1. Metzel tells us that: “Anti-psychiatry went hand in hand with an international movement called deinstitutionalization that pushed for the liberation of people warehoused in psychiatric hospitals.” He states that JFK’s October 1963 Community Mental Health Act caused a “mass exodus” of persons leaving institutions. (134) Was the deinstitutionalization movement a success? Why or why not?
2. The text concludes that “many mental health professionals feel something is deeply wrong with a system that incarcerates so many mentally ill persons or that posits prisons as primary treatment centers.” (210) This lack of care means prisons, regional jails, and lock-ups are very dangerous places. Inmates are often injured or killed. What is the solution?
Submitted by Bonnie Akkerman I pledge…
1. “Ionia charts suggest that institutional factors coded schizophrenia as a black disease in ways that influenced the perceptions, actions, and experiences of doctors and patients,” (pg. 156). I find this statement interesting because Metzl actually got to look at charts from Ionia. We have discussed how hard it can be to obtain patient medical information (especially from Dr. McClurken's own experiences), however I am curious if Metzl was right, ethically, to publish such documentation in his book. I can understand him having permission, but he published part of Alice Wilson's charts on page 164. What does everyone else think of this?
2. Szasz describes mental institutions as asylum-prisons (pg. 183). I find this ironic since Ionia is one of the first examples we've seen that went from hospital to prison. The term is scarily accurate in this case.
Submitted by Lyndsey Clark. I pledge…
1. Was the purpose of that 1968 law meant to deal handle the loss of labor and funding for hospitals due to the Vietnam war? Or was it more to do with the beginning trend of deinstutionalization and back lash against the asylum system?
2. When providing the diagnosis of schizophrenia to these Black Male population at Ionia the differing reasons for it seem to be extremely broad, were they even really following any of the DSM at that point? Or was it just oh he is being aggressive schizophrenia.
Submitted by Parker Siebenschuh I Pledge…..
1. Why do you think the social worker told Mr. Karin’s brother that he was well enough to be released? What does this tell you about the relationships between social workers, families of patients, the patients, and Ionia?
2. Why wasn’t Michigan willing to move on completely from Ionia considering it’s vast shortcomings, why try and make it into Riverside? Especially if Riverside wishes to portray that they have no connection to when the building was Ionia.
Submitted by Jack Kurz. I pledge…
1. Metzl discusses how Alice Wilson had her diagnosis change from schizophrenia to depression despite showing the same symptoms “for much of the preceding forty years” (163). He states the doctor “made the diagnostic switch…because of the cultural symptoms he subliminally registered but decidedly did not recognize even though the appeared right in front of him in the examination room” (166). Do you think that this “switch” was a conscious or unconscious act?
2. Metzl, while allowing for the fact that the movie A Beautiful Mind “humanize[s] schizophrenia,” argues that it promotes racial stigma due to its focus on a “beautiful, white male schizophrenic genius” (208). Having seen the film many times, I do not believe that the character John Nash (played by Russell Crowe) comes across as a “beautiful white male,” but rather as an awkward, aloof, genius who struggles with a serious mental disease. I do agree, however, with Metzl that the film does indeed “oversimplify” the real John Nash.
Submitted by Chris O'Neill
1. Do you think that Ionia would have been deinstitutionalized if the news reports about the abuse, suicides, and misconduct from staff hadn't come out?
2. How does Abdul-Rasheed Karim's experience with the police, racism, and justice system compare with today?
Submitted by Audrey Schroeder. I pledge…
1) Metzl said that clinical tensions mask social and political ones… He also said that corrections replaced mental health (183). How was this evident in the case of schizophrenia in the past and presently? (192)
2) The author talks about the different things like policy changes, legal system changes, urban decay, and political crisis that shape a patient's experience pre-arrival to a psychiatrist. Just like schizophrenia became associated with the Civil Rights Movement, what is another example of black men/women's mental health being linked to historic examples of prejudice and racism.
Submitted by Carson Berrier - I pledge…
1. Do you think Ionia is a typical example of asylums during its time? How much do you think we can extrapolate from it to connect to the rest of America?
2. Are there any persisting examples of mental health practitioners over diagnosing a specific group of people with a disroder for stereotypical/stigmatic reasons?
Submitted by Theron Gertz. I pledge…