Why’s Everybody Always Pickin’ On Me?

A bird has been getting into the community meals for the homeless and those in need in Bucks County, PA. It has not only been eating the food and beverages there, but has been flying off with some grub to take back to its nest. Must have a big family with all the food and drink it takes home.

At the meals, someone once asked “what is that?” when this creature walked by with large bags. Is it a bird? Is it a plane?

No, it’s Birdman! Faster than a speeding bullet, more gall than a telemarketer, able to take off with a ton of food and drink at one meal in a single bound.  Image result for a popinjay

 

The hosts at the Friday night’s community meal kept an eye on this bird. Rather than directly draining the beverage containers into his containers, last night he made trips to his table with cups of beverages, two or three at a time. He went into the kitchen a few times to beg for more hoagies, unsuccessfully.

When the guests came into the dining area, the hosts gave them a bag of chips or Fritos. Birdman, who was behind me, asked how many he could have. The host said one. I turned around and told the host “better watch that guy, he’ll take the whole box.”

As the hosts were cleaning up, I told one of them to watch Birdman because he likes to take the salt and pepper shakers home. “I already yelled at him about that,” the host replied. This old bird, about 70, acts like a childish brat. My daughter was better behaved than Birdman when she was two-years old!

As the guests were getting ready to leave and the hosts were ready to take back the remaining bottles of drink back to the kitchen, Birdman bum-rushed the table. As he was ready to snatch the bottles, as host to him to stop and said the church needs what’s there for an upcoming event. “What’s your problem?”, Birdman snapped, “I’m just getting a drink!” He tone was insolent, hostile.

He returned to his seat and started packing up and said to Queen Nora, who joined him “they treat me like dirt!” I was tempted to respond “that’s because you are dirt,” but I bit my tongue. I’ve been trying to control my tongue. He’s angry because he didn’t get his way. He is a dirty bird, or to use Navy terminology, a sh**bird. Like Charley Brown, he wonders why everybody is picking on him!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_UnPzp2lmNk

Birdman and Queen Nora make a very dysfunctional couple.

Birdman is the quintessential noble savage. The noble savage is a relativistic philosophy championed by Jean-Jacques Rousseau, where all restraints of civilization or any authority are removed and the self becomes the center of the universe. There are no borders.

Most of the folks who go to the community meals, both homeless and those needy with homes, act civilized and show self-restraint.

Birdman’s behavior comes down to selfishness. He could care less about taking drinks designated for an event to others. When the host told him that, I don’t think it even registered, as there is no world outside himself, except for him to selfishly grab all its gusto.

The host was nice enough to graciously provide for others. There was plenty to eat for everyone. Nobody should go away hungry!

I’m glad that Birdman’s behavior was challenged individually and not the group. Birdman is not homeless, but he exhibits the stereotypical way that some people falsely believe homeless people are. Your status, situation in life does not define your behavior.

After hearing Birdman cry out that he’s treated like dirt, I started thinking that this is an ingredient to make a deranged, angry mass shooter. Maybe we need to keep an eye on him, and not just for looting the meals! This anger, feeling he’s a victim who is being picked on could build up and these captive thoughts translate into action. I hope not.

Modern thinking would label Birdman as being “mentally ill” as being “mad”.

Mad or just bad? http://www.nouthetic.org/images/pdf/Mad_or_Bad.pdf

In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets“. -Matthew 7:12

Birdman’s theme song (to be played when he enters a community meal) https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=The+Bird+is+the+word&qpvt=The+Bird+is+the+word&FORM=VDRE

 

She Thinks She’s a Tree!

“Hey buddy! You have to help me. It’s my wife. She thinks she’s a tree!”, said a man who knocked on the door on the Soupy Sales show. “Then why don’t you take her to a psychiatrist?”, Soupy replied.

“Come on dear,” said the frantic man as he pulled a tree past Soupy’s door.

