Saturday, April 21, 2007

Speaking as a psychologist, fuck Cho Seung-hui

And good job, George Bush the junior.

On the heels of recent news that this Korean fucker got his guns off of Ebay, capable of holding 30 rounds apiece, and following Bravo's airing of "Bowling for Columbine," our president puts all but the blame on the mental health system for not being strong enough.


Right, right. Look, I love my fucking career, if not always my job, but I'll be the first to say that it's not a perfect science. Here's a quote to live by: "Psychology cannot foretell the occurrence of fortuitous encounters, however sophisticated its knowledge of human behavior becomes." - Albert Bandura

This asshole - Cho, not GWB, haw - went to a hospital, and no doubt was asked the usual round of questions, and I'm sure he went under the usual scrutiny. However, he can't be hospitalized forever, and if he eventually looked like he was no longer at risk, then he'd be released from the hospital. I'm very afraid that this will lead to a return to the warehousing of the mentally ill, where we stick anyone that just looks funny in the hospital and leave them under the pretenses of "treatment." If Cho was just arbitrarily stuck in a hospital until he "wised up" and accepted treatment, we'd have a students at VA Tech still alive, and the ACLU & Bush clamoring for the man's release because he'd be considered an illegal detainee. And don't even get me started on the F'NACLU.

Here's what I work with, and how I do: I have people who consider suicide constantly; that's why their in treatment. I could call them right now and ask them, "Hey, thought about suicide today?" They'd say, "Sure do." But, and here's the thing, I could them ask, "Are you still going to work today?" "Are you still doing well in your college classes?" They'd say, "Yeah," and add their individual subjective opinions. Following Cho's shit, and mental health "reform" in the face of needed gun control (you get a gun on Ebay, you got a need for gun control), I would have to stick that store clerk, that student, that relatively healthy & recovering person in a fucking hospital where all that will happed is, that they'll be looked at (literally) until they're stable.

At work, there's been a battle going on about a recent change in forms. In the face of astounding amounts of paperwork, the state DMH increased the initial assessment form from 4 pages to 8 pages. Included are questions of extreme relevance, like, where the client was born and who raised them, questions about their religious slant, and important questions about their sexual interest. We've been fighting against this as a permanent fixture in our diagnostic toolkit. But, because of this fine scope being put against the mental health sector, we its workers have no choice now. In fact, just opening a chart in the mental health clinic may be the hardest thing that I will have to do at work. But that'll be okay, 'cause over half of my clients will be in the hospital, 'cause they just happened to be blowing off steam, saying, "I just wish I was dead," and BAM! Into the hospital they go.

I just can't wait for the abusers of the system to catch on. The disability seeker, the prescription drug addict ... "If I don't get my chart open, I might just be like that little Virginia Tech boy what killed them people." You think that doesn't happen, but when I have a person saying that her paraplegic overweight antisocial brother - who shits on himself when he's mad at his caretaker mother and downs the LD50 pain medicine - might be another "Anna Nicole," you're liable to hear anything.

So, yes, Mr. President, the key to better gun control is improving the mental health system. Yes, Columbia, the key to improve employee morale is a 13 page opening assessment battery (which used to be 9 pages). Yes, my clients current and future, as good a therapist as I may be could possibly be curtailed by forces outside of my own control.

God Bless the USF'NA.

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