Living rough in body and mind

A study on homeless people admitted to a psychiatric emergency clinic has reported that a third have active psychosis.

The study, published in the medical journal Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, was conducted in Bordeaux state hospital in France.

That study also found that most of the homeless people admitted to the clinic had already been identified by mental health services as suffering from a severe mental illness, suggesting that homelessness was a consequence of losing contact with mental health support.

Among those homeless people with psychosis, there was an over-representation of men, and people with drug addictions.

The actual number of homeless people with psychosis may actually be higher, as clinic samples tend to under-estimate the extent of mental health problems in the population, owing to the fact that people who go to clinics tend to be there for immediate help for current difficulties.

Link to abstract of scientific paper.

One Comment

  1. Kschltr
    Posted December 15, 2006 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

    Bullshit! Homelessness IS NOT a result of “loss of contact with Psychiatric Treatment” Providers/Services or OPPRESSORS. Homelessness is a result of the system’s constant attacks on the rights and freedom of individuals and society’s perceived need to control and contain anyone they determine to be undesireable.
    Many folks who were HOMELESS and resided in COUNTY ALMS HOUSES during the 19th Century here in New York State were left to languish and die on filthy piles of straw, in their own excrement, with little to eat and little to wear as they suffered from any number of illnesses related to depression, other forms of “mental illness”, neurological diseases, physical ailments treatable with nutritional support and fresh air etc. which were, at the time, unknown to PHYSICAL MEDICINE and treatments were not yet in existence.
    The New England states, following the American Civil War (1861-1865) were becoming overburdoned with immigrants whose numbers were incrementally increasing. Post 1870, while hundreds of thousands of veterans of both the Union and Confederacy were suffering as a result of service connected disabilities sustained on various battlefields throughout America, and they were unable to reintegrate into society due to the lack of services and treatment at that time (remember, many were amputees as battlefield trauma and the huge numbers of casualties sustained in battles which in some cases generated over 30,000 KIA in a single days fighting, which would lead one to conclude that the stacks of amputated limbs pictured in recreations of field hospitals during that period were not exagerated in any way…), were homeless and suffereing from what we now call PTSD.
    PTSD sufferers, particularly military veterans, also represent a group with other significant social findings statistically. 50% have a history of incarceration or arrest for violent behavior (verbal or physical), and 90% have a history of substance abuse and/or alcoholism.
    The system disenfranchises those individuals and always has as the public does not choose to be bothered with nuisance and unsightful collection of such individuals who are left to fend for themselves and prefer to as they have been used an abused by their countries and rejected by their own peoples due to their failure to reintegrate to “POLITE SOCIETY” and function productively and generate MONEY.
    Services to such individuals, be they veterans or not, are somewhat time and cost intensive until they stabilize and are able to provide for some, if not most of their own financial support.
    Homelessness is USED to extort individuals into seeking treatment and allowing themselves to be CONTROLLED and IMPRISONED by the dominant classes of society. When housing programs, rehab services, and employment programs are inadequate, and when support services are lacking individuals DO IN FACT LEAVE TREATMENT. NOT because they feel alright and don’t need treatment, but because they are still limited in their opportunities to find success and are treated like children, and society insists upon limiting their successes or progress. Those who are employed in vocational programs and function to provide part or all of their own financial support are still limited and contained in local government, state, and federally sponsored programs with little or no freedom of choice in their occupation, living situation, who their roommates may be, and are living on the edge of poverty. When services of that nature are considered INDEPENDENT and healthcare professionals who are licensed and/or certified such as social workers, nurses, psychologists and MDs manage those programs, they manipulate the clients of their services as they choose OR neglect them until they are forced to leave by attrition and go into housing or institutional situation of the PROFESSIONAL’S choice and NOT the clients.
    Even under the best of conditions, most folks HOUSED in the community are still intimidated by ASSHOLES who may terminate their income, housing, or sabotage treatment because THEY, the so called professionals, feel the individual needs to be elsewhere and are considered a nuisance to them and their little programs.
    I am an RN. I’ve worked in this field on and off since 1970, with military service in between. I’ve been a director of consumer affairs for a state office of mental health and have watched all of my work go right out the window since we closed about half of New York State’s old crumbling Psychiatric infrastructure and replace it with a system the incoming Republican facists are destroying.
    More later…


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