You Really Can Be High-Functioning With A Severe Mental Illness

We are all around you. We are the walking wounded, the invisibly battle-scarred. You see us every day — in the grocery store, at carpool, at school pickup and dropoff, at PTA meetings, at the gym and at work and at the playground. You probably don’t know that we have a severe mental illness.

We don’t plaster in on our foreheads, or go around announcing it. But it’s there. It’s always there. And even as we smile, even as we make small talk, even as we nod along with you; as we raise our kids and do our jobs and have our fun, it’s always there. Always looming. Always dominating everything.

 

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New Mental Health Campaign On Instagram – Just What Our Smart Phones Need ღ

 New Mental Health Instagram Campaign Is Just What Our Smart Phones Need
We’ll definitely give a “heart” ღ for this.

Insta

There is a trendy conversation going around schools, whether it be in cafeterias, buses, hallways, text messaging, about Depression and #MentalHealth. There are new apps coming out all the time.  Help is here, you just have to find it, look for it.  It’s all on social media, a huge life saver! ღ To increase the conversation around mental health as part of #MentalHealthAwarenessMonth.

~Lindsay, Depression Forums Administrator

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This Artist Depicted Depression Through Photography & Her Work Will Leave You Speechless

Describing depression isn’t easy. It’s more than sadness. It’s emptiness, hopelessness, a place so deep and dark that trying to explain it to someone who hasn’t experienced it can feel impossible. But one artist described depression through photography, though, and it might give you a glimpse into the mind of people suffering from this oftentimes debilitating illness.

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Fact vs. fiction: Ending the stigma of mental illness

Many times we think we understand something well, but we may just not have all the facts.

 When it comes to mental illnesses, there is a misunderstanding on what it is, and most importantly what it isn’t. If you are considering treatment for yourself or someone you love, it is crucial to differentiate between fact and fiction. Here’s some help to know the truth:

FICTION: Only “crazy” people get mental health treatment.

FACT: Mental illness can happen to anyone. You are not alone. The National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMH) states that “one in four adults, approximately 61.5 million Americans, experience mental illness in a given year and approximately 20% of youth ages 13 to 18 experience some kind of mental disorder in a given year.”

FICTION: Mental illness is a sign of weakness.

FACT: Mental illness is not caused by personal weakness. It is a disease like any other and cannot be easily cured by positive thinking or willpower. Mental illness is not related to a person’s character or intelligence. It falls along a continuum of severity. Some people require proper treatment.

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Don’t stigmatize those with mental illness

By Angela Cain | Thursday, May 16, 2013 1:24 pm

If someone has cancer, heart disease or certain other physical ailments, we have compassion for them. But there is one illness that often elicits shame, not compassion. It is silenced in many families and that silence can add to the burden of those who have it: Mental Illness.

Think about it. If someone in your family suffers from depression, anxiety disorders, bi-polar disorder or schizophrenia, do you share that information as easily as you do other health conditions? Over the centuries, our society has conditioned us to feel as if mental health issues are something to hide – a character flaw.

When we feed into that stereotype, we may inadvertently send a signal to friends and family with mental illness, that they would be judged, unloved or shunned. Research shows that the causes of mental illness are usually a combination of biological, psychological and environmental factors.

It is not the fault of the person with the mental illness.

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Clara Hughes: ‘I want to erase the stigma’ of mental health issues

Months after retiring from professional sports, Olympic medallist Clara Hughes talks about her brush with depression and the Bell Let's Talk campaign.

 

 

Clara Hughes: ‘I want to erase the stigma’ of mental health issues

Months after retiring from professional sports, Olympic medallist Clara Hughes talks about her brush with depression and the Bell Let's Talk campaign.

Ex-Olympian Clara Hughes says engaging youth on mental health is key to removing stigma.

Sport that consumed me for over two decades . . . is now gone. Now it’s just me. No pressure, no expectations, no need to be fast, good, strong or to even improve. Yet I can’t let go of this idea that I always need to be more than I am. And it is eating me alive.”— Clara Hughes, in a January 2013 blog post

Clara Hughes knew the transition wouldn’t be easy, but little prepared her for life after professional sport.

