Posted by: Jane | June 13, 2008

Baker Act Abuse and involuntary commitment

Almost a year ago I was emailed several times over the course of a few months by people of all ages being abused through involuntary psychiatric hospitalizations.

Many of the nastier stories seemed to come from the U.K. as a result of their Mental Health Act.

It seemed mere rumours of madness are enough to get people involuntary commited for months at a time over there. I figured we had it good here in the U.S.

As time went by I got more and more stories from Floridians and over and over the Baker Act kept coming up

The last straw was an 18 year old woman who complained to me of being Baker Acted a half dozen times a years for years. The lead figures were her mother and her psychologist who whimsically Baker Acted her over and over again.

I decided to do a little digging about the Baker Act and I found a statute every bit as corrosive as the U.K.’s MH Act.

Finally I decided to give a talk about how one might go about beating this Baker Act.

Elsewhere on this blog I have described the events that led to my various hospitalizations.

In all three cases I got myself released.

It occurred to me I might share some of my experiences in being discharged from psychiatric facilities and use that to offset the power of the Baker Act and the helplessness I felt coming from the people corresponding with me.

This is Beating the Baker Act Redux. It completely replaces my old version of this video, ‘Beating the Baker Act: Habeas Corpus and You. It has been totally redone, extended, edited and such.

If you want more details about the topics or events discussed in the video, you can click on the video to get to the youtube page and read the links in the info box. Likewise you can poke around my posts here using the search function and find related posts or pages.

I had some very emotional responses on the video, mostly positive.

On occasion I did get some amusing negative feedback from Florida psych nurses like this nugget.

“I am a nurse who works in florida w/ patients who are Baker Acted. What you are doing is morally wrong. the vast majority of people I take care of are people who in fact need to be protected. I grant to you that there some people that are Baker Acted but don’t need to be. Yet, you are causing more harm than good. When people are Baker Acted they have to show that they are a harm to others. Or harm to themselves. You should feel ashamed.”

Yea, sure ok. I don’t. In this remastered version I cover that criticism.

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Responses

  1. Hi Jane!
    It seems that these wards are everywhere.
    What I still don’t understand is the role of psychologists.
    They are doing a terrible job and seems to be connected to psychiatry.
    Could you explain to me why in US psychologists are so linked with psychiatry?

  2. Hello Ana! You do have a blog now I see.

    I will try to answer you although I can’t claim to know for sure.

    strictly speaking, a psychologist is kind of like a super social worker. they have a degree in psychology with a focus on whatever

    a psychiatrist is an MD with a psychology degree.

    psychologists can not prescribe (although they are working hard to gain that ability)

    psychologists can recommend various treatments for mental health issues such as staging an crisis intervention for inpatient or suggesting meds.

    If a psychologist send you to a psychiatric facility, you are now in the hands of psychiatry, since meds and other medical procedures are done there.

    If a psychologist recommends meds she makes a referral to someone who will Rx them for you. Only a psychiatrist or md can prescribe.

    Of course once you are inpatient, you will have a treatment team and that treatment team will consist of a mental health social worker, psych nurses, psychologists and a psychiatrist.

    So they are tied into each and if psychologists gain the ability to prescribe and they are trying to get that now, then the line will blur a bit more between the two.

  3. Thank you for your “visit”.
    I see.
    It’s almost the same here but psychologists are not that tied with psychiatrists.
    Psychoanalysts has no connections whatsoever with psychiatrists.
    They even are the most critical on psychiatry methods.
    Unfortunately they have no access to the media.
    Yours truly,
    Ana

  4. I forgot to say that psychologists don’t want to prescribe.
    But I’ll check it anyway.
    I don’t know too much about them.
    Psychoanalysts are far more brilliant than psychologists and understand much more.
    Of course there are bad pros.

  5. Great video. Very scary, but very informative. I’m never moving to Florida, and I’m keeping an eye out for Baker Act like legislation where ever I live. Sorry for how long this post got, it just built because it’s a sore subject for me.

