::written circa. Fall 2015.
To tell you the truth, I really haven’t given it much thought, in regards to the homeless. I believe homeless people come from anywhere really. I believe it can happen to anyone. With my pre-existing biases and ignorance, I assume homelessness relates heavily on socioeconomic factors, poor-decision making, bad habits and substance abuse. Homelessness can stem from a long chain of events that can cause chronic depression and neglect. I imagine their day-to-day lives involve consistently searching for the basic necessities of life and exhausting their imagination in a very conservative way. In addition, I believe that many of our homeless people today are psychiatric patients, who are under diagnosed, with the lack of medical and social support.
In response to the up rise of prisons in the United States, I feel repulsion, sadness, and annoyance. This may be my 3 a.m. on a night shift talking, but I feel like prisons are just institutions to house criminals who rather go and live off of government aid and/or severely ill mental patients. Sometimes I believe people think prison is a good place to go. With the increasing amount of prison facilities, it is obvious that the goals to correct/treat the behavior/illness of these people is not taking its course. As a result we are just accommodating for the mass numbers. I believe that the incarcerated require attention at levels of both within the prison and outside the prison.
If it were my choice, I wouldn’t care to help the incarcerated. I personally believe health care isn’t a right. It is a privilege. And those who commit crimes in any way should lose those rights, so that we can conserve our resources for those who critically need it. Now, if the individual is mentally ill, then I really don’t know what to say.
This week’s topic is tricky, to say the least. It was certainly difficult, even to think about, without coming off as an arrogant right-winger of sorts. But, I’m more libertarian if anything. It was tricky because I don’t want to sympathize with criminals, nor the homeless. At the same time, knowing that there is an increasing amount of under diagnosed psychiatric patients within that category, it’s difficult to not feel bad about it. During my Week 8 clinical, I observed a middle aged adult female with a diagnosis of Bulimia nervosa and major depressive disorder. She was an overweight individual, who didn’t care for much attention. She had a few close nit friends, but other than that, that was it. She kept to herself and was preferred isolation at times. I played ping-pong a lot with patients the whole day. I used ping-pong as a way to try to initiate therapeutic communication. But, it wasn’t easy. I was always trying to be cautious with what I said.