"The way the Oklahoma Mental Health Code is administered, itís not about healing. Whatever good intentions people may have had when they wrote this flawed set of standards, it has degenerated into state-sponsored exploitation and bigotry.
Am I an expert on any of this? Imagine a horse making a rude noise from either end. Iím just a guy who got caught in societyís undertow and started reading up on it so that I could express myself as fully and accurately as possible.
But letís back up a bit. Iíve had psychiatrists tell me that Iím not self-aware when I disagree with them. Itís a common tactic when they wish to impose their way of thinking, through the intimidation of the greater authority and opportunity to mess up oneís life with involuntary treatment. From my point of view, they have much in common with evangelists and threats of hell. Except that psychiatrists can make it come true in this life if one chooses oneís words poorly.
Weíve all seen people work themselves up into a perfect frenzy over things they think threaten their persons, lives, property and standard of living. For conservatives, itís things like welfare mothers and Cadillacs, lack of personal responsibility, sharia law and one-world government. For liberals it includes gun control and political incorrectness, which covers a huge area in their psyche. For some people on the other side of the world, itís things like the oppressive and creeping influence of Western corruption and imperialism. Political and religious hot buttons all.
Due to some rather unpleasant events in my life, and the ways Iíve been forced to look at it, at any time I can get a spontaneous and unwelcome echo either from past events, or the infinite possibilities of physical and verbal assault in the present. It feels almost real, and makes my body react. Itís very similar to the way that other people get upset about things, but mostly I know that itís not real, that itís unproductive, and that I donít like it.
Other people can feel this way perfectly convinced of their truth and righteousness. But if I feel that way and know that itís not real, itís not self-knowledge, politics or religion, itís a classification in the DSM, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Not to mention a psychiatrist hot to tell me so. If a Christian admits that he or she is flawed and a sinner, thatís religion and protected by the Constitution. But if I admit that Iím flawed and donít like the way I think sometimes, itís a handle for a self-righteous and unscrupulous psychiatrists (not all are) to attempt forcing changes in behavior through involuntary drugging and incarceration. And then they expect me to thank them for it.
For example, consider the way that the Tulsa Center for Behavioral Health follows the conservative standard of ďpersonal responsibilityĒ. At least one counselor, with the approval of TCBH, tells any involuntarily incarcerated inmate who is having trouble coping with the rest of society, that there is one common denominator in all those contacts. ďAnd thatís you,Ē she says, making the inmate responsible for every reaction that ever comes from involuntary abuse or violence in the past. You just try that with a Black American complaining about racism, or a victim of rape complaining about sexual innuendos, and see how far you get. The people who get out of TCBH generally donít get out because they have been helped or cured. They get out because they have toed the line and are now too frightened of future ďtreatmentĒ to expose what ills or hurts they have, and may be left to fester in socially-approved silence.
The State Mental Health Code not only makes it legitimate to do this to a person still suffering from violence and abuse, either it or its administration makes it legitimate or common to incarcerate a person on any complaint from allegedly normal people, no matter how poorly an investigation of the facts of false, malicious or trivial allegations was done; no matter how inaccurate or malfeasant the mental health evaluation and evaluators; no matter how bigoted the assumptions or actions of the investigators or evaluators; no matter how poorly that person was represented and informed by public counsel; no matter how thoroughly the Judge abrogated his or her responsibilities in favor of rubber-stamping the evaluators; no matter how uninformed, poorly trained, or far back in the dark ages of medicine the investigators, evaluators and Judge may live; and no matter how unethically the State and local authorities treated that personís rights to due process and equal treatment under the law.
Perhaps not many would stand up and testify, ďYes, they did this to me, too.Ē Itís not only an unpleasant topic, but in doing so any person who has been involuntarily committed risks both added adverse action from the State, and abandonment even by family. No matter what the unethical or illegitimate circumstances of a commitment, the commitment itself will be held up as a reason to disregard any testimony. Itís like trying to swim in an undertow. One of which most of society seems to approve, as it once did of segregation.
The racist grandmother of a friend would reportedly hurl epithets at any passing Black American. Her justification? ďThey donít look like us. They donít walk like us. They donít think like us. They donít even smell like us. Theyíre just different.Ē Tulsa and Oklahoma seem to be saying the same things about the people they secretly lock up in the gulag of facilities like TCBH. "