For many families, the holidays frequently mean a time for travel, as well as a great deal of stressful arguments and an increase in depression and suicide with as loved ones start flying in from around the country, rendering ineffective the “geographical cure”.
Unfortunately travel, especially flying, has become more and more difficult due to our government fear-mongers who work daily to convince you that you must give up your civil rights to be safe from The Terrorists.
This is especially true difficult for families whose loved one‘s behavior and/or appearance may be symptomatic or otherwise struggling with a severe mental illness an embarrassment in public, the likes of which may inadvertently draw the attention of airport security screeners who enjoy feeling up passengers and delaying travel plans, just because they can. As always, advance preparation is essential.
Here are some questions to make sure you have answered before you travel:
Do you have your CARE kit packed? Documented medical history Incriminating evidence on file, a list of treatment preferences that will give your loved one the illusion that you are actually going to abide by them, and lists of medications that have been useful in chemically restraining your loved one in the past are essential information to have if you’re dealing with an emergency going to want to lock up your loved one while outside of your home state. You may also wish to purchase one of these humane and stylish safety harnesses for your loved one. It will clip easily to your apron strings.
Have you spoken to your loved one’s treatment providers to get their advice, even without your loved one’s permission? Some obvious issues to address include ensuring your loved one has enough medication to keep him chemically restrained for the trip and prescription refills, but it’s equally important to discuss things like going through security at an airport, where your mentally ill loved one might need to be tasered, hog-tied or shot by the well-trained federal security forces. Be certain to plan ahead to reduce the stress of numerous family needing to arrange for involuntary commitments while out of state by knowing how to effectively override those annoying civil rights your seriously mentally ill loved one is still allowed by our conservative, freedom-loving government leaders.
If you are traveling to another state, make sure to learn as much as you can about their treatment commitment process. For example, if a crisis was were to occur be created or triggered at a loving family gathering for some odd reason, would you know what that state’s emergency treatment laws require you to say in order to commit your loved one and how the process works? Laws vary widely from state to state. Never assume that what works in one will automatically work in another. Plan ahead for visits to the few states that still allow a modicum of civil rights and patient privacy.
It never hurts your cause to call the local NAMI chapter in the area to which you’re traveling. In creating a crisis situation, having a contact that is familiar with the process and players in a state can be very beneficial. Failing that option, one can always fall back on the tried and true.
Never assume that judicial determinations, treatment orders, or conservatorships will automatically be enforced in different states. In fact, they normally don’t aren’t. It pays to speak to someone knowledgeable in your state before you leave; again advance preparation is essential. You don’t want to get stuck somewhere far from home where your loved one might escape your death-grip and run off with his/her rights in hand.
Have you thought about the added complications created by air travel marshalls? We have heard from far too many families who end up with a loved one essentially “stuck” in a state, not sick enough to meet that state’s commitment criteria, but far too disruptive ill to safely navigate air travel to be allowed to live in these times of Big Fascist Terror.