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Know Someone Mentally Unstable? What do YOU do?

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posted on Jan, 14 2011 @ 07:42 AM
Greetings ATS,

For several months, I have received calls where I work from an individual in our community who appears to be mentally unbalanced. He is well known within the community as someone who goes off the deep end frequently and makes calls to everyone from CNN to local city officials proclaiming he has uncovered some conspiracy that must be exposed and other assorted proclamations of outrage. The subject of his latest conspiracy or outrage changes daily. He is quite prone to ramblings and ravings - often with disconnected and disjointed conversation.

Given that I myself frequent ATS, I have always thought he should be given the benefit of the doubt as the only difference between conspiracy and collaboration is the ethics applied to the means and the end.

The tragic happenings in Arizona make me question how we as citizens should respond when confronted with someone we suspect is mentally unstable. Involuntary treatment of those presumed mentally unstable is a slippery slope to say the least. Sometimes those exposing conspiracies are the most sane among us and to think that people do not conspire to their own advantage is naive. What to do?

Have you or would you report someone you suspect is mentally unstable? Who would you report them to? What should be done once someone is suspected as mentally ill?

Health insurance has long considered mental health the unwanted step-child of health coverage and has funded or underfunded it accordingly. The mind can be as broken as any bone, however the injury is not as evident as a twisted limb. Do we need a shift in how we view, treat or even respond to mental illness?

Warning Signs and Symptoms
The following are signs that your loved one may want to speak to a medical or mental health professional.
In adults:
* Confused thinking
* Prolonged depression (sadness or irritability)
* Feelings of extreme highs and lows
* Excessive fears, worries and anxieties
* Social withdrawal
* Dramatic changes in eating or sleeping habits
* Strong feelings of anger
* Delusions or hallucinations
* Growing inability to cope with daily problems and activities
* Suicidal thoughts
* Denial of obvious problems
* Numerous unexplained physical ailments
* Substance abuse In older children and pre-adolescents:
* Substance abuse
* Inability to cope with problems and daily activities
* Changes in sleeping and/or eating habits
* Excessive complaints of physical ailments
* Defiance of authority, truancy, theft, and/or vandalism
* Intense fear of weight gain
* Prolonged negative mood, often accompanied by poor appetite or thoughts of death
* Frequent outbursts of anger
In younger children:
* Changes in school performance
* Poor grades despite strong efforts
* Excessive worry or anxiety (i.e. refusing to go to bed or school)
* Hyperactivity
* Persistent nightmares
* Persistent disobedience or aggression
* Frequent temper tantrums


I reported the caller to my boss, who rolled his eyes knowingly - clearly already familiar with our caller. Do you know someone mentally unstable? What do you do?

Thanks for your input ATS.
edit on 14-1-2011 by DancedWithWolves because: Coffee hasn't kicked in yet - added source

posted on Jan, 14 2011 @ 08:02 AM
reply to post by DancedWithWolves

Give him the address of this website,he should feel at home:
Please click the link below its full of similar individuals!
edit on 14/1/11 by lektrofellon because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 14 2011 @ 08:05 AM
Interesting post...

I do not know someone mentally unstable... I know someone thought that lies everyday about anything... I sometimes see him think about what he's gonna say and then pop it to the surface... It's obvious he's lying, and I react like I was interested, even if I dont really care as I know it's BS... I still like this guy, he has concentration troubles and little stuff like that...

Not his fault he's like that, and I can't change nothing, exept maybe listening to his lies...

Good post OP

posted on Jan, 14 2011 @ 08:08 AM
Just because a person has opinions which do not conform to the accepted 'norm' is not a reason to attempt to silence him/her. Eccentricity is not mental illness.

The only occasion when intervention would be neccessary, would be if that person threatened or encouraged violence.

To put it bluntly - live and let live, and mind your own business

posted on Jan, 14 2011 @ 08:08 AM
reply to post by lektrofellon

Find this funny...??

