CBS 60 Minute Show – “Untreated Mental Illness an Imminent Danger”

Please CLICK HERE to visit CBS’s site to view the segment on mental illness that appeared last night on the 60 minute show. Correspondent Steve Kroft interviewed two experts on the subject—Jeffrey Lieberman, M.D., president of APA and chair of psychiatry at Columbia University, and E. Fuller Torrey, M.D., executive director of the Stanley Medical Research Institute. Dr. Torrey Fuller, a nationally known psychiatrist, frequent contributor on national television shows, NAMI award winner, and one of the founders of the Treatment Advocacy Center provides comment on mental illness and recent tragic events involving persons with a mental illness. The segment is also available through YouTube, embedded below:

Several major points emerged from the segment, including:

  • That schizophrenia is a brain illness. Lieberman documented this knowledge with brain images showing changes in the brains of people with schizophrenia. He also explained that the illness, which “usually emerges in late adolescence and early adulthood, affecting perception and judgment,” may cause a person to hear voices, among other symptoms.
  • There are effective treatments for the hallucinations that individuals with schizophrenia experience, but not all of those individuals have access to such treatments.
  • The vast majority of individuals with schizophrenia do not commit violence. They are the ones who suffer the most from their illness. And the tragic fact is that many people with serious mental illness are not receiving treatment in the community and end up in jails and prisons.

Dr. Fuller is also the author of Surviving Schizophrenia: A Manual for Families, Consumers and Providers (Harper Perennial). Since its first publication in 1983, Surviving Schizophrenia has become the standard reference book on the disease and has helped thousands of patients, their families and mental health professionals. In clear language, this much–praised and important book describes the nature, causes, symptoms, treatment and course of schizophrenia and also explores living with it from both the patient and the family’s point of view.

The present edition is the Fifth Edition. It is completely updated and includes the latest research findings on what causes schizophrenia, information about the newest drugs for treatment, and answers to the questions most often asked by families, consumers and providers.

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