Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Discovery of novel drug target may lead to better treatment for schizophrenia

That is the title of this article I writing about.  "A novel drug target that could lead to the development of better antipsychotic medications has been discovered by researchers.  Current treatment for patients with schizophrenia involves taking medications that block or interfere with the action of the neurotransmitter dopamine.  However, because this D2-blocking action my cause unwanted side-effects, such as slow gait, stiffness and tremor, the team looked for new ways to interfere with the action of D2 receptors, without causing these side-effects.  Scientists at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) have identified a novel drug target that could lead to the development of better antipsychotic medications. Dr. Fang Liu, senior scientist in CAMH's Campbell Family Mental Health Research Institute and professor in the Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto, and her team published their results online in the Journal Neuron.  Current treatment for patients with schizophrenia involves taking medications that block or interfere with the action of the neurotransmitter dopamine, which acts on dopamine D2 receptors in the brain. However, because this D2-blocking action may cause unwanted side-effects, such as slow gait, stiffness and tremor, Dr. Liu and her team looked for new ways to interfere with the action of D2 receptors, without causing these side-effects."  Nobody wants to have side-effects.  It could be the reason that a lot of people with mental illness do not like taking the medication.  I know when my arm was shaking with stelazine I did not want to take who wants to look like a freak just to be well.
The article goes on to say: " Dr. Liu and colleagues showed that the D2 receptor could combine with a protein called the Disrupted-In-Schizophrenia (DISC1) protein. Then, they showed that levels of this combined protein were higher in post-mortem brain tissues of deceased patients with schizophrenia, suggesting it was associated with the illness. Delving even further, the researchers identified the regions where the two proteins bound together. With this information, they were able to generate a peptide to disrupt the binding of the two proteins, speculating that it may reduce symptoms. In animal models of schizophrenia, they were able to demonstrate that this disruption led to antipsychotic effects, comparable to commonly used antipsychotic medications, but without their side-effects."  That would be great news if this new medication really works in people.  No side effects will really be big news.
The article ends: "'The most exciting aspect of our finding is not the antipsychotic effect of this peptide, which all current antipsychotics have, but rather the possibility of a lack of the side-effects in humans compared to current medications,' says Dr. Liu. 'We hope that it will lead to a better treatment for schizophrenia patients who experience side-effects from current medications.'These side-effects discourage some patients from taking their medications, which impacts recovery. Schizophrenia is a chronic, often severe and disabling mental illness that affects one percent of the general population. 'Our future steps are to determine how this discovery can be translated into a novel treatment for patients as soon as possible,' says Dr. Liu. 'We are optimistic that our findings will lead to new and better options for treatment for schizophrenia.'"  For all those people who do not like to take their medication because of the side effects help might be on the way.  They do not say how long though until they find out if it works on people.  News this good has been slow in coming we really need more research done.  To help people who suffer from this disease. I do not have side-effects anymore.  I am glad as I had them in the past and it was hard to take the medication.  It got rid of the positive effects but not the negative.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

A Battle Plan to Lose Weight

That is the title of this article  I am writing about. "Laura Ward, 41, had always attributed her excess pounds to the drugs she takes for major depression. So Ms. Ward, who is 5-foot-6 and once weighed 220 pounds, didn't try to slim down or avoid dietary pitfalls like fried chicken. But in a clinical trial, Ms. Ward managed to lose more than 30 pounds doing low-impact aerobics three times a week. During the 18-month experiment, she was introduced to cauliflower and post-workout soreness for the first time. She and the other participants attended counseling sessions where they practiced refusing junk food and choosing smaller portions. She drank two liters of Diet Dr Pepper daily instead of eight. Eventually, Ms. Ward, who lives in Baltimore, realized her waistline wasn’t simply a drug side effect. 'If it was only the medications, I would have never lost all that weight,' she said.
People with serious mental illnesses, like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or major depression, are at least 50 percent more likely to be overweight or obese than the general population. They die earlier, too, with the primary cause heart disease.Yet diet and exercise usually take a back seat to the treatment of their illnesses. The drugs used, like antidepressants and antipsychotics, can increase appetite and weight." I do not have increase appetite as I have cut down the size of my portions I eat.  Although when I go out to eat or thanksgiving I might have more. My cutting my portions to half of what I used to eat and cutting down the number and the kinds of soda I lost twenty pounds although I have plateaued.  I drink coke zero or Pepsi max as it does not taste bad except if I go to a restaurant that does not have those drinks. 
The article goes on to say: "'Treatment contributes to the problem of obesity,' said Dr. Thomas R. Insel, the director of the National Institute of Mental Health. 'Not every drug does, but that has made the problem of obesity greater in the last decade.”
It has been a difficult issue for mental health experts. A 2012 review of health promotion programs  for those with serious mental illness by Dartmouth researchers concluded that of 24 well-designed studies, most achieved statistically significant weight loss, but very few achieved “clinically significant weight loss.'  But now a trial published online in The New England Journal of Medicine in March has provided the most comprehensive evidence yet that people with serious mental illness can lose weight, despite the challenges. Nearly 300 people with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, schizoaffective disorder or major depression — including Ms. Ward — were assigned to either a control group given basic nutrition and exercise information or one whose members exercised together and attended weight-management sessions.
The mean difference between the groups at 18 months was a modest seven pounds, but studies have shown that it is enough to reduce cardiovascular risks, the researchers noted. Nearly 38 percent of participants in the intervention group lost 5 percent or more of their initial weight, compared with only 22.7 percent of members of the control group. The difference between the groups could have been bigger, as the control group benefited from one aspect of the intervention: healthier dietary choices offered at the 10 psychiatric programs where the study took place, like baked fish instead of fried. 'This population can make a change,' said Dr. Gail L. Daumit, the study’s lead author and an internist at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. 'There’s been a lot of stigma that they can’t do it.' Most other trials had “a narrowly defined population that excluded people with lots of co-morbidities,” said Dr. Caroline Richardson, at Veterans Affairs Ann Arbor Healthcare System in Michigan. But this study 'applies to a lot of people.'"  I would like to lose more weight I am happy though that I have not gained it back except a couple of pounds then I lose that again. Although if I could lose thirty more pounds I would be happier.
The article ends with: "The study suggests that weight loss may take a different trajectory for those with mental illness. Weight loss in the intervention group didn’t 'peak early' and then rebound a bit, as sometimes happens in programs targeted to people without mental illness, Dr. Daumit said. Instead, it 'progressed over the course of the trial.'  Since the study, Ms. Ward said she had regained at least 15 pounds. Still, every other day she walks for 20 minutes.  Dr. Stephen J. Bartels, a professor of psychiatry at Dartmouth and co-author of the 2012 review, said the more effective interventions for people with mental illness combined education and structured activity, focusing on both exercise and diet.  Classes and exercise programs seem to work better when they are available where mental health services are provided. And these programs should probably run six months or longer, he said.
Losing weight is challenging for anyone, let alone people with problems with executive function and memory. In Dr. Daumit’s trial, researchers gave cards to carry in wallets and purses that emphasized messages like avoiding sugary drinks.  One of the few widely tried health-promotion programs for people with mental illnesses is InShape, available at 10 sites in New Hampshire and 9 programs in 5 other states. One of its tenets is to have patients set their own goals, with the help of a health 'mentor' who also sometimes accompanies them to the gym to get them past any feelings of discomfort.
In a randomized controlled yearlong intervention using InShape, to be published in Psychiatric Services next month, almost half of the 133 participants had either clinically significant weight loss (5 percent or more of body weight) or clinically significant improvements on a six-minute walk, said Dr. Bartels, the lead author.  'Many of them come to feel helpless about how they will avoid gaining weight,' Ken Jue, who started InShape at Monadnock Family Services in Keene, N.H., in 2003. “We try to encourage people and say, ‘You do have some control in this.’" I  started walking again. The treadmills in my building are broke. I get left off on the bus farther from my apartment and then walk home. That way I get exercise everyday unless I have to be home at a certain time for something. It's time to lose this weight once and for all time.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Fish Oil reduces Smoking, Israeli study suggests

That is the title of the article I am writing about. "Haifa University researcher finds that omega-3 supplements help reduce the number of cigarettes that addicts smoke in a given day, a new Israeli study found.  The study, conducted by Dr. Rabinovitz Shenkar of the University of Haifa, indicated that the fish oil capsules significantly reduced nicotine cravings and helped participants cut down their cigarette consumption by at least 11 percent.  According to Rabinovitz Shenkar, head of the addictions program at the University of Haifa's School of Criminology, current medications used to help quit smoking are not effective and carry adverse effects.  'Omega-3, an inexpensive and easily available dietary supplement with almost no side effects, reduces smoking significantly,' Rabinovitz Shenkar said in the study, published in the Journal or Psychopharmacology."  Eleven percent that is a lot of cigarettes you will cut down on when you are trying to quit.  I quit sixteen years ago.  I would not have gained as much weight as I did if I kept smoking.  All I bought back then was cigarettes and frozen dinners all on a budget.
The article goes on to say: "Smoke-derived toxicants greatly reduce the level of essential fatty acids in the brain, particularly omega-3, damaging areas of the brain involved with pleasure and satisfaction. Damage in these areas of the brain is directly related to the inability to stop smoking. 'Earlier studies have proven that an imbalance in omega-3 is also related to mental health, depression and the ability to cope with pressure and stress.  Pressure and stress, in turn, are associated with the urge to smoke,' Rabinovitz Shenkar said, adding that despite the findings, the connection between these factors has not been studied thus far."  Well when I quit I used Wellbutrin and did I have the side effects.  I was so bothered by the side effects that I did not have time to worry about my smoking.  After thirty days I did not refill the prescription my doctor wrote.  I had quit smoking and id not have to take it anymore.  I quit for a reason my granddaughter was born and my daughter did not want her around smoking.
The article ends with: "Forty-eight smokers aged 18 to 45 who smoked an average of 14 cigarettes a day participated in the study.  They were divided into two groups, one given omega-3 capsules containing omega-3 950, and the other a placebo.  The participants were asked to take 5 capsules a day for 30 days, and at no point were they asked to stop smoking.  After 30 days, smokers who received the omega-3 capsules were found to cut down their cigarette intake by an average of two a day (roughly 115 in total), also displaying a significant decrease in craving levels.  In contrast, the group receiving the placebo showed no significant changes in their craving levels, and did not reduce the number of cigarettes they smoked a day. Rabinovitz Shenkar added that further research will indicate whether the supplement can effectively help smokers quit altogether."  That would be nice if it helped someone like me that used to smoke a pack and half a pack a day.  That would really help.  Also if it could cut down the cravings I am sure a lot of smokers would have a chance at quitting.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Hearing Voices at 20? A New Look at How and When Schizophrenia Starts

That is the title of this article I am writing about. “PHILADELPHIA The traditional view was that schizophrenia, the most devastating of mental illnesses, struck young people on the cusp of adulthood, often without much warning.  In their late teens or early 20s, previously healthy men and women would suddenly begin hearing voices no one else could hear and withdrawing from a world teeming with delusional threats. They faced a lifetime of disability even with strong medication and —in a country without adequate care —of increased risk of homelessness, suicide and prison.  Raquel Gur, a University of Pennsylvania neuropsychiatrist and nationally known expert on schizophrenia, is at the forefront of the new way of thinking about the disorder, which affects 1 percent of the population.  Scientists now view it as a neurodevelopmental condition that begins years before its most disturbing symptoms appear, in much the same way that heart disease begins long before the first heart attack.  Gur's painstaking work, done with the help of 9,500 Philadelphia children and their families, finds that those at risk for psychosis diverge from their peers in important ways as early as age 8. The differences in brain functioning —these are thinking skills, not psychosis —widen in the mid-teens.” I believe it starts at a younger age before you develop full blown psychosis.  Even though mine did not come on until I was twenty seven something was wrong when I was nineteen.
The article goes on to say: “The tantalizing question is whether early identification and treatment can delay or prevent the onset of psychosis, allowing young sufferers time to build a firmer foundation for life.  It's early, but there is some evidence that the answer is yes.  Schizophrenia experts are excited by promising results for cognitive behavioral therapy and, surprisingly, fish oil.  Work on the first stages of schizophrenia —what is often called the prodrome —is unfolding at a time when scientists are learning the brain is a far more dynamic organ than was once thought. True, the brains of people with schizophrenia do not look or function normally, but all of our brains are changing more than we realize. ‘Most people have gotten far more hopeful that we will be able to use experience or training or something else to help the brain rewire," said Thomas Insel, director of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).  He sees hope in teaching people with schizophrenia how to focus and control their thoughts. Lack of cognitive control, he said, "is the on-ramp to psychosis.’  Gur's work, undertaken with $26 million in NIMH funding since 2009 and help from Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, is an ambitious effort that is following children over time to see how psychotic illnesses unfold. Four percent of the teenagers had symptoms of psychosis. The rates were higher for 8- to 10-year-olds, but Gur chalks some of that up to "vivid imagination." Because of funding constraints, Gur's team is closely following only 250 at-risk children and 250 who are normal. The researchers are analyzing genes and brain images, family history, neighborhood environment, and early life experiences as well as measures of perceptual and cognitive abilities and emotion processing. While much previous research has focused on positive symptoms —hallucinations and delusions —in schizophrenia, there is growing recognition that negative symptoms —problems with working memory, advanced decision-making and social skills —are equally disabling.”  I’ve read that they are using fish oil with some good results before you develop mental illness. I take it although for my eyes.  I really do not notice anything different mentally.  Although my Geodon works so well I would not know the difference. 
