What is the BizOMadness Blog?

This blog is devoted to raising critical awareness of psychiatry generally. It is likewise devoted to the antipsychiatry research projects, publications, and related activities of Dr. Bonnie Burstow. Especially foregrounded are The Psychiatry Project, The Madness Project, and "Psychiatry and the Business of Madness". Related to one another, The Psychiatry Project and The Madness Project involve hundreds of interviews, a dozen focus groups, analysis of several hundred documents and their activation, and dedicated periods of institutional observation. The culmination of both as well as of decades of related interviews and activities is "Psychiatry and the Business of Madness" (timely updates on its publication will be provided)--a cutting edge book in which psychiatry is investigated from multiple angles and which begins to tackle the inevitable question: So if we get rid of psychiatry, where do we go from there?

For the Events page to find events related to this research or this book, see

To check out reviews of Psychiatry and the Business of Madness and related publications, see http://bizomadnessreviews.blogspot.ca/

Monday, June 30, 2014

On the Way to OISE

An incident happened about a week ago that I wanted to share. A temperate summer day. On the way to OISE (my place of work), I bumped into a group of three. An older man in his eighties, a middle aged man in his 40s--both of whom were hovering over a man sprawled out on the sidewalk. The upright men had called emergency because the guy (who seemed to be homeless--not that this reality should necessarily have made a difference) had clearly been drinking heavily and he kept going between being conscious and passing out. Without question both of these men cared. I stayed and talked to everyone as this drama played out, ascertained where the man on the sidewalk lived and what he wanted. Then the ambulance turned up. While the "homeless man"was very clear that he wanted to go home and that he didn't want to go to hospital and while he knew exactly where home was, the paramedics gave him no choice. He would be taken to hospital, despite his protests. Whereupon, the paramedics looked at his wrist and noticed a hospital tag still on--Mount Sinai--and it was determined that he would be taken there. The middle aged man quickly reassured the man who was  "homeless" that everything was better now and that he would be in good hands. "Are you sure?" I asked. "How do you know that he had not just gone to great efforts to escape hospital and you've just sent back after a relatively successful escape?

The middle aged man--who is without question a very kind guy--looked shaken and a bit confused. We exchanged a few more words; then parted. The following morning the middle-aged emailed to tell me, yes, he had gone for a solution that made him feel better and probably at the expense of the homeless man--and that he would handle the situation differently next time. He even came up with some respectful things that he would do.

A good moment in a difficult and worrisome episode.

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