Friday, November 03, 2006
It's Not Illegal to Be Crazy
This woman keeps calling at work, asking if we can force her son's girlfriend into treatment, because said girlfriend is "sick and crazy," which as far as I can figure means delusional and paranoid. Girlfriend has been taken to the emergency room and evaluated three times in the past week. That's a lot. Shows stamina.

But each time she says the right things, such as, "No, I'm not suicidal and I don't want to go to the hospital," so we keep sending her back home. With encouragement to get help, call a doctor, get on meds, etc., because I just can't imagine that under any circumstances is it pleasant to live in a world inhabited by malevolent robots and bugs crawling under your skin. (Though, I grant you, perhaps that's a shortcoming in my imaginative abilities.)

And she doesn't follow up, because she doesn't want to. Because she's paranoid. Because, whatever. She doesn't. That's her right. It's not illegal to be unhealthy.

It is, however, illegal to be suicidal or homicidal, and if she says she is, then we can hospitalize her even if she doesn't want to be. But she's not. And, no, as a matter of fact, I do not think it would be okay to lie and say that she is just to get her in a hospital for the weekend.

So she goes home, and a few days later, boyfriend's mother gets revved up again, and starts calling. "But what do I do? She's staying in my house, and I can't take it anymore." Well, ma'am, seems to me like a quick fix would be to get her out of the house. I know, I know, you would feel guilty about that. I hear ya. Guilt sucks. But that's your choice - guilt or living with the crazy lady, because I'm telling you right now, the pretty, quiet asylums with acres of green lawns and comfortable padded rooms don't exist anymore. There's noplace like home, said Dorothy - and as long as you're letting crazy girlfriend live with you and eat and be comfortable, she's going to want to keep doing that. Because she's crazy, not stupid.

And it wouldn't be illegal to be stupid, either. Trust me. You think we have prison-overcrowding issues NOW?

Today, boyfriend's mother has called me twice, and I just got a call from the local police department that she's calling and visiting them. She called my coworkers 4 times yesterday, and she has also called another nearby agency plus the Department of Children, Youth and Families. As though if she asks enough different people, eventually she will get the answer she wants.

More power to her in her efforts... but I'm holding the party line on this end.