    Having been bouncing around with the mental health system for a couple years, this is what I picked up about psychologist and psychiatrist in the U.S. The relationship is very different depending on what State you live in. When I lived in Illinois, I saw someone who was qualified in both psychiatry and psychology. Now that I am in Indiana, I see two different people for these functions. I don’t understand entirely, but it has something to do with how they are legally allow to bill for the services and since psychologist get paid less in IN than psychiatrist (a major injustice in my opinion) few people qualified in both will practice in IN because they will only be paid for being a psychologist. If I am completely wrong in this, please, let me know.

    Personally, I much preferred seeing one person qualified in both practices. She was informed with every aspect of my emotional problems that I could spill out in an hour, and we worked together with different forms of therapy. She discussed medication possibilities with me, not medication necessities, and she always talked to me about side effects, drug interactions, and what to expect (or not expect) with the drugs she did prescribe. Every aspect of my mental health was being considered when decisions were made and they were made by me with the help of my physician.

    Right now, I see two people and both seem completely un-informed about the other discipline if not downright ignorant. My psychologist appears to know little about psychiatric drugs, there use, and there side-effect, however, she immediately pushed for me to see a psychiatrist although I was not certain I wanted to use drug therapy. She referred me to a psychiatrist who simply feels like a drug-dealer to me that I’m now forced to pay every month just to get a renewed prescription. He asked a series of questions from a sheet and refused to hear any additional information. He literally said, “I’m not interested. It doesn’t concern me.” when I tried to go into more detail about my symptoms. He deemed them the psychologist’s work to deal with, not his.

    Although these two people do not communicate at all aside from the initial referral information, they are totally reliant on each other to continue their practices. The psychologist refers her patients and then never asks them how drug therapy is working. The psychiatrist takes for granted that his patients are getting counseling as well as popping pills without ever following up to see if the patient is still see their psychologist. I stopped seeing my counselor for the past 2 months because I always left her office feeling way worse than when I went in. But now I’m on the drugs and though I want to change psychiatrist I’m afraid to do it. First, what if the new one completely changes everything and I’m back to the “start with Prozac then work up form there” method of psychiatry. Second, I have no reason to think any other psychiatrist will be better. Third, I tend to have unmanageable mood changes when I try to reduce my meds, so I don’t think I’m ready to get off them yet. I know I should try to find a new psychologist too, but everyone says she’s the best in town.

    Conclusion: While I had a psychologist and a psychiatrist in the same person, I was working with a well informed physician that made me feel in control of my mental health. Now that I work with two separate people, I feel ping-ponged between the two and at the mercy of two physicians that just pass the buck to the other.

    Rae

  6. beautiful Jane!
    I actually was good at getting out of psych wards too…I knew how to perform and went in front of a judge a couple of times—they let me go both times…

    unfortunately that didn’t ultimately protect me from believing the crap they yelled at me about how I was sick. and so I’ve been in a prison chemical restraint for many years…

    that nurse is full of shit. how is telling people what their rights are immoral. She is immoral to think that this information should be kept from people.

    good job!! and I’ll just add, you should be proud!

  7. For Rae, I loved your comment. Never fear long comments here.

    For Ana, meet Rae, what Rae says about the ping pong psych pros is what is going on.

    For Rae, I almost envy you your first doctor. She sounds like the ideal mental health care giver and therapist.

    The reason psychologists are paid less I think has to do with the fact that they do not get an MD to practice therapy.

    Those two different people depending on each other yet ignoranant of each other’s practices and failing to follow up on their various services is one of the things wrong with the mental health care system as it stands

    That is exactly how I was treated back in the day.

    As for you psychiatrist and his ” I am not interested, this does not concern me”

    that is it for me. it is disgusting. I could never see someone like that. could never be friends in the real world with someone like that. He chose his profession to make money, not to help and to heal, its a travesty that all those years of schooling result in a disinterested drug dealer with no concerns for their patients.

    there may also be some hauteur going on their as you are the mental health patient, sub human and all. that bastard would never take his own drugs for problems, he sees you as less than him.

