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Our Insane Mental Health System
World Magazine ^ | 08.23.08 | Marvin Olansky

Posted on 08/21/2008 7:59:15 AM PDT by Chickensoup

Our insane mental health system Faith-based finalists: The poorest among us are those who’ve lost their minds, according to psychiatrist E. Fuller Torrey | Marvin Olasky

I first heard E. Fuller Torrey critique America's mental health non-system nearly two decades ago—and the evidence of breakdown has only increased since then. The mentally ill now form probably half of the homeless and prison populations. Exploited and victimized by others, and often terrorized by their own phobias, they are a threat to themselves and to others, causing one-tenth of the homicides in the United States.

Torrey, a psychiatrist who specializes in helping schizophrenic and bipolar patients, founded the Treatment Advocacy Center (www.treatment
advocacycenter.org), a national nonprofit trying to improve treatment of those with severe mental illnesses. He has persevered in helping men and women who are truly the poorest among us in that they don't even own their own brains any more.

WORLD: How many seriously mentally ill individuals are homeless or incarcerated in the United States at any given time?

TORREY: Conservatively it is estimated that there are about 175,000 seriously mentally ill persons who are homeless and another 220,000 who are in jails and prisons. By "seriously mentally ill" I mean individuals with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and severe depression with psychosis. This definition does not include individuals who only have alcohol and drug abuse problems. Thus, individuals with serious mental illnesses make up at least one-third of the homeless population and at least 10 percent of the jail and prison population. Both numbers have been, and still are, increasing.

WORLD: What was the trendsetting California legislation during the Reagan years, and who were the strange bedfellows pushing it?

TORREY: In the late 1960s California set the standard for emptying its state mental hospitals and other states then followed its lead. In 1969 it implemented a law, widely known as the Lanterman-Petris-Short (LPS) Act after its sponsors, which made it exceptionally difficult to involuntarily hospitalize psychiatric patients. Once in the hospital, patients could only be held for 17 days unless they met very strict criteria for dangerousness. The new law resulted in a major exodus of patients from the hospitals, a movement known as deinstitutionalization.

WORLD: Which strange bedfellows pushed for that law?

TORREY: A very odd coalition: politically left-leaning civil libertarians, who believed that nobody should ever be involuntarily hospitalized, and politically right-leaning fiscal conservatives who saw closing the hospitals as a way to reduce state expenditures and thus reduce taxes.

WORLD: Who was Herb Mullin and why did you write about him?

TORREY: Herb Mullin was a young man with untreated schizophrenia who, because of his delusions, killed 13 people in Santa Cruz, Calif., in 1972 and 1973. As is typical for schizophrenia, Herb had been a promising young man until his disease began after he completed high school. I used Herb as a case example because he is typical of the individuals with untreated schizophrenia and bipolar disorder who account for about 10 percent of all homicides in the United States. Most of those homicides could be prevented if the people were being treated.

I also used Herb because his untreated illness was at least partially a product of the new LPS legislation which had just been implemented in California. In 2005 I visited Herb, who is serving a life sentence in a California state prison. He still has schizophrenia. So far his incarceration has cost California taxpayers over $1 million. The cost of the antipsychotic medication needed to treat his illness in 1972, and thus prevent the homicides, would have been a few dollars.

WORLD: What effect did Wisconsin's mental health reforms have?

TORREY: Wisconsin, like California, passed legislation in 1972 that made it very difficult to treat people with serious mental illnesses. Following the passage of the new legislation Wisconsin witnessed an immediate increase in mentally ill persons who were homeless, in jails and prisons, and committing violent acts, including homicides.

WORLD: With mental hospitals closed, which public officials are now the front-line screeners of mentally ill individuals?

TORREY: In the past, psychiatrists, psychologists, and social workers were the screeners; now, it's police and sheriffs. They are the ones called when mentally ill persons become disturbed. For example, in New York City in 1976 the police responded to approximately 1,000 mental illness calls each year. By 1998 this had increased to over 25,000 such calls each year. Police and sheriffs are not recruited or trained to be mental health screening officials and it of course takes time from other law enforcement duties that they should be performing.

WORLD: What is "dying with one's rights on"?

