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Category Archives: Treatment

Can You See My Pain?

schizophrenia
How the world feels like with schizophrenia
Picture credit: Craig Finn

 

Watching the horrific story unfolding yesterday at FSU brought back memories, that I was sure had long ago been sent to an unretrievable place in my mind.

The young man who opened fire at the College Library had recently done some, according to neighbors, out of character, or extremely odd things, giving those near to him an insight, a clue as to what was coming.

But that only would have helped them help him, if they had been aware of the signs, or signals, that predict, or point to violent behavior.

If you have been here for a while, you know that many years ago, I was treatment Nurse in a California Rehab Center for four years.

It was the most rewarding, most fulfilling time of my life.

During those four years, some  of the 125 patients at the facility became close to me.

One in particular was especially dear and we had many memorable conversations.

This young man was a college student who had attempted to take his own life,  by jumping off of  the roof of a building at  the same school that my three children and I were attending at the time.

Although his effort to end his life failed, he was ultimately hospitalized and became one of my patients.

Over time, this sweet, soft-spoken boy/man learned to trust me and opened his heart and thoughts to me.

Some of the things that he said, were never really confirmed, Google and computers would be years away.

So, I had no real way to prove, or disprove, the explanations he gave for his past behavior that he shared with me.

On several occasions, he told me that the greatest time of risk for mental breakdowns, at least he believed for males, was during late puberty, around the ages of 18-20, which is when it happened to him.

He also said that those with higher IQ’s, who were under great pressure in College or other, with  little or no strong family support to absorb some of it,  were usually the most at risk.

The powerful surge of hormones, during this period of time, he explained could cause those with a propensity for mental, or emotional trouble,  to  ” go over the edge,” as he did.

I listened to him every day, telling his stories and sharing his thoughts, with no clue as to what was to come.

He seemed fairly well-adjusted to the facility at the time and seemed to function well and interact with others.

I had no way of knowing that what I saw was an act.

He was not truly adjusting to the environment and was apparently still extremely unhappy.

This sweet young man finally succeeded at ending his life.

I came in to work one morning and the reaction of the other staff, was the giveaway that something terrible had happened.

The Charge Nurse came to me and consoled me about what he had done.

Overnight, he, like Robin Williams had recently apparently done, hung himself with his belt.

I was completely overcome with grief because I felt guilty.

I had been close to him and failed to see what was going on.

To this day, I have never forgotten him or what he did..

Seeing the young man yesterday and what happened to him brought it all rushing back.

This young man who went on a shooting Rampage at FSU yesterday,  like my patient so long ago, apparently had much of the same conditions in his life as well.

Many of these shootings, or what appear to be random killings, are not being done by hardened, career, or violent criminals in  recent years.

Consider the Sandy Hook shootings.

They are being committed by troubled souls many of whom come from what seems to be good families without any financial troubles.

For me, one thing that they all seem to have in common, is that they needed to get to someone and they frequently do attempt to reach out, but in most cases,  too late.

If there is any lesson in these tragic stories that just keep repeating, it is that if we, that is you and me, don’t get involved when a little alarm or bell goes off in our heads, we must bear at least some part of the blame for what they ultimately do to themselves and others, for not speaking up,  or acting on it.

When my particular young man was sharing and baring his soul to me, I was quite new to the environment of a Mental Health Facility.

I spent the entire time in a room and they were brought to me for their treatments.

I was not expected to be involved in any other part of their care.

Had I had years of training, hopefully I would have picked up better on any clues that he may have been sharing with me and possibly have intervened or stopped him.

I will never really never  know if I could have or not.

But, what I do know,  is that he is always right here in my heart and I wish I could have done more.

Like the young man yesterday at FSU, I wish that someone could have reached him somehow and helped him.

Today, as you go through your normal daily routine, will you think of these young men and all of the others like them?

Every day, someone, somewhere, is asking for help and no one hears them.

They could be a neighbor,  a co-worker, a relative, a friend, or just an ordinary person that we see everyday and if you look into their eyes, perhaps you may see a clue.

I truly believe that they want us to know that they need help, but don’t always know how to say it, or ask for it.

We must all try to be better listeners.

