A thoughtful look at all sides of this very complicated and emotional issue. A subject near and dear to my heart The worst part was the final chapter where the authors were so hopeful about the future of mental health with the Affordable Care Act An informative and incredibly easy to read book I learned so much but with their narrative style, I also had a hard time putting it down and flew through several chapters in a day I read it in two bigs chunks with a long break in between, but it was worth it Highly recommended. Battle lines have been drawn over involuntary treatment On one side are those who oppose involuntary psychiatric treatments under any condition Activists who take up this cause often don't acknowledge that psychiatric symptoms can render people dangerous to themselves or others, regardless of their civil rights On the other side are groups pushing for increased use of involuntary treatment These proponents are quick to point out that people with psychiatric illnesses often don't recognize that they are ill, which from their perspective makes the discussion of civil rights moot They may gloss over the sometimes dangerous side effects of psychiatric medications, and they often don't admit that patients, even after their symptoms have abated, are sometimes unhappy that treatment was inflicted upon themIn Committed, psychiatrists Dinah Miller and Annette Hanson offer a thoughtprovoking and engaging account of the controversy surrounding involuntary psychiatric care in the United States They bring the issue to life with firsthand accounts from patients, clinicians, advocates, and opponents Looking at practices such as seclusion and restraint, involuntary medication, and involuntary electroconvulsive therapyall within the context of civil rightsMiller and Hanson illuminate the personal consequences of these controversial practices through voices of people who have been helped by the treatment they had as well as those who have been traumatized by itThe authors explore the question of whether involuntary treatment has a role in preventing violence, suicide, and mass murder They delve into the controversial use of courtordered outpatient treatment at its best and at its worst Finally, they examine innovative solutionsmental health court, crisis intervention training, and pretrial diversionthat are intended to expand access to care while diverting people who have serious mental illness out of the cycle of repeated hospitalization and incarceration They also assess what psychiatry knows about the prediction of violence and the limitations of laws designed to protect the public I really wanted to love this book because I am a HUGE fan of the author's blogs and I find the subject absolutely fascinating And I liked it, but considering how long it took me to finish it (months) I can't say it kept my attention I did learn a lot though and the book itself was extremely well researched and written The passion of the authors about the subject was clearly evident I liked the first half better Sharing stories has always been a way I have learned best and so hearing from real people was the most helpful part of the book. Wonderful book that lends insight to forced psychiatric treatment as very few books do The authors clearly did their best to give voice to both sides of this story Most notably, they spoke to patients who have undergone forced treatment and whose voices are often muted in this debate. As someone who works in psych, I really enjoyed reading this book but at times it seemed like the authors were out of touch and did not really understand what happens on inpatient units or the safety measures we have to follow to ensure everyone's safety (both patients and staff) 3.5 starsA very exhaustive look at all sides of the argument about involuntary commitment Definitely worth a read if mental illness is a topic that you are interested in. This was a great overview of all types of psychiatric care and involuntary commitment The authors sought out respected experts on the topics at hand and were extremely descriptive while providing thoughtful commentary I only wish they were slightlyphilosophical about the prospect of letting patients go While I understand the focus on two people in particular to contrast voluntary and involuntary commitment, it was a tad limiting I would recommend this to anyone wanting to learnabout psychiatric treatment or who faces the prospects of involuntary commitment in their work. A nice primer for a highly basic understanding of some of the key voices and challenges of the civil commitment debate, however I was disappointed to see psychiatrists who seemed so keenly aware of the ethical ills of their field (Dina Miller noted that nearly all patients who are involuntarily hospitalized feel traumatized by the process) take such an impassioned and milquetoast stance It was clear from the book that the authors believed civil commitment to be a moral wrong, yet due to professional obligations or a need to appear 'unbiased' the authors consistently followed up with critiques of the negative emotional effects of civil commitment with empty reassurances that this is all 'for the better good' and why is it for the better good? Oh overreaching politically active parents who 'own' their adult children and grimy political hacks who win votes by blaming the 'mentally ill' for gun violence At a certain point the book became an exercise in defending the weak status quo to not offend all of the powerful institutions we've defended in this country (clueless police forces and power hungry psychiatrists) because they're simply too big to conquer with a book or two I know this review seems scathing but it's not because the book wasn't well written and a great primer it was! it's just that it's shocking to read a book in which the moral message is so clear yet the authors don't have the gall to follow through with the implications I'm reading The Myth of Mental Illness by Thomas Szasz currently now THAT is a book with teeth! As with most writing by medical professionals/academics, this book does a great job laying out the problem and summarizing what we know so far Then it makes broad, generic suggestions about what should be done, leaving you with the thought, Well, duh.I'm a psychiatry resident halfway through my training I came to this book with a lot of high hopes, after seeing how involuntary commitment (IVC) is a cause of distress for some of my patients I was hoping to find in this book recommendations by two physicians in my field with muchexperience There wasn't much Sure it was good to see that two big names in my field shared my concerns and then some, but they didn't really have much to offer about how to do what we all know needs to be done better.I think this is a good book for the layperson, but for anyone already working in mental healthcare who sees its underside on a daily basis, this book doesn't do much other than tell themof what they already know.