Do We Need To Go Back To A World Where Insane People Are Institutionalized? I Have Thoughts.

Daisy, Co-Founder

I had a conversation with my mother-in-law this weekend about raising my 8-year old in today’s society.  In her own words, she said that she doesn’t envy her son and me having to parent a child in today’s society, because it’s basically a world gone mad.  Typical conversation from one generation to the next, amirite?  Only…I totally agree with her.  I mean, nowadays it’s a far cry from the world in which she grew up, and even the world I grew up.  I really do believe this is the case when I take a good, objective look around me – from the way our families are structured and operate to the way we communicate with one another to the fact that our belief in a higher power is less revered than it was 20 years ago, let alone 50.  Kids today are more technologically advanced than ever – and that’s wonderful, I suppose – but I’d bet that half of them can’t hold a meaningful 30-minute conversation without itching to check said technology, and those same kids can’t look someone in the eyes while unsuccessfully having that meaningful conversation.  They’re simply more intimately-disconnected by being technologically-connected.  And don’t get me started on critical thinking skills or being able to just sit peacefully, looking out a window, and entertaining oneself with one’s thoughts.  I’m getting off on a tangent now and obviously showing my age.

Anywho, people are kinda lost these days, y’all.   And just like there were years ago, there are crazy people among us.  Only the crazy people these days?  They have no place to go.

Hear me out.

When I see tragic stuff happen like the senseless murders in Pittsburgh this weekend, my first thoughts go directly to the victims and their families.  These are people with valuable lives, doing amazing things, contributing to society in ways that a lot of us don’t even realize – and we won’t, because that’s not what the headline news will report.  They won’t tell us that these folks were mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, valued employees, beloved husbands and wives, and lifelong friends.  They put their hearts and souls INTO society.  But the waste of oxygen who took their lives?  That person is a freaking drain on society.  And when this sort of thing happens, I hear over and OVER again, phrases like, “we saw this coming” or “that person was mentally ill” or “we just couldn’t help our brother, son, etc.”

Similarly, Mock and I have heard these sorts of phrases.  We’ve helped to put two guys in prison over the past couple of years.  One went to federal prison for calling in a bomb threat on our office building in Indianapolis.  Why, you ask?  Well, because we’re two conservative chicks who happen to have an opinion about stuff, and that’s very inconvenient for some people – especially some dudes who are freaking crazy, have past criminal records, and have NO PLACE TO GO.  So he took it out on us.  And thank God, when all was said and done, it was just in the form of threats.

Another guy harassed and threatened us repeatedly, and we had to get personal restraining orders against him.  If you’ve ever had to do this, it’s quite the process.  Basically, you have to go into a court of law WITH the person that you’re accusing of stalking you, and then prove to a judge that the person is indeed stalking you.  You know, while the stalker is sitting there next to you in the courtroom.  It’s awesome.  And by awesome, I mean completely INSANE.  No wonder women who are abused by their a$$hat husbands don’t get restraining orders more often.  Not only is it intimidating as hell for the victim, but the end result is a lousy piece of paper.  Once you get it, that’s ALL IT IS.  That’s it.  The guy threatened our lives, and Mock and I now have glorified tree bark to protect us.

(Gee, thanks government.  I’ll go ahead and carry my S&W .380 Bodyguard with a laaaaaser.  But I appreciate you making me go through all those hoops and whatnot.)

Meanwhile, dude is still walking around.  My point?  He’s still mentally ill and dangerous and in need of some serious meds, but there’s no one to make sure that he takes those, and I (and Mock) have to watch (our) back(s) every day because of this.  I’m quite certain dude won’t take his meds, and we also have been informed that he’s stalked someone else since he’s stalked us. And he stalked other women prior to stalking us. It’s just a matter of time before he’s a danger (again) to society, and there’s not a damn thing we can do about it.

Neat, huh?

When it comes to deinstitutionalization, there’s this nifty article that has all sorts of wonderful morsels.  Apparently, the government wanted to save money (since WHEN?), so they decided to kick all the mental patients out of institutions between ’55 and ’94.  I guess that having my hard-earned money go for stuff like abortions and illegals was more important to them (but I digress):

Between 1955 and 1994, roughly 487,000 mentally ill patients were discharged from state hospitals.  That lowered the number to only 72,000 patients. States closed most of their hospitals. That permanently reduced the availability of long-term, in-patient care facilities. By 2010, there were 43,000 psychiatric beds available. This equated to about 14 beds per 100,000 people. According to the Treatment Advocacy’s Center’s report, “Deinstitutionalization: A Failed History,” this was the same ratio as in 1850.

Obviously, the “pro” of deinstitutionalization is that it gives more rights to the mentally challenged.  And listen – I love freedom.  I’m all about the freedom, y’all.  But the “cons?”  Well, the cons are obvious when you see the increase in what we’ve seen over the past 20-30 years.  And the fact that we have more mentally ill people just roaming about the country, unattended and basically abandoned by society.

And there’s this:

Dr. Michael Stone, a forensic psychiatrist at Columbia University, found that 20 percent of mass murderers are psychotic or delusional. The occurrence is 1 percent for the general public. Almost half of all mass killers had depression, learning disabilities, or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. Forty percent had alcohol or drug dependencies. 

But regulations to protect the rights of the mentally ill hinder treatment. For example, families can’t commit someone unless they’ve already proved a threat to themselves or someone else. Judges cannot order seriously mentally ill people to stay in treatment. People are not allowed to remove guns from mentally ill people who threaten themselves or others. Reversal of these rules would allow family members to get treatment for their mentally ill loved ones and protect society. 

I’m not saying that we need to go back to institutionalization.  I’m just saying that there may be a possible correlation, is all.  It’s definitely not HELPING our society and crime.  Liberals are so hell-bent on taking in 14,000 migrants.  What about all the mentally ill American citizens we have walking around?

Food for thought.