Madness of mental illness

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It seems the afflicted are only managed at best

By Merilee Dannemann

My friend’s life was dominated by her mentally ill son.
He was schizophrenic and had dangerous delusions. He would be committed to the New Mexico State Hospital in Las Vegas for six months at a time, but could not be kept longer than that due to laws intended to safeguard the freedoms of the mentally ill.
She worried about him in the hospital because of the living conditions, but she worried about him much more when he was free.
The cycle of events was predictable. He’d be hospitalized, medicated, stabilized. The law required that he be released because he was demonstrably stable as long as he stayed on his meds.
Then he’d get out and come back to the only hometown he knew. He would stop taking the meds and get involved with lowlifes who shared bad street drugs with him and took whatever money he had. The delusions would come back and he would do something awful - life-threatening, perhaps - that would eventually land him back in Las Vegas.
A neighbor of his mother’s was, for no logical reason, the object of some of his delusions. He believed messages from alien spacecraft emanated from the neighbor’s house. Once he drove a car into the neighbor’s living room.
She spent more money than she had trying to get him help. Nothing worked.

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