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It's time to talk about mental illness
#1
Quote:I am Adam Lanza’s Mother

It's time to talk about mental illness

Liza Long
BLOG
12.15.2012

Friday’s horrific national tragedy—the murder of 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in New Town, Connecticut—has ignited a new discussion on violence in America.

In kitchens and coffee shops across the country, we tearfully debate the many faces of violence in America: gun culture, media violence, lack of mental health services, overt and covert wars abroad, religion, politics and the way we raise our children.

Liza Long, a writer based in Boise, says it’s easy to talk about guns. But it’s time to talk about mental illness.

Three days before 20 year-old Adam Lanza killed his mother, then opened fire on a classroom full of Connecticut kindergartners, my 13-year old son Michael (name changed) missed his bus because he was wearing the wrong color pants.

“I can wear these pants,” he said, his tone increasingly belligerent, the black-hole pupils of his eyes swallowing the blue irises.
“They are navy blue,” I told him. “Your school’s dress code says black or khaki pants only.”

“They told me I could wear these,” he insisted. “You’re a stupid bitch. I can wear whatever pants I want to. This is America. I have rights!”
“You can’t wear whatever pants you want to,” I said, my tone affable, reasonable.

“And you definitely cannot call me a stupid bitch. You’re grounded from electronics for the rest of the day. Now get in the car, and I will take you to school.”
I live with a son who is mentally ill. I love my son. But he terrifies me.

A few weeks ago, Michael pulled a knife and threatened to kill me and then himself after I asked him to return his overdue library books.

His 7 and 9 year old siblings knew the safety plan—they ran to the car and locked the doors before I even asked them to.

I managed to get the knife from Michael, then methodically collected all the sharp objects in the house into a single Tupperware container that now travels with me.

Through it all, he continued to scream insults at me and threaten to kill or hurt me.

That conflict ended with three burly police officers and a paramedic wrestling my son onto a gurney for an expensive ambulance ride to the local emergency room.

The mental hospital didn’t have any beds that day, and Michael calmed down nicely in the ER, so they sent us home with a prescription for Zyprexa and a follow-up visit with a local pediatric psychiatrist.

We still don’t know what’s wrong with Michael. Autism spectrum, ADHD, Oppositional Defiant or Intermittent Explosive Disorder have all been tossed around at various meetings with probation officers and social workers and counselors and teachers and school administrators.

He’s been on a slew of antipsychotic and mood altering pharmaceuticals, a Russian novel of behavioral plans.

Nothing seems to work.

At the start of seventh grade, Michael was accepted to an accelerated program for highly gifted math and science students. His IQ is off the charts. When he’s in a good mood, he will gladly bend your ear on subjects ranging from Greek mythology to the differences between Einsteinian and Newtonian physics to Doctor Who.

He’s in a good mood most of the time. But when he’s not, watch out. And it’s impossible to predict what will set him off.

Several weeks into his new junior high school, Michael began exhibiting increasingly odd and threatening behaviors at school.

We decided to transfer him to the district’s most restrictive behavioral program, a contained school environment where children who can’t function in normal classrooms can access their right to free public babysitting from 7:30-1:50 Monday through Friday until they turn 18.

The morning of the pants incident, Michael continued to argue with me on the drive.

He would occasionally apologize and seem remorseful. Right before we turned into his school parking lot, he said, “Look, Mom, I’m really sorry. Can I have video games back today?”

“No way,” I told him. “You cannot act the way you acted this morning and think you can get your electronic privileges back that quickly.”

His face turned cold, and his eyes were full of calculated rage. “Then I’m going to kill myself,” he said. “I’m going to jump out of this car right now and kill myself.”

That was it. After the knife incident, I told him that if he ever said those words again, I would take him straight to the mental hospital, no ifs, ands, or buts. I did not respond, except to pull the car into the opposite lane, turning left instead of right.

“Where are you taking me?” he said, suddenly worried. “Where are we going?”

“You know where we are going,” I replied.

“No! You can’t do that to me! You’re sending me to hell! You’re sending me straight to hell!”

