Monday, May 7, 2012

The Screams for Freedom

A story described by Barney McNeill, a Western Kentucky man
Written by: Alexis C. Custard

    Stuck! Like a car caught in the mud with the prodigious tires rotating. The cycle repeats itself and there is no way out. The battery in a car is used to start the car. All of the car's electrical accessories depend on the battery. The car's fuel pump, fuel injection system and ignition system all run off the car's electrical system, but when the system goes out the car, like the brain- it cannot function. A Western Kentucky man, Barney McNeill had a 17-year beautiful marriage, he said. His wife began to have difficulty sleeping at that time did not sleep for three days. McNeill and his wife were keeping her mother, who also suffers from mental illness, for about a year at the time. Suddenly, his wife told him to get out of the house and that she didn’t want him anymore, McNeill said. He consulted a doctor concerning his wife’s symptoms that said he would help; however, when his wife went to see the doctor he saw nothing wrong with her. There was nothing that could be done and McNeill did not want to push the issue, he said.

    We live in a world where we are allotted so much freedom, but what happens when the person is unaware that they are ill? It then seems that people are taking away their freedoms by not allowing them to live happy, healthy lives. McNeill tried to get a mental inquest warrant in his attempts to have her evaluated. His hopes were that his process would allow his wife to receive the medical attention that she needed. A warrant was served, but when she was taken to the office for help, she showed no symptoms by that time; therefore they were still stuck in the same place where they began.

   “I felt helpless when this happened, as no one wanted to help me with my wife,” McNeill said.

    Today, McNeill and his wife are divorced because nothing or no one could help her. Some individuals with mental illness like McNeill’s ex-wife don’t always show symptoms. Individuals who show symptoms can get help, but what about those who are screaming out for help, but no one comes to their rescue? The current laws state that an individual can be forced to get help, but only if they are a threat to themselves or others. McNeill’s ex-wife did not display any of those symptoms to the public, and as an adult she was able to refuse treatment.

    There are no laws to help those who are unaware that they are mentally ill. McNeill’s ex wife’s life does not have the quality of life that she could have because she has not received the treatment that she deserves. She has no one around to help her. Eventually her life will spiral further out of control, like her symptoms the longer she goes without help.

   “More law changes and more money need to be made available to treat mental illness, which is more rampant than most people think,” McNeill said.

   A person cannot help their condition or know when their system will stop functioning like it use to. We must keep pushing the car stuck in the mud in order to change the laws and help those that cannot help themselves. Push to fight for the screams for freedom.

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