Our mental health system is failing

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Good morning:

Take care of your mentally ill brothers and sisters because our mental health system is failing.

Miriam Carey (34) is dead today. Police in Washington, D.C. killed her on Thursday outside the Capitol Building after she refused to stop her vehicle and surrender to their authority. They shot her multiple times after chasing her down Pennsylvania Avenue from the White House where she had crashed her vehicle into a barrier at the entrance to the driveway in an apparent effort to enter the White House without permission. She was an unarmed dental hygenist and her 1-year-old baby was strapped into a child safety seat in the back seat of her vehicle.

Aaron Alexis (28) is dead today. Police in Washington, D.C. killed him in a building at the Washington Navy Yard when he refused to surrender to their authority after shooting and killing 12 people in the building with a sawed-off shotgun. He was a government contractor who passed through security to get into the building.

Ms. Carey and Mr. Alexis were mentally ill and delusional when they died. Both sought mental health treatment and were untreated before they were killed.

On September 17th, I warned readers that Mr. Alexis

may have been suffering from schizophrenia and experiencing paranoid delusions on Monday [the day of the shootings].

I relied on a report by Boston.com:

In Rhode Island [six weeks before the shootings], Alexis told the officers he had gotten in an argument while boarding a flight in Virginia, and he believed the person he argued with sent three people to follow him. He said he never saw the people but believed they were using a microwave machine to send vibrations into his body so he could not fall asleep. He said he checked into two hotels previously, one on the Navy base, and could not get away from them.

He would not tell officers what the voices were saying. But he also told them he did not have a history of mental illness in his family and had never had any similar episodes, the report said.

‘‘He was concerned for his own safety,’’ Newport Police Lt. William Fitzgerald said Tuesday.

Later that day, Newport police alerted police at the naval station and sent them a copy of the police report because Alexis said he was a contractor, Fitzgerald said.

‘‘What he was claiming didn’t sound right,’’ he said.

Five days before the shootings, he traveled to Washington, D.C. on another business trip. Over the course of the next five days he changed hotels twice and visited two hospital emergency rooms seeking medication to help him sleep. He also purchased the sawed-off shotgun that he used to kill the 12 people at the Navy Yard. The purchase was lawful.

CBS News is reporting today that police in Stamford, Connecticut took Ms. Carey to a hospital for a mental health evaluation after she,

told police in December that she was a prophet, that President Obama would place the city of Stamford under a “lockdown” and that he had her and her residence under electronic surveillance.

On September 29th before the incident that ended with Ms. Carey’s death, CBS 60 Minutes reported:

The mass shooting at the Washington Navy Yard two weeks ago that resulted in the deaths of 13 people, including the gunman, was the 23rd such incident in the past seven years. It’s becoming harder and harder to ignore the fact that the majority of the people pulling the triggers have turned out to be severely mentally ill — not in control of their faculties — and not receiving treatment.

In the words of one of the country’s top psychiatrists, these were preventable tragedies, symptoms of a failed mental health system that’s prohibited from intervening until a judge determines that someone presents an “imminent danger to themself or others.” The consequence is a society that’s neglected millions of seriously ill people hidden in plain sight on the streets of our cities, or locked away in our prisons and jails.

On September 18th I described what Crane and I did to assist a delusional person we knew:

In the fall of 2003, Crane and I received an odd telephone call from a student we knew at Seattle University. The call seemed odd because he claimed loud voices in the walls of his apartment had prevented him from sleeping for several days. We decided to pay him a visit.

He admitted us to his apartment after we convinced him that we were not two impostors attempting to trick him into opening the door.

We spent about an hour checking his apartment and the rest of the building, which contained four apartments above an underground parking lot. We did not hear any voices or see anything out of order.

Because he remained uncharacteristically anxious and fearful, we invited him to come and stay with us for a few days. Fortunately, he accepted our invitation.

This incident kicked-off a bizarre month in which Crane and I took him to see mental health professionals and alternated sleeping during the night so that one of us would always be awake. The diagnosis was always the same: Rapid Repeating Bipolar Disorder with Paranoid Delusions. He disagreed with the diagnoses because the delusions were so real to him that he could not distinguish them from ordinary reality and the anti-psychotic medication dulled his senses.

We finally persuaded him to voluntarily enter a secure mental health treatment hospital after a couple of property destruction incidents in our home and a threat to kill us in our sleep.

There is no known cure for this condition, but the delusions can be smoothed out and managed with appropriate anti-psychotic medication. Fortunately for our friend, his parents can afford to pay for his health care and medication.

Had his financial circumstances been otherwise, he would be homeless, in jail or dead.

Mr. Alexis’s story is worse than any horror movie could be because it is real and the tragic result was so preventable.

Take care of your brothers and sisters when they are sick, because if you don’t, no one else will.

Please create a quiet moment in your life today and light a candle in your heart for Miriam Carey and Aaron Alexis.

What happened to them could happen to you or to someone you know.


Hello, everyone.

Producing articles and maintaining this blog requires substantial time and effort. Please take a moment and consider making a donation.

As you depend on us, we depend on you.

Situation is desperate.

We need your help!


Fred and Crane

83 Responses to Our mental health system is failing

  1. ay2z says:

    Prof, I thought you might like to look at this page. This weekend,a documentary about the failures. Doubt the two systems would be much different from each other in passing the buck and failing the mentally ill and failing those who are victims of the criminally not responsible.

    Some side articles/videos linked on the page, history of NCR and backgrounder.

    The video hasn’t aired yet, not sure how to get the program from the US or elsewhere.


  2. towerflower says:

    I know a family that I dearly love, the family imploded after a divorce. The father did not receive the kids because he was a recovering alcoholic (only 1 year but almost 15 now). I was a witness for both sides in the divorce and really supported the father receiving the children due to his attention, care, and wanting rules to be followed.

    The judge awarded the children to the mother who now wanted a life of her own. I witnessed the downfall of the children afterwards. She had no rules, no accountability, and she would ignore the symptoms of any issue (and she is a nurse). The father wanted the children to go see a counselor to help cope with the divorce and the mother was against it (deniability of any issues) and as a result they didn’t get counseling. The eldest daughter has 4 children by 4 different fathers and does not have any long term relationships to this day. Her first child came at 16, she wanted someone to love her back but felt she was abandoned by both her mother and father even though the father always had his door open but you had to follow the rules…..stay in school, curfew, help with the chores, etc, nothing out of reason. She chose the mother, no rules and come and go as you please.

