Another Symptom of Our Growing Social Problem

This is the third in a series by Tucker Carlson on homelessness. He is focusing on the west coast, but the social evil is ubiquitous. [I searched in vain for the second part of the series yesterday. If anyone finds it, please leave a link in the comments.]

In my experience with the homeless, the issues he mentions – mental illness and broken families – are all too true. The roots of those causes are deep and difficult to unravel. For those I worked with who were using only their prescribed medications, family shunning was common and long-standing.

Very often mental illnesses don’t show up until mid-or-late adolescence. When it occurs, families are not prepared to deal with the attendant out-of-control behavior; their child has become a strange monster. Send a teenager to his room? He’ll break up the house. Impulsive, destructive behavior escalates as the mental problems increase. Unprepared families have no idea how to cope. For intact families not riven with their own unresolved issues, things can be turned around but it’s a painful process.

One grassroots group, NAMI, has been particularly effective in resourcing help. This is not a government bureaucracy:

NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness.

What started as a small group of families gathered around a kitchen table in 1979 has blossomed into the nation’s leading voice on mental health. Today, we are an association of more than 500 local affiliates who work in your community to raise awareness and provide support and education that was not previously available to those in need.

I found our local group and wanted to attend so I could figure out how to effectively help my daughter. She died of a methadone overdose the day I’d chosen for my first visit. I never had the heart to go back.

Meanwhile, back in Seattle, there are unexpected consequences. One is
contaminated seafood:

As more and more American communities grapple with opioid addiction, the human toll of the epidemic has grown in both scope and severity. And now, scientists at the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife have found evidence that drug’s impact has literally flowed downstream to affect marine life, as well.

Specifically, they used mussels as a barometer of pollution in the waters off Seattle and discovered that oxycodone is now present enough in the marine environment there for shellfish to test positive.

The surge in homelessness has many causes. The hollowing out of the American family is one. And the loss of manufacturing jobs which led eventually to the opioid crisis is another. When meaning is lost, people will find substitutes.

I hope Tucker Carlson builds on what he learns about homelessness in America. And I also hope he addresses, however briefly, the surge in the “retired” population, many of whom live in their vans or cars, moving from job to job.

It’s not just a California/west coast problem.

23 thoughts on “Another Symptom of Our Growing Social Problem

  1. Mental illness is the underlying culprit for many homeless people.

    Federal HIPPA laws prevent first degree relative notification without a patient’s written consent. This also applies to involuntary psychiatric hospitalizations! Now imagine if this “asinine policy” also applied to Alzheimer’s and dementia patients. They would have little to zero chance of getting family support & notifications every time their loved one ran away and/or was hospitalized. Brain impairments are serious matters regardless how they occur.

    Dymphna…I’m sorry for the tragic loss of your daughter to opiate addiction! My 27 year old son was a former Army Ranger, combat medic. As the primary medical person, (“Doc”) of his 7 man team, he could dispense amphetamines to keep himself & other team members awake, alert during nighttime extraction of Taliban/ISIS terrorists.

    After leaving the Army at age 25, my son enrolled in college using GI bill benefits. He was the exact same age as my mother when she first had a “nervous breakdown” in 1968 and was later diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder. My son began to suffer poor grades and unspecified psychosis. The first episode he was prescribed Wellbutrin only which caused a full-blown psychotic break from reality. My ex husband and I (his only 1st degree relatives) were not contacted by anyone because our son refused to sign a Federal HIPPA form. After he dropped out of college, he went to Florida to visit his Army buddy. After a few days there, he was involuntarily committed for a three day psychiatric observation under the Baker Act. My ex-husband received a phone call from our son to pick him up at the hospital. They kept it a secret from me. Afterwards, our son moved in with his father in California. Several months later our son was involuntarily 5150’d to a psychiatric hospital because he was acting erratically and neighbors called the police. Again (third time) we were not notified because our son refused to sign the HIPPA form. As a condition of release, he signed a written agreement to take all prescribed psychiatric medications for one year. Because he was involuntarily committed, he is not allowed to own or possess firearms for 5 years. Upon release from the hospital he threw away the Haldol and prescribed medications. My ex husband called the police to report non-compliance. The police dispatcher replied they (police) are not social workers and cannot take our son back to a psychiatric hospital unless he is making threats, harming himself physically or attacking other people. He was 5150’d a fourth time for slapping/shoving his father and setting a fire in the backyard. My ex husband had returned from a weekend trip when he found our son unresponsive on the bedroom floor. Apparently he obtained amphetamines illegally on the Internet and tried to heal/cure himself of “PTSD”. He suffered a stroke and almost died from it. Two years have passed since that terrible day. He received full VA disability and has finally agreed to psychiatric treatment at a local VA hospital.

