Oh ... Really?

Category: Bipolarville

Friday, October 01, 2004

NAMI Blasts CBS for Television Malpractice

More CBS naughtiness ... although I don't believe that this issue will get quite the bloggage that Rathergate generated. Afterall, it's just "crazy kids" and their irresponsible parents, right? Heh ...

All sarcasm aside, this issue is a major obstacle to ensuring that children receive complete and adequate mental health care. The knee-jerk reaction of the medical community, when a kid's behavior is outside the "norm" is to automatically blame the parents. We overindulge them at the same time we don't give them enough attention ... we are too demanding of them while we don't discipline them correctly. As if a good butt whipping and a trip to go fishing will cure bipolar disorder, depression or schizophrenia!

I have been on the receiving end of this kind of "medical advice" - my son just needed a good father-figure ... I can't argue with that, considering how his own father failed him, but having a strong male role model doesn't cure bipolar. He needed a stronger hand in discipline ... right, like a severe beating with a garden hose, like his father gave him? That's a big part of how he got to be so sick in the first damn place. Arrrggghhh! This kind of shit did nothing but piss me off, make me question my ability to take care of my son and did NOTHING to really help him! Friggin' idiots!

And now CBS, via "Dr" Phil, is disseminating the same bullshit:


"Dr. Phil Primetime Special" Insensitive, Irresponsible;
May Put Children’s Lives At Risk

Arlington, VA—NAMI (National Alliance for the Mentally Ill) today charged CBS Television with gross irresponsibility and potential endangerment of the lives of children with mental illness as a result of its September 22 broadcast of the Dr. Phil Primetime Special: Family First.

"Not only did the show represent a breach of professional ethics, but also, in the opinion of many, malpractice," declared NAMI executive director Michael J. Fitzpatrick, in a letter to CBS Chairman & CEO Leslie Moonves, co-signed by Suzanne Vogel-Scibilia, MD, a child psychiatrist who chairs the Child & Adolescent Policy Subcommittee of NAMI’s national board.

In the September 22 program, parents essentially were blamed for "what may very well be the severe mental illness of their child." Dr. Phil’s conduct "is serious enough to warrant investigation by a relevant board of licensure. To the degree that he seemed to offer a definitive diagnosis, including a pharmacological assessment, without careful evaluation or referral, he may also be subject to legal sanctions for practicing medicine without a license," the letter noted.

"The show was especially troubling because the child’s behavior may have suggested symptoms of bipolar disorder, requiring treatment vastly different from a father being admonished to spend more time with his son to ‘go fishing.’

"Blaming the family undermines all recent understanding of the biological basis of brain disorders and is not only insensitive, but also hinders a family or individual from seeking comprehensive treatment…Indeed the impact may have put children’s lives now at risk. The show’s approach was completely contrary to the recommendations of the U.S. Surgeon General, and more recently, President Bush’s New Freedom Commission on Mental Health…in addressing the needs of children with severe mental illnesses—including very real risks of suicide."

NAMI also responded to a Newsweek (October 4) article in which a CBS spokesperson was cited as saying the network was "unaware" of negative reaction to the show, and that Moonves had complained that interest groups protest before even seeing supposedly offensive programming, using the Internet to "magnify and trumpet" concerns. In this case, NAMI said, the mental health community "carefully considered the content of the show before registering any complaint, and the party that has grossly ‘magnified’ irresponsible behavior is CBS, through the power it projects over the airwaves."

And yes, I am blogging in my pajamas! tongue laugh

UPDATE 10/05/04:
This story is getting some press, still not much bloggage though ...
MedicalNewsService.com Families Together: The Dangers of Dr. Phil
FindLaw.com ´Dr. Phil Special´ Called Irresponsible
WashingtonPost.com On Dr. Phil, a Dose of Bad Medicine? (Use BugMeNot to register)

Posted by LissaKay on 10/01/04 at 01:06 AM in ~ Bipolarville
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Wednesday, May 05, 2004


Kin May Have to Pay for Legally Insane

Insane in so many more ways than one. Keith Laney, left alone with a severely brain injured child to care for alone, having lost his two other sons to his mentally ill wife, with her committed to a lifetime in a state mental hospital ... he must now fork over the bucks to pay for her care. He could lose his house and farm and be financially hobbled by the state. How lovely. Punish the family of the mentally ill. Makes perfect sense to me ... NOT!