I joke, but there is a serious problem in our country today with substance abuse and other problems, particularly in Bucks County, PA.

Because the church hasn’t been effectively helping people with problems, and out of desperation, people have been turning to secular psychology and psychiatry. Although churches are starting to offer Biblical solutions to problems, it is still ingrained in us that we need “professionals” to handle big problems.

There is a problem with much of modern psychology and you may as well be the woman who thinks she’s a tree who is just dragged away, as chances are you won’t get the help you need.

This is what I found, as did others with mental health clinics associated with the Bucks County health industry. A couple years ago, I lost my job, my dog, my house and had other problems and I psychologically went on a downward spiral, through a virtual black hole. Some of the problems were a result of my own doing. Nonetheless, although the Salvation Army helped me get on the right track, people there palmed me off to Penndel Mental Health, where I was given Paxil, which made me worse. The cognitive behavior therapy gave me a methodology to work things out, but it wasn’t the cure.

I just heard “The Addiction Network” ad come on again, where a bearded guy with glasses and scrubs makes his spiel and Augustly states “addiction is a disease”, inflecting the word “is”.

On pastor and Christian counselor Jay Adam’s website, the notion of drug abuse, and by extension, mental problems being a disease is addressed:

“Mental Illness

Posted on August 22, 2016 by Donn R Arms

Folks let’s get this straight. The mind is not a physical organ. It cannot have a disease, illness, or injury in anything other than a metaphorical sense such as a sick economy or a sick joke.

Typhoid fever — disease
Spring fever — not a disease
Scarlet fever — disease
Bieber fever — not a disease”

For sure, drug “addiction” has physical symptoms. I know from experience that the dope I got from someone in a lab coat has severe withdrawal symptoms. But my anxiety was caused by my mental attitude, precipitated by my habitual ungodly behavior. I got my anxiety, and depression under control and continue healing as I try to submit myself to God and his ways, fighting my fleshly, sinful nature and get my head right. There is some merit to cognitive behavioral therapy, in that what you think results in subsequent behavior and that it is at least concerned with personal responsibility and decision making.

As one of the characters on Monty Python and The Holy Grail said, “it’s only a model.” You have to fill in the blanks in the flowchart in cognitive behavioral therapy.  After evaluating behaviors/outcomes as a result of thinking, you may want to rethink what you did. The flowchart:

 

I fill in “thoughts” with the right stuff, God’s Word, or at least basing my thoughts on scripture.

The 12 Steps, which was started by Alcoholics Anonymous, is the right stuff. It is faith based. More than 90 percent of substance abuse treatment centers used AA principles and more than 30 percent of referrals to AA came from various treatment centers in 1949.

I recently saw the movie The Untouchables again, which depicted the corruption and degradation of the so-called progressive period. By 1949, our society started healing from the social ills, and I use “ill” as a metaphor.

I personally know people who are incessantly off and on in their attempts to stop abusing alcohol and other substances. This happened to a guy during the early years of AA. He even was treated for his problem by Swiss psychiatrist and psychotherapist Carl Jung. About a year after finishing treatment with Dr. Jung, the man went back to the bottle. The Doc’s prescription was “a spiritual conversion with a religious group” as he was considered a nearly hopeless case. And with God’s help, he overcame!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Alcoholics_Anonymous

There is hope with God.

Recovery is not instant. In fact, it can take a long time to change bad habits and heal wounds. One bad, sinful problem I’m working on is unforgiveness, harboring resentment against people who grossly wronged me. As the case with any problem, you have to admit you are wrong and allow God to change you. There are people in the homeless and those in need community who, despite concerned, caring people reaching out to them,  continue their bad habits, with is actually besetting sin.

https://www.gotquestions.org/habitual-sin.html

I’ve been trying to help a lung cancer patient who wants to give up and has engaged in irresponsible, destructive behavior. She has, however, made some progress. People who reach out to help people are not responsible for results; just doing the right thing.

