I don’t know what to make of this story about a Chinese mother who has kept her mentally ill son chained up for 23 years. You really don’t think that anyone would ever do something like this, but basically the guy has been living naked in a barn because his mother says that he destroys things. Apparently he was normal until he was seventeen and started setting fire to the house and ripping off his clothes.
After being chained to the wall for 23 years, Tang can no longer walk properly because his leg muscles have wasted away. He sleeps on the bare ground as Xiao cannot afford straw for his bedding.
She said: ‘I hope somebody can help me – I fear for the future for my poor boy when I am no longer here.
‘I have three children but although his brother and sister are normal he was never normal, and when he was 17 he became violent and smashed things.
I’m just baffled by what goes on in other parts of the world sometimes and how they treat human beings. I know that times are difficult and it looks like they’re in a poorer region of China, but there are always other ways to sort things out. I would imagine that the guy didn’t just go crazy and was probably needing some attention or something if he was stable until seventeen.
Those are some pretty rough years even for us normal folks as far as the hormones and all that go. What’s worse is on the other side of the spectrum, the “civilized” manner of treating mental illness seems to be drugging up kids. Just look at the majority of young children with ADHD who are given ritalin. Most of them act the same way that we all did growing up: with a fire for knowledge and an attention span of a flea.
These extremes always make great news stories but the problem remains. Where is the fine line to draw on how mental illness is treated? If it was some sort of elaborate type of treatment, would it categorize the poor out of treatment?