    The youngest is drug addicted. From the age of 5 (time of the divorce) she was left to her own means. She also had been trying to have a child, like her older sister, because she felt everyone would help her and she had been trying since she was 12. She became violent to those who refused to yield to her demands and would lie and steal to get what she wanted. She had Children’s Services on speed dial to falsely report those who tried to reel her in. There were also accusations of rape by a cousin that were ignored by the mother and her side of the family which also help feed her destructive behavior (father did not find out about this until years later). She now has 2 children, one at 17 and the other at 19, and both were born drug addicted. But the now grandmother denies all this to others. To this day she still has not received help and those that see the drug abuse do not report it when it is seen. I fear for the little ones and I tell those that do see it that they need to call it in to save the little ones even if it means they go into foster care which is what they want to avoid.

    The middle child developed bipolar while away at college. She at the time was the one who still kept on a good path. Her descent into bipolar was also denied by the mother. She did receive help when she alone moved to California and does well on medicine and a structured schedule. When she returned to Florida, she had problems getting the help she needed. Mom was no help, she had her own life and pushed the daughter to the side. I received a call from the girl, needing help. She knew she was in danger and wanted to be committed. Her mom refused to help her and that sent her even further down. I tried frantically to reach her father, who had moved out of state years earlier, and finally was able to reach him and tell him his daughter was in danger. He was able to get her where she needed to go. All she wanted was a family member to take her, someone she loved. I spent about 2 hrs on the phone with her trying to explain what I knew about the family dynamics and why her mother’s side isn’t any help (the mother learned her behavior from her own environment growing up). This girl now lives with her oldest sister who makes sure she takes her meds and has the structured schedule that she needs.

    The first step with many of these need to come from the immediate family. When some want to deny the issue of mental issues, whether minor or major, they are only creating a larger problem. With this one the mother and her side of the family were all about looking the other way and refusing to see what was happening in front of them. The father did what he could do but was restricted due to custody issues and yes he tried more than once to gain custody. Thankfully the middle child finally got into a new program for assistance but she also knew she was in trouble.

    We do have a problem in this society and I don’t have the answers. It seems like there is a fine line between the rights of the mentally ill and that of everyone else effected.

  3. neveragain says:

    A very important question is why wasn’t that child taken away from her….children has no rights….the chuld’s father express concern to authorities that he feared for the safety od his child….now we know that those close to her knew she was very ill…..did they not care about that child??……when someone suffers a seizure, the doctor alerts the dmz so that the person’s license is revoked…….but a delutional person in scitzophenic medication is allowed to keep her child…..she may not harm the child phisically but emotionally and mentally………the closect family should be given an ultimatum…take care of that child or else….now her baby was too young ti know what was going on….but if that child was older…being around a mentally ill person ciuld have a serious impact on a child………I have been around mentally ill individualls myself…and I felt like I was about to go insane myself…

    • neveragain says:

      Now Miriam mother is saying she don’t know whether her granddaughter is going to live with her dad but she think she needs to be around family meaning that the kid should live with them

      • Malisha says:

        I hope she goes to live with people she already knows and trusts, and who knew her mother as a good person and/or a loved one, because that’s the “least worst” of all available bad situations, now.

  4. neveragain says:

    Oh my God ….this is heartbreaking, UNBELIEVABLE……why would someone spendTHOUSANDS OF DOLLARS TO GET THEIR DAUGHTER OUT OF JAIL just because she has been found standing naked by a mailbox……….if she caused harm to someone then I could understand why the authorities would want to know wether she knew right from wrong at the time……but her crime was simply abandoning her kids and being found nacked because she wanted to save the world…so it’s obvious something was wrong with her…….sO the those in authority punishes individuals for having nervous breakdown??……what if her husband was the only bread winner and she had no where else to go……. I guess she’s being punished for making the stupid decision to remain in an abusive relationship……….sometimes I wished my mother was jailed for remaining married to an abusive man thereby allowing her kids to get raised in that kind of environment……children should come first and it is so unfair to these kids….the mother should pay at times for being selfish……you chose to stay but the kids did not ask for this

    • Malisha says:

      Neveragain, nowadays women with kids are even more tied to their abusers than in decades past. NOW, a woman can get a restraining order or even live in a shelter but her husband gets visitation rights with the kids and judges do not consider abuse of the MOTHER as a rule-out for the fathers to get the kids for visitation OR EVEN CUSTODY. So if Mom leaves and takes the kids, she’s a “kidnapper” or guilty of the crime of “custodial interference” and if she leaves the kids, the abandoned them and since she claimed the man abused HER, she endangered the kids by leaving them with HIM and she’ll lose custody for NEGLECT. Then she’ll have to pay him child support and usually he’ll be able to prevent her from visiting because he’ll say she lies to the kids about him, telling them that she left because of abuse.

      Equality works that way.

  5. crazy1946 says:

    One might start to question their own sanity after reading some of the posts and links so far on this topic. Could a person that assumes he is normal, yet has little quirks and idiosyncrasies still be considered normal by other people? This could cause someone to question what is truly normal, and what is not? As an example, I will offer an example. My ex-wife, was/is in the eyes of most people a perfect example of the normal person, out going, happy when in public, friendly to other people, yet even as a teen had been diagnosed as bipolar and a manic depressant. I was aware of this when we married, but after twenty plus years of having to virtually throw my hat in the door (to see if it was safe to enter) upon getting home, it reached the stage that I could no longer live such a stressful life. We divorced because she refused to accept that she needed help and in her mind the problem was all mine, it was easier for her to blame me than to accept what the doctors had told her many years earlier. When we first married she was on medications that actually helped her function, however, after several years, decided she no longer needed them, and over the objections of her doctor quit taking them and refused from that point to seek help. In her eyes she was normal and the rest of the world (especially me) was judging her wrong. Long story with no true ending, she has since remarried and the police are constantly at her current residence for domestic violence toward her present husband up to and including threats with a gun she purchased. Again, in her eyes she is the normal person and the rest of the world is nutz….. To many people, especially those that are not closely involved with her in a personal relationship, they would tell you that she is quite normal, to those of us who actually know her, trust me, she is far from normal… How many others do we have in our society that are like her….