Posted by LissaKay on 05/05/04 at 03:34 AM in ~ Bipolarville ~ My Soapbox
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Sunday, April 18, 2004

Doctor knows best

The FDA recently released a warning about the use of SSRI anti-depressants (Paxil, Zoloft, Effexor, Lexapro, etc) and how deadly dangerous they can be, especially in children and teen-agers. My son nearly lost his life because of Paxil. It triggered mania, rages and psychosis within months of being on it. He wound up hospitalized after a suicide attempt. Even with the bipolar diagnosis, the doctor wanted him to stay on the Paxil. We suffered many months of nightmarish difficulties, to include arrests, school problems and issues in our neighborhood. It was only after I insisted ... actually pitched a fit in the doctor's office ... that he was taken off of it, and on a medication regimen that works.

My son is not alone. I know of several more families that are struggling, suffering the effects or after-effects of SSRI treatment. One boy initially was being treated with Zoloft for some mild depression. He did OK for a few months, but then started cycling rapidly and soon became unable to carry on in every day functions. It took his doctor over a year to finally remove the Zoloft and put him instead on a medication for bipolar disorder. His mother believes that the Zoloft changed his neurological make-up somehow, and that he will never be the same.

The problem with the FDA warning is that it doesn't mention the effects on individuals who have bipolar disorder, or are at risk of it. One gentleman in Memphis was treated with a SSRI for some depression, it ended up triggering latent bipolar. It screwed him up to the point where he can no longer live with his family, continue his career or live a regular life. He's getting better though, but still has his ups and downs.

Doctors are still prescribing the SSRI medications despite the FDA warnings. They are not passing along the precautions to the patients and their families of signs and symptoms to watch out for. Schools are still forcing parents to put their children on these or other drugs in order to obtain special education services. People are still flocking to their doctors in search of the magic pill or potion that will make everything better without taking into consideration the effects or consequences. People still believe that doctor knows best, all the time. People die everyday from that belief.
Posted by LissaKay on 04/18/04 at 05:11 PM in ~ Bipolarville
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Saturday, March 13, 2004

Tragedy of the worst kind

This morning, a young man and his mother got into a fight. The mother fled the home and called 911 from a neighbor's. Loudon County, TN Sheriff's Deputy Jason Scott responded to the call. As he stepped out of his cruiser at the boy's home, shots rang out. Deputy Scott was down.

Back up units could not reach Scott. Gunfire continued to erupt from the home. Finally, a Knox County Sheriff's cruiser, covered with Kevlar vests, was able to get close enough to Scott to pull him away from the area. He was rushed to the University of Tennessee Medical Center by LifeSTAR helicopter where he died. Jason Scott leaves behind a wife, pregnant with their first child, due any day now. He was 20 years old and a three year veteran of the Sheriff's department.

At of this writing, the boy, Michael Harvey, 16, is still holed up in the house, heavily armed with automatic rifles and scopes. Knox County Sheriff Tim Hutchison stated he is believed to have "as much (weaponry and ammunition) inside the house as we have outside." Six law enforcement agencies are on the scene with over 150 officers present. Frank Harvey, the boy's father, is a Loudon County Assistant District Attorney.

This is such a bloody, sad, senseless tragedy ... I just can't believe it. Why? How? Whatever possessed this young man to take such action? Two lives wasted ... one ended, one ruined. And one new life beginning ...

Local TV News Report and Video

A further update:
Michael Harvey is dead. Apparently, he shot himself in the head sometime last night. Updated news reports state that Michael had been troubled in the past ... attempted suicide last year and spent some time in a mental hospital. The same mental hospital my son was in.

There, but for the Grace of God and Lithium, go I.

Posted by LissaKay on 03/13/04 at 01:15 AM in ~ Bipolarville ~ Our World
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Saturday, September 20, 2003

Like any “normal” kid ...

Life is weird here in Bipolar-ville. Always.

Even though I am not afflicted with the disorder, my way of thinking has changed. I don't view my immediate world in quite the same way. Everyday, typical, "normal" (is there such a thing?) occurances are cause to celebrate. Truly bizarre behavior and chaos becomes the norm.

When your child behaves in way that other kids do everyday, and have done so their entire lives ... when he goes out and does something that other families take for granted as a part of normal adolescence ... when these things happen and it causes you to break down in tears of joy, thanksgiving and gratitude ... well, Welcome to Bipolar-ville ....

Posted by LissaKay on 09/20/03 at 03:03 AM in ~ Bipolarville
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Sunday, August 31, 2003

Happy (?) Weekend

Groan ... finally, the end of a long, exhausting, thoroughly frustrating week! Whassat you say? It's Saturday? Heh ... lucky me, I had to work today. But it wasn't all that bad ... we don't start until 11am, so I get to sleep in a little, and everyone is all laid back, wearing shorts and flip-flops.

No ... it was earlier this week that was sheer hell.