I pulled up in front of the hospital, frantically waiving for one of the clinicians who happened to be standing outside. “Call the police,” I said. “Hurry.”

Michael was in a full-blown fit by then, screaming and hitting. I hugged him close so he couldn’t escape from the car.

He bit me several times and repeatedly jabbed his elbows into my rib cage. I’m still stronger than he is, but I won’t be for much longer.

The police came quickly and carried my son screaming and kicking into the bowels of the hospital. I started to shake, and tears filled my eyes as I filled out the paperwork—“Were there any difficulties with… at what age did your child… were there any problems with.. has your child ever experienced.. does your child have…”

At least we have health insurance now. I recently accepted a position with a local college, giving up my freelance career because when you have a kid like this, you need benefits.

You’ll do anything for benefits. No individual insurance plan will cover this kind of thing.

For days, my son insisted that I was lying—that I made the whole thing up so that I could get rid of him. The first day, when I called to check up on him, he said, “I hate you. And I’m going to get my revenge as soon as I get out of here.”

By day three, he was my calm, sweet boy again, all apologies and promises to get better. I’ve heard those promises for years. I don’t believe them anymore.

On the intake form, under the question, “What are your expectations for treatment?” I wrote, “I need help.”

And I do. This problem is too big for me to handle on my own. Sometimes there are no good options. So you just pray for grace and trust that in hindsight, it will all make sense.

I am sharing this story because I am Adam Lanza’s mother. I am Dylan Klebold’s and Eric Harris’s mother. I am Jason Holmes’s mother.

I am Jared Loughner’s mother. I am Seung-Hui Cho’s mother. And these boys—and their mothers—need help. In the wake of another horrific national tragedy, it’s easy to talk about guns.

But it’s time to talk about mental illness.

According to Mother Jones, since 1982, 61 mass murders involving firearms have occurred throughout the country.

Of these, 43 of the killers were white males, and only one was a woman.

Mother Jones focused on whether the killers obtained their guns legally (most did). But this highly visible sign of mental illness should lead us to consider how many people in the U.S. live in fear, like I do.

When I asked my son’s social worker about my options, he said that the only thing I could do was to get Michael charged with a crime. “If he’s back in the system, they’ll create a paper trail,” he said.

“That’s the only way you’re ever going to get anything done. No one will pay attention to you unless you’ve got charges.”

I don’t believe my son belongs in jail.

The chaotic environment exacerbates Michael’s sensitivity to sensory stimuli and doesn’t deal with the underlying pathology. But it seems like the United States is using prison as the solution of choice for mentally ill people.

According to Human Rights Watch, the number of mentally ill inmates in U.S. prisons quadrupled from 2000 to 2006, and it continues to rise—in fact, the rate of inmate mental illness is five times greater (56 percent) than in the non-incarcerated population.

With state-run treatment centers and hospitals shuttered, prison is now the last resort for the mentally ill—Rikers Island, the LA County Jail and Cook County Jail in Illinois housed the nation’s largest treatment centers in 2011.

No one wants to send a 13-year old genius who loves Harry Potter and his snuggle animal collection to jail. But our society, with its stigma on mental illness and its broken healthcare system, does not provide us with other options.

Then another tortured soul shoots up a fast food restaurant. A mall. A kindergarten classroom. And we wring our hands and say, “Something must be done.”

I agree that something must be done. It’s time for a meaningful, nation-wide conversation about mental health. That’s the only way our nation can ever truly heal.

God help me. God help Michael. God help us all.

(Originally published at The Anarchist Soccer Mom.)

http://anarchistsoccermom.blogspot.com/2...e.html?m=1
It's the "BILL OF RIGHTS" not the bill of "needs"
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#2
The culture is also FUBAR. When I see young school kids with skulls all over their backpacks, skull designed shirts, pants and jackets. Skull pretend tatoos.
Skulls, skulls, skulls everywhere. Combine it with video games, movies etc glorifying death and killing, what do we expect?
WTF are these parents teaching their kids?
"In 4 more OMao years you won't like how America looks....I guarantee it."
“When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty.” -- Thomas Jefferson
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#3
There is absolutly a NEGATIVE correlatio between proliferation of violent video games and youth violent crime. The more violent games the more youth violence has gone down so dont start that shit!! Thats way more pronounced than the drop in crime when compared to gun ownership.

