Sunday, February 18, 2018
Working with the seriously ill population for quite a while has me running a maze of loops and circles in my car. It reminds me of Chutes and Ladders. They are petitioned by me or family into treatment. Treatment in hospitals last about a week and then somehow patients are pronounced clinically better and discharged. Sometimes they are discharged with a bag of medication and no place to sleep or eat. Many homeless people are mentally ill. They will die much sooner than better functioning people. Mentally ill people burn their bridges with family and friends.
Why is there no cure? Well actually there is but it is so cost effective that it would end many of the three ringed circuses that go on. The whole judicial system built around court ordered treatment would be nonexistent including what I do, case management. Many programs and agencies would cease to exist.
Psychopharmaceutic medications are very expensive and are a large part of the money pie. I believe I could take the craziest person and bring them back to health. The first step would be reducing the medications, then changing the life style and diet, then finding some sort of life purpose and job for this person. After two years they would be out of the system. I could not do it alone. I would need a therapeutic team. I would add certain kinds of therapy that might not be considered “correct” or best practice, but they would work. It would be person centered in orientation. And it would be eclectic in that their would be some cognitive therapy.
I am not a doctor and I am not a genius. I have worked with family and fiends who were almost gone. These people were riddled with mental illness and the only therapy they received was medical therapy.
As a mom, I went along with the medical piece for 20 years. It did help manage some of the symptoms. There is a place for some chemistry. But I realized my son was becoming a life time patient and none of these pills have cured him.
I used to blame the doctor’s and the nurse practitioners until I saw them in a different light. They do care about their patients very much. They are a hard-working group and they are depressed that they don’t have all those answers. They do have DNA testing now days, but there is no magic pill that will heal mental illness. They can help manage symptoms for a while. For a while can be a year or two. The brain chemistry often self-corrects, and receptors become resilient over time. Changing medications is very scary sometimes. Not everyone reacts the same way to a certain medication. My son kept saying his brain was on fire. He was not heard until a new doctor came to his clinic. It turns out my guy needed a side effect medication. Many people have that same side effect without it. Then another lady psychiatrist came on board. She thought my son was misdiagnosed. My son was experiencing some wonderful baseline behavior and he was joking and having a great time in his therapy sessions. This lady doctor promptly removed my son from all his medications. Perhaps she wondered what would happen. What happened was a nightmare for me. My son landed in a psychotic break down and then a mania. He was hospitalized for about 3 weeks. After hospitalization, it took another two months to see him stabilized again.
Recently, another psychiatrist was judging me a “bad parent” and decided I was very stupid as well. The pain families go through is just unimaginable. After riding this crazy train for over 20 years, it is obvious that no one has all the answers.
There are answers. But I think murder would happen before those answers reach people. The pharmaceutical industry is a very powerful billion-dollar industry. They are drug dealers. If a patient is cut off his/her medication too quickly, it could mean death or a spiraling, out of control psychotic break down. The dependency on those medications is very high. People must titrate off their medication very slowly with some monitory of that process.
My loved ones and friends have been able to do just that. It was a roller coaster ride for them. Through much reading and discovery, we found the answers.
The lives of patients and loved ones are being exploited and harmed. The motto first do no harm is not being a banner for those who work in the mental health field. Harm is being done in dozens of ways.
Stop the madness. Collectively we can. Just email me for more answers. firstname.lastname@example.org
I should probably send this to Nami again. Sooner or later people will wake up and change things. For people like my father, it is too late. He suffered hand tremors to the point he had to give up dentistry and his livelihood. For my brother it is too late, he overdosed while trying to self-medicate. I decided to not let this happen to another person I know and love.
Chutes and Ladders should be fun and not a cliff hanger