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How many in GD dealing with severe mental illness in their home? [View All]

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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-26-06 04:34 PM
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Poll question: How many in GD dealing with severe mental illness in their home?
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I know that the Andrea Yates decision has profoundly affected me and I wanted to ask, who here in GD deals with severe mental illness and / or our dangerously dysfunctional system in some way?

Discovering and surviving and learning to negotiate severe mental illness in my family changed my life in a profound way -- not the least of which, it changed the way I am active in the community and in especial, in the political community.

Who else?

I can identify with Rusty Yates on any day of the week, not because of his religious beliefs or his notions of gender roles but because when I married my love, I had no clue whatsoever about the degree of his illness. And, all along the way of understanding, the medical community was no help whatsoever.

It's funny. When your spouse is suspected of mental illness, the first thing that happens is that your community urges you to leave your spouse. There is no respect for the idea of the family. The solution you are pounded with is, "get out!" -- as if that would really solve anything. If you don't abandon this person that you love because they are ill, there must be something very wrong with you.

And if you don't leave, you are punished and put down. You are called "self destructive" or a "victim" or just about anything but a family member, trying to get MEDICAL CARE for someone who needs your help.

I've been called a "self-appointed advocate" for my husand. LOL! I was only his wife. And, there seemed to be no committee anywhere interested in "appointing" an advocate for him. And, no one else lived with his illness let alone, with the failures of the medical community to address his problems no matter how easily they could be addressed.

And that, really, is the state of our mental health system. We have the best tech in the world. People like Andrea can be treated. It's not a cakewalk but with a careful team, Andrea can be treated. Most of our family members can be -- with everything from meds to behavioral therapy to all the other tools we now have.

What the f#ck good is a toolbox if it never gets opened?

It's more profitable to build prisons for our mentally ill and it may be easier to try to shame their families into submission. But I'm here to say, not so fast. We won't settle for that. We won't go quietly.

For the children


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