TORREY: Dr. Darold Treffert, a psychiatrist in Wisconsin, originally used the term. He kept track of the increasing number of deaths of individuals with serious mental illnesses who died from accidents, suicides, starvation, etc., because of the new laws making it difficult to treat them. Dr. Treffert wanted to emphasize the fact that the new laws were effective in protecting the person's civil liberties and their right to refuse treatment, but in doing so the laws put the person in danger. Dr. Treffert is one of only a few American psychiatrists who have spoken out forcefully regarding the abysmal job we are doing in providing appropriate care for individuals with severe mental illnesses.

WORLD: Why don't more patients who need medication take it?

TORREY: The single biggest reason why individuals with mental illnesses do not take medication is because they do not believe they are sick. Schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are diseases of the brain and the disease often affects the part of the brain we use to think about ourselves. We see this also in other patients with brain disease, especially in Alzheimer's disease, and in neurological terms it is called anosognosia. It is seen in approximately half of all patients with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Such patients, no matter how sick they are, deny that they are sick and refuse to take medication. Other reasons why some patients do not take medication include side effects and cost of the medication.

WORLD: What are the consequences of our failure to treat people with serious mental illnesses who need treatment?

TORREY: Horrendous. Beyond the problems of becoming homeless, incarcerated in jail or prison, and becoming violent, mentally ill people who are not being treated often become confused and thus easily victimized. Their judgment is impaired, leading them into potentially dangerous situations. A study of seriously mentally ill individuals in Los Angeles reported that two-thirds of them had been robbed or assaulted in the previous year. Suicide also occurs frequently among mentally ill persons who are not treated.There are additional consequences: For example, hospital emergency rooms are often crowded with mentally ill persons waiting for hospital beds. Many public libraries have become de facto centers for mentally ill persons who have nowhere else to go. Many public parks have been taken over by homeless mentally ill individuals.

WORLD: Are any religious groups helping?

TORREY: I volunteered in homeless shelters for 16 years and have visited shelters in many states. I have been consistently impressed by the quantity and quality of services for the homeless that are being provided by religious organizations. If not for them, we would be much worse off than we are.

WORLD: How do we fix the system?

TORREY: The system can be fixed but the first thing required will be leadership from federal, state, and local officials. Such leadership has been in very short supply. I do not know of a single governor, for example, who has made the treatment of individuals with serious mental illnesses a priority. At the federal level the Center for Mental Health Services, which theoretically should be providing leadership, is one of the least effective agencies in all of Washington, and that is saying a lot!

We need to focus on the sickest patients. Of the 4 million seriously mentally ill individuals in the United States, about 10 percent of them, or 400,000 patients, are homeless, in jails and prisons, and causing most of the problems. And about 10 percent of those, or 40,000 individuals, are overtly dangerous and need to be on mandated medication for the safety of themselves and others.

Copyright © 2008 WORLD Magazine August 23, 2008, Vol. 23, No. 17


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Government
KEYWORDS: apa; disorders; ill; mentalhealth; mentalillness; mentally; olasky; psychiatry; psychology
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This is a good beginning in the discussion of how we have failed the mentally ill...
1 posted on 08/21/2008 7:59:15 AM PDT by Chickensoup
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To: Chickensoup
Why is it ALWAYS up to the STATE to fix this problem?

Why isn't family REQUIRED to care for them?

It's too easy to load up government with this.

Our country didn't start out this way ... families and churches cared for this - not the government. Yes, I know, it might be an inconvenience to the family ... we are a narcissistic society and irresponsible as well.

2 posted on 08/21/2008 8:12:51 AM PDT by nmh (Intelligent people recognize Intelligent Design (God).)
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To: Chickensoup
"The cost of the antipsychotic medication needed to treat his illness in 1972, and thus prevent the homicides, would have been a few dollars." psychiatrist E. Fuller Torrey

Just a few dollars? Apparently Doc. Fuller is pimping for the drug companies. There is no shortage of teachers who aren't out there helping him to rope hyper boys onto Ritalin and Girls onto anti depressants.

3 posted on 08/21/2008 8:14:47 AM PDT by LoneRangerMassachusetts
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To: nmh

Our country didn’t start out this way ... families and churches cared for this - not the government. Yes, I know, it might be an inconvenience to the family ... we are a narcissistic society and irresponsible as well

Are you kidding? Have you ever had a severely mentally ill person in your family? In the past they were killed or tortured or like today in prison. Our compassionate forefathers saw a need and developed Town Farms and Insane asylems to help these poor souls live so that they would not molest general society or be molested.

