Mental illness can affect anyone| Letter to the Editor
August 24, 2011 · Updated 9:24 AM
I have been friends with Kris Cushing for five years. She taught my daughter’s Sunday School class, sang in the church choir with me, had my family over for dinner parties and attended parties at our home. She is kind, generous and creative.
She also has a history of mental illness. Many do. About one-third of us will experience an episode of depression at some point in our lives. Most will not become psychotic (lose touch with reality), but some will. I did not know Kris at 20, but those who did, including the attorney who initially intended to prosecute her, determined she had lost touch with reality to the extent that she was not responsible for her actions.
In addition to depression, dementia and delirium are common conditions which impair judgment and can affect anyone, whether or not we have a prior history of mental illness. We are ill advised to keep firearms at home. Being of sound mind today is no guarantee you will be so tomorrow. Many have moments of desperation, and guns are so efficient, it takes only a few such moments to take your own life or that of one you love.
I do not know the boys’ biological mother and should not speculate as to her motives in creating the cruel media circus in which the Cushings now find themselves. But I know enough to question her claim not to have known her son has been living with Kris all these years. That story isn’t credible: The boys were too young to have kept such a secret from her. Whatever her motives, she seems to have lost sight of the best interests of her children. This drama cannot be good for the boys.
— Kathleen Murphy Fellbaum