    • Malisha says:

      There is an association for bipolar people that puts out an excellent journal (which they send gratis to all practicing psychiatrists and I worked for one who rec’d it), and one of the points I have seen over and over is that ON MEDS the bipolar person has a very good chance of controlling the illness so effectively that it does not interfere with life. On the other hand, for some reason, many bipolar people who do benefit from meds reach a point where they believe, sincerely, that they no longer need that help, and they go off their meds and LOOK OUT!

      Personally I have no real viewpoint on “meds or no meds” but I will make the observation that I have personally known three very wonderful individuals who were bipolar and two of them have gone off their meds for extended periods of time (one volluntarily, the other because he couldn’t GET them) and the results were just plain devastating.

      There is no way to know, by the meds prescribed and without other information, what the mental state was of either of these two perps/victims at the time they were killed. Surely if there are doctors who DO KNOW they do not want to speak up too loudly right now! And without massive amounts of litigation and court involvement, nobody can be forced to take meds they do not want to take, even if they are prescribed!

  6. dianetrotter says:

    Professor, I hope you will write about the suv driver and the motorcycle group. There were off duty police officers in the motorcycle group. Why didn’t they intervene???

  7. a2nite says:

    It was broken by the evil Rs & their anti-government, “you’re on your own” ideology.

    It is part of the larger long term plan to take America from the 99% by destroying our crappy social safety net. Let’s go back to the bad old days of 1876.

    They’re winning.

    • Malisha says:

      They’re winning.

      And in losing, the rest of us are forced to scramble and use our resources just to keep going.

      Think of the amount of money spent by the organizations that tried to get justice for Trayvon Martin. Subtract that from the amount available to be spent on trying to get justice in general; it was a huge step backward for everyone.

      Letting Fogen kill and waltz away took food off tables, took education off agendas, took police off the streets (damn, that might be a good thing, come to think of it), took something from all of us, every last one of us.

      • a2nite says:

        The police are dangerous & like killing black people using “we’re scary & dangerous” & need to be put down like rabid animals.

        Black people are not the people who are massively armed nor do we own gun manufacturers.

  8. neveragain says:

    Rachel…..I do not mean to sound argumentative but bipololar is extreme depression which may be hormonal……brain scan shows that a certain part of the brain deteriorates in schitophrenics….so we know what causes the problem…..but the situation malisha described is of a normal person who became dilusional over the stresses in her life……this is scary

    • Rachael says:

      I don’t think you are being argumentative. In fact, I don’t know what you are referring to at all. However, bipolar is not extreme depression. There are many, many, many, many people who suffer from depression – EXTREME depression, who are not bipolar. I hope you don’t think I am saying that bipolar and schizophrenia are the same thing, nor, I hope, do you think I am saying that psychosis is a “normal” part of either one. Yes, people can have a psychotic break for unknown reasons, as can people who have bipolar or bipolar depression. And psychosis is terrifying. Like I said, I had a psychotic episode once and it was terrifying.

      • neveragain says:

        I thought bipolar was manic depressive…one day you are depressed another day you are hyper….bi….2 I will research it

        • Malisha says:

          Bipolar used to be called “Manic-depression” because the depression and another mood called “mania” both occur, in “cycles” so that the person is sometimes very depressed, and sometimes appears “euthymic” and even “hypomanic” or frankly “manic” and they appear to be so happy and to feel so powerful that they lose contact with reality. Sometimes they believe they are rich and can charge $10,000 in purchases in a single day, throwing their lives into disarray. They may believe that they are going to be elected president so they may act out in public and draw a crowd that they do not understand is gawking at them rather than listening to their wisdom. Etc. etc. The variations are almost endless.

          Often people suffer from a form of bipolar disorder that can be well controlled by drugs but this requires that they receive a lot of psychiatric attention and most people can’t afford that and their health insurance doesn’t cover it. Many good psychiatrists opt out of medicare so they don’t have to take patients who are either on disability or elderly. Those who DO take medicare and medicaid can decide that their practice is too medicare-dominated or medicaid-dominated and strictly limit the number of such patients they can see. Together, these factors tend to mean that poor folks can’t get the high quality care that would keep them on an even keel if they’re bipolar. Unless they get very very lucky — and not many do.

          Anyway, that’s the state of the union.

        • Manic depression was reclassified as bipolar.

          Bipolar is a mental illness.

          The manic part of the cycle typically lasts for many days and sleepless nights. The person desperately wants to sleep but cannot do so because the mind keeps racing. Hallucinations start after a couple of sleepless nights and intensify. Thinking becomes increasingly irrational. Behavior becomes increasingly impulsive, erratic and fractured. Paranoia sets in. The person is no longer recognizable and anything can happen.

          During the depressive part of the cycle, a person may sleep for many days. Suicidal thoughts and dreams are common.

          Feeling depressed about circumstances in life, such as the death of someone you love or a divorce, is called situational depression.

          Situational depression is not a mental illness and it does not cause bipolar disorder.

          The manic and depressive cycle that is symptomatic of a bipolar disorder may or may not induce hallucinations and may or may not follow a completed cycle with a new cycle. Rapid cycling bipolar disorder is one of the most debilitating forms of this disease. Some people may experience only a few bipolar episodes separated by a period of many years.

        • Rachael says:

          Neveragain, not to be argumentative myself, you said: ” but bipololar is extreme depression which may be hormonal”

          So when you now say “I thought bipolar was manic depressive…one day you are depressed another day you are hyper….bi….2 ”

          I am very confused as to what you really are saying.

          But it is too nice a day here for me to worry about it. I’m going for a walk. See y’all later.

    • Rachael says:

      Once again, neveragain, I think you are trying to simplify things that are just not that easy. Here is something that may be a helpful read:


      In there you will find (among LOTS of other information and disorders – but these seem to be the ones you’ve mentioned most):


      Bipolar Disorder:

      Major Depressive Episode
      Hypomanic Episode
      Manic Episode
      Mixed Episode


      Psychotic Disorder NOS

    • Girlp says:

      Miriam may have had symptoms for many years they may not have been extreme and sometimes family can be in denial I know I was until my son had a psychotic break.

  9. Rachael says:

    “Hear me people: We have now to deal with another race – small and feeble when our fathers first met them, but now great and overbearing. Strangely enough they have a mind to till the soil and the love of possession is a disease with them. These people have made many rules that the rich may break but the poor may not. They take their tithes from the poor and weak to support the rich and those who rule.”

