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A brilliant, up and coming, young doctor goes missing leaving a whole lot of questions for her family, her friends and her loved ones.

But 30-year old Dr. Teleka Patrick’s disappearance and the information coming out in the months since she went missing on December 5th of last year are painting a picture of a young woman who may have been unraveling and may likely have been suffering from mental health issues.

Her ex-husband told investigators that their 6-year marriage broke up because Patrick became obsessive and would claim she heard voices.

Ismael “Smiley” Calderon told the Kalamazoo Gazette that his ex-wife’s alleged mental health issues led to their divorce.

The final straw according to Calderon was after Patrick allegedly became delusional by accusing him of cheating, abuse and trying to derail her career; at one point allegedly trying to run him over with a car.

He said he moved himself and her two children out of the couple’s apartment for fear of their lives.

Patrick’s family, who did not approve of the relationship, denies any knowledge of mental health problems with Teleka.

Her husband said Patrick never sought assistance or treatment for mental health issues because such reported treatment might derail her medical career.

That is certainly plausible.

And of course her husband’s story is not the whole story, so his account should be taken with some degree of skepticism.

But the part that really resonated with me and probably many who have experienced similar behavior in relationships is when Calderon said he did not voice his concerns to her family because Patrick was an adult and made her own choices and quote, “I was trying to be a true friend to her and in doing so I lost our marriage, I lost our aspirations, I mean I lost everything.”

No truer words have ever been spoken for those of us who have been there.

You never really know someone unless or until you’re in a relationship with them.

Without going into too much detail, I had similar experiences in a recent long-term relationship.

I never told the person’s family because I thought I was not only being a good partner, but a good friend.

No one outside the relationship would have known.

No one at that person’s place of employment would have known.

People who have mental health issues can be master’s a pulling themselves together in public while torturing the person to whom they are closest.

To this day I’m not sure why.

But what I am sure of is that the stigma of mental health must be addressed.

Suffering is suffering.

Pain is pain; no matter where it emanates- the brain, the psyche, an organ or a limb.

If Teleka Patrick did suffer some mental health issues, the first time her husband experienced it, he should have been able to confide in her loved ones just the same is if she had broken a finger or scraped a knee.

Families must be open to the realities of our time which include our own members having problems in our heads.

Teleka Patrick’s family is now left to try to figure out why she suddenly moved from California to Michigan; why she might have been stalking the famous gospel singer Marvin Sapp who filed a restraining order against her; why she tried to check into a hotel on the night she disappeared when her own home was not far away?

So many unanswered questions except for one that is soon to be answered once an autopsy is done today on a body found in an Indiana lake not from where Teleka Patrick disappeared.

It didn’t have to end this way.

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16 thoughts on “DON LEMON: ‘Dr. Teleka Patrick’s Story Didn’t Have To End This Way’

  1. phyllis lord on said:

    Dear Mr, Lemon:

    I don’t know if the ending of Dr. Teleka Patrick’s story could have been avoided, but I am a mother who has a daughter 33 years of age, with a PHD in material science, and I believe she suffers from mental illness. I say she suffers from mental illness because my daughter has delusions about T.D. Jakes church and his ministers. I don’t know how to help her because she is 33 years of age, which makes her an adult responsible for her own well being. The family cannot make her accept help for her mental illness because of her age and she is not violent toward others. I worry about her ending because the delusions she has tells her that T.D. Jakes has a job for her. The delusions tell her that she is gay and that T.D. Jakes ministry must do more for gay people and God told her that T.D. Jakes must hire her to speak to gay people. The delusions has led her to sexual harass a Pastor at T.D. Jakes church, run around naked at T.D. Jakes church, and disrupt service at T.D. Jakes church and get arrested for Criminal Trespass at T.D. Jakes church. The family is deeply distressed. We want to help my daughter change a bleak future, but we are unable to help her change her life and get her treatment, because she is an adult who is of age and who is nonviolent.

  2. One problem is that denial of a mental health problem is often part of the manifestation of the mental health problem. Sometimes, no amount of intervention, no amount of loving support, no amount of confrontation, nothing can convince the mentally ill person that they’re mentally ill and need help. BTDT.

  3. Joe Valdez on said:

    Don Lemon
    Suffers from mental issues . You are a nasty pervert that insert or get an erect penis inserted in your filthy virus infected A hole , and then you proceed licking feces off the erect penis , only mentally ill pigs do this .Yak Yak

  4. RENO2AC on said:

    Oftentimes, family members are in denial when it comes to mental health issues, especially if there is no previous history of mental illness and when the person is considered a high achiever. There was obviously something going on with her mental state. Now, whether or not the situation with her husband was a fundamental cause…none of us know that. I was forced by a family member to seek treatment after the death of my infant son. My sister called me at worked one day, and an older co-worker answered my phone because I was out of the office. She shared with my sister her concerns. My sister, my HUSBAND, my other siblings, and mother were incredulous because they thought that I was “fine.” Yes, they said, she is sad because of the baby, but she will be alright. I was NOT alright. And, the people who loved me the most and were the closest to me did not, could not see it. They thought that all I needed was little prayer. I needed so much more, and thank God for the coworker who saw the “signs.”

