By Attorney Gordon Johnson
Now you said you’ve got a degree in human services but you have trouble with humans?
I have, yes.
What problems did you have in that job?
Well in that job, let’s see, you have to go back to that time. I was taking 19 meds a day, and those were all psychotropic meds. They were all inflicting my judgment and understanding, to where working at that group home I ended up getting a misdermeanor against me because I got in a fight with one of the clients.
What did you call it?
Did you actually get convicted of that?
I probably could’ve gotten out of it if I would have said look, I was taking 19 medications a day and presenting all the problems. (But) when I had that job, which was back in, the summer of ’98, people still didn’t understand too much about TBI.
Did they understand at the time they hired you that you had this this history?
What had you told them about your background?
I told them about my background. I was in – like I tell all the people that are going to hire me – car accident, coma; I’m on medications. At that time my second psychiatrist, who is actually, well I won’t go that far, you know, but he didn’t understand. They just treated the symptoms. They didn’t treat the causes.
Psychiatry tends to be a specialty that works more with quote/unquote mental illness than brain injury or brain damage. Did you find that your psychiatrist wasn’t very sensitive to the TBI aspect of your problem?
My first psychiatrist, who I praise the world over, you know, he was actually one of, I think he said, he was one of the… All I know is, he really understood just treat, not treat the symptoms but the underlying causes.
For my second psychiatrist, I would come in with a complaint. Instead of him saying okay, let’s calm down, let’s just wait and see how these meds do, instead he was like oh here’s a pill.
Michael’s failure to get proper brain injury care from a psychiatrist is more the rule than the exception. To get a feel for how far behind brain injury science psychiatry is, all one needs to do is look at the still considered a “research” definition that the DSM-IV contains for Post Concussion Syndrome. In the American Psychiatric Associations Manual of Mental Disorders, a loss of consciousness of greater than five minutes is a prerequisite for a finding of PCS.
No other definition of brain injury is so flawed, with the consensus throughout the neurological and neuropsychological community for almost 20 years now that no loss of consciousness is required for a diagnosis of brain injury. See http://tbilaw.com/RehabDefinitionPage.html