New Castle News

February 1, 2013

Treating mental illness poses many difficulties

By Staff
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — Editor, The News:

Mitchel Olszak’s column in Weatherford’s Democrat was appreciated a lot.

My thinking has agreed with his. Forget guns. As he said, it’s way off the mark.

What he offered, a partial solution of treating the mentally ill, is again problematic. How and by what means can we even hope to address it? Screening across the board is impossible. The ones who come to notice may come from school counselors — inadequate at best.

We don’t have the mechanism to determine mental illness. Counselors, psychologists and psychiatrists, not to mention confessors, are not able/willing to divulge anything in their “practices.”

The mentally ill have the disadvantage of being the butt of jokes, sarcasm and cause many fears. Some of our friends and families are known as having a screw loose, or having three or five bricks shy of a full load. Their behavior frightens many.

I can identify with the mentally ill: I am bipolar. What a ride that was until diagnosis and treatment. My medication is a priority. Many ride that horse, not clearly aware of their condition, don’t seek medical help, and medicate with addictive drugs and alcohol. Secretly they fear accepting their condition. Been there, done that.

Solutions are complicated and difficult to identify. Treatment? Nearly impossible. Some nuances, the fabric of our culture. Religious fanaticism. The power hungry cracking their whips. The greedy, behind our cherished capitalism. Those who turn advantage into crushing others, ignoring their pain, or proud of it. The exercise of pride (seen in academe and elsewhere).

A bleak solution, if there is one. I pray a lot and do what I can to help. Ministries like for the incarcerated.

This may help, and I’m open to discussion. Let’s dialogue.

Jerry Curda

Weatherford, Texas