The article ends: “Gur's husband, Ruben, a brain/behavior expert at Penn who collaborates with her, will soon start testing the theory that acting may help at-risk youths recognize and express emotions better. Raquel Gur will test cognitive retraining as a therapy. That program will focus on improving attention, working memory (the ability to hold thoughts in your head while working with them) and problem-solving. Gur hopes for results within a year. Like other experts, she thinks early intervention will be better for schizophrenia, as it is for so many other diseases. ‘If you want somebody to continue on a fairly normal trajectory of development,’ she said, ‘you need to capture them before they fall off the track so much that it's difficult to bring them back.’  If schizophrenia strikes before victims have grown up, it's hard for them to catch up later. ‘They're not equipped to become adults,’ she said.  William Carpenter, a well-known schizophrenia researcher at the University of Maryland, says that, even if early treatment only delays the worst symptoms, it has to be better to have more time to develop life skills and relationships. Those make it easier to cope.  ‘If you have to become psychotic,’ he said, ‘it's a whole lot better to do it after you've finished school and got a job and got married.’  Carpenter chaired the American Psychiatric Association committee that decided not to list ‘attenuated psychosis syndrome,’ a term for people with psychotic like symptoms that are not strong enough to meet the definition of schizophrenia, in the official list of psychiatric disorders last year. The group questioned whether most therapists could identify the condition properly. There were also worries about stigmatizing young people and exposing them to antipsychotic medications, which don't work in this group.  And, there was the problem of false positives. Only about 30 percent of people who get what Carpenter called the "placeholder diagnosis" progress to having psychosis within two years. In Gur's sample, about half the children who had psychotic symptoms at intake still had persistent or worsening symptoms two years later. Among those who at first seemed normal, 17 percent later developed sub-psychotic or psychotic symptoms. One of the things she's learning is that a surprising number of children have perceptual problems that go away or don't become severe.  Her study could help define who is most likely to become schizophrenic as well as factors common in those who are most resilient. ‘It will become a national resource,’ she said. What she knows already is that the children most likely to have serious problems are different from an early age. If you look back at family pictures taken at 7 or 8, these are kids who are always at the corner, looking down. They often start to experience more serious interpersonal problems, perception changes and heightened anxiety two to three years before they have a ‘break’ or become actively psychotic. ‘It's not overnight,’ she said. ‘It's insidious.’ The Philadelphia Inquirer” I believe early intervention would be good if a person could just help these young people live the best lives’ that they can.  I have always been quiet person I do not know how that fits into my mental illness although I believe it does.  My only problem now is that my concentration is not the best.  If I could fix that I would be ok.

Monday, November 17, 2014

New Hope for Patients with Treatment-Resistant Schizophrenia

That is the title of this article I am writing about. “Researchers at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine have discovered a genetic biomarker that could help identify schizophrenia patients who are resistant to antipsychotic drugs (about 30 percent of all schizophrenia patients).  ‘Many treatment-resistant patients are not identified as such and are treated with mixtures of ineffective antipsychotic and other drugs, accruing little benefit and serious side effects, said Herbert Meltzer, M.D., professor in psychiatry and behavioral sciences, pharmacology, and physiology.  By definition, treatment-resistant schizophrenia patients are those who continue to have psychotic symptoms, such as delusions and hallucination, after they have completed at least two rounds of conventional antipsychotic medications.” This is hope I know a lot of people still have voices when they are taking antipsychotics medications and that is a hard pill to swallow.  If there is some way to help them it would be great.
The article goes on to say: “For the research, Meltzer, Jiang Li, Ph.D., a research assistant professor in Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, conducted a genome-wide association study on a group of Caucasian schizophrenia patients – a combination of both treatment-responsive and treatment-resistant patients. In the treatment-resistant group, the researchers found a mutation in the dopa decarboxylase gene, which is involved in the production of dopamine and serotonin. Certain variations of this gene have been linked to psychosis in previous studies.  Many patients who were once treatment-resistant do eventually respond to a drug called clozapine.  However, it’s usually not administered in early treatment stages due to potentially severe side effects and required weekly blood monitoring.”  They need something that works as soon as possible so they do not get discouraged with seeking treatment.  They need some kind of medication that manages their symptoms and gives them some kind of relief.
