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mental illness

Amanda bynes, mentally ill, mandatory psych hold

Last week, I read in the Daily Mail that Amanda Bynes‘ doctors are seeking to have her held in a psychiatric facility for up to one year and force her to take medication. ONE.YEAR! 365 Days of her life. Her doctors were planning to ask a judge to allow them to hold her for up to a year, during which they’d be allowed to keep her confined and, if necessary, restrained and force her to take medication

“A judge will only grant this type of hold if the person is deemed “gravely disabled as a result of a mental disorder or impairment by chronic alcoholism.”

So, hopefully the judge will find another way to help Ms. Bynes without needing to confine her to an institution for an entire year. Maybe they could make a stipulation of freedom be that she is medication compliant. A simple blood test could be used to check for compliance.

I feel like the media is reporting this matter of factly, as if having a mental illness diagnosis warrants immediately being locked up. Would we ever consider locking up a diabetic against their will, withholding sugar and forcefully administering insulin? I think not.

Media rubberneckers find this to be an entertaining topic of conversation. “Oh that “crazy” Amanda Bynes with her “crazy” antics, setting things on fire, tweeting out salacious photos, doing the most off the wall behavior for attention.” The thing is, this is serious and this is scary.

 

Amanda bynes, mentally ill, mandatory psych hold

When I see this photo, the only thing I think is maybe she looks a little thin…not crazy.

If you’ve ever had a mental illness diagnosis, as many people do these days, you know that our biggest fear, aside from outing ourselves as “mentally ill” because then everyone just attributes everything you do to being “crazy” and having it undermine and tinge every single thing you do for the rest of your life, we.fear.being.locked.away against our will. This is why mentally ill people keep their mouths shut, don’t take meds, don’t share with friends and family and don’t get better because if the price of help is being locked up against your will, it simply is not worth it to us.

Why the world thinks it has the right to banish her to an institution or condemn her to a life of being “crazy”, I don’t know? She is young. She has made some mistakes. She has exhibited some bad behavior but that doesn’t mean that she should be written off as a lunatic.

I was diagnosed at 27,with BiPolar 1. If you knew me then, you might have thought that I was “CRAZY” if you had spent any extended amount of time with me. In small doses, I could pass for funny and enthusiastic but if you spent a substantial amount of time with me, like my husband did, you would have quickly realized that there was no off button.

I was reckless, careless, I drove fast, I shopped a LOT, I was hyper sexual, I drank almost constantly, I did very outrageous things simply because I was bored, I was the life of the party and then I was the meanest bitch you’d ever have met. Luckily, I was not a celebrity nor were Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, SnapChat or Pinterest in existence or maybe I would have been the token crazy online.

I got help. I didn’t need institutionalized. I never became psychotic. I was able to control my mania with medication, reducing triggers like alcohol, caffeine and sugars, behavioral therapy and cognitive therapy. I made every effort to know and embrace my illness. I did this privately, with the help of my husband. My family knew but I didn’t live near any of them. It wasn’t something I told strangers. I was allowed the dignity of keeping my mental illness private and this allowed me to not let it define me.

Years later, I came out about my mental illness on my blog because I was ready to share my story in hopes that maybe it could help someone else know that you can get through it.

Maybe Amanda Bynes needs to be institutionalized for help but a year is a sentence. She’s done nothing wrong. She is being punished for a crime that she didn’t commit. Mental illness is not a crime, it’s an illness.

I understand  72 hours or 2 weeks to get meds stabilized  and make sure someone is not a danger to themselves or others but  isn’t a year a bit extreme? If this happens, this could happen to anyone with a diagnosis, including you or I. Consider that.

Do you think doctors should be able to ask for a mandatory 1 year psychiatric hold to a mentally ill Amanda Bynes or anyone?

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sandy hook elementary, adam lanza

sandy hook elementary, adam lanza

Sandy Hook Elementary We pray for you

Will we ever feel safe again sending our kids off to school in the wake of  the Sandy Hook Elementary massacre? Adam Lanza’s assault on our nation’s children has left many of us feeling the way we did post 9/11, defeated, vulnerable and afraid. But this is much worse because this brutal attack was carried out against the most innocent of us all, small children. Victims who were small children just like my daughters who are 5 and 7.

Sandy Hook Elementary is what my nightmares are made of. What every mother’s nightmares are made of really. This morning, it was all I could do to get my girls dressed and take them to school. I wanted to keep them home, safe, with me. I got them dressed. I lingered a little longer than normal while brushing their hair. I sat with them at breakfast instead of scurrying around trying to tidy up the house. I walked them into school and to their class rooms where I hugged them and kissed them until I had to let go. I told them I loved them and then I walked back to my car with a heavy heart. I drove home, I walked through the door and I sobbed. I am afraid.

What happened at Sandy Hook Elementary can happen anywhere.

We spoke to our girls about what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary because we knew they would hear about it at school.My girls are only 5 and 7 and I shouldn’t be having to have this conversation but when crazy people armed with guns can walk into a school and start shooting, I would be failing my children if I did not prepare them; have a contingency plan in place for such an event. What kind of world do we live in that we need to have a contingency plan for what to do if a crazed gunman comes into our children’s school? Has the world gone mad?

How will any of us ever feel safe again? Something has got to change.Adam Lanza was a man with mental illness who had much too easy access to guns. I’m hearing people say that the right to bear guns is a fundamental right. They are saying the issue is mental illness not gun control. Mental illness played a part in the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, that is for certain but placing blame on just the mental illness serves no purpose but to further stigmatize those afflicted. The issue is that it is too easy for people to access guns. The world is flooded with weapons. Guns are used for one purpose; to kill.People may make the choice to kill someone, but the gun is the method of destruction. Take away the gun and it gets a hell of a lot harder to kill someone.

A gun allows cowards the luxury of standing back and detaching themselves from the heinous crimes they commit. Discharging a gun is less personal than using a weapon that forces a perpetrator to be within a closer proximity to their victim, making it more personal. A semi-automatic is certainly going to make it easier and less stressful to murder small children. I hardly could believe that Adam Lanza, a coward who killed himself instead of facing the effects of what he did, would have been able to kill 27 people had, especially children, had he needed to look into their eyes and see their fear and hear them beg for mercy in their tiny voices.

I will never feel safe again, every time I watch my children walk away in the rear-view mirror, I will be wondering if that will be last time.

Will You ever feel safe again after what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary?

 

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