  5. melissa parks on said:

    Unfortunately, much talk of this woman’s mental illness” has been predicated on the exhusband’s story. I have read different articles that assert he may have influenced much of her behaviors. I actually saw a statement from her attorney that there were no allegations of mental illness from Ex during divorce proceedings. I got the impression he was an under achiever who was jealous of his wife. As a copy of divorce documents that showed she was the breadwinner and seemed to have paid off their marital debts & accepting arrangement of mere
    $$ pittance per month as settlement. Also seemed he was asked by attorneys to cease bringing his woman friend to court. Also, they were not married very long & she was willing to marry him with kids. So I’d be very apprehensive in listening to this guy.

    • Calmness on said:

      Melissa, you may have seen papers but your conclusions are flawed. A first year resident which is what she was only makes about 50000 per year and since she JUST graduated in May she couldn’t have paid off anything for either of them yet! I went to Loma Linda…trust me she was up to her ears in debt. You don’t start making the big bucks until after residency.

    • Calmness on said:

      Also her ex husband’s comments are consistent with those videos released and also with her twitter posts. You, like some others, are just in denial.

  6. It appears someone just killed her, although she did appear to have some problems, women do stalk men, they think cause there a lady a man wants them not always the case, some women will just hop in a car with a guy noy knowing him, they see nice car and there gone we ith a total stranger not knowing the consequences.this sernario could have happen to her.still she didnt have to die, or it appears someone just got tired of her.

  7. Petal on said:

    I think the points of the article are that 1)both Lemon and Calderon and everyone else who find themselves in the situation addressed should be able to speak to families, 2) currently people in such positions do not approach families because families are not “open to the realities of our time” 3) if families are more open to the realities of our time we could do a better job of dealing with what the author thinks is mental illness. As I read the article the point of the article is not to bash or blame Calderon individually, rather it is to blame all of us as a society. As I read it, the author knows he has not practiced what he preached and he is explaining why at the time, he did not. I personally do not accept the phrase practice what you preach because since none of us are perfect we will often find that we have to preach what we have not practiced as we learn from our mistakes and try to build a better future and society. Lots of people in authority such as parents, elders, and leaders have to preach what they have not practice and indicate where they had failed and should’ve could’ve would’ve done better given different circumstances. In this way, it is possible for the experienced to preach wisdom and the inexperienced to practice it.

    • Wonderwoman on said:

      Hello. I understand why you may not accept the comment I made on practice what you preach. I just didn’t understand how Lemon could state that Patrick’s former husband “should have” done anything when he first notice symptoms of mental illness. (Statement made towards the bottom portion of Lemon’s post) I know if I were in that situation, I wouldn’t know whether to tell the family of my boyfriend/husband or not. They probably wouldn’t even believe me until they saw it for themselves. I think Patrick’s husband did only what HE felt best to do at that time, but it’s not what he should or should not have done because it’s a difficult situation to be in.

  8. Wonderwoman on said:

    I understand what you are saying, but you also just stated that you didn’t tell the family of your former partner who also suffered from mental illness. How can you say what Patrick’s husband should have done, but you also failed to do it? It is true that we need to tell others that someone we know needs mental help, but practice what you preach.

    • If you weren’t so busy trying to negate what he said, then you’d notice that he’s expressing his understanding of how/why her husband didn’t approach the family about her issues. I’m sure that given a climate where Lemon felt comfortable in going to his partner’s family he would’ve done so. There no need to try framing him of hypocrisy. The issue of the subject: there needs to be more open dialog about these kinds of issues and it need not be such a taboo topic. Mentally illness is a reality and secrets don’t help anyone get the help they need.

      • Wonderwoman on said:

        It amazes me how people get so frustrated or upset by what you post. It’s only a comment and my opinion. Don’t waste time and energy telling me what I’m busy doing or not doing, because I have a right to post what I am thinking. I see what he is saying.

        “If Teleka Patrick did suffer some mental health issues, the first time her husband experienced it, he should have been able to confide in her loved ones just the same is if she had broken a finger or scraped a knee.”

        I don’t agree with Lemon saying that Patrick’s husband should have done anything, because he didn’t do it when he was in a relationship with someone. That’s why I still say practice what you preach. If you are going to say what someone else “should” have done, then he should have done it also.

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