    – Chief Sitting Bull speaking at Powder River Conference in 1877

  10. bettykath says:


    Report: Nonlethal Weapons Could Target Brain, Mimic Schizophrenia

    Mind_control Of all the crazy, bizarre less-lethal weapons that have been proposed, the use of microwaves to target the human mind remains the most disturbing. The question has always been: is this anything more than urban myth? We may not have the final answer to this question, but a newly declassified Pentagon report, Bioeffects of Selected Non-Lethal Weapons, obtained by a private citizen under the Freedom of Information Act, provides some fascinating tidbits on a variety of exotic weapons ideas.

    Among those discussed are weapons that could disrupt the brain, as well as my longtime obsession, the “Voice of God” the device, which creates voices in people’s heads. As the report notes, “Application of the microwave hearing technology could facilitate a private message transmission. It may be useful to provide a disruptive condition to a person not aware of the technology. Not only might it be disruptive to the sense of hearing, it could be psychologically devastating if one suddenly heard ‘voices within one’s head.’”

    [more in the article]

    • Malisha says:

      Hinckley may have been subjected to some kind of insanity-inducing stuff; some people who have studied that and who are not general conspiracy theorists have some theories about that. Wouldn’t it be politically expedient, say, for the pro-Fogen right to come up with prominent Black mass murderers, spree shooters, and would-be assassins just about now? Just sayin’…

  11. bettykath says:


    Army Yanks ‘Voice-To-Skull Devices’ Site

    Hypno2s The Army’s very strange webpage on “Voice-to-Skull” weapons has been removed. It was strange it was there, and it’s even stranger it’s gone. If you Google it, you’ll see the entry for “Voice-to-Skull device,” but, if you click on the website, the link is dead.

    The entry, still available on the Federation of American Scientists’ website reads:

    “Nonlethal weapon which includes (1) a neuro-electromagnetic device which uses microwave transmission of sound into the skull of persons or animals by way of pulse-modulated microwave radiation; and (2) a silent sound device which can transmit sound into the skull of person or animals. NOTE: The sound modulation may be voice or audio subliminal messages. One application of V2K is use as an electronic scarecrow to frighten birds in the vicinity of airports.”

    The U.K.-based group Christians Against Mental Slavery first noted the change (they also have a permanent screenshot of the page). A representative of the group tells me they contacted the Webmaster, who would only tell them the entry was “permanently removed.”

    The image above is one person’s self-styled depiction of how a “voice-to-skull” weapon might work.

    [links in the article]

  12. //Ms. Carey and Mr. Alexis were mentally ill and delusional when they died. //

    Thinking again about the situation with Ms. Carey…I’m not sure about the characterization of her mental illness. Many people live and breathe normally with medication.

    • Many people live and breathe normally with medication.

      I agree, but her belief that she was a prophet and Obama was out to get her appears to have been a delusion. Her effort to enter the White House to confront him strongly suggests that she was acting in an irrational manner while under the influence of that delusion.

      Either her meds were not working or she had stopped taking them.

    • Girlp says:

      Most likley she stopped taking them, the side effects from what I understand are really bad.

  13. bettykath says:

    message lost in cyber space.

  14. ay2z says:

    John Forbes Nash Jr

    Not the hollywood version. The delusions, NASH says, came the same way as his genius insights into mathematical theory. When asked why a mathematician would accept these delusions (aliens etc), when a mathematician works with reason and logic, and his answer was that the delusions arrived the same way as his mathematical insights, so he accepted them.

    “everything possible must be done to protect the genius of this mine”

  15. ay2z says:

    This is exactly the thought I had when opening up the news story to read about Mariah this morning– both failures of the system.

    Isn’t there a better way than executing those with treatable mental illness? Wasn’t there another option in the moment for the unarmed and only driven in her delusion to meet with the person whom she believed was communicating with her?

    Not another way? Didn’t they see her baby?

    • bettykath says:

      “The Secret Service officers and Capitol Police in Washington had no way of judging what sort of threat she might constitute even as the 12-block chase ended with her crashing her car and attempting to flee on foot. The cops fired again and she was killed. The only consolation was that the child was unhurt.”

      From this account they killed her when she was on foot. What kind of threat was she at this point?

      • Malisha says:

        That changes everything!

        If she was trying to FLEE while on foot, she was (a good bet) not armed and dangerous!

        • Xena says:


          If she was trying to FLEE while on foot, she was (a good bet) not armed and dangerous!

          While that is true, law enforcement for the Capital is trained to perceive such a person as a possible suicide bomber.

          That situation was a nightmare.

          • Malisha says:

            I agree.

            There’s no way for me to figure out what went down except to say that everyone involved was under major stress and probably did their best under bad circumstances. Too bad our movies and TV programs show us people doing impossibly fabulously superhumanly perfect things on a daily basis. To compare to that we have outright murderous hunters/predators who recharacterize their crimes as self-defense and get away with it. REAL defense is a very dicey and imperfect matter.

  16. Rachael says:

    Neveragain, here is a very interesting article:


    BTW, I am bipolar and had one psychotic episode where I would hallucinate about my dog attacking people and I was terrified of going outside because I could actually see her doing it. I also heard a male voice in my head tell me to kill myself. It was terrifying because it was so clear, but I knew that it was just a hallucination. I was already under treatment at the time. I was also under considerable stress and taking a lot of medication for bipolar and anxiety so I don’t know if it was due to the illness or due to the meds and I am off those meds now and never had anything like that again. Again, there is no one-size fits all cure and no any one thing, which is why again, we really need to be a more caring society and take mental illness as seriously as we would any other illness – BEFORE something bad happens and then say gee, we should have done something sooner.

  17. colin black says:

    Theres more an more evidence to suggest the reason that homo sapien/erectus became the thinking artistic hairless ape we are today cane about due to mental illnees.

    The concept that genious an insanity are close bed fellows is true.

    Some where dureing our evolution a spark happened that caused us to use tools think in abstract ways an like an explosion we took of an became the dominant species of not only homanoids but the dominat species of all In the animal kindom..
    An anthropoligists are convinces scychciophrenia may have cause that dramatic leap in out intelligence.

    Given the state of the world we live in today the theory we are all the product of mental Illness makes more an more sence to me the older I get.