The problem with modern psychology/psychiatry is that it tends to treat human behavior like science, the physical world of inanimate objects. This doesn’t work. Contrary to Marxist thought, two different people in the same place and situation don’t always behave the same. This is a materialist view of humans. In fact, I think Marx wrote of “Dialectical Materialism.”

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin.

Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”  Hebrews 5: 15,16

Wossamatta U Homeless?

“Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things.  See how great a forest a little fire kindles!  And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity.  The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell.”

–James 3:5,6.

Like other communities today, there are problems in the homeless community. Although in places such as Bucks County, Pennsylvania, the homeless are considered undesirable by some people, unfortunately by some who have influence, and they have gotten an unfair shake, some problems are caused by members of the homeless community themselves.

Bucks County tends to use the one-size-fits-all approach to the homeless and stereotypes them. One stereotype is that all homeless have mental problems. One dubious report stated that 95 percent of the homeless are mental.

The county has been capitalizing of this myth by actively seeking homeless people to sign them up for their taxpayer funded mental health centers, often offering them housing if the climb aboard the Disoriented Express, using their public funds.

Fraud by the county is not the only problem. The problem is that, like all of us, we have fallen away from God’s ways and as a result have unresolved conflicts. According to pastor and Christian counselor Dr. Jay Adams, except for “organic malfunctions affecting the brain that are caused by brain damage, tumors, gene inheritance, glandular or chemical disorders” most cases of people labeled “mentally ill” are wrong.

Because of false witness, which the Bible clearly speaks against — “A false witness [that] speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.”– there has been altercations, some physical in the homeless community in lower Bucks County. A spark of lies has created a wildfire across this community.

Last night I, and others who were eating at a community meal for the homeless and those in need were sickened by the gossip spewed out by a members at the table where I was sitting.   Someone lamented that a guy, who was falsely accused of “ratting out” the locations of homeless camps, being a pervert, exploiting women, etc. was still going to the community meals. Because she, and others who fell in lockstep said so, he should not still be going to the meals.

One of the Kool-aide drinkers said that it’s good the guy hasn’t been riding the free bus run by the Advocates for the Homeless and Those in Need (AHTN) to the meals because he “ran his mouth”. Another judgmental person reveled in the memory of the guy getting “tuned up” in the parking lot. One idiot quipped that he should have been tuned up more and that the job should have been finished.

So much anger! Such much hate! So little evidence!

To discover the truth, I did some research. I looked on Megan’s List, which included photos of perpetrators, and did not find him. As to the “ratting out” of where the homeless were staying, I learned that after the group Warming Hearts visited two camps bearing gifts, like The Trojan Horse, the next day or so these camps were raided. I had also heard from a credible source that this group didn’t deliver on a promise to bring gifts to members of “The Memorial Mob”, who hung out in the vicinity of the public library in Levittown.

There were articles in LevittownNow.com about one camp, where it was reported the occupants were given a camper, which could be seen from Route 13. A representative from Warming Hearts was quoted in the article. The article mentioned that, although the landowner let the homeless camp on his property, there were complaints from neighbors. About a year after this article was published, a local district justice ordered the homeless to leave the property. The case was appealed and they were given a stay, but eventually the homeless had to leave.

The homeless who camped in Queen Anne Woods, starting behind the Levittown public library, were ordered to leave. Bucks County Rangers collapsed tents, told the homeless in person and left eviction notices. In an email, Steve Long, Chief Bucks County Ranger told me that the raid was a result of drug use and people with warrants living in the Queen Anne Woods. Steve told me there were complaints about syringes in the woods. I learned that the Rangers had to go into the woods to take someone who overdosed to the ER.

In some cases certain irresponsible individuals in the homeless community  cause everybody the whole encampment to have to leave.  I believe that the guy who has been the object of scorn in the homeless community was overheard offering constructive criticism to this affect.

