Yelling is Not a Mental Illness

by R.S.


I am a working professional in my late 30s with a supportive, loving family and have a master's degree plus thirty. I have no criminal record. I sought medical treatment for shaking as I have bad hand tremors that cause some discrimination in the work environment. I wound up treated by a psychiatrist when I should have gone to a neurologist, but I could not afford a neurologist due to high deductibles for cat scans and what not to show I had no brain trauma or injuries. I've had tremors since giving middle school speeches, and the cause is unknown. I don't feel anxious as I have pursued an education and career, but now I'm labeled mentally ill.

I'll be honest I do get angry when I'm unjustly treated, but I'm called irrational because I loudly stand up for myself. I do get defensive and aggressive against males that try to assert power over me as I have left abusive relationships in the past. (Although to be clear, I have a wonderful father, four amazing brothers, and have several positive male influences in my life.) I insist if I have anything I have PTSD from past relationships, but doctors keep labeling me bipolar when I stand up for what is right. I write comedy on the side and laughter is one way I deescalate myself, but even that gets twisted because people think I'm serious when I'm making a joke to try to make light of a serious situation.

I saw my psychiatrist that Monday (two days before the incident). I told him I only took the medicine when I was working because it was causing weight gain despite my daily exercise routine and relatively healthy eating choices. I asked what my diagnosis was and he told me generalized anxiety disorder, OCD, and binge eating. He told me I could discontinue Seroquil, continue the Valium, and start a new medication that might not make me gain weight. I brought the prescription to the pharmacy and told them to fill it for Wednesday. I would pick it up once I got paid. 

Medical bills with insurance were causing me a lot of debt. I was looking for another job with a calmer work environment and better benefits. I interviewed and found a possible new job on Tuesday. On Wednesday, I yelled at the insurance company for not providing coverage by charging higher and higher deductibles and spoke to my current job about leaving due to the need for a calmer work environment and more affordable benefits. By Wednesday afternoon, my current job worked with me and came up with an opportunity to put me in a better situation.

I was meeting my dad for dinner this Wednesday evening. I had just gotten paid that day and had not eaten, but I was going grocery shopping and getting my medication as planned that afternoon.

I was in overall good spirits by the afternoon because I had resolved by job situation and was going to see my dad and family (and as stupid as it sounds I was happy to see my cats at home because they always cheer me up because they are two hilarious animals).

When I left worked, my teenage daughter was calling and texting in a panic because three cops were at the house. Apparently, my words were taken out of context, and my understanding is the insurance company called the cops for a protective hold. Again, I will be honest and take responsibility for my outrage. I was angry when I spoke to the insurance company, but I was making the point that heath care was so unaffordable now if something happened to me it would be on their hands. (A few weeks prior I had almost passed out at a meeting because my blood pressure dropped too low, but I didn't go to the ER/cardiologist due to cost of care WITH INSURANCE.)

I wasn't threatening harm to myself or others, nor was I acting in any manner that suggested I would hurt myself or others. I was yelling and angry at the insurance company, but I was far from suicidal or a violent threat to anyone.

I arrived home from work. I was very hungry and wanting to go inside (with my family) so I could use the bathroom, change, check on my teenagers, play with the cats, go grocery shopping, get my medication, eat with my dad, and then workout.

Yes, I completely understand if I was calmer to the cops things would not have been as upsetting, but seeing three cops on my lawn like I was a criminal didn't sit well with me. Additionally, I was angry that they upset my children. I threatened no one and repeatedly asked the cops to be left alone so I could go inside my home with my family. The cops followed me to my door, prevented me from closing it, and provoked me into more anger. Again, I shouldn't have allowed them to provoke me, but that doesn't make me suicidal or a criminal.

Yes, I should have been calm and not yelled, but yelling is not a mental illness nor was I yelling anything that indicated I was going to harm myself, the cops, or anyone else when I arrived home. I wanted and needed to be left alone. I kept yelling leave me alone, get off my property, and I got cuffed like a criminal in front of my kids (upsetting my family further causing me to become more angry). They told me I was not being arrested, but being put in a protective hold or protective custody or whatever it's called.

