence-based alternatives. ISEPP welcomes professionals and non-professionals alike.

Medical professionals risk their reputation and their credentials by offering evidence-based alternatives like Integrative Psychiatry/Functional Medicine.

ISEPP Counters Coercive Psychiatry

Unlike any other health condition, mental/behavioral/emotional health conditions overlap into our criminal justice system, leaving those in need of help incarcerated and at the mercy of limited services and treatment options.

Historically, mental health laws are unique because they have been designed to employ and empower medical opinion that selects specific treatment options. Coercive mental health treatment contributed to the proliferation of the psychopharmacological revolution.

Sterilization of the feeble-minded and mentally ill was sanctioned by the Supreme Court in Buck v. Bell (1927).  The decision has never been overturned, but is widely criticized today, and no one with a mental disability  has been sterilized in the U.S. in over 50 years.

But many individuals labeled with a mental disorder still become part of a class of people who can be deprived of equal protection, civil liberties, and the liberty to enter contracts. They are in need of a strong, ethical, united advocacy agenda that promotes best-practice standards of treatment and care.

Individuals in the mental health system can be forced to use the services of specific providers, and become consumers of potentially lethal products.

ISEPP member Delores Jankovich and Certified Peer Specialist Christian Wade talk about social messaging during a create your own job event at the Blue Room in Kansas City

ISEPP member Delores Jankovich and Certified Peer Specialist Christian Wade talk about social messaging during a create your own job event at the Blue Room in Kansas City

Because individuals labeled with mental disorders can be perceived as a threat to themselves or others, psychiatry and the use of medication as the primary choice of “treatment” has become an unregulated power-base of authority in the U.S.

The topic of “mental illness” involves a broad-spectrum of concerns. My main advocacy agenda involves symptoms of psychosis and mania.

Advocates who support forced “treatment” of psychotic symptoms should consider the possibility that the treatment they are advocating could kill cause the person they want to help to kill or harm himself or others.  Likewise, advocates who oppose forced treatment of psychotic symptoms should consider that accurate diagnosis and treatment could save the lives.

As a mental health advocate, my agenda is very specific, and based on the fact many medical conditions, trauma, and substance use can manifest as symptoms of psychosis/mania and be misdiagnosed as schizophrenia/bipolar disorder.

My goal as an advocate is to raise the bar on forced “treatment” to include accurate assessment, informed consent, and treatment options that include the right treatment.

In 1996 I suffered an acute manic episode from toxic encephalopathy. I was misdiagnosed as having bipolar disorder with psychotic features at the same hospital that, according to a published study, misdiagnosed a 15-year-old girl suffering from lupus. After treatment with steroids, she no longer required psych meds.

In my opinion, trying to prevent prolonged suffering and misdiagnosis is well worth putting time, effort and energy into.

What groups do you know that support alternatives like ISEPP?

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