Posts tagged knafo
Posts tagged knafo
Let’s Take Mental Illness Out of the Shadows
By Millicent Monks, Author
I’ve read several good articles about mental illness in our local newspaper here in my small town in Maine. The headline of the last article I read was, Mentally Ill Wait Too Long. The article stated, “More than 500 Mainers are on the waiting list for the most basic mental health services, with an average wait of two months and sometimes waiting nearly a year.” I read that sentence and immediately had a sense of despair and disbelief. How can this be?
Mental illness can be as destructive and fatal as serious physical illnesses, but mental illnesses do not get the same level of attention and care. Mental illness often places a terrible burden and a huge impact on families. Often there is a societal perception that mothers are somehow responsible. On top of this serious emotional strain for a family caring for a child with mental illness, there is the added strain of waiting two months or up to a year to get the help they need. Mental illness is not given the attention that it needs. The situation is so dire I often think someone should sue the Department of Health and Human Services, if only to bring some attention to how desperately help is needed.
Two psychiatric doctors recently wrote a letter to The New York Times quite eloquently about the state of care for the mentally ill in this country. It was in response to an article The New York Times ran titled, “When It Comes to Mental Health Coverage, a Long Line of Patients Is Still Waiting.” Their letter, which you can read here, gets it right. Every child needs access to the right treatment at the right time.
What physical ailment takes a year to be taken care of? How do those who are mentally ill and need help survive a year? How does a family or a mother with a seriously ill child survive a year’s wait? This is exactly what we are asking those struggling with a mentally ill child to do, and it is unacceptable.
I remember some 50 or so years ago when my husband and I became involved with mental illness in our state. We were struggling to bring mental illness into the 20th century in Maine. There was a lady from the northern part of the state whose husband had left her with a very dangerous and mentally ill son in his teens. She came to all our meetings. She was struggling to stay financially solvent. She was simply overwhelmed. She was in her mid-30s, and our group tried to help. One day after a meeting, we learned that she died suddenly. It was a terribly sad situation.
Today, in my older age, I want to pass on advice to mothers with seriously mentally ill children:
You are not alone.
We need advocacy, not shame.
We should support one another.
Sharing your stories with other mothers can be helpful to you and to them.
We should all search for answers.
We should give voice to mental illness so we can shed light on the impact of mental illness in our society and find resources to help us.
We can empower other mothers by sharing our stories.
We need to learn our rights.
We need to ask questions and demand answers.
Sometimes I dream about mothers of mentally ill children gathering together in small groups and then those groups grow in numbers and turn into bigger groups. I dream that we can change what I call the shadow of mental illness and bring light to such an important issue, impacting so many families. I don’t want mental illness to be the forgotten illness. I don’t want mothers to feel alone. I want mothers to speak up and become empowered.
I wish there were simple answers, but there aren’t. Together we can find solutions. Perhaps if mothers can speak out and share with each other, we can form powerful groups of healing and mental illness could take a new step forward toward awareness and progress. If we join together for change, we can take mental illness out of the shadows.
For more mental health news, Click Here to access the Serious Mental Illness Blog
Severe mental illness: How Virginia’s system fails and a mother’s grief
By Wanda Yvonne Parks
February 9, 2014
Watch full video HERE
I am Jason Daniel Tully’s mother. He passed away on April 25, 2013, at the age of 25, in a jail isolation cell. I have waited this long to respond because an autopsy had to be done. It showed he suffered from schizoaffective disorder and a heart condition. I have no ill feelings towards the Hampton City Jail for their efforts to save my young son’s life. He suffered tremendously with severe mental illness for numerous years.
My son passed away in an isolation jail cell three days after being discharged from a local hospital. He was discharged from Maryview Hospital in Portsmouth after I insisted with his treating psychiatrist that he was not ready to be released. Instead, he was sent home by a cab. One hour later, the police placed him in jail after a psychotic episode.
Jason Daniel was the light of my world, very special and full of kindness. I am a former social worker. My passion has always been and always will be to help those with mental illness.
My sincere sympathyand prayers extend to state Sen. Creigh Deeds about his personal tragedy and loss of his son, Austin. I am sure that Sen. Deeds is facing a difficult time of pain and loss.
I am still unable to explain what it is like to watch your child develop a mental illness. Often, they are denied the help needed. My son was brilliant, kind and had a successful future ahead of him, but he could not beat his illness. Jason Daniel could never, ever accept that his functioning level had decreased so desperately. He said, “My dreams are gone.”
Jason Daniel served a nearly one-year sentence in jail from approximately March 2012 until Feb. 26, 2013. On Feb. 26, he was released from Hampton Roads Regional Jail with bleeding sores in his feet, deep wounds in his legs, a tremendous loss of weight, broken tooth, deep beard and a scar and dent on his forehead. He was so ill that he could barely walk. He went to Riverside Behavioral Health Center where he was denied treatment.
