mercoledì 15 aprile 2015

La mamma dei cretini è sempre incinta!

Vi riporto un articolo tratto da Psychology Today.

Solitamente questo sito regala ottimi spunti di riflessione e non ha mai lesinato critiche alla psichiatria. Purtroppo però stavolta ha dato spazio a un testo che mi ha fatto inorridire.
La Dott.ssa Rachel Pruchno, "esperta in malattie mentali", ipotizza come lo schianto dell'aereo nelle alpi francesi potesse essere evitato da dei test accurati in grado di individuare individui potenzialmente pericolosi. La depressione di cui soffriva il pilota doveva cioè essere diagnosticata tramite esami del sangue, neuroimmagini e tutto ciò che potesse essere utile a impedirgli di pilotare un aereo. Un'impresa impossibile in realtà, infatti la nostra simpatica Dott.ssa spera che in futuro le case farmaceutiche possano avere maggiori sovvenzioni per ideare esami specifici in grado di individuare "malattie" quali depressione e schizofrenia, per evitare che certi individui possano essere pericolosi per gli altri.

C'è ancora molta strada da fare...


Screening Test for Mental Illness

A tool that could have prevented the Germanwings crash
Post published by Rachel Pruchno Ph.D. on Apr 14, 2015 in All in the Family
  People diagnosed with diabetes cannot be commercial airline pilots because their illness could endanger the lives of passengers.  When a reliable, inexpensive test reveals that a person’s hemoglobin A1C is at least 6.5 or their fasting blood glucose is over 125 mg/dL, that person cannot work as a pilot, even if they’d dreamed of doing so since childhood.
Too bad we don’t have such tests for mental illness.
Yet again the sorry state of science regarding mental illnesses has contributed to the deaths of innocent people.
Andreas Lubitz was reported to have displayed suicidal tendencies long before securing a job as a commercial pilot. He wanted to fly so badly that he hid his mental illness from Germanwings before he was hired and then he kept his illness secret until he deliberately crashed an Airbus A320 into the French Alps. Although Lubitz was very sick, he could hide his illness because there is no reliable and inexpensive test to screen for serious mental illness.
Without reliable and inexpensive indicators of serious mental illness, we must rely on individuals to self-report its presence. But who would self-report this knowing it would prevent them from securing a job or render them a societal pariah?
While there’s much we don’t know about mental illness, we do know that serious mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major depression are brain disorders with biological roots.  Developing a reliable and inexpensive test to screen for serious mental illnesses is feasible. Technologies such as fNMR imaging and PET scans reveal that the brains of people with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder look different from the brains of people without these conditions. These scans provide critically important information, but they are expensive. Pharmaceutical companies are working on blood tests for schizophrenia; biomarkers for bipolar disorder and depression can’t be far behind. We need to make this work a priority so that diagnostic tests for serious mental illnesses become as accessible as tests for diabetes.
Although mental illness and cancer are tied as the third most costly medical conditions in terms of overall health care expenditures, the 2013 research budget of the National Institute for Mental Health (NIMH) was less than one third that of the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The costs and prevalence of mental illness demands that NIMH’s budget for research approach that of the NCI and that diagnosing serious mental illness moves to the top of NIMH’s research priorities list. This is a crucial first step toward making it impossible for people with mental illness to hide when being considered for any job where their illness might threaten public safety.
An inexpensive screening test could have prevented this tragedy. It would have made it impossible for Lubitz to hide his illness. Germanwings would not be dancing around what it did and didn’t know.
German privacy protections may be the most stringent in the world, but U.S. employers have the right to screen potential employees for a multitude of conditions. Psychological questionnaires profile personality and working styles. Urine tests identify substance abuse. Before being hired by a medical school, I had to undergo testing to prove I was free of tuberculosis. Advances in genetic testing make it possible to screen for the presence of abnormalities in healthy individuals that may increase their risk of developing certain diseases should they be exposed to worksite hazards such as chemicals or radiation.
In the past weeks as our sympathies turned to families of the victims of Flight 9525, many have asked how we can allow such evil to exist in our world. But the right question is “How can we allow a person with serious mental illness to fly a commercial airplane?”
As was the case for diabetes, once we’ve succeeded in being able to diagnose serious mental illness reliably and inexpensively, we’ll need to address issues of treatment. Making diagnosis of serious mental illness mandatory is not an option. It’s a priority for any civilized and compassionate society.
If we value the lives of our citizens, we must do what’s necessary to prevent the next tragedy from happening. We must make it impossible for people with serious mental illness to hide and, instead, we must provide the resources, treatments, and incentives that will encourage them to get the help they need and deserve. 

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