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Thread: You can’t call him crazy, he hasn’t seen a doctor!

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    Cyborg with a Tiara
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    You can’t call him crazy, he hasn’t seen a doctor!

    This post is prompted by a fascinating discussion about the book “Educated” by Tara Westover.

    In her memoir, she outlines her life at the rural home of fundamentalist preppers who are also clearly paranoid and abusive. It’s a true story, extremely well written.

    The link below is to an article with a shallow straw man rebuttal by her family’s lawyer. The comments are fascinating as they include one single comment from one of her brothers and a whole slew of comments from ana anonymous person who is clearly a family member with a lot of time on their hands - screeching at the top of their lungs to deny but in the process proving the author right about everything she said.

    Here’s the discussion for this thread.

    So many times truly deranged people are allowed free range in society because everyone says, “you can’t diagnose someone as bipolar! Only a doctor can!”

    This argument allows the malignant versions of these disorders free rein and continued abuse. Why are people who have clear, public, repeated symptoms allowed to pretend they do not need psychiatric help? What should or could we do instead to handle this?

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    Nov 2004
    South Carolina
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    I can be a felon and never have been charged — and a convicted felon I would not be.

    Prison inmate Jimmy having committed no crime for which he is charged and convicted — found guilty by his peers he is, but never guilty was he.

    Psychopathy in its most undesired forms rears it’s ugly head in more than a scant few amongst the masses, but whose judgement if not from an authoritative source that has earned its stamp of approval shall we abide?

    A narcissist yielding power one might be, but until Dr. McCoy gives his say, it’s probably best we let him be.

  3. Top | #3
    Veteran Member
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    Georgia, US
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    Unless they are a danger to themselves or others, it's pretty hard to make someone seek psychiatric help. But, my mother and I did diagnose my late grandmother as bipolar. She had all of the symptoms of mania, along with rapid mood changes, and my father was officially diagnosed bipolar. Still, she wasn't dangerous or delusional. She just had rapidly changing mood swings, and by the time she died, I was the only one of 17 grandchildren who even communicated with her. Maybe that's because I knew she was bipolar and really couldn't help driving most people away. She was a very strange person.

    I read your link, but I don't think there is enough information in it to say that the parents of the writer we're "crazy", at least not in the medical sense of the word. They were very eccentric, but since home schooling is permitted in most states, often with limited over site, it's hard to say that they did anything intentionally to harm their daughter.

    My father was officially crazy, and he beat us with his belt when we were kids. He had terrible mood swings, made us get our Bibles when he was in a bad mood, then we were made to read some of the most horrible stories in the OT. I laugh about it now, but it did seem to have a negative impact on one of my sisters, but she's been under the care of a psychiatrist for most of her life. Both she and my father suffered from bouts of anxiety and depression. Did he cause her illness, or did she inherit his illness due to genetics? The experiences of our childhood never impacted me much, and when we were kids, his behavior wouldn't have been considered child abuse. Plus, my mother enabled him because she hated conflict and it was easier to turn away than to be more protective of us. And, he did have psychiatric care staring around the age of 35, both from the VA and his primary care doctor. I don't think it helped him much, although some of the meds may have helped a bit with his anxiety.

    I think one problem is that mental health illnesses come with a stigma, so it's easier to deny a problem then to seek help. And, people who suffer from bi polar disorder or psychopathy often don't realize their behavior isn't "normal". Anther problem is that our mental health care system is in terrible shape, and there aren't enough doctors to care for all of those in need. Plus, many psychiatrists don't take Medicare or Medicaid, which many seriously mentally ill have as their form of payment.

    I have cared for seriously delusional people, but they were under a doctor's care for many years before I met them. One was bipolar with serous delusions. After her husband died, she was admitted to a mental health hospital and then to the assisted living facility where I worked. She was harmless as long as we never contradicted her when she told us that she had once been a queen, had hooked up with Elvis, and was 35 years old, despite being in her late 70s etc. The other man had even worse delusions, even with medication. You could usually get his attention long enough to ask him simple questions or have a very short conversation, but sometimes he was talking to his voices even as I checked his heart and BP. Eventually, he started peeing all over the place because his voices told him to do that. I also cared for a young woman who suffered from serious psychopathy. She was usually coherent and she liked me. But, eventually she become very combative and was a danger to the other residents, so she was sent to live with her mother. I have no idea how that worked out. She had a history of being abused, if I remember correctly, and her doctor seemed to think that she was faking some of her adverse behaviors.

    But, there are also seriously deranged homeless people wandering around most cities. We have at least a few in my town. I don't think any of them have hurt anyone, but they obviously can't care for themselves properly. Maybe if they had an advocate, they might be placed in a personal care home, but there is usually a waiting list for such places and most of them don't serve Medicaid recipients.

    Another problem is that during the 1980s, most mental health institutions that housed long term care, seriously mentally ill people were closed down. The idea was that there would be community health nurses and mental health clinics who would care for these people, while they lived in the community. Funds were cut back and instead of making it better for those with serious mental illnesses, it made it worse, leaving many of them homeless or living in substandard housing without any care at all.

    I'm not sure if this is the type of discussion you wanted, but since I've always been fascinated as well as having a lot of compassion for the mentally ill, I was interested in your thread. If you want to know more about how we have failed these folks, I highly recommend the book, "Nobody Cares About Crazy People", by Ron Powers.

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