Flutterby™! : On education, schizophrenia, and "reforms"

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On education, schizophrenia, and "reforms"

2012-10-17 17:11:56.582247+00 by Dan Lyke 2 comments

Washington Post: Paul Gionfriddo: My son is schizophrenic. The ‘reforms’ that I worked for have worsened his life.

Mental illnesses cost as much as cancers to treat each year, and the National Institute for Mental Health notes that serious mental illnesses can reduce life expectancy by more than 25 years. That reduction is almost twice the 13 years of life lost, on average, to all cancers combined. ...

[ related topics: Health ]

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#Comment Re: made: 2012-10-18 21:50:06.83198+00 by: Dan Lyke

So, relatedly, Charlene's developmentally disabled brother has been staying with us for a few days. He'd come visit in the summer, and had all sorts of physical ailments and was on stool softeners and pain killers and who knows what.

A bit of conversation with his day program and Charlene got some mandates from a dietician that he get some fresh vegetables once in a while rather than white bread PB&J all the time, and brought some big pressure to bear on his group home, and this time he's more coherent and has regular bowel movements.

One of the problems is that the group home gets paid out of one fund, and the doctor's visits get paid out of another. So if the group home feeds him crap and he's constipated and needs stool softeners and who knows what else, that's okay because the medical costs are coming out of the Medi-Cal budget, not the SSDI budget they get reimbursed from.


#Comment Re: made: 2012-10-18 20:18:50.632417+00 by: petronius

The main problem is that everybody takes a one-size-fits-all approach. The legislators want to have 2 or 3 categories of mentally ill people they can fit folks into. Too many "advocates" have decided that mainstreaming is a total good and will not hear of putting any restrictions on people. And except for a patient who has some amazingly effective parent or guardian, nobody has the time for exquisitely fine-tuning education and housing and therapy for each individual.

I see how this works or doesn't in my own family. My late brother-in-law was developmentally disabled, but found a living situation that suited him very well, and he was pretty happy. It helped that he was somewhat articulate of his needs and very sweet and social. Everybody liked helping him. On the other hand, my 21 year-old nephew is somewhere on the autistic scale, not very communicative and his moods and issues change over time. He is sometimes kinda scary. I don't know if there is any permanent solution for him, but then, who has their life mapped out for them at age 21? I can take responsibility for myself, but young Billy can't.