What is Serious Mental Illness?

STICKY: DJP welcomes feedback in the form of commentary or critique from medical professionals about any content on this site.

The purpose of this page is to drive home the message that serious mental illness is neurological.  The medical community needs to stop using terminologies such as “mood disorder” and “depression” to describe dysphoric states of consciousness caused by neurological dysfunction.  Psychosis is not ‘psychological’ or emotional- It is the most misunderstood symptom of SMI. more

What is Serious Emotional Disturbance (SED)?

*Due Justice Project believes that it is high time for the government to discard the SED designation and definition.

Treatment Advocacy Center Definition of SMI

Former NIMH Director Explains where term SMI came from

“As you can see, the “official” definition of SMI is very inclusive—though I imagine that when people talk about SMI these days—they don’t have the Federal Register definition in mind”

DJP opposes the federal definition in part because it appears to transverse with the ADA (American’s with Disabilities Act) in a way that does not serve the best interest of people with psychosis-spectrum disorders in terms of allocation of resources. People at high risk of engagement with the criminal justice system due to symptom-driven behaviors should be prioritized in the mental health system, therefore, the cobbling together of emotional and psychological disturbances with psychosis-spectrum disorders under the federal definition of SMI needs to end.

*It is noted by DJP that a white paper which articulated prosecutor associations’ opposition to a ban on capital punishment for people with SMI used this troubling federal definition to support their arguments.

Command Hallucinations and Violence

One of the causes of paroxysmal type violence is visual hallucinations.  A person who is in a psychotic state of consciousness can see horrific, terrifying images in the mind’s eye in place of the real imagery in the visual field.  A person can be triggered to defend themselves against a frightening image produced by the brain.   more….

As it has been said in other commentaries on this site, hallucinations do not fully explain why someone would attack a terrifying, grotesque figure produced by the brain.  Most of us would flee in terror if confronted with such an image.  What is different in the case of someone with SMI is that there is another complex factor involved, that is, consciousness disorder.  A person in an abnormal state of waking consciousness will exhibit bizarre behaviors, even behaviors similar to those that are seen in arousal disorders (parasomnias).

Consider that the criminal justice system convicts and punishes people who have defended themselves while in this medical condition.

Dr Dawson: Trauma Does Not Cause Schizophrenia 

DJP wants to restate comments made on the blog page about trauma and abuse as they relate to mental health.  Clearly, trauma and abuse, especially when experienced by children can have devastating and long-lasting effects on psychological health.  These traumas can lead to situational depression, substance abuse, and other tragic consequences.  It is also known that there is a strong mind-body connection between psychological and physical health.  Acute stress and psychological traumas most likely can alter brain function.  There is a strong relationship between military combat trauma and mental health issues, i.e. PTSD, however, there are controversies associated with the PTSD construct…also, instances of misdiagnosis of prodromal symptoms and other phases of psychosis-spectrum disorder.  Individuals with genetic risks may respond abnormally to certain stressors.  DJP does not subscribe to the trauma/abuse causation theory of psychosis-spectrum disorders.  Traumatologists have stretched the diagnostic criteria for PTSD and have co-opted the construct in order to undergird the ideological contortions of other disorders. (Links to articles about the PTSD controversies will be added to the topics menu page.)

***One day in the distant future, the traumagenic theory of psychosis-spectrum illness may be known as “a strange belief” and the epigenetic/transgenerational trauma theory (that traumatologists have used to face down evidence of genetic root cause) may be characterized as a confabulation.***

Research Suggests that Mental Illnesses Lie Along a Spectrum

How SMI delusions are very different from psychological “delusions”

How Suicide in Clinical “Depression” is Misunderstood

Link to article: This disease has been misunderstood for 4,000 years.

Brain’s Entire Communication System Disrupted in Schizophrenia

Misidentification Syndromes in Schizophrenia/Seizure Disorders
*** The Links and Reference Page has Content about Lesser Known Symptoms of Schizophrenia.***

Why I’m Not a Mental Health Advocate

A personal story – What it’s like to experience psychosis

 Psychiatry’s Guide Is Out of Touch With Science, Experts Say

Excerpt :

Dr. Insel said in the interview that his motivation was not to disparage the D.S.M. as a clinical tool, but to encourage researchers and especially outside reviewers who screen proposals for financing from his agency to disregard its categories and investigate the biological underpinnings of disorders instead. He said he had heard from scientists whose proposals to study processes common to depression, schizophrenia and psychosis were rejected by grant reviewers because they cut across D.S.M. disease categories.

“They didn’t get it,” Dr. Insel said of the reviewers.

 Exploring other neurological disorders, e.g. Seizures Disorders, Autism, Parasomnias -Considering how Schizophrenia and Delusional Disorder (Psychosis) overlap with other disorders that transiently or chronically cause (neurological) disorder of waking consciousness and violent behavioral symptoms.  The most grave symptoms of Schizophrenia are neurological – not psychological.








Excerpt from Psychosis vs Criminal thinking:
Post deinstitutionalization: Between 1988 and 2008, the proportion of Vermont state hospital admissions accounted for by forensic patients increased 50 percent; in Massachusetts, 281 percent; in New York, 309 percent; and in Pennsylvania, 379 percent.

Violence as a symptom of neurological or brain dysfunction is almost always controversial. Human beings are conditioned to have difficulty accepting that biological defect or malfunction, rather than ‘evil (as some type of “disembodied” force controlling the mind and body) can be the cause for violent behaviors.

Research papers on almost any disorder affecting the brain will frequently insert the obligatory qualification that violence in association with the subject disorder is controversial. Whether the disorder is Autism, or traumatic brain injury (TBI), or seizure disorders, there will be skeptics and combatants against any association with violence (Although, in the case of these disorders, the violence may be paroxysmal rather than that which is indicative of pre-meditation…such as violence arising from sustained delusions…predatory or defensive aggression). Concessions will almost invariably be granted to skeptics: Individuals with medical or scientific credentials, stakeholders who are consumed with fighting stigma, and other operators who are driven by powerful prosecutorial proclivities. Violence is, of course, and rightfully, the most highly stigmatized type of human behavior. No one wants it to be beyond our control, even in the case of severe mental illness.