Featured Advocate: Claudia from Dual-Diagnosed Awareness 2/15

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delclauClaudia: I am advocate for the dual diagnosed because of the struggles I have had in getting my sister the treatment and care that she needs. Our journey began in August 2011, when our adoptive parents sent her to live with me very suddenly from Missouri after the Joplin tornado. We had lost our adoptive sister Marsha and our nephew Sebastian.

Christina was very unstable when she arrived. She was angry, still greiveing and could not understand why any of this had to happen. I had to fight to get her services in Indiana. For over 9 mos. I fought with the different departments to get her mentally stable and to get her the services she needed for her intellectual disability.

It took me calling the advocate in the governor’s office to get any where. She was 25 at the time and because we had been raised old fashioned Pentecostal( not going to doctors and such) we didn’t have the collateral they said they had to have and said at her age it probably wasn’t going to happen.

They wanted to know why, why no doctors? why no records? can’t you just get your adoption unsealed? After my call to the governors office she finally received placement and services. She did really well until she had to have major surgery in March of this past year. She didn’t come thru it well with a stay in ICU and due to her sleep apnea, they had to withhold most of her meds including her psychiatric and she became unstable once again. This time they refused to treat her blaming everything on behaviors related to her intellectual disability.

They forced the ER to keep her and refused to take her on the inpatient unit citing a “client conflict”. This time I had to call the governors office again who in turn referred me to DMHA. The program director took action and got Christina the help she needed. I am an advocate because no matter what an individual’s diagnosis are. They should be able to receive treatment without having to fight. They are just as deserving as the rest of us.

Dual-Diagnosed Awareness

Goal: To raise awareness for individuals, like my sister, who have a dual-diagnoses of an intellectual disability and mental illness. This page is intended to raise awareness for individuals who have intellectual disabilities who also struggle with mental illness diagnoses of various degrees.

This is a very prominent issue and one I carry close to my heart. My sister has a mild MR diagnosis but is also diagnosed with Borderline, IED, Mood Disorder NOS. She is a very smart, beautiful and loving young woman but has often times been refused services based on one diagnoses or another. Whether or not an individual has an intellectual disability or mental illness or a combination of both they should receive the same treatment as any other “normal” individual.

The events of the past year with her treatment but health and psychiatric have prompted me to speak out and up about the issue. I am aware of other families who have these very same troubles and my goal is to help them as well. I am in the process, along with a close friend of mine, of starting a NPO to raise awareness for this cause. There’s just not enough resources out there but if our voices can be heard by even just one and it continue to be shared then it helps. So this is our plan, our goal, our motto.

delclau2

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