Paul Merhige entered the mental health system in his early 20s, due to difficulties he was having with depression and obsessive behaviors. The mental health community would have and probably did, applaud his parents for introducing him to the range of “services” mental health has to offer. Psychotropic drugs, involuntary commitment and the circular route of more drugs and more confinement. When all this was not “working”, Paul tried to kill himself with a gunshot to the chest that lacerated one of his lungs.
According to the Palm Beach Post “That attempt came after the first of two times his family had him involuntarily confined under the state’s Baker Act. Afterward, Michael Merhige visited local gun shops and begged them not to sell a gun to his son.
“Merhige tried suicide again in 2005, swallowing all the pills left in his extensive cache of psychotropic medicines.”
With the horrendous mass shootings our nation has experienced, there is much legislative and political talk of “not enough” mental health for those who committed the mass-murders/suicide. Yet, what each of us may benefit from doing, is to question that idea, immediately. Paul Merhige was thickly embedded in the mental health system, on psychotropic drugs with side effects such as, hallucinations, delusions, psychosis, mania, suicidal and homicidal thoughts. He was involuntarily committed multiple times and yet, was this seemingly helping him or was it perpetuating his already out-of-control symptoms.
According to the Sun Sentinel, “ Merhige had previously been involuntarily committed three times under the Florida Mental Health Act, commonly known as the Baker Act. He had also shown violent tendencies throughout his life”, when he was invited to Thanksgiving dinner “during which he shot dead four relatives including a 6-year-old girl.”
Paul Merhige is now in prison serving multiple life sentences. He does not stand alone in the long list of those who all share two things, use of psychotropic drugs and murder.
Psychotropic drugs are mind-altering and the Food and Drug Administration places the warnings clearly on the package insert for each of the drugs. Involuntary Commitment has not once evidenced a cure or a betterment of condition for an individual. In Paul’s case this is all clearly illustrated. Lives were ended by his actions and yet our nation continues to feed the large mental health/pharmaceutical industry and cry for more funding.
In one county alone, in Florida, there has been a grant given of $1.2-million to supposedly alleviate some of the burden, this one county experiences in all the work it takes to involuntarily commit people. What a business, money, drugs and no evidence of curing or alleviating the problem. During one 30-day span late last year, this one county’s Sheriff’s office handled 46 involuntary commitments.
The time to be knowledgeable on this subject is now. Each of us can simply look at the facts and by doing so, we can learn that we all have the right to alternative, non-psychiatric treatment. For people like Paul Merhige, if that right had been exercised long ago, we may have a very different real-life story to share with you.
The New York Times has reported on the thyroid as being one of the physical causes of depression. Many medical researchers and professionals have a wealth of information on the physical ailments that can be evidenced with medical science, that lead up to mental health symptoms and when tested for, treated and cured, result in the elimination of all mental health symptoms.
Let’s not fill our jails, our hospitals, our cemeteries with the ill-gotten results of the mental health communities’ failure to do what they so largely promote they can do, all the while earning billions of dollars.