Saturday, August 1, 2009

Off his Medication for Over Year

Mental illness may play a role in Oklahoma City shooting
Suspect is off his medication, report says

A shooting suspect told police he is a mental patient and his intended victims worked for the government and had satellites watching him, a detective reported.
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Harold G. Thomas, 61, was arrested Thursday after he allegedly shot up a Farmers Insurance office in south Oklahoma City. He is accused of firing three shots from his own business in a neighboring suite. Two men in the insurance office were nearly hit, the detective reported.

Bomb squad technicians spent hours Thursday examining suspicious items found inside Thomas’ business. The detective reported officers found an open gun safe there with several guns, rifles and ammunition as well as "several foil-wrapped objects and electrical tape-wrapped objects.”

Thomas told police he "is seeing visions and hearing voices,” the detective reported.

He also said he had been "off of his medication for over a year” and had been self-medicating with the energy drink Red Bull and the drug Lortab, the detective reported.

9 comments:

Wendy said...

was he off medication by choice, or because he has no insurance and can't afford it?

Liz said...

I was wondering the same thing, I did not see that they shared that in the article. That is one of the items of the new Healthcare Bill that will be good, not able to deny mentally ill patients coverage. But that is an insurance problem, not a problem with our medical system. Our mentally ill will try to self medicate if they do not have the proper prescribed drugs. Red Bull and Lortab?

Thanks,

Liz

K. Robert Barrett said...

I'm sure he couldn't afford either the copay's for the medications or the med's themselves. Plus those of us with bipolar disorder and other mental illness issues are often dehumanized and looked upon as having low morality. So we're denied access to quality health care vilified, ostracized, and harassed on a regular basis. I view it akin to treating diabetes with sugar and alcohol. With at times very tragic consequences.

Liz said...

Thanks for your input and I have lived your scenario and understand it. We need to keep working to expel the stigma and the insurance companies need rules that will not allow them to deny coverage to anyone for pre-existing illness especially mental illness.

KTDUP

Liz

Udochi said...

I have no insurance, because of my pre-existing condition of bipolar disorder. My sister pays for my medication out of pocket. I have been having trouble finding and keeping a job so I do not have any way to buy my medication. I have been lucky over the last several months. This month, my sister did not have the money to buy my Lithium or Lamictal. I hope Barack Obama's changes to the health care system takes effect soon, because people like me really need this. It would be ashame if more people die because mentally ill people can't afford to get help!

Liz said...

Thanks for your comment and I feel your pain. Remember that it is a Healthcare Insurance Problem, not just Healthcare. We still really have the best healthcare in the world. It is because of our intelligent research that we have the care we love as well. Let's hope that the insurance companies are not allowed to deny insurance to the mentally ill.

Liz

Liz said...

Thanks for your comment and I feel your pain. Remember that it is a Healthcare Insurance Problem, not just Healthcare. We still really have the best healthcare in the world. It is because of our intelligent research that we have the care we love as well. Let's hope that the insurance companies are not allowed to deny insurance to the mentally ill.

Liz

K. Robert Barrett said...

It's a shame that we're needing to be apprehensive about having an option that would allow anyone the opportunity to receive access to proper health care.
And without the stigma attached to having Medicare or Medicaid.
Too many people are vilified for having equal access to health care because they get subsidies to help pay.
Last I checked access to Health Care was a right not a privilege.

Liz said...

Thanks for posting here. It is always interesting to see so many different view points and I welcome them. But on this I have a different opinion. I don't believe that healthcare is a right, I believe that it is a privilege that one "earns". Just because you are on the planet and just happen to be in America doesn't mean that your health care is given to you. You have a right to your personal space and the items from the Constitution. You have a right to feed your family, but you don't go to your local grocer and they give you food free because it is your right, you have to work for money and with that money you have the right to pay for what you need to survive. We do have medicaid for those of us who can't afford it and no hospital will deny care to anyone now, insurance or not. Who should decide who gets care and who doesn't? If I choose to have an education and work hard, but ny neighbor chooses to not do the same, then why should I go to work to pay for their care? We need to be careful to compare apples and apples; not oranges and apples. It is an insurance problem in my opinion.

Thanks,

Liz