The Insanity Offense

The Insanity Offense

How America's Failure to Treat the Seriously Mentally Ill Endangers Its Citizens

Book - 2008
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Beginning in the 1960s in the United States, scores of patients with severe psychiatric disorders were discharged from public mental hospitals. At the same time, activists forced changes in commitment laws that made it impossible to treat half of the patients that left the hospital. The combined effect was profoundly destructive. Today, among homeless persons, at least one-third are severely mentally ill; among the incarcerated, at least one-tenth. Of those individuals living in our communities, many are the victims of violent crime. Other untreated individuals commit crimes, including murder and assault. In The Insanity Offense, E. Fuller Torrey takes full stock of this phenomenon, exploring the causes and consequences as he weaves together narratives of individual tragedies in three states with sobering national data on our failure to treat the mentally ill. In the book's final chapters, Torrey outlines what needs to be done to reverse this ongoing--and accelerating--disaster.
Published: New York : W.W. Norton, c2008.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780393066586
0393066584
Branch Call Number: 362.1968 TOR
Characteristics: xvi, 265 p. :,ill. ;,25 cm.

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mswrite
Jul 27, 2016

It is impossible to read this book without becoming enraged by the collective stupidity and willful blindness of the crusading libertarian lawyers and bean-counting neo-conservative politicians whose unholy alliance brought us all to this place.
The calamitous examples author Fuller cites will both break your heart and terrify you as you read one awful saga after another of families coping with mentally ill loved ones they cannot rescue (or from whom they cannot protect themselves) because Orwellian state laws prevent involuntary treatment for sick people who don't understand they are sick. Additionally, the mentally ill are under no obligation to take prescribed medication, even when it has been clearly demonstrated that doing so can save their lives and the lives of others. This is supposedly a violation of their civil rights.

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