Thursday, January 13, 2011

What should you do if someone is acting crazy?


We have so many workplace shootings, mother-in-law and the kids sprees, and of course, the latest.

Mental illness is so misunderstood, so hard to pin down, so scary, people tend to try to ignore it even in their families.

You may not know your legally adult child is posting things on the internet about how he could eat a dead body whole.

Or plotting for years to kill a member of Congress who had sort of brushed him off.

Someone you know may be withdrawn, in tears all day, saying irrational things, hearing things, seeing things you don’t see, or holding ideas that are not mainstream or which do not make “sense.”

Mental illness is from imbalances in the brain, made worse by stress. It’s like someone put tainted oil in a car—it won’t work correctly. The commonest types are depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and anxiety disorders.

Someone in your family may be acting threateningly or strangely. At least see what you are looking at. Go to: http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/go/information/get-info/mi-and-the-family/recognizing-warning-signs-and-how-to-cope.

It’s a start. You may have heard you cannot commit someone to treatment as easily as before a lot of programs were cancelled a few years ago and the hospitals emptied out into the streets. Or you may think your insurance won’t pay or you can’t pay.

This may all be true—but you know if you need to do something. And today’s the day. You do not ever want to go through what those Saturday morning shoppers did in Tucson—and you can’t want to be the family saying you are so sorry, but you just can’t think of any words that will help.

That's because there are no words. Just actions--and before trouble can strike.

2 comments:

Chuck Galle said...

This is a nice, well thought out column. We too easily toss around words like "Oh, he's nuts!", or "Gees, he's just crazy." It could be we're right. Sometimes words intended as hyperbole just happen to represent reality. None of us want to go around pointing fingers all the time - but it's the time that's not "all the time" that's being talked about here. It's a terrible thing to say, but did you see that guy's picture? Didn't you know he wasn't "right"? No, we shouldn't go around looking for it, but sometimes we should perhaps look at it. Thanks, Star.

Star Lawrence said...

We had a story in the AZ Republic this morning about how this shooter had not done anything they could have done anything about...I know it's a slippery slope, but people got a "vibe" for sure. Can't do things based on that, I guess. My sister heard some story on TV about a number you could call if someone is acting crazy--again a slippery slope, putting your neighbor in the system...