The article ends with: ‘“This biomarker can be used to easily identify patients who should be treated with clozapine, avoiding the use of drugs that are not able to help them.  This can be life-saving,’ said Meltzer, who has dedicated years to developing atypical antipsychotic drugs to help these patients.  He was the lead researcher in the landmark clinical trial that led to FDA’s approval of clozapine in 1989.  Not every patient who benefits from clozapine, however, has the specific dopa decarboxylase genetic mutation.  The researchers will work with a greater variety of schizophrenia patients in the future – particularly patients from other ethnic groups – to look for other biomarkers and treatment options for those who don’t get better with conventional treatments. ‘In a broader sense, this work defines treatment-resistant schizophrenia as a distinct subtype of the illness,’ said Meltzer.  Schizophrenia is one of the most severe and rarest of the mental health disorders, occurring in about one in 100 people. It is characterized by symptoms such as hallucinations, delusions, paranoia, cognitive impairment, social withdrawal, self-neglect, and loss of motivation and initiative.  The finding were published in the journal Schizophrenia Research.” It is finally defined as treatment-resistant.  Again we cannot lump all schizophrenics in the same category.  I just wish there were more options there just clozapine for treatment.  I do not know in my lifetime if I will ever find out everything about this disease.  I would like to also to find out why I have it and how.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Scientist spends nine months in max-security prison to learn how prisons manage mental illness in inmates

That is the title of this article I am writing about. “Case Western Reserve University mental health researcher Joseph Galanek spent a cumulative nine months in an Oregon maximum-security prison to learn first-hand how the prison manages inmates with mental illness. What he found, through 430 hours of prison observations and interviews, is that inmates were treated humanely and security was better managed when cell block officers were trained to identify symptoms of mental illness and how to respond to them. In the 150- year-old prison, he discovered officers used their authority with flexibility and discretion within the rigid prison structure to deal with mentally ill inmates.  Galenek’s observations and interviews with 23 staff members and 20 inmates with severe mental illness, are described in Medical Anthropology Quarterly article, ‘Correctional Officers and the Incarcerated Mentally Ill: Responses to Psychiatric Illness in Prison.’ The National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Mental Health supported his research. ‘With this research, I hope to establish that prisons, with appropriate policies and staff training, can address the mental health needs of prisoners with severe mental illness,’ said Galenek, PhD, MPH a medical anthropologist and research associate at the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences’ Begun Center for Violence Education and Prevention Research at Case Western Reserve.” He looks like he has the skills necessary to find out how to best treat mentally ill prisoners.  I know that this is a prison and they are there to do time.  Although I was once one of them and there is nothing crueler than being mentally ill while you are locked up.
The article goes on to say: “ Additionally, he said, ‘I show that supporting the mental health needs of inmates with severe mental illness concurrently supports the safety and security of prisons, and that these two missions are not mutually exclusive.  With the number of prisoners with severe mental illness increasing, efforts need to be made by all prison staff to ensure that this segment of the prison population has appropriate mental health care and safety.’ Galanek saw how administrative policies and cultural values at the prison allowed positive relationships to develop between officers and prisoners diagnosed with severe mental illness, among the prison’s 2,000 inmates. In this maximum-security prison, left unidentified for the study to protect the confidentiality of officers and inmates officers received training to identify symptoms of mental illness, which, in turn, led to better security, safety and humane treatment of potentially volatile inmates.  But officers were also able to use their discretion in handling some situations. Galanek observed, for example, the following instances where an officer’s decision—rather than rigidly enforcing prison rules—helped mentally ill inmates and maintain order within the institution.” It is always better when you can work a situation for the better for both parties involved.  A person just wants to make life easier for themselves and all.  If no inmates get hurt in prison it would be all the better.