    Being a combat veteran gave him monetary & medical benefits not available to the general public. I have no doubt my son would be homeless or dead without them! America’s mental health system is broken and federal HIPPA law needs to be changed to notify first degree relatives of any involuntarily, psychiatric commitments. Many families have no idea what happened to their loved ones because HIPPA law prevents it workout written consent. As any NAMI member fully understands…geographic relocation is a common method people use to “solve their problems”. Family support is imperative for a positive outcome! Mentally ill patients & drug addicts need help staying compliant on medications and filling out then necessary forms for medical insurance & financial benefits! My son received no social worker support or follow on appointments after he left psychiatric facilities in Colorado, Florida & California! Mental health systems are overwhelmed with massive shortages of psychiatrists, counselors, & social workers. It’s literally a “catch & release system” today.

    • Thank you for your grueling heartbreak of a story. You have run marathons.

      I, too, have PTSD (developmental PTSD), and it’s difficult to deal with. Of course, I never faced an actual battlefield or I’d probably be permanently institutionalized.

      I urge you to contact NAMI – the URL is linked in the post. It’s a great organization for families as well as patients.

      Your story made me think how different things would be if we had that mental health model the town of Gheel developed to work with institutionalized patients. As it is, sometimes there isn’t even any “catch”, as happened when a Virginia state senator could not find a psychiatric bed anywhere in Virginia for his son. So they went home and early the next morning, Gus stabbed his father with a knife and then shot himself:

      https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2817690/amp/I-love-Virginia-state-senator-Creigh-Deeds-reveals-final-words-bi-polar-son-attacked-knife-just-moments-21-year-old-committed-suicide.html

      BTW, notice what your son, my daughter, and Gus Deeds have in common besides their obvious mental issues: none of them come from intact families. I’m not blaming us for their suffering, just noticing that it occurs more frequently when families fracture.

    • Thanks for sharing your story.

      In my opinion, HIPAA needs not to be modified, but to be junked. It is a major pain for healthy people receiving non-problematic medical treatment. It’s simply the nuisance of filling out stupid forms every 6 months or so. For people of questionable cognitive stability or in tricky situations, I can see it would be a killer.

      I tried researching HIPAA on the internet, to see what motivated its passage. Ted Kennedy was one of its authors. I couldn’t find any real reason, except it was to facilitate the portability of medical care plans across jobs. It seems to be HIPAA would make that more difficult.

  2. I would also add to the discussion the plight of the disposable employee. At the behest of the Harvard MBAs in 1972 the covenant between Management and Labor that was entered into during the depths of the Great Depression was breached in the wake of several dissertations that contended that there were more humans than there were jobs and the means to economically support them. Zero Population Growth (ZPG) and Roe v. Wade (aside from a Supreme Court Justice’s daughter coming down with a child) was the result of this new paradigm of humans as commodities that were expendable and disposable. I learned early on that merit and work well done counted for nothing as the cost of production was the only consideration. China would never have happened had it not been for this paradigm being adopted by corporations at the behest of their greedy shareholders who always wanted more dividends than what they were paid last year.
    We’ve sown to the wind and we are now reaping the whirlwind. I should say that we are past the point of no return. When I see employable people walking the streets I know that they have been discarded because there is no further use for them. The climate here in SoCal allows for that, for a while until the police step in and you end up on a chain gang cleaning trash off of the freeways. Property appraisal, amongst other professions, isn’t doing much better as it is being quickly replaced by Artificial Intelligence. So, as Ray Bradbury wrote (or prophesied) we will sit on the porch with folded hands watching the sun go down as that is all the robots will allow us to do.
    Maranatha

  3. Dymphna I am sorry for your loss and I am sure that you did everything you could.

    I was a teenager( oh well let’s see I am 57 years old now ) so as my kids would say I was a teenager when Moses wore shorts ,when I had an encounter with weed.One of my friends started dating this boy who introduced my friend, her sister , her younger brothers and her sister’s boyfriend to weed

    So I didn’t know until one Saturday afternoon they invited me round for a barbeque.

    So my mother gave me a lift to my friend’s house and dropped me off at the gate.

    No parents just my friend , her boyfriend ,her sister who was a year older ,her sister’s boyfriend and my friend’s 2 younger brothers.

    My parents were both doctors and my friend’s father was a surgeon ,my friend’s mother was a nurse.

    My parents approved the friendship wholeheartedly .

    We were middle class children ,with a comfortable lifestyle.

    So they all sat down in a circle and I sat down next to my friend Sarah.And then Sarah’s boyfriend light a weed cigarette and took a few puffs and passed it round the circle.Sarah said you had to take a puff and pass it on.