It’s mostly the druggies, most if not all refugees from the local recovery houses the feds have been pushing down our throats, who have been causing problems for all the homeless.

A close homeless friend told me that everyone was booted from a homeless camp where she stayed because some people abused the privilege the property owner gave them. They were allowed to charge cell phones, but some of them started plugging in TVs and using more electricity than they were allowed.  My friend also said that people (probably druggies) were stealing copper.

I understand that homelessness is tough, and that people are angry and frustrated at their situation. I lived in my car for a few months. My feet and my legs swelled up. The problem is that in this case the anger in the homeless community is misdirected and they made someone a scapegoat.

There have been small victories. A guy who was misinformed that I had ratted him out and who was after me and the scapegoat ended up sitting with us at a community meal, because there was nowhere else to sit. We reasoned together and made peace, all three of us.

Even when there are legitimate gripes, where the homeless are harassed at the Levittown public library, the Veteran’s Memorial, the WIC building, and at fast food restaurants such as Subway, McDonalds, and especially at Burger Kings, they still need to be as cool as possible. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr told blacks, who were harassed during the Jim Crow South, to keep their cool under pressure and act responsibly. They did, and they overcame.

The lower Bucks County homeless community needs to heed the eighth commandment: “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor,” as well the other commandments.

The homeless community, like the rest of us, especially myself, needs to listen to God and trust and obey Him. This is the way to peace.

They’re Coming to Take Me Away!

Recently, a homeless person told me she is offended at the idea that all homeless people have mental problems. I suspect one reason for that is the stereotype people have of homeless people, an element of Hobophobia. (The extreme and utter fear of hobos, or the homeless. This is usually caused by the lack of exposure to the homeless throughout the world. A dose of homelessness is an easy cure to Hobophobia.)  Another reason is business, public funding, especially for Penndel Mental Health Center, Penndel, PA whose snake oil salesmen canvas more aggressively than Jehovah’s Witnesses.

One particular snake oil salesman from Bucks County, PA, who has been known to show up at tent cities and is almost a fixture at the public library in Levittown, PA, offered me housing if I would submit to being labeled a mental patient — that I was so messed up that I could never work.

This, as I told the man, would be fraud. This is also economic protectionism, by giving an institution an unfair advantage.

For sure, I’ve had problems with anxiety, depression, pent up anger, etc., but I’m no lost cause. I’ve taken this to God and have had help from my Christian brothers and sisters. One place I’ve found help, as I’ve mentioned in previous blogs, is the peer-to-peer 12 steps program held Tuesday nights in Levittown and Saturday nights in Newtown.  http://www.12stepjourney.com/ 

If you need help to work out problems, I’d highly recommend this program.  It’s free and all that is needed is your time and attention.

What is wrong with the mentally ill? The term “mentally ill” has become part of the way we talk about people with major problems. Some experts, however, don’t think this is an accurate term. They don’t think that people with mental problems should be labeled as being ill.  For them, “illness”, such as the flu, is caused by a virus. They ask what is the source that causes mental illness.

Is mental illness an implant from a space invader?  Hummmmm…

Some experts think that addictions are a disease. In a sense, they are right. Some people may have genes that cause them to crave more of something, such as alcohol. Problems can result from giving in to urges such as these.

The problem is controlling your addictions. This is where a program such as 12 Steps can help.

The first step is to admit you have a problem. A recovering addict recently told me that the inability to overcome an addiction is a result of weak mindedness. He also said that the only way to have the strength to overcome the problem is to have God intervene.

Mental problems stem from sin. Sometimes we have mental problems because of our actions; other times it’s just a result of original sin. In either case, God can help.

We all have flaws. Consider the “T” in the Calvinists’ TULIP:

T – Total Depravity

“Humanity is stained by sin in every aspect: heart, emotions, will, mind and body. This means people cannot independently choose God. God must intervene to save people.”

