Friday, October 27, 2006

"48 Hours": Jeremy Perkins tragedy

Tomorrow night, 48 Hours will investigate the case of Jeremy Perkins, a young man with untreated paranoid schizophrenia who stabbed his mother to death.

In his statement to police, Jeremy said “She was screaming no, don't, Jeremy no don't. I stabbed her about 4-5 times before she fell down...”

He then stabbed her more than 70 additional times.

Jeremy was being “treated” with vitamins, not antipsychotic medication – 48 Hours will investigate the role in her death of the family’s strong belief in Scientology, thus disbelief in psychiatry and mental illnesses.

As you watch this case study, remember that the problem is far greater. Scientologists are not the only group that is trying to displace psychiatry in the treatment of severe mental illnesses such as schizophrenia. Every day, people across the country like Jeremy are kept from getting the real treatment they need by weak and outdated federal and state laws and policies. We are all to blame for many similar horrible deaths – whatever the reason – every time someone with a severe mental illness can’t get treatment.