This woman is crazy. Her son belongs locked up but she is too stupid to do it. He is a criminal and she blaming everyone else for not having a magic pill to cure her son. She is the mentaly ill one here. He just has a birth defect that makes him nuts.
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#4
Parents are having children later.

Older fathers with genetically defective sperm have an increased probablity of having kids with autism, developmental problems. Eggs accumulate DNA damage the older a woman gets. Much of that damage can be converted to genetic mutation.This stuff is easy enough to find using search engines, especially scientific search engines such as pubmed.

Those kids, then have the possibility of having children and passing on the mutations. Especially if they have kids later and life and even more mutations accumulate.

Its only going to get worse, folks.
A gun rack in a pick-up is not for holding guns. Its a place for women to hold on to. Smile
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#5
MrPeanut;54167 Wrote:Parents are having children later.

Older fathers with genetically defective sperm have an increased probablity of having kids with autism, developmental problems. Eggs accumulate DNA damage the older a woman gets. Much of that damage can be converted to genetic mutation.This stuff is easy enough to find using search engines, especially scientific search engines such as pubmed.

Those kids, then have the possibility of having children and passing on the mutations. Especially if they have kids later and life and even more mutations accumulate.

Its only going to get worse, folks.

This is part of it.

I think the other part of it is actually our superior health care. Instead of weak, sickly, or insane kids dying at birth or at an early age, our modern health care is preserving life, and these people who would have died 100 years ago are now growing up and having their own kids. So, yes, I do think the gene pool is getting more "corrupt"....in general. That, plus all the additional chemicals, preservatives, and hormones in our food supply. (Though unfortunately I still love my junk food!)
Error 396: Signature cannot be found.
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#6
We skin anybody suggesting guns are responsible but not the least bit embarrassed by pointing towards skull tattoos and video games? Silly please meet Silly, would you like a cup of tea?

Does anybody have any solution about mental illness? I sure as hell don't. They say this kid, like millions of them, was weird but that nobody who knew it saw it coming.
Dave, proudly annoying members of pa2a.org since Sep 2012.
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#7
Dave;54173 Wrote:We skin anybody suggesting guns are responsible but not the least bit embarrassed by pointing towards skull tattoos and video games? Silly please meet Silly, would you like a cup of tea?

Does anybody have any solution about mental illness? I sure as hell don't. They say this kid, like millions of them, was weird but that nobody who knew it saw it coming.

We aren't saying to ban them. We are just saying its not necessarily the best thing for the mental health of young children.
Error 396: Signature cannot be found.
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#8
So we are not really saying anything then Wink

I think it's as silly as when they complained about rock music, long hair and playing cowboys and Indians.
Dave, proudly annoying members of pa2a.org since Sep 2012.
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#9
Some people are just broken beyond repair. Sadly too many times, no one noticed how broken a person is until they kill someone.
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#10
Dave;54173 Wrote:We skin anybody suggesting guns are responsible but not the least bit embarrassed by pointing towards skull tattoos and video games? Silly please meet Silly, would you like a cup of tea?

Does anybody have any solution about mental illness? I sure as hell don't. They say this kid, like millions of them, was weird but that nobody who knew it saw it coming.

Of course they're saying they didn't see it coming, what else are they going to say? Pre-school age children typically learn to lie to duck responsibility. In the face and immediacy of this horrific tragedy, anything even remotely resembling culpability would result in a media firestorm followed by the wrath of Holder's DoJ.

Believe me I don't have a solution either, but at this point there isn't even much of a conversation, let alone a focus. At this point it looks like the only thing we can do is accept the reality of the spur-of-the-moment damage one mentally ill person can do, and take steps ourselves from it. Interestingly enough, protecting ourselves from the 'crazies' looks a lot like protecting ourselves from violent crime.
“Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.”

William Pitt
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