Again, I was in no crisis when I arrived at my house, but the cops were continuing to demand I talk to them, not letting me go into my house with my family, upsetting myself and children, thus escalating events. I did scream my repeated requests to be left alone, so I could be allowed to self calm in my home.

officers used my frustration as their reason to justify putting a protective hold on me and forcefully handcuffing me and forcefully grabbing my arms, pushing me into a car, causing me physical and emotional pain, injuring my wrists, leg and shoulder, and making sarcastic comments like “oh, well, we tried to give you a chance” or “you're going on the floor”. (Nice deescalation tactics.)


The hospital staff was initially rude and threatened me with restraints and shots because I would not stop screaming for the cops to go away. The three male cops showed no compassion, made a power play on an accusation that did not stick, and treated me like a criminal.

Once the cops left, I was completely calm and explained to the staff the events that unfolded. They cleared me to go home within a few hours. It was evening at that point, and I still had no food. I was diagnosed with anxiety and anger reaction (uh, YEAH!). I personally feel partially misdiagnosed again because I was also completely traumatized (PTSD?) by the unnecessary events by abusive men. My dad came to get me to go eat, but at that point I couldn't. I asked him to take my teenagers out so I could just go home like I had continuously asked. I picked up my medication and followed up with my doctor the next morning as the ER doctor instructed.

I looked over the laws and feel like there should be some legal ground to stand on. The doctor won't back me because I am guessing it's a liability since he said he won't be responsible for what happens to me since I'm not 100% compliant with medication (primarily because of the horrible side effects. I've tried other medications before that have caused extreme dizziness and even think it makes my reactions more intense or clouded at times). The doctor told me to let it go and threatened me by saying that I would only make things worse if I pursued this story and I would be retaliated against. He even threatened to put me in a 72 hour hold when I tried to explain my side (another male power play). He said I was irrational, but then he cleared me to go to work the next day (to stay out of or not make anymore trouble he said). Then, he changed my diagnosis back to bipolar and told me to control my anger. I argue I do control my anger because I yell and scream instead of hit and punch people. (See how my humor works against me?) He is no longer my doctor because I feel he is not helping or hearing me. I sought treatment elsewhere now.

All I'm asking is for a review of protocol. 

I did some research. I feel the cops/crisis intervention team bent the law. I do agree with the law, but I don't think it applied to my case. Being cleared by the hospital staff that night and being told by my doctor the next morning I could go back to work proves that I was not a harm to myself or others.

The cops and hospital I am thinking are hiding behind this law or some version or updated one of it. 2006 Louisiana Laws RS 28:53.2 states to the best of their (cops/medical professionals) knowledge someone who is suffering from mental illness can be taken into protective custody.

When I was met by cops, I was not threatening suicide, was not holding a weapon, and was not threatening the officers. They cuffed me in front of my kids anyway. Justified anger and yelling to be left alone and leave my property is not mental illness. It's a civil right.

The law also states something to the effect “Facts showing that the person sought has been encouraged to seek treatment and is unwilling to be evaluated on a voluntary basis.” I saw my doctor that Monday. My diagnosis at that time was anxiety, OCD, and binge eating disorder. He changed my medication and told me I could discontinue the previous one. I left the office, dropped the new prescription at the pharmacy, and arranged to pick it up that Wednesday when I was paid. The cops showing up at my house and treating me like a criminal prevented me from going to get my medication that afternoon. I was following my treatment plan to the best of my financial ability and not outright refusing care (although I did have some disagreements with the doctor about medications due to side effects, I was compromising and trying to control my hand tremors for professional reasons).

This law additionally states it protects cops/doctors/hospital from liability for the trauma they have cause me and my family. The hospital discharged me within hours for anxiety/anger reaction. The doctor the next day said I was irrational, had no legal leg to stand on, but cleared me to go to work.

I have two kids and two cats (Some people are pet owners. I'm a cat mom, so I fit the stereotype, I suppose.), but the cops are the ones that literally ripped me away from my family. I would never hurt myself or hurt my family by leaving them. I am here and working to take care of them! I cannot understand how a crisis intervention team of cops can come to my house to do a welfare check on me based on a belief that I am a harm to myself or others, yet the only physical harm done was by the cops to me by leaving me with bruises on my shoulder, leg, and wrists! The law also states the cops should use reasonable precautions to avoid a violent encounter, and the cops had no regard for this at all. (See picture.)

Then to add insult to injury, my family was given a packet to give to me encouraging me to find a mental health support group. Ironically, I did find a support group. My tirade on social media about the ordeal connected me with several neighbors who have been abused by cops as well. Now isn’t that ironic? R.,S., Louisiana