Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Do we need discipline to change and/or recover? I think it is a big part in setting your mind to the idea; it is what you would need if you are going to change an attitude or belief. I speak from experience, when I decided to change from my old ways. I first needed discipline, because without I would have started drinking and seeing old friends, and never would have changed. I had to say to myself no matter what happens, I am going to continue on this road to recovery. There were a lot of pitfalls along the way. I got ill again and had to pick myself back up and keep going forward. Finding the right medicine that worked right, as I have mentioned in an earlier blog. There were therapists along the way, which I did not believe in their ideas. I fought them until there was a change in circumstances; even when it looked like I was doomed and nothing would get better things changed for the better. I think that also is the difference between young people who commit suicide. I wrote concerning young people and suicide in an earlier blog. They do not know from experience that if you weather out the storm it will pass. You can also read about suicide on the Mental Health Research blog. Just like the weather here in Colorado, if you wait awhile it will change. I know that is why I always have the discipline to keep moving forward. Because no matter how bad things look, if keep your head high, and keep pushing forward the results will turn out right.

Monday, October 25, 2010


· 40% - 60% of people with depression smoke
· 61% of people with bi-polar disorder smoke

People who use tobacco, who don’t quit can or will die of smoking related problems, especially those with a serious mental illness who may die 25 years earlier than the “normal” non-smoker.

We hear a lot about smokers who exist in the mental health category, yet not very much about cigarette use amongst adults who work full time or adolescents. The two categories cannot be readily compared yet it can be stated that in the food and restaurant occupation, cigarette use is nearly 50% in that work force, the highest of most occupations where 33 million full time employees from the age of 18 to 64 do smoke, the lowest being 15% for those in the physical, psychological and social science occupations.

There are many studies of cigarette smoking amongst adolescents from the age of 12 to 17 years of age who may be smoking 1 – 2 packs of cigarettes a day. Studies such as these have taken place over a 27 state range throughout the United States. Cigarette smoking cause more than 400,000 deaths every year and most smokers begin in their adolescence. There are many prevention programs throughout the United States, not only from the private sectors of businesses yet also the government and state level as well. Cigarette use has a major role in the health of many citizens in every state in this nation, and to reduce making and changing the attitudes of smoking in people will have achieved progress in maintaining the health of these people.

People who are clients within the Mental Health system, who have a mental illness, are known to smoke more than all other people in other occupations; twice as much. The reasons for such high smoking statistics in schizophrenics and other serious mental illness are social, psychological and physical; and smoking amongst people with mental illness is viewed as not just smoking, yet self medicating as well.
It is hard to tell the difference between nicotine withdrawal and the symptoms of mental illness, when people are being treated for a possible mental illness, in all this treatment for mental health is a bit more difficult.

These are just a few of the unnoticed attitudes about smoking that have been established in the United States and abroad. So while most everyone I have ever met smokes because of nerves, or a friend got them started, the fact remains that smoking tobacco takes its toll, even amongst the mentally ill.

by Donald Sammons

Monday, October 18, 2010


I was sitting at my computer at home, trying to understand creation of databases by arranging one of my own. My mind was blank as to what I wanted for data. The afternoon outside was comfortable, yet the children who live in the building and the teenagers and some younger adults were obnoxious; I couldn’t think for the noise they made on any extreme. I slowly urged myself on to designing the fields and setting different types of data that were necessary and had reluctantly finished the table design. I had to endure a world outside my own to accomplish a task, I realized this was perseverance.
As a client of MHCD for many years, I was just as noisy, and headstrong as the children and others whose loud persistence kept in the way of my achieving my goal, only my attitude was drunken and drug induced and I let this attitude get in the way of the clinicians and case managers way of bringing me back to reality. They perceived and steadfast in their belief that I could survive as a better person. I could have turned my back on them, yet I remained with the ideas they had given me without unceasing belief that I could change.
We all have ideas that we can become better individuals, with our own mercy, we want to continue living for the better and with our hope. We prove this even if we are down in the gutters of life; we prove it by trying to reach out to others when we are not strong. Deep inside we want to succeed and overcome the strife and no other word describes this light of strength than perseverance.
In MHCD’s Outcomes, there are professionals who look at our past and show not only we who have fallen into disrepair, yet others of whom have the ability to rebuild those broken doors and show us what can be possible if we continue to seek what we imagine through truth what will console our lives. For years I didn’t believe in myself, yet overcoming obstacles is to reach beyond them despite the difficulty and believe in those that believe in you with insight.
Written by Donald Sammons

