“Major Neurological Conditions Have More In Common Than We Thought, Study Finds”

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This February 8, 2018 article found on the NPR website in the section called “The Two-way breaking news” talks about a study done that seems to show indications that Autism, Schizophrenia, and Bi-polar Disorder share some commonalities on a molecular level.  The article also mentions Major Depression, and Addiction Disorder as also being looked at in this study.  They are hoping that this study will lead to better, more effective treatments for people with mental illnesses.  They compared brain samples from people known to have a mental illness to samples from people who did not have a mental illness the samples were all taken postmortem so no living people were included in the study, but for me, this study gives me hope that not only will science continue to find more measurable evidence that mental illness is indeed real to show those who claim that mental illness it not real.  Beyond that though it gives me hope that better treatments that are more precise in targeting the underlying problem will be developed and that perhaps in 50 years (preferably less than that) from now people will have access to those treatments and some will look back and recognize the work that scientists did today and in previous decades as having helped to lay the groundwork that gave them better, safer, and more effective treatments.  On the other hand though 50 years from now, people will likely view today’s treatments as somewhat barbaric, because that’s how history works.

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Letter to the Editor: Mental Health

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This post is one that is very personal to me, in that I am posting a letter I wrote to the editor of the Warren Times-Observer in response to this linked article I had read on their site.

The letter is one that tries to shine a positive light on the mental health community, while also touching on a prominent myth about people with mental health issues. I also share a story about a personal encounter I had while shopping to help show how the myth impacts the mental health community.

Peace be with all who read my letter!

Jenn

“Trump’s Call for Mental Institutions Could Be Good: Bringing back asylums isn’t actually the worst idea.”

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This article discusses reasons not only why re-opening asylums could be good, but includes some of the history behind those that have been downsized or closed.   The article appropriately points out that even though opening asylums could be good, it would likely do nothing to prevent mass shootings or other forms of violence and points to the access to guns as being the issue that is feeding gun violence.

“How Gaps In Mental Health Care Play Out In Emergency Rooms”

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This October 17, 2016 article by Shefali Luthra, talks about the differencees in going to the Emergency Room for Physical health reasons compared to mental health reasons and indicates that a person with a mental health issue is likely to stay in the ER longer or more likely to be admitted to the hospital directly from the ER than someone with physical health issues is.

“Mentally ill on hold without treatment: Norristown State Hospital lacks rooms for defendants deemed incompetent for trial”

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This July 15, 2016 article by Kaitlyn Foti found on the Mainline Media News website talks about the extremely long waiting list for beds at Torrance State Hospital and Norristown State Hospital Forensic Units.  The article talks about the impact not only to the person who is on the waiting list, but also their family, the flow of inmates through jails, and the financial impact faced by having to hold someone in jail who is on a waiting list for treatment.

“Faulty assumptions behind persistent racial/ethnic disparities in behavioral health care”

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This June 9, 2016 article found on the Medical Xpress website talks about some of the assumptions made regarding minorities and behavioral health treatment and explains some of the things that could be done to improve the situation so that minorities receive equal care comparable to what is received by other populations.

“Take This: Where Gaming Meets Mental Health”

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This June 10, 2016 by Chloi Rad on the IGN website, talks about efforts being made to raise awareness of mental health issues to gamers.  One effort includes working on providing an “AFK Room” (for the non-gamers AFK means “Away From Keyboard” and is often used by gamers when they need to step away from their console or computer briefly or to explain a lack of response to someone who didn’t know they wandered away from their computer or console)  In the case of the AFK Rooms, the article indicates that they are meant to be a quiet place staffed by clinicians where attendees at some of the gaming conferences can step away from the noise and chaos they are experiencing.  These rooms have been known to help people who were suicidal, as well as those who are having anxiety issues.   Take This wants to remind gamers that they are not exempt from ever being in need of mental health support, and want to decrease the stigma among gamers towards those who do need support.

I think I would sum this up as simply saying it is an example of gamers helping gamers since the AFK rooms were created by a well-known game company.

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