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The role of mental illness in family dysfunction — 5 Comments

  1. It’s a shame that society isn’t necessarily there to help those who truly need it. I knew a couple who had a child with severe issues. There were many courses of action they could take, but ultimately they would be in violation of something, in some way, shape or form and risked losing it all, no matter what they tried to do. The agencies that were supposed to be there to help them, all pushed them aside, claimed their hands were tied and did nothing. The only thing they could do was wait for something really, really bad to happen, but by then it’s far too late…

  2. I ran into a friend the other day whose adult son is chronically mentally ill and is arrested from time to time for petty crimes. She is his legal guardian which gives her some say in his care and treatment but still she is FRUSTRATED by the “system” which abuses her son.

    She is also a psych nurse which helps her have an understanding of her son’s problems, and she knows the systems and how they work.

    Not all seriously mentally ill people are dangerous, but in an “episode” of mania or psychotic break where they hallucinate they can become dangerous. TREATMENT is the answer, but unfortunately there are too few resources for the number of people needing treatment.

  3. I recently got an e mail from a mother, I’ll call her “Sue” about her daughter “Jane” who had been arrested for drunk and disorderly, attacking an officer, etc. Sue was devastated because she feared that her daughter might get some significant time behind bars.

    Since then, Sue has told me that the charges have been reduced if her daughter gets counseling and medication. Jane is improving some but still has visions and hallucinations, though she has started back to work at some job.

    I would recommend to Sue take her daughter to the ER at any time she is suffering from visual or auditory hallucinations, and also to seek social security disability for her daughter and guardianship as well.

    Guardianship for adults by another adult must show that the ward is not able either by mental or physical defect to care for themselves and keep themselves safe. It will require a court order, and you may need an attorney, but the judge looks at the evidence that the person is a danger to him or herself and that the person asking for guardianship is able and willing to care for the ward (the person needing a guardian)

    I just personally went through a guardianship hearing for my mother and was appointed her guardian. There are two parts to guardianship. One is of the physical ward, the other is the guardian of the ward”s estate and a report must be issued to the court yearly to show that the guardian has spent the ward’s money (if any) in a business like manner to take care of the ward.

    If the ward has little or no resources or money the guardian can apply for medicaid and other benefits for health care, etc. In some cases a group home may be the right placement for a ward, or a nursing home if they are confused and elderly. There are agencies that you can contact to help you with these things. Hospitals all have social workers to help you as well. Or your local health department.

    Mental illness is a big problem in our criminal justice system and way too many of mentally ill people either in up in jail or prison or living homeless on the streets where especially women are prey for others. It is a difficult load for a loved one, parent or child to handle so seek and find the best support in your community to help you. God bless all such families.

  4. I remember when Creigh Deeds was first running for office, he visited my former neighborhood. He came to my house and introduced himself. I didn’t know anything about his family members. until the story about his son attacking him appeared in the news. I was sorry to learn that his son had severe mental health issues. Mental illness truly sucks.

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