  18. neveragain says:

    I was gonna say that it still baffles me how stressing over a problem can cause one to become delusional….that can damage your brain to cause u to imagine things or hear voices…I wonder if it was voices that told her Obama was stalking her or she was just paranoid and imagined things….but then again post partum syndrome cause some women to kill their kids…Brooke sheild said she had to fight the urge to kill her baby…

    • I was gonna say that it still baffles me how stressing over a problem can cause one to become delusional

      Stressing over a problem will not cause delusions.

      Stress, anxiety or lack of sleep may trigger a delusional episode in a person who is suffering from schizophrenia or bipolar disorder.

      I wonder if it was voices that told her Obama was stalking her or she was just paranoid and imagined things….but then again post partum syndrome cause some women to kill their kids…Brooke sheild said she had to fight the urge to kill her baby…

      Hearing disembodied voices is a delusional episode. Whether the episode is a paranoid delusion depends on what the voices are saying and the reaction they cause. Paranoid delusions cause fear.

      Remember that the person experiencing the delusion does not realize it’s a delusion.

    • Trained Observer says:

      For the record, I don’t believe Brooke Shields ever said any such thing.

      When going public with her extended post-partum depression nightmare, she discussed her passing thoughts of putting an end to her own life. She also revealed experiencing fears of harm coming to her baby, including envisioning the baby being thrown about through the air. But she also said she was not the one doing the throwing.

      • neveragain says:

        Oh ok…I guess I got it wrong…I thought the throwing in the air part meant that she wanted to throw he baby …..

  19. Malisha says:

    And I chalk up Fogen’s past evil to Bill Lee and those who enabled him last time; but I chalk up his FUTURE evil to BDLR, Nelson, Shellie, Serino, and the rest of those who enabled him for next time.

    • neveragain says:

      BLDR, THE SPD and the rest are just as bad as the murderer himself….why the hell would you take him back to the crime scene to allow him to change his story…..they should have gone back when gz told them how Tm came back from behind the building to circle his car because they had the rest of the story…but nooo…..they had to allow him to make up the stumbling foward story

  20. Trained Observer says:

    Now we learn that when authorities in Stamford searched Miriam Carey’s apartment on Thursday night, they found prescriptions for the antipsychotic medication Risperidone and the antianxiety drug Escitalopram.

    I have no expertise whatsoever on drugs or treatment of mental disorders. But I wonder how many docs — legit and otherwise — are out there casually or carelessly prescribing stuff like this for people who need to be institutionalized?

    (I am still amazed by the all the prescription drugs Fogen was taking according to his own jailhouse calls, and we know what eventually happened. Also scary: We also don’t yet know how that’s going to end. … )


    • Malisha says:

      But with Fogen, although we DO know “what eventually happened,” do we NOT know what WILL eventually happen. He has some history that has been written already and he is out and he is mentally ill and he is bad and wrong and evil and a bully and empowered by the system and he will, in the future, create more history for us to fail to learn from. He’s a walking, talking, killing history lesson about how an enslaving, exploiting, murderous culture plays with high-minded principles and then destroys everything but the regrets its rhetoric has engendered.

      • Trained Observer says:

        Malisha, I think we all have a pretty good idea of what will happen with Fogen … eventual a well-deserved term behind bars or some self-generated fatal calamity. I just hope no one else is victimized as was Trayvon Martin. .

  21. The nightmare you described so well is a reality to thousands upon thousands of people and those who love them,if not more.

    They did not choose to be mentally ill and should not be blamed for their illness. Yet, they are.

    The Los Angeles County Jail is the biggest mental health “hospital” in this country.

    I believe a nation should be judged by the way it treats the poor, the sick, and the disadvantaged. Our nation would be close to the bottom of such a list because in a variety of hostile and disturbing ways it warns people to not get sick, but if they do, to hurry up and die.

  22. MichelleO says:

    While I can understand how Mr. Alexis met his end; I cannot understand why they could not block off or shoot Ms. Carey’s wheels out.

    Looking around Youtube videos based on multiple police brutality cases; one can see that police are becoming no more than death squads for the American citizenry. People are not allowed to question or to speak politely to law enforcement about their rights, nor to take video or photos on public streets or private property if police are present.

    • Malisha says:

      Police brutality is just one step (a giant step, admittedly) towards tyranny. If you can’t call the police for HELP but can expect that at any moment they might kill YOU in the name of public safety, you realize that you’re totally vulnerable at all times and you better prepare yourself for self-defense in whatever form it is possible.

      With regard to the mental health aspects of this, I am reminded of a phone call I got on September 30. A woman I have known for 20 years has literally been driven mad (certifiable, except that she is no danger to herself or others) by our government. She got a divorce and during the period of separation, worked full-time as an engineer while the divorce was pending. So her two-year-old was in day-care. The father and mother had the child on alternating weeks. Then, the child comes home from day-care on the day that begins mom’s week and she’s got serious genital injury so mom takes her to the doctor who says, “where was your daughter before you brought her here?” Day-care folks were. So they get investigated for child sexual abuse but they come up clean. So mom changes the day-care anyway and a few weeks later, same thing. Mom reports, day-care gets investigated, no prob, and mom is, at that point, told to stop making complaints!

      She goes two more rounds (toddler screaming with pain when she urinates, can’t tolerate being bathed, yelling incoherently. Finally mom takes the child to a pediatric gynecologist who says the child has been raped and takes “colposcopic” photographs of her torn hymen. Not to bore you, but the entire state of Iowa (Juvenile Court, District Court, Circuit Court, Appeals Court, and Bonnie Campbell herself as attorney general) defend the father (who refuses to cooperate with the investigation and is then excused from having to be evaluated) and deprive the mother of custody, visitation, contact and her income. She is threatened with imprisonment if she keeps fighting to get her child back.

      To make a long and horrible story shorter but not less horrible, Mom eventually won “visitation” back in court (Supreme Court of Iowa) but never got her visitation back because the father interfered and she had no money for attorneys any more (he got huge child support from her and lots of other money to “reimburse” him for her “conduct” during the divorce). She fought on pro se and eventually succumbed to illness, both physical and mental. The father even got a cut of her disability!

