Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Mental Illness and It’s Toll

This is an interesting article titled “The Neglect of Mental Illness Exacts a Huge Toll, Human and Economic” The article says: “Mental health care is one of the biggest unmet needs of our time.” There are a lot of people with untreated mental illness in our society today. In recent years the federal government has been trying to right this wrong. Although progress has been slow. One reason is all the budget cuts. Another reason is legal wrangling. It is a drag that everyone cannot be treated. Of course there are some who do not want to be treated although that is a different story.
Mental illness can strike anyone regardless of how rich or poor you are. Although the article states: “…but the strain is acute for people with low incomes. About one in six adults living at just above the poverty line or lower have severe mental health problems.” Then besides getting a mental illness they find they cannot work because of the negative symptoms of this disease. The article goes on to say: “The human and economic toll is enormous yet often hidden. Untreated mental illnesses in the U.S. cost more than $100 billion a year in lost productivity…” That is a lot of productivity lost. With the recession it is hard enough to find work then lose your job to mental illness is tough.
They have been a little successful with insurance, although if you do not have insurance then you are out of luck. “But equalizing coverage means little to those who lack insurance altogether and states are increasingly failing to make provisions for them.” With budget cuts they are making it even harder. The article does say: “The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which President Barack Obama signed into law in 2010, should help fill these holes. It requires that insurance plans offer “behavioral health” coverage, including mental health and addiction and substance abuse help, as an “essential health benefit.” That should bring some help to some that have insurance or are trying to get it. Hopefully this law will stay even if President does not remain in office.
There is Medicaid for people who do not have insurance. Although if there are cuts to the federal or state budget theses are usually one of the first areas where they feel they can cut is Medicaid and help for the indigent, that, as you know means cutting dollars for people who, according to the article might have mental illness.

Monday, February 27, 2012

A Choice to Know

I was reading several articles on Justification this past Sunday, and became confused somewhat of the ideas of Justification, not only in the Mental Health Services, yet also the ideologies of consumers, especially those with dual diagnosis, who will use Justification as a defense mechanism to prove their own righteousness or their own exactness to gain their needs. I said whoa…! The one idea in Mental Health of Justification is building a foundation for hope, identity, self-esteem and responsibility. I go to another page and I am reading about Justifying (justification; defending ourselves through our own exactness), Rationalization) talking ourselves into a thought of righteous acts or choices), Minimization (the idea of taking the truth and doing away with the reality of it) and Projection (the passing of guilt onto someone or something).
What I had experienced was somewhat a opposite of definitions and words’, representing what is good and what is negative in ones search for changing their lives through Recovery. There are many avenues to changing one’s life through Recovery. Recovery is the future for consumers and mental health workers and has been for several decades using fundamental practices and values in the challenge of setting a direction for Mental Health Services and consumers alike.
What is Recovery? Recovery is based on the acceptance, hope and identity of the mentally ill, or consumer, their self-esteem, direction and responsibility. Our strengths and the changes in our mental awareness give mental health workers a clue to our recovery along with ideas to our relationships, our personal values and other passages towards our Recovery. It’s caring, not stagnation that’s being given to consumers, for themselves and others. And though albeit the words are ever changing the idea of Recovering from despair to optimism in being is truly a tandem effect of those that care to help change the ideas of the consumer for the betterment of their well being to the acceptance of the consumer who wants to change, despite the definition of which may not have been a part of their reality.
Written by Donald Sammons

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Mental Illness

I came across this article on the web this week. It is titled “The beginnings of mental illness” it talks about what they believe causes mental illness such as schizophrenia. “Schizophrenia, for example, is often thought as a genetic disorder. But environmental factors can also boost risk-sometimes considerably.” It goes on to talk how stress is involved in mental illness. I believe it might have a lot to do with stress.
They go on and talk about why they think stress and inflammation caused by the stress has something to do with mental illness. “Inflammation is a key part of the stress response. It has also been linked to a variety of bodily ills, from diabetes and heart disease to depression and Alzheimer’s disease. I see inflammation as one of the chief evils in mammalian biology, Pace says.” It has so much to do with other diseases. It should be considered also in bringing about mental illness.
One of my triggers for mental illness is anger. That is what brought on my mental illness the first time. It was the angriest I had ever been. I thought at the time that the prison officials were doing be wrong. I just remember being taken to the hole in prison and I was just angry and they locked me in the hole and that is the last I remember until I woke up on another tier after my time in the hole was done. One of the guards that wrote me up for gambling in the first place said he did not write me up because of me. He said he did because he was scared I would get hurt.
At the time I did not understand I was just angry at the fact that I was going to the hole and going to have to start my time at the beginning of prison and work by way back all the way to the place I was at in the prison system there. I was at the top of the prison system where you could wear street clothes.
Later when I thought about the guard was right he knew me and everything else that was going on at that time made me make the wrong decisions that I did. I cannot change what happened. Although it was the right time to bring this mental illness on me or I would not have made the changes I did in my life if it would have happened at a later time in my life.
Stress brings on so much in our lives that is not good. I believe that this article for me explains a little of what havoc stress can play.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Sincerity of Your Recovery

