Thanks to Stephanie Mencimer for a well-written, insightful portrait of Dr. Fuller Torrey (“Brain Storm,” 1/16) and his research on brain disorders. As Mencimer points out, Torrey not only talks the talk but walks the walk. And he cajoles family members and advocates for people with mental illnesses to do the samecajoling members of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI) to act as wolves rather than sheep in the struggle to achieve better lives for the ones we love. Torrey’s leadership in pointing out the myriad deficiencies in the “mangled care” system, which puts profits far ahead of people, is a good example of this.
One suggestion: Next time, leave out the demeaning and inaccurate clichés, like “losing your mind” and “crazy.” People with heart disorders don’t “lose their hearts” any more than people with mental disorders “lose their minds.” Both are illnesses, and as Torrey is proving, both can be treated. Those with illnesses of body and mind are first people, not adjectives or caricatures.
Mount Rainier, Md.