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I Want My Casserole

It is a funny thing when you have a child who is mentally ill.  If your kid had cancer you would get hugs and casseroles and offers to carpool.  When your child suffers from mental illness and lands in the psych ward, again, there are no Hallmark cards or Bundt cakes.  Talking about mental illness makes people feel uncomfortable.  They wonder to themselves, even if they don’t say it, what did she do to her kid to make her want cut herself over and over again.  You can see it in those micro flashes of emotions.  You know those emotions that erupt onto your face, even for the briefest of moments, before you put your game face back on.  You see it.  They blame the Parents and that makes things convenient, because we, the parents of a mentally ill kid, blame ourselves.  It’s nice to have everyone on the same page. 


Published By  Forum Admin

 One in five Americans has a mental illness. A whopping 4 in 5 are affected by it. Though there were a number of statistics in No Kidding, Me Too! -- a new documentary by Sopranos alum Joe Pantoliano, set to come out on DVD on April 27 from New Video through Amazon.com’s Createspace --this one stuck out. It is illustrated by the interviews that make up the film, which shows teens and adults living with a wide array of disorders. Significantly, the interviews split their focus between the diagnosed individuals and their families - parents, spouses and children. One of the important points the movie tries to make is that mental illness (though Pantoliano would prefer to call it dis-ease) has far-reaching effects. As the title suggests, if you're one of the millions of Americans coping with a mental disorder, you're far from alone.

But the real aim - and the real value - of the film is not just in pointing out the prevalence of mental illness. It's true that huge number of Americans are dealing with depression - or bipolar disorder, or substance abuse, or schizophrenia, or any of a long list of diagnosable conditions. But that fact in itself isn't enough. Pantoliano is on a mission to do more than tell you that he's been there, too. His film, and the organization attached to it, aims to crush the stigma associated with mental illness.


Published By  Lindsay

Parents Aren't Only Ones Who Feel Stress of Unemployment

Joblessness also affects children's health and well-being, experts say

THURSDAY, March 25  -- With nearly 10 percent of the nation's workforce unemployed, the emotional impact of a job loss is well-known to millions of Americans. But the psychological fallout can be equally tough for their children.

Children living in homes where at least one parent is jobless potentially face a range of emotional issues -- from stress and depression to poor school performance and behavioral problems. What's more, the lower standard of living and loss of health insurance often lead to poor health for many of these children, experts said.

"Whenever there's a downturn, it's the kids who suffer a significant burden," said Dr. Christopher Bellonci, an assistant professor of psychiatry at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston. "When families are doing well, they can buffer some of this stress. When they can't, it bleeds through to the kids."


Published By  Forum Admin
By Jason Hanna, CNN
  • Gretchen Rubin's "The Happiness Project" tells of her year testing happiness tactics
  • Book, released in January, was No. 1 on New York Times' self-help best-seller list
  • In her project, Rubin made resolutions based on her goals and research, kept track

    In "The Happiness Project," published in January, the writer and former clerk for Justice Sandra Day O'Connor tells how she read about what scientific studies, philosophers and others said about finding happiness. Based on that research and her desires, she crafted resolutions that she tried over the course of a year.

    Each month had a new theme (such as friendship or marriage), associated resolutions (be generous, fight the right way) and a chart to keep daily track of whether she hit her marks. Planning how to make herself happy and keeping score, she says, made her happier without overhauling her life, which included her husband and young daughters.

    She began her project at 39. She realized that although her life was good, she wasn't as happy as she could be and was running out of time to learn how to be so.

    "I realized if I wanted things to be different, I needed to make them different. They weren't going to just change on their own," the New York City resident, now 44, said last week.

    She says her blog and her book are intended to inspire others to do their own happiness projects. CNN talked to Rubin about which happiness tactic surprised her, how her book compares with other happiness titles and the acquaintance who told her the book wouldn't work. Below are excerpts from that interview:


    Published By  Lindsay

    The Continuing Stigma Of Depression

    By Jonathan Rottenberg, Ph.D.
    Created Nov 1 2009 - 9:19am

    Part of the mission of patient advocacy groups is to reduce the stigma associated with depression. This is noble and important work because historically people who have suffered from depression have tended to suffer in silence and/or not sought treatment because of the shame associated with admitting depression. In the US in the 19th and 20th centuries, virtually every form of mental illness was associated with a moral failing or sign of a weak character.


    Published By  Lindsay

    More Depression In Children Tied To Early Abuse


    01-10-2010--Although children can be depressed for many reasons, new evidence suggests that there are physiological differences among depressed children based on their experiences of abuse before age 5. Early abuse may be especially damaging due to the very young age at which it occurs.

    Those are the findings of a new study of low-income children that was conducted by researchers at the University of Minnesota and the University of Rochester, Mt. Hope Family Center. The study appears in the January/February 2010 issue of the journal Child Development. 


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