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People of colour don't talk about mental health enough, she says.
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It is well-known that heart disease is society's leading killer. In contrast, it is largely unrecognized that people with bipolar disorder are at particularly high risk of heart disease.
Joshua M. Ferguson.
When someone dies unexpectedly from something like sudden cardiac arrest as appears to be the case with Carrie Fisher, it is a tragedy. And it is more of a tragedy when the person is young like Ms Fisher was at age 60. But what is an unconscionable travesty, are the blogs being written about her by the anti-psychiatry people who are using her death to promote their beliefs.
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We need each other. We need these connections to survive and we need to talk about mental illness to share light and hope. We need to stop stigmatizing mental illness. We need to survive mental illness. You need to survive it. You have to keep moving. Keep fighting. Keep dreaming.
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Almost ten years ago, at age 19, I landed myself in the local emergency room after swallowing an entire bottle of antidepressants. It wasn't an easy road to get there, and it hasn't been an easy road since.
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I've never been diagnosed with bipolar disorder but I did have anxiety and depression growing up. And who knows? Maybe I am bipolar too and should have been flagged. Maybe if there were more psychiatrists around to help us make a diagnosis, I would have known sooner and taken preventative steps and not have my postpartum episodes be such a surprise to me and my doctor.
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I've been waiting a long time for a book like"How Can I Help? A Week in My Life as a Psychiatrist." Written by psychiatrists David Goldbloom and Pier Bryden, this book is the most thorough account I have seen of the thinking process, or what should be the thinking process, of contemporary psychiatrists. And it can change the entire way you go about asking for, and receiving, help from a mental health professional.
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Most teens with bipolar disorder have struggled with mood problems for years before they are diagnosed. Teens are often relieved to "finally have an answer" about the reason for their symptoms, and having an appropriate treatment plan instills hope that there can be smoother roads ahead.
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I tell my patients, "Mental illnesses are medical illnesses, like diabetes or heart disease." Most of them struggle to believe me because they know that many people, even people who love them, think they can just "get over" their illnesses. And they're equally as hard on themselves. So let's talk about what causes mental illness, and why that question (and answer) are pretty complicated.
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In my family, the incidence of mental health problems runs high. My mother and her twin sister are both bipolar. On my father's side, one of my aunts was bipolar and two of my cousins are schizophrenic. While some people dispute the idea that mental illness can be hereditary -- and I, too, believe in the importance of social and environmental causes -- you can nonetheless see that the odds were pretty high that someone else in my immediate family might get hit over the head with it, too
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A growing trend in the delivery of mental health services is the use of peer support workers. Peers, who have themselves experienced some kind of mental illness, can help meet some of the many needs that people with the most severe mental illnesses have. However, various ideological agendas have led the internationally powerful peer support movement in questionable directions.
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Families in Canada fighting for evidence-based care for relatives living with psychotic disorders should see the tenacity of the American families. And Democratic Americans abroad, like me, can let our representatives know that we want the mental health system to begin to meet the needs of people with the most severe illnesses.
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I've realized that false representations of mental illnesses are more common than the promotion of their actuality. In order to smash some of the misconceptions about mental illness and the people who live with them, read on to find out what people with mental illness can actually do.
My name is Sana. I am 31 years old, mother to a little baby girl, and wife to a major techie. I'm also a writer, journalist and artist. And, as much as I dislike the usage of labels, you can add another label to my being. I am bipolar. Everyone's experience with their disorder is different, much like how we, as individuals, are so unique. I no longer want to be ashamed of being bipolar.
I'm writing this a few days after the anniversary of the death of Robin Williams. I know it's a little late and this post would have been more appropriate on August 11, rather than now. But I've spent...
Writing about mental illness invites information -- sometimes informed, sometimes not so informed -- from people who will claim that they too once suffered from depression, anxiety, OCD, ADD, bipolar types I or II, schizophrenia; and will claim to have the cure to one or all of these.
