Canada Schizophrenia

CBC, Stop Telling People With Mental Illness They Don't Need Medication

Susan Inman | Posted 07.29.2014 | Canada Living
Susan Inman

Since Canada, like the U.S., has almost no science based public education about psychotic disorders, people with these illnesses are especially vulnerable to messages that they don't need medications and are better off avoiding them. As well, both countries lack adequate psycho-education programs for people with these illnesses.

How Nancy Pelosi Broke My Heart

Susan Inman | Posted 07.20.2014 | Canada Politics
Susan Inman

This might come as quite a shock to the many American families I know who can't get treatment for their very ill sons and daughters whose psychotic states aren't 'passing.' These are families whose children have joined the millions of Americans living with untreated severe mental illnesses. They are homeless, victimized, and cycling in and out of jails and prisons.

Researchers Should Seek Families' Input on Mental Illness

Susan Inman | Posted 06.13.2014 | Canada Living
Susan Inman

People trying to help their family members struggling with severe mental illnesses don't have access to researchers. It's no surprise, then, that researchers ignore topics that reflect their perspectives on how to improve the mental health system. I hope they will consider the five areas discussed below.

I Coped With My Father's Schizophrenia Through Photography

Amanda Tetrault | Posted 05.12.2014 | Canada Living
Amanda Tetrault

I knew that what was happening for me at home was so different from my peers that I kept it secret, wanting to be "normal" at all costs. I felt alone and scared of absolutely everything. I was scared of Phil and the condition, scared of people finding out what was happening and scared of becoming ill like he was. This is where photography saved me.

Ontario Can Be a Mean Place if You Have a Mental Illness

Marvin Ross | Posted 05.11.2014 | Canada Living
Marvin Ross

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.

You Can Change Schizophrenia's Name, But the Stigma Will Be the Same

Marvin Ross | Posted 04.19.2014 | Canada Living
Marvin Ross

In the Western Hemisphere, the term salience syndrome has been suggested as an alternative to the term schizophrenia. But a study that attempted to see if changing the name would make any difference in people's responses to the mental illness found that it would not.

Finding the Confidence to Find Love

Ken Rabow | Posted 04.13.2014 | Canada Living
Ken Rabow

You can't just give up because you haven't found love or met people who live their lives based on appearances or fear. You know that. Tell yourself: "I deserve to be loved. I deserve happiness and I will be patient and relentless in my pursuit of both." Say it again.

A Portrait of Schizophrenia: From Daughter to Dad

Marilyn Linton | Posted 03.20.2014 | Canada Living
Marilyn Linton

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but Amanda Tetrault found more than that in a series of photos the 36-year-old Montreal photographer took of her dad, Phil, a talented and intelligent man who has suffered from schizophrenia since he was 21.

Why Smoking Can Be Good For You

Marvin Ross | Posted 02.15.2014 | Canada Living
Marvin Ross

If e-cigarettes were approved, they could be allowed for use by those suffering with serious psychiatric disorders in hospital. Those devices might help alleviate some of the deficits associated with schizophrenia, reduce the health risks of cigarette smoking, and allow for patients to smoke in hospital without the need to be allowed off the ward.

The Future of People with Severe Mental Illnesses is in the Wrong Hands

Susan Inman | Posted 02.02.2014 | Canada
Susan Inman

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.

Rob Ford Shows That 'Mental Health First Aid' is Expensive and Ineffective

Marvin Ross | Posted 01.25.2014 | Canada Living
Marvin Ross

With traditional first aid, those who are trained would give CPR to someone in cardiac arrest until the paramedics arrived or staunch bleeding or do mouth to mouth. The ill individual would be helped and then handed over to the professionals. Does MHFA accomplish the same? Do those they counsel end with professional help? The answer from the evaluations that have been done is no.

Don't Be Too Quick to Praise This New Treatment

Marvin Ross | Posted 01.23.2014 | Canada Living
Marvin Ross

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.

Attacker 'Not Criminally Responsible'

CBC | Posted 12.21.2013 | Canada British Columbia

A man suffering from schizophrenia who brutally assaulted three women in Vancouver, only hours after being discharged from St Paul's Hospital ...

Journalists Are Not Medical Experts

Marvin Ross | Posted 09.23.2013 | Canada
Marvin Ross

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) finds itself embroiled in controversy for its decision to invite medical journalist, Robert Whitaker to...

