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Managing mental illness [Letter]

Diseases and IllnessesChemical IndustryPharmaceutical Industry

Regarding John J. Boronow and Steven S. Sharfstein's recent commentary on mental illness, I said the same thing, albeit more bluntly and without a clinical diagnosis, in a 2007 unpublished letter to the editor ("Close the mental health revolving door," Dec. 29).

My letter emphasized mandatory medication, which certainly would be a part of any "assisted outpatient treatment" law. I would also include patients reacting to undesirable drug side effects.

Many patients receiving outpatient treatment for mental illness, including the student responsible for the 2007 Virginia Tech shootings, deplore the side effects of the medications and choose not to take them. It's time we took another look at this issue.

Madeline K. Brengle, Parkville

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