Uproar over "I Am Adam Lanza's Mother" blog

Avatar for Cmmelissa
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Registered: 11-13-2008
Uproar over "I Am Adam Lanza's Mother" blog
Tue, 12-18-2012 - 3:55pm

There has been a lot of feedback, both positive and negative, over one mom's perspective of the tragedy in Sandy Hook, CT.  She is worried that one day her son could be the individual that everyone is wondering how they commit such a horrific crime.  She is scared of him, and feels that she is not getting the help she needs for him and her family:  

When I asked my son’s social worker about my options, he said that the only thing I could do was to get Michael charged with a crime. “If he’s back in the system, they’ll create a paper trail,” he said. “That’s the only way you’re ever going to get anything done. No one will pay attention to you unless you’ve got charges.”

I don’t believe my son belongs in jail. The chaotic environment exacerbates Michael’s sensitivity to sensory stimuli and doesn’t deal with the underlying pathology. But it seems like the United States is using prison as the solution of choice for mentally ill people. 

You can read the complete article at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/16/i-am-adam-lanzas-mother-mental-illness-conversation_n_2311009.html?utm_hp_ref=parents&ir=Parents

Huffington Post also has an article with responses from parents of violent children if you would like to read it: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/17/liza-long-parents-of-violent-children-respond_n_2318002.html

What do you think of her article, do you think she crossed a line in sharing information on her son or has valid concerns about the way mental health is treated in the U.S.? 

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2006

I agree that Assisted Outpatient Treatment should not be taken lightly, however, I think it is our best hope of preventing senseless rampages. Here's a quote from the Treatment Advocacy Center:

"A substantial body of research conducted in diverse jurisdictions over more than two decades establishes the effectiveness of assisted outpatient treatment in improving treatment outcomes for its target population. Specifically, the research demonstrates that AOT reduces the risks of hospitalization, arrest, incarceration, crime, victimization, and violence. AOT also increases treatment adherence and eases the strain placed on family members or other primary caregivers."


iVillage Member
Registered: 09-12-2003

mental illness runs in my family and its sad to look back and think if only. My mom's sister was bipolar and an alcoholi; she left her kids when they were in elementary school. One died at 16 and the other did unspeakable things. While I can't excuse his actions by what he experienced as a child and what demons he may have battled, I can wonder if she had gotten better help how different would their lives be? My own sister is also bipolar and I see her depression affecting her kids. My regrets falling to social pressures to ignore signs she saw. In my day growing up you didn't dare admit something maybe wrong with kid and again I wonder how different might her life and her kids be. My mom tried to have her committed once and after spending most of the day at the ER all they could do was refer her to an outpatient.

My own son has anxiey and I do too but it wasn't until I saw that pattern repeating in him that I attempted to get someone for both of us and my insurance is maddening. I can't just call and make an appoinment I have to call this special insurance line for THEM to give me a person. OK thats not THAT bad you think but no one EVER answers the number you have to leave a message and play phone tag and I work full time in a call center. Imagine if your are depressed seaking help and you have to go through that by the time someone calls you back HELLO!!! To make matters more fustrating I don't drive and NONE of the people in my area they will cover not even the pyscholigist at the pedi office. My pedi office is very accomidating as far as his ADHD. They can consult with the pyscholigst on staff then pedi can write the rx but they can't do that for the anxiety. His school is also great with helping with services but I can only imagine if we didn't have these alternatives.

I have known others who battle with major mental illness issues for their kids and its sad. These kids are crying out for help and these parents are bagging heads against brick walls but then things like this happens and it NEVER EVER ingnites the wake up call for mental illness. Instead they keep fighting over gun control. HELLO no sane person is going to go into a school, mall or movie theatre and kill people!!!

Avatar for skystrider
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-14-1999

I'm glad she did it.  It's frustrating that people don't understand the mental health care crisis in this country.  Unless we keep talking, they'll continue not to understand.  It's a full time job, trying to fight for the care my daughter needs, and we still fall tragically short.  She hasn't seen a psychiatrist in over a year, except when she's in the hospital, because there just isn't one.  Our psychiatrist moved and he wasn't replaced.  People are always shocked when they hear that it's not her choice not to have a doctor.  She said the other day she wishes she could live at the hospital, where it's not so much work pretending to fit in.  Some longer term care would benefit her right now, so they could nail down a diagnosis (3 years later there still isn't one), and she could get on the right medications to make her stable.  Right now her med's only make her barely able to fake sanity, and the side affects are unbearable.  We feel like we're just treading water right now, barely able to keep our heads above water.  Our family doctor does the best she can, but it's really just band aids on a gushing wound.  We feel alone, but we know we are not, there are so many other families struggling just as we are.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-04-2001

Being so involved in NAMI (educator, support group leader, and lecturer) I know MANY parents who are "Adam Lanza's mother". See this:

My response to: 'I Am Adam Lanza's Mother'

I myself feel very conflicted about the subject of AOT (Assisted Outpatient Treatment).

There is a world of difference between an adult with a psychotic disorder who has insight and one that does not. And that is why these parents are desperate for more help... help which society is not willing to give. I feel very conflicted about the issue of AOT because I do believe AOT is needed, but I am also sure that AOT will not provide the COMPREHENSIVE, integratED, integratIVE, and COLLABORATIVE care for the whole person and family that is required... even though the person is an adult.

Did you read our story about our younger daughter? My younger daughter almost had her life completely destroyed simply by a brain reaction to an asthma medication. She became paranoid and was about to stop all her other medications and she was over 18. Luckily her GP realized it was the asthma medication! That scare prompted us to investigate what she could do to protect herself in the future. In fact - THIS COULD HAPPEN TO ANY OF US!!!  

We would MUCH RATHER have medical care than be "crazy" and homeless.

So what did we find? Even if WHILE SANE she had a document stating she wanted treatment if she became ill, and even though she had me have durable medical power of attorney, if she didn't realize she was sick (called lack of insight which is what started to happen to her on the asthma med) she could REVOKE it while sick and refuse treatment.

BUT - WHAT IS THE "treatment" my kids need if that ever happens???  Just hormones and DIET CHANGE, and getting off any meds that may be triggering what is happening to them!!!  What do I mean? Well one of them went "crazy" from a THYROID medication that turned out to have a dairy filler!! 

And these types of reactions are IN THE MEDICAL LITERATURE with THOUSANDS of patients in well-reasearched studies.  BUT we keep looking for a PILL from the pharmaceutical companies instead of something so simple!!

MY KIDS WERE STILL SICK even with the standard "TREATMENTS".... as are so many!!!  OF COURSE!  They needed MEDICAL/PHYSIOLOGICAL integrated, integrative care!

So yes - AOT is necessary.... especially if the person lacks insight and won't do what is needed. I just worry that there won't be the PROPER treatment that the specific individual actually needs.

www. It's Not Mental .com