From a Perch in Maryland Suburbia - Mental Health Bill

Mar. 11th, 2008

12:08 pm - Mental Health Bill

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Mental Health Parity Bill  H.R. 1424

To: 
George W. Bush (R)
Secretary Michael O. Leavitt
Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD)
Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-MD)
Representative Chris Van Hollen Jr. (D-MD 8th)

Thank you for supporting this bill.  I happen to not like the continued methods of mental health treatment using drugs and therapy to band-aid mental illness instead of helping the patient to become independently healthy.  However, considering the number of health problems which are not covered by insurance because they are caused by mental health problems, and considering the cost of treatment, and the many ramifications of untreated mental health problems which this country is currently facing, I support the Mental Health and Addiction Equality Act.

Sincerely, 
Elizabeth Schwartz
(with pic)

(4 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:

From:acteonputation
Date:March 12th, 2008 01:56 am (UTC)

although it is popular to be against drugs

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The brain is an organ like any other, and it can have problems. Believe me.. psychosis has no root cause. Believe the science. Drugs can reverse it in a matter of hours. It is a miracle no one should be deprived of.

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From:schwael
Date:March 12th, 2008 01:05 pm (UTC)

Re: although it is popular to be against drugs

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oh I completely agree. but they are also over prescribed and used as a end-all solution. there must be something in-between.

further, drugs should be available without pharmaceuticals making a ton of profit at the expense of the sick. nor should they be patenting medicine and thereby preventing wider distribution.

it's not the drugs i have a problem with. ;)
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From:phatpharmer
Date:March 12th, 2008 04:45 pm (UTC)

Re: although it is popular to be against drugs

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unfortunately, unlike with depression or anxiety, the non-drug alternatives for psychotic disorders are much more limited. In my experience there can be a great deal of therapeutic work which can be done with schizophrenic clients but medication tends to be a prerequisite. That said, what is needed in the system right now is consistent follow-up care such as supportive housing and "clubhouse" style rehabilitation programs, not more newer meds. And I am not sure that mental health parity legislation will provide this effectively.

The only CAM treatment for schizophrenia which I believe is pretty revolutionary is glycine, but the drugs which are being designed based on this new knowledge will probably be much more effective than glycine itself.

http://www.schizophrenia.com/treatments.php#glycine

I believe that the current pharmaceutical patent system is OK in terms of giving the drug companies a brief period to profit from new drug development before making agents available generically. But combined with pharmaceutical advertising and industry payoffs it is a perfect storm for consumer exploitation. A better system would be perhaps to let drug companies clear a certain amount of profit per drug that would be a set multiple of the money they put into testing and development. All testing would be performed by independent NGOs, government, or universities. That would give the company an incentive to spend as much as possible on safety testing because it would allow for a larger profit recoup. And it would put the companies much more in the role of "drug developer" than "drug pusher". I can go on and on. . .my dad works for the FDA after all. . .
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From:sarahtalia
Date:March 13th, 2008 03:20 am (UTC)
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Nice work, Liz! So true.

As for Phat Pharmer, not all mental illness is psychosis.

I know that starting in the 1960s many states cut funding for facilities for the mentally ill. Many of those who once lived in those centers are part of our current homeless population (or prison population).

This country doesn't realize how many of its policies against social welfare are bad for business. The social costs are tremendous.
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