We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Too often, the functionally-impaired abandon families which might offer shelter and support, reject treatment which might help if only a little, and refuse government assistance either out of pride or misunderstanding. People often write about "more services" and more "help for addicts," etc., but these things are commonly rejected.
Currently, jails are said to be the largest mental health facilities in the US. Have we have returned to Bedlam? More likely, family homes are the largest, jails second, and the streets third. Rightly or wrongly, government-coerced "help" was politically and morally abandoned.
If you are a parent or relative of an impaired person, and have some assets, best thing is to make a trust for them with a good trustee. The low-functioning relative might reject all that, but it's all one can do. Once upon a time, there were permanent "retreats" and "homes" for such people, but when government got in the game they became hellholes.
I have no solution. Functioning at a high level is challenging enough for all of us even without tragic difficulties.
Involuntarily hospitalizing the severely mentally ill who refuse treatment potentially saves not just the life of a possible victim of very rare violence, but the life of the patient, when treatment can offer them a life off the streets or not incarcerated,
"Involuntarily hospitalizing the severely mentally ill who refuse treatment potentially saves not just the life of a possible victim of very rare violence, but the life of the patient, when treatment can offer them a life off the streets or not icarcerated."
It's not "rare." The streets are becoming quite dangerous. My wife recently was physically assaulted by a violent crazy person while walking down the sidewalk at 5 p.m. in the financial district. If I had seen it, I would have beat the crap out of the person until he was no longer low-functioning, but non-functioning. Police and building security said they could do nothing since they didn't witness it and the psycho would immediately be let out again even if arrested because there is nowhere to put them. Many of them are violent, especially when cranked up on meth or skunk. She now won't go outside if she's still at work when it starts getting dark without my escorting her. Every time I go outside now to pick her up from her building I see 4 or 5 of these wackadoodles ranting and raving, hitting things, yelling and screaming, or defecating on the sidewalk.
Institutionalize them, incarcerate them, or euthanize them. I have no patience any longer with the mentally ill or the homeless. They are a serious threat to civil society and need to be removed.
We also need to implement the death penalty for drug pushers and dealers who put many of these people into the states they are in. There's no question in my mind that the large majority of mental illness is the result of drug abuse.
There are numerous reason for the homeless on the streets and the solution is to start incarcerating them in order to even determine their problems. A few decades ago they WERE put in institutions and treated. On occasion they would be short term released to see if they could function on their own which also included self medicating for psychiatric problems. If not they were kept in the institutions on a permanent basis. In our boomer utopian vision of the world the lawyers decided that all should be released if they appeared functional at the institution. Bad, bad, bad, move...many soon became dysfunctional out of the institution and it soon became a catch and release game that failed entirely. Get the lawyers out of the homeless game and go back to what worked.
One of the problems in dealing with people who are mentally ill is that they often do not see their own acts as wrong or crazy. They will, on the other hand, see most form of help as being intrusive and contrary to what they want. They, many, not all, develop coping mechanisms to this help to allow them the best chance of escaping the help. It does not matter usually if the help is from family, friends, do-gooders or the government. They have learned to take what they want from offered help and get away.
Also, many of them are quite smart, street smart and game smart and THEY are playing a game all the time. That is how they cope with the world. When you encounter them they will be playing and you will be ignoring them or simply unaware. You must play the game or you are the game. However you choose to address them or act towards them they have seen it before and are one or two steps ahead of you. Confidence works. Talking to them and treating them as though they are totally normal can work, somewhat. Do not accept their act and keep it real. But do not disrespect or talk down to them because that is what they experience from almost everyone they meet.
Mostly though they are broken. You cannot fix them. Those who are not badly broken or have at the least learned effective coping skills can be brought into the real world.
There are of course those who are dangerous and these people are really dangerous. There are no guarantees in those cases and you are better off not befriending them or trying to help them. How can you tell who is dangerous? You can't usually. Look for very charming, very slick orfriendly. They have a story; they will try to play you, tell you a sad story, offer you something for something in return. Watch how they study you or others. They are often loners or have one friend who may be much like them or even scarier. Your best defense against this is to not be there with them.
Think about the fact that Russia just used nerve agent to kill a old spy in London. Think about how easy that was for them. Is this the new terrorist potential?
Made me think how easy it would be for a terrorist or anyone trying to kill a lot of people could create a mixture of Fentanyl and DMSO and disperse it as an aerosol into a HVAC system in a large building. No fancy chemistry just a delivery and absorbtion system.