  8. and thank you Gianna! Your feedback means a lot to me. You are working on the chem prison now, and it’s only a matter of time. All we can do is educate those around us towards better solutions.

    I am proud of that video, I’ve been wanting to do something like that for ages.

  9. You deserve to be proud of that video.

    Thanks for reading and responding to my comment. I so often don’t feel heard on this issue.

    Yes, I very much feel that sense of superiority from my psychiatrist.

    May I add, you have such a calm and soothing voice. :)

  10. Thank you too, Rae for your feedback and for taking the time to watch my vids and read my ramblings on this blog.

    I think I have seen your comments at FS from time to time.

    best wishes and take care for now!

  11. Appalling. Reminds me of times when commitment overtly was used to get rid of your “inconvenient” wife, kid, or other relative. But psychiatry never really has been anything else than an excuse for society to get rid of the “inconvenient”, hasn’t it?

    The procedure is somewhat more complicated here in Denmark, bc of the lack of hospital beds. Nevertheless, which they CAN do, is court order you to be subjected to a psych exam if you’ve committed the least crime. And once you’re found being “mentally ill” by any one “expert”, you risk up to five years in a secured ward without re-evaluation of your case, for something like stealing a bike.

    There’s this Danish guy, HA-leader, has been in trouble with the legal system innumerable times. Lately, he got remanded bc he’d injured someone with a knife. No evidence of his guilt, but strong circumstantial evidence for it to be self-defense. They court ordered a psych exam. I don’t want to defend the guy, he definitely ought to be made accountable for whatever crime he committed, but this is miscarriage of justice. And: society will escape having to take responsibility (which seems to me the underlying motivation – out of sight, out of mind), as well as he’s denied the possibility to take any.

    Very well-made video. You certainly can be proud of it!

  12. That is a disturbing story Marian. While I agree that folks should be held accountable for crimes what they are doing with mandating a psych evaluation for the slightest crime is criminal itself.

    It supposes that the spark of rebellion or anti authoritarianism is a result of mental illness?

    Some people just don’t work well or get along with other people. That’s life and it’s not a disease.

    I think you have it with the out of sight out of mind.

    Not only does it escape dealing with the issue but it creates another consumer, willingly or unwillingly and that is always good for business somewhere.

    Europe at times seems way beyond us in somethings and on occasion I have envied Europeans and their situation. Other times I am so glad I am an American. in terms of mental health survival and recovery, the mental health system of the UK and indeed of Europe at large, regardless of whether it is Denmark or Russia. seems way behind us.

    On the other hand, we are not all the advanced ourselves. I think we would have a country wide Mental Health or Baker Act easily if we were not such a litigious society and if State’s did not have the power to govern themselves. (Of course look what Florida did with that power )

    Here in California, there is so many people, and so many lawyers and so much activism, it may be harder to get someone sectioned or committed here than any other place in the country.

  13. Europe IS behind, yes, in several regards. They’re catching up, though, in regard to labelling and medicating kids, for instance. Although, the labelling of toddlers with “bipolar” has yet to be invented here. No fear, it will come!

    Well, unfortunately, we’re also rather behind in regard to recovery, activism, and alternatives to psychiatry.

  14. Jane,
    a lot of states are enacting extremely relaxed commitment laws…and OUTPATIENT commitment laws are on the rise too—in which you are drugged in your own home and if you don’t comply you are hospitalized. I live in a state like that and Virginia is another…I’m sure there are many others.

    Florida is not alone and most states have active lobbies to bring about these draconian laws…we are not moving forward…we are moving backwards.

  15. Ah yes,

    AOT Assisted Outpatient Treatment. I have only recently begun to find out about that. My search led me to reading TAC almost all night last night ( it was too hot to sleep here, omg 97 degrees during the day)

    I had heard references to this E Fuller Torrey character from P. Dawdy’s site. I did not connect all the dots until recently when I followed the TAC link from FS.

