Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Bedlam

Bedam Royal Hospital in London spawned the word "bedlam" to describe things being "off the hook" crazy.  It was, in words understandable, an insane asylum....a place for people who have/had stepped outside their minds to the point that reality was lost on them. We have our "bedlams" in the United States of course and our emergency short term wards and treatment centers available.  That this fellow in Tucson was a prime candidate for some interventional psychiatric care is pretty much right in our faces.

The screaming right now is about 1. the rhetoric that surrounds society and 2. how the kid 'got himself a gun'.  It isn't about how someone who is acting very very strangely continued to walk around without some concern that would lead to some treatment.  The problem actually then goes back to health care.

Most plans have very limited "psychiatric care" provisions and they come "after the fact" and generally the patient has to be showing major league signs or be part of an incident before treatment can begin. How wrong this is. 

That our rhetoric is out of control and unmuzzled - free speech notwithstanding and that although the gun dealer who sold this lunatic a gun broke no laws, those matters need to be examined is of course correct.  That this kid never hit a mental health clinic when his every action was screaming for intervention is the real tragedy here. No one is to blame but everyone who doesn't come to grips with a health care situation in this country that doesn't even start to be available to this type is individual is as much a contributor to this senseless event as anything and we might do well to think about that.

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