Sin has affected people in different ways and degrees. Many people with problems with are not taken away on the disoriented express, although, as I mentioned, some mental institutions will lure people into their roles who don’t need their services.

As I’ve mentioned before, psychiatrist and psychotherapist Carl Jung related a story where, when “an intelligent layman” visited an insane asylum with him, the layperson remarked that the people he saw were like everyday people, only with problems that were greatly magnified.

People have problems when their thoughts and actions are not in sync with God’s precepts.

Some people have trouble handling problems on their own, but they don’t necessarily need to be institutionalized. Pastor and Counselor Jay Adams found that most people in nuthouses don’t need to be there.  http://www.nouthetic.org/about-ins/our-faculty/8-about-ins/6-jay-adams-biography 

Overcoming problems such as addictions can be a lengthy process. It often requires lifetime maintenance, the same way I need to apply medication to my feet to fight fungus for the rest of my life.  Accepting Christ as Savior is a good start, but being molded more like Him is a lifelong process, known as sanctification.

Being human, we still will mess up, but God will help us get on the right path again, if we submit to his will.

What’s important to help people with problems, including addictions, if finding the right place — where they have the best opportunity to recovery.

I started to fall into the same trap as those who stereotype the homeless, by not distinguishing the quality of different recovery houses in Levittown. Like the homeless, they are not all bad.

Some neighbors near the Levittown recovery houses have complained about problems from the houses, such as the clients running around the neighborhood raising a ruckus. Some of them have become a virtual Lord of the Flies.

I recently met someone who runs a recovery house who pointed out that he runs an orderly house, where there are rules and borders. Unlike some institutions, it’s not just a business but a mission. The guy told me the neighbors don’t even know it’s a recovery house.

We need to find the best ways to help people using the free market concept. A good example of this is school choice, where the parents, not bureaucrats, choose the school. Contrary to the public school teacher’s union’s spin, school choice does not aim to put public education out of business.

According to a pro school choice website, public schools improved in areas where parents had a choice where they can send their kids.

The county government should just accommodate  institutions  where people get help, not run them. Like parents of school children, people should have a choice.

The homeless are not all mental cases. One size does not fit all.

It should not be “all aboard” the disoriented express for the homeless. They and people who genuinely care about them should have some say about what train they ride. I for one prefer the train that’s bound for glory.

One of the things we learn in the 12 Step Journey program is that a power greater than ourselves can restore us to sanity (step 2).

They’re coming to take me away ho ho he he ha ha
to the funny farm where life is beautiful all the time, and I’ll be happy to see those nice young men in their clean white coats
and they’re coming to take me away ha ha

You thought it was joke and so you laughed, you laughed when I had said that losing you would make me flip my lid, right? You know you laughed, I heard you laugh, you laughed, you laughed and laughed and then you left, but now you know I’m utterly mad…”

They’re coming to take me away. Not!

http://www.metrolyrics.com/theyre-coming-to-take-me-away-lyrics-lard.html

To Serve God

In my last blog, I focused on how people who allegedly serve others, serve themselves, like the Kanamits in an episode of the Twilight Zone.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/To_Serve_Man_(The_Twilight_Zone) 

Today I will focus on serving God, which by doing so, you serve others.

  • Out of compassion, you genuinely care for people and make sacrifices to help the needy.  Like Christ, you show agape love — love which expects nothing in return.  Develop relationships with the people you serve and focus on what’s best for them.

“We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.”

2nd Corinthians 5:20

Except for the one host I mentioned at the Salvation Army Community center, Levittown, PA, who often hosts the community meals, the hosts at the meals have been gracious to their homeless and needy guests.  They have been developing relationships with the guests; they know each other by first names.

A woman from one church that provides community meals remarked, during a conversation she had with a few of us after we finished eating, “we are a small church; I wish we could do more.”  I told her that they have done a lot.  They not only give out small care packages at the meals, but they make their guests feel at home.  They accept them unconditionally and help them sort out their problems.

