There’s an article here about ‘Mad Pride’, a group of people diagnosed with mental illnesses (couldn’t decide whether to put scare quotes round that…) who advocate personal freedom in deciding whether and what medications to take and treatments to receive. There’s a very long discussion about it in comments here. (The title is a quote from, I believe, Blaise Pascal)
I am broadly sympathetic to ‘mad pride’, ‘anti-psychiatry’, and related movements, but it would be disingenuous of me to act as though I had a confidence and settled opinion that I lack, so I won’t offer a definitive position. What I will offer is a few observations that may help to navigate.
So the first thing is: let’s take the most commonly used argument for forcible treatment, which is that some mentally ill people are dangerous to themselves or to others, and thus it’s irresponsible to not treat them. Now, probability of violence against others is statistically correlated with a number of features: most obviously, being young, and being male.