They are speaking to us and asking:

Can you see my pain?

 

Places to learn more:

Reports on FSU Shooter Describe Sudden Mental Deterioration, No History of Violence

Gunman at Florida State Spoke of Being Watched 

Police: Gunman killed after shooting at FS

Officials reveal details about FSU gunman

Shooter was FSU grad, ex-prosecutor ‘in crisis’

Schizophrenia – Wikipedia

 

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Caught Up in Charlotte’s Web

Cannabis_sativa_(Köhler)
Medical Marijuana or Cannabis
Picture: Public Domain

 

On our local news today was a story about this controversial treatment for those with severe illnesses.

The term  Charlotte’s Web was named after Charlotte Figi who has long suffered with multiple seizures and has revolutionized the thinking on the drug.

It has been around since 1996 in California and it was nearly passed here a week or so ago, losing by only a very narrow margin, by voters, who likely had little, or perhaps no idea, of the millions who could be helped by it.

Medical Marijuana or Medical Cannabis, as it is called, can give tremendous relief to those suffering from a wide variety of long-term diseases, or illnesses, like epilepsy and its accompanying seizures, all forms of end stage cancers, Parkinson’s disease, Multiple Sclerosis and others.

The drug is made from the oil of the plant and will be sold here in Florida, ONLY by legally authorized people.

The use of Medical Marijuana has for years been shown  to give comfort to those suffering with great pain.

The objections to approving this world-wide, as a former treatment Nurse, have always miffed me.

My son is a paraplegic and through out his life had to deal with a great deal of pain,.

Although he never used this, I knew many who did and do, to stop unbearable pain.

Yes, I came of age in L.A. in the late sixties, I was surrounded by all manner of drugs.

I never used them, they did not appeal to me.

But if my son had needed them and he was in extreme pain, I most certainly would have gotten them for him.

In this country, you can legally buy alcohol, get drunk and kill yourself and any number of others.

You can buy cigarettes that after a period of time, can cause cancer, which can also kill you.

You can buy a myriad of legally prescribed drugs which can quickly become addictive and ultimately destroy your life.

Think the TV Series, ” House. ”

The list is long, the point is, why this huge outpouring of fear on Medical Marijuana?

In California where it has been legal for many years, there are many more problems and deaths from all of the other forms of “legal drugs” than there are from this substance.

The situation is extremely sad, because many families and children especially, could be helped tremendously by this, yet those with the legal ability to do so, our Judges, are turning this legal process into a living hell, telling those who needed it,  “yesterday””  that they will have to wait even longer.

No amount of prescription pills can replace the same level of pain alleviation of Medical Marijuana, as children simply cannot take enough of them safely to get relief from their debilitating pain.

Not to mention the potential and possible deadly side effects of these powerful pills for a child.

It is time for the judicial system in this and other states to get on board with the medical community and do what is right for those who are suffering.

Everyone here has seen the pictures and the videos of the people on the Beach at Venice in California and are convinced that the entire state of Florida will become a “weed” version of a tawdry Cheech and Chong movie.

We have so many horrible accidents each year in Florida that are caused by those who drive drunk or the wrong way on our freeways.

It seems that no one was too worried about the dangers of alcohol and driving when they approved it to be sold in every state in the Country, all those years ago.

Apparently, just the name Marijuana makes people absolutely terrified of what might happen if it is allowed to be sold publicly.

Is it just possible that the real or true reason behind this aversion or objection to Medical Marijuana, might be that those who sell it will make money and greedy politicians and others, have not yet found a way to get their share of it?

Better yet, ask the parent of a child who is suffering from debilitating pain what they think.

They don’t care who makes the money, as long as their child is not one of those caught up in Charlotte’s Web.

 

Places to learn more:

Judge tosses out rules for ‘Charlotte’s Web’ medical pot

More than 3,000 new patients will soon have access to Charlotte’s Web

Charlotte’s Web – Wikipedia

Meet The Children Who Rely On Marijuana To Survive

 Charlotte’s Web medical marijuana program delayed 

Charlotte’s Web Of Suffering: Six-Year-Old Colorado Girl With Dravet Syndrome Finds Relief From Marijuana High In CBD

 

 

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