Tuesday, August 19, 2014

"Court ordered treatment is not our last resort. Homicide or suicide is."

For my wife, Amy Bruce

by Joe Bruce
CARATUNK, Maine – On June 20, 2006, I opened the door of our simple home here on Main Street in western Maine to find the limp, bloody body of my beautiful wife Amy, my closest friend in the world and the love of my life. In a deep state of psychosis, our then 24-year-old son, William, had killed her with a hatchet, thinking she was an al-Qaeda agent.
Two months earlier, on April 20, 2006, Riverview Psychiatric Center in Augusta, Me., discharged Will, diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, three weeks shy of the 90-day involuntary commitment period ordered by our local District Court. Will had a history of violence, but he was released from Riverview without the benefit of any kind of antipsychotic drugs.
The days, months, and years following Amy’s death marked the worst time of my life, but it was also the start of something most unexpected: a journey into openness, emerging most recently this week with a CNN investigation into our family’s story, “If only they had treated him before,” by CNN senior producer Wayne Drash.

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