World Vision Kenya
Stephen Swintek via Getty Images
Mental illness takes a significant toll on your ability to function in any job. When you're a single mom and have the added pressure of being the sole breadwinner, depression, anxiety and PTSD can cripple your ability to cope.
wgmbh via Getty Images
It pains me to hear the nonsense my patients are subjected to by sometimes well-meaning, yet utterly uninformed, self-taught mental health experts. Their lack of scientific training is merely a preamble ("I'm no doctor but..."). They speak with enthusiasm and authority as they peddle supplements, homeopathic tinctures, detox enemas and antioxidant smoothies, with the goal of liberating my patients from their evidence-based treatments and dollars from their wallets.
Photodisc via Getty Images
Schizophrenia is a complex and often devastating illness, characterized by the presence of psychotic symptoms including delusions, hallucinations, disorganized thinking and behaviour and negative symptoms (apathy, lack of motivation, social withdrawal, and reduced emotional responsiveness).
When governments don't want to do something but want to give the appearance of doing something, they set up a task force or committee to investigate and bring back a report. It looks good to some but does nothing and that is what so many jurisdictions do. Maybe it is because I live in Ontario, but this province is the master when it comes to this.
A proposed class-action lawsuit alleges Ottawa fails to provide adequate care to mentally ill prisoners while relying far too heavily on solitary confinement.
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.
shironosov via Getty Images
Science may not be as well advanced in the treatment of the most serious of mental illnesses as they are in other areas but, hopefully, we will get there sooner than later. But that goal will be achieved by scientists some of whom work at CAMH and not by those suggesting we convene a group of people with lived experience to solve these puzzles.
I have to admit something embarrassing. I am a registered psychologist working in private practice, and I don't know what the term mental illness means. Well, on a general level I know that it refers to psychological problems, but I don't know exactly what is meant by the "illness" part.
There are no other evaluations of the program that I can find searching the medical literature and the number of participants they evaluated was very small. My suggestion to the psychiatric contrarians is to can the hype on Open Dialogue until independent studies do confirm your views that it is vastly better than what currently exists.
With Bill C-54, if you are deemed to be "high risk not criminally responsible," you will be held for a minimum of three years before you ever have the chance to see a review board. As someone who has not only been a patient in three separate psychiatric hospitals in Ontario, but has also worked in forensic psychiatric institutions, I know that they aren't always the best places to get better. With proper treatment, I was healthy again and posed no threat to the public within a few months. Had I been forced to remain in hospital for three years, I likely wouldn't be the productive, law-abiding citizen that I am today.
Alex Conte, a 21-year-old Sooke, B.C. man was found not criminally responsible for killing his mother due to his mental illness. I can only wonder how those who proclaim that the mentally ill are more likely to be victims of violence rather than perpetrators of violence account for incidents like this. This statement that the mentally ill are less violent than others is true for those who are treated but not for those who are untreated.
I have tried to avoid looking at pictures of the treatment of Ashley Smith from still photos to videos. But, it is wrong to look away for my own sake. It is wrong for any of us to look away for our own sake. . We need to see it so that we never let our government treat the mentally ill as "lesser than."
Maybe it's just me but I feel that, as a society our vocabulary is a little less filtered then what it was 10 or 15 years ago. Are we so crunched for time that we no longer think about what we say and how it could affect others before we say it? I began to wonder...what words or phrases do we say or use everyday that offend those who have mental health difficulties?
Who wants to be friends with and get to know someone who is totally psychotic? If they are properly treated fine, but otherwise, no. Maybe what we should do instead is to spend that anti-stigma money to ensure that they are treated and restored to sanity. Then most of us would want to befriend them and they would live longer with more fulfilling lives.