Have you even thought you were being sincere about your Recovery? Sincerity means simply being genuine or without deceit. When people are genuine they are true or real about themselves and of others, they are honest in a sense without being under handed or deceitful. This positivity is respected and keeps people together as friends and neighbors as well as family; being sincere lets others know you can be respected in many ways.

I began my Recovery program with a negative attitude. I couldn’t see the reason for sitting and talking and filling out papers in regards to my mental stability. I made promises to attend groups; I slouched in meetings, spoke negatively about other people, and denied the real truth about myself. I didn’t have respect for clinicians and my thinking that they “thought they knew it all and knew nothing” and I was not being positive about others helping me nor was I positive about my will being nor honest about my real feelings.

When you are sincere about your Recovery you want to recover from the woes you have been suffering from. You need and want to understand how to change from a negative beat to the more positive and stay on track with the respect you want to achieve; not only respect for yourself, yet to gain respect and give such to others. We don’t go around corners seeking sincerity, we live it, being real to be true to ourselves and others, without be deceitful, or procrastinating our lives.

When we take our first step to Recovery we are already at the lowest point of our lives, we feel we have become abandoned and are without trust of others. A part of us are seeking belief in another to help us overcome our predicament, and we want someone to believe in us. With sincere belief, without jeopardizing ourselves any further, our way to Recovery becomes our life and we begin to relish the hope we gain in our improving through our treatment. If you are sincere you will believe there are no boundaries to overcoming mental illness.

Written by Donald Sammons

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


There was not a whole lot of mental health news this week. It seems to be the way this week is going for me. I did walk last weekend even though it was cold. That is the way recovery is also if something goes wrong you just have to hang in there because it will get better. In a lot of ways I am waiting for this week to end. It is not because I want to hurry and rest this weekend. I am just hoping things will work out my Friday.
The things I am waiting to happen are one I am getting a new fridge as soon as it comes in. My apartment ordered me a new one when the one I have freezes everything at the moment. I am hoping by Friday. Next my DVR is on the blink. My TV comes on for ten minutes than shuts off. It looks like I will be watching old DVDs this week. They are sending me a new DVR, and I am hoping it gets here by Friday or else I will be watching DVDs this weekend.
It looks and sounds bad. Although just like recovery it is a slow process. Patience is not always the best for me. I like to get everything right away. It was that way with my recovery. I wanted out of the State Hospital right away. I could not understand why it could not happen. Just speed up the groups and release people right away. Now I come to understand why it takes time to let the concepts and changes take effect slowly. It takes more than just will power to make changes.
It is a lot like medicine every person it affects different. So also with recovery it affects us all different we have to learn what works for us and what does not. That is one reason groups are effective. Everybody gets a chance to share and you learn different ways on how to recover. I just wish everyone could recover as well as I did. I think they would be happier.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Praying for a Cure

There are many people today, whether they are rich or poor, of one race or another, of family or orphaned who are in the throes of Mental illness of one sort or another. Seeing a clinician of mental health causes construed thoughts itself, the client or consumer questioning the reason for their illness, family members beset on what should be done to help their loved ones, the attitude of medications arise and the many visits to the therapist are also a question to the client, consumer.
What is the thought that exist in the background of all of this, the consternation of illness, how to overcome what causes the dread and fear of any such client or consumer. One question exists, HOW? Many clients begin to seek spiritually, seeking forgiveness for some reason that they have become ill, partially realizing that there is a physical reason for which they are not understanding, others seek through prayer to overcome their illness, hoping for a cure, without the help of a psychiatrist or even a priest.
I think it takes not only prayer, meditation, or education; yet also a spiritual teaching and the physical essence of prescribed medication to offset the illness and build strength within those who are suffering from a mental illness. We were not all taught to think and live spiritually, having to learn to reach within ourselves spiritually, yet we must learn to think and overcome our woes in life through such means so that we are able to have an acceptance with others and peace within ourselves. The medication is a help-meet, to help us gain control over our symptoms, whether they are of anger or fear, just as we use other supplements to gain strength and health; yet it still takes self motivation, self esteem and idea, (inspiration), to overcome the malady’s which beset us.
Faith Can’t Cure Mental Illness: Believers Struggling with Depression and Mood Disorders - Beyond Blue
The church as the same platform as or mental health clinics, which is a relationship between religion and psychology, in that an awareness is made of the biological, social, psychological and spiritual realms of a person or individuals suffering from mental illness. What stands amongst it all—Support and the idea that we want to overcome what besets us while struggling with a Mental Illness.

