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Mon Dec 17, 2012, 03:02 PM

In all the talk about mental illness,

we seem to be assuming that better access to mental health care can solve all these problems. NOT TRUE! There are many kinds of mental illnesses that we do not know how to treat, or our treatments are in a very early stage.

I will use depression as an example, as I have suffered with this for years. As I was growing up and into mid-adulthood, it wasn't even discussed. In the 1980's (I think) , we started getting the first really effective drugs and i and many others found a name and a diagnosis for what plagued us.

Fast forward to 2012 . There are a lot more drugs out there, most of which have side effects, and we know more about what causes some depression. But if you go to a psychiatrist for treatment, usually they will keep trying drugs until they find one that works. Even then, after a few years, it may stop working, and no one knows why. So, try something else. In addition, there are people who are not helped by drugs and/or therapy. Even electroshock treatment is not effective.

So, what happens to people who can't be helped, because of finances, no family support, and the lack of mental hospitals. Sometimes they just kill themselves, sometimes they live on the streets or under bridges. We do not take care of them. We are failing them as a society.There are people - including some children -who need to be in a humane mental hospital for their own protection and for the protection of others.

I am not trying to make any assertion about Adam Lanza: I am only saying that it is wrong to assume that there was effective treatMent available for him.

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Response to s-cubed (Original post)

Mon Dec 17, 2012, 03:08 PM

1. We need to put resources into mental health though

Lack of resources doesn't get us any closer to finding solutions; nor does sweeping the abysmal lack of mental health care options available to people under the rug. We really need the dialog IMHO.

I have experienced trying to help a loved one who even had insurance get help, it is very difficult for the reasons you mentioned, but if there was more availability and more emphasis in our society, perhaps that could change.

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Response to s-cubed (Original post)

Mon Dec 17, 2012, 03:20 PM

2. It is easy to say "anybody doing this must be crazy"

But in fact, Lanza was at the school the day before the shooting and apparently had some kind of altercation. He presumably was seen in this confrontation by education professionals. And evidently none of them saw anything that caused them to call the police and report the guy as a danger.

Maybe they didn't want to get involved.

Maybe the guy was acting "normal enough" that they felt they had no basis for action.

Maybe the law is such that you just can't report somebody for seeming a little crazy.

Maybe the reality is that the town had no resources to deal with such a case anyway.

The point is that it is easy to look back and say "Oh if we had only ..." But we all deal with people every day who aren't quite right, and 99.999% of them are never going to do anything like this.

I am not against increasing resources for mental health. But we have a gun violence problem. We need to deal with the 300 million guns that are floating out there, especially these assault type weapons that nobody has any business with.

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Response to BlueStreak (Reply #2)

Mon Dec 17, 2012, 03:29 PM

3. I don't disagree with you.

Perhaps I didn't say it well enough. I wasn't trying to diagnose Adam Lanza.He may or may not have been mentally ill. But people here are blaming Nancy Lanza for not getting treatment for her son. She may have tried, and nothing worked.

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Response to s-cubed (Reply #3)

Mon Dec 17, 2012, 03:35 PM

4. I have read accounts that confirm this. It's the "nothing worked" that is hard for people wanting

so badly to understand or blame, that's the hardest to grasp. Our minds need to make sense of the senseless.

Mental health vs. psychologically cured are not the same continuum any more than Adderall cures ADHD. It made some kids even crazier. Many parents took them off of it because it was making things worse. Same with anything on the autism spectrum...no cure...hit and miss...hope and pray...emphasis on the latter.

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Response to libdem4life (Reply #4)

Mon Dec 17, 2012, 03:49 PM

5. Hit or miss is so true. My nephew (down's+ autism) seems to

be responding to gluten free diet. But trying to get good advice is so difficult.

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Response to s-cubed (Reply #5)

Mon Dec 17, 2012, 04:20 PM

6. In these instances, the mental help is needed for the family. Also, ADHD parents

got excited about the progress with no food additives...but that's almost impossible in our food culture...especially for kid at schools and neighbors, and family...etc. Autistic parents got hope that mercury in vaccinations was a clue...but for some reasons they just come and go. But the parents and the kids are here to stay.

