Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Heartbreaking Local Occurence


#1

Hi all. Haven’t been on here in awhile. Local shooting (I live in a suburb of Oklahoma City, OK.) occurred a few weeks ago at a popular restaurant located on one of our lakes. Packed at diner time, 6:30. Younger guy enters front doors or restaurant armed with hand gun and starts shoting random people. A couple of men, one was nearby at a ball field, heardgun shots, ran to their vehicles and retrieved their (licensed) firearms. They approached the shooter and gave him orders to drop his gun; he did not and turned as if to fire on these men. They shot him dead. There were 3 people inside who were shot, but survived. The news reported the shooter, 28, had a YouTube channel. He posted bizarre videos of himself where he spoke of demons. Demons speaking to him, demon children flying drones over his apt., etc. The most troubling one was were he pleaded and begged for someone to be his friend. I am beyond troubled and upset by this. Clearly, he probably was schizophrenic and I would think unmedicated. I thought to myself by the grace of God that could be my son. Thankfully he has insight and takes his meds because he knows they help him. My point in posting this is to say we have to demand better mental health services. Write to our senators, call them, become a thorn in their sides! This kind of thing could have been prevented. It just breaks my heart! I am sure many of you will identify with this too.


#2

Poor young man, this is heartbreaking. I do identify, when will this change?


#3

That is beyond sad, for everyone. It is shocking how little support there is. And soon people will be saying “it’s not a gun issue, it’s a mental health issue” - and then proceed to do nothing.

I recently encountered a guy on a metro. He seemed OK at first, but he kept talking to me, it became clear that he wasn’t. He started telling me about the leprechauns that were falling from the sky, all over the place. And that they were haters, and involved with organized crime. He smiled so sweetly and earnestly while he was telling me this. I gave him a dollar (I just don’t carry cash, and it was unusual I even had that), and when another guy came along and glared at him, he left.

Given that this was on a trip where I was trying to convince my son who is hearing voices to come home with me, it definitely hit home.


#4

I just watched one of his Youtube videos. He was very scared and paranoid. Asking for people to call him - very sad


#5

Yes , I can identify, it’s terrible that people are so unwell to this point , we all must continue to raise awareness xx


#6

I am from the UK and - sorry if this seems to be critical of your country - I am often shocked by what I read about mental health care in the US.

I’m not saying mental health care in the UK is great. It isn’t, it’s bad. It’s not funded properly, staff can be lazy or rude or unhelpful, community care services can be rubbish, there arent enough hospital beds and people wait in accident and emergency for days for a bed in a hospital miles away etc etc

But sending seriously ill patients home from hospital after a few nights? not even letting parents know if their child is in a hospital? It does feel like things are even worse across the Atlantic than they are here.

All I am really saying is - demand better mental health services. We are supposed to be civilized societies. In our treatment of the mentally ill, I’m not sure that we are.


#7

Hi Frances ,

I’m British and live in Florida , and when they told me after 3 days i need to take my son home from the hospital whom was clearly unwell , i was devastated and thought this would never happen in London. Its very sad and very scary. I agree we need to demand better health services and i will be going next month to a NAMI session and bring this subject up again .


#8

Until there is a public outcry there will be no real help.The most frightful thing is when the drugs quit working.My daughter is on a community treatment order .If she is not taking her drugs they can bring her in to hospital and be pick up by police.But the real problem is when one of the drugs they put her on in the hospital is not covered after she is released.We where told by her doctor there is no substitute for the mood stabilizer to go with her drugs but this one.You have no idea how stressful this is .Why would a government not supply drugs that are needed for her schziophernia and bipolar.These dual illness are enough for any family members to deal with.There should be no ifs or buts in this case there is no alternative.I am burnt out now .It makes me sick how the families are treated when looking for help.One positive has finally turn this into my favour.Seeing she is on a community treatment order the drugs must be covered .If she refuses her drugs they can take her in against her will.So I believe they must supply her this drug if she was not on this order I don’t know what I would of done.You must apply for an exemption to the government if she was not on her treatment order.Now the special request can take up to 16 weeks my daughter told me.This one drug is 30.00 a week and she does not receive any ODSP for her disability because her boyfriend has a job.She has about 600.00 a month to live on through CPP.But I don’t know too many boyfriends who are going to pick up the tab for their sick girlfriend.


#9

That is so frustrating!! That’s a lot of procedure to get the necessary med covered. I do feel your frustration - the second time we got my son to agree to try meds, he went straight to the pharmacy and was denied the meds because his prescription coverage said he had to try other drugs first. Literally years of effort on my part working Amador’s LEAP to be stopped cold at the pharmacy. By the time the doctor and the insurer had worked out the issues and got a different med prescribed, my son was not as cooperative. We don’t think he even tried those drugs.

The public does not realize that they themselves are the “acceptable collateral damage” when we ignore people with severe brain disorders.


#10

Just wanted to say I live in Canada


#11

What specifically would you like them to do?


#12

@ jassy22 That gets a little touchy. Involved family members would like to be able to admit our LO to hospitals or force treatment to at least stabilize them. However, there are civil rights and as someone posted in another tread law enforcement will tell you “crazy is not a crime”. I am not suggesting it should be, but clearly the laws to protect civil rights run up against treating someone with anosognosia in an devastating way. And I really do understand you should be in control of your own healthcare decisions but with brain disorders that it is different. Mental capacity is diminished and we should be able to step in. I have a paranoid sz son and a mom with Alzheimer. What I have found it is easier to make health care decisions for her because it is readily accepted with her dx and age she needs help. Not so with my son in his 30s who appears normal and physically health. However bottom line is both need help and both should be able to be helped by others when the situation demands it. So specifically what I would like is the mental health laws revisited. If the diagnosis exists that should be a tool we can use without having to re prove our case every time. Also I would like some harness on the power of insurance companies—no more reviewing records thousands of miles away to determine if hospitalization is still needed. Pretty much trust the treating MD and if there is a question do a live in person face to face review–like SSDI does.


#13

I have worked for insurance companies. I get the principle of cost savings. However, even though they have added RNs and MDs to their staff ( and you wonder why premiums are so high–it is the COST of cost containment) they are not treating practioners; only record reviewers. And it is to the detriment of the patient. In the words of my son " I should sue them". He has a long list of people to sue for injustice and although I frequently tell him we cannot sue everyone…well sometimes I secretly think why not?! Sorry this happened to you.


#14

As you know, having a family member with scz can be like playing the children’s board game of Chutes and Ladders (I think it’s Snakes and Ladders for those not brought up in the US) you make so much progress and then you suddenly go down a chute and are set back in the game.

When this happened the summer of 2017, it even felt like a hole opened up and I dropped through it when I heard the pharmacy couldn’t give him the med. He was right there waiting for it. There can be a lot of disappointments, sadly, I’ve been kicked around enough at this point by scz that I know I need to just to get up and soldier on. Maybe some day, like has happened for others, it will be a ladder:)


#15

Completely agree that the mental health laws need to be revisited.Civil rights and confidentiality too often seem to work against the future health of people with schizophrenia - and can also lead to incidents like the one described by @LisaS at the top of this thread. @thereisalwayshope your experience with your mother and son makes the point perfectly. We need to fight. Feels like nobody else will :sleepy: