Dr. Debra L. Wentz, president and CEO of the Hamilton-based New Jersey Association of Mental Health and Addiction Agencies, said some of the most brilliant people in the world have suffered from mental illness.
“Abe Lincoln suffered from depression,” she said, referring to the 16th president of the United States who freed the slaves and saved the Union.
Wentz said some people with mental illness “can recover and live normal lives and can have relapses,” but noted medication may not always be the solution.
“Medication could be a very important part of stabilizing somebody who is in psychosis defined as being detached from reality to some extent or feeling paranoid, but it depends,” she said. “Sometimes medication is effective and necessary. You don’t want to fall into saying, ‘If somebody just took their medicine everything would be fine.’ You just don’t know.”
Whether it’s meds or therapy, Finklin’s family hopes he gets the help that he needs now that he’s not going anywhere any time soon.
“I don’t want to get a phone call in the morning that ‘your son is shot’ or something like that,” his mother said. “That’s my biggest fear.”