Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Dear John...

Must be my week to catch all the fun articles . The short of this one is John Travolta agrees with Tom Cruise (although he would have handled it differently so he's okay), and blames all the school shootings on psychotropic medicines.

Hi John, I'm Lorelai. Thanks for sharing your opinion. Now let me tell you about me and my job. I have been working my ass off for the last 10 years to graduate with a doctorate in psychology. My emphasis is in child psyhcology. I work with the kids who have been kicked out of preschools, play dates, and recreational programs. They have smeared their shit, cut themselves, and hurt others. I work with families who are overwhelmed and frustrated. I work with kids who have faced more abuse and trauma in their young lives than I have faced in almost 30 years. Do I think that sometimes kids are over-medicated? Hell yes I do. I do not recommend meds as a first option for any child. There are foods and parent tools I always recommend first. Therapy is another first option. Have I ever seen a child who is so ill that medicine is an option. Hell yes I have. And I have seen many adults who benefit from medicine. I also have a mother who believes that she is followed by gangs, and her cell phone and her computer are full of devices that watch her and taunt her. When her hallucinations are particularly bad she will put black screening material up to keep the bad guys from seeing her and trying to hurt her. I look at my mother and I wish she would take medication. Maybe then she would have some sort of a quality to her life.

Tell me John, did your wife ever feel so dark after giving birth to your two beautiful kids that she contemplated killing your babies? I really hope she didn't, but many women feel this way (or some sort of PPD) and I don't care what your feelings are, you don't get to judge people who seek help. They are not weak for using meds. In fact they are some of the strongest damn people I know.

I am glad you're a night owl, guess what I am too. But have you ever stayed up all night because if you closed your eyes the hallucinations would become so bad the only way to stop them was to kill yourself? Talk to someone who has, and tell them they are wrong for seeking medical treatment.

Let's talk about psychotropic medications causing school shootings. First off, the medical and mental health records of the V-Tech killer are not released so how do you know he was on psychotropic meds? It was believed that he didn't attend the counseling he was ordered to, so I find it hard to believe that he would be med compliant. As for the other shooters, some were one meds and some weren't, so let's get this out of the way, meds don't cause shooters. They may be a factor, the same way the family, school, peer group, and self are factors.

Do we need gun control? I think we do. Do we need to know more about psychotropic meds? Yes we do especially those we give to kids. But we also need better access to mental health, and we need to remove the stigma that comes with mental illness. But I don't think you'll help me with this. That's okay, I can work on it without you or Tom's help.

I am happy you are blessed to have a wonderful family and a supportive religion. You're right to think that everyone should be able to voice their opinion. Here's my opinion: I think yours sucks. It is full of faulty logic and a lack of compassion for a group of people who are already feeling isolated and overwhelmed. The saddest part of all of this is that you have power because of your fame. And while many will read your article and think of you as a pompous jackass, for some your words will keep them from seeking treatment.

Wow this really pissed me off. Jumping off my pedestal now. Peace out.

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