I explained to the Hampton Court that Jason Daniel would need community support services if released. If a mentally ill person is in a hospital for an extensive period of time, or in jail, their disability income (if they have any) is suspended and it takes someone to help them get it reinstated, which can take time.
Otherwise, they are homeless. As the Hampton Roads Regional Jail informed me, “nine times out of 10, the mentally ill are put out on the streets.”
I am trying to get my son’s records. I have contacted Eastern State Hospital (the state psychiatric facility in James City County) where my son was for a short time while incarcerated. I was told, “since he is deceased you cannot get his records.” The Hampton Roads Regional Jail told me I would have to go to court and “then you would be beating your head against a brick wall.” The jail also told me that “isolation can be done indefinitely.” Jason Daniel had a severe mental illness but he had an incredible heart and was always honest. He told me, “Mom, I was put in isolation for a very long time. Bad memories mom. Very bad memories.”
I am speaking from both professional and personal experience. Often one can ask for help and crisis intervention; however an ECO (emergency custody order) or TDO (temporary detention order) is many times not approved because someone does not meet “imminent” criteria for inability to care for self or a danger to self or others. Hospitalization is then not provided. Or, if it is, the patient is often released from the short-term hospital before they are stable. So many times, jail is the outcome. Isolation there with the mentally ill is often done.
Many times I sought fervently for hospitalization for my son and my patients. Not just short-term psychiatric facilities, but especially long-term, such as Eastern State. It was denied when my son pleaded for help.
Although there is proposed legislation for funding for the mental health system, I am deeply concerned that some necessary services will not be met. For example, housing for the mentally ill is a serious problem.
My intentions are not aimed at those who serve the severely mentally ill in jail. My question is why do those who suffer from such a serious mental illness have to be sent to such a dark and lonely place of isolation, without social interaction and activities? Why are the mentally ill released, alone, without sufficient support? Our mental health system has truly failed.
For more mental health news, Click Here to access the Serious Mental Illness Blog
The list links out to comprehensive neuroscience-focused definitions, treatment options, research endeavors, organizations, and more.
[Blog Post of Interest] The Big Chill: Psychiatric Medications Now Are on Trial For Murder
By Michael Cornwall, Ph.D. on Mad in America
Excerpt: The Canadian judge in the first North American criminal trial to find Prozac the sole cause of a murder ruled – “There is clear medical evidence that the Prozac affected his (defendant’s) behavior and judgment, thereby reducing his moral culpability.” Will those chilling words cause a small tremor in the writing hand of every prescriber of Prozac and other psychiatric medications from now on?
That Prozac verdict which is not going to be appealed by the District Attorney changes everything. The upcoming Utah Supreme Court trial where the court has already ruled that prescribers of psychiatric medications can be held responsible for the actions of their patients, adds to the huge shift in the landscape for anyone who prescribes.
[Article of Interest] Recent developments in borderline personality disorder
By Anthony P. Winston
Excerpt: Despite many unanswered questions, recent developments give grounds for optimism. It is now difficult to sustain the view that all borderline patients are untreatable. Psychoanalysis, cognitive therapy and empirical research are converging, and a coherent aetiological model of the disorder is beginning to emerge. The outlook for this challenging group of patients may be starting to improve.
The apparent success of brief therapies is somewhat at odds with the view held by many clinicians that borderline patients benefit from a relatively prolonged relationship with a therapist or therapeutic team. This view is consistent with the evidence for disordered attachment in BPD, which suggests that a stable therapeutic attachment may be helpful in allowing patients to develop psychologically in a more functional way.
By Lynda Tait, PhD; Max Birchwood, DSc; Peter Trower, PhD
Excerpt of the Article: In contrast to earlier views of recovery style as a stable trait characteristic, recent evidence suggests that recovery style can change over time […] Recovery style has been identified as an important factor in adjustment to psychosis.
This [study] supports the view that a functional sense of self or identity is an important resilience factor in recovery from psychosis, and in facilitating coping efforts.
[Article of Interest] Psychiatry Manual Drafters Back Down on Diagnoses
By Benedict Carey
The New York Times
Excerpt: The [doctors on a panel revising psychiatry’s diagnostic manual] dropped two diagnoses that they ultimately concluded were not supported by the evidence: “attenuated psychosis syndrome,” proposed to identify people at risk of developing psychosis, and “mixed anxiety depressive disorder,” a hybrid of the two mood problems. They also tweaked their proposed definition of depression to allay fears that the normal sadness people experience after the loss of a loved one, a job or a marriage would not be mistaken for a mental disorder.
“At long last, DSM 5 is correcting itself and has rejected its worst proposals,” said Dr. Allen Frances, a former task force chairman and professor emeritus at Duke University who has been one of the most prominent critics. “But a great deal more certainly needs to be accomplished. Most important are the elimination of other dangerous new diagnoses and the rewriting of all the many unreliable criteria sets.”
[Article of Interest] Death with Honors: Suicide among Gifted Adolescents
By James R. Delisle, Ph.D.
