Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Another Perspective

I got to thinking about some of the commentary from my last post... Kathy's point about mental health issues got me a "googlin"... I found this outstanding piece.

Back soon.

23 comments:

kathy said...

Good article. The other piece that is too often ignored is the reality that the mentally ill congregate and become victims, adddicts when they try to self-medicate and, worst of all, parents. I cannot begin to tell you the tragedy of a child born ito this particular nightmare. You can imagine what these kids look like. Abused, neglected, born addicted and with inheritable mental health issues themselves. We see a lot of it because of the closed state hospital in the nearest town. Now we're on the second generation. I'm not adopting anymore.

Greg T. Jeffers said...

It is a brutal reality... so much to consider and so very much over my head at the moment...

I don't know how we would prevent people from becoming parents, but I get you loud and clear...

westexas said...

Jim Kunstler had a pretty good post on the shooting focusing on how more and more young men are becoming socially isolated because of poor employment prospects.

Regarding government pensions, I missed this story when it came out in December:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/23/business/23prichard.html?src=twrhp
Alabama Town’s Failed Pension Is a Warning

PRICHARD, Ala. — This struggling small city on the outskirts of Mobile was warned for years that if it did nothing, its pension fund would run out of money by 2009. Right on schedule, its fund ran dry.

Then Prichard did something that pension experts say they have never seen before: it stopped sending monthly pension checks to its 150 retired workers, breaking a state law requiring it to pay its promised retirement benefits in full.

Dan said...

One of the problems I see frequently is someone will be doing fine; then stop taking their meds thinking that they don’t need them anymore and end up In trouble again. Most of the mentally ill do not think of themselves as being mentally ill. The other biggie is money. 80 people can be given reasonable treatment, and be able to function, for less than the cost of providing ideal treatment for 20. This is also reasonable for most of them because most do not need much more than genital guidance. However if a hospital can’t afford to provide perfection there is good money to be made getting it closed down and the patients turned out into the streets. Then the ones sentenced to prison they have a right to a constitutional level of care, and the rest do without. But they all suffer needlessly so some adaptive sociopath can get paid.

Dan said...

Incidentally, the root of the problem is the Civil Rights Attorney's Fees Award Act of 1976.

K said...

Along with the long-term unemployed, people who have been in a modern war and people who grossly overweight often are not mentally well.

kathy said...

The mentally ill are your mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters. They are your neighbors and your child's best friend. Most of them have a chemical imbalance in their brain that can be mitigated by appropriate medication and therapy. Most are not violent. Most are not sociopaths. Many of the mentally ill are overweight because the side effects of medication always include wieght gain. When we cut services and deny insurance coverage, we reap what we sow. Please don't tell me anything about personal responsibility. You want all life to honored, then the flip side is caring for those who can't care for themselves and that means paying for it with taxes.

K said...

I doubt the mentally ill in need of treatment have lobbyists who can match the lobbyists of those who businesses make people mentally unwell. CONgressmen would rather spend big bucks for contracts with Xe and Monsanto than spend money on providing effective medical treatment for the mentally ill, since a lot of them don't vote. Also, if the mentally ill recover, maybe they would take effective steps to oppose those CONgressmen.

Anonymous said...

Further, you cannot impose care on an mentally ill person, unless it can be proven that they are dangerous to others. Many mentally ill people go off their meds because they feel better off them. They are not aware of their irrational behavior. Once they have left treatment, there is no oversight of their condition.

I am about as little in favor of social welfare as they come. But, mental illness is not the result of bad personal choices, it is debilitating illness that is beyond the means of 99.9% of families to afford to treat. She state should take responsibility here. The idea that those that cannot make rational decisions should be permitted to make them, only to wander the streets, is ludicrous. It is a disgrace.

Those who don't vote do get short shrift. Sentences imposed for crimes against children are generally lighter than for the same crime committed against an adult. Also disgraceful.

Regards,

Coal Guy

PioneerPreppy said...

While I am not a proponent of leaving mentally ill people to fend for themselves. Waving a flag and crying that mentally ill people are everywhere and the government should provide for them all is a slippery slope just asking to be abused.

My step father took care of his downs-syndrome brother for 58 years. The first 25 or so were without any government assistance what-so-ever as he tells it.

I really don't know what the answer is, but with the current corruption and liberal "fairness" attitude so prevalent in our government. A wide open mental health medicaid program would soon cost Trillions I am sure.

kathy said...

Mental illnes and developmental disabilities are two different things. We also have an adopted daughter who is retarded and don't ask for or receive any services for her. I don't remember saying that the mentally ill are "everywhere". I said that if you don't give them adequate treatment, there is a high price to pay. Like many things, the cost of doing nothing is higher than the upfront cost of doing the right thing. You can't just wish them away.

Greg T. Jeffers said...

Excellent points all. I wish that I could add something intelligent, but I am out of my element. It does seem to me that we would be far better off TRYING to treat the mentally ill than in engaging in a decades long 2 amendment debate.

And Kathy... if there is anyone out there that can make these points to our elected officials its you. Your Street cred is good Juu-Juu.

PioneerPreppy said...

The mentally ill are your mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters. They are your neighbors and your child's best friend.

Trying to claim that is not analogous to saying "everywhere" is splitting hairs. Personally I haven't seen an anywhere that didn't have two or more of the above.

Once you start down that road then there will be set "rights" anyone who can manage to be diagnosed with an illness should expect. Then automatic immigration status to all mentally ill foreigners seeking that status. Then it's the twinkie defense for all.

