For a job that will offer no pay.
The case will be in the family courts and involves a divorce petition but its not clear that the lawyer needs to have any family law experience as this will be like no prior family law case.
A number of posts on RxISK and davidhealy.org over the years have raised a problem that is new to the SSRI group of drugs – treatment related divorce applications.
Note this does not say marital breakdown. The cases involve either a woman or a man who finds their partner has been put on an SSRI and changes personality and linked to the emotional detachment and personality change these drugs can cause wants out of the marriage. The remaining partner is convinced that but for the drug the marriage would remain intact, and at least wants the person on treatment to stop for a period to see how things look to them when drug free.
Many cases have come our way, some of which one or other of us have had a chance to explore in detail. These involve cases where one partner is helped by the brazenness SSRIs can cause to leave a marriage they were trapped in but wouldn’t have had the courage to leave otherwise. After stopping treatment later they figure they made exactly the right decision.
But more often than not (at least at present), the cases have involved people where the case for stopping the drug has been compelling and in some cases on stopping the affected partner has agreed that they were changed by treatment and has returned to the marriage.
Things can get very complicated if for instance someone leaves a marriage while on treatment but then falls in love with – rather than just gets involved with – someone else.
So if you are in a situation like this, what can you do? One step is to approach your partner’s doctors who are likely your doctors also and tell them how things look to you.
In 9 cases out of 10, they will likely say they cannot interfere with the sanctity of their relationship with your partner. That is what has happened in this case.
You can approach someone like Healy who has said this can happen. If you catch him on a good day he might write to your doctors and tell them what you suggest is a real possibility but adding in that a real possibility does not mean that this is what should happen.
That is what happened in this case. There was no response from the GPs.
Out of interest someone like Healy might take it further and write to the Medical Defence Unions and General Medical Council to see if they have any advice to offer on this novel situation.
That is what happened in this case. None of these bodies have any advice to offer.
Your partner is likely to view any efforts to explore the cage in which you are trapped as harassment and these efforts may trigger a divorce filing. This is what has happened.
In this case, particularly if you are short of money, you may have little option but to represent yourself.
If your luck holds out someone like Healy might offer to do a report for you for free and even attend court, but even with these advantages if you are going to get anywhere realistically you need a lawyer to manage the process.
What’s in it for the lawyer? The case is likely to have a high media profile. It takes the law and court processes into areas they have never been before, areas that have far-reaching implications for civil law more generally – not just family law.
Who might take something like this on? Perhaps someone young who has time on their hands and nothing to lose.
But when the Healy case against the University of Toronto blew up, the person who took the case said that a good lawyer – anyone really interested in the law – would take a case like this on for free.
So perhaps someone winding down, with an interest to do something out of the ordinary.
We need anyone reading this post to spread the word among any lawyers they know at whatever stage of their career they may be at.
We also want your comments as to angles on the case and any leads to resources that might be useful.
Well below the ‘belt’ …
READ PETER’S ACCOUNT OF THE RCP’S RESPONSE TO HIS RESIGNATION. DESPICABLY UNPROFESSIONAL TO USE ‘CONCERNS ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH’ TO UNDERMINE A DISSIDENT. My formal instruction of resignation as a member of the Royal College of Psychiatrists – Hole Ousia
Update, 8 December 2018:
The President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists has confirmed that the College will not be responding to the issues of concern that I raised in my letter of resignation.
Both the Vice President and President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists have expressed concerns about my mental health.
Unknown to me, the Vice President contacted my employers. I have now been asked to meet with the Medical Director for NHS West Lothian. I find it disappointing that College leads have not shown similar levels of concern for the values that I am trying to encourage in British Psychiatry. I am concerned that the Royal College of Psychiatrists has chosen to brick-up its windows. My published article on Iatrogenic Stigma was called ‘Window Tax’.
‘Brick-up’ its windows as they do, and not only with ROSETAX [seroxat] …
If Peter or I have misconstrued or misrepresented the RCPSYCH I assume they will clarify … or apologise.
Peter is also well-known as as brilliant film-maker and Scottish-historian and his ‘balance’ is first-class ..
“Both the Vice President and President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists have expressed concern about my mental health”.
This is a really insidious tactic often used by psychiatry whenever someone dares to speak the truth about the harms psychiatry causes.
Label the person telling the truth as mentally ill, or at least mentally unstable, therefore casting doubt, and hopefully invalidating what they are saying.
Decoding the post:
A woman approached you via Rxisk because her husband has filed for divorce.
She believes the marriage hasn’t actually broken down, but he is behaving impulsively/irrationally/out of character due to SSRIs.
If she could pause the divorce by opposing it she might be able to get him off the drugs
back in his right mind and the marriage might be saved.
He has in the meantime fallen in love with someone else which makes things really tricky.
