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High Anxiety - J. - May 10th 2010


For months my brother has been talking about death and asking dumb questions like, “Why can’t you just let me go and forget about me?” He has been abusing his pain meds and drinking profusely with them. Finally, he made the threat to kill himself just last week. I called 911 because he was out of control and today he still is. I told the emergencey room what been going on and told them that he has been shooting up and drinking to the point to where he isn,t even consciouse.

I think it is pretty pathetic that my family can,t put our foot down on this and force him to get help. He is putting a strain on all of us to where we are getting depressed ourselves and can,t even live our lives. We can’t even leave to go to work because we are worried he may pull something then.

THIS LAW HAS TO CHANGE. When you are insane, the normal people should NOT HAVE TO FEEL OR DEAL WITH THEIR PAIN!!!!!! When a loved one is sick and the whole family knows it, and the mentally ill member that is causing the pain for the whole family and is refusing to get help on their own, that is when the family should be able to step in and protect the ones who are sane. I am suffering with anxiety badly because of this  law. What is wrong with the legal system today man? We can’t smoke a cigarette in public anymore, but we don’t get any protection from the mentally ill or the drug abusers or drug pushers!! This system is wacked and messed up badly.

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Your comment is very passionate and the reasons are clear. It is very painful to see a person being destroyed as a result of addiction, mental illness or both. It is equally frustrating to experience the impact of this on your self and the witness how the family is being affected.

Having admitted this to you we must also be mindful of the saying, “Be careful of what you wish for, it could come true.” There was a time, prior to the 1960’s, when the mentally ill were warehoused in huge state mental institutions. Most of them languished there until their deaths, ignored, raped, abused and abandoned. Thankfully, with the advent of new medications, people could be treated in the community where they receive medication, psychotherapy and support services. The days when people could be locked away and deprived of their rights is over.

Please remember, in the former Soviet Union, those who dissented with the government were put into their mental institutions and medicated into passivity. We do not want that here.

The situation with your brother is somewhat different because he is addicted to pain medications and probably other drugs as well. So, he is numbed out and you and the family feel all the pain. Though I never like saying this because it is so difficult to do, he must be confronted with going to rehab or losing all contact with the family including financial, room and board and emotional support. The entire family needs psychotherapeutic help in doing this.

I have been told that this strategy risks suicide. My response is, maybe, but the addict is on a definite suicidal course anyway. In fact, the risk is that he will take others in the family with him due to stress. The choice is up to him and the choice is up to the family to stop suffering and allowing him to feel the pain.

Best of Luck

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