Tag Archives: mental health

Violence is behavior, not an object or substance

Violence is a mental health issue that the healthcare industry, Center for Disease Control, and the government are responsible for. Their collective approach of demonizing substances and objects is ignorance and incompetence at best.

There are millions of researched papers on everything from domestic violence to gun violence written by competent researchers that outline the root causes of violence and possible treatments or programs. Politically we don’t use our academic knowledge because it’s not reactive. This has led to a nationwide ignorance of the situations we face as Americans.

The complexity of these problems are daunting. They begin with families, are reinforced by communities, and in some cases cultural identities develop based on these ignorances. Someone who is angry enough to act out violently against other people is mentally ill.

When I say mentally ill, this is even misunderstood. Take for instance the Kalamazoo, Michigan man who became the Uber driver who went on a shooting rampage. His initial ploy was to say the Uber App took over his mind and made him do it.

Subsequent investigations revealed he met his wife after the first incident and exchanged vehicles. During this exchange he told his wife he couldn’t tell her what he was doing, but when she watched the 11:00 o’clock news she would know. He also wore a protective armored vest. He continued to pick up and deliver other Uber customers in between three shooting events over several hours into the night.

He eventually dropped the Uber Satan defense and plead guilty to the murders and assaults. The revealing part to the whole story is the wife didn’t call the police after her husband called her to meet him at his parents, gave her a gun, and left the first car damaged. It seems she went home to await the 11:00 o’clock news. This is telling of a not so normal family life, but the news chose to focus on he had no criminal history, and even produced Facebook photos of him playing with his children in the snow. It was a much more dramatic story if he was “normal” and just snapped.

The nation was gripped by the narrative. The sad part is that nothing more was said about his history. Any half intelligent person can surmise that there were factors that led up to this that weren’t reported because the narrative of the “story” wouldn’t be as dramatic. There were tens of thousands of folks watching this story who looked around their living room and noticed similarities in someone in their family, but continued to say nothing.

Whether or not he was mentally ill is not a question. You have to be mentally unstable to do what he did. This is scary ground for most folks. No one wants to believe they could do something “crazy”. What we don’t see is the childhood or family life as an adult and all the little signs that with the right trigger can make someone a horrific character in a tragedy.

I use this example to demonstrate the misleading narratives that surround violence, especially gun violence. Health professionals, the CDC, and the government know that violence cannot be stopped by eliminating weapons, bombs, knives or any other inanimate object.

This mentality has creeped into the addiction narrative by demonizing OxyContin, fentanyl, and other drugs that help millions of folks who take them as prescribed and move on to a drug free life when the prescription runs out.

It’s moved in and out of the diet narrative for decades. Eggs are bad, then meat is unhealthy, through gluten and a whole host of foods that are responsible for the increase in the life of the average American.

We don’t ban hamburgers from healthy people because obese folks can’t control themselves. We can’t scrap vehicles because some folks drink or take prescriptions irresponsibly. Its pure ignorance to think this way, but this is the prevalent thought in America today.

The media and the government are responsible for perpetrating this ignorance. It creates a cause that’s dramatic and ignorant politician feed of deceitful media outlets. We need to fight back with intelligent narratives if we’re to purge ignorance from these idiots making dollars off our pain.

The healthcare industry is just as culpable. They know that these popular dramatic reactions aren’t real cures for any ill, in fact this rubric has compounded the problem. Mental health illness and mental health episodes are rampant in America. Homelessness, domestic violence, gun violence are all great examples of how we’re not looking after each other in a healthy manner, and healthcare professionals are doing nothing.

The center for disease control keeps statistics for deaths and violence. They know that the gun violence problem in America is not a national problem, it’s a cultural problem taking place regularly in the same environments as an established cultural reaction. Whether it’s in a hood or an upscale school, the characters are predictable and reproducible, but nothing is done. We just believe getting rid of weapons will get rid of our problem. Getting rid of a certain drug will cure addiction. Getting rid of certain types of food will make us healthy. Its bullshit and makes no sense when you say it out loud.

We have to hold those responsible accountable. Politicians, healthcare professionals, law enforcement are all responsible. Our academicians and especially the psychiatric community are responsible. We have to focus on the source of violence and that’s behavior.

I’m frustrated. I detest ignorance touted as if it’s intelligence. We’ve wasted billions, of not trillions of dollars and millions of lives over grown folks sitting around in committees that have ignorant assumptions as their basis for meeting. They’ve come to ridiculous conclusions and recommendations based on failed hypotheses. No one calls them out?

We have to become louder in our demand for representation that is intelligent and directed by goals for solutions based on real problems. We can’t keep letting this reactive politic invade our intellectual endeavors to find real solutions to real problems based on real understanding. We have to thwart ignorance unapologetically or we’ll be having this conversation for the next thirty years as we have for the last.

Advertisements

Traveler

Its not sadness, it’s foreboding
The darkness never blinds
It opens the mind to possibility
And memories in kind

It’s not fear, it’s freedom
Shining on a hill
You’ll never climb
That keeps you still

It’s not dread, it’s hope
That sits on a shelf
Awaiting your return
To move yourself

Past the pain and the fear
Beyond the shame
To take that first step
Towards you again

Mired in the world
Where each tangled moment
Is held with contempt
Or pulled with regret

You struggle within a though
Like a passenger
Gazing out the windshield
Haunted by the rear view mirror

All the while traveling
Towards a crossroad
Where the three of you
Come together as one

Once again it’s you
Along an empty horizon
No longer searching
Or remembering when