Me too... Thanks for laugh

posted on Jan, 14 2011 @ 08:09 AM

Originally posted by lektrofellon
reply to post by DancedWithWolves

Give him the address of this website,he should feel at home:

Thanks for the smile. I fear he would be disgruntled by the depth of the sanity and number of rational skeptics on that particular site though.

Good one

posted on Jan, 14 2011 @ 08:15 AM
Do you know of any family members or friends of this person? If so the best thing to do is make them aware of what he is doing and how it is concerning yourself and others. The person obviously needs help but you must go the right way about it otherwise you could possibly make the situation worse for him/her.

- Is the person a direct threat to the public?

- Does the person have a violent history?

If you don't know anybody who associates with the person then you just do what you think is best for him/her and the community.

posted on Jan, 14 2011 @ 08:21 AM
OP, you raise a good question. Without turning into "Big Brother," if the individual poses a threat to us or to someone we know, it becomes imperative to do something. But what?

This very thing happened to me recently. A friend who had been involuntarily hospitalized for mental illness in the past, but who had been doing better for some time (had gotten a job, been taking his meds, etc.) started "going off it" and eventually began to make threats that I or "someone that I love" would die or be hurt. I decided to let his family know, as they were the ones who originally had him committed.

Was this the best choice? To this day, I'm not sure. I'm almost positive that he ended up back in the hospital.

As for me, I am careful to lock my doors at night, now.

posted on Jan, 14 2011 @ 08:28 AM
Engage them in scintilating conversation.

posted on Jan, 14 2011 @ 08:29 AM
The other thing is I don't see what is so funny about this. Some people with mental issues have been abused, raped, tormented, the list goes on. Its OK to have a joke, but not all of the mentals are gun weilding psychopaths...

posted on Jan, 14 2011 @ 08:31 AM
yes I meet them regularly, still waiting for my first stable one though.

posted on Jan, 14 2011 @ 08:32 AM
Examine whatever it was about that person that appeared mentally unstable, look for persistent patterns in their responses etc. We have more than one here on ATS that fly over the Cuckoo's nest. Turn up your own runway lights and see if that helps?

posted on Jan, 14 2011 @ 08:35 AM

Originally posted by margaretr
Just because a person has opinions which do not conform to the accepted 'norm' is not a reason to attempt to silence him/her. Eccentricity is not mental illness.

To put it bluntly - live and let live, and mind your own business

Exactly. Just because someone is not you does not make them crazy, they are just not you.

What makes me laugh are the so called normal people are the ones committing crimes, and destroying lifes. You notice how much scum there is in police, and you call them normal, and many of them would also be masons, so there is a rule you cannot be crazy to join. Total contradiction i would say.

Anyone in police that makes a judgement about a person that is wrong, that leads to there life being destroyed is by definition crazy, but society accepts the police are just a bunch of idiots with little thought process other than to target people for there friends.
edit on 1/14/2011 by andy1033 because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 14 2011 @ 08:45 AM
If they are a threat to themselves or others, you can get a mental health warrant.

During these tough economic times there has been a rise in mental health issues. The numbers of individuals struggling with depression and anxiety are increasing. For the most part, these individuals deny that there may be a problem often refusing to seek help. If someone is having thoughts of harming themself or others, there is a way to get law enforcement involved to facilitate an involuntary psychiatric evaluation. Here is how to obtain a mental health warrant.

posted on Jan, 14 2011 @ 08:48 AM
First of all not all mentally ill people are turning violent.Is it sth that makes you suspect that he is a danger to himself or others around him?If yes then,make sure that the proper authorities are aware of this person.

Otherwise,if you have the time and you want to help him, try to make him trust you.Make him believe that you're on his side.He is propably really scared of the world and in his mind he is trying to make it a better place,by uncovering conspiracies.If he is not treated like a plague even by one person,maybe he will seek help by himself.

