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Mental illness - my son has schizophrenia

Discussion in 'Politics, Elections & Legislation' started by len loma, Dec 17, 2012.

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  1. len loma

    len loma TS Member

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    This is about my son Jason. When 18 my son's behavior changed dramatically. We thought possibly he was into drugs and had him tested twice. Passed clean both times. We findly realized he was mentally ill. My x-wife and I were powerless since he was an adult to get any treatment for him. Jason did not see himself having any mental illness. It took him breaking a minor law for him to be force to go for assessment. He was locked up in an old 60-70's mental hospital and diagnosed with schizophrenia. It tore me up inside to see him there. Once stablized with meds he went to a much nicer place to help get him back into the real world. Every year Jason seems to get better and convey thoughts clearer.

    Jason has been getting treatment and meds for the last 6 years. They constantly have to be tuned up since brian chemistry changes. Most people with schizophrenia take themselves off meds because of the many negative side affects. My son has been diligent in treatment. He is going to college to get into social work and hopes to help others with mental illness.

    I can tell you a mentally ill person is not supid. With that said I would say they can plan any act of destruction they want with or without a firearm. I keep everything locked in my house.

    The country needs to get a discussion about mental illness and how to get people who are ill in assessment or treatment before they break a law or take a life. Lastly my biggest complaint is here is a young man doing what is right and wants to help others. The problem is one can tell he is different so people advoid him or treat him disrespectfully. Because they are different they are hard to employ. It gets me argry when they don't understand that he had no choice about this illness. I just wish he would not be treated as a social out cast because of his schizophrenia.

    Len
     
  2. CalvinMD

    CalvinMD Well-Known Member

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    I'm glad your son has someone supporting him and looking out for his best interests and Yes, you are surely unsupported by the medical and insurance industry...and the Govt is a total zippo..they'd rather support illegal aliens and citizens alike who love to have kid after kid,..illegitimate pups that add to their nipple count like a cost of workless living increase..
    Please make sure your firearms are kept in a safe and privately accessable "safe" place to prevent any possible tragedy that can ruin your lives...We ALL need to be that "extreme kind" of responsible in that way whenever we have potentially dangerous tools around that can cause tragic incidents whether by accident or misuse..as owners that part is dependent on us being wise...we are the custodians of that trust as parents and adults
     
  3. g7777777

    g7777777 TS Supporters TS Supporters

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    As an unrelated side note- if he lives in the house with you --- there is a good possibility that you cannot have firearms in that house without breaking a law.

    I would consult with a local attorney

    Regards from Iowa

    Gene
     
  4. John Galt

    John Galt TS Member

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    No, mentally ill people aren't stupid and neither are the necessarily dangerous to others or themselves. They can be perfectly harmless, just as sane people can be dangerous.
     
  5. len loma

    len loma TS Member

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    He does not reside with me but lives independ and struggles with the little he recieves in disablity. Once thru school he hopes he can make it on his own. Len
     
  6. g7777777

    g7777777 TS Supporters TS Supporters

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    Tough situation- and I hope it works out for the best-- they make strides in the treatment of this stuff each day . Sounds like it is working out pretty well now

    Good luck

    Gene
     
  7. CalvinMD

    CalvinMD Well-Known Member

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    I've always wondered why the medical sciences cant come up with an easy and totally positive way for mentally fragile people to recieve their meds...transdermal implants..some kind of timed release pump .. something that works without need for the patient to be relied on nearly as much to make sure their world doesn't go upside down...and only a infrequent but closely tracked visit to "recharge" the devices....its totally doable if they just wanted to work at perfecting such a system...think how much trouble this would avert
     
  8. birdogs

    birdogs TS Member

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    As was mentioned, if a person is an adult, he can refuse treatment until such time, which may never come, that he commits a crime. I believe that this is due to the closing of state mental institutions which was a cause close to the hearts of most liberals. They said that just because a person was mentally ill, the state had no right to lock them up. This caused a huge uptick in the homeless population when these institutions closed and the patients were released - without supervision and frequently without medication.

    This, to our discredit was and is a shame. It is not kind to allow a person who cannot care for himself to be released into a world with which he cannot cope. This whole mental health question needs attention and not just "studies" and a lot of money paid to Psychiatrists and Psychologists to tell us what we already know.
     
  9. Brian in Oregon

    Brian in Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Gene, can you cite a law for your assertion or is that something you pulled out of your rear end?
     
  10. grntitan

    grntitan Well-Known Member

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    Len,

    Your story was eye opening for me. I applaud you for standing by your son through thick and thin. I am also grateful you shared the story with us so we may understand the challenges of getting the mentally challenged the help they need.

    May God be with you and your family and help you all to be strong to deal with this giant hurdle. Your son is not stupid. He is your child.
     