Department of Teacher Development and Curriculum Studies, Kent State University, Kent, Ohio.
Abstract: The incidence of suicide and suicide attempts among adolescents has increased markedly during the past two decades. Gifted adolescents, often perceived by others as being immune from problems of depression and emotional upheaval because of their high intelligence, have also shown increases in suicidal behaviors. On the basis of current research, the author contends that gifted young people are especially susceptible to suicide attempts.
Being an ex-drug-addict turned neuroscientist brings a unique insight into the physiological and phenomenological realities of addiction.
Excerpt: For 10 years I spun in and out of an addiction to opiates (and other drugs) that led to despair, crime, and the loss of everything I valued most—including my place in graduate school. After many failed attempts, I finally quit taking addictive drugs 30 years ago. I reentered grad school, got my PhD in developmental psychology, and became a professor at the University of Toronto, focusing on emotional and personality development. I studied these topics for 13 years, but I never quite understood my own personality development. I came to believe that my theories needed help from neuroscience, and that’s why I switched to research on the emotional brain—my focus for the past decade.
When I was in the throes of intense psychological addiction, my thoughts were continuously (and unpleasantly) drawn to drug imagery. It would be so great to have some now! How can I get some tonight?! But attraction to something you are just about to get feels marvelous. Dopamine-induced engagement turns into a headlong rush of triumph when the goal is finally accessible.
This perspective on the dual nature of attraction helps make sense of addiction. Unsated attraction can be a kind of torture, and addicts may seek drugs to put an end to that torture, more than for the modicum of pleasure drugs actually bestow.
Trailer for “Open Dialogue,” a 74-minute documentary film on the Western Lapland Open Dialogue Project, the program presently getting the best results in the developed world for first-break psychosis — approximately 85% full recovery, a far majority off anti-psychotic medication.
Filmed in Finland. Directed by Daniel Mackler.
More information at http://www.iraresoul.com/dvd3.html
ABSTRACT: The changing role of the family and how the family unit may help or harm a disturbed and/or disturbing member is examined. The authors use their personal experiences as mental health professionals, user/survivors and family members to inform their critique. A brief history of family involvement – how the family has been perceived and worked with by mental health professionals – is followed by a description of present day practices. The paper concludes with speculation about alternatives in which quality of life for all of the family members may be more possible.
INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY REMOVES ‘SCHIZOPHRENIA’ FROM ITS TITLE
Members of the International Society for the Psychological Treatments of the Schizophrenias and Other Psychoses (www.isps.org) have just voted, by an overwhelming majority, to change the society’s name to the International Society for Psychological and Social Approaches to Psychosis. The new logo and letterhead are to be adopted by the end of March.
The change comes at a time when the scientific validity of the term schizophrenia is being hotly debated in the lead up to the publication of the latest edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (see http://dxrevisionwatch.wordpress.com).
ISPS promotes psychological treatments for persons who experience psychosis (e.g. hallucinations and delusions), and greater understanding of the psychological and social causes of psychosis. Founded in 1956, ISPS now has branches in 19 countries, has its own scientific journal, Psychosis (www.tandf.co.uk/journals/rpsy) and has published 13 books in the last decade. Members include psychiatrists, psychologists, psychoanalysts, nurses, occupational therapists, family therapists and academic researchers, as well as users of mental health services and family members.
In debates preceding the vote the two primary reasons put forward in favour of the change were that the term ‘schizophrenia’ is unscientific and stigmatizing. It was pointed out that the construct has little or no reliability (the extent to which experts can agree on who meets criteria for a diagnosis) or validity (the construct’s ability to predict things like prognosis or treatment responsivity). Research has also repeatedly found that ‘schizophrenia’ is one of the most stigmatizing of all psychiatric labels, and promotes unwarranted pessimism about recovery because of the implication that people with this diagnosis suffer from an irreversible ‘brain disease’.
The Inquiry into the ‘Schizophrenia’ Label Inquiry Panel would like to hear about your experience and thoughts about ‘schizophrenia’ or similar labels such as ‘psychosis’. We are particularly interested in hearing from:
people affected by the label ‘schizophrenia’ (or similar labels such as ‘psychosis’)
people given other ‘mental illness’ diagnoses
families, carers and friends of people diagnosed with ‘schizophrenia’ or ‘psychosis’
mental health workers and professionals, and
people interested in mental health issues
For more information, Click Here.
"Our study suggests that if people have a single genetic risk factor alone or a traumatic environment in very early childhood alone, they may not develop mental disorders like schizophrenia," says Guo-li Ming, M.D., Ph.D., professor of neurology and member of the Institute for Cell Engineering at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
"But the findings also suggest that someone who carries the genetic risk factor and experiences certain kinds of stress early in life may be more likely to develop the disease."
Excerpt from the Washington Post article: In our increasingly psychiatrized world, the first course is often to classify anything but routine happiness as a mental disorder, assume it is based on a broken brain or a chemical imbalance, and prescribe drugs or hospitalization; even electroshock is still performed.