Good luck

posted on Jan, 14 2011 @ 09:29 AM
reply to post by Phantom traveller

You raise interesting points. Right now it is more this particular person's level of agitation that is concerning. When you pose questions to the 10 or more issues he raises in his initial "speech," he becomes irritated and can't explain his concerns and frequently hangs up. Another call usually comes days later on fresh topics. Not unlike the conversations on most any public web forum actually.

I wonder if it is simply the context of the encounter - being it real world vs. virtual world that makes it concerning - and should it even be concerning - shouldn't these topics be more mainstream and real world anyway? There is enough news out there to keep anyone connecting dots to infinity and some dots probably should be connected.

I don't know his family, but will ask around.

The line of when to be concerned that someone needs help is blurry. I have confirmed that this particular individual has a history of being diagnosed as mentally ill - that in and of itself is not grounds for reporting him I don't believe. While he has never threatened me in conversation - he has stated that my company will someday "pay," for what we ignore usually by threatening a lawsuit. Not sure what we are ignoring as he is hard to follow. Where is the line and what kind of help is really available?

I guess in the wake of Arizona, I question whether to act or not and when should we act? I don't want to be a should have, could have reported him on some news bite following an action he does take, but by the same token, who's to say he isn't the sane one?

Mental illness is so untreated or mistreated, I find the what to do quite a confusing question..

Thanks to all for the input so far....things to think about. If this were someone in your family what would you do?

posted on Jan, 14 2011 @ 12:18 PM
I cannot think of how I would react to this environment because I do not understand the capacity of the job that the OP holds. Are you a support line? Are you Customer Service? What is it that would open your ear to a nut-job who has quite a ton to say in regards to his world?

As to the person who responded and said they have a friend that lies constantly and that they encourage it because they know it is BS is a lost soul. Seriously, encouraging a lie facilitates the worst thing to a human being; demonic possession! The ability to recognize a fabrication/lie but the inability to correct it most certainly puts the "entertained" at high-risk, and would explain why there would be such a false friendship.

posted on Jan, 14 2011 @ 12:31 PM

Originally posted by Redevilfan09
The other thing is I don't see what is so funny about this. Some people with mental issues have been abused, raped, tormented, the list goes on. Its OK to have a joke, but not all of the mentals are gun weilding psychopaths...

Thank you for this rational post. I wonder how mentaly stable it is to kick those who are down, under the guise of humor?

posted on Jan, 14 2011 @ 03:43 PM
Well, I'd look at the person's track record. Have they done anything violent or harmful, or are they all talk? The other thing I'd do is since he seems to be somewhat familiar to at least your boss is to make people aware of your concerns. I'm not talking about phoning the police or anything, unless you think he is a genuine danger, rather than simply a nuisance, but simply to show some concern and hopefully have people watching out for him like you seem to be.

posted on Jan, 14 2011 @ 06:30 PM

Originally posted by Redevilfan09
The other thing is I don't see what is so funny about this. Some people with mental issues have been abused, raped, tormented, the list goes on. Its OK to have a joke, but not all of the mentals are gun weilding psychopaths...

Can I star and flag a post? Because this would be the one!
There are varying degrees of mental illness. I take care of two family members with special needs so this OP really offended me. The prejudices I've seen so far upset me too.
Mental illness is not something to joke about.
Once more, it's time to stop people and ask them: What do you really know about mental illness?
You guys get talking points from the MSM or online and think you have a degree in the stuff so you can laugh and joke, mainly because it is not you in those unfortunate circumstances. But give some thought to this: Our rights are on the line in the US. I had to fight to keep one from institutionalization because a pharmacist told a cop this person is trying to od on insulin, when in fact she broke her glasses, thought she took the right amount and got sick.
So keep on joking ATSer's - TPTB are trying hard to label each of us. Suppose this incident as I described above, is used against you? Will it be funny then?

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