0
Get Alert
Please Wait... Processing your request... Please Wait.
You must sign in to sign-up for alerts.

Please confirm that your email address is correct, so you can successfully receive this alert.

1
Letter to the Editor   |    
Denial of Mental Illness
Sam Sussman, Ph.D.
Psychiatric Services 1998; doi:

To the Editor: Dr. Richard Lamb's commentary (1) on the denial of serious mental illness in the November 1997 issue raises serious considerations in the community care debate. It is somewhat paradoxical that the resistance to viewing the major mental illnesses primarily as neurobiological disorders amenable to hospitalization leads to increased patient stigmatization. An almost obsessive preoccupation with psychosocial and community-based programs can, by preventing hospitalization, retard the process of normalization that might have been achieved by an inpatient stay. Deinstitutionalization and community care are not synonymous. Deinstitutionalization connotes self-determination, an ordinary life with a modicum of dependency on state programs.

No one can realistically question that severe mental illnesses have community, social, and psychological antecedents and consequences that can be dramatically altered if good community care programs exist. No one can disagree that community-based programs may influence the natural history and course of mental illnesses. But one can dispute the conceit and hubris of mental health planners whose grandiose paradigms, conceptualizations, and heuristic assumptions and techniques related to the superiority of community-based programming may be entirely for naught. As Dr. Lamb points out, for some patients who suffer from severe mental illnesses, a highly protective and structured environment—hospitalization—is required.

As we know, current research overwhelmingly supports neurobiological interventions, whose administration may require a rather strict regimen and leave no other alternative for a patient save hospitalization. There should be strong caveats when health planners bombard us with their mumbo-jumbo extolling the virtues of more and more community-based programs.

Dr. Sussman is director of archives at the London Psychiatric Hospital in London, Ontario, and assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Western Ontario in London.

Lamb HR: The denial of severe mental illness. Psychiatric Services 48:1367,  1997
 
+

References

Lamb HR: The denial of severe mental illness. Psychiatric Services 48:1367,  1997
 
+
+

CME Activity

There is currently no quiz available for this resource. Please click here to go to the CME page to find another.
Submit a Comments
Please read the other comments before you post yours. Contributors must reveal any conflict of interest.
Comments are moderated and will appear on the site at the discertion of APA editorial staff.

* = Required Field
(if multiple authors, separate names by comma)
Example: John Doe



Related Content
Books
The American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Substance Abuse Treatment, 4th Edition > Chapter 26.  >
The American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Substance Abuse Treatment, 4th Edition > Chapter 26.  >
The American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Substance Abuse Treatment, 4th Edition > Chapter 26.  >
The American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Substance Abuse Treatment, 4th Edition > Chapter 26.  >
The American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Substance Abuse Treatment, 4th Edition > Chapter 26.  >
Topic Collections
Psychiatric News
PubMed Articles