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


I am writing concerning a blog I read on Mental Health Research. It was a blog about the suicide of the Denver Broncos wide receiver. That had me thinking about all the suicide I knew about in my life time. Including the latest back east with a guy who committed suicide, because his roommate took pictures of him having sex with another man. I have a theory about these suicides lately and in the past. All these people who commit suicide seem to me young. To me they lack experience with hope and internal stigma. I will give a couple of examples: As I have said in earlier blogs, I was at the state hospital. While I was there they moved me to another ward, and that night I was out on the porch having a cigarette, when this young man asked me “ have you ever worked at a job” I told him yes I had, he said “ I never had” I thought that was strange and I did not know him. Although if he would have told me his name. I would have talked to him, because on another ward they had asked if I had met and knew this person. Well that night this young man hung himself. I later found out it was because of something brought up about him in therapy called gaming group. I was in this same group after he died. They brought up a lot of imaginary things about me that were what ifs. I know how he felt. Although I will always think what if he told me his name and we talked would that have changed things? Could we have fought together in that gaming group? What they brought up in that group is the same thing the others in the group also did. Why pick on someone else because they cannot handle it. I met his dad ten years later and he is a marine veteran. I have told him what happened and how I felt. Another young man that committed suicide at a young age was my cousin. He had a mental illness like me. I met him grown up when my aunt died. Who was his grandmother, after I was released from the state hospital. He was also released from the state hospital in the state of Oregon. They told him if he messed up and went back to the state hospital he would never get out again. Instead of going back for the rest of his life, he hung himself. Were they trying to use reverse psychology on him? I will never know, although it took a life. Why do I say internal stigma? My breakdown happened in prison. As I have said all my friends were still supporting me. When the doctor asked where I wanted to go after the breakdown, I said here behind the walls. You see my friends still believed in me, but I did not believe in myself or understand what had happened. I was a different person even behind the walls and when I was released. I think these young men just lack the hope that things will get better, and the experience of seeing things in the past get better. I will remember my cousin and that young man in the state hospital for the rest of my life. Do you think they also commit suicide because of young age?

Monday, October 11, 2010

Becoming Creative

One of the joys I have always been enchanted with is creativity. In this technological age we live in, I find information going in, swirling around and reaching my mind in so many new ways. This happens with everyone, one time or another.
Whatever it is you want to do creatively, do it while it is on your mind. Hiking, dancing, writing, even gardening in your own windowsill, there are a lot of crafts a person can entertain his or her ideas with.
It doesn’t matter how perfect you are to begin with, what matters is that you have begun to express yourself in a positive way, and that it makes you feel good and is fun. You begin to become in touch with the creative side of life and that opens the mind to the nature of yourself.

Getting in touch with your ability to create is wonderful, it is a part of the system of the universe around you, as if you were a child again, creating something with which to have fun and enjoy. Our imagination is a part of our creative ability; we nurture our ideas to understand the results of our dreams. This is how we become happy, through the experience of letting the garbage go and focusing on the knowledge within that helps us to share what we have learned what we have created. In mental health, there is always the embellishment of thought for consumers to share in what they have created, it’s part of the process of healing, become one with your ideas, make your dreams come true.

