Tarun Sehgal’s additions to the Framing
Dr Romesh Senewiratne-Alagaratnam
I have met “Dr” Tarun Sehgal twice, a month apart. After the second visit on 18 February 2019, he amended a “clinical report” to the MHRT (Mental Health Review Tribunal) that the PA Hospital has been using to oppose my freedom since 2014.
The first amendment is to add to the “primary” diagnosis of “paranoid schizophrenia” two “secondary” diagnoses
- Mental and behavioural disorders due to use of cannabinoids, harmful use
- Other specific personality disorders
The second amendment is in the section titled “Brief History of Mental Illness” most of which has remained unchanged since 2014, when it was written by the psychiatrist Daniel Varghese who has since left the service. The framing and character-assassination by Daniel Varghese and his registrar David Nguyen has been retained (with spelling and grammatical errors as well as errors of fact) by a series of PA Hospital psychiatrists including Falih Al-Sudani, Justin O’Brien, Jumoke Banjo and Ghazala Watt.
Sehgal has added:
“Last medical review (Dr Tarun Sehgal, Cons) on 18th Feb 2019
He feels he is doing better with the reduction in the dose. He reported sedation from it lasting for the first 4-5 days each time after the depot.
He stated his achievement in terms of having – 10K ‘Linked-in’ connections, – 3.5K ‘Facebook’ friends and several followers on Youtube, Twitter and FB business site. He reported that has not being paid his royalties from APRA (Australian Performing Right Association) because he is a member of APRA. He has submitted around 80-100 songs to APRA and these are performance rights. You tube pays royalties to him but he is not getting from FB or google. He has lost about 5kg in weight. He is eating well and he is a good cook according to him. Sleep is good.
He has never ever had problem with sleep unless when he had viral meningitis at 23 yo. At present, no issues with his neighbours. The only problem is that “being harassed by this hospital”. No admission since Jan 2017. Denies any concerns at present. He reported that the main issue was that he went against his father and it caused the problem. He believed that his father was a key organiser/chair leader for Tamil Tigers. He opposed to Tamil Tigers and his father ‘discredited and dispossessed’ him. Since then his father caused the problem for him. He was a family doctor until 2003 but because of his father he has not been able to get back to same job.
The interview had themes around ongoing discussion on disagreements related to diagnosis, need to take medication, inappropriate treatment by psychiatric services including negligence by MH services. He did not talk about his cannabis use in the appointment. He admitted to ongoing cannabis use in his last appointment. “
The next section “Circumstances leading to the initiation of involuntary treatment” is retained unchanged since 2014.
Sehgal’s only other addition to the report (other than changing and adding “personality disorders” to the diagnosis of ‘paranoid schizophrenia’ on the opening page) is the section “Provide details of the current mental health assessment”:
“MSE by Dr Tarun Sehgal (cons) 18/2/19
He presented with average personal hygiene, unshaven, appropriately dressed and rapport was difficult to establish. His speech was normal in tone, vol and rhythm. His mood was euthymic with mildly irritable affect. No delusional or perceptual abnormality reported. Cognitively – he was grossly intact. He lacks to have insight into his mental health condition and need to have treatment.”
It appears that Tarun Sehgal lacks insight into his lack of English literacy as well as psychiatric and medical knowledge. Paranoid schizophrenia, according to psychiatric texts, is a disease characterised by hallucinations and delusions, as well as other problems including flat affect, lack of motivation, lack of social skills, disorganization in thought and speech, superstitiousness and magical thinking. I have never had any of these problems and was well within my rights to debate them with the psychiatrist who was authorising drug treatments against my will under threat of being locked up again if I refuse.
In his “report” Sehgal has left out two important facts. These are that I lent him a copy of my 1997 book “Psychiatric Tales and Words About Life” to read and tried to discuss AIDS with him. His response to my asking him if he thought AIDS is man-made was to refuse to answer. When I pressed him on the matter he said he would be “naïve” to say what he thought. This is the first time anyone has responded in this way to this question, and I have asked it of many people, including the case managers Raghavan Raman and Nigel Lewin, both of who are qualified as nurses. Raghavan Raman said, unequivocally, “yes, it is”, while Lewin said, “it wouldn’t surprise me”. I think Tarun Sehgal should blame himself if he had difficulty establishing rapport with me. I am very easy to talk to, but I don’t like being pathologised.