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Mental Health in the US not taken seriously

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posted on Sep, 10 2012 @ 04:36 PM
First I'd like to say I have paranoid schizoeffective disorder which is basically schizophrenia and bipolar. I'm 36 years old now I've been dealing with this illness for 17 years. One thing that has become apparent to me is how little this country takes mental health serious and how hard it is for people to get the help they need.

I live near Detroit and I see a lot of homeless people some of which aren't getting the help they need for what ever the reason. A few years back our governor closed all of the mental hospitals. They literally took a bus load of mental patients and dropped them off on a street corner in front of a church with no medication. I know about it because it's my grandmothers church.

That brings me to the point of my own struggles. I was hospitalized twice when I was 19. Each visit was a month stay and I was drugged to the max. When I was released from the hospital my long term prognoses was stated as very poor. The doctors told my parents I would never be the same.

Most of my childhood was pretty normal. Except at a young age I wouldn't do my schoolwork. My teachers complained all I did was stare out the window. The school thought I might have been slow so they started testing me. They found I had a high IQ so the teachers though I just wasn't applying myself. I played football throughout school. I had quite a few friends and girlfriends.

By the time I hit 11th grade things starting going down hill for me. I started becoming paranoid. I was having strange thoughts and I didn't know what was wrong with me so I started isolating myself. I quit going to school and started hiding in my room in the basement. My step father started becoming hostel over the situation. My mom had no idea what was going on with me. The more hostel my step father became the worse things got. I started developing delusions that he was the cause of what was wrong with me. I started having dreams that he was putting subliminal messages in my head.

The paranoia was growing worse and worse. My mom was calling doctors to try and get info of what might be wrong with me. She couldn't get me to leave the house to see them. I was so paranoid I wouldn't walk in front of the windows. The medical professionals would have her ask me if I was hearing voices. The answer was no because I wasn't at the time.

My condition was getting worse and worse. Finally in the middle of night I got a butcher knife from the counter. I was so convinced my step dad was the cause of what was wrong with me I was going to do him. I thought it's him or me. I sat outside his room for half an hour and contemplated doing him in. With what little shred of reality I had left I thought better of it. I went back and hid in my room.

My step dad started turning his hostility toward my mom. He threatened her the next night while she was on the phone with my aunt. My aunt called the cops and he was arrested. My mom got a restraining order against him so he couldn't return to the house. Shortly after I started having hallucinations. I started hearing voices and seeing things. My mom finally got me to leave the house and go to the hospital.

The thing that gets to me the most is people that have no notion of what its like to have a disorder like this. This illness came out of no where in my life. I have no family history of it. I've been to the deepest darkest corners of the human mind through no fault of my own.

It is very difficult for people to get the help that they need. Sometimes by the time they get help it's too late. Many of the mentally ill end up homeless or in prison. They are swept under the rug of society.

A few years back I finally broke down and quit working. I had to apply for Social Security Disability. I spent 6 years destitute before I finally got it. Social Security used my IQ against me. They said I was smart and pulling one over on the system. I had the full support of my doctor who is a MD at a local Hospital. I've been a patient of his for over 12 years. The first federal judge I had called him a liar.

Currently I'm collecting disability but I have no idea how I'm going to survive on it. I have no idea how I would make it on my own with this piddly little amount. Between the cost of gas and car repairs I don't know how I'm going to get to my doctor. I feel like I'm a living as a 3rd world citizen in the richest country on the planet.

posted on Sep, 10 2012 @ 04:52 PM
Hang in there man. The world is a tough place.
I hope you can get the help that you need. Don't give into those urges to violently self-defend.
Read some Ghandi. I'm all too aware of how our medical system denies young males their necessary medications.

posted on Sep, 10 2012 @ 04:56 PM
Mental health is not taken seriously all over the world.

A friend of mine spent 3 years in university studying psycology and still didn't believe in mental disorders.

I myself in the past have struggled with several disorders, but I have been lucky enough to seek non-drug treatment and have overcame most of my struggles with it.
One of the things that helped me most was just being acknowledged by a professional and getting validated that it wasn't "all in my head".
There is still some lingering anxiety and OCD, but I'm def doing 100X better.

That being said.. if you can't afford gas and car repairs, you buy a bike or take a cab. You have to take responsibility for your own health because no one else will. Good luck to you.

posted on Sep, 10 2012 @ 05:21 PM
I agree with the OP and I'm posting to add that the rights of the mentally ill are routinely abused including, commonly, REFUSAL TO PROVIDE ACCESS TO LEGAL REPRESENTATION.

posted on Sep, 10 2012 @ 05:22 PM
Mental health on ats is not taken seriously either.
The amount of delusional thread makers on here blows my skull off my head.

