The ‘Cure’

Many people will tell you there are ‘cures’ for mental illness. These people are either grossly misinformed or lying.

While it is true that some people who suffer more minor mental illnesses may become non-symptomatic after a few treatments, there is no actual cure for any of them, only treatments.

If you suffer from mental illness, particularly severe ones like Depression, Bi Polar, and Schizophrenia, you may wish for a cure, and even be more likely to believe that someone has found one. Sadly many people with mental illness are scammed this way.

The one sure fire way I have heard of curing a mental illness, without killing the patient, is an electric shock directly to the brain. There has been only one confirmed case of this happening, and while the doctor who did (in a third world nation where medical laws are lax) proudly proclaims his patient completely cured of their Schizophrenia, he fails to mention that they are just this side of a vegetable. The patient in question can breath on their own and walk, but is unable to communicate and must be fed with a tube, because they cannot coordinate enough to chew and swallow..

I am writing on this topic because someone in my support group was scammed by a total scumbag a few years ago and they asked me to tell their story to help others avoid this all too common scenario. The story that follows will be told in the first person, as I am bad with third person translation.

‘S’S STORY’

I was in California visiting my son, he had just graduated from UCLA getting his Masters. I attended a meeting while there of people with Depression and related ailments, when a man stood up and announced that he too had been depressed, but had found a miracle drug that ‘cured’ him.

Having suffered from chronic depression and Bi Polar disorder for seven years, I was desperate to believe it to be true. I took his card and went to the building listed as the address. It was quite a nice place, clean white walls inside, with a professional looking receptionist at a desk in front. I paid the $3,000 they asked for, for a six month supply. They told me I would see results within that time frame.

When nothing happened after three months I contacted my Family Doctor, who took the pills I was given and had them tested. They were not only ‘fake’ they contained dangerous chemicals that would give a person a sense of euphoria when taken, and result in them becoming addicted.

When I tried to press charges, police found the building empty and having been rented under a false name. I spent so much money, and yet I know that I allowed it to happen by letting my feelings and desperation get the best of me.

 

This is S’s story, please keep it in mind if anyone tells you they can ‘cure’ your mental illness!

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Violence and Mental Illness

Hey there, Dremulf, back for another Rant!

Today I’d like to talk about the association of Violence and Mental Illness.

First of all, the vast majority of mentally ill people are not actually dangerous to normal people. We tend more towards self destructive behaviors than general destructive ones. You are more likely to be robbed by your local politician than by a mentally ill person.

I’ve seen a lot of focus on restricting the mentally ill from owning firearms because of the fear that they may do something. Sadly the fact is, the majority of mass shooters are considered healthy by mental health professionals. Yet the ones who get reported on are only the ones who are considered ill. Often even the ones who are quite healthy are portrayed as being mentally ill, simply because people, particularly those in politics, don’t want people to realize that most mentally ill are harmless.

I not saying that politicians lie outright about it, but they will go out of their way to run around the truth. One of the statistics you see about mentally ill and violence is this

“Mentally ill are responsible for 70% of violent crime in the US”

This statement, while scary, is also completely false, as there has been no actual study on this subject. The closest you will get to this was a study done in Europe.

This study suggests that the mentally in, in 1st world countries, are responsible for maybe 5% of violent crime, yet are 33% more likely to be the victims of violent crime.

A good stat to make you realize how serious the discrimination against the mentally ill is this.

African American Men are 3.5x more likely to be shot by police during the act of a crime.

A man with Schizophrenia is 7x more likely to be shot by police when they encounter each other, whether that SZ sufferer was committing a crime or not. In fact most police shootings of the mentally ill occur when the police are called to assist in talking them down from suicide.

So you have this big group that is shouting about the lives of black people, I’m not saying that they think black lives are MORE valuable than others, but some of the more extreme of their members seem to think so.

Sadly the fact that the mentally ill are treated even worse than the oh so oppressed African American is neglected by main stream media.

When a black man goes to prison, or any man or woman for that matter, they get three meals a day, full medical treatment for ailments, and even free education. They also get to work out, write letters, and go online.

When a Schizophrenic who is suffering from depression gets put in a mental hospital they are drugged to the point they cant function, fed a pathetic excuse of a meal maybe twice a day, are ignored by staff unless they are bleeding, and if they get educational type stimulation, in the form of lesson plans and classes, its in the form of a grade special needs setting. You sit in a room, and melt plastic beads into cute shapes. You know like you did in summer camp when you were 10.

Mental patients rarely get to write letters to family or other loved ones, since a pen could be a weapon, they only get exercise in the form an hour outside, usually in a small fenced in area not even big enough to get a proper walk in.

As for internet access? not happening.

In some more extreme cases the patient is kept in a ‘catatonic’ state, where they are so helpless they have to wear diapers and be cleaned everyday by nurses. You often see the cases of elderly folks in homes being mistreated, in a ‘psych ward’ it can be many times worse. And I am not even talking about countries like Palestine and Pakistan, I am talking about places right here in the USA.

My own personal experience is from my youth. I did something regrettable, and got in trouble with the police, I begged the officer interrogating me to shoot me dead, and as a result ended up in a ward. I was treated like a 2 year old, fed cold, nasty food that wouldn’t even be served in prison camps, and roomed with a psycho girl (this was before juvenile units were segregated.) This girl was truly disturbed, after years of sexual abuse at the hands of a family member, she was ‘sex dependent’ she could not function without sexual stimulation ever few minutes. When you are a guy who views sex as something sacred, an act of making life, this kind of thing is very disturbing.