    I thought it was pointless .I thought I was there to eat and I was annoyed that
    I had been lured there under false pretences .
    So I passed the cigarette on and left the circle.

    Sarah’s boyfriend got high and ran around with his shirt unbuttoned totally out of it.

    The others didn’t seem to be affected.

    When my mother picked me up a couple hours after ,all I said was there hadn’t been any food and I was hungry.Mum was annoyed, she had expected my friend’s parents to be there and clearly they weren’t or a meal would have been provided.

    Well a few months later Sarah said her boyfriend’s grades had slipped and during one session they all started hallucinating and got a big fright .All of them with the exception of the boyfriend decided to stop. Sarah broke up with him and he continued smoking weed and last we heard he had failed his exams ,dropped out of school.

    Peer pressure is a thing.Sarah and her sister and brothers were all perfectly normal
    but they thought they had made friends with a cool kid and they wanted to impress him.

    That’s how lots of kids get into weed and then from weed onto hard drugs.The more freely available they are the more likely it is that more kids will try it trying to impress the cool kids and the more likely it is that more kids will become addicted.

    Build the wall which will stop 95%of the flow of drugs over the border and I guarantee that the rate of drug addiction will go down dramatically.

    • Children from complete families with caring parents have a high immunity to peer pressure. Kids (baby goats) from disfunctional background usually find out that their own family doesn’t care, and start looking for some other family/tribe to belong to.

      Hippies and free love, no value in virginity, loyalty is being scorned for stupidity, marriage as a money generating machine, just be yourself, do what thou wilt… What an experiment to behold!

  4. The way I see it God is just, and Americans should tremble for their country.

    In the last 50 years or so America has turned 180 degrees in morals, and people still think it was progress. They dropped Christian morals for “New Age TM” morals, but nobody seems to make the connection between the change of morals and the transformation of the Constitutional Republic into an Empire ruled by unaccountable individuals.

    JFK files? Forget it. It is too big of a politics for average Americans to handle…

    I mean, for the Americans of today.

    Do you think that Americans in the year 1900 would put up with thousands of homeless people in their cities? And on top of that give them homeless money for food, but otherwise leave them to die alone in misery?

    One of the strengths of islam is its family connection. Christianity has it too, and much better, but now Christianity is out, and guess what’s coming in… Because Islam is well equipped to take disenfranchised lost souls aboard. Islam will give them group to belong to, material security in the form of “Mosque Social Services”, and Islam will explain who are the perpetrators of their misery.

    Islam will give them a fish. It is sad really, because Christianity would teach them to fish.

    • I’m happy to see that you know about NAMI. As ex-military, surely you’ve run into men and women who were pushed past their individual limits (those vary from person to person). Some of the damage is repairable, but the waiting lines are long.

  5. The elephephant in this room is childhood addiction to prescription drugs such as adderal et al. I have worked in psychologists’ offices. At one time the psychologists met with patients and they talked out problems and sought causes and solutions. Only rarely were the patients referred to psychiatrists, who generally prescribed drugs and perhaps hospitalization. Later these psychologists (who are not allowed to prescribe drugs) discovered they could get on board the gravy train by hiring a couple of nurse practitioners to do their prescribing. Worked like clockwork and just as regular. There might be a place for these drugs under carefully controlled conditions, but in this country they are taken about as seriously as potato chips. Very young children who don’t focus on things for various reasons (much I believe has too do with a combination of over-exposure to screen light and failure of parents to properly bond with them and leaving them too much in day care). These kids are set upon a lifelong course of dependence on these drugs. The drugs have some horrible side effects and after effects and they destroy normal brain development. They are a temporary “fix” for people who don’t want to spend time with their kids or find out why a student is struggling. A bandaid to make it all “go away”. Trouble is, it comes back. It is no coincidence that these seemingly mindless school shootings and other violent acting out, as well as many suicides, have a common factor: prescription anti-depressant or anti-psychotic kinds of drugs. Imagine the quiet erosion of young minds who don’t even get involved in sensational stories – people whose mental potential and creativity are just silently stunted. This is a horrible nightmare. I have a family member whose mental issues and homelessness began with Prozac. She’s not the first and won’t be the last whose life was stolen by prescription drugs. Street drugs are a serious problem but no one will talk about the far worse silent villain here – drugs prescribed legally and the irreparable damage they do. If we want to clean up this mess we should start by strictly controlling and monitoring prescription drugs . . . but we won’t because too many “legitimate” establishment people – your community leaders, “educators”, etc., are sharing in the profits of the drug companies at some point in the continuum of profiteering, all at the expense of our innocent children. Shame on parents who let this happen, whose careers take precedence over raising a child, who shunt them off to impersonal daycares and thence to the purveyors of mind-destroying drugs. Let’s start with THEM>

    • You’ve made good points here. But parents don’t shoulder the final blame for being caught in a powerful system. By the time they arrive at the doctor’s door, they are scared and their child has become strange, a stranger. I’ve seen it happen to well-meaning families trying to find an answer for their children’s bizarre behavior.