Written by Donald Sammons

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Schizophrenia Brain Cells

Here is an article that is very interesting. "Schizophrenia research: A route to the brain via the nose” It seems researchers of psychiatric disorders have a hard time obtaining live brain tissue in which to do their studies. They need this brain tissue to compare to people who do not have Psychiatric illnesses like schizophrenia. Now they have found a way to get stem cells from the nose by cellular neuroscience.
The way they accomplish this is by “Researchers have found that by taking a biopsy they can compare the tissue of people with schizophrenia to cells from individuals without schizophrenia.” This is very interesting in that they can compare the stem cells to people that do not have these mental illnesses. They say that “this is the first insight into real differences in patient cells that could lead to slightly altered brain development.” That is very interesting. They can see the difference in people with mental illness and those that do not have a mental illness.
The article tells what they discovered in comparing these stem cells. “The current findings are particularly interesting,” the go on tell why “because when we look closely at the clues to the neurobiology of psychiatric disorders, we find new and often unexpected mechanisms implicated.” There is a lot of research going on in the field of schizophrenia and other mental illnesses. We can only hope that it leads to advances in fighting these diseases. Hopefully for those who do not benefit from treatment right now. The ones the medicine does not work for as good as it works for some of us.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Strength in Mental Health Recovery

The inner strength of the consumer going through Recovery comes from many sources. There are material sources; housing, health care, transportation and a solid means of communication, one source being the telephone. This material gives the consumer, the mental health client, the ability to move forward in their Recovery. When stricken with poverty, there exist a lack of resources and there is no assurance in Recovery when a person is befallen with a mental illness, in essence there is no way for them to reach out.

Strength in Recovery involves a different dimension of responsibility; it involves associating with other people; being a member of the community. It means being connected to friends, neighbors, and family. Living in social and personal isolation, poverty, withdrawal, having poor social skills, poor health causes not only social stigma yet a stigma of self which slows the journey of Recovery and heightens a weakness within the consumer.

Though I am going through the Recovery process and becoming self sufficient; a recovered addict and alcoholic, not to mention being dual diagnosis, I still struggle with acceptance, even in the new neighborhood I live in. News travels fast when your striking it rich or you have done wrong and as I have had to find a way to be socially accepted, my inner strength seems to grow and not having many friends because of the changes I have made from old to new, I was not willing to be socially stagnant; I had to find my niche, being mentally ill, I had to grow in strength and know what to accept.

This all becomes a matter of physical, emotional, mental and spiritual and these aspects changed the way I see the Recovery process. I had to learn to become optimistic and see my life with a purpose. Finding strength in your Recovery is in essence gaining power and control over your life through a righteous choice, using the resources you have gained and learning to self manage your treatment, choosing how you see yourself and the quality of your life.
Written By Donald Sammons

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

More on Memory

A week ago I wrote a blog on memory. One of the links on that blog told how memory works. One of the ways is with exercise. I did not know how important that part was until I read an article yesterday. It is just as important if not more important because it will give you new brain cells. In the article they give a twenty minute solution to memory with exercise. “The true secret to improving your memory, for many people, is actually physical exercise.” You have to move to get a benefit.
If you have poor memory this is what you need to improve your memory. It is not just the regular way in which you exercise of just three times a week. It is “Intense” exercise that works. How does it work? “There is one more amazing thing about memory improvement and cardio exercise that has just come to light through recent research. In addition to increasing cerebral blood flow, regular cardio exercise stimulates the growth of new neurons in the memory areas of your brain.” What kind of workout would this entail?
The article says it does not matter what type of exercise you do like the treadmill or jumping rope to name a few. The answer lies in the way you work out. “The way it works it that you start out slow to get warmed up. Then you speed up for one minute to push yourself, then slow down again. You repeat that four times, each time trying to hit a “high point” where you are really pushing yourself.” It does not seem that hard as I use the treadmill. I would just move the speed up for a minute four times in my work out. I tried it and it was a very good workout. I felt better after last night workout than any other.