The current system is much more expensive with the patients either being ignored OR the have 24 hour personal care attendents sometimes even two at a time. Mental health care for the seriously ill is a tragic and growing industy.


4 posted on 08/21/2008 8:20:25 AM PDT by Chickensoup ('08 VOTING, NOT for the GOP, but INSTEAD, for the SUPREME COURT that will be BEST for my FAMILY!!)
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To: Chickensoup

My wife is a case manager for a mental health clinic in the county we live in. She is overloaded in her work as she has in excess of 60 cases she has to deal with each week. That means she has to see to it that those who need to go to the halfway house do so, that those who need to get back to the state hospital do so and those who need medical attention do so and those who need to be gottten out of jail-do so, and those who need to be counciled get there and those who havent had called in over a week be contacted..on and on.

In the last month, one got shot by the police-he hadnt been taking his meds at home and went over the edge. One got killed by her husband. One robbed a bank and got caught after taking the taxi back to his apartment (LOL) and a couple tried commiting suicied. Not to mention those who needed to be sent to the “unit” to get their “Tune Ups” didnt show.

She works over 12 hours a day and gets just over 32 grand a year for her job. A lot of these people should be in an managed care situtation much like old folks homes where they can come and go yet are watched so they take their happy meds or whatever...at least thats what she says. Yet the state wont cough up enough money to cover the costs of these people and they expect outfits like where my wife works to handle it for nothing.

For those of you on here that will scoff at handing out money to take care of these in a responsible way..would you let your three year old take care of him/herselves and not provide for them?

BTW. My wife has a BS in Business Administration and will quit this job ASAP as she is sick and tired of working the Chinese overtime. Thats doing overtime on salery for those of you that dont know. A PERSON WITH A DEGREE WORKING FOR a lousy 32 grand a year. But the cheap F^$#ers in this state will fall over themselves to fund a G&%dam hiking trail to nowhere for a bajillion dollars...AND HALF THE STATE IS DESERT..you can take off and walk straight cross country for the petes sake.


5 posted on 08/21/2008 8:21:31 AM PDT by crz
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To: LoneRangerMassachusetts

“The cost of the antipsychotic medication needed to treat his illness in 1972, and thus prevent the homicides, would have been a few dollars.” psychiatrist E. Fuller Torrey

He is talking about haldol, thorazine and the like. they are the mainstays of the practice. This is not drug company pimping. This is the reality. Diabetics need insulin and psychotics need anti-psychotic medications. Prior to antipsychotics we tied them into straitjackets and let them scream.

YOu need to learn about this issue because it is in every community


6 posted on 08/21/2008 8:23:25 AM PDT by Chickensoup ('08 VOTING, NOT for the GOP, but INSTEAD, for the SUPREME COURT that will be BEST for my FAMILY!!)
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To: Chickensoup
Why don't more patients who need medication take it?

Because they're nuts.

7 posted on 08/21/2008 8:23:36 AM PDT by Jeff Chandler (A community in Chicago is missing an organizer.)
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To: nmh

What happens when the family doesnt want anything to do with them? Then what? Leave em out on the street to cause havoc? Is that the way to do it?


8 posted on 08/21/2008 8:25:09 AM PDT by crz
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To: LoneRangerMassachusetts
There is no shortage of teachers who aren't out there helping him to rope hyper boys onto Ritalin and Girls onto anti depressants.

That's an entirely different issue. This article is about severely dangerous, mentally ill people

9 posted on 08/21/2008 8:25:36 AM PDT by Jeff Chandler (A community in Chicago is missing an organizer.)
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To: crz

In the long run it is less expensive to fund asylums and get this Communtiy based mental health off the streets. The costs in police, homelessness and different street programs would be eliminated. Having the mentally ill run around homeless is expensive. Not to mention the risk for them and the general publicn.


10 posted on 08/21/2008 8:26:48 AM PDT by Chickensoup ('08 VOTING, NOT for the GOP, but INSTEAD, for the SUPREME COURT that will be BEST for my FAMILY!!)
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To: Jeff Chandler

Why don’t more patients who need medication take it?
Because they’re nuts.

