I have heard just a little too much about suicide among the religious — from patients, from others, now this; to the son of a published pastor who gave an invocation for the Obama folks.
I really do feel for the family, for death of the younger generation before the older one by any means including suicide by his own hand, is a horrible thing that is anti-nature and has a profound wrongness, a too-deep effect on all involved.
I was way back in residency when I attempted to gather some statistics on the association between religion and psychiatry in Kansas, sending a basic questionnaire on feelings about mental illness (and referral patterns to mental health professionals) to a big list of Wichita area “religious professionals.”
First, I had already made the assumption from the French part of my education that not too many people actually went to church, but none of them seemed to much care about mental health professionals.
In Kansas, with the world’s worst statistics (no major support on this from my
The medicating of Americans for mental illness has continued to grow over the last decade. And while that’s not exactly a news flash, I have seen no approach as fresh as the one taken by the folks at “CrazyMeds”.
They are not doctors. They are presumably patients or potential patients, then, just as some doctors are or should be. Their approach is so fresh that I am amazed to notice the grain of truth in it. This is the same way I felt when I visited the “Psychiatry Kills” Museum in Los Angeles, operated by the Scientology folks. They had a distorted view, but I saw where they were coming from. Read more on Psychotropic Drugs, According to their Users…
I am not going to repeat the lurid details of Jerry Sandusky’s crimes against young boys and the whole of humanity. I suppose what he was able to accomplish was a pedophile’s dream — The specific charity (the Second Mile) for “helping young boys” that brought him a steady flow of victims, the who judge had been a volunteer for his charity.
Now, there are allegations that his own family contained alleged victims – possibly his grandson.
It’s not that nobody knew — People had complained and reported many times over many years.
Some how it never got out. Read more on Sandusky-Penn State Revelations Keep Coming…
The intersection of law and medicine can be a real sticky wicket.
Most people have heard of someone being “not guilty by reason of insanity” and most people know that some defendants might be found incompetent to stand trial.
But the processes are sometimes vague and often confusing – especially to the lay audience. Read more on Mentally Retarded But Comptetent To Stand Trial…
Have you ever felt that your doctor just isn’t listening to you?Now multiply that by a hundred and you will start to understand what happens when a mentally ill person has a serious physical illness.
A news story on a recent study about how patients with a psychiatric diagnosis are prioritized at the bottom of the list when presenting at an emergency room induced a flashback when I was a young and eager resident psychiatrist on ER duty.
I was dedicated and enthusiastic – some said idealistic – and proud of knowledge obtained not without difficulty. The event I recalled was a 39-year-old schizophrenic man coming in with chest pain and trouble breathing. Maybe he seemed a little young for a heart attack, but gasping for air, clutching his chest and crying with pain. Serious complaints that ought to be treated seriously until proven otherwise. Read more on Mentally Ill Have Low Priority In Emergencies…
It is horrible and terrible and should not have happened, but it did. We have to look at questions we have looked at before. We claim — all of us at one time or another — that human life is precious, and that its very existence is beyond price, and the quality of such existence is pristinely precious, and then everybody in America has to process this tragedy.
First, let’s take care of the straight medical questions. Congresswoman Giffords is obviously getting the best possible care and the most modern possible care. People have learned a whole lot about injuries to the brain since yours truly hung out in a semi-rural University Medical Center in Northern France. (I cannot believe it was over two decades ago).
The people taking care of her have told USA Today the basics, so I can only recapitulate.The shot was made at point blank range, estimated by some as 3 or 4 feet. The bullet entered the back of her head on the left side, and exited through the front. It is true that the structures controlling heartbeat, breathing, and basic survival are more toward the middle of the brain, or “brain stem.” Things like using the senses to put together images of what a human is dealing with are a bit more superficial. Read more on Left, Right, Jewish, Christian — Arizona Shooting Victims Are More Than Political/Religious Pawns…
“I really don’t need medicine. I am fine and I applied to the fire department and I will be a firefighter.”
This is a typical response from a man. In our culture, we raise junior John Wayne types — tough and independent.
He was in the room with his mother, who was fighting back tears. ”I have tried everything to make him take medicine. I can beg him, but he does not take it very often.” Read more on The Mother Who Learned To Trust…
He was 19. I saw that on his papers before I let him into the office. I knew it meant trouble.
Someone who was only 19 and was in the county mental health system had to be either big trouble or a big manipulator. Working with adolescents is tough for me because I have to “set limits;” often yell and scream. That is absolutely not my favorite way to be a psychiatrist, to read people the riot act. But 19 year olds often need that.
He had been recently hospitalized for a “psychotic break.” That is when someone who is alleged to be normal suddenly starts hearing voices and seeing things. It’s not always mental illness — maybe some drugs on board, maybe some kind of stress. At least I had the records from the hospitalization.
Yeah, drugs on board. Some speed, some pot. The “baby-momma” of his first child (God, was he proud) was no “fun” anymore. She wanted things like child support — clearly not a “fun” request.
Now I have read some recent studies from other countries — this is not the kind of thing they do here — that when there is the risk of hereditary pathology you can feed a kid Omega-3 fish oil and maybe prevent this “psychotic break” — or at least delay it. And yes — to me someone 18 or 19 years old is still a kid. Read more on You Can’t Help Me Unless You Are Like Me…
He was 23 years old with a rich ethnic heritage and identity that he said gave him strength. He looked like any one of hundreds, maybe thousands, of “youths” you could find on the streets. A couple of tattoos. The kind I would see when I was driving with my husband and think sometimes “wow, it was so much easier in the days of Marlon Brando movies.” I would have preferred a handsome renegade in a leather jacket to this obese, angry, unkempt person who clearly did not want to talk to anybody, including me. He was not my patient. A frustrated therapist asked me to see him because no medications had worked on him. She had expected me to come up with a miracle drug we could get samples.
He told me the same thing, over and over again, that he was doomed, that nobody could help him, that I was a nice lady, nicer than most, but I was wasting my time just like the rest of them.
He heard voices, always angry and deprecating voices, telling him he was going to die, that he was no good and deserved to be killed. Many times, in his life, he had attempted to prove the voices correct. Read more on The Devil’s Role In Mental Illness…
He was in his fifties and he wanted the same medications he had, except for one thing. He just could not manage to have sex with his live-in girlfriend. He never had. I was filling in at a clinic where I knew this was the only time I would see him.
There are a couple of strategies with prescription medications that sometimes work. A partial agonish to reverse a receptor; adding another antidepressant. I reluctantly told him about them, since a complex mental illness was being otherwise quite well managed. I mean, this man’s diagnosis was “schizo- affective disorder.” He had been really psychotic, hearing bad things and thinking they were real and running naked in the streets. As much as I think an interest in sex is healthy and part of normal living, I certainly did not want to risk having all of these horrible things happen to him again. Luckily, he told me the last thing in the world he wanted to think about was another drug. Even a little bit of another drug.
There are herbal solutions that actually work. I was thinking about some oriental herbs, which I certainly did not think were that expensive. But he assured me he had no disposable income at all. Maybe true, maybe not, but I always wonder at least a little bit when people tell me that they want something very badly, but then do not seem to find any money for it. I mean, he was a heavy smoker (over a pack a day) and I was certain insurance did not pay for that. I tried to approach this subject, and he became so angry at me I would have dived under the desk for protection if it had been physically possible. Read more on Men Just Want To Talk About Sex…