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Before any social progress can be made, mental illness has to be acknowledged as a real and powerful determinant of health which affects all social classes, but plays a greater role not only in the lives of those who are displaced, but in some cases also contributes to their displacement and state of living. It is those living on the streets who are the most affected by the stigma associated with mental illness. Yet the stigma is alive and well for those of us who are fortunate enough to continue working or have a strong support system advocating for us while we too struggle to climb the walls of our own personal hell.
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As a society, we are comfortable with what we know and see. Mental illness is not often seen and too few know about it. Those who are mentally ill and seeking treatment are not only dealing with the signs and symptoms of the disease attacking their mind, but also the rejection from the teams of mental health professionals, themselves drowning beneath the paralyzing weight of bureaucracy. Unfortunately, this leaves families alone, scared, overworked, and dejected by a lack of commitment and compassion from the department of Canadian health care that is most knowledgeable about their respective illnesses.
This is Mental Health Awareness Week. Let's finally talk about what we really feel so that the health care system is forced to as well. Maybe what it has to say is not what we even want to hear, and we have the right to know that too.
Two recent books by high profile psychiatrists provide readers with background knowledge that is essential in shaping our own responses to one of the biggest social problems of our times: severe mental illnesses. Now that psychiatrists are increasingly willing to enter into the messy public arena, it's up to the public to see what we can do with the information they are providing.
Sadly, those who are closed-minded to the reality of depression as an actual illness will be the ones who will find information about mental illness unwelcome, unnecessary and imaginary.
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I am fortunate enough to have doctors who are acknowledging my mental illness and treating it. The problem, however, is mine. My issue. I am ashamed of my disorders.
Mental illnesses are like pack animals. There is never just one without others lurking behind corners waiting to jump on us -- their weight holding us down; their teeth ripping through the flesh of our throat until we are too weak to fight back. As we lay bleeding and broken, available treatment is more difficult to reach.
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In order to further be part of a movement which strives to promote the existence of mental illnesses, I have to be able to speak my truth. Not just write it. Not hide behind my laptop. But say it out loud, and not say it with a smirk and a wink, and a jolly, "I'm crazy." This isn't helping anyone. I'm only further promoting the notion that mental illness needs to remain in the closet. Until people can accept that there is stigma, those of us who do suffer in silence; those of us who are too embarrassed to say out loud that we have an illness -- we need to refrain from using a vocabulary which only serves to further set back the progress.
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Now that I've experienced stability in mild doses as my medication is regularly tweaked to find the right balance, I question myself often. Is my thought to return to school to get my Masters something I really want? Or is it residual hypomania egging me on? I still wake at night and watch as the thoughts battle each other for my undivided attention.
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I've been diagnosed as having Bipolar II Disorder. And although I spent hours, days, weeks, even months huddled under the covers wishing for a quick, tidy end to the pain, there were moments when a thought would make me throw the blankets off. The thought could be minor, like the sudden desire to make cupcakes for my kids. Or it could be extravagant and expensive like the remodeling of an entire bathroom.
If you are among the lucky population who does react well to medication, taking a pill may allow you to work through the problems you're facing in therapy and hopefully you won't have to be on medication for the rest of your life. But the reality is that for some of us suffering from chronic mental illness, therapy isn't enough.
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The best thing I ever did was to leave the academic texts behind and turn to memoirs written by people who live with mental illness. I don't know what brought me to this place -- maybe some vain hope that somewhere, someone else was experiencing what I was going through. And thankfully that's exactly what I found.
You may not realize it, but you've probably already been impacted by mental illness. In Canada alone, 20 per cent of Canadians will personally experience a mental illness in their lifetime, according...
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Ontario's record in improving services for those with mental illness and, in particular, those with the most serious of illnesses is totally reprehensible. And no amount of government committees can change any of that if all they do is meet, listen and ignore.
Planning for the future presents serious problems for parents of people with significant disabilities; when those families are dealing with psychotic illnesses, the future is especially frightening. While it is impossible to deny that progress is being made, the simple fact is that our world, as it stands, has little desire to label people with mental illness as anything but crazy and dangerous.
Almost 4 per cent of the population develops schizophrenia or bipolar disorder and these disorders mostly appear in youth and young adults. The families who this year will discover the agony of psychotic illnesses need to know that genuine help is available. The path to that help is just much more treacherous than it should be.