    Basically this guy wants the entire country to have a Baker Act and an AOT to save everyone and the government from the inconvenience that is dealing with people with mental health issues. We all need to saved from them and they from themselves in the name of forward progressing society.

    I got a chill down my spine and my danger sense went off reading the TAC blog.

    As long as mental illness is not a crime you can still move to a state without AOT or Baker Act like statutes since Idaho recently became the latest state to jump on the mental health fascism wagon.

    Good business for Big Pharma I would say.

    Very scary stuff Gianna. I am glad I made this video.

  16. Jane, you are very funny, the way you depict psychologists and psychiatrists! I agree totally with you. You could have a job as a stand up comic making fun of the people who lock up and drug rape victims. We can’t just let them do this to us without some type of humorous comment on how much of a low intelligence they have while they have so much power over us and the public thinks they’re great.

  17. I saw your video and can relate 100 percent. I used
    the “homelessness and jobless” legal defense back in 1995 when someone who didn’t like me from group therapy made up some stupid lies about me and then everyone wanted me committed. It wasn’t even about harming people either, which I never imagined doing, they simply said I cursed them out and put paint on their shirt, which is nonsense. Now I am at risk of being milked because I am not homeless anymore and it will take some maneuvering to make myself appear homeless and too broke to pay for 1K per day of being locked up and drugged. You should be very very proud of yourself, you should not be ashamed. You are good enough to be called a saint because you are saving victims from a life of despair and hospitals bankrupting their victims they beat up and drug. (They attacked me in the hospital when I didn’t answer them talking to me.)
    I have scars on my elbows still where I had to push up on my elbows when they pushed and shoved my whole body and face into the ground and I started to suffocate. I went to one group therapy and everyone there had been raped or molested. I was both raped and molested multiple times so of course I became “paranoid” about other people being perverts after being violated so many times, so they justified giving me antipsychotics and told me no one did anything to me to make me suffer, that I had a chemical imbalance, that I would turn into a rapist without therapy, that I had to drop out of college, and not have any more children, that no one decent would want to marry me…not to mention people insinuating I was a child abuser and taking my daughter away from me while I got kicked out of my rented room from a bunch of Christians.

  18. Hey there Linda,

    Welcome back. I remember you shared part of your story here before.

    I am mostly speechless after reading about your experiences. You definitely had it/have it worse than I ever did. I have no idea what to say or how to advise you.

    What happened to you is beyond horrible and I am sorry to hear this happened to you.

    I hope you are in a safe environment now and forever.