Sorry for your experiences OP....this was not directed at you.
I think it is most countries and not just the US.
Here in Canada...I see mentally ill people on the streets all the time.
edit on 10-9-2012 by DrumsRfun because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 10 2012 @ 09:19 PM
reply to post by wantsome

The following is my opinion as a member participating in this discussion.

I can sympathize with where you're coming from. I was officially diagnosed in 1999, six years after the onset of my condition. My initial doctor felt she was doing me a kindness by not labeling me a schizophrenic at the age of 19. She didn't want me to deal with the stigma of such a diagnosis...I'm schizoaffective (bi-polar type).

Still, I ended up homeless within months of being let out of my initial inpatient treatment. One month under observation to the tune of $40,000.

I was hospitalized several times over from 1994 to 1999 before I even knew I was eligible for SSDI.

No one at the inpatient facilities even thought to mention the possibility to me. I was usually kept under observation and returned to the street with a casual "good luck" and a weeks supply of sample medications.

These days my disability wouldn't even begin to cover the cost of my medications, much less an apartment in a suitable living environment. Four hundred a month doesn't stretch very far in today's market. If it weren't for my husband I shudder to think where I might have ended up.

I don't own and can't afford a car. The best luck I've had is a 49cc scooter for getting around town, but living in a low income area, it was bound to get vandalized in an attempted robbery at some point....and that happened last month so I'm back to walking everywhere.

If you have a safe place and a good lock, I'd recommend trading the car for a 49cc scooter. Check with the laws in your State, as often times that particular bike isn't required to have tags or insurance and the gas is cheap and they're really fun to ride around on.

If you haven't applied for Food Stamps, do so. Some people have a stigma against them, but it's a program designed for folks in need and in situations like ours - so don't feel bad taking advantage of the assistance programs.

I won't belabor you with the horror stories I've been through in dealing with the majority of "modern" mental health facilities and I fully agree we are in dire need of a new paradigm within the Mental Health System in this Country.

As an ATS Staff Member, I will not moderate in threads such as this where I have participated as a member.

edit on 9/11/12 by GENERAL EYES because: formatting

posted on Sep, 10 2012 @ 10:47 PM
reply to post by wantsome

I am in nursing and I couldn't agree more with everything you wrote. It is disgusting how little attention and help anyone with a mental illness receives here in the US, unless of course they go ballistic and shoot up a bunch of people. I see it as a two fold problem, medications and living support. One, the problems of treating mental illness with medications that have side effects that are so severe that compliance is a real challenge. Second, the mental health institutions in this country are a revolving door with the prisons. The majority of people who have mental disorders must depend on family members to help support them because holding down a regular job is challenging enough for the person with the illness and also the employer, so dependence on family is often needed. Then there is the issue of compliance with medications so all can live under one roof, but often there is tension and friction because of how difficult the side effects make the person with the mental illness feel. Then you have the family members who won't live with the member who is mentally ill because of compliance issues and side effects of their meds, compounded by how fearful they are for themselves and other family members. Its just a difficult difficult situation. This is a huge reason why so many with a mental disorder give up and live on the streets and stay homeless, stealing and panhandling to live, and end up in jail, then get shipped off to the mental institutes for a month or so until medications make them "normal" and they are released to repeat the pattern over and over. Its just HORRIBLE. I sincerely feel your pain. I have had numerous interviews with patients in mental hospitals and its very sad the lives they are forced to live. This is one reason why schizo patients have a 50% suicide rate. I hope you are able to find a better situation for yourself. What is your current living situation like? Are you able to get medicaid? Recipients are often able to get transportation provided to them so they can get to their doctor appointments.

There isn't a strong enough outcry from the public to make the changes needed to get the support needed for the mentally ill and their families. My only suggestion is, you are a VERY good writer, and your post was well written and crystal clear. You could use that to inform others of how bad the situation is for yourself and others in your situation, like you have here on ATS.

posted on Sep, 11 2012 @ 09:54 AM
reply to post by justsaying

Yeah I have to agree the side effects from the medications are horrible. The only reason I've complied is I'm afraid of being in that state of mind. I've taken my medication every day for over 15 years. I rarely have hallucination or delusions but It's taken it's toll though. I'm starting to feel sick all the time. I get really bad headaches and my hands are starting to shake really bad. I've tried a lot of other meds but the one I'm on is the most tolerable.

After I got out of the hospital my uncle got me a job working with him. I spent 8 years in the workforce trying to hold down jobs. I even had my own apartment. The stress got to me and my illness starting causing problems at work. One morning I woke up and just couldn't force myself to get out of bed. I miss the money and making new friends at work. Now I'm broke all the time and all I do is sleep.

