Why Aren't We Taking about Mental Health?


#21

I agree that DV is an indication of a person’s tendency toward even greater degrees of violence. But I would argue that DV has underlying causes that could/should fall under the mental health umbrella. Whether DV is caused by chemical imbalance, generational abuse, or some other mental illness or disorder. Those are all problems that could be alleviated by counseling, psychiatric care, or even institutionalization.

Currently, the US has a reactionary system composed of courts, jails and prisons, drug rehabilitation centers, halfway houses, and the underutilized institutions for the criminally insane. All of which are reactionary. Not much exists on the preventative side.


#22

Not just on the preventative side but on the educational side. Stigma is not a word people use that often. And when I began having mental health issues, I did not understand what was going on at first. I was like a malfunctioning computer trying to diagnose itself. I was mentally stable but then gradually became ill to the point that I knew I had to do something. Seek professional help if - anyone reading this - has noticed changes that don’t appear to be going away. I can’t say anything further without giving medical advice.


#23

Because we can’t agree on what to do.

I have strong personal experience with this, having a brother with a debilitating mental illness.

It comes down to money. These people generally have none and private insurance companies resist-like-he!! paying for expensive psyche drugs and expensive stays in an institutional environment where their behavior can be best controlled and treatment methods tried. But most of these institutions don’t accept Medicaid, by my personal experience with my brother (and, again, he has no income for private insurance). Vicious cycle.

It would appear that the most workable solution would be to roll back to reopening a lot of the mental institutions that were closed in droves during the 60s-through-90s in an effort to be more fiscally conservative.

Naturally, our republican friends wouldn’t go for that as they were largely publicly funded…

As such, it appears that the only superficial solution we have is to say “It’s about mental health!” and do nothing else on the matter.


#24

Unfortunately, there’s a reason they were closed down. The patients were basically sedated til they caused no trouble. Little treatment was given and it was hard to get out, unless there was a financial reason to kick them out, at which point their state did not enter into the equation.


#25

I’m intimately aware there were horror stories.

I’m also intimately aware that applying these horror stories across an entire industry is a false thing to do. Most facilities did their job as best they could.

It was about money and saving it. There was quite an up-tick in homelessness after these places would close and everyone knew why. There was simply nothing else to do with a lot of these abandoned adults besides dropping them off at an underpass, maybe even giving them a few bucks, and saying “I’m sorry” while driving off.


#26

Let’s try to leave politics out of this. Each State made its own decisions. And yes, money was a driver but as better and more effective drugs became available, some people could avoid institutions. And in my case, I worked out a payment plan with my clinic where I paid based on my income.


#27

And this is part of the reason this isn’t being talked about in public spaces. And the caution is right to consider. But it’s been almost 20 years since Columbine, and federal and state governments have had ample time to provide solutions to replace the old institutions that they closed down. They have done very little but continue on a course of leaving the mentally ill to their own autonomy. Horrible policy!

People are getting fed up with the failures of governments regarding these issues.

The problem does not lie with those who need help. It lies with the governments who have given the ill over to themselves under the guise of self-righteousness.


#28

But it has been apparent that institutions are in fact a necessity. They have been cobbled together ad hoc since the late nineties. They are still very too few and far between.

Drugs have made a difference, but they are far from a solution. And some people do not respond well to medication, and are incredibly difficult to keep stable.


#29

Hell Ed, I wish we could but it’s like trying to separate your heart and lungs. Functionally, they’re very deeply intertwined.

Most of these people don’t have money. Folks that are functional enough to occasionally hold down jobs often don’t do so consistently when they flare-up. So what kind of private insurance do you think they can afford?

Which means if they’re going to be helped it will typically be on the public dime.

That makes it about politics. Honest-to-Heaven I wish that weren’t true.

For those folks who were able to avoid institutionalization - awesome! But as most of these symptoms are cyclical and most patients develop resistance to their drugs, they often have to go back in on occasion.

And keep in mind, I’m not talking about locking them up for life. Most need to go in for a week or two so they try different treatment in a controlled environment, then they’re released when something works. Very few come in and stay perpetually. Moreover, most are there of their own free will. If they really want to leave, they can.

You’re functional enough to have regular income. Which is wonderful. This isn’t the case for many, Ed.


#30

I know that but opinions and politics matter very little. Each patient can vary to a lesser or greater degree and some may not respond to certain treatments, but I can’t offer medical advice. All I can say is that the people can help each other and track down the resources that are available.


#31

Get all the facts and this discussion can become worthwhile.


#32

I’ve been helping take care of my schizophrenic brother for decades, Ed. And he’s SUPER lucky. My parents were high earners and his brothers and sisters are all high earners and we care about him.

I promise you, most aren’t so lucky.


#33

Yeah, this is a biggie. It’s almost impossible to institutionalize anyone in the US unless they have proved to be a serious danger, which often means they already committed a violent crime. And a lot of people will not voluntarily accept help.

I understand why it’s hard to institutionalize now because so many people were unfairly stuck in mental homes by loved ones who didn’t want to bother or couldn’t cope. But there has to be some medium path between the two extremes.


#34

This is true. If they don’t want to go, you’ll have to compel a judge to make them.


#35

Here’s the thing. Domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse are not caused by any of those. Other than something like TBI, violence against others is a choice. Abusers don’t abuse every one they encounter, rapists attack the most vulnerable child molesters choose ideal targets too, although some might also abuse their partner. But all are choices.

I used TBI as an example of exceptions because if they are probe to violence anyone can be a target depending on what is triggered. Men that beat their partner will treat women he works with decently, and you don’t see street harrassers making comments about guys walking by or start following women, whom they’ve never met, for blocks.
It. Is. Privilege. And it is a choice.


#36

Because then we must talk about Health Care and we have no better track record there.


#37

It isn’t the solitary cause. It is a major cause thought. I’m trying to remember the shooting (if anyone out there can help me here), but the young man (a soldier) goes into his military physician and tells them that he’s hearing God’s voice telling him to kill people, and they sent him home. Guess what he did?


#38

All good questions, already talked about it more than the people calling it the problem.


#39

God bless y’all for helping him


#40

I can’t talk about everybody, but I know people with entitlement issues, they don’t shoot up churches and military outposts.


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