  19. I think you had it just as bad as I did. Maybe even worse.
    I hope everything is going well for you.
    Maybe you can get people to share their experiences
    when they ask for “reasonable accomodations” at work when their shrink is demanding they see them weekly. They threatened to fire people who fell asleep, including people with sleep apnea and people getting drugged unless they disclosed their condition first. That is basically the law. Then when you disclose your condition they attack your work whereas previously everyone thought you were great. Then they use that “dangerousness” against you and make up any lie they feel like telling about you and kick you out of the workplace even though you didn’t threaten anyone or even wish them harm. They did that to me.
    The civil rights lawyer who was black and should have known better than to stereotype people kept asking me if I was dangerous all the time. This happened in the Federal government. It is really ironic that they get rid of rape victims but they hired the child abusers who were my foster parents (one of them worked for NASA) as well as my child molestor father. (He worked for the state) The black civil rights lawyer was supposed to be helping me get accomodations. What they really do is encourage people to OUT themselves so they can get rid of people with mental labels. Then they talk about how great the blind employees are and how they deserve to get a laptop to work odd hours but I don’t deserve to get a laptop and how people without labels can get a more flexible schedule than me even though they aren’t being drugged or going to a doctor 2 hours away.
    I feel for you very much that you were a ward of the state. I was in foster care too, but I was not drugged until I was 16. Nowadays they want to drug 2 year olds. I am doing pretty good though these days except for when I remember how I got slandered and kicked out of my last job.
    I don’t feel any worse on less than half my drugs than on 140mg and it has been a year since the reductions. I have told my husband numerous times I would divorce him and give him everything just so I can’t be exploited by hospitals like before. Here in Virginia the hospital goes after the spouse for payment when the patient can’t pay. In DC and Maryland they can’t go after the spouse; I learned that from a lawyer. That explains why I was locked up for 2.5 months and my sister was locked up for 2 weeks. She lived in Maryland and they couldn’t get money out of her husband in that state. She was a rape victim too. But I have read about the liens they put on people’s homes when they die, the hospitals might get money out of the forced sale of the estate of the patient. I think there are ways for mentally labeled people to protect their assets. I have a few ideas about it but I am not a lawyer so I won’t get into it. I haven’t found lawyers to be too helpful except for the one who told me in Maryland and DC they can’t go after your spouse to pay your hospital prison bill. I am really lucky I have a child who loves me and knows that they were wrong when they tried to accuse me of being a bad parent who shouldn’t have more children. There is one more thing every married mentally labeled person should know: If you are married for 10 years (Or last time I checked) you are entitled to your spouse’s social security when you retire if you are healthy enough to outlive him or her. I knew someone who got divorced after 9 years and she cheated herself out of a bigger check. She gave up on working because every employer fired her or got rid of her and they were mean to her because she had to go to weekly therapy. What she didn’t know or was even told by HR is that she could have retired under Federal disability with a pension and Federal employees health insurance. I think they tried to keep that a secret from her. However, she is in such poor health now and not even 50 that I don’t think she will live long enough to inherit her husband’s social security check if she even qualified.
    You are very brave to have this website. You should consider yourself to be a very good person and your writings helps me to know that there are others who care about what we had to endure and how to prevent it from happening again and again
    I will probably visit this page and listen to your video again when I start to worry about people lying about me and trying to lock me up for no good reason. I suppose alot of people are going to say something bad about me because I know these things, but I lost my job that I wanted to do for 30 years and now I know this is the kind of world we live in, and now I can see why people go on ss disability. It is more because of discrimination and lies and being drugged blind.
    Of course, if my tardive dyskinesia made me permanently blind, I don’t think those Federal employees would be saying nice things about me, only the non-mentally-labeled people are considered smart and good.
    They attacked my intelligence even though I was the only one in my group who graduated cum laude, but then again, they do like to fire people with PHDs there. They must have some complex where they like to get rid of the smart people and say that they really aren’t smart.
    I guess the biggest sacrifice you made in having this blog is that no one in the corporate world will hire you now that you outed yourself. You sacrificed alot of job opportunities by making yourself public and you gave up alot to tell the truth to the world. But you still helped others and me, because I had some friends who didn’t seem to believe what happened to me was wrong and you are not like them at all. Thank goodness you are doing well. I wish you the best!