I'm pissed off that I'm forced to live as a 3rd world citizen. I would work if I could. I hate how some people in this country say entitlement programs are socialist and evil.

Right now I live with my grandmother but eventually I'm gonna have to live on my own if something happens to her. I worry about how I'm going to make it.

I can see why the suicide rate is so high this illness is very difficult to live with. It's robbed me of a lot of things in life. I've learned to cope with it the best I can.

I would like to advocate for the mentally ill but public speaking is not my thing. Even writing letters is difficult I have a very short attention span. My thoughts can be very disorganized.

posted on Sep, 11 2012 @ 09:58 AM
what are the seriously mentally ill going to do once the public health services are gone, and it's time to band up and fend for our communities

seriously mentally ill people used to be shunned from society, so at least they had low chances of reproducing. now we enable them to reproduce. not so cool.

posted on Sep, 11 2012 @ 10:29 AM
reply to post by moniesisfun

What you just said isn't so cool either. Maybe there's a good reason YOU shouldn't breed.

posted on Sep, 11 2012 @ 10:32 AM
I can understand what you are going through. My nephew is schizophrenic and bi-polar. He had his first psychotic episode while working for me and my husband. He was 19 at the time. We got a call from the contractor who said he was not acting right. I went to the jobsite and he was preaching from the Bible to the contractor. Fortunately we had a good relationship with the contractor. My nephew knew I was always fair with him so he would at least listen to me. By the grace of God, he had a doctor's appointment that afternoon which I took him to. At that point he was diagnosed as being bi-polar. He had been diagnosed, previously, with depression at 14. A few years ago he was diagnosed with schitozphrenia as well. He's 27 now, unfortunately not much better off. His parents, unfortunately want to give the appearance of having the idillic life, jobs, family, house, etc. They care more about the appearance than reality. My poor nephew keeps getting carted off to here, there and everywhere with no stability. No stable home life, no stable doctors, no stable treatment. I think if he had some stability, he would be much better off. He's been hospitalized twice in the last year for suicide attempts.

Some of his ailments may be caused by childhood exposure to heavy metals. He was chelated as a child due to mercury exposure. His parents also lived in older homes which they renovated themselves when he was young. So there is a chance he had high lead exposures as well. I'm not making this up. You can check and the Mayo Clinics website. They both list heavy metal exposures of children as possible causes of schizophrenia.

The DH was diagnosed with depression a number of years ago. So he can relate to what my nephew is going through everytime they try a new med or a new dose. Lots of adjustment , lots of side effects. Sometimes its hard to know which is which.

edit on 11-9-2012 by mistressofspices because: forgot to add some information

posted on Sep, 11 2012 @ 10:34 AM
reply to post by wantsome

Mental Health isn't taken seriously in many nations, not just the US. In terms of health and humanity, it really is one of the last taboo subjects, which is kind of ironic when you consider the damage modern life does to us.

posted on Sep, 11 2012 @ 10:35 AM

Originally posted by aaaiii
reply to post by moniesisfun

What you just said isn't so cool either. Maybe there's a good reason YOU shouldn't breed.

so let me get this straight. i call a spade a spade, with the intent to show how foolish it is to weaken our species by allowing the unfit to be given life-support through life...and somehow this makes me unfit to breed?

you need to rethink your position carefully. look what's already happened over the last 100 years. we went from sterilizing the worst among us, to providing benefits for them that only enables them to carry out their miserable existence longer. how is that compassionate?

by this guys own admission, many are in such a state of hell that they commit suicide. you think that's a way to live? being so messed up that you have to be drugged up to kinda almost make it for some time which will most certainly be way below the norm in lifespan??

they are defunct. the more defunct that breed, the more we get what we're already seeing: stupid, ugly, practically useless degenerates. how the hell is it wise to help these people out if there's no real cure? throw good money at the bad? isn't that the reason we're in this financial crisis?

get real

tell you what, I got an aunt who is mentally ill. no clue what her official diagnosis is. I don't care. what I know is that she has dramatically affected the extended family in negative ways. she complains over everything, spouts out nonsense constantly, and is always blaming everyone else. i tell her she needs to clean up her diet to get well, and she doesn't listen, keeps pounding sodas and eating crappy food. she's never going to get well like that!

me, I had a bout of psychosis. i changed my diet, and cleaned out my gut. i took initiative myself, without any outside help. i got well. those who overcome: more power to you. those who fail to adapt. you are defunct. period.
edit on 11-9-2012 by moniesisfun because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 11 2012 @ 12:25 PM
reply to post by moniesisfun

I've got a word for people like you and it ain't nice.

It's swell that you're God's gift to humanity and that you managed to whip Mother Nature into submission all on your own, but the rest of us prefer the road less travelled.

