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How Does Mental Illness Affect Sentencing?

Psychiatry is unique among medical specialties since it has a very active and vocal countermeasure known as antipsychiatry. In the writings of psychiatrists like Thomas Szasz and R.D. Laing, one has expanded to include a whole range of ideas and philosophies under antipsychiatry.

Persons associated with antipsychiatry may be in conflict with compulsory psychiatric practice; the use or excessive use of psychotropic drugs; Electroconvulsive therapy; or the legitimacy of the psychiatric diagnosis. Not all critics need to revolve on "antipsychiatry" and this has also raised some of the movement's important ethical and philosophical issues for psychiatry. Unfortunately, others seem to have a visceral rage on "all psychiatric things". One should look no further on  commenting about the anti-psychiatric websites for violence against psychiatrists and others in the field.

Both authors currently have a personal experience with antipsychiatry. Under the mentoring of Thomas Szasz, studies were focused on the psychiatric stay training and has provided written logical errors in the works of Szasz.  The other had several psychoanalysts recently deny Szasz's claim that mental illnesses are a "metaphor" only. Both authors were attacked by individuals associated with antipsychiatry and were associated to different "neurodiversity" movements.

Extreme claims regarding antipsychiatry is that mental illness is actually non-existent, and that treatment for this condition is only a covert attempt to exert social control over the population. Psychotropic drugs are also claimed to be doing "more good than bad" and run an "epidemic" of mental illness. Paradoxically, this is more inconsistent with the notion that mental illness does not exist.

Psychiatric symptoms, claimed antipsychiatry, are not a disease or disorder but rather, they represent the normal differences of man; "living problems"; the result of social beliefs; or even special or beneficial properties claimed by individuals. For these reasons, Szasz has concluded that "mental illness" is just a metaphorical definition of disease referring to a statement, "Joe has a mental illness" in the claim, "The economy is sick." Anti-psychiatric claims require careful philosophical examination as they have serious consequences in treatments.

Mental disorders are widely varied and the patients suffer from a range of symptoms. In many cases, however, navigating your daily social interactions with a mental illness can be quite tedious.

In rare cases, people with mental health problems may be unfit to be responsible for a mental illness. However, in most cases, people with mental health problems will be tested on trial, and if convicted, they are subjected to the normal process of finding judgment. In this case, the judge needs to decide if he will consider the mental health problems of the offender. A hearing in which evidence of mental health status will be displayed and will be considered as well as the relevant legal principles upon making the verdict.

In Australia, the principles of judgment in this area are the principles of Verdins. These principles state that mental retardation can affect one sentence in six ways:

 

1. It can reduce the "moral insult" of a guilty or guilty offender.

 

2. An intellectual disability may affect the nature of the penalty imposed or its conditions.

 

3. The state of mental health can make it an inappropriate vehicle to send a dissuasive message to the community.

 

4. The mental handicap of the offender may make it unsuitable for him to send a dissuasive message.

 

5. The mental health condition of a culprit can result in a punishment that is more severe than a person of normal health.

 

6. There can be a serious risk that detention will result in harm to the offender.

 

While the principles of Verdins are excluded, mental health problems can affect the prospects of being at fault for rehabilitation. It usually depends on whether the condition is treated as a cure. As these principles decreases - they point to the lesser sentence. However, it might also require that mental illness indicates the need for a more extreme sentence. This situation has the Community recognizes, on the basis of this condition, that it needs protection from the perpetrator. Sometimes, the state of mental health provides grounds for reducing and increasing the perpetrator's judgment. In such cases, the judge must weigh all the conflicting considerations and determine the most appropriate rate.

The principles of Verdins apply to any form of mental illness which are used for perpetrators suffering from many different conditions including schizophrenia, depression and bipolar disorder. In some cases, there is no need for such diagnosis. What matters is how it affects the offender at the time or likely in the future. It is important to note, however, that the principles do not apply to pedophilia or personality disorders.

Psychiatry and related mental health professions face attacks from a relatively small but influential movement known as "antipsychiatry". Philosophical claims about the meaning and nature of mental illness require careful consideration and reaction. Most damaging to these claims is that mental illness is a "myth." Such views are not only against the opponents of medical reality and the daily human experience. It also contributes to intensive work and injury to the poorest diseases in our society.

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