Comment: Mental health professionals can be allies

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Mental health professionals can be allies

I am a psychologist who has been a small-L libertarian since long before Ron Paul considered running for President in the Republican Party.

Despite the countless hours that I have spent winning hearts and minds, there are some Daily Paulers (hopefully a tiny minority) who think that people like me are somehow enemies of freedom.

As I see it, the DSM is created by committees that try to come to consensus about the science behind mental disorders. Sometimes they do a lousy job. Sometimes they do okay. And I believe that for some people, psychoactive medications save lives.

Don't get me wrong. I have depression. After dealing with atrial fibrillation, I have grown to hate medicine. I try to deal with depression naturally and to teach my clients to do the same thing whenever possible.

Still, I have worked with a few people who are so tortured by hallucinations, depression, and anxiety that they may come perilously close to suicide when they do not take medications.

As a libertarian, I believe that people should be to free to make their own medical decisions. I am glad that the law makes it hard to involuntarily commit people to psychiatric hospitals. Thank God that Americans have the sense not to take away the freedoms of the mentally ill after tragedies like Sandy Hook.

Believe it or not, mental health professionals like me can be allies in the quest for freedom. May we always honor Ron Paul's maxim that "freedom brings people together."

In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock.
-- Thomas Jefferson