Posts Tagged ‘#mentalhealth’

So Older Son asked for a Dr. Spencer Reid bag for his backpack this year. He is probably our favorite character on Criminal Minds.

Dr. Reid and his bag

I had to deflect a few times because he didn’t know he was getting it for his birthday, but now that he has turned 15 (how the #@$@&&#$$ did that happen?), he has opened it. Heck, he’s already filled it with his school supplies.

We love Dr. Reid. We love that our sons see him as a role model. Matthew Gray Gubler’s portrayal of the character is one to which my sons can easily relate. He’s super smart (probably written a bit smarter than my guys), he’s true to himself, and through that, he has confidence. There are worse options for a role model.

Neither of my sons have an eidetic memory, and I know at least one of them won’t go into criminal forensics. But I do know one plans on a PhD (the proud owner of the Dr. Reid bag) and wouldn’t be surprised if Younger Son ends up with a PhD too.

All of that is lovely and relatable for my two sons, but I think they may have another connection that is even stronger.

Dr. Reid has a mom who has schizophrenia too. Not a lot of characters on television or in the movies align that well with my sons’ lives.

Jane Lynch does an amazing portrayal of Diana Reid. The relationship of mother & son has grown to be wonderfully detailed. It offers a glimpse into caring for a parent who has a mental illness and the complexities that go along with it.

I hope I don’t follow the same path as the character, but I suppose it doesn’t hurt for the boys to realize I might need some help when I’m older, depending on how good my mind stays (or doesn’t). Obviously, Hubby will help too, and mostly I hope I stay basically as I am now, but…

So thank you to Gubler & Lynch for creating and portraying our “normal” in mainstream entertainment. And for a really neat bag.

Older Son with bag and a hint about his PhD.

@gublernation @janemarielynch

And thank you for being in C. Guest’s movies, Ms. Lynch!

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Today I heard about a road rage incident that happened out in Colorado a couple weeks ago. I hope the man who used his gun to solve this incident rots in a jail cell with no chance for parole.

I don’t know what the situation was. I don’t know if someone cut the other one off or someone didn’t use a turn signal or someone didn’t like another person’s car. But there was a road rage incident between a mother and her three children and this lunatic. She was taking her kids to the dentist. I doubt that was a very high pressure got-to-rush-and-race, cut-people-off kind of thing.

So this guy decides that the best solution was to take his gun and shoot the mother and her 8 year old child who are both now in the hospital with serious injuries. To take his gun and shoot her 13-year old child dead. Which means her third child may not have been injured (and thank God) but the child still had to watch all of that. That child had to watch the 13 year old die. The child had to watch the mother and the other child get shot.

At what point does being cut off by someone on the highway or someone being a left-lane-dick make it where the solution is to shoot them? The answer is simple: never.

So I know many do not believe in the death penalty and that is a topic for another day. In this case I think the best punishment this asshole deserves is to sit in a jail cell.

I think for the rest of his life he needs to sit rotting in jail surrounded buy pictures of that 13 year old. Pictures of that 13 year old playing sports with a big smile. Pictures of that child with the family on vacations or on holidays. There should be 13 pictures of that child in front of birthday cakes with the big goofy smile right before blowing out the candles. And that idiot who thought that his solution was the best solution should have to stare at them everyday and should have to realize what an asshole he is. And no visitation from his family. The 13 year old doesn’t get to see his family anymore.

This jackass claims it is because of his mental illness and a change in medicine that he decided to shoot this family as well as some other gentleman in the parking lot, who was there with his daughter and supposedly looked at the asshole. You know how I feel about mental illness. And maybe this guy is getting treatment, can’t say it’s the best since they’re not monitoring that medicine change that well. I also know that we need a national database that has up-to-date information on people who have a mental illness, their treatment plan, and an emergency contact. I don’t want to hear about HIPAA. I don’t want to hear about privacy. If you want school shootings to end, if you want random road rage shootings to end, you need to have this database. This won’t solve the gun crisis in America because criminals don’t buy their guns legally and they may not be seeing a doctor regularly that could monitor something like a mental illness. But if you look back at road rage incidents and school shootings, the person often obtained the gun legally or stole it from a family member who obtained it legally. This could make a difference. My heart goes out to the family. I cannot imagine the sadness and the sorrow they are working through.


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Another shock of young lives cut short.

Another round of blaming whatever administration is currently in office.

Another strong stance by NRA, teachers’ unions, politicians.

None of that matters.

This extreme violence will not stop until there is improved treatment and support for mental health. Getting rid of the stigma and shame of having a mental illness is the needed change.

I heard an interview with someone from NAMI recently. She made a great observation. When someone gets a diagnosis of cancer or some other illness, or even a broken leg, or an operation, the person receives sympathy, support, offers to drive them to appointments, and lots of covered-dishes.

When you receive a diagnosis of a mental illness, it’s not shared, it’s danced around. Sometimes you are even told that it is probably best not to talk about it in certain places.

Our children are not learning coping skills. They are not learning social skills. This changes their perceptions of themselves. This can lead to a changed, altered, distorted view. Some will turn inward and just be as invisible as possible. Some will develop eating disorders. Some will become depressed. Many others will encounter their first episode of an illness like bipolar, schizo-affective, or schizophrenia.

Many of them will face it alone. They have heard too many negative and derogatory statements about mental illness so they will try to hide it, maybe self-medicate, until something becomes unmanageable.

Then they become a danger to themselves and others.

This pattern needs to end. If it doesn’t, all the other chatter and discussions and arguments won’t do anything.

We waited until our sons were older to name my illness. The stigma attached to schizophrenia is still strong. We didn’t want negative press about untreated schizophrenia, or mental illness in general, to cause them stress when the descriptions they could hear didn’t match their mom. They get it now.

I have contributed to this by following suggestions to not name it or even talk about it in certain parts of my life. That’s over. I can’t carry that anymore. If I continue to make it easier for others by avoiding it, making it where they don’t have to deal with it, then I’m part of the problem.

Start the conversation that can actually make a difference for our youth. Talk about mental health. Today.

My deepest sympathies to the latest victims.

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