  20. I never met any brilliant psychoanalyst, psychologist, therapist, social worker, psychiatric nurse, or psychiatrist. I can give you a quote about what each of them said to me but I will spare you the trauma. I have been to them all. Psychologists write the DSM IV, which is a book on how to label people with a mental disorder.
    Psychiatrists then use these labels to decide how to drug people and if their opinion is that you are one of the big three,
    you get committed alot and antipsychotics and tardive dyskinesia can be justified according to the lawyers I talked to. If you get damage from the antipsychotics and you were labeled with the big three, you probably can’t sue for damages according to the lawyer I talked to. (Bipolar, schizoaffective,
    and schizophrenia.) All of the ones I met all seem to believe in some flavor of psychological theories
    about people with mental labels and people in general and I think that is how they all are.
    For instance I just saw a video about a psychologist who listed 17 reasons why people cheat on their spouse. This is only her opinion. Psychology, and all of the above are only opinions and they seem to be full of them and they present them as facts instead of their perceptions. They all use statistics to lie about groups of people. Everyone who takes statistics has heard the phrase, “There are lies, damned lies, and then there is statistics.” They like to use statistics in all their studies showing how effective they feel drugs and therapy are for people and they also say ect is effective too in their studies, unless they are psychoanlysts, then they might just talk to you, but they are still full of opinions and have preconceived ideas about people in general. I have been to two psychoanalysts already. Social workers and psychiatric nurses can act as therapists if they
    want to make more money.
    All of them are full of opinions and are not very factual, they often present their opinions as fact with very little evidence to support it. For instance they can say someone is dangerous simply because of their label, when the labeled person’s actions don’t support their opinion that they are dangerous. In their bible DSM IV they make up theories about who is dangerous and who isn’t.
    The psychoanalyst I met who was against drugging people insisted “everyone has evil thoughts.” Of course if he really believes this, then he is the one who is psychotic because no one can read every person’s mind.
    That is why it has been called a pseudoscience.
    They are just a bunch of people who get paid
    well for lying about people, and they sure do love statistics. Just go to pubmed.gov and you will see how they use statistics about how high a dose is an effective dose. It is one size fits all according to that “study”. Which is why people get overmedicated and experimented on.
    So basically it is a government sanctioned religion that the public believes in because it is opinionated and not completely supported by facts and there are plenty of unmedicated labeled people who never harmed anyone. Religion is based on faith. This is what the shrinks believe, it is their perception, but it is not based on facts and reality the way most of the big three get labeled and then linked to dangerousness. People who are trained in math and proofs can see how a single counterexample disproves a theory, yet an example or a bunch of examples never proves a theory. I don’t think any of them were any good at math so they wouldn’t be able to understand that. They use bunches of examples to say labeled people are dangerous. Math is not based on bunches of examples, it is much more honest than statistics. A mathematician could find one “untreated” labeled person who never did anything to anyone and that would be enough to disprove their theory that labeled people are dangerous.
    But we live in a country that is around 24th place in mathematics, behind some third world countries too if I remember correctly. So we live in a world full of people who are not good at math and would prefer to make up lies with the tool of statistics and the DSMIV.

  21. I got baker acted about 36hours ago! Here’s the story…

    On wednesday I wrote an email to my mom saying about how I had $300 of overdraft charges on one of my bank accounts that day and I might as well kill myself… this was totally sarcastic and sent out of frustration and not serious in any way. Anyways, my dad was reading my mom’s email for some reason this day and saw my email… he wasn’t sure if I was being serious or not so he tried to call me. I didn’t answer the phone because I was running. So my dad (who lives 1500 miles away) called the miami police and asked them to knock on my door and make sure I was ok, and ask me to call him. That’s it.

    So now I’m at home, watching sex in the city, eating a subway sandwich. It’s 10pm. someone raps hard 3 times on my door, I look out the window… no one’s there. Few minutes later, 3 raps… again, no one outside. 3rd time, 3 raps and ‘this is the police’. I open the screen door and a cop is leaning around the corner of my building looking at me. I opened the door for him and handcuffed me as a guy wearing a bullet proof vest and carrying what looked like a sniper rifle entered my house.

    They wouldn’t tell me what was going on. They ransacked my place, sat me outside and interrogated me… telling me I needed to tell them what was going on. I of course had no idea why they were there. Then they told me about my dad’s call and interrogated me again. I remembered my email to my mom but I had no idea why my dad was reading it. I told them it was a sarcastic comment and my mom would know that, but they didn’t believe me. Basically he was the stereotype of a ‘I love being a dick’ cop.

    So they paraded me out in front of my neighbors, handcuffed. took me to a psyche ward of a hopistal, stripped my clothes and all that. I waited for 18hours before a shrink showed up and examined me. I guess the first shrink couldn’t make her mind, because later on a more senior shrink came in with two subordinates came in and interviewed me. I told them it was all a mistake, I had never been suicidal, but I sometimes make sarcastic comments about killing myself or other people (eg the ‘i’m so mad I could kill X’ type of thing).

