I am a strong supporter and advocate to anyone who represents a vulnerable population. I worked in the social service sector for 20 years before I was no longer able to, so I feel helping others who do not have a voice or are not being heard is really important. I was once an advocate for those who had developmental, psychological, and physical disabilities.
I did not feel many health professionals took these clients seriously. I also sensed these professionals were extremely uncomfortable having to provide care to these individuals. I witnessed many times where someone in distress and displaying unusual behaviours was disregarded. Rather than considering what the physical issue is, it is assumed the individual has a conduct disorder. Unfortunately, some clients do have behaviour issues, so any medical concern is connected to poor conduct rather than being genuinely ill. Too often these ignored concerns later end up in an emergency visit to the hospital. Frequently, this ended in emergency surgery. If the problem had been dealt with initially, the ending would look very different.
I have spoken with some fantastic doctors that listen and take concerns seriously. I think there are some wonderful health care professionals and I do not want to stereotype based on my experiences. It is just a fact that over 20 years I witnessed some very unethical practices.
If you take a look back in history, people sick with multiple sclerosis were labelled as crazy. This was before the MRI machine was developed. These people were labelled as hysterical and sent to live in psychiatric institutions. Those with epilepsy received the same treatment also. Common words to describe these patients were neurotic, crazy, and delusional. Now that the technology is available, it has since been proven these are both neurological diseases. Can you imagine having to be in that patient’s shoes? It is horrendous.
What I find just as disgraceful, is that society hasn’t learned from its past mistakes. Once there is an illness that some professionals do not understand or believe in , then it just doesn’t exist! Many of those who are considered part of the vulnerable community are not getting the proper attention. This is not just limited to the population I supported. It’s happening everywhere!
I believe much more awareness still needs to be spread. So many people have not even come close to having evolved from the old mentality. It’s like the child who closes his eyes hoping you will go away. Guess what? I’m still here!
It’s sad much of society can’t learn from past mistakes and behaviours. This is not a battle one person can fight on their own. Even if this post resonated with one person, I have made an impact.
Until next time,