I complained many times, but was told flat out by a nurse to ‘stop bitching most guys would be all over that like stink on shit you damn fag, now take your meds’.

This of course went into my complaint when I went before the judge the first time. The judge ruled that my treatment there was ‘fair’ considering my criminal history, which at the time was non existent. Since my only ‘crime’ had been attacking  a teacher who had molested another student, which I walked in on. Of course I ended up with assault charges and the teacher was given a ‘reprimand’.

When you are mentally ill, no matter how harmless you are, in the eyes of the law you are more dangerous than terrorist, more dangerous than rabid dog, and even more dangerous than six time murderer. Even if you’ve never hurt anyone.

Hello and Welcome

This is the post excerpt.

Hi there, I’m Dremulf, which is Norwegian for Dream Wolf (thank you google translate for the help). I am a sufferer of Schizophrenia and also a dog owner. I have decided to start this blog as a way to help other sufferers of mental illness understand the benefits of owning animals. But this is not limited to the effects they have on those with Mental Health woes. Anyone can improve their life by taking in an animal, From the single parent who works too many hours to put food on the table and keep a roof over their family’s head, to the homeless woman who was kicked out by her boyfriend after years of abuse.

Some people may not be all that big on dogs, guess what? there are many animals that can used for therapy, from rats and mice, to horses and llamas. Even if you can’t OWN a pet, you can usually find people who have animals trained specifically to help people. And of course Shelters and Independent Rescues are always looking for people to help with their animals.

I should probably tell you a little about myself. I am young by most standards, in my mid 20s, I am the oldest of several children, and own three dogs of my own, while also fostering for a dog rescue that is close to my heart and is practically family.  I was first diagnosed with Schizophrenia at age 18, but denied my diagnosis out of fear for many years. It took a severe episode of depression and a mild psychosis to make me admit to the fact I had this illness.

For those of you who know about Schizophrenia or ‘SZ’ It comes in several forms, including Schizo-affective, and some doctors believe it to be a spectrum of Bi Polar Disorder. For those of you who don’t know much about the illness let me explain it the best way I can.

 

SZ is an illness of the brain, it is not like other mental health issues in that it actually has Neurological signs, meaning the brain of a Schizophrenic does not work the same as a normal person. It actually shows up so different on an MRI or other Brain Scan, that it is actually classified as a Neurological condition, not a mental or emotional one. However! There are so many mental health aspects of the disease that it is still treated as a mental illness.

One of the many misconceptions about people with this disorder is that we are violent or dangerous, when in fact, most Schizophrenics would leave you alone rather than interact with you. It is a sad fact that some with our illness become violent, in the midst of an ‘episode’ but these people are in fact the minority. Most people with SZ are mindful of their condition, and the majority of us seek medical help.

Now I am not going to say we are just like you. We aren’t, but, we are still people, and many seem to forget that. They cast us out, or treat us like rabid animals. Some of us are lucky, our communities or our family come to our side in this time of need following diagnosis, but many are left alone, in the dark, with no one to turn to.

In the US where I live, there are good program in place, though it is hard to get into them sometimes. I am one of the lucky ones, I have a good therapist, a group that I meet once or twice a week, and good friends who help me with my problems. But in some places, people like me are treated worse than actual criminals.

Had a bad day? feel depressed? If you have SZ and you confess this to a police officer or medical professional, they will put you in a hospital for ‘your safety’ yet in the hospitals, not all but more than enough mind you, the treatment is worse than the illness. Many mental health facilities lack funding, particularly public ones, you may think that things like locking people up in small rooms or drugging them into virtual comas is something you only see in old movies or third world countries, but it happens right here in the US of A. All too often people with mental illness get caught in the wide net of fear cast by the public and made worse by certain groups. There are some in the government, the people who are supposed to stand up for our rights as human beings, who would rather we all be locked up never to see the light of day.

I don’t mean for this to turn into a rant, This blog is to fight for the rights of the mentally ill, but we have to address the issues to make things better, you can’t change things with wishful thinking.

The first step to changing things would be to acknowledge that mental illness is real, just like homophobia made people want to dismiss that homosexuality was happening, fear of the mentally ill has made people ignore us, and our needs. Many people out there still insist that mental illness is not real or that its an excuse for people to be lazy. Still others believe it is either entirely curable and that the suffers make the choice to suffer, or that its incurable and the people should be kept away from others so that they don’t pass it on to their children.

Then you have the people who are stuck in the dark ages, who believe that mental illness is either Gods punishment, or demons possessing you. These people tend to be the most violent towards the mentally ill. Not out of bad intentions but because in some countries, the ‘cure’ is exorcism. If you want a good shock on how mentally ill are treated in third world nations that practice Christianity, look up mental illness exorcism on google. These ‘cures’ can lead to severe disability or even death.

This is not an attack on Christianity, I was raised Baptist, and while I have my own issues with ALL religions I do not hate or rant against any one in particular. I believe that what someone believes is what is true for them. No single religion is perfect, despite what its fanatical followers might say, but if you listen to the more realistic folks who believe, you will find that they acknowledge the problems with their faith.

As you can see it is easy for me to get off on a tangent, the length of this post is something I intended to make you realize that people with SZ have many problems to deal with, Focus is one of them.

I will end this now, on these final notes. Mental Illness is NOT a joke, and animals are NOT things, they are living creatures who have the most wonderful power to heal even the most fractured heart and soul.