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Gun Violence Must End, But Not By Throwing People Into The Mental Health System
02-01-2013, 11:19 AM
Post: #1
Gun Violence Must End, But Not By Throwing People Into The Mental Health System
http://www.alternet.org/civil-liberties/...lth-system

From the article:
Quote:...

I was 14, and it was decided that my worrisome behavior, intense mood swings, constant door-slamming, screaming, and raging had crossed a line. I don’t blame my parents an ounce for reaching this conclusion; I was troubled, and it scared them. I caused a tremendous amount of distress in my family, and the tension had reached a breaking point. Even the guidance counselor, headmistress, and some of my friends had their concerns, as my problems were spilling outside of the confines of my home. I was a livewire. I was unpredictable. I was hanging out with the “bad” girls, smoking cigarettes, cutting my arm with razors, shutting myself up in my room. I was no longer the ‘old Laura’, no matter how much it seemed like I still had it “together” on the playing field or in my schoolwork. I was spiraling out of control, and it was decided that something had to be done.

Enter my first psychiatrist, who diagnosed me with “Bipolar disorder” and handed me prescriptions for an antipsychotic and an antidepressant at the end of our first fifty minutes together. On the surface, it seemed to everyone else that the session was full of hope—for answers to the questions, for solutions to the problems, and for a path to “safety”, “treatment”, “care”, and “protection.” From where I sit today, sixteen years after I first entered that psychiatrist’s office, I am fully aware of how those few seemingly small decisions— trying out a family therapist, who happened to suggest I get a consultation with a psychiatrist, who happened to be a doctor particularly fond of Depakote and Prozac— sent my life drastically off-course, away from its once safe and secure, albeit painful road, and into something I couldn’t have imagined in my wildest nightmares.

My parents did what millions of American parents have been taught to do: they saw how much emotional pain I was in, and they sought “help” for me in the “mental health” system. They had no idea that my entrance into a psychiatrist’s office as a young teenager would end up stripping me of my health, my hope, and my sense of Self. Today, we are able to come together as a family with forgiveness, acceptance, love, and gratitude, to talk about how counterintuitive my journey into a system of proclaimed “healing” ended up being; indeed, as the result of being “shielded from harm” by the “mental health” system, I experienced more harm than I could have ever imagined for myself. I’ll list just a few examples:


...

I chose this article because it opens a lot of doors of misconception. It also put the mental health system in the spotlight. Having seen it personally (my mother had to be an in-patient for a month because she was showing suicidal tendencies), the study and system are still in its beginning stages.

Not to mention the stigma and racist perception of mental illness. If a black or brown person went on a shooting rampage, that person is believed to be a gang member or a criminal, or some such bad person, because "those people" are like that. If a white person went on a shooting rampage, that person must be crazy or mentally disturbed because white people aren't like that.

The author of the article was one of those hard-to-handle teenagers that had her parents at their wits' end. They decided that she needed professional help, so they sought out a family therapist, and the rest is history. Stigmatizing those with mental problems and passing associated legislation is only a short-term feel-good measure. IMO, "mental illness" is looking like a catch-all phrase for naming a problem that has an inadequate solution. To borrow from the article, profiling is being applied to the mentally ill, with funding being sought for "mental health" screenings in schools so that "problem" children can be found and given the "treatment" they need.

Gun control and safety should not be coupled with mental health issues. They both need to be dealt with as their separate issues, for there are plenty of problems within each system that has nothing to do with the other. Not every gun-shooting individual is mentally ill or unstable, some are just bad people.
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02-01-2013, 08:01 PM
Post: #2
RE: Gun Violence Must End, But Not By Throwing People Into The Mental Health System
Oy - here I go talking when I should just shut up again - but the closing of the mental institutions in the 1980s was as much a reaction to Cuckoo's Nest and the mentally ill gaining civil rights as it was Reagan. There was supposed to be funding for local mental health offices, which there has been some, but it isn't enough. But Reagan throwing the mentally ill into the streets wasn't the totality of what happened back then. Maybe it's because my junior year psych teacher had worked at the hospital in Salem, I don't know, but I know I paid a lot of attention to the rights of the mentally ill back in the 70s. And it's a tough call to institutionalize, but it's also a tough call for the medication alone. People can get on the wrong medication and it can make them violent. So if a person decides they don't want to take that risk, they might be right. Mental health care is very difficult, especially when it's stigmatized and such a money making industry
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02-03-2013, 10:44 AM
Post: #3
RE: Gun Violence Must End, But Not By Throwing People Into The Mental Health System
One thing that happened in the late 70s that no one really talks about was the closing of the SRO hotels (single room occupancy) that ringed many downtowns, from large cities to much smaller ones of 100,000.

A good many people lived in these, which were often old railroad hotels. They were not among the heavily institutionalized mentally ill, but had some diagnosis of mental illness and had often spent some time in an institution. They had some kind of disability check from the Feds or State and were able to subsist in these one room places, eating lots of meals in the small, cheap cafes that were a part of the same areas.

The urban renewal efforts at upgrading old downtown areas started to remove these hotels and these non-institutionalized mentally ill were often thrown into the streets. There was a lady professor who specialized in housing at conferences I attended back in those days who used to ask what would happen to this group of people when the SROs were all gone. I worked in an area where we walked past these folks to go to lunch every day and some of my colleagues dealt with their disability cases.

I'm afraid that many of them went on to live under underpasses.
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03-02-2013, 02:45 PM
Post: #4
RE: Gun Violence Must End, But Not By Throwing People Into The Mental Health System
Thanks for the banning. I hate these gun fetishists.

GOTV in 2014
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03-02-2013, 02:49 PM
Post: #5
RE: Gun Violence Must End, But Not By Throwing People Into The Mental Health System
(03-02-2013 02:45 PM)pappy Wrote:  Thanks for the banning. I hate these gun fetishists.

It was my pleasure.
I have no idea why that person bothered with our site. We have nothing to offer a RWer but the truth. And they hate that.

"I give thanks for this perfect day. Miracle will follow miracle and wonders will never cease."

"With all the worldwide mass extinctions occurring, dare we hope republicans are among them?"
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03-02-2013, 02:52 PM
Post: #6
RE: Gun Violence Must End, But Not By Throwing People Into The Mental Health System
(03-02-2013 02:49 PM)azmouse Wrote:  
(03-02-2013 02:45 PM)pappy Wrote:  Thanks for the banning. I hate these gun fetishists.

It was my pleasure.
I have no idea why that person bothered with our site. We have nothing to offer a RWer but the truth. And they hate that.

He was here before, after Newtown if my memory serves.

GOTV in 2014
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