      But are children over-medicated? Yes, they often are. But for other parents, psychotropic meds allow them to have their kids back. I remember vividly a nephew who was a whirling dervish, couldn’t sit still, couldn’t focus on anything, including the boob tube. I’d happened to attend a lecture on adult ADD and the doctor asked for a show of hands for those who drank more than four cups of coffee or caffeinated beverages a day. Almost everyone raised their hand. One fellow admitted to simply chewing handsful of caffeine pills. The doc said he was self-medicating to calm down and the man agreed with him.

      So I asked our nephew’s grandmother if I could give the boy a cup of coffee, just to see what effect it had. It was brewed coffee with milk and sugar…twenty minutes later I sat on the couch with this child and we shared a picture book; he was engrossed in the images and made intelligent comments. Grandma stood behind us, crying. I urged her to have him evaluated and she agreed. Meanwhile, while the miracle lasted, she enjoyed the tremendous change.

    • Stefan Molyneux has commented that the schools, mainly run by females, just aren’t suited for males. The schools put a premium on sitting still and being passive, which is counter to the instincts of most males.

      Dymphna recounted the case of her nephew, who apparently calmed down on being given the mild caffeine stimulant of a cup of coffee. Would he have been able to function with coffee every day, in place of prescription drugs?

      • The problem with using just caffeine is that you need increasing amounts just to break even. Thus, the fellow who said he chewed No Doz right out of the bottle. He’d moved beyond coffee.

        The treatment for anyone with ADD is one of the legal stimulant drugs, used judiciously. The patient won’t develop a tolerance for it. With kids, there ought to be VERY limited screen time (any kind of electronic screen), plus scheduled one-on-one time with their parents. Driving them around to play-dates or lessons doesn’t count. However, one child at a time at the grocery store, in a SLOW walk, attention on the child, works wonders.

        Many ADD kids are dying for in-depth attention from adults they admire.

  6. This will not solve everything, nor likely homeless, of limited at best resources, education. But for those who can, and care, there is this substantial solution:

    More Evidence Links Mediterranean Diet to Less Depression
    https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/902685
    Should the FDA Approve the Mediterranean Diet for Depression?
    Drew Ramsey, MD Disclosures |February 22, 2018 https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/892792

    Fact is as detailed in research report, much evidence is available, pointing to dramatic reduction in depression, with as near to vegetarian diet as can be followed. Also, medical research, show some reductions – improvements in some other disorders. Strong research shows dramatic improvements in autism spectrum, with fecal microbiota transplants, also. Numerous disease states are showing sometimes dramatic improvements. These represent very recent results, in nutrition pharmacology, which only began to take off ten years ago. Benefits are seen in neurodegenerative, cardiac, auto-immune, cancer, etc. disorders. Especially preventives, but also actual curatives, of the source of these disorders.

    Evidence is so much and broad, more will follow along both lines of treatments, for amazing safe management of many, but not likely each and every person, just most.

  7. Additionally, I feel it is important to comment on comments, although well meant, that sound as suggesting islam offers something of value to anyone of disordered or dysfunctional mental or moral status. Nothing possible could be further from the truth. (All hope, any hope, by deceit, will be taken, completely, irrevocably from such persons) Such individuals are more easily gullible and able to be lied to, which is fundamental to islam. There are no warm, soft fuzzy “family” values or relationships, such as exist in Christianity, Judaism. Anger, beatings, stoning, other honor killings and general unpleasant dictatorship reigns in such families, eventually, or immediately. No redeeming value of any kind exists, for the islam lifestyle. Especially for the mentally fouled minds. All capable males and females are drilled to hate all else, and exhorted to kill. Pure cult, gang. Jihad Watch, Robert Spencer best overall true source of knowledge, especially his many superbly accurately authored books, and the website. But here are three others which get reality across, somewhat, and very well:
    Do not let America Become London: Katie Hopkins https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RbQ1zwhnotU
    The Islamic Threat and How to Defeat It (48 mins.)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mTbPvmnUTuc
    What Every American Needs to Know About the Qur’an – A History of Islam & the United States William, J Federer https://www.c-span.org/video/?314071-10/what-american-quran

    Very worth all readers time to study, these.

  8. Dymphna, how sad. That must be the most terrible thing. And sometimes I feel sorry for myself – my problems pale into insignificance in comparison. God bless.

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