Why We Can't Ignore Science When We Talk About Mental Illness

Marvin Ross | Posted 07.02.2013 | Canada Living
Marvin Ross

Scientists have a long way to go to discover a cause and a cure for illnesses like schizophrenia. There is no cure now but symptoms can be alleviated with proper medication, and psycho-social treatments. Focusing on only one theory and treatment modality does everyone a disservice.

The Shock and Shame of Mental Illness

Diane Weber Bederman | Posted 08.25.2013 | Canada Living
Diane Weber Bederman

I need the medications to stay healthy. My need is not one that comes from weakness; it comes from an underlying chemical imbalance that talk therapy alone could not fix. People still tell me there are ways of treating my illness that don't include drugs. I wonder if they say the same thing to their friends with high blood pressure and diabetes?

Medicate Me, Even When I Refuse

Erin Hawkes | Posted 08.03.2013 | Canada
Erin Hawkes

Please, someone, make choices for me when I cannot: choose to give me the treatment that, for me, has worked in the past. Medicate me. Don't leave me to myself; I will play with those knives, and may not learn until I bleed to death what harm I have the "right" to do.

Why Are People With Schizophrenia Receiving Worse Health Care?

Marvin Ross | Posted 07.22.2013 | Canada
Marvin Ross

May 24th is Schizophrenia Awareness Day, but a disturbing study just presented at the annual American Psychiatric Association (APA) meeting in San Francisco demonstrates just how prejudiced many health providers are towards those with serious mental illnesses.

"I Did Not Believe I Was Delusional, Let Alone Psychotic"

Erin Hawkes | Posted 07.15.2013 | Canada Living
Erin Hawkes

The CIA was not spying on me. Nor were FBI agents looking to bring me down. And I was neither the President, Jesus Christ, nor Cleopatra. These, I had heard, are the content of delusions that characterize schizophrenia. Given that logic, I did not consider myself to have schizophrenia. I think that these shallow nuances of delusion kept me in my illness and away from probing psychiatrists.

Bill C-54 Makes Criminals out of the Mentally Ill

Chris Curry | Posted 06.30.2013 | Canada
Chris Curry

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.

Let's Take Mental Illness Out of the Shadows

Diane Weber Bederman | Posted 06.23.2013 | Canada
Diane Weber Bederman

In the May 2006 report Out of the Shadows at Last, Prime Minister Harper appointed Senator Michael Kirby to create the Mental Health Commission of C...

How Schizophrenia Gave Me an Eating Disorder

Erin Hawkes | Posted 06.08.2013 | Canada Living
Erin Hawkes

I have tried to disentangle my bulimia from my schizophrenia, but I can't: I was a bulimic schizophrenic. Not a schizophrenic bulimic, though; I had the schizophrenia because my fundamental brain chemistry was abnormal, while my bulimia was more psychological.

Treating Mental Illness Like Physical Illness Is the First Step to Change

Diane Weber Bederman | Posted 05.19.2013 | Canada
Diane Weber Bederman

Imagine a truck driver collapses over the wheel and slams into a school bus killing eight children. He'd had a heart attack. Now imagine a man takes a gun, enters a theatre and shoots randomly, killing eight children. It seems he had an acute psychotic break. The truck driver probably won't go to jail. But the young man? He'll be maligned and incarcerated. In truth, neither one is to blame for their illness or the tragic unpredictable events.

I Thought I Was Too Smart for Schizophrenia

Erin Hawkes | Posted 05.18.2013 | Canada Living
Erin Hawkes

People with schizophrenia don't have a Master's degree in Neuroscience. I'm simply too intelligent to have schizophrenia, right? Then why do rats eat my brain, why do voices yell at me, and why am I being stalked by a homicidal man with a sniper gun (I've got proof)? I assume it is normal. I don't have any friends and I have withdrawn from my family so no one but Them (doctors, nurses -- everyone in league with the enemy) diagnose me, treat me. So here are your pills. You would think that after all of this, I would surely realize that I had schizophrenia. I didn't, though.

For Psychotic People, Medication Means Survival

Susan Inman | Posted 03.12.2013 | Canada
Susan Inman

When people suffering from mental illness receive intensive treatment in programs specifically designed for them, most of them do much better. Anti-psychotic medications are understood to provide the foundation upon which any other treatments can be added. These messages are in direct conflict with the message from journalist Robert Whitaker. Robert Whitaker does excellent work describing the egregious practices of the pharmaceutical industries. However, his extreme stance against the value of psychotropic medications is scary. Any parents of a psychotic son or daughter who heard his recent presentation in Vancouver would want to keep their child far away from the early psychosis intervention programs that offer the best hope for recovery.