Wednesday, February 11, 2009

One thing that really bothers me about the mental health system is how a loved one can only be admitted to the hospital if he or she is threat to his/herself or others (aren't we trying to prevent violence?). When you can not tell you are sick, you may only get treatment if you hurt someone, disrupt society or worse, attempt to end your life. This applies to many individuals during the early years of their illness. There have been times when my family felt that my brother needed to be admitted but the hospital turned him away. They said he wasn't a threat and that they can't force him to do something he doesn't want to do. I understand that an individual has to accept treatment in his/her own time, but this symptom we call "lack of insight" prevents treatment from happening. I wish there were more programs that would aid in one's recovery. Does it come down to money or stigma? I feel that these issues are continuously swept under the rug. My parents have heard time and time gain that the hospital's hands are tied. However, that seems like an excuse when I know certain doctors are willing to fight for a patient.

Since schizophrenia is a chronic/disabling illness, isn't that reason enough to improve care? As a family member, you get the feeling that your loved one could fall through the cracks at any moment. Lack of psychiatric care can even lead to suicide in some cases. I am not trying to say that the mental health system will fix everyone, but by improving the system, we may begin to see more cases of recovery.  


  1. Hello Amber,

    I called NAMI New York State to get advice on how to get medication compliance mandated for your brother. I spoke with Deborah (Phone number: 518-462-2000) and she told me to contact the director of county mental health or the physician treating your brother and explain to them the need for medication compliance, and they will know how to go about writing a petition for it. Let me know if this helps your family.


  2. Thank you Ashley. That was very kind of you. I will get the info to my mom. Maybe they can do something while my bro is in the hospital.