Written by Donald Sammons

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Paranoid Schizophrenic II

As I wrote in earlier blogs, I was sentenced to the State Hospital for a crime committed while I had a mental illness. Now I will tell you about some of the symptoms I had before I committed the crime. My first mental distress happened in prison. The first time I ever seen or talked to a psychiatrist was there. I talked that time and told him what I believed was happening to me. He put me on halcyon a sleeping medication to help me sleep. I do not know why but that pill at night helped be get back to being normal again. I was released from prison six months later because my appeal finally came through. After court where I was set free finally, I was going to leave town. Then a computer training class opened up and I joined it. It was intensive training for three months. It was the last week at the class, and I was supposed to bring juice to a celebration party for completing the class. I rode the bus to go to the party when I became paranoid. I never made it and just went back home. I was not the same after that. I would go outside and see things, which I thought were signs telling me to go this way. I would walk around the block. Then just go home and lay down and not move, until that night. Finally not understanding what was going on I went to the liquor store and bought a six pack and a bottle of tequila. I thought getting drunk would fix things. Instead I committed a crime and wrestled with the police when they came to arrest me. Then I was sentenced to the state hospital.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Understanding Diabetes

I recently wrote about diabetes and Mental Health, without going into detail about the relationship between the physical health and the mental well being of a person suffering from diabetes, I failed to mention the avenues of the two.
Depression has many symptoms, being sad or anxious, feelings of emptiness, hopelessness or being pessimistic, intense feelings of guilt, loss of interest or pleasure, fatigue, difficulty in concentrating, remembering, making decisions, thoughts of death and restlessness, even irritability. Any of these symptoms present for a period of time, which may interfere with your daily life maybe signs of depression, often times due to a physical illness or trauma. These can be found as symptoms within people suffering from diabetes and they may be candidates for treatment for depression. Diabetes heightens the risk of depression and becoming depressed leads to poor health and a dysfunctioning mentality. Psychotherapy, MHCD, aims to treat depression and improve the well being and ability of those with depression as well as diabetes in those suffering from both diseases.
Depression might develop from stress, yet it might also develop from the result of having diabetes and its effect upon the brain. Increasing evidence is showing that diabetes has serious effects upon the brain and mind of those with diabetes. Insulin may also be related to important brain functions as well as glucose both being tied to the cells survival in the brain and low levels of glucose can lead to irreversible brain damage as well as strokes.
Diabetes can cause nerve damage, it is known as Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy. It is found in people who have high blood sugar levels. Some of the symptoms are tingling in the toes or ankles, burning sensation in the feet or pain when wearing shoes, socks or standing; these symptoms are associated with nerve damage. There are differences between nerve pain and muscle pain and the numbing or stabbing pain which comes from diabetes and the increasing electrical signals along the nerves which cause your body to feel pain. Besides nerve damage, diabetes causes blindness, dry skin and other illness ‘as well as impairing the memory in older people. Claude Messier, Asst. Director, School of Psychology
This may not be all good news, but the best news is that exercise, eating whole wheat products and Omega-3 (fish or Supplements) decreases the odds of negative brain functions, also following the advice of your doctor or therapist and maintaining a healthy diet, keeps you going a whole lot longer.
Written by Donald Sammons

Friday, October 1, 2010

Healthy Recovery

I am writing about being healthy and not necessarily losing weight. Both would be great to achieve. Medication makes you gain weight, and that does include Psych medication as well as other medication. What if a person takes more than one kind of medication than it can be a double whammy. In the online article “10 ways to manage your weight on Psych meds.” One of the paragraphs is about eating slowly. I live alone so when I eat and the grandkids are not there. I usually eat very fast. Which is not a good idea, because they say it takes 20 minutes for your brain to tell you your stomach is full. I always use just pieces of articles I read, and not everything they say literally. The other paragraph of this article is do not try to be perfect. Some days you will have a not healthy snack or not exercise. Do not get upset. You do not have to do it vigorously everyday. Another thing I noticed when I exercise before supper is that I am not as hungry. That helped me to cut down on the portions I eat. I even started eating less at lunch. Articles I read say that the best weight to lose is between .5 to 2lbs a week. If you lose that little the more likely the weight will stay off. Although even if you do not lose weight, it is better to just be healthy. Taking care of your heart and not getting diabetes is the right thing to do. Beyond Meds says it is hard to lose weight from medication. Do not blame yourself if you cannot lose it. Just stay healthy in a way that is good for you.