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Response to s-cubed (Reply #3)

Mon Dec 17, 2012, 07:28 PM

7. From what I have seen, his mother is the one who needed the mental help

As I see it, there are three broad areas contributing to this peculiarly American gun violence problem:

- Our gun laws

- The media obsession with violence

- Our approach to mental problems as a weakness rather than a disorder or disease needing treatment.

We have to take action on all three. There are some obvious things that should be done with the gun laws and I won't go back over that ground here. It has been discussed at length on other threads.

The media situation was the main thesis of "Bowling for Columbine" and I think Moore was mostly right. In my mind, the worst of the worst is the video games, for 2 reasons. 1) They specifically target children and adults who think like children -- i.e. exactly the profile of most of these killers. The second point was reinforced in a conversation I had with a psychiatrist friend this weekend. He said that the active nature of the video games is much more insidious than passively watching violence on teeveee or the movies. In the video games, often the whole point is to simulate the act of committing gruesome murders, and then --- voila -- there are no consequences. This is really sick.

I am not at all qualified to comment on what can be done regarding our system of recognizing mental health problems and addressing them. My sense is that we do next to nothing. Again, much of my information comes from this psychiatrist. He is heavily involved in the penal system. His practice is mostly involved in therapy, which he believes is essential in most cases to get any lasting result. But he feels constant pressure to just medicate his patients and move on.

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Response to s-cubed (Original post)

Mon Dec 17, 2012, 07:33 PM

8. And, My Personal Reactions to Two Drugs: (Benadryl being One)

KoKo (67,054 posts)
210. And, My Personal Reactions to Two Drugs: (Benadryl being One)

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. And, My Personal Reactions to Two Drugs:

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Last edited Mon Dec 17, 2012, 06:11 PM USA/ET - Edit history (1)
"Paradoxical Effects" on some people with Anti-Depressents......

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(I'm a person who has had paradoxical effects from drugs. I don't like to fly and am prone to panic attacks so I got a prescription for one of the Benzodiazepine drugs. I took a pill and freaked out heading to the airport with a panic attack along with violent shaking. It was a good thing I wasn't driving. I never took another pill and stopped flying because it freaked me out so bad. Many years later I had an minor operation but became so agitated in the recovery room they had to hold me down because part of the the anesthesia had some derivative of a benzodiazepine in it and caused me to have a reaction. The hospital actually refunded me the money for my anethesia on my bill because I had put on my Patient information chart that I was allergic to Benzodiazepines and someone didn't check when they gave me the particular anesthesia that they did.

So this can happen. Plus both my daughter and I can't take Benadryl for colds or allergy. We both freak out instead of becoming drowsy. No one else in our family has that contrarian reaction. I found out about it when she was little and screamed all night when she was prescribed it for a mild ear ache...and years later I took it for a sinus infection (not thinking that my daughter had a former reaction) and became horribly agitated with palpitations and cold sweats.

Different Meds for Different Folks...can cause some strange stuff.

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Response to s-cubed (Original post)

Mon Dec 17, 2012, 07:41 PM

9. And I do believe that there are people who have mental illness who are not known to the

system as it currently exists. People move around. People also hide mental illness because of the stigma. Sometimes their particular cluster of symptoms causes them to isolate. And I find it astounding that there seems to be a denial on DU that people who experience psychotic breaks can become violent. I've seen it happen many times throughout my life with different people from relatives to people I worked with to friends.

I had a friend who was one of the sweetest persons I've ever known. She had bipolar disorder and stopped taking her medication. She became extremely delusional and began doing stuff that put herself at extreme risk. A couple of her roommates and I swore an affidavit to have her involuntarily committed. When they found her she to take her to hospital she was in the midst of a full blown psychotic break. This tiny woman hurled a chair across the room and through a window. We talked later when she was more stable. I asked her if there was anything else I could have done as she was spiralling downward. She told me that we had done everything that was possible. She was cognizant at some level that her mind was out of control but could not control her thought processes. She was hugely embarrassed. Eventually she incorporated us into her delusional system and started cutting contact with all who were involved in getting her to help. I learned later that this was a pattern with her. Her one survival skill appeared to be that she was able to establish relationships with people who would end up caring for her. Some years later I learned that she had ended up alone and committed suicide. I loved my friend dearly and found myself in those intervening years searching rooms in public places to see if I could spot her. I'd give anything to have a chance to see her again.

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