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As this country's attention turns to yet another tragic incident involving someone with severe mental illness, millions of Americans who struggle with these disorders and their families agonize over the sensationalized news headlines and the true meaning of this event.
Those who live each day with schizophrenia and other severely disabling mental illnesses recognize that no simple solutions exist for the problems this incident represents. They do know, however, that:
Schizophrenia is a cruel, chronic, and disabling brain disorder that affects more than two million Americans each year. It impairs an individual's ability to think clearly, control emotions, make decisions, or relate to people, including family members. Appropriate interventions make a life-saving difference. The real tragedy is that these interventions are often only available when someone has shown to be dangerous.
As those of us who have been personally affected by this disorder know only too well, something went terribly wrong in the case of Sergei Babarin. Dead wrong.
With more than 208,000 members, NAMI is the nation's leading grassroots advocacy organization solely dedicated to improving the lives of persons with severe mental illnesses including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder (manic-depressive illness), major depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and severe anxiety disorders.
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