The majority of her time once consumed by gruelling training regimens, the six-time Olympic medallist in cycling and speed skating found herself struggling late last year — at a time she would usually begin winter training — when she began to realize that her life was no longer geared toward the next big race.

“Life in permanent off-season,” she called it in her poignant January blog post, which chronicled some of the mental and emotional difficulties she’s faced since completing her final race at the 2012 London Games.

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Stigma and Mental Health

 

The Race to Good Health

 A tour of minority mental health and behavioral pediatrics

Seeking mental health services does not mean you're crazy.

 

 

 

Mental health difficulties do not discriminate across cultures or racial backgrounds. There is potential for everyone in society to be impacted by mental health concerns. Statistics show that approximately 26 percent of adults and 20 percent of children experience diagnosable mental health conditions each year. However, few individuals utilize the needed services when it coming to seeking treatment from professionals such as a psychologist or therapist.  In a recent article, Dr. Steven Hendlin alludes to the fact that drug therapy or medication if often the first line of treatment for many because of their views towards psychotherapy. Among racial/ethnic minority populations (e.g., African American or Hispanic American), there is a higher lack of help-seeking. Broman (2012) notes that even after controlling for factors such as health insurance and socioeconomic status (SES) ethnic minority groups still have a higher unmet need than non-Hispanic Whites.

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Discrimination Seems to Harm Health Regardless of Race

Unfair treatment that is race-based linked to reports of poor health in both blacks and whites

Discrimination can be a threat to health, according to a new study that included both blacks and whites.
The analysis of 2004 data from the ongoing U.S. Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System project found that about 18 percent of blacks and 4 percent of whites reported emotional and physical distress caused by discriminatory treatment. Continue reading “Discrimination Seems to Harm Health Regardless of Race”

Mental Illness Stigma Hard to Shake, Survey Finds

Mental Illness Stigma Hard to Shake, Survey Finds

Awareness campaigns have helped educate public, but discrimination continues, experts say

The level of Americans’ prejudice and discrimination toward people with serious mental illness or substance abuse problems didn’t change over 10 years, a new study has found.

The findings raise questions about the effectiveness of campaigns to educate people about mental illness and suggest that new approaches may be needed, said the researchers at Indiana University and Columbia University. Continue reading “Mental Illness Stigma Hard to Shake, Survey Finds”

Why Is Mental Illness Still So Stigmatized?

Elyn Saks

Author, The Center Cannot Hold: My Journey Through Madness

Posted: January 19, 2011 04:42 PM  – After the shooting rampage in Tucson, the parents of the accused gunman released a statement that included this: “We don’t understand why this happened.”

At this point we can only speculate what happened. There were a lot of red flags in the shooter’s behavior leading up to the incident that indicated he was mentally unstable. His Internet postings suggested someone really struggling, though people shade things on the Internet. And, of course, there is that photograph of him — head shaven, the look of possession, lips slightly smirking.

Yet no one aggressively tried to get this young man committed.

There are a number of things that may have conspired to keep him on the streets. One possibility is what we know may happen when many people have information and assume that another will react. An example is the case of Kitty Genovese, who was stabbed to death near her apartment building in 1964. Her cries for help went unheeded by neighbors who heard them. Surely someone else will step in.

Another possibility is people might fear they will put themselves in jeopardy if they intervene. Will the dangerous mentally ill person come and get me?

Still another possibility is a person may be conflicted about intervening to put someone away: This would be a terrible thing to do to a person, and it should be done only if there’s evidence of extreme dangerousness.

Or people don’t recognize the signs of mental illness.

You will note that some of these possibilities turn on stigma — that people who are mentally ill are dangerous, that holding a person in a mental hospital may somehow wrong the person, that failing to recognize the symptoms may be because people don’t want to admit to something so stigmatizing to their family or friend – or even a stranger. Best to stay away.

In this case, the fallout of staying away was an act of extreme violence that unfortunately compounds the stigma of mental illness for all who suffer it.

Why is mental illness still so stigmatized?

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