I am not alone


Growing economic inequality and increasing financial struggles are intertwined with other issues such as health and addiction. Some people living on low incomes hesitate to go to the doctor even if they have medical insurance because of the cost of out-of-pocket expenses. Chronic conditions can go untreated and become debilitating…

The Princeton study and Rosston both identified chronic pain as a big driver of suicide among middle-aged people. “The typical death certificate that I often read is a typical 55-year-old male who is having chronic pain issues in his back and is not being treated,” he said…

Tracy Thompson heads the Laborers’ International Union of North America in Butte. She used to be a construction worker and then held a job at a pulp mill in Missoula, to the west of Butte, until it shut down in 2009.

“We lost four people to suicide when they closed their doors. These were individuals making $50,000 or $60,000 a year, maybe more. All of a sudden they’re forced into early retirement or to find employment elsewhere. One guy had worked there for 30 years. We were all shocked he took his life,” she said. “You see it all around. You see a guy dies at 53. What did he die of?”

According to the Butte-Silver Bow Community Health Needs Assessment for 2014, more than one-third of residents show symptoms of chronic depression…

“We have a very high shortage of mental health professionals in our state, specifically psychiatrists. About 80% of the people who take psychotropic medication in Montana have never even spoken to a psychiatrist,” he said…

“I’ve heard that the majority of Americans are afraid of even a $500 emergency. They’re one broken refrigerator away from not being able to make it. That’s us.” …


A man who jumped to his death from the George Washington Bridge Thursday was a Deutsche Bank employee who was deeply in debt, court documents state. Michael Engelson, 31, of Hastings-on-Hudson in Westchester, had filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection on over $151,000 in debt three months before his fatal plunge, according to his filing Sept. 30 in Manhattan Federal Court.

He describes himself in the court papers as on medical leave from a job in operations at Deutsche Bank Security, where he made around $84,000 a year…


Nine months ago, Schwab tried to move to Colorado to grow medical marijuana for fellow veterans. While he and his wife were there preparing for the move, the state of Kansas took five of their children, ages 5 to 16, into custody on suspicion of child endangerment, ensnaring his family in interstate marijuana politics…

A US navy veteran who served in the Gulf war, Schwab says that he uses a homemade cannabis butter to treat his post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, and chronic pain. For years, he says, his mental health issues went undiagnosed, resulting in a bout of alcoholism and substance abuse. He was prescribed a variety of sedatives, antidepressants and chronic pain medication, which he says often made him feel worse. “I got addicted to the pain medication, which led to heroin addiction.”

Schwab says that he has been sober since a stint in rehab in 2011, and that cannabis is the only medication that helps with his anxiety, depression and physical pain…

Schwab says that one of the relatives caring for his children (whom he declines to name) took them to the police station, saying their parents had abandoned them to go work on a pot farm in Colorado. That was in April last year, and Schwab says he has only seen his children three times since then…

The Schwabs have been asked to submit a urine sample that would be tested to see if they have used marijuana before they can visit their children – despite having relocated to Colorado, where he has a prescription…

Schwab says that once he regains custody of his children he plans to sue the state of Kansas for violation of his constitutional rights. “They’re holding my kids hostage and threatening to terminate my rights if I don’t seek cannabis-abuse therapy in a state that’s legal. They’re threatening other people with jail time or losing their kids if they speak out, but I will not submit. I’ll take this to the supreme court if I have to.”

For all of you with the courage and will to fight, I salute you. 🙂

8 thoughts on “I am not alone

  1. Sorry to say, but your country is Fucked! Whats scary, is ours is heading in the same direction, just at a snails pace atm…its scary shit…its why I had to find my own solutions…but as you would know, that’s a hard thing to do when you are struggling already!
    I’ll take your salute today, and pin it to my rather saggy chest lol
    Heres mine, too you! !!!!! !!!!

    Liked by 1 person

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