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Reply #16: I agree that the state of our health care system is deplorable [View All]

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NMMNG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-05-11 09:00 AM
Response to Reply #12
16. I agree that the state of our health care system is deplorable
The mental health system is worse. Money is the main reason in both cases though stigma causes many problems in the latter.

That being said, adults still have the right to determine what care they'll seek or refuse. That includes people thought to be or even diagnosed with a mental illness. We don't lock up people who refuse to follow their doctor's advice about losing weight, following specific diets for medical conditions like diabetes or high blood pressure, or smoking. Likewise we cannot force people with mental illnesses to undergo treatment--unless they present a clear and present danger to themselves or others. This is actually an improvement from decades ago when one phone call from a relative could get a person locked up indefinitely.

I'm no fan of religious lunacy and it sickens me when people use it to harm others. It's particularly frightening how many people with mental illnesses also seem to have religious obsessions/delusions that result in them acting out against themselves or other people. (At least half of the people I worked with when I was in the mental health field had religious obsessions though thankfully none of them acted violently on them that I knew of.) But I can't condone targeting religious people with mental illnesses above others any more than I condone giving them all the free passes they currently get in the name of their "deeply held religious beliefs". They should be held to the same standards as all people with mental illnesses; if they show signs that they might be dangerous to themselves or others it might be a good idea to evaluate and even hospitalize them. Otherwise the best we can do is encourage treatment. If they refuse we may have to deal with it unless things change for the worse, particularly if we want to maintain what peace there is.

The person the OP described sounds like someone very challenging, even downright obnoxious. But I don't get the idea she's a threat to herself or others (at least not from that one post). At this time I wouldn't recommend pushing treatment unless she comes around to the idea. It could cause more problems than it would solve.
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