Sunday, September 14, 2014

Mental Illness on Primetime t.v.

Tonight on "60 Minutes" rebroadcast a show from January that focused on mental illness and children showing the lack of services available to families.  We all know the system is failing and needs to be fixed but how can that be done?  Emergency rooms are a safety net of sorts that do what they can but it's just temporary, there needs to be more options for places for children to go to for further treatment.  If a parent brings a child in who is suicidal and after being there 14hrs they have become more stable but they still need further treatment with no possible bed availability so the parent is given the option to take the child home to return the next day.  Why should the parent be put in that situation?

I did no see the original broadcast so I was happy I stumbled across it flipping channels.

One mother was asked what the difference is between being a mother to a child with heart disease versus a child with mental illness and her response was.........sympathy.

Then for a parent to be told by a social worker to give up her daughter so she can get coverage to remain in the hospital, otherwise she would be sent home since their insurance company would no longer pay.  How is that even fathomable for a social worker to suggest this? I can imagine that for a few parents this might seem like a last resort option they just might take thinking that their child will at least remain in a safe hospital setting getting the help they need, but then what?  What happens if down the line the need for a hospital setting is no longer required?  Can the parents get the child back?

I am very interested in hearing what others think.  

Here are links to the show:

60 Minutes nowhere to go mentally ill youth

Beloved son turns on father


Entire Transcript

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Bipolar Documentary Movie Review

It is my personal belief that an aspect of mental illness is hereditary,  That's not to say that because a parent, aunt, uncle or grandparent had a mental illness an individual is guaranteed to themselves be diagnosed with one as well.  Instead I view it as a predisposition that should be considered just like any other illness would (diabetes, cancer, heart disease, etc).  

In my own family there is a LONG family history of mental illness with my mother having Bipolar and depression.  So when surfing for a movie to watch I was more than intrigued to see HBO had a documentary movie called Boy Interrupted that chronicled the story of Evan Scott Perry who was diagnosed as a child with Bipolar and committed suicide at age 15 in 2005.

The film was made by Evan's parents Dana and Hart Perry who have made documentaries before and follow his life from before diagnosis, diagnosis, treatment, recovery and everything in-between.

Boy Interrupted Synopsis

Watching the movie was very emotional, drawing on many emotions any of has had when someone we love presents with suicidal thoughts.  Never truly knowing what anyone is thinking or feeling plays a strong role in the movie and rings true with all of us. How many times have you put on a happy face, "sucked it up" to make it through the work/school day or tried to not worry family or friends and only relaxed when alone letting your guard down enough to freely feel?
You learn the correct words or actions to say or do that stops people from asking if you are OK or how you are feeling.

cover art
Did I shed some tears watching this!!  Truly heart wrenching and I am waiting to hear what my mother has to say about it since I told her last night to watch it.  Her suicide attempts were proceeded by periods of "recovery" and her masking her true emotions.

There has been questions on the parents "motive" for making the film and how they decided to allow someone to film the funeral when they should be grieving.  Now how anyone can say what they would do in that situation is absurd.  I believe for the Perry's the filming was therapeutic and helped them in their grieving process.  After all there is no ONE way to grieve and we all do it the way we find works for us.

Has anyone else watched the movie?  Would love to hear your thoughts on it.

Suicide is a hard to understand and feel you could have done this or that to stop it but those are questions left for the living to deal with.  If you or someone you know has thoughts of suicide please get help. National suicide hotline:

Call 24/7