by David Van Risseghem
In an all-too-common scenario, there was a tragic loss of life, this past week. A young man with intelligence, physical health, and a family who needed real assistance to get real help for a real solution.
Alexander Tilghman is now dead. Dead because he was using deadly force to harm several others. He had to be stopped that night.
But he really didn't surprise anyone who knew him or his long battle with many manifestations of serious mental illness. We call it serious because it crossed the line into psychosis. All you need to establish that point is to watch his Youtube channel. He deleted far more videos than he left as a memorial to a broken system.
He describes his family as fragmented and calls his father "a hoarder". He's gone back and forth from his mother's home to his father's.
His conflicts with others are often described as "..they're taken over by demons".
Yes, Oklahoma's state mental health agencies are a pathetic joke. That's a problem caused by the state budget process(where a handful of politicians in a cloistered room make the budget decisions and the rest of the legislature claims no responsibility for the resulting mess). All the more reason that many of us are working to empower families to deal with these challenges.
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