      She has become utterly paranoid. This was a normal and in fact quite intelligent and competent woman (process safety engineer for a big company) and an excellent mother. She is now afraid of everything; she thinks satanists are zapping her with electricity from the grid; she has a well (with an actual hand-operated PUMP) because she is afraid of water. She calls me and warns me to pray the blood of Jesus over me at various times because the “evil ones” are abroad. She thinks Armageddon is coming. Meanwhile her daughter has not seen her for years and years but believes the father’s and step-mother’s story that mom was psychotic so the judge had to cut off their visits (that went in the opposite order).

      A handfull of corrupt judges, Bonnie Campbell, some lawyers, and a few miscellaneous pedophiles drove this woman mad. Yet they are undoubtedly among the ones who will “tut tut tut” us to death when someone more aggressive than this devout woman takes a machine gun and shoots up a crowd.

      I curse Bonnie Campbell every morning. May she rot in Hell.
      Big mucky-muck feminist. She destroyed a mother and a female child. She should never sleep a peaceful minute as long as she lives. But when people go nuts and shoot up a crowd, they don’t hit the people, like Bonnie Campbell, who are responsible for some of the damage done to our culture’s victims.

      • neveragain says:

        oh wow…I did not realize someone could become PERMANENTLY mentally ill over stresses in life…I thought you would just get a nervous breakdown and get better….I thought it would have to be hereditary or a result of brain injury to become permenently insane……I am one of those people who worry alot for anything…I lose weight over minor things

        • neveragain says:

          To think that could have happened to me…I’m not comparing myself to someone who lost their daughter to a molester, but when we have problems we all think that our problems are the worst,…well let me correct myself..I worried alot in the past…I realize we are all here for a short while…..

        • Rachael says:

          Your mind and emotions are not like bones that break and are healed. You don’t get mental illness then just get over it. That is why I get so angry when people say things like, oh, you’re depressed, well just snap out of it. Who knows what the foundation of that is – if it was something you did inherit (as you say) or if was modeled for you growing up or what else may have been stored back there. Broken bones can heal. It’s not that the mind can’t, but it is much more involved. It isn’t something you just have and then get better.

          • neveragain says:

            Well depression is a hormonal problem…either a lack of a certain homone or too much of it or the receptors in the body do no respond too…something to do with synapsis?..I remember seeing a program on television about it…so I guess this is the hormone that causes me to loose my apetite when I am worrying, but I do no have a defect or a condition with my receptors in my body …or maybe I do have but it is not as severe….

          • Rachael says:

            Neveragain, you are trying to simplify something that isn’t simple. Sometimes someone becomes depressed for a reason – a situational reason. And sometimes when they “get over” that reason, they get better. But again, they may have underlying depression and may not snap out of it, or they may but it may come back. It isn’t a simple thing. It is possible a situation makes you depressed and you did not know you were prone to depression to begin with – or sometimes, like say postpartum psychosis – how can I explain it, my situation and background led me to believe I would be a prime candidate for postpartum depression and/or even postpartum psychosis when I was pregnant. I got all the care I could lined up in case that happened. Amazingly, it didn’t – unless one can plead postpartum depression when their baby turns into a teenager (j/k), yet there are people who “seem” to never have had an episode of depression in their life, have all kinds of support and are happy about their pregnancy who end up not wanting anything to do with their child or even causing it harm. It is JUST not that simple.

          • Rachael says:

            I mean, think about cancer. Genes for cancer can be inherited. Some cancers are familial. There are certain risk factors for cancer that one can eliminate – like smoking (and yes, for mental health in general too, such as get enough sleep, eat right, exercise) . But just because a type of cancer runs in your family doesn’t mean you will get it. And just because it doesn’t run in your family doesn’t mean you won’t. There are people who never smoke and eat right and they get cancer, and there are people who smoke like a chimney eat poor diets, diets high in fat and never get cancer, even if it does run in their family. There is no one-size-fits all mental health care.

            I remember when people were afraid of cancer too – and that is what it really is with mental health. There is a stigma. People now are no longer afraid to be screened for cancer or have it treated. But the stigma with mental health still exists. People are afraid if they are depressed that makes them weak, and the stronger they try to be and ignore it, the deeper it can fester until they blow. There is no shame in mental illness – or there shouldn’t be.

            The ONLY shame in mental illness is that we, as a society, don’t take it seriously. Like I said, it is for some stupid reason set aside from physical illness as if it is different, and really, one can’t do without the other.

            I’m rambling and I have something on the stove. I’ve got to go.

          • Rachael says:

            And then another problem is, even when someone does exhibit symptoms of mental illness, this is America and you do have the freedom to be mentally ill. No one can force you into treatment unless you prove to be a danger to yourself or someone else, and even then – I mean look at GZ – if he hasn’t proven to be a danger to himself or others, but that is a whole different story.

          • Malisha says:

            Neveragain, one thing about the idea that depression is “merely” a chemical imbalance and that other mental illnesses are conditions that have to do with biological, and only biological, factors: Those biological (physiological) factors are just as much responsive to and inextricably intertwined with abnormal and prolonged stress as “non”-biological or “non”-physiological factors. For example, subjected to prolonged and unrelieved stress, various brain parts (amygdala, hippocampus) actually physically change, some becoming enlarged, as if swollen with overtaxing. A person with an enlarged heart is known to have a physiological ailment; a person with shrunken or enlarged brain loci is not understood in the same way.

            Pavlov, famous for making the connection between “tied images” or “conditioned responses” and stress reactions in dogs, was not testing those dogs, initially, for emotional or mental responses. (By the way, he loved his subject dogs and went to great lengths to heal those who had been traumatized.) He was trying to measure a physiological response: digestion, salivation, etc. We all know that when we are in a rotten mood as a result of some real event in our environment (perhaps even an event we did not personally endure or witness, such as the killing of Trayvon Martin), we either lose our appetite or, if we are a different kind of person (and have enough food stamps), tear through two bags of potato chips and a chocolate cake, seeking comfort. These are physical responses linking food consumption to mental states. None of it is separable or subject to remote control.

            Our life is as we live it; our environment is where we live it; we can’t get away from that and there is no “control group” that could let us see what happens in the absence of our society.

            And this is why it makes me so angry when some group of thugs changes our environment to its detriment, even if it wasn’t aimed at me. Although we couldn’t make this known through a court case, every one of us who followed the Fogen murder trial knows that the cover-up team and the criminal conspirators deprived each of us of our constitutional rights to free and accountable democratic government, and they all were guilty of deliberately inflicting upon each and every one of us great — and indeed irreparable — harm and immeasurable emotional distress.

