Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The Interweb Is Forever - I'm Screwed

It looks like 'Mental Health/Illness' will be the petard which will hoist Gun Rights folks.

The problem is who gets to quantify your mental health quotient, and by what criteria, and how will the criteria be collected?

What if, in lieu of an actual lab visit or a hundred page questionnaire, They (the ubiquitous 'they') decide that one's body of work (Facebook? Blog? Instagram photos?) could be analyzed and the citizen can then be adjudged mentally askew?

Is this a possibility? You betchur ass...

There is a new version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) and the difference between the old one (DSM IV) and the new one (DSM 5) ain't just the cutover from roman to arabic numerals in the title.
Many of the changes in DSM-5 were made to better characterize symptoms and behaviors of groups of people who are currently seeking clinical help but whose symptoms are not well defined by DSM-IV (meaning they are less likely to have access to treatment). Our hope is that by more accurately defining disorders, diagnosis and clinical care will be improved and new research will be facilitated to further our understanding of mental disorders.
 The APA has quite a comprehensive set of tools for assessment of mental disorders...
Some of these tools are pretty vague on making assessments-
Level 2 Cross-Cutting Symptom Measures
For Adults
LEVEL 2—Depression—Adult (PROMIS Emotional Distress—Depression—Short Form)
LEVEL 2—Anger—Adult (PROMIS Emotional Distress—Anger—Short Form)
LEVEL 2—Mania—Adult (Altman Self-Rating Mania Scale [ASRM])
LEVEL 2—Anxiety—Adult (PROMIS Emotional Distress—Anxiety—Short Form)
LEVEL 2—Somatic Symptom—Adult (Patient Health Questionnaire 15 Somatic Symptom Severity Scale [PHQ-15])
LEVEL 2—Sleep Disturbance—Adult (PROMIS—Sleep Disturbance—Short Form)
LEVEL 2—Repetitive Thoughts and Behaviors—Adult (Adapted from the Florida Obsessive-Compulsive Inventory [FOCI] Severity Scale [Part B])
LEVEL 2—Substance Use—Adult (Adapted from the NIDA-Modified ASSIST)
Now- if you look at the Level 2 - Anger Section - you find instruction for evaluation:
Instructions: On the DSM-5 Level 1 cross-cutting questionnaire that you just completed, you indicated that during the past 2 weeks you (the individual receiving care) have been bothered by “feeling irritated, grouchy, or angry” at a mild or greater level of severity. The questions below ask about these feelings in more detail and especially how often you (the individual receiving care) have been bothered by a list of symptoms during the past 7 days.  Please respond to each item by marking (x) one box per row.

 In the past SEVEN (7) DAYS....
   Item                                                           Never  Rarely  Sometimes  Often  Always
1.  I was irritated more than people knew.    ☐  1    ☐ 2         ☐ 3           ☐ 4         ☐ 5
2.  I felt angry.                                                    ☐  1    ☐ 2         ☐ 3           ☐ 4         ☐ 5
3.  I felt like I was ready to explode.                ☐  1    ☐ 2          ☐ 3          ☐ 4         ☐ 5
4.  I was grouchy.                                               ☐  1    ☐ 2         ☐ 3           ☐ 4         ☐ 5
5.  I felt annoyed.                                               ☐  1    ☐ 2         ☐ 3           ☐ 4         ☐ 5
 Now, this being the short form for evaluating how 'angry' someone is, could the Thought Police decide that reading over someone's daily rantings on a weblog and apply the same yardstick? It would be just a short hop to making a decision that someblogger is a full bubble off plumb, and should have their Second Amendment rights amputated.

The APA has a hell of a catch-22 involved here...
In the APA's policy document they talk out both sides of their faces:
The American Psychiatric Association recognizes the
critical public health need for action to promote safe
communities and reduce mortality due to firearm-related
violence. As such, the APA supports the following actions:
2.  Research and training on the causes of violence and its
effective control should be a national priority.
a.  Given the difficulty in accurately identifying those
persons likely to commit acts of violence, federal
resources should be directed toward the development
and testing of methods that assist in the identification
of high-risk individuals.

c.  Psychiatrists, as well as other physicians and
health professionals, must continue to be trained
to assess and respond to those individuals who
may be at heightened risk
for violence or suicide.
Such training should include education about
speaking with patients about firearm access and
safety. Appropriate federal and state resources
should be allocated for training of these professionals.
It is shortly followed up in the document with:
3.  Recent attention to the mental health system has
highlighted the need for improved services and access
to care.

c.  Because privacy in mental health treatment is
essential to encourage persons in need of treatment

to seek care, laws mandating psychiatrists and other
mental health professionals to report to law enforcement
officials everyone who appears to be a danger to
themselves or others are likely to be counterproductive
and should not be adopted.
According to the above, they (the HeadShrinkers) can't report you for being nuts, but they COULD suggest that some Gummint Agency check you out on the Intarweb and see what you've written.

The Media (and some law enforcement) are all about publishing on-line rantings from Facebook, Twitter, etc every time someone commits suicide-by-LEO...
How far off are we from a 'concerned citizen' SWATting a blogger because the content of the 'blog is a little too 'angry' a little too often?

I had to shut down my blog a couple years back because I was concerned it would be used against me during a workplace incident...
I am now wondering if my "dammit-the-assholes-are-all-around-me" on-line ravings from the last nine years will be my downfall...

(And as the title of this post implies, just deleting the posts won't do any good...
I did some searches on some really old stuff that came up with no problems...
Not good.)



Dan said...

Well, I reckon if they come for you, there will be hundreds of us lined up right behind you. You know, us retired military types are already on the screen...a couple more gun purchases and I may well be at the head of the upcoming line.

Ben Catoe said...

I knew that pig truck story would eventually be your undoing.