Saturday, January 12, 2013


How many of us have known a family like Adam Lanza’s, a James Holmes, or others that commit a preventable tragedy? How many of us have witnessed or personally experienced the lonely desperation that devours the family who try in vain to get the needed treatment and support for their afflicted loved one? How many of us know the drama and trauma that comes with an untreated severe brain disorder with anosognoia and psychosis? How the untreated disorder drains every family resource; usually leaving them broken, helpless, and wondering how this could have happened? How many of us know but ignore and turn away?

Anosognosia is a brain malfunction in the frontal lobe. It prevents an individual from having insight to their condition so they will not seek treatment on their own. It is not denial. Anosognosia allows the brain disorder to control a person’s thoughts and behavior. Anosognosia cannot be talked, prayed, or loved away it must be treated.

After reading Liza Long’s viral blog, “I Am Adam Lanza’s Mother,” now entitled “Thinking the Unthinkable,” memories of raising my own son sent my pulse racing and my blood pressure soaring. Even though it’s been over a decade since we faced our own trauma and drama. I can’t believe that families like ours still cannot secure treatment compliance and support services for the ones they love, fear, but still care for!

Is it lack of reliable information? Is it stigma? Is it the diverted funding that prevents the implementation and proper enforcement of current laws or the making of needed new ones? Is it a lack of hospital beds? Is it lack of public awareness or lack of professional accountability that allows this gross neglect of those most seriously impacted to continue? We must stop ignoring the issues!

When time is brain, the right early intervention, treatment compliance, and support services can save brain cells that are needed for a recovery. Our family is living proof! Our son has been relapse free for ten years and is enjoying a lasting recovery!

As Alexandra Petri points out in her Washington Post blog article, families desperately need assistance in providing early intervention, proper and timely treatment compliance, and sustained support for themselves and their loved ones who suffer from severe neurological brain disorders with anosognosia. ( )

I believe that we must:

1: Implement, fully fund, and enforce a National Assisted Outpatient Treatment Guideline for each state to follow, creating strict psychiatric and neurological criteria for those who would qualify and to ensure compliance with prescribed treatment. http:/

3: Provide sustained support services for families and those they care for. Assist families in the management of unwanted and potential criminal behavior which will help to keep their loved ones off the streets and out of the correctional system.,0,6322748.story

Please click on the link provided and add your signature. Now is the time for action! Before it’s too late, again!

I am so fortunate to know Deborah Fabos and even more proud of her efforts! Will you please support her White House Petition, to make a difference? GG Burns, KY Mental Health Advocate

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