    They recommended that I find a more appropriate way to vent my frustrations and I might benefit from medication. Now my mom is a psychologist so I know how these people’s mind work.

    This may help someone else… I told the shrink that I understood they had to follow florida law and make sure I was safe to relase and I respected that. I told them I understood they made their diagnoses from the DSM-IV and the DSM-IV probably says if someone has expressed words that says to harm themself, this could indicate a mental disorder. Then I said people don’t live their lives according to the DSM-IV, and if you are secure in yourself you can express your feelings in a way that is appropriate to you and not worry about whether the DSM-IV considers a given word ‘normal’ or not.

    Anyways they released me but suggested I see a local shrink to complete the cover-their-ass procedures.

    Totally ridiculous and alarming to me because the cops gave my dad the impression they were just going to knock on my door… but then either went against this or didn’t bother to communicate his wishes and just followed a response plan that was probably developed to handle Columbine-type-of-events.

    I can very easily see how anyone with any personal knowledge of you could use this information to call the police and get them to detain you against your will. My dad had only good intentions and even he is pissed the cops took me in. He lives in another state so he had never heard of the baker act. How is this constitutional?

    75% of cops do not have college education and probably fall below 100 on the IQ scale. I hate to make blanket statements, but honestly I am so pissed about this I seriously think that cops should not have any discretionary judgement in situations of detaining someone. They should have to personally witness an illegal or dangerous act in order to detain someone, otherwise just give warnings. I supose it’s possible that cops don’t have the ability to discern between witnessing something and hearsay and their own speculations.

    We need to start a ‘restrict the baker act’ movement, get the ACLU involved. There has to be a reasonable way to introduce some accountability into the rules and prevent abuses of the baker act.

  22. Dear Mad as Hell

    I am in complete agreement with you with everything you said. The shrinks were imposing thought control on you telling you to find a better way to express yourself.

    I understand your comment perfectly but people are so into covering their asses these days that no one wants to be the one that said,”oh it was harmless” and maybe it wrong. Better to play it safe and over react totally rather than take the chance.

    You got hosed by the system and reading your story made me mad as hell too. Sorry you went through that but I am glad you kept your head clear and together and asserted yourself and got out. Well done.

    The cops should not have psychiatric detainment powers, that is a source of serious abuse and concern. There should be a restrict the baker act movement.

  23. I was wondering if someone might be able to help me im trying to aviod getting my family member baker acted. Im looking for an equally effective treatment of some sort. This persons behavior is completely erratic. She is was addicted to prescription drugs and has gone to rehab about 4yrs. ago. I think either she has a mental illness or is using agian. She thinks shes being followed by police or government officals. Shes suspicious of every car on the block that wasnt there yesterday. She thinks someone in the house is stealing her legal pills. She trys to pay EVERYONE in the house to give them back. Later she always finds them exactly where she left them untouched with none missing and say I forgot I put them there. Now shes accusssing everyone in the house of hacking into her email. It not like she even gets anything worth reading its bizzare behavior. A doctor not a phyciatrist once told her he thought she might be bipolar but I have know idea why this is happening to her or our family. I just know she needs to get help. But we cant talk her into it. She wont say she will hurt herself or anyone else so she cant be 5150 or baker acted to the best of my understanding.

  24. I am not sure the best advice here for you Cassidy. I can think of several things from experience she might be experiencing.

    The prolonged use of Methamphetamine and paranoid, delusional schizophrenia can cause the same symptoms. Cocaine use can also cause similar effects.

    Actually, I think it’s important you find some intervention for your daughter. It’s my intuition that she is going to be in danger sooner or later unless she gets help.

    In good conscience I can never recommend an institution. It’s just so awful, so traumatizing, so dehumanizing to be in them.

    However she is clearly trainwrecking into your lives and she has no right to disrupt your family and your lives with her issues. It is immature and horribly self centered to visit your problems on another like that. To make others suffer for your psycho emotional issues and failures is abusive.