Seems to me on the basis of little information there are two narratives:
Divorce law is set in legislation – sole ground is irretrievable breakdown as proved by one of five facts. If proven – the divorce goes ahead.
I’m presuming the ‘fact’ the bloke is relying on is unreasonable behaviour by her.
He’ll have to prove this with evidence – trying to persuade someone to get off ADs won’t suffice but there’s probably more to it – he can basically say whatever he wants but it’ll still have to satisfy the judge that whatever he says she did, amounts to (legally) unreasonable behaviour.
Refusing a divorce because one party says the other is not in his right mind is tricky. Even with Healy’s help. Capacity. Who says he’s not able to decide about wanting a divorce?
Say she goes ahead – it will be ruinously expensive even if everyone advises for free – court fees etc. They mount up scarily. The real killer is being held liable for his costs too – that’s a real bad risk. Could bankrupt her.
I think there is a mandatory mediation stage in contested divorces – which can’t be avoided, it’s part of the process. You can have mediation anyway – in my small experience that was often amazingly successful. But when one party is adamant – won’t happen and won’t work but worth considering?
Yes, courts can advance the law – but only incrementally. So, there needs to be a previous case where a divorce hasn’t been granted because the person asking for it is deemed to have impaired judgment. I don’t know of any but someone else might. You need a barrister for that.
Human stuff: which to my mind is actually more important.
There are two – three – people here, not just her.
The husband has rights too – you can’t force him to stop the drugs. Even if he agreed under pressure – what if he tips into withdrawal? That could harm him.
What does this woman actually want? To save her marriage because the drugs have wrecked it, which is tragic on every level. But if they get into a court/legal dispute how likely is he to just come back home and everything is hunky dory again. If he does, do they just start again where they left off?
And what happens to the other woman in the meantime?
Are there kids involved? How do they feel?
You might get someone to act for her but I’m not sure what that achieves in the long run. People have left marriages for irrational reasons forever: alcohol/street drug delusions, finding God, joining a cult, some dubious therapist telling them to get out. Providing they can get a judge to agree the marriage has broken down – and provide evidence via one of the 5 ‘facts’ – the reason they left is almost immaterial. Last stop scenario – they leave and wait for five years and get a divorce anyway.
Lay off the pressure is my advice. Keep a line of communication open – probably not easy if there’s another woman. Best case scenario – the divorce goes through uncontested, he thinks he made a mistake, agrees to have another try at the relationship, gets off the ADs and they marry again. That will not happen if you force him through a contested divorce – it’s likely to drive them apart forever. It won’t do the wife much good either frankly – people get obsessed when things get to court. If she’s got no money anyway a judge is unlikely to let it get very far (in her interests). Also, in my fairly large personal experience with friends even divorces which start well – both parties very friendly – let’s do this as kindly as we can – always but always end in acrimony. A contested divorce will increase bad feeling a thousandfold. What good does that do her – or him? Or the other woman?
You could run it past an academic lawyer – at a university – who specialises in family law. I don’t know any, as all too old and retired and can’t even remember the name of my tutor. But someone might surface if word gets round. Students – probably not, as not experienced enough and anyway a really bright one who knows enough about divorce/family law/medication is likely to be as rare as rocking horse shit.
Well Sally, you’ve really done your stuff with this case I must say. It’s a heart breaking scenario isn’t it. It doesn’t surprise me one bit when I think back to the changes that we saw before our very eyes. From being quite settled in their relationship and completing their college course, a third element in the form of Seroxat came along and ruined the whole situation. He got to a point where he couldn’t even tolerate her phone number appearing on his phone – it would be flung with such ferocity that it was unbelievable unless witnessed. She hadn’t done anything wrong – it was his perception of the situation that had changed. Forwards a few years and still under the influence of psychotropic drugs, he would have fallen ‘in love’ with his own shadow had he been able to stay still long enough to notice it! To the present, he can now see that he needs to be at peace with himself before he’s ready to consider being involved in a new relationship. All this shows is that a person under the influence of these drugs CHANGES – not once but many times and THAT instability, to my mind, means that any major changes need to be left alone for the time being. Yes, there will be tantrums when the ‘stable’ person puts their opinions forward. You suggest mediation Sally which can work well in some cases – but I doubt it would whilst one partner is on these drugs. Common sense will not prevail under these circumstances!
Maybe it would be worthwhile connecting the ‘stable’ partners from the cases that have been in touch with Rxisk so that they will at least feel less alone?
It would be interesting to have the opinion of the ‘third party’ in such a case too wouldn’t it – just to have their view of the situation and of the personality of this new person in their lives.
As far as court proceedings go, since doctors fail to recognise side effects I’m afraid it will be as difficult if not even more so to find a lawyer who would be willing to accept the role of medication in the case as presented.
