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

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

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

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

by Rob Wipond


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Asylums are supposed to be in the past. However, though the buildings were closed, many of the practices lived on.

In fact, more law-abiding Americans today are being involuntarily committed and forcibly treated “for their own good” than at any time in history.

In the first work of investigative journalism in decades to give a comprehensive view into contemporary psychiatric incarceration and forced interventions, Your Consent Is Not Required exposes how rising numbers of people from many walks of life are being subjected against their will to surveillance, indefinite detention, and powerful tranquilizing drugs, restraints, seclusion, and electroshock.

There’s a common misconception that, due to asylum closures, only “dangerous” people get committed now. But forced psychiatric interventions today occur in thousands of public and private hospitals, and also in group and long-term care facilities, troubled-teen and residential treatment centers, and even in people’s own homes under outpatient commitment orders. Intended to “help,” for many people the experiences are terrifying, traumatizing, and permanently damaging.

Driven partly by individuals’ genuine concerns for the “mental health” of others, and partly by institutions entangled with goals of power, profit, and social control, psychiatric coercion is increasingly used to:

  • manage school children and the elderly
  • quell family conflicts
  • police the streets
  • control people in shelters, community living, and prisons
  • fraudulently increase hospital profits
  • “resolve” workplace disagreements
  • detain protesters and discredit whistleblowers

  • Thoroughly researched, with alarming true stories and hard data from the US and Canada, Rob Wipond’s Your Consent Is Not Required builds an unassailable case for greater transparency, vigilance, and change.

    Product Details

    ISBN-13: 9781637741481
    Publisher: BenBella Books, Inc.
    Publication date: 01/24/2023
    Pages: 304
    Sales rank: 1,061,036
    Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.20(d)

    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.

    What People are Saying About This

    From the Publisher

    "Deeply researched, lucidly written . . . this book represents an important contribution to public policy debate and a profoundly moving, must-read call for human dignity and humane treatment for all. Highly recommended."
    Vancouver Sun

    “A hugely important investigation of psychiatry's ‘extra-legal’ policing of people who have done nothing illegal but who create tension for their families or society.”
    Bruce E. Levine, psychologist and author of A Profession Without Reason

    “A timely, well-researched, and comprehensive exposé of one of the least visible epidemics in the US: legalized force, segregation, and—all too often—incapacitation in the name of psychiatric help.”
    Peter Stastny, MD, psychiatrist and coauthor of The Lives They Left Behind
    “Rob Wipond's exposé is passionate, thoroughly reported, and rigorously reasoned. This book grabbed my attention from the start and never let go.”
    John Horgan, columnist for Scientific American, author of Mind-Body Problems, and director of the Stevens Institute of Technology Center for Science Writings
    “Featuring stories of survivors from children and seniors to Black veterans and white medical professionals, it’s a vital contribution to understanding the economics, politics, structural racism, and weak science behind this country's expanding systems of forced psychiatry.”
    Celia Brown, board president of MindFreedom International and founder of Surviving Race
    “A much-needed investigation that reveals the shocking extent of psychiatric coercion in our society: How well-intentioned 911 callers, suicide hotline volunteers, police and private security, school teachers, housing managers, social workers, and others funnel people towards unwanted 'treatment' that more often oppresses than helps them.”
    Dr. Bren LeFrançois, Professor, Memorial University School of Social Work and coeditor of Mad Matters
    “Full of important and sometimes frightening insights, and should be required reading for everyone working in human rights and mental health.”
    Kathy Flaherty, executive director of the Connecticut Legal Rights Project
    “This ground-breaking book shows that these problems are frighteningly common and nationwide, indeed continent-wide, in scope. Wipond also provides vital information and insights about the risks of involuntary psychiatric detention that everyone should know before voluntarily entering the mental health system.”
    —Tony Kovaleski, Emmy- and duPont Columbia Award–winning chief investigative reporter at ABC Denver7

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