Care For The Mentally Ill

When will there be no stigma or restrictions regarding mental health.  My son just spent 7 of the last 10 days in a mental health ward.  He acts no different.   Still surly and angry, which I have come to understand can be part of BPD (bi-polar disorder).  Unfortunately, that is very hard to take.  I’ve never handled the anger of others well.  Get mad at me and I just want to run away.

The docs sent him home with lots of scripts, including Depacote, but I’m not sure what else.  He’s not very talkative right now, except to complain to me about his dad.  Somehow Son blames his dad for most of his problems.  It’s really hurt my husband deeply, to think their once very close relationship has come to this.

Frustrated?  OMG!  I don’t think I could feel more helpless.  We are unable to get Son to do much to improve his situation.  I have begun the necessary paperwork to get him on federal disability.  Now I have to find him a new GP, a therapist, and a psychiatrist.  Because if I don’t do it, it will never get done.  I’ve been on the phone every day the last two weeks trying to get him into a 30 day program.  I have left message after message, but never received a call back.  My last call, yesterday, I thought I was making progress, as I finally got a name (though they gave it so fast, I didn’t get it, but I did get his extension, which is helpful.  I’ve left him a message.  You know, if they don’t have the space, fine, just let me know and I will try elsewhere.  Almost NO ONE takes a patient with Medi-Cal.  The plan is absolutely worthless:  Poor quality care, lousy doctors, horrible office staff, red tape, ridiculous rules, and the docs don’t get properly paid.

I thought I found a psychiatrist last week.  The office staff and website all refered to her as Doctor, but she is a Nurse Practioner .  I think labeling her Doctor is misleading.  I asked her about her education and I find out her masters degree is in epidemiology!  And you know what else?  In California it is nearly impossible to check up on a Psychiatrist.  If you’re a lawyer you’re a member of the State Lawyers Association, and usually, a member of the national lawyers association, both of which can be easily accessed by the lay person if you want to know what their specialties are, make sure they are properly licensed.  But you cannot do the same for psychiatrists.  That most definitely seems quite wrong.  Especially when that “doctor” prescribes a drug (in this case Rexulti), but doesn’t mention any side effects.

He took one of these pills and his regular meds and a lot of alcohol, and by midnight he was hallucinating and speaking gibberish, he was paranoid, and angry, and just plain out of control.  So we took him to the ER where he sat for 5 hours during which time, nothing was done.  Why?  Because they could not make sense of what he was saying.  They would not speak with me about what had been going on.  All they wanted to know was whether he was suicidal, and because they got a “no” they just released him.  At home about an hour later, things got worse and we had to call paramedics, but since we didn’t know at the time what he may have taken, the police also arrived.

Why should I have to call the police?  They aren’t trained to recognize psychiatric problems, they just treat everyone like a criminal.  I specifically requested paramedics, assuming they were trained at least minimally in psychiatric disorders.  But they never even spoke with Son.  So I had to watch the police manhandle my poor boy and take him back the hospital to be placed on what they refer to as a 5150.  Basically it’s a 72 hour suicide watch.  It was a horrible place, where he got very little help, but when we got him back he was able to converse.

Then two days later he checked himself back in.  He came home today.  He has been drug and alcohol free for about 10 days, but his mood is still black.  He is quick to anger and always yelling.

The thing is, if he’d cut himself, or had cancer, or had appendicitis, he would get immediate and appropriate care.  But because he has a mental condition, nothing is done.  I am so angry with this broken medical/insurance system in this country I could scream.  Why is it we have to wait for bi-polar individuals to totally lose it and hurt someone before anyone intervenes?  And then again, it’s the police.

Why are mental illness and addiction treated as crimes?  How do we change that?  Finding a solution is very hard, but I’m trying.






11 thoughts on “Care For The Mentally Ill

  1. I wish I had answers — I’ve wondered this so many times, too. So so sorry for everything you guys are going through. I know it’s not much but wanted you to know I read this and am sending love from GA. I can’t imagine the pain you’re dealing with. Keep writing if you’re able and if it helps you. You deserve so much peace. Thinking of your whole family as you navigate this difficult time.

  2. I had thought that more recognition of mental illness was taking place. But I guess not! I do know that care for those who are mentally disturbed are not considered .. as you have said; as urgent need as those with physical illnesses.
    Is there any advocate groups at all in your area… some who ‘know the system’? I guess you have searched everywhere for help by the sound of it.

    As a mother it doesn’t matter what the age of my child is… because like you I would be looking as well. Your son certainly isn’t in the frame of mind to do so. I hope though that he won’t or can’t find drugs right now to aggravate the situation… Take care Linda. I know how stressful this is for you and your husband… Diane xx

    1. I’ve really only started looking at this. My problem is to sift through all of the groups to find one that is doing what I think should be done. So far all I’ve gotten is confused. 🙂 I want to change the whole insurance/medical/psych & dental system. We need to start treating all body illnesses/conditions as “medical” conditions. I’m working up a blog on this.

      Thanks so much for your constant support.

      PS, what do you think of the American elections?

      1. I think that it is a fiasco really. I’ve never seen such poor behaviour and basically just attacking each other… Neither one to me is the best choice from who was available. It’s just so sad… How do you feel? Diane

      2. Right now it comes down to this: Do the majority of Americans hate the Clintons more than they love America? Hillary may not be the best person or most honest politician, but she is by far the most qualified of the two. If you were interviewing them for a job, who would you hire? The narcisistic bully with no experience doing anything but helping himself, or someone who actually understands how our political system and our world actually works. I’m not ashamed to say I prefer the experienced over the inexperienced.

      3. When it is between the narcissist and all the other negative qualities that he possesses, I would also have to vote for Hillary…. she’s got flaws… but not compared to him…. I can’t believe his followers that believe that he alone can do all that he says… without even congress or senate… Blind followers I’m afraid…. Diane

  3. Oh Linda, I didn’t realize it was so bad for the mentally ill in crisis. As Diane said above, I thought things were getting better. This is sad news and I wish there was something substantial I could do to make it feel better for you. You are a strong woman and I admire how much you always work so hard to hold your world together. What a mother you are.

    1. Thanks Crystal. The fierceness of mothers is an amazing trait. I’m glad I have the fortitude, and when I don’t, my husband is there to pick up the slack. Three truths: death, taxes and life is hard.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s