That church is the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) church in Newtown, PA.  This is the same denomination where that evil man gunned down people, in Charlestown, SC.  People associated with this church didn’t vent anger by attacking white people or ranting and raving that Confederate flags be banned. Instead, they were forgiving and continued to serve God.

In a Christian blog about progressivism versus Christianity, the writer said that we are actually born liberals —  because we, as my daughter’s preschool teacher told the kids, are born with “a dirty heart”.  In order to practice true, genuine tolerance, Jesus has to change us from the inside.  Because someone is unregenerate (heart not changed by God), he cannot do this.  Instead of addressing the problem of human character flaws, outside circumstances need to be manipulated.

Gun control is a perfect example.  Liberals think that if we take away people’s guns, then we will have peace.  Wrong!

When I first thought about the AME abbreviation, African Methodist Episcopal, I thought that maybe this was an Afro-centric church, and that they, like that certain Salvation Army woman, favors black people.  I went on the church’s website and discovered this was not the case.  The AME church was formed because at one time blacks were not allowed to be ministers, so they formed the African Methodist Episcopal church.

My experience with the AME church is that they genuinely welcome everybody.  I have gone to their church twice.  On my first visit I was one of two visitors.  The pastor welcomed us during the service and asked us to introduce ourselves and to say a few words.  I took communion for the first time in years, as now I was in a real church.

I was hesitant, as my dirty heart needed cleaning.  On my knees, I asked God to help me.  Several men prayed with me.  After the service, a man gave me his phone number.

The last sermon, which I heard on Sunday, was about following God’s path.

Psalm 1:1-6 NKJV

The Way of the Righteous and the End of the Ungodly

1 Blessed is the man
Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,
Nor stands in the path of sinners,
Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
3 He shall be like a tree
Planted by the rivers of water,
That brings forth its fruit in its season,
Whose leaf also shall not wither;
And whatever he does shall prosper.

4 The ungodly are not so,
But are like the chaff which the wind drives away.
5 Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment,
Nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.

6 For the Lord knows the way of the righteous,
But the way of the ungodly shall perish.

The pastor preached about taking the right path when you come to a fork in the road.  He admonished the congregation that when you come to a fork in the road, follow God.  The pastor warned that if you don’t follow the way of the Lord, you are headed for destruction.  He quoted an old popular song that said that you should just act naturally, that is, act on impulses.  The pastor admonished the congregation not to take this path.

We are born in sin, depraved, and we need to learn to walk in God’s ways.  This doesn’t come naturally.  Christians shouldn’t succumb to un-Godly behavior.  The theory of the Noble Savage, put into practice, leads to destruction.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noble_savage

Addictions and other character flaws can be overcome by tapping into God’s grace.  If your roots are in the Lord, you can overcome your problems, even what is called “mental illness”.  That is unless the cause is organic.  God wrote the book on human behavior, and he knows what’s best for us.

There is a group that meets in lower Bucks County, twice a week, two different locations, that applies Biblical principles to the original 12 step program, created to help alcoholics.  This program helps participants get to the root of this and other addictions and problems, such as anger, resentment and drug misuse.   http://www.12stepjourney.com/

Jesus said he is the way, the truth, and the light.  We shall overcome!

Ambulance Chasers

The more I think about how concerned community members brought along a representative from Penndel Mental Health Center when they made their early expedition to a tent city in lower Bucks County, PA, the more I’m concerned about the tactics of mental health “experts” in our society.

Anyone can claim to be an expert.  In the wake of alleged race problems and subsequent race hustling, “experts” from MSN NBC were found to be way off base in their analysis of the situation after a thorough court investigation.  As conservative commentator Anne Coulter wrote, to qualify as an expert on MSN NBC, one has to have been dropped on one’s head many times as a child.