        • Schizophrenia and bipolar disorders are incurable mental illnesses that generally manifest for the first time during the late teens or twenties and fluctuate in intensity over time. Psychotic delusions similar to those reported by Alexis and Carey are commonly experienced by people diagnosed with those illnesses.

          Anxiety, stress and lack of sleep may trigger the onset of a delusional episode, but they do not cause the disease.

          Psychiatrists prescribe anti-psychotic medications to eliminate and prevent delusions, but they have unpleasant side effects. Many patients stop taking their meds after awhile because they hate the side effects.

          A new generation of anti-psychotic drugs cause less severe side effects. However, some of them (e.g., Zyprexa) have been over-prescribed and caused harm to patients.

          Insanity is legal term, not a medical diagnosis.

          A person can be delusional, but not insane, if they are able to distinguish between right and wrong.

          Very important to remember that a person cannot distinguish between reality and a psychotic delusion.

        • shyloh says:

          I’d like to share my story about my daughter.
          This is what the reporter wrote in his column.


          By Jeremy Gray | jgray@al.com
          Email the author | Follow on Twitter
          on June 22, 2011 at 3:26 PM, updated June 22, 2011 at 3:27 PM


          BLOUNT COUNTY, Alabama — A woman who abandoned three children, ages 5, 2 and 9 months, at a gas station this morning and ran into the woods was arrested this afternoon after a volunteer firefighter saw her standing near a mailbox wearing only her underwear.

          Blount County Sheriff Loyd Arrington provided this account:

          State troopers in Mobile County this morning asked authorities to be on the lookout for the woman’s vehicle. Arrington said he did not know why that lookout was issued.

          The woman — whose name has not been released — later stopped her car at a gas station near the Hayden/Corner exit off of Interstate 65.

          She handed the baby to a man, said “I’ve got to go save the world” and then ran into the woods.

          All three children are OK and are in the custody of the Department of Human Resources.

          Deputies later found the woman’s skirt and blouse in the woods.

          Several hours after the search began, a firefighter saw a woman in her underwear in the street near a mailbox. The firefighter called authorities.

          “She was headed back into the woods, but deputies were able to stop her,” Arrington said.

          The woman has not been charged, but Arrington said he expects charges to be filed before “the sun goes down.”

          My daughter had on her bra and panties. She was so abused by her husband that she had a nervous breakdown. The hosed her down, pepper sprayed her and they did take all her clothes. My daughter was trying to come home that day. This is what I wrote on that site after reading all the ugly comments from readers.

          Friday, June 24, 2011, 6:11:15 PM

          This woman doesn’t do drugs. She doesn’t drink. And I know she loves her children. We make judgement calls on people we don’t really know the reason why. Did she do wrong? maybe. Does she know what she did? Maybe, but then again. Maybe not. Things can happen to anyone on any given day. It could happen to you. Or me. And under the circumstances if the situation is bad enough. One can snap. In this case with all the pressure this woman was under. SHE SNAPPED. I know this because this young woman is my daughter. She called me on Monday and told me that she couldn’t take it anymore and she wanted to come home. I sent her money that same day to come home to IL. between the time I sent that money till the time the police picked her up. Something happened. I don’t know what happened. But this is not how my daughter is normally. Things have been happening in her life for years due to whom she was living with also married too. But this woman is not just some nut. You would not believe what she has been through. Now I have to see to it she gets the help she so badly needs. And I pray my grandbabies will be ok till their mommy is better.

          Finally thousands of dollars to get her out of jail, traveling back and forth to Alabama several times.
          She has her children back and full custody and was able to move back to IL. The Judge. Joe Brown was a saint, I helped her start her own business and today she appears healthy and happy. But I will always worry about her well being after all her ex did to her. So much to say and so little time.

          • shyloh says:

            PS, The reporter failed to mention she had been all cut up, bleeding all over, because the tree branches were catching on her clothes. Yes, she ran through the woods for 6 hours. She stated she wanted her kids safe and she couldn’t take them. I know it sounds silly. But that is what she told the judge and he agreed. I don’t believe she is mentally ill, or maybe she is. But if you seen her today on how she acts. It’s very peaceful. But I never forget the tragic of how all this went down. I’ll keep an eye on her at all times. It’s a terrible way to live. Not just for her but for all of us.

          • Thanks for sharing your daughter’s story. Her irrational and bizarre behavior indicates that she experienced a psychotic break. What she thought and what she did would have seemed reasonable to her at the time, which is difficult for many people to accept unless they have experienced a psychotic break or know someone who has.

            I am not an expert, but I think that a psychotic break usually indicates a mental illness or injury, as opposed to a response to a person or situation in the environment. Depending on the illness or injury, a person may or may not experience another psychotic break.

            Brain injuries and illnesses can heal and some forms of persistent mental illness, such as schizophrenia, can be managed with medication. People with mental illnesses can live healthy, productive and rewarding lives.

            Given the circumstances you have described, I imagine that your daughter has been evaluated by a mental health expert. Her children probably would not have been returned to her unless the expert recommended it.

      • neveragain says:

        Hey I have a question?…I know u are not in the mediical feild but……can someone send a person insane by feeding them drugs for the mentally ill??…i saw on the news that one of Osama bin ladin’s sun was sufferring from phycosis related to pain medication…….what is the possibility of someone being unknowingly medicated with medication by their wife or husband???…in order words how difficult or easy is it for someone to get their hands on these types of medication…..

    • I agree that police appear to be substantially more violent than in the past. Given the increasing number of people obtaining concealed carry licenses, I have no doubt that we will see an increase in the frequency of encounters between an angry and impatient police officer inclined to shoot first and ask questions later with an armed and similarly disposed citizen.

      Predicting an increase in the number of deaths resulting from those encounters appears to be a no-brainer.

