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Posts tagged ‘mental illness’

Can you Cope?

In the world of rehabilitative medicine people who can rehab or function with an injury not needed surgery are called “copers”, meaning they can cope with their injury without surgery. Obviously, those who need surgery are called “non-copers”. While this is in no way meant to be pejorative, it certainly sounds like it, doesn’t it? It isn’t a dig, btw, if your rotator cuff is torn, either you can lift your arm or you can’t, although how someone with a massive RTC tear could possibly lift their arm is a mystery to me, but some can. I have a person right now, massive tear, doesn’t want surgery and she is constantly surprising me with what she can do.

People were all in a tither around a week ago about a politician insinuating that some people with PTSD can’t cope without help, in the context of getting them more help. While it seems to me that generic “people” have a hair trigger for getting in a tizzy lately, it does seem that when we switch from talking about physical to talking about mental/emotional, people are naturally very sensitive.

This seems wrong to me. It should be like the rotator cuff issue. While some people don’t need surgery, they aren’t functioning as well, and they most often need some kind of treatment. Same with mental issues. Some people can function without intervention, but possibly not as well or fully. And there isn’t a good rhyme or reason as to who functions better and who worse.

I would like to see a world where we treated mental/emotional disorders like physical ones. No one is ashamed to go to a hospital because they broke their leg. No one hides the fact they go to physical therapy for a bad back. In fact, they are proud of their accomplishments there. Why can’t it be like that for mental issues? I think we are getting there, a little. I see articles and blog posts about people recovering from eating disorders or agoraphobia. But as long as people can go day after day without treatment until they become a danger to themselves and others, we still have a long way to go.

The power of words

I use this space for all my most controversial opinions, although from the response, I must be the only one who finds them incendiary.  I can’t help but think when I hear all the furor about words having incited the shooting, words from people that the shooter apparently never listened to, that there is a glaring double standard.  I have never heard anything on the radio, either from the left or right, that even touches on what I hear from modern music, movies and books. Every so often, I get exposed to rap music, what I would assume is gangster rap, and the attitudes, opinions, and thoughts that I hear expressed are so depraved and violent that I cannot believe there is no outcry against them, especially the blatant misogyny. While I do think that they represents some of the worst, there are a number of video games, movies and books that aren’t a whole lot better. If we are going to say that expressing anger over the current political situation can cause violence in unstable people, why has that argument been thrown out for the rest of media and entertainment?

Having said that, I don’t think that whack-a-doodles need any external force to incite them. The rambling  video that the shooter taped showed a disassociation from reality that had nothing to do even with common urban myths or conspiracy theories.  Most shooters are far more concerned with what is going on inside their own private narrative than any outside outrages. You want to track a killer? Follow people’s love lives. How many people (men) go off the deep end when their wife or girlfriend leave.

I know we would love to stop people from doing bad things. This current killer, Jared Lee Loughner, scared people and was obviously mentally unstable for the last few years. The obvious question is, why didn’t anyone do something about it? But in a free society, can we lock someone up for being scary? There have been numerous cases of mentally ill people killing either other people or themselves. Our society has decided that risk is worth taking, to prevent the abuses that have occurred in the past. We can’t have our cake and eat it too. A free society is a risky society. The only way to control risk is to control behavior. Maybe the discussion now should be, if we don’t want this to happen, who’s rights do we take away? We either lock up crazy people, or lock up the guns. Or both. I would compare this with drinking and driving. We don’t put breathalyzers in our cars, and we don’t ban booze, so we have alcohol induced car accidents.

If it seems like I’m not saying where I fall in this, your right. I don’t want my freedoms infringed on, so I can’t say “take away someone else’s.” On the other hand, if I see someone who is obviously not in touch with reality, I get nervous. I would rather protect myself, than trust someone else to take care of the situation. Getting back to my original point, if we are going to blame anything other than mental illness, how about doing something about society glorifying all that is wrong with human nature, rather than uplifting the good?

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