Monday, we started off in that wonderful place called Juvenile Court. I'd had to make special arrangements at work to have the day off, since I am not yet eligible for vacation or sick leave. So, we get down there and the place is jam-packed. My son's PO told us that there were an unusual number of kids arrested over the weekend and they have to get their preliminary hearings done first. My son was there for a probation re-evaluation. And it wasn't looking good for him ... (See the first part of this post for details)

Posted by LissaKay on 08/31/03 at 03:07 AM in ~ Bipolarville
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Wednesday, July 16, 2003

So I’m a Bitch, eh?

I have a profile on Yahoo. Under marital status, it says “Single, Not Looking.” Apparently there are quite a few people out there that do not believe this. I get IM after IM from flirty guys, nasty guys, even some women and couples. So, I added the following to the profile: “Lookie up there ... see where it says, Single, NOT Looking? What part of that is confusing you? I have neither time nor the energy to play the dating game. Now move along .. nothing more to see here.”

So now, I get IM after IM from would-be Casanova's calling me a bitch. How lovely ...

Usually I just close the IM window and go about my business. But sometimes I am feeling spunky ... or bored, and I respond. Most commonly, I just say, “Thanks!” and I hear nothing further. However, some of these fellows are persistent (the women have stopped messaging me, I guess they have better reading comprehension or something). One guy, ssmith1627, said, “What a bitch!” My reply, “You say 'bitch' as if it's a bad thing ... ” I guess he called up all his buddies because I was literally bombed with messages calling me all sorts of variations of “bitch.” Poor little guys ... I guess they couldn't handle the degree of rejection they found in my profile.

Little do they know ... I am a bitch. I like to say that stands for “Babe In Total Control of Herself” But it has come to mean much more than that for me ....

Posted by LissaKay on 07/16/03 at 03:40 PM in ~ Being Bitchy ~ Bipolarville
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Tuesday, February 25, 2003

Par for the Course

My son started at the alternative school this week. They are supposed to provide transportation to and from. Of course, that got screwed up. He was very reluctant to go, but he did with minimal fuss. I think he will settle in well there. They provide a level of support and attention the regular schools cannot. I am hopeful that it will be good for him and he can eventually transition back into regular school.

Posted by LissaKay on 02/25/03 at 11:47 AM in ~ Bipolarville
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Tuesday, February 11, 2003

Just a little Faith

I spent some pixels talking about my beloved kitty, Dakota, a big, hunk of furry love, and how he soothes and comforts me. I have another kitty, Faith, who was adopted at the same time Dakota was. We kept the names the shelter gave them, and gave them a forever home. I found them by searching PetFinder.com and hooked up with a no-kill shelter near my home.

Little did I know the impact a little kitten could have ...
She was only 2 months old when I brought her home. My son was thrilled to finally have some pets here. As I have related before, he has several emotional and mental issues, including bipolar disorder. This makes simple everyday living a huge challenge for him.

Before he was diagnosed with bipolar, he was being treated for severe depression, including high suicide risk. At the time I brought the kitties home in June, he had already started his final descent towards a complete psychotic break. I truly believe that the presence of this little kitten played a major role in keeping him from literally falling into a dark abyss from which there could be no recovery.

My son immediately started calling Faith *his* kitty. Dakota was mine. He tended to her oh so gently, keeping her eyes cleaned, her water and food bowls filled, and even scooping out the litter box every now and then. He would laugh uproariously at her playful antics, pulling strings and toys tirelessly for her to chase. At night, he would tuck Faith into the blankets by his side and fall asleep with her curled in his arms.

Posted by LissaKay on 02/11/03 at 11:42 AM in ~ Bipolarville ~ Kitty Tales
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Monday, February 10, 2003

Two weeks in hell - Part V

Friday, Feb 7 was my son's initial court appearance on the vandalism charge. I was told that was when we would formally hear the charges and could request a public defender. We met the woman that will be his probation officer/case worker and I started filling out the papers for the PD. When I turned them in, I was told that the income cut-off for PDs is $11,800. That's when I lost it totally. I knew that without representation, given my son's history of trouble at school, in the neighborhood and previously being in state custody, they would likely rip our guts out. I did manage to get it back together for the hearing. My son did well there, answered the preliminary questions from the judge, remembering to say "Sir" and "Your Honor" Then the judge ordered the PD office to assign him an attorney. On the way out, the clerk that I had talked to earlier snarled, "The judge made a mistake, you shouldn't be gettin no lawyer from us."

You know, it's a really *bad* idea to piss off a mother who is in the act of protecting her young. That woman is very lucky to have her throat still intact. I would have gladly ripped it out right about then.

Posted by LissaKay on 02/10/03 at 12:53 AM in ~ Bipolarville
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