The truly ironic part of all of this is that psychiatry has by a large margin the most successful “cure rate” of any medical field. Unlike an oncology unit, or ICU, mental health patients are much more likely to report relief from debilitating symptoms, and go home after a hospital stay. In reality, what that means for a hospital, believe it or not, is less money. Under our current system, hospitals don’t make a profit if you are home and well. The biggest, most profitable disease currently known to man, is cancer. Cancer keeps hospitals in business. So when a budget committee meets to decide where to invest in its facilities, where do you think the money goes? We have all seen, or at least heard of the grand opening of a new hospital wing or public health clinic with all the new bells and whistles. What we don’t see are these kinds of improvements, or even upkeep at a mental health facility. These places remain hidden, in the closet, every hospitals dirty little secret.
This environment is where we attempt to heal the mentally ill in this country. I always thought it was a little, well, “crazy”. Sometimes, it seems the patient doesn’t get better because of our best efforts, but despite them.
On a related note….check out….
Medication Madness: The Role of Psychiatric Drugs in Cases of Violence, Suicide, and Crime