  23. Santrina says:

    I agree with you Professor. The maze you have to go through to get help is enough to drive you insane. You go to your regular doctor because of your issue you are dismissed as stressed out. They give you a prescription for Ambien and tell you take a walk, listen to music. and meditate. The solution is all the things you cant do because your mind is racing, you can’t concentrate, and you are irritable. On the other hand your employer is on your case because you are missing days from work or when you are at work you are making simple mistakes because your nerves are so frazzle and you are in constant fear of losing such job. The mental help counselor that your Employee Assistant Plan recommended you go to seems like they care until your free 5 visits paid for by your company insurance plan are over he then recommends you stop having a pity party and go back to work and practice the relaxation techniques he showed you. You go back to work because you have used up all available sick days and last a week before you have anxiety attack at work while not exactly getting fired but a strong hint that this job might not be the best for you. You seek help again via EAP finally find a counselor that made calls all day to get you into an outpatient treatment program because she hears the urgency and despair in your voice. When you called to speak with the person who makes the schedule they are so rude and tell you not to show up unless you have the money for your copay because she is not even sure your insurance will pay for the program. Once you start the three week program you can’t get the full benefits of the program because your short term disability payments have not kicked in and you have not been paid in a month. You finally get paid when you have 2 days left in program. By this time you have maxed out credit cards all bills are behind but you are supposed to go back to work and be cured and have no problems. Wrong you last exactly 3 days and back out of work again. Your boss tell you are not eligible for FMLA and go to HR for workplace agreement. HR tells you apply for FMLA. While you are out again your FMLA is approved but your Short term disability is denied. Never mind the fact the doctor sent in same information to Disability insurer. The insurer states FMLA and STD are two separate depts. and what one approves has no bearing on the other but you are welcomed to appeal decision and the process can take up to 45 days. If Miriam Carey and Aaron Alexis went through this maze I can understand why they suffered in the manner they did before they were killed.

  24. Rachael says:

    I have a bit of difficulty understanding why “Healthcare” does not seem to include mental health, dental and vision. Why are those not part of our “general” healthcare system? Why do they seem to be something separate?

    I know some people see dental as a “luxury” because they think it is based on “looks” and cosmetics, but not when you think about it. It is so basic – look at from birth – it is all part of nutrition. If you have dental problems, you can have nutrition problems which create digestive problems and well – it’s all connected.

    And everything is tied to “mental health,” EVERYTHING. How can it be separated from healthcare? And what kind of a society are we that cares so little for the entire human condition? Why do we pick and choose what we will help and what we won’t? What part of health care can you separate from a human being and say they will be okay?

  25. dianetrotter says:

    My sister has been out of prison 3 weeks and we expect her to go back at any time. She was diagnosed bipolar paranoid schizophrenic in 1997. Mental Hospital said they could do nothing unless she hurt someone else or herself. She killed someone – she said he was trying to rape her. She was mentally ill before all of this happened. Today she is off the chain at 50. I expect to hear that she or someone else has died. Hopefully, she will be back in prison first. She started violating parole as she got off the bus. They won’t check on her until something happens.

    • Rachael says:

      I have heard similar things so many times. There was a young man here who shot up a local coffee shop. His family had tried so hard for so long to get him help, but couldn’t because like you said, he hadn’t actually done anything and he was an adult. There are SO many people who have tried to get help for their family members, but it just doesn’t seem to be there. It is like no one will take it seriously until it is too late and then it is too late. I don’t understand.

      • Girlp says:

        I’m expierencing that now, nothing I can do for my son, so far he has not done anything violent but I can’t force him to get help unless he tries to hurt himself or me or someone else, if he threatens I think I was told I can call the police and they will take him to be evaluated.

        • Correct. A person cannot be involuntarily committed unless they are a danger to themselves or to others and they cannot be held for more than 72 hours without a hearing confirming that the danger persists.

    • Trained Observer says:

      dianne, I’m so sorry your sister can’t get the help she needs. Stay safe.

    • I feel bad for you and your sister.

    • Girlp says:

      Sorry to hear that diane hopefully she will not hurt anyone else.

  26. Trained Observer says:

    Big debate among friends yesterday on this topic. We all agreed our mental health system has failed given the Navy Yard crisis and how Alexis had cried out for help numerous times.

    On the woman run amok with her car, we couldn’t understand why her tires weren’t shot out early on. Yes, hindsight is glorious. But to immobilize her vehicle-as-weapon would seem like a strategic move.

    Another thing that seems certain: Had she gone wild in some small town, her prospects of surviving might have been better. Going nuts anywhere near the White House or other nation’s capitol buildings nearly guarantees being shot first with questions asked latr.

    • Two sides to a story says:

      It’s in line with the US version of self-defense in which we’re allowed to use greater force than the perpetrator. Personally, I think no one should be able to use greater force to defend themselves if we really value life and value due process of law.

  27. And I’m afraid that the digitizations and dehumanization of our interactions is taking a toll….here’s an example: if I may Fred, here’s the latest episode of my youtube show: Elijah’s Banjo & HAM Radio Sandwich: Survival date 10.4.13 “APPLECARE PSYOPS”:

  28. Malisha says:

    Not only is our society failing to care for the VISIBLY mentally ill among us, it is CREATING mental illness at an ever-increasing rate that endangers each and every one of us on a daily basis.

    When our courts do something crazy-making (freeing and blessing a child-murderer, handing over custody to a pedophile so he can terrorize his child-victims into both silence and denial, preventing normal people from living their lives in normal ways so as to encourage responsible and sane behavior by citizens and to discourage abuse, brutality and corruption, etc. etc. etc. ad nauseam), they are making SOMEBODY crazy. When our legislators do something crazy-making (like shutting down our government in a fit of pique because they didn’t get everything they wanted), they are making SOMEBODY crazy. When our executive branch does something crazy-making (like dummying up files so they can protect public employees from the natural results of misfeasance and malfeasance) they are making SOMEBODY crazy. Add this to the normal (ABNORMAL) amount of stress that many, if not most, Americans live under, and you have a powder-keg. Every time it erupts, people go BLAH BLAH BLAH.

    But it is the lurching, drooling, disgusting lop-sided advance our culture is making toward neofeudalism and murderous tyranny. It is apparently an inexorable advance. I am so sick of this.

    Scratch the surface of each of these individual delusions and you will find an actual reality. We ARE being bombarded; we ARE being surveilled; we ARE being threatened by monsters; we ARE being tortured and terrorized. Perhaps there are no little green men coming through the window to steal our thoughts, but if there were, it wouldn’t be worse than this. And the fact that those little green men are invisible to many is no surprise, even if they are only delusions.

    • Two sides to a story says:

      Great post. I couldn’t say it any better. Our society needs to stop throwing trillions at useless wars and apply trillions to health care, mental health care, poverty, education, and other human services.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: