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“Mental illness ’caused by chemistry'”

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This May 17, 2013 piece on the BBC News: Science and Environment website offers a look at some of the  breakthroughs and controversy surrounding science’s look at genetic patterns to understand mental illness.

“Mental Illness: A Story of Struggle and Strength”

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While I found this story to be very inspiring,

I would like to note that it is possible it could be triggery for some,

the writer describes her struggle with self-injury and suicide.

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  This April 22, 2013 article on the Cabrini College Loquitur website talks about one woman’s struggle with mental illness, she describes what things were like for her as a teen, but then also goes on to explain that she can’t imagine going through life differently then she has.

 

“Sellersville woman speaks out about her mental illness”

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This March 18, 2013 article on the Philly.com website talks about one woman’s effort to change how others view those with mental illnesses.

 

“Respect, Not Stigma: A Mental Illness”

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Guest Post Posted on January 7, 2013 by Randye Kaye on the HealthyPlace.com website.   This piece was written by a high school student who explains some of the stigma surrounding mental illness and why it’s there, but also talks about how cancer or heart conditions are often viewed differently then a mental illness.  It’s a great piece, that I felt was well worth linking to.  I hope that more kids and adults start to get the idea that mental illness is an illness just like any other illness our body can be afflicted by.

 

Active Minds

1212mentalhealth-RW

1212mentalhealth-RW (Photo credit: Robbie Wroblewski)

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Active Minds works to change how people view mental illness and those who have been diagnosed as mentally ill.

“Integration of Physical and Behavioral Health”

Mental Health Month Poster

Mental Health Month Poster (Photo credit: Army Medicine)

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This June 20, 2012 piece found on Pat Deegan’s blog talks about her concerns about the need for a whole health approach for treating folks in the mental health community.  She raises points about not wanting it to be merely symptom control and management, but also to have preventive measures used to try to reduce the health risks faced by many.

“Clues to ‘Slacker’ Behavior Found in Brain, Study Says”

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This article on Philly.com dated May 2, 2012 talks about a possible connection between where dopamine goes in the human brain in contrast between the go-getters of the world and the slackers.  The data isn’t enough to come up with a solid finding or to begin looking at what can be done to treat this problem, but it seems to be a first step of sorts in proving there is something measurable occurring in the minds of folks with ADHD that isn’t occurring in the minds of folks without ADHD.

“You know someone who had mental illness last year”

Pennsylvania map with highlighted counties comprising the Lehigh Valley region in Eastern Pennsylvania

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This article found on Lehigh Valley’s The Morning Call website dated, January 23, 2012, offers some disturbing statistics on the under-treatment of mental illness in the United States.

“Interest in shock treatment is growing despite decades-old controversy”

http://www.insidebayarea.com/trivalleyherald/ci_18123096

This article is one I found on The Oakland Tribune website it was posted on March 23, 2011.

The article discusses the various, sometimes extreme opinions and views surrounding the topic of ECT.  I am not a supporter of ECT, in light of seeing my dad go from being able to rattle off names and phone numbers without any effort prior to having ECT to where after ECT he not only relies heavily on reminders for things that had once come easily to him, but being on the receiving end of having my dad look right at me, and not know my name and often resorting to calling me by my younger sister’s name.  I also saw his level of anger and rage increase to frightening levels in the wake of having ECT.

While I do recognize there are some who have had positive benefits from ECT, I feel that it is something that is claimed to be a last resort, but in some cases it is used as a shortcut to try to fix the problem using an extreme method without fully trying other treatments.  I learned from conversations with my mom, that my dad had seen people benefit from ECT where he worked, and was on medication himself for depression.  He seemed to view ECT as an end all solution to fixing his depression and as a result it is my understanding he went from doctor to doctor to doctor getting turned down by each doctor until he found one that said, ‘yes, I’ll give you ECT’   In light of hearing about this and knowing what I saw and experienced in the wake of him having ECT.  I feel that in my dad’s case, he was someone who probably never should have had ECT, and the “treatment” actually made him worse in many ways then he was before the “treatment” because it was something that wasn’t completely right  for his situation.

So, with my dad’s situation in mind, alongside of the stories I’ve heard about people having great success with ECT, I don’t necessarily support it, but I’m also not a radical in terms of being against it.  My personal feeling is that the risks really need to be weighed against the benefits AND that it is a treatment that should NOT even remotely be considered as an “elective” treatment as it seems to have been in my dad’s situation.  it should truly be a last resort, and only used when every possible treatment or therapy has truly been tried and not been effective.  Doctors need to view someone who is doctor hopping and repeatedly asking for and being turned down for ECT as a red flag and a reason to really question if it is actually needed or if the person is trying to take a shortcut in their treatment that may or may not be in their best interest.

The article itself though, while it does offer opinions from both the pro and anti ECT camps, I felt it was a fairly well-balanced article, and while I don’t agree with every aspect of it, I am able to say I can respect the presentation of the views in it.

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