Bringing a mental health expert to reach out to people at a homeless settlement is an example how the mental health community has been rushing to judgment to label people as mentally ill, or at least suspect they are. http://www.sott.net/article/257456-More-homeless-camps-discovered-in-Bucks-County-Pennsylvania   Penndel Mental Health Center has been intermittently subtly soliciting business from the homeless community.

Pastor and counselor Jay Adams cites a case where it was discovered that people sent for evaluation for mental illness were falsely diagnosed.  In an experiment,  six people, who were as sane as you or I, were labeled schizophrenic and one was classified as manic depressive.  The experimenter found that no one was turned away as a malingerer or faker. After the person who conducted the experiment announced to the institution that he would check the intake records again, many people were turned away from the institution as malingerers.  http://www.nouthetic.org/the-physician-the-pastor-psychotherapy-and-counseling

As is the case with the rest of the mental health industry, medication tends to be a quick fix for problems at Penndel Mental Health.

The problem with modern psychiatry and psychology is they treat as “mental problems”, as though it is a medical problem, using medication.   There are physical problems and spiritual (moral) problems.  The psyche community came up with a third category, a non-organic, non-moral category.  To quote Jay Adams:

“But it (the psychiatric community) knows nothing about a ‘mental illness’ category, in which a non-organic bug of some sort creates a non-organic problem which has to be treated non-organically under a medical aegis, though there is nothing medical about it. What is peculiarly medical about someone telling how to live with grandmother? “

Dr. Adams further indicts the mental health community.  “There is a mess out there in psychiatry. Zilboorg, in his two volume history of psychiatry, concluded: ‘The field is in disarray, just as it was at the beginning.’  I agree with him that the field is in disarray, but I disagree that it is just as bad as it was at the beginning.”

People should have a choice to get help for their problems.  The free market works!  Penndel Mental Health has been chasing after the homeless, like a lawyer chasing an ambulance and has somewhat of a monopoly.  This is not the free market but economic protectionism.

Dr. Adams writes of “gatekeepers”, which can be pastors or doctors who pass on someone who comes to them for help to someone else.  Many of them have been passing the responsibility on to the mental health world.

I went along with the gatekeepers at the Salvation Army who referred me to Penndel Mental Health.  I was a mess at the time.  As I related in an earlier blog, I was prescribed medicine at Penndel Mental Health and went to therapy there.  At the same time I pursued Biblical solutions, through prayer, scripture reading, fellowship, a Bible based 12 step program, and Godly behavior.  I found that the Biblical route worked best.  I stopped the medicine and I’m about to end the therapy.

We need to create a free market to help the homeless with their problems.  The nascent non profit, Gimmee Shelter for the Homeless aims to give the homeless the wherewithal to build their own homes.  The volunteers from The Advocates for the Homeless and Those in Need (AHTN), the hosts at churches, and other people offer the homeless Biblical help for their “mental” problems.

Let the homeless discover what works best for them in a free market of ideas.

We at Gimmee Shelter for the Homeless have an idea to help the homeless.  Check out the article posted in Times Publishing about us:  http://www.timespub.com/2015/04/30/working-for-a-place-to-stay/.

 

What to do with the Mentally Ill and Homeless

First off, we must define mental illness and ask what is wrong with the mentally ill.

When visiting a nuthouse with Swiss psychiatrist and psychotherapist Carl Jung, what Dr. Jung called an “intelligent layman” remarked that the people he observed in the funny farm were just like everyday people, but with their problems greatly magnified.  Indeed, this is the case, and some of us with a greater degree of problems who have trouble handling everyday life, and may even engage in antisocial behavior just need a little extra help.

When people go off the deep end, or we just suspect that they have “problems”, they get referred to mental health centers.  To help people, it’s important to know and understand them.  It’s important to develop relationships with people in order to help them.

In the case of the homeless, most people don’t know or understand them.  Like aliens from outer space who land on earth are depicted in sci-fi movies, certain assumptions are made about the homeless.   In the movies, space visitors and treated as intruders and the military is called out.  During the early years when members of the community in Bucks County, Pennsylvania started reaching out to the homeless people, at least one representative from Penndel Mental Health Center was part of the exploration party.

