Shattered families - The Collapse of the American Mental Health System

My name is Stephen Seager MD. I have been a psychiatrist for twenty-five years and have worked extensively with the seriously mentally ill (SMI). Recently, I wrote a book, “Behind the Gates of Gomorrah, a Year with the Criminally Insane,” and while doing publicity for this book, I came in contact with many families of persons with SMI.

Listening to them and recalling my own experience, it quickly became apparent that whatever national mental health system once existed, has now totally collapsed. Where once we offered treatment, patients with SMI now suffer unspeakable degradation as their families endure intolerable pain and indignity trying and failing to get needed medical care for their disastrously sick children.

Seeking treatment, families and patient’s face federal and state laws that actively deny sick people care. They face a system that supports homelessness and encourages treatment refusal.


Check out mouse’s post



I’d rather be free than in a mental hospital. I’m just saying.

I shared this on Facebook.

Sure - but thats not the point really. There should be services (much better services) to help people.

1 Like

Lots of what happens in “the system” adds injury to injury. Even floridly psychotic people often fall through the cracks…

Both before and after involuntary hospitalization, I was told my family member has to elect services (so glad he is not ill enough for hospital) and that it has to be his choice.

The motivational interviewing process that tries to get people to work towards goals is for people whose goals don’t involve alternate beliefs. Even without alternate beliefs, amotivation is also a symptom, but there is no clinical intervention.

My family member has been discharged from three service agencies because he is too symptomatic for their programs.

The APA (or whichever agency is in charge, if any) needs to develop and implement a treatment protocol that is not forced medication, but some way of accepting all aspects of illness and still helping people with what is needed.

Thank you all for posting; I find great information and comfort here knowing that people are going through similar, difficult things. Not alone.

1 Like

I’m thinking of supporting this campaign actually.

I agree!!! I’m thinking about donating to the cause :slight_smile:

This is all just ■■■■■■ up

I think everyone just doesn’t want to address the fact that we exist.

There’s also the fact that some of us can speak and won’t shut up

1 Like

About the only service where I live is temporary emergency admission. You get punted the moment you’re sorta stable to free up the bed for the next poor sod. There’s nothing resembling therapy these days unless you have benefits and get your own.