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      National Mental Health Awareness Month, 2016   05/01/2016

      Proclamation 9433 of April 28, 2016 National Mental Health Awareness Month, 2016 A Proclamation Nearly 44 million American adults, and millions of children, experience mental health conditions each year, including depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and post-traumatic stress. Although we have made progress expanding mental health coverage and elevating the conversation about mental health, too many people still do not get the help they need. Our Nation is founded on the belief that we must look out for one another—and whether it affects our family members, friends, co-workers, or those unknown to us—we do a service for each other when we reach out and help those struggling with mental health issues. This month, we renew our commitment to ridding our society of the stigma associated with mental illness, encourage those living with mental health conditions to get the help they need, and reaffirm our pledge to ensure those who need help have access to the support, acceptance, and resources they deserve. In the last 7 years, our country has made extraordinary progress in expanding mental health coverage for more people across America. The Affordable Care Act prohibits insurance companies from discriminating against people based on pre-existing conditions, requires coverage of mental health and substance use disorder services in individual and small group markets, and expands mental health and substance use disorder parity policies, which are estimated to help more than 60 million Americans. Nearly 15 million more Americans have gained Medicaid coverage since October 2013, significantly improving access to mental health care. And because of more than $100 million in funding from the Affordable Care Act, community health centers have expanded behavioral health services for nearly 900,000 people nationwide over the past 2 years. Still, far too few Americans experiencing mental illnesses do not receive the care and treatment they need. That is why my most recent Budget proposal includes a new half-billion dollar investment to improve access to mental health care, engage individuals with serious mental illness in care, and help ensure behavioral health care systems work for everyone. Our Nation has made strong advances in improving prevention, increasing early intervention, and expanding treatment of mental illnesses. Earlier this year, I established a Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Parity Task Force, which aims to ensure that coverage for mental health benefits is comparable to coverage for medical and surgical care, improve understanding of the requirements of the law, and expand compliance with it. Mental health should be treated as part of a person's overall health, and we must ensure individuals living with mental health conditions can get the treatment they need. My Administration also continues to invest in science and research through the BRAIN initiative to enhance our understanding of the complexities of the human brain and to make it easier to diagnose and treat mental health disorders early. One of our most profound obligations as a Nation is to support the men and women in uniform who return home and continue fighting battles against mental illness. Last year, I signed the Clay Hunt SAV Act, which fills critical gaps in serving veterans with post-traumatic stress and other illnesses, increases peer support and outreach, and recruits more talented individuals to work on mental health issues at the Department of Veterans Affairs. This law will make it easier for veterans to get the care they need when they need it. All Americans, including service members, can get immediate assistance by calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK or by calling 1-800-662-HELP. During National Mental Health Awareness Month, we recognize those Americans who live with mental illness and substance use disorders, and we pledge solidarity with their families who need our support as well. Let us strive to ensure people living with mental health conditions know that they are not alone, that hope exists, and that the possibility of healing and thriving is real. Together, we can help everyone get the support they need to recover as they continue along the journey to get well. NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim May 2016 as National Mental Health Awareness Month. I call upon citizens, government agencies, organizations, health care providers, and research institutions to raise mental health awareness and continue helping Americans live longer, healthier lives. IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-eighth day of April, in the year of our Lord two thousand sixteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and fortieth.  
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mrawesome

Please Help, I Really Want To Get Off Meds

5 posts in this topic

Posted

hello,

i was diagnosed for bipolar after a very ridiculous situation where I had taken lots of hard drugs and was barely eating, i was barely sleeping, and I was going though a really emotional time. I was also admitted to the hospital under false pretenses and refused the right to see a doctor. i'm taking bipolar meds and they have been making me have erectile dysfunction, extreme lethargy, wild mood swings, and insomnia. I want to stop taking the meds. im stable and i feel like i'd rather try living naturally and not be so harmed by the meds. i'd appreciate any tips or support from any one who has been through a similar situation.

Thanks

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Posted (edited)

Hello,

When you get a little cold, you can choose either to take some meds or to drink something warm waiting to get better. But for people who have a bipolar disorder, there is not such a choice. We must take meds all our life in order to have a more or less normal life. In this disease, meds are not a luxury, they are a necessity.

Now if you think you were wrongly diagnosed with bipolar disorder, you should talk about that with a psychiatrist. Maybe you could take stock of your situation and check your current state. It can take several months or even years to be sure someone has the disease or not. Leaving the meds for a certain time can be a good occasion to watch your "normal" behaviour and decide if your previous problems were due to a bipolar disorder or the use of drugs.

If it appears that you have a bipolar disorder, you and your doctor will be able to discuss and choose the meds which will suit you the best, that is to say, which will let you have a "normal" life with the least side effects.

Anyway if you decide to leave your meds, never do it alone. It's not a little decision and the repercussions can be serious. Talk to your doctor.

Take care of you, MrAwesome. :smile:

Best regards.

Edited by Le Renard

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Posted

I can understand why you feel you may have been misdiagnosed. If you are serious about this, please do it under the supervision of a doctor. Even if the doctor disagrees with you, s/he'll most likely agree to supervise a taper if you insist. If it turns out the dx was right, you want the protection of a dr. Even just coming off the meds is better with a dr's support to deal with any discontinuation.

Many bipolar people, once stabilized, feel they do not really have bipolar and stop taking their meds, only to become depressed or manic and experience a worsening of their illness. I am not saying this is you, but I think it happens often enough that any person with a bipolar dx would be wise to talk about it with someone they trust to be objective.

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Posted

I should add, if you decide to stay on meds, you should ask your doctor if you need a med change. Those are very serious side effects.

Can't give you any tips of my own. I went off meds and went into a 2 year mixed state that was very hard to stabilize. This horrendous experience has coloured my thoughts on the issue.

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Posted

mrawesome,

As others have suggested, if you think that there is an issue with your diagnosis, I would suggest discussing this with either your GP and/or a psychiatrist. It's better to have a diagnosis that takes into account what you mentioned, but also one that you can rest your hat on and begin to treat effectively.

From my experience with my wife, I can understand the reluctance to take medication, especially if you feel that you are stable. The unfortunate part is that the medication is aiding in this stability, so discontinuing your meds will just make matters worse. My wife was on her medication for a year, thought she was stable, had a psychiatrist think she was stable, and tapered off her meds. Right now she's in hospital because she had a psychotic episode. She's been in there for three weeks today, no medication, and not getting any better.

That being said, medication isn't the ONLY part of managing illnesses like this. It's a combination of eating right, exercise, sleeping well, etc. I know people who swear by vitamins and supplements IN ADDITION to their medication.

My suggestion is talk to your doctor and discuss your medication AND its side effects. Insomnia and mood swings don't sound good, so maybe she/he can help with that.

Best of luck

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