They didn’t know what to expect.  Concerned members of the community, such as volunteers from the Advocates for the Homeless and Those in Need (AHTN) and hosts at the many churches who provide community meals, have gotten to know the homeless and have developed relationships with them.  This is a good start to help the homeless.  Get to know individuals; don’t stereotype them.

Since the exploratory visit to a homeless colony, the welcome mat opened to the Penndel Mental Health Center, which gets government funds to treat the homeless, and there have been many homeless visitors.

The mental health clinic has a monopoly, a captive clientele so to speak, just as environmentalists have agreeable constituents, rocks and trees. One of the clinic’s modus operandi, and what is pushed at the door, is medication.  I have personally experienced this.  After having experienced problems that have started to get out of hand, I sought help.  I started with the Salvation Army, where I returned to God and started volunteering in the food pantry.

But that was just a start.  Some people there convinced me to seek outside help.  I talked with different people from Penndel Mental Health Center.  Early on, medication was suggested.  When I mentioned herbal remedies, the Penndel rep summarily dismissed the notion, saying Augustly that herbals “don’t work.”

Desperate to get better, I tried Penndel Mental Health Center, where I was prescribed Paxil.   It gave me the shakes but the doctor and others in the mental health field told me that was just part of the break in period.  This went on for some time, until I was prescribed Gabapentin to quell the shakes.  This helped a little, but then I got hip to Kava tea, which seemed to help dramatically.  This did the job of calming me down that the Paxil could not do.  After having the doctor cut my Paxil dose in half, I decided to stop taking Paxil all together.

I continue taking Kava tea every night.  I’ve also discovered the benefits of dark chocolate, which contains serotonin,  which is the same ingredient in Paxil.  One source says that the serotonin in dark chocolate has nearly the identical qualities of anti-depressants such as Paxil.

I originally went on Paxil mainly to combat my anxiety.  Depression, mood, is indirectly related to anxiety so serotonin helps somewhat with that.  The Kava tea actually relaxes my mind and is also a natural muscle relaxer.  The dark chocolate and the Kava don’t have the negative effects of the prescribed medication nor is there any withdraw.  They also seem to work better!

Like the rest of the population, homeless people have problems.

Besides having alternative medicine to help people with out-of-control problems, there is alternative therapy to help people cope with the world.

The “cognitive therapy” I was given at Penndel Mental Health is basically a model where a relationship is drawn between how a person thinks and behavior.  This is a good start.  But as one of the characters in Monty Python and the Holy Grail says about Camelot, “it’s only a model.”

I have been attending the 12 Steps, a spiritual journey program, modeled on the 12 Step program started by Alcoholics Anonymous in 1935, based on Christian principles.  http://12stepjourney.com/

One of my brothers in the 12 Step peer-to-peer program told me that as my life better matches God’s principles, I won’t even need medication.  He was right!

About 1970, pastor and counselor Jay Adams started a revolution where he argued that the church is better equipped than secular psychology to handle mental problems.  He questioned “What is wrong with the mentally ill?”  Dr. Adam’s thesis is that people get out of whack when they don’t think and behave the way the Lord instructs them to.  The problem, the preacher explained, is that the mentally ill are out of touch with God.

Volunteers from AHTN and hosts at the community meals minister to the homeless, without browbeating them.  They show God’s love and help them and make Bible’s available.  This is the way to help the homeless or anyone out of their bad situation.

Wrestler Hulk Hogan used to tell kids basically to say their prayers, take their vitamins, and exercise.  I would adapt that slogan to apply to the mentally ill, including the homeless, to say their prayers, read their Bible, go to church, eat dark chocolate and other healthy things and drink their Kava tea.  And of course exercise is good.

And join a Bible based 12 Steps Program!