Perhaps I am a bit biased since it seems everytime a young male child has an overload of energy some feminist teacher cries he is mentally ill and needs ridilin(sp?) shot in his veins to curb his male illness.

The potential for abuse in this area is huge.

kathy said...

It's Ritalin and, again, a big difference between busy little boys and people hearing voices telling them that aliens have invaded their teacher's bodies. We can always pull up scary "what if's". The problem that is doesn't solve the problem.

PioneerPreppy said...

I am NOT talking about a "what if scenario" in one regard. In all of my 45 years I have known one woman that heard voices or at least openly admitted it in a believable way. Yet I have known dozens of little boys who were forced to take mood altering drugs after being diagnosed with ADD by some hack with his new copy of the mental health book (whatever it's published name is these days). Forced by a bias school district and feminist idealism as a political lobby to become chemically lobotomized.

How many so called mental disorders were later found to be completely wrong after a few years? Or at least thought to be something different. You are not talking about hard science here and we have already seen the damage done to all types of people in the name of treating mental disorders since recorded history began.

I just cannot see putting the power of the State behind something so "fluid" and potentially harmful. Hell we can't even limit the government with the words "shall not be infringed" I shudder to think what would happen if they fully funded mental illness.

kathy said...

You have valid points. The problem is that you're able to argue them from an academic perspective. I don't have the luxury. I guess we have to call this one a draw.

PioneerPreppy said...

I am not looking at it as winning or losing or drawing :)

I actually agree with your feelings that something should be done for those who are mentally ill.

I guess to me it's a type of mental disorder as well :) After handing the bat to the guy who promised not to hit me with it and then did. I am a bit leery of giving that bat up again. Also in my opinion mental illness allows to much leeway for political or social opinion to sway it this way or that. If I was sure it would end or be restricted to a few disorders I would be all for it. Then again maybe my few acceptable disorders are also biased by my own feelings....

PioneerPreppy said...

OK the bat thing is a conditioned response but you get the idea :)

kathy said...

You look so nice when you smile:)!

tweell said...

The old sanatoriums for the insane were hellholes for everyone involved. Then medicines like lithium carbonate were discovered, and the sanatoriums were closed as the great majority of the patients were able to lead more or less normal lives. Victory was declared, and now we are losing.
The problem is that we are in the equivalent of alchemy for brain disorders. We have some chemical compounds that produce results, but the effects vary greatly from person to person. Psychiatrists attempt to come up with the right mixture and amount of these compounds through a technical procedure known as 'guessing'. Scientists are only now starting to understand what provokes these disorders, the real cures are yet to come.
Arizona State Hospital once had a sanatorium wing, that is now part of the Phoenix prison. The Phoenix prison has two purposes - it processes incoming inmates, and it holds the criminally insane, those who cannot be helped or who won't stay on those medicines. That yard is a rather scary place as med time approaches. Most of those inmates are heavily sedated, but have built up resistances to those drugs, and are 'winding up' by the time they get their next dose.
The Tucson sheriff bears responsibility with Mr. Loughner, which is why he was so eager to pass the buck. His office was told by the college about Jared going insane, but Jared's mother, who works for the county, managed to keep him out of jail. Congratulations, Mom and sheriff Dupnik!
Jared Loughner will join the ranks of the zombies at Flamingo yard, where they will drug him insensible. It works, and the folks there are much more interested in staying alive than in letting a criminally insane person think.
Can you tell I'm happy to be not working for Corrections anymore?

Dan said...

Tweell,

Do you segregate the insane by level? There are some really scary people at the max unit but the medium unit is not so bad. A good portion of the Medium level stopped taking their meds at community level, where the environment is not so structured, and will be headed back down after they are forcibly medicated. Once you get to minimum or community they basically just need a babysitter, essentially all of the minimum and community level belong in a state hospital.

tweell said...

Flamingo is the high security medically insane yard, it has a max unit (Q for quiet). The medium and lower are in the general prison population, the only difference is that they are watched as they take their meds.

Anonymous said...

Isn't it just grand! We close the state hospitals so that the insane can fill the prisons. Now, that's humane. Yeh, right. We've listened for decades as the Left villainized the mental hospitals. I had a chance to look around the former state hospital in Foxboro MA long after it closed. Most wings looked like college dorm rooms. It wasn't what the portray in the movies. I'm sure there were some bad problems. Somehow, the alternative doesn't seem better.

PP,

I'm not talking about the so called hyperactive, or depressed, or any of big pharma's ever expanding target groups. Please, all of you that truly suffer, I'm not talking about you! But, when the supposed affected populations for certain conditions approach 30% of the total population, we either have junk science lying for profit or societal issues that need to be cleared by means other than drugs.

I'm talking about the truly insane, schizophrenics, etc., that now inhabit our prisons, and should be committed to a more humane setting. It is disgusting. Family can do some of it with the help of meds, IF the patient doesn't refuse them. But many are beyond the means of family to manage, and should not be wandering the streets or in prison. The state hospitals were not filled with hyperactive boys or depressed middle aged men and women. They were filled with people who were mentally incapacitated to the point that family could not care for them. The alternative before meds was to lock them in the attic or basement. It wasn't to be cruel, there was no other practical choice. What if you had a son or daughter, brother or sister who was violent, or wandered away, or was sexually aggressive or any of a thousand things that can't be tolerated at home or in public? What if there was no other choice. That is why asylums were created before any other social program.

I understand your concern about creeping eligibility. Our society has lost the ability to draw a line and make a rational decision. To many have decided anybody should get anything they ask for just because they want it. At the same time they ignore the scarcity of resources to fund their largess.

This subject truly saddens me.

Regards,

Coal Guy