when our children do finally go in to get help, if they could have someone on the other side of the door who is trained in compassion, I would appreciate that. Someone who puts an arm around and leads them in to sit down and talk for a bit...someone who says,
"Come in and sit with me for a bit. Tell me your story. Any parts you want to or all of it. I have time to listen, don't hurry."....and then they listened. Then they ask pertinent questions like, "Once in the program do you have somewhere safe to stay? Somewhere where no one is using drugs or being mean to you? Your parents? Oh great....can we call them right now and set that up? I can help you to make the call if you can't do it on your own."
As treatment is begun it would be understood that this is a *sick* individual....physically and mentally and emotionally broken. Some of it is brought on by their own choices, some of it is a result of the drug use, and some of it is truly a chemical imbalance in their brains.....a brain disorder that is out of their control and not their fault. This young person who walked through their doors will NOT be able to do their program perfectly....but it will be established from the beginning that there will be many chances offered as long as honesty and willingness are still present. "We are here to work with you to show you how to get healthy. We will teach you the tools and you have to use them. Some days will be hard. Some MONTHS will be hard, really really hard, but if you keep coming back, if you keep working with us, we will keep working with you"
Last night at the class they talked about how mental illness is viewed so differently than physical illness....even by the medical professionals. My girl has never been delusional or psychotic due to her mental health issues. She is articulate and able to explain the deep depression and anxiety that cripple her life and make her return again and again to the numbness of drugs. She has not relapsed as far as I know in the recent past so this raving and ranting is not about that. lol Its about how this trip to Monterey showed me that she truly does have emotional/mental issues. Its about learning that the information is out there, but you have to find it and then you have to find a dr who has found it too. Its been 11 years of doing this and we have asked for help so many times I can't remember them all and the bottom line is that we/she has not gotten it. We have always had health insurance. We have good jobs. We are regular people who pay their bills, have car insurance, cars that run, and we walk in put together, can carry on a conversation in a normal manner. Yet, we have been shuffled around, put off, brushed off, minimized, not taken seriously, ignored, given blatantly wrong information, all while our daughter suffered and proceeded to get sicker and sicker. All while we stood by watching and suffering our own pain.
Her own words recently...."They are lucky I'm not more fucking unstable or I would have killed myself already. " While waiting to be "allowed" into the dual dx program.
This should not be in this free country of abundance. And I am not talking about health care legislation....I don't think I am at least. I am talking about educated and compassionate health care workers who take action when you can't do it for yourself. Or who can tell you what to do next and have it be accurate and effective information.