I wrote this yesterday morning, and quite a bit has transpired since then. Please do read to the end for a bit of clarification.
Dear Local Hospital:
My apologies, but there is just no other way to phrase this.
Two-and-a-half years ago, I said there was something wrong with my son – gee, anyone see a pattern here – and I brought him to you. Under police escort. After sending a young girl to ask him a few questions, it was decided that there was “nothing” wrong with him and he was sent home.
About nine months later, he went on a hunger strike. Supposedly. We brought him back to you. This time I insisted that he stay overnight for an in-depth evaluation. He was admitted at 6:00 p.m. This means he had dinner and spent a few hours on the ward before bedtime; at 9:00 a.m. the next morning, after spending a few minutes talking to a psychiatrist, I got the phone call to come and get him. He was assigned to “outpatient” therapy, which consisted of spending about five hours a day for two weeks with a group of high school kids who were substance abusers.
Thanks bunches. I’m sure it gave him a few ideas, but he doesn’t use drugs or drink, so where, exactly, was the benefit?
We finally have a diagnosis. Two, in fact. So we make an appointment with a department called “intake”. We’re expecting testing, further diagnosis, and a call for inpatient treatment.
Why? Well, because we keep hearing raves about your behavioral health department. Although, when I told my son’s psychiatrist about the last two times we visited your establishment, he told me himself that you all weren’t very good at this. Can’t quite fathom why he sent us back….
At any rate, guess what happened? Someone talked to my son for about 10 minutes, then brought me in to talk, too. With him present. No one asked for records, reports, habits, issues, nothing. Since our doctor was out-of-town, the on-call guy was spoken with and he said to wait and let OUR doctor make the decision. The gal who “interviewed” us said outpatient would be good.
Thank you, again, ever so very much.
You all suck. Big time. Let’s see, even as a “civilian” I know enough that a kid who is verbally abusive, physically aggressive, skips doctor appointments, and doesn’t take his meds needs to be monitored and tested and NEEDS TREATMENT.
He does NOT need to come home so he can take off, lounge around, be a jerk to his family, destroy property, become violent, and a host of other things we’ve been dealing with.
We ask for help, we have insurance, we have money, what is YOUR FREAKING PROBLEM??
Again, let me extend my thanks for being the biggest excuse for mental health services that I have EVER run across in all of the last almost-three years. Seriously, you should have a disclaimer on your website which says “OOPS, SORRY, PLEASE DO NOT BELIEVE ONE DAMN WORD YOU HAVE JUST READ.”
Addendum (I DID say to read all the way to the end!)
My son took off again. No surprise to anyone, really. It was because I told him “no” on spending the night with a friend – the same friend he’d been staying with for a couple weeks. He was not a happy camper. He did his usual drill. He left.
This time he went to the police station and filed a false report saying I’d hit him over the head with a large, heavy object. An officer visited me, for about ten minutes, wrote the report , and filed it. Then the hospital called. Yep, same one.
I talked to a very nice young man named Joe. Joe was wonderful; Joe was brilliant; Joe saw the big picture. Joe examined my son, and there was no injury. No surprise.
I do understand words like “Conduct Disorder” and “Bipolar Disorder”. I do not understand, even with zero evidence, how my son can “claim” the things he has insisted are true. Why would a rational person, even semi-rational, believe something that is not there, not seen, and did not happen? Or better, why would he think anyone else would believe it?
It’s really too bad Joe doesn’t work in the detention center. He could tell those bozos a thing or two about lying teenagers. Or maybe not. They’re pretty focused on “saving the poor, innocent child”.
At any rate, even Joe could do nothing but write a report and encourage my son to see his doctor on Monday. Why?
Because Missouri has a law. Well, okay, they have rather a lot of them, and many make no sense whatsoever – typical, right? According to the hospital, the law is interpreted as such that NO PERSON, unless he is threatening his own life or the life of another, can be admitted for inpatient psychiatric treatment. Period.
More on that tomorrow because, frankly, that is NOT what the law pertaining to minors says at all.