Who better understands your frustration with non-compliant mentally ill family members than we do here at NamiDearest?
As leaders in mental illness advocacy and policy, we devote the weight of our enormous moral authority and hand-wringing sob stories to the advancement of best practices in mental health care. Some of these best practices include fewer patient privacy rights, lower civil commitment standards, forced psychiatric drugging and ECT, as well as the progressive Assisted Outpatient Suicide program, otherwise known as The Permanent Solution.
But how do we handle the grief of losing our loved ones once the treatments have cured their genetically transmitted, psychiatric brain diseases?
Yes, there is always Zoloft. But in addition to chemically numbing the symptoms of Grief Disorder, many NamiDearests are finding Taxidermy Therapy to be an effective adjunct to their personal recovery regimen.
What on earth is Taxidermy Therapy?
In the case of a deceased mentally ill loved one, taxidermy therapy is the thoughtful choice for extending his or her shelf-life beyond the 25 to 32 years lost by the expected early death. And in the case of the non-compliant loved one, who has no real quality of life without the prescribed chemical lobotomy, families may seek an Assisted Outpatient Treatment order to hasten the physical decline of the loved one, bringing about early death in a more timely manner.
Some may recoil in shock, but taxidermy is back in style, and now it’s a medically approved therapy!
If you’ve you ever seen the head of a stag mounted on a plaque above an avid hunter’s fireplace, or a toothy shark mounted in a fisherman’s cottage, or the esteemed, deceased family pet proudly on display in the corner of the living room, you can begin to get the picture as to how taxidermy can help you and your family stay close and ever-hovering over your deceased loved one.
Those are just a few examples of taxidermy, and if the art of taxidermy can help us to preserve deceased animals, so they look as lifelike and realistic as the day they died, then there’s really no reason we shouldn’t preserve our loved ones as well. In fact, there are numerous reasons why a mentally ill loved one might be preserved using taxidermy. One of the most well known reasons is to prevent them from wandering off.
NamiDearest families may have their mentally ill loved ones mounted and dressed in the loved one’s very own clothing, chosen by mommy, and displayed with items that describe or convey the loved one’s personality, so they can enjoy them for years to come. For example, NamiDearests will have the option to choose from a variety of non-threatening and submissive poses with a seated loved one proudly displaying his Harvard acceptance letter from before he developed his serious psychiatric brain disease. Or you may choose from one of our reinforced glass-enclosure display case options, having your loved one tucked safely inside with meaningful artifacts like her medication bottles and treatments charts.
Display cases can be upgraded with beautifully engraved brass plates that detail the DSM diagnoses carried by your deceased love one, or with a list of all his or her medications and inpatient hospitalizations. These options allow for the enjoyment of your mentally ill loved one for many years to come and can present a lifelike museum-style exhibit for visitors and dinner guests.
Although some may refer to taxidermied loved ones as “stuffed”, this is actually a misconception. Taxidermied loved ones are not stuffed, but mounted. Their extensive, neuroleptic-enhanced skin is removed and preserved before being stretched across a rigid form shaped like your loved one. The rigid form may pleasantly mimic your loved one’s appropriately medicated posture during his or her life. Some parts of your loved one, particularly the eyes, will be recreated from synthetic materials in order to prevent decomposition of tissues.
If you are preserving your mentally ill loved one as a preemptive procedure to the lengthier course of early death by conventional psychiatric treatments, or as a way to promote compliance, behavioral control, or to prevent wandering off, you have the option of choosing to have your soon-to-be-deceased loved one pre-treated with a zealous course of antibiotics that can help prevent “slippage” after mounting. Slippage is caused by bacteria-infestation in the carcass, and can cause hair loss in the mounted loved one. And let’s face it, we all know the mentally ill have very poor hygiene. You know what they say…An ounce of prevention…
Some taxidermists will obtain your loved one’s carcass by euthanizing your deceased loved one. Other taxidermists, however, only preserve mentally ill loved ones that others have killed, receiving the carcass from the psychiatric hospital morgue in a legal manner. If a carcass cannot be obtained legally, one may opt for the Dr. E. Fuller Torrey method of collection.
Removing the loved one’s skin is the first step. This is not done in the same way as when you “tanned his hide” as a child. In this case, well-placed incisions are made in specific areas of your loved one’s ample skin. Tools like knives, scalpels, and scissors, that you have come to know as the dreaded “sharps”, are used to do this. In the case of preserving a Borderline loved one, you may already be having fond memories. Even in death, you can facilitate her excoriation, but in this case, her skin must be pulled off carefully, as to not damage it. All that old scar tissue she built up trying to manipulate you for love will only serve to make the mounting process much smoother.
In the case of taxidermied animals, the skins have a tendency to rot and deteriorate quickly, so the animal’s skin must be cleaned, softened, and preserved. This is usually done by soaking it in chemicals and salt and then air-drying it before mounting it on the form. But with your mentally ill loved one, the preservation process is much simpler! Your loved one has already been soaking in chemicals for years, and he will likely have been heavily salted with Lithium. His skin will already be soft and saggy, leaving only the cleaning process to be done.
The form is a rigid sculpture that the skin is placed over. Depending on the gender of your loved one and the desired look, forms can be nearly any shape, size, or pose. Most families choose forms that are in realistic poses, such as bent over awaiting the belt, or arms in defensive posture, blocking blows to the head. Others may want a more serene, chemically restrained, supine pose that will allow them to display the loved one in the back bedroom just as if he were still alive. You may even choose from our very popular coffee table display case. The options are plentiful!
Once the form is ready, a taxidermist will then stretch the skin onto it. This can be somewhat tricky, and a great deal of maneuvering is usually necessary. If needed, the taxidermist can call in psychiatric technicians to help force the carcass into position. Once positioned, the skin can then be attached to the form with staples, glue, or thread. After your loved one has been mounted, the final touches are then added. Paint might also be necessary to restore some color to the pasty carcass of a loved one who was too ill to be allowed sunlight and fresh air.
Due to the wide girth of the vast majority of our mentally ill loved ones, mounting their carcasses can be quite pricey. You may want to start setting some money aside now if you’ve already spent their college fund on failed treatments. Although costly to preserve and mount a mentally ill loved one, the cost of their freedom to abscond from psychiatric treatment is much, much greater. You will be able to enjoy countless hours gazing into their placid, plastic eyeballs without arguments, facial tics, a rolling tongue, or other unsightly tardive damages.
You will have finally reclaimed your loved one from the ravages of mental illness.
Consider taxidermy as yet another compassionate effort to improve the way we treat the mentally ill and their incurable, genetically transmitted, neurobiological, psychiatric brain disorders. Your loved one would thank you, if she could speak for herself.