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Rethink invisable straight jackets – CTO

Comment 21st July 2010

1:4 of us maybe at one or more times in our lives vulnerable to mental ill health.  We maybe law abiding citizens who may lose our human right of freedom and liberty if we experience mental health deterioration and seek professional intervention.  The NHS may routinely use community treatment orders (CTO) to monitor patients within the community and control medication "compliance"  which could conversely be compared to the monitoring of ex offenders? which could increase risk and reduce benefits for all. People may no longer have choice, autonomy, or what they feel in their heart and mind is in their best interest. CTO's may be  misused, misunderstood and misinterpreted.  Diagnosis of mental illness changes and evolves, it is subjective by nature, as it is based on professional opinion which may or may not consider unique personality traits and life experience which could be a blessing and/or a curse.  Imagine an invisable tag/straight jacket – that may or may not be in a persons "best interest"  Rarely are conditions set out formerly, often conditions appear vague, people can easily be recalled back to psychiatric hospital,  physically and chemically forced to accept treatment in "their best interest".  It could be argued that people have less human and civil rights than  a person who has been convicted of something unlawful.  There maybe no such comparison of time "spent" or true recovery in the 21st century, a diagnosis based on expert assessment, rather than science is for life. imagine being given a life sentence? The enigma, perhaps myth, of disease prevails, lucrative pharmaceutical companys may not be thoroughly regulated by government and inconclusive studies reveal there is no conclusive evidence, blood test or brain scan that can detect the "chicken or egg"  dis – ease. Historically and to this day low expectations prevail within the westernised health service and society, and serve to compound a self fulfiling prophecy of undervaluisation of human beings. Sometimes it can be difficult  for us all to balance wellbeing.  Life's adversity can lead us all to an episode or episodes of mental health deterioration.  Given effective support of a genuine nature can be healing.  Those who are prepared to normalise rather than categorise/demonsie law abiding citizens' feelings, emotions and actions maybe few and far between.  Empathetic understanding, tolerance, protection  and effective treatment may enable many people to gain strength and resilience to overcome difficulties and learn to accept and move on with life.  An invisable straight jacket within the community we live in that compels a life of compulsory medication/stigma and discrimination can lead to the very same side effects the intervention is hailed to treat, which may impact on mortality. Imagine having no or little say in what pills to take,  imagine not being informed of the potential side effects, being told where to live, when to be home, who you can and cant mix with.  is this really treatment in our best interest  and good for our wellbeing?   dont we have a right to democracy, freedom of choice and freedom from covert, coersive oppression,. A disregard for fundamental human rights maybe inconceivable in our 21st century… 

Why does this matter?

because it could effect one in four of us

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