  11. CharlieAMA

    CharlieAMA TS Supporters TS Supporters

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    Thanks for sharing that with us. My half aunt had the same thing. She was on alot of meds, and managed to lead productive life. She was alot of fun when I was a kid.
     
  12. GBatch_25

    GBatch_25 Active Member

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    While I cannot in any way identify with the agony of having a child with schizophrenia, I can, in a very small way, empathize because I watched my Mom suffer with depression. Most of us can only wish the best for you and your son.

    I hate to be a cynic, but a national 'discussion' about mental illness isn't in the cards. And even if it does happen, nothing will be done. It's now become politically incorrect to suggest that someone is 'mental'. Tell teachers to watch out for kids with symptoms and they do. Then they go to the principal and the parents are brought in and the parents want the teacher reprimanded or fired for daring to suggest that their precious little tyke meant anything when he/she was talking about killing cats or dogs etc.

    Add to this the fact that there are thousands of mentally unstable folks walking around every major city and no one will do anything. Why? Because they are 'only homeless' and they won't hurt anyone. How dare you suggest we get them out of the parks or train stations or libraries.

    Nope. Just more fodder for the ACLU and every other group who is watching out for the rights of the average person. Wonder if those same groups would be as anxious to look out for my right to have a firearm. NOT.

    Gene in Illinois
     
  13. pyrdek

    pyrdek Well-Known Member

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    Len (More Clay),

    Schizophrenia is a disease that affects not only the patient but those around him. Family, friends and neighbors all suffer consequences from the stress, strain and worry about the victim. In that sense the feelings and emotions may be similar, but not identical, to some of the feelings felt by the family of other more physically identifiable diseases suffered by children. The family of a schizophrenia patient however does not have this easily identifiable visibility for their stress and pain. As such they are more often willing to "suffer in silence" and not try to get the help that could support them. The undeserved stigma of mental illness in the family requires a good deal of courage to overcome and help educate others about the disease. Thank you for opening up and letting others know of the problems schizophrenia has caused in your family.

    Schizophrenia has shown in many different studies involving either MRI or PET scans that there are detectable differences in the physical structure and electrical/neurotransmitter activity of child onset schizophrenia. Some of these studies even involved identical twins where one child was not affected while the twin was showing classic symptoms of schizophrenia. The brain scans of the twins showed significant differences in the brains of the two children. These differences tracked similar differences in non-twin control and schizophrenic patients. This would seem to reduce or eliminate schizophrenia's cause to be only genetic.

    Given that information, it would seem that those patients who use only counseling are substantially more likely to suffer more intense problems than those who have both medication and counseling treatment. I did not see any information regarding what physical affects on the brain may have been related to the use of non-schizophrenia pharmaceuticals in childhood.

    Similar tests of other children suffering other neurological related problems (Bi-Polar, OCD etc.) did not show similar physical differences when compared to "normal" control test patients.

    Given all that, I would begin to question if there is some outside agent (virus, prion, chemical, other) which could be, at least in part, an initiating agent for this disease. Many other diseases, once thought to be "an act of God" with no known cause became treatable or even preventable once he actual cause was found. TB, smallpox, heavy metal poisoning are just some examples. We can only hope that similar research can lead to a rapid discovery of a means of prevention, treatment and recovery for schizophrenia.
     
  14. winselect

    winselect TS Member

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    God bless you for getting him the help he needs. I have a neighbor who has a child with problems and they think the whole society should change to accommodate the young kid. I don't understand out world and the way some people think
     
  15. len loma

    len loma TS Member

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    The x-wife (a nurse) and her husband has been terriffic in supporting my son. I was not aware of family mental issues prior to marrying X. It would never have made a difference in decision of having a child but could have helped in monitoring his behavior for tell tale signs. There is a stigma in America about mental health conditions and too often is a hidden family secret as was in this case.

    What is sad is the media and politicians will focus all the attention on gun control and not near enough on the root case of these horrible tragedies. How do you force suspected mentally ill adults into assessment and treatment before they can create mayhem?
    Len
     
  16. Chango2

    Chango2 Active Member

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    Len, thanks for being so honorable, sharing (at this forum), and supportive of your son. Also, the fact that apparently you and your X-wife can work together helping your son shows a sense of maturity and choice that is highly needed in greater quantity.

    My hat is off to you and to your son...and may he continue to improve and God Bless you and your family now and in the future.

    Happy Holidays!
     
  17. slayer

    slayer Well-Known Member

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    Calvin that is a very good point that you bring up. Such a simple fix. I had a friend , a fishing buddy that was a great person to be around when he took his meds. He was afflicted with bi-polar disorder and eventually took his life when he decided to quit taking his meds. A time release patch would have been perfect for him and there's chance that he might still be here. Bill
     
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