The college is showing it’s true clours yet again – their behaviour belongs in some vile dictatorship where people can be silenced for speaking the truth, And reveals haow false their claim to be fighting stigma really is – In order to discredit Peter they claim he is mentally ill -and therefore presumably behaving irrationally. That in itself is disgraceful as is the claim that someone who speaks unpalatable truths can be diagnosed by members of the college without their knowledge as mentally ill. Psychiatric organisations critisized members of their orgs for trying that on with president Trump.
People with mental illnesses in genereal are not all incapable of making decisions or having considered opinions about other’s behaviour – how many as well as Peter have been shut up this way. Members have inside knowlege which can be incnvenient to the hierarchies in any organisation once they start speaking out.
In his letter Peter stated in point 1. EVIDENCE that Vanessor Cameron made a very disengenuous claim about the college’s distance from pharma.
Peter and others have challenged this and Peter has been described as mentally ill for holding to his statements. There was no such behaviour against Vanessor C who had bouts of serious mental illness when CEO of the college. Wonder why?(ref -interview with Rob Poole on her retirement ,in Psych Bulletin)
Vote – Paxil …
Today, CBC News announced that Dr. Stan Kutcher from Dalhousie University has just been appointed to the Senate of Canada by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Dr. Kutcher is a highly influential advocate for treating children and youth with psychiatric drugs and has been a researcher, consultant and advisor to major pharmaceutical companies including GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), Pfizer, Eli Lilly, Lundbeck, Wyeth-Ayerst, Abbott, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Janssen, Novartis, Organon, and Boehringer Ingelheim. Senator Kutcher was also a co-author of the 2001 ghostwritten article about Study 329 on the safety and effectiveness of Paxil for adolescents explained in the 10-minute video presentation at http://www.KnowYourDrugs.org which was part of GSK’s $3 billion settlement for fraud in 2012 with the U.S. federal government.
Stan Kutcher “Vote Paxil”
April 29, 2011
“I don’t think that study caused any particular controversy,” he says. “There certainly is a group of people who would like to cause a controversy around it, but science is nasty, brutish and long.”
This sums up what happens when you try to get the medical establishment to acknowledge the harms caused to you by prescription medication.
Mary is so right in saying in response to Sally’s excellent comment, that she doubts whether someone whose personality has been changed by psychotropic medication, in particular Seroxat SSRI, would respond to arbitration, reason, etc. It isn’t I think that they are being difficult or uncooperative, it’s possibly because that reasoning part of their brain seem to have been switched off, and paranoia moved in to fill the pathways?
As to dropping out the aside that someone whose views you don’t like, has suffered mental illness, or even just implying that because of the views they hold, they might be considered to be, this is tactics which will always work by raising doubts in the minds of listeners or readers. For registering my worries about the severe and fairly obvious side effects our son had to RoAccutane isotretinoin, a close member of my husband’s family, with in an administrative but non clinical position in the NHS, made regular reference to the fact that my father had been diagnosed as manic depressive, the implication being that this was a hereditary mental illness, therefore my views should not be taken seriously. Although I had not suffered the same illness at any time in my life.
Ironically, if someone asks for or is offered RoAccutane isotretinoin, but they have a relative who suffered from mental illness, it is apparently and clearly contraindicated for them. So, by mentioning my father’s illness behind my back, this person was actually endorsing one of my main my reasons for raising my concerns. But I was not listened to. Because my concerns were uncomfortable to the prescribers to hear, thus I might be a little mad.
One of the most stressful things someone can suffer is the implication that justified views they hold and defend, should not be listened to because they could be mentally ill. As in the case of Peter re Cochrane. And the louder they protest their sanity, the more they may be branded as bombastic and mad. These are gutter tactics resorted to by those who are beneath contempt. The trouble is, one doesn’t always know where and when they’ve been spreading their poison and what crucially negative influence it has had. Till much later when the damage has been effectively done.
This is of course the opposite of the case covered by Sally and Mary, where the person made unwell by their psychotropic medication is clearly not themselves and alerting others to this fact covertly may indeed be necessary.
What a lovely surprise to see Mickey Nardo so recognised
His family support the creation of the John M. Nardo Postdoctoral Fellowship here at the University of Adelaide to best honour Mickey’s memory.
Sharon and Abby Nardo, and Jon Jureidini (Child Psychiatrist, and Research Leader, CEMH)
I was one of so many who looked forward to reading 1BOM almost every day. He was riveting with wit and examining in great detail things that he thought needed ‘examining’..
He left a great legacy as part of RIAT.
Please listen to Professor Jon Jureidini explain how Mickey made such a significant contribution and at the end see the face of Mickey, once again.
In the light of Sally’s forceful comment, here is a question – if going through a conventional legal route is doomed, does anyone have a view as to whether the person behind this post should take their case to the court of public opinion? Make this a talk show issue?
It seems to me, unless someone is willing to do this nothing much is likely to change.