"They Don't Want To Be Normal"

Discussion in 'Parenting News' started by tiredmommy, May 4, 2009.

  1. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

  2. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Hmmm. There's eccentric, and then there's crazy (no offense intended, I just happen to like that word!). For those whose symptoms/behaviors without medications don't make them a danger to themselves or others, I can buy into this. For others, I'm not so sure. How to decide, is the issue, I think.
  3. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    CinVA, I agree.

    This reminds me a lot of the autism advocacy movement. There are good points, but also a lot of sound and fury and rhetoric that gets in the way of clear headed discussion.

    I guess for me the line is, does your condition cause such a disruption in your faculties that you're incapable of functioning in the world? Without treatment, are you likely to suffer greatly, cause yourself harm, cause harm to others, or become a target for predators? If so, then treatment is needed. If not, then not.

    I look at it this way...
    I have Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and ADHD. But I'm able to hold down a job, raise my family, manage my houshold, pay bills, and generally be a responsible citizen. So...no interventions are required. If I start to go off the rails and really start to struggle, then interventions are needed.

    difficult child has Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and bipolar. Last time he was left untreated, he went after his sister with a butcher knife, went on a local crime spree, had significant paranoia and mania. Right now, he cannot manage even basic self-care without significant medical intervention and 24 hour supervision. His psychiatrist predicts that, left to his own devices with no treatment, he would be homeless in a day, and dead in a ditch within a week or less. So...we have assisted living. We have a cocktail of medications. We have 24/7 supervision, an on-call crisis team, psychiatrist, therapist, therapists, sensory intervention, blah, blah, blah...because without them difficult child would not survive, let alone have anything remotely resembling a peaceful or happy life.

    Now, if you asked difficult child, he'd tell you that he can live on his own, he doesn't need any of that stuff, he'd be just fine.

    Some of those Icarus activists might say that I'm forcing treatment on difficult child against his will, and I should let him choose for himself how his care should be managed. But, if my son is not capable of tying his shoes without a checklist to remind him, is he really capable of making a sound rational decision about whether or not to agree to medical interventions?

  4. SearchingForRainbows

    SearchingForRainbows Active Member

    Good article. I read this yesterday but difficult child 2 started to "melt" and I couldn't respond. I agree with CrazyinVA and Trinity. I think it depends on how well the individual can function in society and whether or not he/she is a danger to himself/herself or to others.

    As far as difficult child 2 is concerned, he is definitely a danger to himself (not intentionally but mainly because of executive deficits) and unable to function in society without many supports. It is in difficult child 2's best interests to find a structured, safe environment for him where he can continue to improve his chances to live independently. However, this may never happen...

    I don't believe husband and I are "forcing" treatment on difficult child 2. I think we are taking necessary steps to keep difficult child 2 safe. difficult child 2 believes he is perfectly "normal" and on some level is furious that we try to make him understand his disability - He NEEDS to understand it! He is 17 years old and an adult in the eyes of the law next year.

    His idea of fun is playing house with a monkey puppet and watching Curious George movies. He still needs to be told to use the bathroom. He would wear his winter jacket all year even if it was sweltering hot unless told to put it away for the season. He is living in a fantasy world - He has absolutely NO idea how to survive on his own. in my humble opinion, letting difficult child 2 handle his own affairs at 18 would be a recipe for disaster, not to mention totally irresponsible and uncaring on our part. WFEN
  5. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Im probably one of those people who are living on the fence. I appear to be "normal" and functioning well but it is because of the safety and relative stability of my home. I have been able to keep myself out of hospitals because I have a supportive family unit. If I was alone I dont think I would have fared as well. I also know I have problems and am extremely compliant with treatment. No one has to force me to get treatment...I seek it out.
  6. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    I agree that it has a lot to due with happiness and functional level. I am very controlling when it comes to Tigger's treatment because so much of who he is requires a lot of energy on caregiver/teachers part and I won't let him be punished for someone else's laziness. We just got back in with his former therapist (she stopped seeing patients for a while) and she said whatever I'm doing is working because she has seen a huge improvement in him since she last saw him 6 months ago.

    Yet with Kanga, we forced treatment including putting her into an Residential Treatment Center (RTC) against her will (actually she went willing enough but we didn't let her leave when she wanted to come home). She was violent and a clear, constant danger to herself and others.

    It is such an individual call.
  7. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Interesting article. How DO you define the point when someone is a danger to themselves or someone else, as opposed to someone who simply marches to a different drummer? Miss KT says that once she goes off our insurance at 19, she'll just drink lots of coffee. That to me is very unrealistic, and tells me she needs continuing treatment.
  8. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Well. That was an interesting read.

    Travis has not ever been medicated nor in treatment for any of his disorders. And he functions no worse (sometimes better) than others diagnosed at about his level. I just saw no point. The large majority of his dxes are caused by brain injury, the autism made worse by it. medications just weren't for him.

    I'm all for getting rid of the stigma of mental illness. But yet this movement in a way is almost silly. Someone who can function with a diagnosis would probably not seek out medications or treatment, and others most likely wouldn't see the need. For those who can't or are a danger to themselves or others.....well, we already know how that is.

    Honestly, I don't care for the way docs throw medications at a person and wait to see how they work. Most of the medications used for mental illness are actually medications for developed for other illnesses.

    I'd like to see more research into mental illnesses, and not just the popular one's of the day. Research into medications created specificaly for certain dxes that work and actually help those patients.

    First a "movement" took away the vast majority of hospitals these patients needed, and now another wants to take away the medications.:faint: