Yellow Pages |   News Updates |   Events Calendar |   Movie Times | Recycling  |   Document Shredding
Rocklin & Roseville Today Events
Celebrating 14 Years Online
HOME

Many Homeless Have Mental Illness



Over the last year, I've been learning much as possible about homeless people with disabling mental illnesses, especially ones with psychotic disorders.

May is Mental Health Month, and I am a licensed professional counselor, so this might be a good venue and time to share some of what I found.

First, it's impossible for anyone to determine, with absolute certainty, the number of homeless Americans with schizophrenia or other psychotic disorders. These good people don't wear name tags letting you know they have a mental illness. It's a hidden disability. Most people with any form of schizophrenia, for example, can't hold a regular job.

Probably a little more than one percent of the general population has a form of schizophrenia, whereas the rate among chronically homeless people is probably just above ten percent, which amounts to a rate about ten times that of the general population.

A person with schizophrenia, in general, may have bizarre delusions, hallucinations, show grossly disorganized or inappropriate behavior, disorganized speech, emotional unresponsiveness, say few words, and be unable to initiate activities. Men usually acquire schizophrenia between ages 18-25 and women ages 25-35. Genetics play a role. A person right before onset usually experiences severe stress.

What makes the homeless population more of a concern, given their financial limitations and often their lack of healthcare insurance, is their strong likelihood of not having access to psychiatric care and medication, which is absolutely essential to managing these disorders.

People with schizophrenia tend to have poor insight into having it, leading many of them who aren't seeing a psychiatrist to not see a need for going, and the ones seeing a psychiatrist often to not comply with treatment. Many times the medication prescribed has almost intolerable side effects. Also, in some cases, the disorder itself tends to move people toward social isolation and away from seeking treatment.

For instance, one person I met preferred homelessness because being so enabled him to stay away from people he thought were persecuting him. His thoughts were a manifestation of a delusional disorder, akin to schizophrenia. This particular person likely never would apply for healthcare insurance (he didn't have any then) or see a psychiatrist due to deep-seated fears of what "they" would do to him.

There are other serious and persistent mental illnesses besides schizophrenia, including borderline personality disorder, bipolar disorder, and recurrent major depression. Other homeless people have these potentially disabling conditions, too.


Sponsored by Blue Valley Sod.

Daniel J. Vance is a licensed professional counselor and national certified counselor from Vernon Center, Minn. His weekly newspaper column Disabilities has been published in more than 260 newspapers.

Daniel J. Vance may be reached at www.danieljvance.com



Placer County News Headlines

Placer County's New Committee for Lodging Tax FundingAuburn, CA, - Lodging taxes collected from overnight guests in eastern Placer County have long been allocated for local, visitor-serving projects to benefit its tourism-based economy

Placer Public Health Laboratory Seeks Cost Effective FutureAuburn, CA, - Placer County will seek a more sustainable model for public health laboratory services, with a recent vote by the Board of Supervisors allowing staff to move forward

World Renowned Neonatologist to Lead Pediatrics Dept. at UC Davis(Sacramento, Calif.)-Satyan Lakshminrusimha, a world renowned neonatologist, has been named chair of the Department of Pediatrics at the UC Davis School of Medicine

In Cancer, Talking About Bad News Can Be Good(Sacramento, Calif.) - Giving bad news is never easy, especially when it's life or death. But when an oncologist delivers a poor prognosis to a cancer patient, does it harm their relationship?

Folsom City Council Picks Mayor and Vice MayorFolsom, CA - The Folsom City Council unanimously selected Steve Miklos as mayor and Ernie Sheldon as vice mayor at the Dec. 12 City Council meeting

Roseville Paying 20 Percent More for ThisRoseville, CA, - Roseville gas prices dipped again slightly this past week offering motorists a slight reprieve since the gas tax went into effect on November 1

263,000 Acres Already Torched in Southern California FiresCalifornia Fire Updates 2017: Over 9,000 firefighters remain on the line, successfully making progress in containment of several of the fires that sparked last week in southern California

WinterWonderGrass Music and Brew Festival Tickets On SaleOlympic Valley, Calif., - Silhouetted against the snowy Sierra Nevada, WinterWonderGrass Festival returns for its 4th year at Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows with headlining artists

TobyMac Tour Coming to Sacramento and RenoSacramento,CA, - Seven-time GRAMMY winner TobyMac will once again bring his dynamic "HITS DEEP Tour" to 29 markets next year, alongside a talent-packed line up

Gold Country Wildlife Rescue Seeks Volunteers and InternsAUBURN - Gold Country Wildlife Rescue is seeking the assistance of dedicated individuals to help support animals in need.

All-new Volkswagen Atlas a roomy SUVRoseville, CA,- Looking to fill what it considered a void in its sport utility vehicle offerings, Volkswagen developed the 2018 Atlas.

Lower Cost Electricity Anticipated for Some Placer County ResidentsPLACER COUNTY, CA - In December, residents and businesses will receive the first of several notices informing them about the coming change in their electric energy supply


more news