Letter to the Editor

Only delusion is that psychiatrists can provide help

Tuesday, November 19, 2002

To the editor:

In response to the article "Psychiatry on trial": When I think of Rodney Yoder and O. J. Simpson in the same sentence, I realize the justice system has some serious explaining to do. One has been tortured by psychiatrists in a psychiatric prison, and the other is free. Is it that people with mental illness are considered worse than criminals? Is that why Yoder is being held by psychiatric opinion into another decade at the Chester Mental Health Center? The way that people react to mental illness is something that needs to be changed. Mental illness can no longer be something that we rely exclusively on psychiatry to explain.

People make remarkable recoveries from the difficulties they have faced in the past. It helps if they are not held and tortured for years. Society is going to have to take some action to support recovery at some point and stop with the sadism.

Supporting recovery is better for everyone, because it helps others get better. Hurting people and perpetuating their pain only degrades all of humanity. Whatever psychiatry is doing in Chester isn't doing a lot of good. At least get some treatment that works.

I don't think Yoder's delusional at all. I think he's got the inside track on some rather heartless people who aren't helping him much. I think the only delusion going on here is the delusion that psychiatrists have anything positive to offer for recovery.


Seattle, Wash.