In the news each day, we see and read about people. People like Adam Lanza, and others who destroyed the lives of many. We never hear about the people who have mental illness yet don’t destroy the lives of others.
Why? Sure the state of mental illness, and the treatment of those with mental illness is abysmal in our country, but not all people with mental illness are bad.
The things that we think and do not say.
In the latter half of the 20th century there was a push to de-institutionalize. By and large this was mostly a success. People deserve to live in the community. Everyone deserves that chance.
However. Have we gone too far the other way? I know, some of my readers will rake me over the coals with this question. But it needs to be asked.
When families have no options for treatment and care of their mentally ill loved ones, what options are there?
We can lodge them in facilities half a day or more away from their home, or we can keep them at home and hope that they don’t destroy the very people that are trying to protect them.
Is less treatment option really the best thing here?
At the time of de-institutionalization, we didn’t have the backyard chemists that we have today manufacturing drugs out of household chemicals and other things that carry large “Hazardous” labels. If the stuff can kill you without being mixed into other products and smoked, injected or absorbed, then what kind of affect is it having on the minds of the children In utero?
You don’t have to look far for an example. David is such a child. He was born addicted to that crap. And now, while he is largely stable in his current placement, that could change at the drop of a hat. If we brought him home, there is no reason for him to continue to remain stable. Right now, it is my belief that he is doing everything that he can to get out of placement.
That can be good, but. We have seen David do this before. He worked his program three years ago, came home and tried to kill our family pets. Sure it was the pets, but… they are part of the family. What if it had been one of his siblings? or his mother? or me?
This post isn’t me saying I want to get rid of my son. This post is me saying he needs long term help. Sadly, there are few options available for kids like David. As he gets older, the options become fewer until he does something so severe that he gets a prison sentence.
Is it wrong of me to want to prevent him from doing something so severe that he gets a prison sentence?
I want nothing more than for David to become a productive member of society. Given the limited options available for treatment of the mentally ill in this country, I don’t see a lot of hope for that to happen.
- May is Mental Health Awareness Month (namisouthbay.com)
- Oh SAMHSA, Where Art Thou? (anarchistsoccermom.blogspot.com)
- Push for treatment, not jail, for mentally ill (thenewstribune.com)
- Judge: Prisons double as mental health facilities (sacbee.com)
- The revolving door: Wyoming reliance on jails for mental health services comes with consequences (trib.com)