Free to roam the possibilities
Without tomorrow
Or yesterday
And all it’s sorrow

The Gift of Family

I feel ya, that’s what they say
During the evenings alone
Throughout the day

Your gone, but real
I’m here, but not
And that’s our deal

I’m blessed by you
What’s left behind
And the things to do

Your next to me reminding
Through unconditional eyes
And the love I’m finding

I’m gonna do better
From where I stand
Down to the letter

But you’ve work too
From where you stand
I’m watching you

Man to man we walk
Unseen by others
Nor hear us talk

My debt never paid
A lifetime of joy
From choices you made

Forgetting my debt
In your silence
I gather regret

Nights are a reminder
you breathe through me
And be a little kinder

But soon looms a date
A chance to remember
it’s never too late

To keep you alive
In memories I don’t have
Soon to arrive

Your debt unpaid
Entwined in my dreams
And plans we made

And in the end
Joy and happiness
Ours to send

Through eyes eternally
always sharing
The gift of a family

Gift of Silence

The gift is old,
No longer possible
Nor shines like gold

There were moments,
Passed or played,
Not well spent

For gifts are shared
Not held
Or compared

Some you can open,
Others create,
Others spoken

It’s not the words praised
Or or objects held
For spirits raised

It’s the thought
That feels
Emotions caught

The gift of silence,
We’re understood
In just a glance

Seasons of the Heart

I used to feel more than the wind
I could hear the echo of memories
Dancing through my life
Sometimes glory, other times strife

My scorched soul lies in wait
As the summer sun mercilessly shines
Down on flesh and sand equally
Burning memories in kind

An autumn breeze becomes a scent
More than a smell, it’s a place and time
Traveling in a retrospective glance
With no reason or rhyme

Then the cold winter wind blows
touching chilling moments of pain
Freezing scenes of hope
As memories and fears wane

Then springs hope with the sounds
Of yesterday and tomorrow
The youth of thought
And the melting of sorrow

These are the seasons of my heart
Colorful and tragic in the same
Displayed for all to see
Or feel as I became

Pieces, Shards, and Moments

Moments lie scattered like pieces of a broken mirror.
Reflecting shattered remnants on a dusty floor.

It’s the sharp images that cut thoughts into a fragmented one.
Meanwhile I stand fixed on how many pieces I’ve become.

It’s never been as easy as me, or I am whole.
The I’s never really have anything but others they’ve stole.

Then the exponential value of all I am leaves me to wonder.
How many are you that watch
with silent eyes asunder?

The noise is deafening with thousands of us screaming,
Screaming to be heard within the silence of dreaming

So I’m lost, there is no one voice, and now I must think in silence.
The quiet aspects we ignore
leaving certainty in suspense.

All around are noises and silent eyes, words and looks reveal
what others have in mind
to lie, cheat, or steal.

So shattered I lie, shards of me
pieced together with scars,
and reflections of hope
In memories afar.

Addictive Advantage

The magicians cure is akin to the kid who breaks the neighbors window, but blames glass for being to thin, because he barely hit the ball. I’m amazed at how many people fall for the latest addiction narrative.

I’m watching this dude who skyrocketed out of nowhere with a an addicted co pilot who’s the victim of an evil capitalist agenda. He doesn’t stand a chance against the medicine designed to cure folks that some folks use as a crutch for their psychological maladies.

I’m not saying that “medicine” hasn’t found a niche that’s deceitful. Pharmaceuticals found out a long time ago how to make the Dr. a middleman and the insurance industry a financier. They did it dude, great plan. The problem is we started talking.

The change for me is, I grew up in the 60’s and 70’s, addicts were demonized. The “Rolling Stones” pointed out the hypocrisy with lyrics like “Momma’s little helpers”. Millions of folks were hiding in their medicine cabinets behind the stereotypical evil “heroin addict”!

The cracks in the walls appeared here and there. Whether it was Elvis and his pills, the long list of country singers going up and down like roller coasters, but we didn’t talk about those things then. Today we talk about everything and the poseurs with their high end insurance coverage got called out. An addict is an addict. Just like they were saying back in the day.

So now we have the perfect character to defend the privileged addict who can keep the hierarchy of addiction in place by assigning blame. No longer do you take responsibility for your actions first. You create a victim by demonizing medicine that you decided to abuse, then talk about how you never stood s chance against the giants of pharmaceutical folks. Sounds to me like an addict not taking responsibility. These issues are not mutual, they’re separate and equal.

It’s the entrepenureal approach to recovery. At times I think the industry is blind to the addict. Focused too hard on who made the pills or which “recovery center” can franchise the fastest. Those with their eyes open see clearly. We see right through “front men” and victimized narratives. It’s just the same behaviors in a different hustle.

If there is one thing to take away from the last 70 or so years, it’s those dudes meeting in basements we’re right, an addict is an addict. Whether it’s street drugs or pharmaceuticals, you’re an addict. There’s no difference between the heroin addict nodding off in the park or the grandma nodding off in her favorite sitting room, they’re the same behaviors.

Addiction is a mental health issue that is shrouded with layers of co dependence that covers the addict like a wet blanket. It takes mental health professionals to treat addiction, not other addicts or grieving loved ones carrying a torch. No amount of dollars or guilt will solve this problem. Honest family members and friends catching the potential addict before the fall and getting them professional help will be a good start.

Unfortunately there’s money to be made, people to demonize, and co dependent people living off the addicts pain. If you’re in this fight find professional help. Look around your circle and evaluate those folks to see who genuinely could help you understand and move foreword with the professional knowledge you receive. Leave everyone else behind for a couple years till your well enough to call them out.

Don’t be fooled by the “ride or die” type. That’s part of the co dependent hook. Folks who say the “got your back” usually do. The question is which way are they facing. Don’t be fooled back into that space that closes in on you.