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Mental Illness & Health Part I

January 7, 2014

A little under a year ago I read a blog post that made me stop and reevaluate my thoughts and opinions. That post? Thinking the Unthinkable on The Anarchist Soccer Mom. It was a little thing to me, at first. A tale of life with her ill son, his sudden swings from normal kid to violent, and her struggle to find him care. I was a new father (my eldest not yet a year old…), and I wondered how I’d react to that type of situation. And then it shoved a knife into my gut.

I am sharing this story because I am Adam Lanza’s mother. I am Dylan Klebold’s and Eric Harris’s mother. I am James Holmes’s mother. I am Jared Loughner’s mother. I am Seung-Hui Cho’s mother. And these boys—and their mothers—need help. In the wake of another horrific national tragedy, it’s easy to talk about guns. But it’s time to talk about mental illness.
My first reaction? “What a horrible mother!” My second reaction? “Well, no. But she should just get him help.” And then I continued reading.
When I asked my son’s social worker about my options, he said that the only thing I could do was to get Michael charged with a crime. “If he’s back in the system, they’ll create a paper trail,” he said. “That’s the only way you’re ever going to get anything done. No one will pay attention to you unless you’ve got charges.”

Read that last sentence again. One more time. “No one will pay attention to you unless you’ve got charges.” That brought out my third reaction. “What the HELL is wrong with us?” It’s not just one state. There are reports from people all across the country dealing with this. This right here? This is the type of thing we should be funding. It’s something that’s important, has an effect on the populace at large, and would be a much more valid use of the general welfare clause of the Constitution as opposed most of what is done under it.

Go over and read the whole thing. I’ll post tomorrow on why I’m posting about this now instead of a year ago.
(And yes, I actually will post this time. How can I be sure? Because I’ve already written it and automated it’s posting. I know, cheating.)
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