The discussion about forced outpatient care continues onward, and yet, the whole point by many at the end of the day is so disingenuous at best, dishonest at worst, and just plain clueless by most.
I have been working for an ACT team the past 3 weeks, and frankly, the patients there aren’t going to get much better with my help much less by all the other providers in the program, simply because the patients really don’t want the help, but, most of them have to participate until proven otherwise. So, they go through the motions, accept the prescriptions handed to them, go to the various visits with providers and other support program staff, and other requested travels to “benefit them”
But, if these patients don’t value or frame the efforts as help, then, what really is felt and appreciated at the end of every day? Just being hassled, intruded, and coerced. Think about it for one minute, those of you with free will, ability to problem solve, reasonable judgment and insight abilities. If you don’t want something, you try your damn best to get removed from a situation, be left alone, reject the efforts you don’t see as viable and helpful.
And yet, even though most patients in the ACT programs don’t have these skills and abilities, they are still American citizens with some inherent rights and safeguards, but, the patriarchs and naive good will providers think that knowing better than others trumps such rights and choices, eh?
And then these same “benefactors” are often the ones most removed and shielded from the very situations they demand of not only these patients to accept, but almost always stay removed by having other people do the dirty work of “providing care”. Doesn’t that bother some of you who aren’t the patients, that you are asked to be put in situations that inherently create strife, resistance, and sheer uncooperation that can lead to hostility, discord, and violence?
So, the basic premise to living in this country is having the chance, if not framed as the right, to choice. And yet, now we have people who claim that there are those who don’t have this right, but can still live among others in the community who do have right to choose and be free. However, what is the real environment for those who don’t want to exercise good choice?
Isn’t that why we have places like prisons, inpatient long term psychiatric units, and unfortunately, graveyards? Aren’t those the honest and appropriate places for people who don’t want to make healthy and responsible choices due to psychiatric impairment? It is tragic to write these last couple of paragraphs, as we want to see people who are struggling and destitute and without real healthy support and stability access better options. But, they have to want to better themselves in some form. And some people just don’t want to seek out a better life.
Hey, it’s a poor choice, and one fraught with peril and pain. But, this is America, and what you and I think are good choices may not be shared by someone else down the street, across town, in the next city. This dialogue about making people HAVE to be in treatment, what a dangerous path being paved here.
Sort of like the equally disingenuous, dishonest, and frankly ugly talk by some that we should tolerate, if not embrace the use of torture of our enemies. I think there is an antisocial element that is part of this discussion to enforced psychiatric outpatient care.
Who honestly and sincerely can say we have to make patients take meds, be placed in living situations not viewed as helpful, and work with providers and associates who are not seen as allies or supports? Healthy and responsible people working with the mentally ill suggest it and sincerely advise it, but, when it is framed as punitive, well, who can truly say that and keep the concept and skills as a provider and advocate for patients?
Over the years I have met people who work in the health care industry, (note I don’t call it the “health care field” as the impact of money has crumbled the basic definition of “field” into “industry”) who think that patients are now consumers and clients, and that dumbing down of the definition has made it clear what the agenda now is for those who want to profit from the care process. What bothers me equally these days are not the frank profiteers out there, no, their rhetoric and actions easily expose them for what they are and want. No, what bothers me are these “terminal idealists” and “reckless benefactors” who think that being providers and advocates change the realities of the health care process.
I’ll end this post with the simple truth that you all should be thinking about as the new year of 2015 arrives, and that is simply this:
what is the difference between intolerance and overtolerance? Just a couple of letters before “tolerance” that accent the extremes of black or white to a process that is inherently gray at the end of the day. I tolerate choice because it is the beauty of living, and equally the peril of outcomes. Watch out who tell you you don’t have choice. Especially if they are smiling when telling you this.
Happy New Year to ya, like it is really a new year. Twist the words of the song by The Who “won’t get fooled again” at the end, “meet the new year, same as the old year…” The calendar can’t discriminate who are the same idiots running the various shows disrupting your lives across the country, just another day in the life…