Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Diminished Capacity

This is a follow up to last week’s article on health care. In the article they said people with mental illness do not receive adequate health care.  One reason is because they do not take medicine like they are supposed to.  Is it because their cognitive functions are diminished that is what I understood.  I wanted to write about some of the people who have mental illness and they are not cognitively disabled because of their mental illness.
One of those people is Elyn Saks’s who is a professor of law at the University of Southern California she won a genius award.  Now I believe she adheres to taking her medicine and has come a long way in her life doing well.    Some people without mental illness have not achieved as much as her.  She also wrote a memoir of her struggles with Schizophrenia.  There are a lot of smart and successful people who have mental illness.  Some are celebrities that have come out to get rid of the stigma.One of those is Catherine Zeta-Jones who by talking about her mental illness which is Bipolar has brought out other celebrities also like Carrie Fisher to talk about their struggles with mental illness.  There are a lot of celebrities with mental illness that bring it out to get rid of the stigma.  Also have to remember John Nash of a beautiful mind movie.  He was a professor also and won the Nobel Prize in Economics.  Healthcare professionals have to treat everyone equal and help all people to live longer lives if at all possible.
I know from my own experience that there are a lot of people with mental illness that are higher functioning that do not tell they have a mental illness because of the stigma.  I know when I was first out of the state hospital I experience prejudice or stigma whatever you would like to call it firsthand.  I told the apartment manager that I had a mental illness when I was looking for apartments and she stopped talking to me and started talking to my sister.  I knew then that I would not get that apartment although she played it out calling to give excuses why I did not get it.
I know if President Obama does fight and is successful in bringing mental illness out of the shadows and a lot of people we will find that have mental illness and never told that they do. We will find that people with mental illness do not have diminished capacity and can understand and take their medications and fight for equal healthcare.  As many people with mental illness are not working and are on Medicaid and Welfare would it not be the right thing to do is give them the best healthcare in the beginning so they do not keep coming back for the same problem in an emergency room and we pay more money for the same health problem?

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