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Mental Illness Affects Everyone

Do you know that 1 in 4 Americans will suffer from some form of mental illness in any given year? Do you know that approximately 60% of adults, and almost 50% of youth, ages 8 -15,
with a mental illness received no mental health services in the previous year?
Do you know that serious mental illness costs the U.S. $193.2 billion in lost earnings per year?
 
 
 
 
 
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Be Aware: 3 Ways To Support Someone Suffering From Mental Illness

Have you ever felt ashamed about skipping out on a plan or event because of mental illness?

 

Gabi Garrett

 

I have.

Would the same apply if you had a health issue, such as a minor headache, instead of mild anxiety or heart palpitations? I’d say, probably not.

As someone who has struggled with anxiety for the past five years, it’s important for me to highlight the stigma that comes along with having mental health issues.

Mental illness has gotten a bad rep in popular culture.

Many shows portray the idea that if you have a mental health issue, you should be locked away from the public.

When Lana was trapped inside the fictional Briarcliff Mental Institution in “American Horror Story” for essentially choosing to be a lesbian, we saw how far the stigmas against mental illness have come, and how far we have to go.

It could be those with mental illness are shown to be locked away because the majority of the public can’t handle these issues.

How can we make it more natural to understand mental illness?

 

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How to Move on From a Seemingly Horrific Incident

 
Gregg McBride
Source: Gregg McBride

It wasn't so long ago that I was physically attacked while walking to the gym one morning. This was during a walk I had been making for over three years at the time—and although I knew the neighborhood I was living in was a bit on the "edge," I never expected anything like this attack to happen. Granted, it was very early in the morning (before 5 a.m.)—a time of day that I've since learned that (sadly) no one should be walking by themselves.

Still, I had always been cautious when out at such an early hour. And on the day that this incident happened, I could hear noise coming from two rowdy guys sitting on a curb in the middle of the block I happened to be on. Using common sense, I crossed the street (from the side they were on) and continued on my way. I didn't have far to go—only about two more blocks until I would reach the gym I belonged to.

When I noticed one of the guys running over to me, I could tell from his somewhat manic behavior that there was going to be trouble. These two guys were not vagrants and didn't even look to be criminal types. They did, however, seem to be very high on some kind of substance. The guy crossing over to me kept asking, "Where are we? Where are we?"

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Depression and teens

Learning that your teen has depression can be terrifying for a parent – concerns range from getting the right treatment to general safety. It was estimated in 2013 that 8 percent of high school students attempted suicide one or more times in the previous 12 months, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

And now, a reanalysis of data in The BMJ last week found that Paxil, one of the most prescribed antidepressants on the market, is ineffective and even harmful for treating major depression in adolescents.

The new findings are in contrast to the original study from 2001. Researchers of the original industry-funded study found Paxil, just one of a group of serotonin re-uptake inhibitors, was safe and effective. The reanalysis showed that a number of adolescents from the original study did experience increased thoughts of suicide. But the suicidal thoughts were simply counted as generic adverse events and not clearly presented in the results.

For a long time, there have been some indications that these medicines may raise the rates of thoughts of self-harm in adolescents. This led the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2007 to issue a “black box” warning about increases in suicidal thoughts. In December 2014, the warning was revised to state that attempts at self-harm decreased in patients ages 24 and older with anti-depressant use, but there was no change on the warning for adolescents.

During this nearly decade long discussion, most psychiatrists and many other mental health professionals felt that the warnings were too strict. As a result, they thought many teens were not getting the help that they needed – while others worried that these medicines were possibly harmful. 

What has followed in the wake of this latest reanalysis are stories in the press which have raised the issue of the safety and effectiveness of some antidepressant medications for adolescents.  

 

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‘I want this to be joyous’: Edinburgh fringe’s startling shows about depression

 

 

In cabaret shows and musicals such as My Beautiful Black Dog,

performers at the fringe are breaking the taboo of mental health

 

 

 

 

‘People don’t want to talk about this stuff’ … Brigitte Aphrodite’s My Beautiful Black Dog. Photograph: Olivier Richomme

As a nation, the UK has never excelled at talking about its own state of mind. From discussions about depression to frank admissions of unhappiness, such matters have mostly remained taboo in favour of maintaining that very British stiff upper lip.

However, at this year’s Edinburgh festival fringe, mental health has emerged as an unexpected theme, with performers and comedians increasingly creating and championing pieces that break through the stigma.

As is reflective of the breadth of the fringe itself, these ideas and issues around mental health are being presented in pieces spanning standup and musicals to monologues and dramatic lectures. Already grabbing headlines is Fake It ’Til You Make It, a show created by comedian Bryony Kimmings and advertising executive Tim Grayburn.

 

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