They are mentally ill. That means that they have POOR JUDGEMENT>


11 posted on 08/21/2008 8:27:37 AM PDT by Chickensoup ('08 VOTING, NOT for the GOP, but INSTEAD, for the SUPREME COURT that will be BEST for my FAMILY!!)
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To: Jeff Chandler

Why don’t more patients who need medication take it?
Because they’re nuts.

They are mentally ill. That means that they have POOR JUDGEMENT>


12 posted on 08/21/2008 8:27:47 AM PDT by Chickensoup ('08 VOTING, NOT for the GOP, but INSTEAD, for the SUPREME COURT that will be BEST for my FAMILY!!)
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To: nmh
Our country didn't start out this way ... families and churches cared for this - not the government. Yes, I know, it might be an inconvenience to the family ... we are a narcissistic society and irresponsible as well.

As someone who's family with such a member WHAT EXACTLY do you suggest we do in the case of a mentally disturbed family member who can't understand that they are ill, given that the state makes it virtually impossible to have them involuntarily committed for treatment?

13 posted on 08/21/2008 8:28:50 AM PDT by M. Dodge Thomas
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To: Chickensoup
They are mentally ill. That means that they have POOR JUDGEMENT>

That's what I said-they're nuts.

14 posted on 08/21/2008 8:29:03 AM PDT by Jeff Chandler (A community in Chicago is missing an organizer.)
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To: nmh
Why isn't family REQUIRED to care for them?

For the same reason my friend who has breast cancer feels that everyone else should pay for her treatments. Basically, "It's expensive."

People don't want to give up their creature comforts, by and large, and want other people to shoulder the cost. It's easier to imagine some greedy evil corporate bazillionaire than some regular joe who's got his own problems. It amazes me how people have become less and less self-reliant over the years.

It can be best summed up by a Simpsons quote, "Get someone else to do it."

15 posted on 08/21/2008 8:29:49 AM PDT by RepoGirl ("I've seen things you wouldn't believe. Sea beams glittering at the Tannhauser gait.")
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To: crz

The problem with someone who has schizophrenia and is not being treated with medication is that they are often impossible to help or even control. The patient does have rights as a human being, families cannot force-feed them their medications. Families cannot stop them from slipping into psychosis. If you are dealing with an adult with a mental illness who refuses to be treated with medications, the family can do very little about it... unless it can be proven that they are a possible danger to themselves or others. And that is a very difficult thing for a family to prove. It is generally only proven after the fact, after the patient has harmed himself or someone else.


16 posted on 08/21/2008 8:29:51 AM PDT by Pan_Yans Wife
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To: Chickensoup

Thank you!!!

The SMI people cant help it as they have an illness..and some are a danger to society sadly.

Maybe somebody here would care to tell me if they’d like to let a woman out on the streets who killed her baby and cut it up and flushed in down the toilet in a hotel room and not have anyplace where she could be watched and made sure she took her meds.

And believe me..there is just such a case in the USA..I’d get myself in trouble if I told you where. My wife took care of her. Its not in AZ.


17 posted on 08/21/2008 8:32:21 AM PDT by crz
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To: nmh

nmh, I know that you speak sincerely. But you have, obviously, never faced this problem personally.

The families, despite their best efforts, CANNOT care for the severely mentally ill. These people will not accept help. They don’t think they need it.

We currently have a family member who feels on top of the world. He’s manic. He’s paranoid. He’s carrying a gun. We know it, and law enforcement knows it. He calls, but he doesn’t stay in one place for long.

Why is he out, you ask?

Because he’s just sane enough to fool the system. He told the last mental health pro who evaluated him that the gun was to shoot squirrels. He can calm himself enough to make minimal sense for a few minutes at a time. He’s learned to keep his mouth shut.

He won’t go for voluntary treatment. He gets violent and profane when it’s suggested.

He can’t be involuntarily committed till he’s judged a threat to himself or others. By that time, it may be too late.

And we, the family, will be blamed. Meanwhile, I keep my doors locked.

Careful judging till you’ve walked in the moccasins.


18 posted on 08/21/2008 8:36:57 AM PDT by Jedidah
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To: RepoGirl

RepoGirl, you are wrong.

It’s not about money.

Please see my last post.

There’s insurance, and there’s family willing to pay. The severely mentally ill often will not accept treatment, voluntary or otherwise.


19 posted on 08/21/2008 8:39:41 AM PDT by Jedidah
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To: RepoGirl

I would LOVE to see you work just one week in one of these places. You’d be eating your words in a second.

