Why Are Nursing Homes Diagnosing Patients With Schizophrenia?

In this episode of Schizophrenia and The City, Michelle examines a recent New York Times article that investigates the misdiagnoses of nursing home patients with schizophrenia. Because of the lack of staff to care for patients, nursing homes try to sedate their patients to control them, and so purposely diagnose them with schizophrenia in order to justify the use of antipsychotics. The worst part is, antipsychotics nearly double the chance of death when used on the elderly – clearly the opposite of what a nursing home should be doing. In addition, nurses report medications that patients take to the government, suggesting possible government oversight. In addition, nursing homes have been employing this practice for decades, treating patients with drugs that they don’t need and essentially killing them. As Michelle puts it, this is simply absurd.

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michelle hammer

Michelle Hammer is a Schizophrenia Activist and spends her time passionately fighting stigma.  At 27, Michelle decided to use her artistic talents and fearless personality to do something that could benefit the mental health community. In May 2015, she founded a mental health focused clothing brand. Schizophrenic.NYC is a clothing brand with the mission of reducing stigma by starting conversations about mental health. Michelle has also been featured in many publications such as Mashable, The Daily Mail, Stylist, and Buzzfeed.