I suggest stop wasting valuable time and energy talking about meds. We’ve known since the meds came out that they had problems. The side effects are listed, although maybe not shared complete honestly. The lower efficacy was well known from the release of each medication, although maybe not shared completely honestly. Rather positive energy can be used to create, and/or promote mental health solutions. We need programs and treatments that consumers can choose to utilize. With no choices there is nothing to choose!
Look at Mary Ellen Copeland, she created a program, packaged it for sustained growth and in due time got the first consumer evidence based practice listing, with WRAP! She is helping people recover. That should be the litmus test, are what we each doing helping someone recovery today? If the answer is no, not today am I helping anyone … then stop. At the end of the day, who are the people who have come up with mental health solutions?
Trouble with complaining is that it is so ineffective, and gets old. If not taking medications is the goal, then recovery is the best way to stay out of awkward situations. Children don’t have any rights, their legal guardians do, but prescribing always has to have a reason behind it. It’s best to take our energy, re-frame it, and get involved in parental programs that will teach a parent ways to have a better relationship with parents, the kid will be happier and not present as one needing medication. As for adults it is more healthier to learn the law of how to refuse a medication, or change doctors.
Comparing results for building mental health solutions instead of pointing out problems:
Complaining doesn’t result in mental health solutions. It just raises negative adrenaline. If a person learns to complain only, then gets into a psychiatric evaluation situation and complains it’ll be received as symptomatic of some diagnosis and the result will be more of what the patient doesn’t want. Clearly complaining doesn’t result in solutions. In a complicated situation involving the human mind, it results in emotions, adrenaline, anger, authority, laws, medical analysis, more laws, protocols, pressure from insurance companies. It results in local government policy (DMH, Board of Supervisors, police, EMT, ambulance, hospital emergency room) and I could list more. Using complaining as a basis for advocacy is a disaster.
Awhile back, circa 1998, I attended a DBSA support group, and out of sheer common sense we would dialogue about what to do if we encounters law enforcement, and/or angry friends and family. This was just a group of people talking, no dogma from an association, political or guru – just common sense. Not one person every suggested that pointing out problems with the mental health system would be part of the solutions. As far as I know, all the folks involved back then have never got into trouble or ran into problems about their rights with doctors, systems of care, or insurance companies.
Mental health solutions bring in a bigger audience:
Remember who your audience is in the big picture. It is the 25 million (last estimate I heard) who are on psych meds. Since common sense says very few are on forced meds, that by expecting someone who continues to take meds is doing it because … name the reasons, but I bet one is they are satisfied, or no of no other choices. If you tell someone who is satisfied that they are wrong, guess how effective it’ll be.
Look at stats of cigarette smokers in the country for an idea. If you tell someone who is satisfied taking a product they are wrong, the response will be self-defense. Remember Transactional Analysis? If a new way, better idea, or hot program that is so good people are talking about it, that person may make their own choice to change. But forcing someone to change, or stop taking meds, by talking about the problems with medications, is pretty ineffective.
Check out a list of 10 programs that provide complete mental health solutions and complete recovery here: http://corinnawest.com/10-model-programs-to-create-complete-mental-health-recovery/