You’ve NO idea at all.


20 posted on 08/21/2008 8:41:01 AM PDT by crz
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To: Chickensoup

There’s another reason why patients don’t take their meds. A bipolar patient in a manic phase feels GOOD. He’s running high, king of the world.

The meds dull his senses, slow him down. Reality isn’t nearly as much fun.


21 posted on 08/21/2008 8:43:18 AM PDT by Jedidah
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To: nmh

Never underestimate the ability of an insane person to tear apart their own families. The reason that so many of the insane are wandering the streets is that their families had no choice but to kick them out.

It is not a free choice, they are near collapse, physically, emotionally, and financially. Often the mentally ill person is either nearly catatonic from drugs and depression, so must be cared for continually, fed, and cleaned, yet unable to respond. Or else they reject their drugs because of the painful side effects, and are incoherent, menacing, intensely paranoid and lash out unpredictably causing damage and injury to themselves and others.

When out on the street, they have nothing, and quickly fall victim to others or victimize some innocent person. If they are known to be mentally ill, or it is quickly determined, after arrest, at first they will be put in a County facility with a maximum stay of two weeks. Then they will be turned loose again.

Most State facilities operate at or above full capacity, so unless they are uncontrollable, they are arrested and put in prison. Only as a last resort are they put in a State asylum, where they are daily drugged so much that they sleep almost continually. After some months of this, they are so damaged and weak that they are just being held until they die.

This is why the courts eventually decided that even if they could live on the streets, it was a “better” life, though they were offensive to the population as a whole. This forced the States to release them, and they soon discovered it saved a lot of money, so they now support doing this as well.

The only significant improvement since then has been to take those who are not insane, but who just have “diminished mental function”, the retarded either naturally, chemically, or by accident, and put them in group homes, where just one or a few caregivers would be able to give them a reasonable life. Some of the earlier stage mentally ill are also in this situation, but it doesn’t last too long, because their minds deteriorate.

But the rest of the insane are boned. And despite periodic calls for society to do *something*, *anything* to improve the situation, the bottom line is that we want to, but just have no clue as to how.

Everybody wants to help them, but nobody has any ideas.


22 posted on 08/21/2008 8:44:44 AM PDT by yefragetuwrabrumuy
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To: LoneRangerMassachusetts

“There is no shortage of teachers who aren’t out there helping him to rope hyper boys onto Ritalin and Girls onto anti depressants.”

Maybe you should stick to the topic instead of sidetracking into some agenda.


23 posted on 08/21/2008 8:45:53 AM PDT by gracesdad
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To: Jedidah

Ya know..As my wife says. Some are comical-like the one who is a computer wiz and cleaned out several of his families accounts before they caught him, and some are harmless, but some of them are homocidal.

Ever wonder why the wild west was so like it was?


24 posted on 08/21/2008 8:48:22 AM PDT by crz
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To: yefragetuwrabrumuy

Never underestimate the ability of an insane person to tear apart their own families. The reason that so many of the insane are wandering the streets is that their families had no choice but to kick them out.

I don’t but I fail to see where it should be a taxpayer problem. They are REMOVED from any emotion towards the victim.

It is not a free choice, they are near collapse, physically, emotionally, and financially. Often the mentally ill person is either nearly catatonic from drugs and depression, so must be cared for continually, fed, and cleaned, yet unable to respond. Or else they reject their drugs because of the painful side effects, and are incoherent, menacing, intensely paranoid and lash out unpredictably causing damage and injury to themselves and others.

All the more reason to have FAMILY handle this.

...

Everybody wants to help them, but nobody has any ideas.

No. No one wants to be bothered. It should be FAMILY.
Obviously the government solution isn’t working either. This must be forced onto family or perhaps churches.


25 posted on 08/21/2008 8:49:15 AM PDT by nmh (Intelligent people recognize Intelligent Design (God).)
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To: Jedidah

Laws need to be changed.


26 posted on 08/21/2008 8:50:37 AM PDT by nmh (Intelligent people recognize Intelligent Design (God).)
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To: nmh; RepoGirl

“Why is it ALWAYS up to the STATE to fix this problem?

Why isn’t family REQUIRED to care for them?

It’s too easy to load up government with this.