The article ends with: “Prisoners are required to work 40 hours at an assigned job.  But one inmate chose to remain in his cell instead of reporting to work—a prison offense.  The inmate told the officer he was experiencing auditory hallucinations.  Instead of sending the prisoner to a disciplinary unit, the officer allowed the prisoner to remain in his cell until the hallucinations passed.  A correctional officer confronted a violent prisoner, who was off his medication and began smashing a TV and mirror and threatened other prisoners.  Instead of disciplinary confinement, the officer conferred with mental health workers, who sent the prisoner to the inpatient psychiatric  unit to get him back on his medication.  Prisoners aren’t allowed to loiter or talk to other inmates outside their cells.  But a high-functioning inmate with a bipolar disorder worked a janitorial job that allowed him to talk to other mentally ill inmates.  Through those conversations, he was able to let officers know when inmates were exhibiting symptoms of their mental illness.  That information allowed officers to quickly address potential problems and decrease security risks.  Conversely, Galanek said, if these inmates were sent to the segregation unit (“the hole”) to sit isolated for hours their thoughts could lead to agitation and hallucinations that often bring on prison security problems.  Mentally ill prisoner’s work was important and meaningful because it acted as a coping mechanism to decrease the impact of psychiatric symptoms, he said.  To gain such access to prison culture is highly unusual.  In fact, such ethnographic studies have declined in past 30 years due to perceptions that researchers are seen as security risks within these highly controlled environments.  But as a mental health specialist in Oregon’s Department of Corrections from 1996-2003, Galanek was uniquely prepared to navigate the prison for his research. ‘They trusted me,’ he said. ‘I knew how to move, talk and interact with staff and inmates in the prison.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Hickenlooper Signs Ban on Long-Term Solitary for Mentally Ill Prisoners

That is the title of this article I am writing about.  “Gov. John Hickenlooper this morning signed a bill that bans the practice of keeping seriously mentally ill prisoners in solitary confinement.  The bill, which passed with strong bi-partisan support, won the support of advocates and rights groups like the American Civil Liberties Union, who say the isolation of prisoners with mental illness violates the constitution’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment and endangers public safety.  But as Rocky Mountain PBS I-News has reported, state prisons aren’t the only place in Colorado where offenders with mental illness are subject to lengthy periods of solitary confinement.  In the state’s county jails, solitary confinement- or administrative segregation- remains common for inmates with serious mental illness.  The isolation can last days, months, or even years. In jails, this practice is left intact by the latest state law. The new legislation came on the heels of a series of tragedies in Colorado, including the killing last year of prisons chief Tom Clements by a man who had been released directly from long-term solitary confinement into the community. In an irony often noted, Clements had worked to reduce the use of administrative segregation in state prisons.” Why am I writing about this it is because it is a good?  My mental illness came when I was in prison and had been caught gambling and was sent to the hole or solitary confinement for three days.  I was locked in the hole and that is the last thing I remember.  I woke on a different tier than the hole and was insane. I must have blacked out when I was put in the hole because I do not remember anything after I was put in the cell. I know I was angry when they put me in there.
The article goes on to say: “The current corrections chief, Rick Raemisch, has continued the work that his predecessor started, publicly calling for a rethinking of the practice of solitary confinement in general, and pledging to remove seriously mentally ill inmates from isolation in the state prisons.  His concerns were echoed by Colorado legislators who worried about the damaging effects of solitary confinement on mental health, and the risks to the public from prisoners who will someday be released.  The law now etches some of Raemisch’s policies in stone, and adds funding and a level of oversight. Prisoners with mental illness won’t be kept in confinement for longer than 30 days, and will be guaranteed a period of therapeutic activity and out-of-cell time each week.”  I was wrong to keep gambling although I know all the stress that was happening to be prior to being put in the hole had a lot to do with what happened.  Although prison is not the best place to finally have a breakdown, my friends were trying to stick by me although I was mentally ill and did not understand. I knew done of the people on this new tier and that did not help.  I cut myself with a razor because I did not understand what was happening to me.
The article ends with: “The Colorado chapter of the ACLU took the lead in campaigning against the isolation of mentally ill prisoners. Denise Maes, the organization’s public policy director, told I-News the law signed today ‘makes a very important policy statement that it’s wrong to place seriously mentally ill offenders in solitary confinement.’  Now, Maes said, the ACLU-Colorado intends to turn its attention to the isolation of mentally ill inmates in county jails. But she acknowledged that a policy change there may be a heavier lift.  “Municipal jails are just a hodgepodge of different activities not very well regulated by the state,” said Maes. At the same time, a shortage of psychiatric beds and a lack of funding for alternative mental-health treatment put a huge burden on jails, she said. Resources are thin.  Still, said Maes, the same arguments that changed the policies in the state prisons also apply to jails.  “Keeping a seriously mentally ill offender in solitary confinement is unconstitutional, and at some point the state has to have the resources to deal with it. Otherwise, they’ll be faced with it in court,” said Maes. ‘Communities have to find the resources.’”  To be put in the hole after a person is already mentally ill is wrong can you imagine what a person would go through?  If you are not working or taking classes to help you spend your time the best way possible as can be is wrong.  From experience it is hard doing time when you are mentally ill.