Mentally Ill Kids Don't Just Come from Nowhere

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Wehrwolfen, Dec 21, 2012.

  1. Wehrwolfen
    Offline

    Wehrwolfen Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2012
    Messages:
    2,752
    Thanks Received:
    338
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Ratings:
    +339
    Mentally Ill Kids Don't Just Come from Nowhere​



    M. Catherine Evans
    December 21, 2012

    The recent post "I am Adam Lanza's Mother" by a woman who posts at anarchistsoccermom and animatedly advertises herself wearing an "I love Che" t-shirt is as slick a piece of exploitative propaganda as anything we've seen in the last four years. Soon after the essay went viral mom blogger Liza Long appeared on CNN and the Today show calling for a national conversation on mental illness.

    After the Newtown massacre the self-described author, musician, Classicist and single mother of four felt compelled to share her own story. Long's written account of life with an out of control child focuses solely on her son. She's brutally honest when it comes to his behavior but omits any mention of several other contributing factors for his dysfunction: family dynamics, Michael's early years, Dad's behavior before the divorce and afterwards, her own use or non-use of medications and why she would pump him with psychotropic drugs when the inexplicable cause of his violent outbursts confounded everyone.

    We still don't know what's wrong with Michael. Autism spectrum, ADHD, Oppositional Defiant or Intermittent Explosive Disorder have all been tossed around at various meetings with probation officers and social workers, counselors and teachers and school administrators. He's been on a slew of antipsychotic and mood altering pharmaceuticals, a Russian novel of behavioral plans. Nothing seems to work.​

    Did the "Russian novel of behavioral plans" include family counseling, spiritual guidance, an in-depth clinical look at Mom and Dad's behavior, or traumatic events passed from one generation to the next? If Ms. Long indeed fessed up to some family secrets why doesn't she address that in her poignant, gut wrenching depiction of Michael?

    After all the mass shootings in recent decades, everything should be on the table including what went on behind closed doors. Instead, Long quotes statistics on gun violence and young white males from the far left magazine Mother Jones. She scapegoats the lack of care for the mentally ill along with guns as reasons for not only Michael's, and Adam's troubles but other recent mass murderers as well.

    I am sharing this story because I am Adam Lanza's mother. I am Dylan Klebold's and Eric Harris's mother. I am James Holmes's mother. I am Jared Loughner's mother. I am Seung-Hui Cho's mother. And these boys-and their mothers-need help. In the wake of another horrific national tragedy, it's easy to talk about guns. But it's time to talk about mental illness.​


    Read more:
    Blog: Mentally Ill Kids Don't Just Come from Nowhere
     
  2. Wehrwolfen
    Offline

    Wehrwolfen Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2012
    Messages:
    2,752
    Thanks Received:
    338
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Ratings:
    +339
    Deinstitutionalisation (or deinstitutionalization) is the process of replacing long-stay psychiatric hospitals with less isolated community mental health services for those diagnosed with a mental disorder or developmental disability. Deinstitutionalisation works in two ways: the first focuses on reducing the population size of mental institutions by releasing patients, shortening stays, and reducing both admissions and readmission rates; the second focuses on reforming mental hospitals' institutional processes so as to reduce or eliminate reinforcement of dependency, hopelessness, learned helplessness, and other maladaptive behaviours.[1]

    According to psychiatrist Leon Eisenberg, deinstitutionalisation has been an overall benefit for most psychiatric patients, though many have been left homeless and without care.[2] The deinstitutionalisation movement was initiated by three factors:
    A socio-political movement for community mental health services and open hospitals;
    The advent of psychotropic drugs able to manage psychotic episodes;
    A financial imperative to shift costs from state to federal budgets.[2]​

    According to American psychiatrist Loren Mosher, most deinstitutionalization in the USA took place after 1972, as a result of the availability of SSI, long after the antipsychotic drugs were used universally in state hospitals.[3]

    According to psychiatrist and author Thomas Szasz, deinstitutionalisation is the policy and practice of transferring homeless, involuntarily hospitalised mental patients from state mental hospitals into many different kinds of de facto psychiatric institutions funded largely by the federal government. These federally subsidised institutions began in the United States and were quickly adopted by most Western governments. The plan was set in motion by the Community Mental Health Act as a part of John F. Kennedy's legislation[clarification needed] and passed by the U.S. Congress in 1963, mandating the appointment of a commission to make recommendations for "combating mental illness in the United States".[4]

    In many cases the deinstitutionalisation of the mentally ill in the Western world from the 1960s onward has translated into policies of "community release". Individuals who previously would have been in mental institutions are no longer continuously supervised by health care workers. Some experts, such as E. Fuller Torrey, have considered deinstitutionalisation to be a failure,[5] while some consider many aspects of institutionalization to have been worse.

    20th century
    By the beginning of the 20th century, increasing admissions had resulted in serious overcrowding, causing many problems for psychiatric institutions. Funding was often cut, especially during periods of economic decline and wartime. Asylums became notorious for poor living conditions, lack of hygiene, overcrowding, ill-treatment, and abuse of patients; many patients starved to death.[7]

    The first community-based alternatives were suggested and tentatively implemented in the 1920s and 1930s, although asylum numbers continued to increase up to the 1950s. The movement for deinstitutionalisation moved to the forefront in various countries during the 1950s and 1960s with the advent of chlorpromazine and other antipsychotic drugs.

    The prevailing public arguments, time of onset, and pace of reforms varied by country.[7] In the United States, class action lawsuits and the scrutiny of institutions through disability activism and antipsychiatry helped expose poor conditions and treatment. Sociologists and others argued that such institutions maintained or created dependency, passivity, exclusion, and disability, which caused people to remain institutionalised. Rosenhan's experiment in 1973 "accelerated the movement to reform mental institutions and to deinstitutionalize as many mental patients as possible."[8]

    A prevailing argument claimed that community services would be cheaper and that new psychiatric medications made it more feasible to release people into the community.[9] Mental health professionals, public officials, families, advocacy groups, public citizens, and unions held differing views on deinstitutionalisation.[10]

    A key text in the development of deinstitutionalisation was Asylums by Erving Goffman.[11]

    Consequences
    Community services that developed include supportive housing with full or partial supervision and specialised teams (such as assertive community treatment and early intervention teams). Costs have been reported as generally equivalent to inpatient hospitalisation, even lower in some cases (depending on how well or poorly funded the community alternatives are).[7]

    Although deinstitutionalisation has been positive for the majority of patients, it also has severe shortcomings.[12] Expectations that community care would lead to fuller social integration have not been achieved; many remain without work, have limited social contacts, and often live in sheltered environments.[13]

    New community services are often uncoordinated and unable to meet complex needs. Services in the community sometimes isolate the mentally ill within a new ghetto, where service users meet each other but have little contact with the rest of the public community. It has been said that instead of "community psychiatry", reforms established a "psychiatric community".[7]

    Existing patients are often discharged without sufficient preparation or support. A greater proportion of people with mental disorders become homeless or go to prison.[7] Families can often play a crucial role in the care of those who would typically be placed in long-term treatment centres. However, many mentally ill people are resistant to such help due to the nature of their conditions. The majority of those who would be under continuous care in long-stay psychiatric hospitals are paranoid and delusional to the point that they refuse help, believing they do not need it, which makes it difficult to treat them.[14]
     

Share This Page