Our country didn’t start out this way ... families and churches cared for this - not the government. Yes, I know, it might be an inconvenience to the family ... we are a narcissistic society and irresponsible as well.”

Boy, it’s easy to tell when folks have absolutely no idea what they’re talking about.

Look into the history of what used to happen to the seriously mentally ill. It wasn’t nice lovable families and churches taking care of them and everybody living happily ever after.


27 posted on 08/21/2008 8:51:31 AM PDT by gracesdad
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To: Chickensoup
They are mentally ill. That means that they have POOR JUDGEMENT

But enough about the Democrats. . . .

28 posted on 08/21/2008 8:52:34 AM PDT by Salgak (Acme Lasers presents: The Energizer Border: I dare you to try and cross it. . .)
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To: Jedidah

Not evey bipolar patient experiences the illness in the same way. Many never even experience full-blown mania.


29 posted on 08/21/2008 8:52:40 AM PDT by Pan_Yans Wife
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To: nmh
Why is it ALWAYS up to the STATE to fix this problem?

The reforms that emptied state mental hospitals didn't mean we actually stopped paying for the costs of taking care of people with mental illnesses.

In large part, we just ended up taking care of a lot of mentally ill people through the prison system- American prisons are perhaps the largest provider of mental health services in the country.

I'll leave it to the reader to figure out whether this approach has been an improvement when it comes to cost and treatment of the mentally ill.

Why isn't family REQUIRED to care for them?

Most families are wholly incapable, physically, economically and medically, to deal with a paranoid schizophrenic or someone with serious bi-polar disorder or other serious mental health issues.

30 posted on 08/21/2008 8:53:02 AM PDT by Citizen Blade ("Please... I go through everyone's trash." The Question)
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To: Chickensoup
The name for it was Deinstitutionalization

The same people that made people with Mental Illness reliant on institutions had no plan when they were discharged to the streets.

The movie Sling Blade was a perfect example

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0117666/

It has improved a little because of group homes but this statement about Dr. Treffert sums it up best.

TORREY: Dr. Darold Treffert, a psychiatrist in Wisconsin, originally used the term. He kept track of the increasing number of deaths of individuals with serious mental illnesses who died from accidents, suicides, starvation, etc., because of the new laws making it difficult to treat them. Dr. Treffert wanted to emphasize the fact that the new laws were effective in protecting the person's civil liberties and their right to refuse treatment, but in doing so the laws put the person in danger. Dr. Treffert is one of only a few American psychiatrists who have spoken out forcefully regarding the abysmal job we are doing in providing appropriate care for individuals with severe mental illnesses.

This still is a problem largely ignored by the media. The rights of people with mental illness also impede the progress of people with mental illness and society in general.

31 posted on 08/21/2008 8:53:22 AM PDT by april15Bendovr (Free Republic & Ron Paul Cult = oxymoron)
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To: nmh

“This must be forced onto family or perhaps churches.”

So you think churches can take care of the seriously mentally ill? And they should be forced to do so?

Gimmee a break.


32 posted on 08/21/2008 8:53:25 AM PDT by gracesdad
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Comment #33 Removed by Moderator

To: Jedidah
The LIBERALtarian way isn't working.

Laws need to be changed to protect society.

I do admit it is a tough and tragic situation. My suspicion is also that these are very troubled people and all the drugs in the world will only make them worse. That's where one can only hope and pray that someone that might actually CARE about the person, STEP UP.

It's too easy to shove the problem to government or someone else because they are an inconvenience. We’ve ad to deal with relatives alittle off - Alzheimer's. We didn't use drugs. It taxed us mentally but we had an OBLIGATION in the name of decency to deal with it. We loved the person. We didn't want the “state” to push them over to the point of no return - it would have been very convenient to turn the person over to the state.

Truly it is a tough situation. Some are probably too far gone ... and drugging them up is all that is left so perhaps laws need to be changed to accommodate this last ditch effort.

I understand it is tough ... As a Christian who is NO BETTER than anyone else ... I believe we have ab obligation ot Christ to look after our own and others in a humane way. We did and it wasn't easy. I am no better than anyone else so don't think I'm being “self righteous”. There are times when our “reward” isn't on this earth ... .

34 posted on 08/21/2008 8:59:05 AM PDT by nmh (Intelligent people recognize Intelligent Design (God).)
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Comment #35 Removed by Moderator

To: Chickensoup
As someone who is bi-polar, I can say the problem described here is much worse on the coasts. And really, it's the insurance companies that are determining in-patient treatment. Most have lifetime maximums now.

