Mental Healthcare for Those That Don’t

Several months ago, I was forced into an inpatient hospital stay for my mental health. I was not suicidal, not planning to harm myself, or planning to harm anyone else. I was just very depressed and wanted to be watched so I wouldn’t plummet into the pit.

Instead, everything was made worse. You can read the entirety of my experience here: My Hospital Stay posted on my personal blog.

But today, I read this story: Chicago Psychiatric Hospital Is Under Fire Over Reports Alleging Abuse of Children

This was the hospital where I was interred. And yes, the staff didn’t give any ounce of a shit about the patients. The poor kids who were sent to Lakeshore hospital in crisis only to be sexually abused and traumatized by the staff supposed to be taking care of them. I can’t imagine what they’re feeling. I only pray they are getting proper professional help.

I’m sorry, but this is what happens when we neglect the weakest amongst us. This is why elections matter. What happened at Lakeshore was decades in the making, spanning back to Reagan and his defunding of mental health facilities.

I am so angry and upset that we allow this to happen in our culture. That those who are struggling emotionally and mentally are cast aside to be abused.

You say that Republicans and Democrats are basically one and the same? I ask you, which party threw out mentally ill people into the streets? It wasn’t the one that espouses liberal philosophies.

On November 8th, 2016, our country decided to throw a hissy fit and elected a dangerous man. The mentally ill are already ignored and incapable of receiving quality care thanks to a president elected in the 80’s. What’s going to happen now? Are there going to be more Lakeshores?

Or can we get these monsters out of power and demand the dignity and quality care we deserve? I hope, when 2020 rolls around, everyone remembers Lakeshore Hospital in Chicago and what happened there. And I hope you remember what caused it to happen.

Because we cannot go backwards.

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10 Replies to “Mental Healthcare for Those That Don’t”

  1. Given my history with my sibling’s abuse history as a less verbal disabled adult with multiple comorbidities…and what the mental health system and group home system alike have done to him and other patients in one state…I have long kept up with the stats on how common abuse like that is. People think it only happens in Red States, but the same things have happened recently in the inpatient in my current blue state. You aren’t wrong there’s a clear difference between Republicans and Democrats. I view Republicans as the devils themselves, but too often the Democrats are the passive enablers. Espousing different beliefs, but not fighting for them tooth and nail, which is the only way to survive the coordinated assault on everything of the Republicans. I’ll always vote Democratic- but I’d sure like to see them go even *further* in being Progressive. Just how common abuses like what you described are in both Red and Blue states is a moral stain on the U.S.

  2. Oh – and now my side political tangent is finished – back to my original intended comment. Thank you for drawing attention to this important- but often not believed – problem. I cringe when I hear “just get help” knowing as much as I do about what that “help” has looked like during involuntary commitment. I’ve avoided ever putting myself in a position where that could happen to me after seeing what it was like as guardian for my sibling. That experience scared me away from ever “seeking help” from a state hospital myself. I am truly sorry you sought help and faced your own experiences of fear and discrimination. Even if it was “worse” for those kids, all trauma is valid. And, I’m sorry your experience at that hospital was traumatic, too.

  3. While I understand your anger, this is not a Republican only problem. I live in a liberal BLUE state. Our governor recently closed facilities and re-housed sexual offenders into the same homes as the mentally handicapped. Please stop politicizing this. BOTH parties are guilty, going back many decades.

  4. I am so sorry you experienced all this. I was very fortunate to have a truly caring place when I was hospitalized. I wish everyone had that. I do agree that Republicans are much worse overall on supporting social services in general. That doesn’t mean liberals don’t make mistakes too, of course they do, but the right often seems to just want to leave everyone to fend for themselves, especially the far right.

    1. By the way, the real issue on the right and the left is that big money interests control far too much 🙁 If a profit can’t be made off helping people, the powers that be just don’t care.

  5. Thank you for writing this article. You make some good points that I can relate to after two bad stays in the mental hospital. Some staff are just there for the paycheck, unfortunately, and abusers are given free reign.

  6. I am so sorry about your experience; it sounds horrible! This is one of my biggest fears and the main reason why I fear going to the emergency room for mental health. Hopefully you are doing better now and I hope you find a good IOP program. I have done 2 IOP programs and they help a lot. xo

  7. I am so sorry to hear about your awful experience with mental health care. I, admittedly, have a similar experience (in a supposedly good hospital). So much needs to be done to improve mental health care. If you are interested in its history and issues, I recommend looking into the musician, writer, artist, and activist Emilie Autumn. Even if you do not enjoy her music or writing style, she is very well educated about mental health care and makes a lot of important connections that many might not think of in her work. While I am her fan, her work has also served as an important springboard for my own research in this area.
    Also, if anyone here would like to explore the Republican vs. Democrats approach to mental health care, I would recommend looking into the different parties’ moral codes. Republicans follow the Strict Father moral code (it is named based on the values emphasized, not because Republicans themselves are all strict fathers). Democrats follow the Nurturing Parent moral code (again, not saying all Democrats are nurturing parents). While mental health care has been ignored by both parties, these moral codes explain why Republican initiatives and attitudes are often more damaging to mental health care AND why Republicans don’t see this as an issue. It also helps explain a lot of other differences between the two parties without attacking one or the other as “ignorant” or “elitist.”

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