    She needs therapy thats for sure, maybe a detox too.

    Now maybe, just maybe she could still be saved by one of those concerned long talks. Eye to eye, heart to heart. Tell her that her actions are hurtful, disrupting and irrational. Play the guilt card, you have every right.

    If she does not listen, connect and ask for help or apologize, she is selfishly out of control due to drugs,mental illness or both.

    At that point you can try an intervention. Which she may love you or hate you for later.

    Or you throw her out and let her sink into a wake up call.

    You may have to save yourself from her. You are not obliged to save her.

    Frankly my intuition tells me she is not ready to change. That has to come from within. She has not reached rock bottom yet but a brush with homelessness, jail or a psych ward might just be the cold bucket of water in the face she needs.

    I can only imagine what you are you going through. My own family took the hands off approach and I sank for years. But I would have never forgiven them for sending me back to those institutions.
    My heart goes out to you and I wish you the best.

  25. I thought the response from the nurse was amusing.. I find it insane that people like her feel that the government can cure all of our ills with half witted laws like the baker act. If anything I don’t feel any government authority has the right to dictate any of the affairs in my life. It upsets me to think humanity feels that we should always tag certain individuals within society as authority figures. I just feel no one should dictate someones life.. We can’t control everything about a person nor can we make a person act the way we want. I think it is up to the individual that everyone is identifying as insane to ask for the help if they need it. I had issues at one time in my life it was not the baker act that cured me.. IT WAS ME THAT FIXED MY OWN PROBLEMS..

  26. Thank you for taking the time to share your experiences here. Congratulations on fixing your own problems :)

  27. Hi Jane,
    I just want to thank you for that video. I’m writing a paper for my ethics class about the Baker Act and I was asked to critizcise it. Your video was very informative.

  28. Your video message is awesome! This is a message everyone definitely needs to hear. With all the ‘reform’ I’m hearing about in the mental health laws, I am concerned. In my state a law was recently passed to identify and incarcerate elderly people with “mental illnesses.” We now have in all states “testing” in public schools to identify children with supposed mental illness. At our local school, it is the teachers who are doing this testing. Thank you for taking a stand! We are all cheering you on!

    • I find that hideous Simone. It’s a criminal enterprise ‘screening’ for mental illness in children and elderly. Especially these days because the only reason to screen people is to treat them and the only treatment going around these days is drugs. Screening vulnerable people for mental illness is a scam to get them addicted to unnecessary psych meds for life. It’s a crime against other humans. It makes me so angry to read what you wrote my hands are shaking.

  29. I am also outraged, but my aim is to use that strong sense of injustice for good. (I hope.)

    I remember the last two years of my 90 year old grandmother’s life. The mental health workers really fought me because some of her symptoms did seem psychotic. However, the last week of her life the doctors discovered she had cancer of the adrenal glands. Only then did her symptoms make sense. With this new law passed over the summer, there would have been nothing I could have done to prevent her from being incarcerated for the last two years of her life.

    At our local school, thirteen percent of the students have been identified as needing drugs, most for ADHD. I may not be interpreting the data correctly because it isn’t exactly presented in a direct way. Yet, when I talk to the kids and find out how many are on drugs, I am in shock!

    As to the screening, I do have a few ideas on possibly passing it. I would love to hear other strategies. In my opinion, everyone should be armed with this information. (For myself, I’ve never liked pop quizzes, I’d rather study for my tests!)

  30. The Baker Act has ONE PURPOSE in Florida and one purpose only.

    The law is there to legally “mitigate” responsibility on the part of professionals or others in case an individual harms themselves or others.

    If anyone thinks the Baker Act is there to help the individuals, check out the facilitates where these people stay, how they are treated, what they eat, etc.

    Oh! But you can’t do that, can you?

    Baker Act is a Baker Fraud!

    • I agree with you. Thanks for stopping by.


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