Eugenics isn't too popular for a reason. It's uncivilized. We're already regressing as a species. Do we really have to revisit life in the caves to appreciate how far we've come and how much we have to lose?

If you want to wave a swastika in your Hitler Underoos in front of the bathroom mirror great, but don't hang around here advocating the culling of the masses and claim to be an exception to the rule.

posted on Sep, 11 2012 @ 01:02 PM
reply to post by moniesisfun

You know that not everyone with a Severe Mental Health Illness will pass it onto their Children.

Also, do you know that two people with no family history can produce offspring that may eventually have a Severe Mental Illness.

Let's use Schizophrenia as an expample:

Heredity and the Genetics of Schizophrenia

There are also a lot of cases where people don't start having symptoms until their Mid Twenties to Thirty, sometimes later. These people may have already had kids before they got ill.

If we were to start stopping Mentally Ill people from reproducing, where would the line be drawn?

Is your Aunt blood related? Because if she is, there's always that slim chance. So we better get right along and sterilise you, just in case

And, no. Giving benefits to the sick is not the reason for the financial crisis. Do some research.

edit on 11-9-2012 by skitzspiricy because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 11 2012 @ 01:29 PM
The following is my opinion as a member participating in this discussion.

In response to the Eugenics debate that suddenly cropped up:

Are you aware that the forthcoming DSM-V is going so far as to classify even benign things such as shyness as a mental illness?

That's but one example.

If the current trend continues, we're all going to fall under some subsection of some subheading in the forthcoming generations....according to this new paradigm everyone will able to be "diagnosed" on some level.

Food for thought on the direction the System is heading in that regard.

As an ATS Staff Member, I will not moderate in threads such as this where I have participated as a member.

edit on 9/11/12 by GENERAL EYES because: clarity, minor edit

posted on Sep, 12 2012 @ 09:09 AM
I have no family history of mental illness. But there are a few factors that might have contributed to it. I do a lot of fishing. When I was a kid I use to chew on lead sinkers all the time. It might have something to do with it.

At the time I became ill my mom found out shortly after that we had black mold in our walls. It was caused from a leak in the pipes in the bathroom. My mom ended up suing the complex. All of our furniture was contaminated with spores. We got $80k out of the deal. Our lawyer said there was no way we could prove a link between the mold and schizophrenia.
edit on 12-9-2012 by wantsome because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 12 2012 @ 09:35 AM
reply to post by GENERAL EYES

Yeah a scooter would be cool but in my area there are some seriously stupid people on the road. Knowing my luck I'd get run over. I thought about moving to a small town where everything is within walking distance. I can't get over how we're expected to live on such an amount. I guess we gotta look at the positives at least we don't live in Nazi Germany. Although sometimes I feel we're not far off from it.

posted on Sep, 12 2012 @ 01:30 PM
reply to post by wantsome

The following is my opinion as a member participating in this discussion.

I've definitely vouch for the benefits of living in a smaller community. I've been in my current locale for about nine years now, and while it was first a bit of a culture shock, things eventually mellowed out considerably.

I've found that less environmental stimulus = less frequent breaks from reality.

I'm also amazed at the quality of care we have locally with the local community counseling's much more personable and they're not as overburdened as the majority of major city facilities.

Everything in walking distance also helps. We were lucky enough to find a all-bills paid apartment within our price range right in the center of a small shopping district with a grocery store two blocks away. If you do decide to go the small town route, I'm sure you'll find something that meets your budget requirements.

Also, I understand the hesitations about riding a scooter in a high traffic environment. Small towns are absolutely perfect for such an option...most drivers are a little more considerate, and I've always been given a wide berth on the road. Just stick to the speed limit and keep your eyes focused forward and enjoy the purr of that little two or four stroke's actually extremely relaxing once you get used to it. It took me less than a week to become completely comfortable with the whole experience.

As an ATS Staff Member, I will not moderate in threads such as this where I have participated as a member.

posted on Sep, 12 2012 @ 02:03 PM
It's sad. It doesn't only happen in the states though.

Where I live mentally ill people are always assumed to be drug abusers, faking, or weak by many persons. It's heavily prevelant in our society that we want to believe we can pick and choose which mental problems exist and which ones don't.

I've met people from all walks of life that say ADHD doesn't exist, they're just lazy. Depressive people need to harden up. Everyone is over medicated etc ... Unfortunately though I suspect the truth is that many people don't get the help they need, and it's assumed they're just evil or some such.

The intelligence thing is quite fascinating, too OP. I've had a few friends end their lives early, and I recall one was let out of mental hospital quite quickly. Doctor told the person they didn't belong there, and their problems weren't that bad. Suicide few months later.

So many sad stories.

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