I can say that after I moved to Kansas and started seeing a Christian psychiatrist, symptoms and side effects diminished to nothing. Granted my stress level is a lot less. The community in general seems more supportive and accepting.

My meds would be a thousand/month without insurance. A few are available as generic as of this year, which helps. I'm fortunate to have good insurance -- unlimited in-patient, pharmacy coverage. I've met many who couldn't afford it -- and could never break out of the system.

36 posted on 08/21/2008 9:06:08 AM PDT by DaveMSmith (If you know these things, you are blessed if you act upon them. John 13:17)
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To: Morgana
Why did we let the STATE close those mental hospitals in the 1960s??? That was where our sick relatives needed to be. We can’t care for them, unless we have a degree in psychiatry, even then you half to have a place to hold them safely.

Closing these hospitals was a bad ideas, along a long history of many bad ideas.

We need to start building them again, and going back to the old ways.


The “old ways” were when FAMILY took over the burden. That's what we have done. It's not easy - emotionally or financially. WE also KNOW that warehoused away they will be ABUSED. You'd be surprised at what kind of person “works” in these nut houses - typically sadistic people that are underpaid. Paying them more isn't the answer either ... .

Warehousing them is not the answer.
I realize that my "solution" is not so realistic with most people because parent's don't even take the time with their KIDS who and (hopefully) not insane! They warehouse their kids away in "before care" and "after care" to chase the dollar. If they won't STEP UP for their own kids ... I suppose it is silly of me to think they will STEP UP to care for a troubled relative. I suppose you should take my advice with a grain of salt.

37 posted on 08/21/2008 9:07:10 AM PDT by nmh (Intelligent people recognize Intelligent Design (God).)
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Comment #38 Removed by Moderator

To: Pan_Yans Wife

Absolutely true.

And the disease is treatable with medication. Caught and treated early, it never needs to escalate into danger.


39 posted on 08/21/2008 9:11:10 AM PDT by Jedidah
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To: Pan_Yans Wife

>>Many never even experience full-blown mania.<<

Or it manifests years later.
We had a patient who was treated for depression for 40 years. One day, no one knows why, she swung Manic.

She started at a local restauant and bought for everyone in the place. Then into the mall to treat children to gifts. It went on for a week before her daughter caught on, although she lived with her, the daughter worked and had daycare, but the workers were not there full time. Only four hours that the daughter was gone for ten. Lots of damage can be done in six hours.

By the time she got to us, she had gone through 30,000 in savings. My boss hospitalized her to get the depression meds out of her system and begin to treat her for the manic swing. That was six weeks that she was hospitalized.


40 posted on 08/21/2008 9:12:46 AM PDT by netmilsmom (The Party of Darkness prefers to have the lights out. - Go Fierce 50!!!)
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To: nmh
My parents and family disowned me 15 years ago because I was mentally ill. I've had one phone conversation with my brother a few years ago and send occasional notes to my parents if I have an address or phone number change. All their phones are unlisted.

These are so-called conservative people which, really, I'm grateful to have out of my life.

41 posted on 08/21/2008 9:12:55 AM PDT by DaveMSmith (If you know these things, you are blessed if you act upon them. John 13:17)
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To: RepoGirl; nmh
Boy, I'll tell ya', even after 61 years, the depth of some peoples self-righteous ignorance never does cease to amaze.

Let me lay it out for you - in terms even a couple of fools like yourselves should be able to understand.

I know someone - a paranoid schizophrenic - who needs to be convinced that they needs treatment.

And I'll pay you $1000 an day to make the effort - provided you are willing to be locked in a room with them, along with a kitchen knife with a 8" blade, long enough so that you know you will be going to sleep.

Just sign this release and have at it!

Not willing?

Awww... what's the problem? After all, it's just an "inconvenience" if you get your throats slit - what are you, some kind of some kind of "narcissists"?

Meanwhile, if I understand you correctly, you are perfectly willing to sign up (for example) someone's aged parents for the job?

********

42 posted on 08/21/2008 9:13:19 AM PDT by M. Dodge Thomas
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Comment #43 Removed by Moderator

To: nmh

How do you take care of someone who won’t take their medicine?

Also the legal climate has changed.

