Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

To: greatvikingone
Things could be nipped in the bud while a troubled child is young if there were not so much emphasis on making the mentally ill the “same” as a normal child.

I sort of get what you are trying to say here, but understand this is a very slippery slope. There is a very real danger of branding and profiling for “pre-crimes” anyone who doesn’t quite conform to the social norm or especially those who don’t conform to the prevailing PC culture as being mentally ill or “troubled”.

I recall the case of a kid not long ago of a kid, kindergarten or first grade, who drew a crayon picture of someone with a gun. IIRC his dad was serving in the military and it was supposed to be a picture of his dad of whom he was very proud. This kid had been a good student, had never had been in any trouble before, never exhibited violent tendencies toward anyone. But when the teacher saw it, she freaked out. The police were called, the child taken away in handcuffs and indefinitely suspended, the school system told the mother her son needed psychiatric counseling and couldn’t return to school until he did - all because the kid drew a picture of a gun.

If parents could afford to have their mentally ill children cared for at mental institutions where there was structure, protection, and no pressure for being different, we might have different outcomes from all of these massacres.

What you describe simply does not exist. There are some good private and very expensive psychiatric hospitals, even some dealing with adolescences, but no long term care facilities where such a child would or could be kept indefinitely, such hospitals as you describe only deal with the short term problems and once the patient is stabilized - no longer an immediate threat to themselves or others they are returned to their families.

Most other psychiatric hospitals are not somewhere where you’d want to send a loved one – there is little structure or protection from abuse from fellow patients or even staff. Sadly unless in a very specialized day treatment or part time residential facility dealing with a specific problem like autism or retardation, in a psychiatric hospital, even among many private ones, more often than not those who are difficult to handle and profoundly retarded and those with Autism or non-violent people with borderline personality disorders who are not a danger to others or even some cases those with drug or alcohol problems are housed and placed and kept together with people who are truly psychotic and schizophrenic and truly dangerous.

I’ve seen this first hand with a family member who was diagnosed as being bi-polar who sometimes became manic but never violent and with a good friend who had a drinking problem.

After the breakup of her marriage, my friend relapsed and drank heavily and became very depressed one night and took a bunch of pills in a half hearted effort to commit suicide and dialed 9-11 and as a result was involuntarily committed for 4 days.

She was placed in the very same psychiatric ward along with schizophrenics and psychotics, men and women together in the same unit. One gal became so violent one night that she had to be forcibly placed in a straight jacket and put in “the rubber room” while my friend watched in horror and wondering why she was there with crazy people. Another patient saw and talked to people who were not there and was given to outbursts of anger if others including my friend didn’t see them too. And another patient, a male was constantly trying to masturbate in front of the female patients when the staff weren’t looking. My friend was given thorzine to keep her “calm” just like all the other patients even though she didn’t display any violent tendencies and didn’t want to take it and was in fact terrified that something might happen to her while she was drugged up and not able to defend herself. She got no counseling or referrals for her drinking problem while she was there, all they wanted to know was if she was going to try and kill herself again and was simply released at the end of her 4 days after some doctor determined she wouldn’t. Fortunately after she got out after the mandatory 4 day hold it was a real wakeup call for her and she went back to AA and has stayed clean and sober ever since. But she told me it was the most frightening 4 days of her life, she still has occasional nightmares about it – she knew she wasn’t “crazy” but said if she had spent much more time in that place, she probably would become crazy.

Add to that that there is great society pressure on parents not to institutionalize their children, even if they could or even should. What do you imagine most people would say to the parents of a young child who chose to permanently send their child away to an institution? Sadly quite a few would say “You sent your child away to an institution because you just didn’t want to be bothered; you were too uncaring, too selfish to care for them”.

Again, I’m very concerned with how we deal with the seriously mentally ill – we don’t deal well with them; we used to warehouse them in snake pits, hell holes and now we instead put them out on the streets to fend for themselves which is often just as worse.

And we don’t do a good job of protecting the larger society from those that are seriously disturbed and dangerous. But we also don’t deal well with their families; we don’t give them the ability to commit when it is warranted and good places where their loved ones can be sent and compassionately cared for, a place for them to commit their sick family members to if needs be. And we don’t’ judge these families well when they try to do the right thing and on the other hand we blame them when they try and fail because the system doesn’t give them many options.

And again we also need to be very careful in how and what we determine to be “normal”. The kid who is shy and socially awkward, nerdy, the kid who would rather read a book or work on math problems or play video games in their spare time than go to the school dance or football game or parties or participate in PC activies or might disagree with a teacher, or the kid who enjoys hunting and fishing and wilderness camping and going to the gun range with his or her dad who might also be a Tea Party member, may one day not be considered “normal” and even potentially dangerous if the greater society, and most especially the government decides they are.

95 posted on 12/16/2012 3:55:30 PM PST by MD Expat in PA
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 36 | View Replies ]

To: MD Expat in PA

Thanks for outstanding and very thoughtful addition to the conversation. You know whereof you speak. Amen.

105 posted on 12/16/2012 4:28:32 PM PST by Travis McGee (
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 95 | View Replies ]

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794 is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson