the rise of coercive treatment in psychiatry and society

I never stop being aware of is how unsafe it is to be vulnerable in this society. The below book takes a magnifying glass to what is happening all over society, under our noses in the name of psychiatry. Anyone who doesn’t fit into the mainstream is vulnerable. Rob Wipond has written a book that takes a detailed look.


Read: Your Consent Is Not Required: The Rise in Psychiatric Detentions, Forced Treatment, and Abusive Guardianships

Update 2/14/2023 — Jim Gottstein wrote a synopsis for an email list. I asked to share it and so below are his words:

I just finished the new book, Your Consent is Not Required, by investigative reporter, Rob Wipond.  It is a comprehensive and authoritative report on unwanted psychiatric interventions in North America.   It is a fabulous, albeit frightening, analysis of the myriad ways people are forced to endure unwanted psychiatric interventions, from civil commitment and forced drugging to the way employers and schools also force people, to guardianships and the surveillance of social media. 

Part One is “The Expansive Reach of Psychiatric Power,” including such topics as “The Catch-22 of ‘Insight’ ” and “The Expanding Diagnostic Net.” 

Part Two is “Core Drivers of Civil Commitment,” with such topics as “Housing Fourth and the Myth of Dwindling Hospital Beds,” and “How Much is an Involuntary Patient Worth?”   I am ashamed to admit I had bought into the oft-repeated pronouncements that “deinstitutionalization” resulted in far fewer inpatient beds.  Wipond obliterates that myth with the meticulous research characterizing his entire book, explaining that when one considers all the different types of beds now, it is several times the per capita number of beds in the 1950s.  “‘[D]einstitutionalization’ not only didn’t ‘fail’—it never really happened.”

Part Three is “Mass Funnels Into Psychiatric Incarceration,” including people getting scooped up when they call crisis lines that are promised to be anonymous and confidential.

Part Four is “Institutional Management, Profiteering and Political Oppression,” in which he reports on guardianships, employers and the military, etc., forcing people into unwanted psychiatric interventions.

Part Five is “Science, Lies and Other Possibilities.”   Included in this last part is the observation that there is no evidence unwanted psychiatric intervention improves people’s mental health and lots of evidence it is very harmful.  Psychiatry just makes up the justification that people are glad they were forced to undergo unwanted psychiatric intervention.  Such people are a miniscule percentage.  

I am collaborating on a paper about how to improve patient outcomes and related topics and a major thrust is if it isn’t voluntary it isn’t treatment.   We will be citing Your Consent is Not Required.   

Your Consent is Not Required should be required reading for anyone in the mental health field.

About the Author

Rob Wipond is a freelance journalist who writes frequently on the interfaces between psychiatry, civil rights, policing, surveillance and privacy, and social change. His articles have been nominated for seventeen magazine and journalism awards.


For more info on this site see:

The Mental (Illness) system and thoughts on alternatives: a collection

Coercion, subtle or otherwise, is the rule in psychiatric care…

One thought on “the rise of coercive treatment in psychiatry and society

  1. Hey Monica, Sorry I didn’t get back to you. Its been a weird month-or-so. The camp looks amazing. Love, Chris



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