“Proponents of Connecticut establishing a law that would allow the involuntary treatment of people with mental illness in the community have recently used two misleading ideas to support their case.
They acknowledge that voluntary treatment is preferable, but point out it doesn’t work for everyone. Among the reasons they give for the failure of voluntary treatment is that some people with mental illness have a condition that makes them unaware they are ill, or they don’t like the side effects of medication. Both assertions are highly questionable and neither does justice to the seriousness of the issue.
It is misleading, for example, to refer to people with mental illnesses as either “treated” or “untreated.” The medications we currently have for these conditions do not come close to resembling the effective use of insulin for diabetes, for example. Only seven out of 10 people with a serious mental illness will derive any benefit from medications, and these benefits will typically be modest.”