Wednesday, May 11, 2005

How would you feel?

If you didn't catch the PBS special that I posted about yesterday, you should really watch this.

His physician could at least get his age correct.

Many of you have expressed frustration over your therapist's methods and/or problems with your medications. Thankfully, you have the benefit of being able to change therapists. You also have the privilege to discontinue medications making you feel "bad" or to ask for different types of medications. Most likely you are not suffering from any type of head trauma-related brain damage, as this man very well may be. Current medications are not extremely effective at treating brain damage-related neurosis and, in some cases, may exacerbate agitation and anxiety.

The only thing that has kept brother1 from being mistreated (in some cases abused) and improperly medicated in the last few years has been family involvement. His psychiatrists, like those associated with the jail system, medicate and treat patients a bit differently than a private doctor paid premium bank to treat suberbia folks. Some of the reasons for the differential treatment are warranted, others, however, are not. There is some truth in Fabian's accusations; unfortunately, however, he does not have the benefit of family advocacy. Imagine trying to get "well" if you were separated from friends and family, often left shackled in isolation. Imagine being on drugs that made you "feel" worse. Imagine having no control over how you were treated, how you were addressed by those around you, or how you lived. Imagine having to sit before a panel of strangers (who are not even physically present) and explain why you do not want to continue treatment because the drugs make you feel bad, knowing that this panel is going to make a determination of whether or not you will be forced to take those same meds. Imagine not having one person by your side who you completely trust.

I'm not pointing fingers; I just want everyone to think about how they would feel, how they would react, if they were in Fabian's shoes. I wish I knew how we could fix this. I wish I could use the money being used on guns and submarine maintenance (because they are so useful in the desert) and on the wasteful luxuries of the rich and famous (diamond dog collars) and the time being spent on ridiculous legislations (gay marriage, etc.) to fix this mess.

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