If you so much as grab someone nowadays that you share a household with, even to keep them from hurting themselves, that is Domestic Violence and if the Police are called they take YOU away.

There have been cases (at least one that I know of, and more such incidents that I have read about online) that even such a thing as a husband trying to take the car keys away from his wife who has been drinking and calling 911 so that the cops would help him get her under control got him arrested for Domestic Violence.

What was he supposed to do? Answers he got afterwards was to ask her for the car keys before she started drinking, or call 911 but don’t touch her.

Don’t believe me? Ask a therapist, a cop, or an attorney.


44 posted on 08/21/2008 9:19:20 AM PDT by Screaming_Gerbil (How do you know that the light at the end of the tunnel isn't a muzzle flash?)
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To: nmh

>>The “old ways” were when FAMILY took over the burden.<<

Have you had to deal with someone with a mental illness? Not all of them are alike.

While some can be cared for by family, a violent or suicidal person simply cannot. Period.

We had a young girl, Lord she was darling and sweet, who was cared for by the family. They thought they could deal with her depression. They thought she would be okay. They watched her like a hawk, mom even slept in her room. One day, the brother was watching her while dad was at work and mom ran to the store for milk.

When mom opened the garage door upon her return, there was her daughter hanging from the rafters. The brother dozed off. That sweet girl was 19.

You have no clue unless you have been there.


45 posted on 08/21/2008 9:19:21 AM PDT by netmilsmom (The Party of Darkness prefers to have the lights out. - Go Fierce 50!!!)
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To: DaveMSmith

Wait, but on the other hand I have a sister with untreated Munchausen Syndrome that puts the responsibity of her life on everyone else.

I tried for years and years, paid tons of money, damn near raised her kids and she still was a victim and always needed more.

Sometimes one must cut the strings. At 15, your parents should have gotten you help and stuck by you.

When I am 35 and still taking care of my 43 year old sister, who refuses treatment, it’s time to cut ties.


46 posted on 08/21/2008 9:24:46 AM PDT by netmilsmom (The Party of Darkness prefers to have the lights out. - Go Fierce 50!!!)
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Comment #47 Removed by Moderator

To: netmilsmom
I didn't say it was easy ... they need constant care. You cannot leave them alone because some will do what you described ... .

My point was that people are too SELF ABSORBED to care about anyone else other than themselves ... .

I cannot compromise on my “solution” - family who is there at all times to “babysit” the person.

I know my solution is not acceptable to today's society but it is the right answer even if sacrifice is needed ... and that's where it doesn't fit in with today's society ... we don't sacrifice anything - heck we can't even live within our means ... mortgage “crisis” ... so caring for a troubled person is asking too much ... and then we wonder about “the times we live in” ... . I don't wonder about it ... we've lost our way - that is the “sane” people ... .

48 posted on 08/21/2008 9:26:31 AM PDT by nmh (Intelligent people recognize Intelligent Design (God).)
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To: All

My “solution” doesn’t fit today’s society of convenience.

I should not have responded on this thread.

What I think most people want to hear on this thread is more laws to involuntarily lock up the insane people so the burden is shifted to the state. The state could then load em up wiht more chemicals and family wouldn’t have to be bothered and go about life as usual. It’s the shifting of responsibility that troubles me ... . This “solution” is not something I would advocate and yet I know what I’d like to see will not happen - insane or troubled people are not something that a typical person wants to be burdened with ... it interrupts their life and is an inconvenience.


49 posted on 08/21/2008 9:29:55 AM PDT by nmh (Intelligent people recognize Intelligent Design (God).)
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To: RepoGirl

People don’t want to give up their creature comforts, by and large, and want other people to shoulder the cost. It’s easier to imagine some greedy evil corporate bazillionaire than some regular joe who’s got his own problems. It amazes me how people have become less and less self-reliant over the years.

Cancer treatments could be made to meet market pricing if insurance gets out of the way. How can a family cope with a severely psychotic individual who is unsafe and at times suicidal or murderous? Or one who cannot take care of themselves?

Give me a hint? The wealthy can afford the round the clock care, but the middlc class cannot.


50 posted on 08/21/2008 9:32:46 AM PDT by Chickensoup ('08 VOTING, NOT for the GOP, but INSTEAD, for the SUPREME COURT that will be BEST for my FAMILY!!)
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