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Showing posts from July, 2009

Serious Mental Illnesses?

I was discussing mental illness with an associate and the question came up, what makes mental illness serious? In short, serious mental illness includes: schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and borderline personality disorder. My associate said, 'all mental illnesses are serious'. What do you think? What about eating disorders, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and others?

According to the Vermont Department of Corrections Agency of Human Services serious mental illness is "substantial disorder of thought, mood, perception, orientation or memory, any which grossly impairs judgment, behavior, capacity to recognize reality, or ability to meet the ordinary demands of life. This includes, but is not necessarily limited to, diagnoses of schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, psychotic conditions not otherwise specified, bipolar disorder, and severe depressive disorders.&q…

Medication is Imperative

Taking medication can be a huge challenge for some individuals. I am a strong supporter of getting treatment to help overcome mental health concerns. Before, I recognized I had a mental illness I refused treatment to my own detriment. I got so sick I refused food, showers, speaking, and living. I was like a vegetable. Now, I recognize my illness and understand the importance of medication.

Many people do not accept their diagnosis. How can a person support them as they recover? What can they say to get an individual to try taking their medication regularly?

Even now, after accepting my mental illness and taking medication voluntarily, I struggle with the following concerns:

1) Running out of medication
2) Forgetting to take medication
3) Reapplying for an assistance program
4) Trying to get samples until my order arrives
5) Not having enough money to get medication

And the list could go on. I have learned from these experiences that to get medication I could develop a routine in order NOT t…

Closer to Recovery Part III

Recovery for me began when I accepted my diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia almost two years ago, in 2007. Since then I participated in a few support groups, lived in an independent living establishment for people with mental health concerns, and I continue to take my medication voluntarily on a regular basis. The medication allows me to focus and to do what I want and need to do. It is a blessing to have such advanced knowledge to help people overcome mental illness! I hope someone will find a cure for schizophrenia and other mental illnesses so that I don't have to remember to take my medication. I wouldn't have to be put in a separate category as vulnerable or different from the average person because of my mental illness.

The recovery process has taught me a lot about myself and continues to educate me about mental illness. As I said before, I did not even know what schizophrenia was until it became a part of my life. I am glad I recognize what is going on with me, and wha…

National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month (July)

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) the US House of Representatives assigned the month of July as: Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month in honor of Ms. Campbell and the way she reached out to miniorities with mental illness. Ms. Campbell was an author and advocate for diverse populations with mental health concerns. In fact, NAMI gave her the 2003 Outstanding Media Award for her book, Sometimes My Mommy Gets Angry. Campbell passed away in November 2006.

Check out a new support group, Embracing My Mind, and also NAMI and Schizophrenia Society of Novia Scotia (Canada).