DESPITE TWO SUICIDE ATTEMPTS, FAMILY INSISTS WOMAN IS 'FINE'
DEAR ABBY: I'm a 40-year-old woman, diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder after two suicide attempts. I have tried to get my parents and siblings to attend a session with me so they would understand my diagnosis, but all I hear is, "You don't need all those drugs. You're fine -- just a little different than the rest of us," and, "You have always been 'odd' and we like you that way."
I have given up trying to get their support, but my gifted 14-year-old nephew has been asking questions about my diagnosis. I'm not sure how much to tell him, especially about the suicide attempts, one of which landed me in the hospital.
Any advice about what I should tell him and how to get family support? -- HEARING VOICES IN ILLINOIS
DEAR HEARING VOICES: Tell your nephew the truth. If he is as intellectually gifted as you say, he will go online and start researching. Explain that your condition can be overwhelming at times, which caused you at one point to try to harm yourself, but that it is kept in check with medication.
Your relatives may be reluctant to admit that there is a mental illness in the family, which is why they refuse to allow your psychiatrist to confirm it. However, you may be able to find support from NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness. With 1,200 affiliates, NAMI provides grassroots, self-help groups for people with mental illness and family members who are affected by it.
The website is www.nami.org and I hope you will check it out. The organization was established in 1979, and it may be able to help you get through to your family that your problems are not imaginary.
Here's what SRK at Refusing Psychiatry without Pissing Off the Neighbours has to say about Dear Abby's advice.
Trashing Dear Abby (again)
Jeanne Phillips, 70-year-old daughter of the original Abigail Van Buren, Pauline Phillips, has always told almost everyone who writes to her to see a psychiatrist as the "common-sense" solution to whatever problem they are having.
Today, her omnipresent Dear Abby column inadvertently reveals the obnoxious agenda of all psychiatric shills, particularly so-called "family support" groups like NAMI.
Abby sagely suggests to a writer she calls "Hearing Voices in Illinois" that the only reason her family might think she doesn't need psych drugs is that they're "reluctant to admit" what Hearing's psych would confirm -- that in fact, there is a mental illness in the family.
In other words, if the family weren't so irrationally prejudiced against people with diseases of the brain as opposed to the heart, kidney or stomach, then they'd surely see the obvious logic of taking drugs which reduce your life expectancy by twenty-five years and do virtually nothing to help you.
Abby speculates that Hearing's nephew could go online to research mental illness since he is gifted. She presumes that this gifted nephew will clearly see the truth -- that the orthodox, hyper-medicalized view of all human problems absolutely must rule.
Families are only to be respected when they tell people to take psych drugs. If they tell people not to get "treatment" then they're wrong, and they deserve no respect. That's the way NAMI has always operated. Today's Dear Abby just takes the implication to a more obvious, blatant and pedestrian level.
Read the rest of the SRKs post here.
Should relatives buy into the diagnosis, as Hearing Voices in Illinois wants them to do? Would this help or hinder the relative to get better (getting better is not something that "Hearing Voices" seems to set as a personal goal).