Skip to comments.Dependency and the Destruction of American Virtues
Posted on 11/25/2010 2:48:14 AM PST by Scanian
My oldest son, Keith (not his real name), is an adult. He lives with our family at home, and he probably will for the rest of his life.
As a child, Keith was extraordinary. He was extremely verbal at an early age, immensely creative, and astonishingly literate.
Keith's senior year in high school was remarkable for the range of activities in which he was engaged and the energy that he invested in them. He was an active member of our church youth group, showed promising acting talent as he participated in a drama club, earned a brown belt in karate, and completed his third Easter week mission trip with our church. He was working steadily, paying for his car, gas, cell phone service, and auto insurance. My son received the "employee of the month" award the first month at his job. He excelled in Latin and linguistics, the latter being a hobby that he pursued vigorously. He had many friends who loved him. Other than a few rough spots that we chalked up to normal teen rebellion, my son's future seemed bright.
Keith naturally scored high on his SAT, and college offers started pouring in. He chose a small Christian liberal arts college close to home from which he received a generous scholarship. The school was forming a classics program, and the department head saw our son as a cornerstone of the newly developing major. Four years ago, we tearfully sent him off to the campus dorms, anticipating good things ahead.
And then the nightmare began.
We later learned that major life changes, even positive ones, could trigger the onset of a psychological breakdown in people predisposed to mental illnesses. We also learned that such disorders often have a genetic component. On my side of the family was depression, going back at least to my grandmother. On my wife's side, bipolar disorder was suspected in her grandfather and an aunt.
This is not a story about my son, but rather about how our society responds to affliction, so I'll keep this brief. It took almost a year to get the correct diagnosis, but finally, after going to mental health professionals who did more harm than good, a psychiatrist determined that Keith had bipolar disorder, complicated by extreme chronic anxiety and obsessive-compulsive tendencies. By the time our son received his diagnosis, his college career was destroyed, he had lost his job, and he was penniless and in legal trouble.
Keith now takes medication to control his hallucinations, two drugs to keep him from slipping into catatonic depression, another to keep the destructive mania at bay, and occasionally a fifth that is supposed to help his anxiety. However, despite the symptoms being more or less under control, our son is still not able to function. He hasn't worked for years and has flunked out of the local city college.
What has been interesting is people's response to our problem. Before he was properly diagnosed, the first psychologist Keith saw immediately wanted to help our son obtain government disability payments. Without even giving Keith a correct diagnosis, the doctor almost reflexively thought that the solution to my son's problems was to go on the government dole.
This is an excerpt and not the complete article.
I think the poster child for our society should be Peggy the Moocher. There's nothing really wrong with her. It's just that our society gives her the option to be that way, and she chooses to exercise the option.
Note: The person in the story is not a moocher, he's just insane.
This is not what he meant, right?
Sounds like the kid simply met the “real world” and was so coddled in his nest that he could not face it.
It’s quite a shock to move from the warm, fuzzy, loving nest to the real world. Just ask most of the Viet Nam veterans who were drafted and forced from the nest. I too, met the real world then.
It’s easy to come up with some type of physiological disorder to explain anything.
My son was born 11 weeks early. He had a level 2 brain bleed. While in the hospital and after coming home we were visited by a social worker who suggested we put him on permanent disabilty. My husband, unwilling to accept this conclusion, asked them to leave and not come back. Our son is perfectly fine.
Flame suit on.
I’m sure it wasn’t what you wanted to hear at that time, but the psychologist was right; your son is severely ill and unable to work. Getting him on disability, which also makes him eligible for Medicare after a year, was in his and your best interests.
Yes - there are disability scammers, and it’s sickening. But that’s not you son’s story.
For those that are really disabled, the extra expenses for the care taker need to be covered. If not that then an institution? That is really expensive. Get the disability.
You obviously have not been around or been victim of severe depression or other issues mentioned. These things do not manifest because of being ‘coddled’. If recounted correctly, this kid had a great foundation. He worked and paid for things himself and was prepared for the ‘real world’ by those experiences.
In your wildest dreams you could not imagine the terrible things I have gone through with a crippled wife who died from the disease (myotonic dystrophy), a son who is now an adult who has had it all of his life, and lived through three severe financial depressions in 1982 and 1986 and 2009.
With that in mind here is a quote from the article:
“We later learned that major life changes, even positive ones, could trigger the onset of a psychological breakdown in people predisposed to mental illnesses.”
Major life changes? Come on! You don’t have major life changes unless you were totally unprepared for the real world. Second, how did they know he was “predisposed” to mental illness. Were his parents crazy too?
I’ll stand by my belief that the kid was totally unprepared for the reality of life because he was protected from it by his parents.
Those situations, as bad as they were, are not mental disorders.
Stand by your position all you want; it doesn’t make it correct