Friday, January 24, 2014
Woman In Chains
Not quite chains but one could argue that Christina Schumacher, (Pictured) was held under duress for five weeks at the secure psych ward at Fletcher Allen Health Care in Burlington, VT.
So, is this just another case of a person who has found daily living unbearable, so unbearable that, overnight, they have developed a chemical imbalance in their brain thus rendering them mentally ill?
Well, if mourning the loss of a child is a mental illness then Schumacher deserved to be held. The thing is, and this is the crux of the argument, mourning is not a mental illness.
What this particular story shows us is how very easy it is to make money from the dead.
Schumacher's son, Gunnar, 14, was strangled by his father, Ludwig "Sonny" Schumacher Jr., 49, who later took his own life by hanging. Christina had separated from "Sonny" in July last year.
One day after learning her son was killed by her ex, Christina is admitted to a psychiatric unit because because mental health workers believed she posed a danger to herself and others.
It's called grief.
Schumacher has now been billed for her stay at the Fletcher Allen Health Care Centre.
So, let's just get this straight.
Your son is murdered.
You learn it was an ex-spouse who murdered him.
You then learn your ex-spouse killed themselves.
Ah, yes...most obvious reaction to this would be to become dangerous to yourself and/or others.
I'm not disputing that Schumacher felt suicidal, who wouldn't after hearing such devastating news? But who in their right minds would incarcerate a woman [because that's what it is] hours after she had learned her child had been murdered?
Mental Health Services had a couple of options here.
1. They could have, quite easily, "monitored" the situation.
As patients we are constantly told by antidepressant manufacturers that we may feel suicidal during the first few weeks of taking medication. We are told...or rather our doctor's are told, that the patient should be 'monitored' during this period. Why was Schumacher singled out for a 5 week stay at the 'Nutjob Hilton' then?
2. They could have listened to Schumacher and her friends who, according to reports, "disputed her need to be confined."
Her friends didn't have white coats and stethoscopes around their necks though...they did not have the skill to see Schumacher's chemical imbalance.
If indeed Christina Schumacher did pose a threat to herself and others then what changed over the five weeks she was held against her will? Did medication help her, is there some miracle pill that can, after five weeks, cure suicidal and homicidal thoughts?
I'm thinking there's money to be made here... I'm a bit late to jump on this particular bandwagon though as pharmaceutical companies and mental health services have been doing it for years.
I could, however, get some sort of loan and open up a motel or guest house. I'd pay the unemployed to scour the streets for anyone who looked remotely sad [Are you listening Cameron?].
My 'spotter' could then text me, "Woman, mid-fifties, looks sad, just saw her purchase a condolence card...obviously a danger to herself and others. I've attached a photo."
Great! A quick phone call to Mick "The Bruiser" Jones. "Hey Bruiser, get yourself down to the card shop on the High Street, attached is photo"
Mick "The Brusier" could then wait outside and nab the woman as she came out of the card shop.
I could then hold her for five weeks, bill her, and claim I was only acting in her best interests.
Isn't this, in essence, what Fletcher Allen Health Care have done with Schumacher?
Welcome to the world of mental health folks. A world where the actions of crazy people are actually committed by those employed in the system and not those dragged into it against their will.
Full story here.
About the Author :
Bob Fiddaman has been writing about the dangers of antidepressants since 2006. In 2011 he was presented with two human rights awards from the Citizens Commission on Human Rights.
Labels: Burlington VT, Chemical Imbalance, Christina Schumacher, Fletcher Allen Health Care, Grief, HUMAN RIGHTS, Mourning