Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Mental Health and Higher Death Risk

BEFORE I GET INTO The BLOG, I WOULD LIKE TO REMIND OUR READERS THAT The RECOVERY BLOG IS MOVING TO A NEW LOCATION: OUR BLOG WILL CONTINUE FROM OUR NEW HOME: This article says that is not poor physical health that is to blame for people with mental illness dying earlier. It is because of the mental illness. “A large study of English households finds that people who experience symptoms of psychological distress like anxiety, depression, or even minor mental health problems, have a lower life expectancy than people who do not.” We already know that the life expectancy of someone who has mental illness dies at least twenty five years younger than the rest of the population. This study explains it a little better.
It says: “Since the link remained when they adjusted for lifestyle factors, the researchers say the effect is more likely due to biological changes resulting from psychological distress rather than because people with poor mental health have less healthy lifestyles.” Some people with mental illness are taking care of their bodies and still they have a less chance of living longer. “The Wellcome Trust funded study is expected to trigger more research into how doctors treat people with even mild mental psychological problems.” They are at least going to continue studying this health concern. They have studied this before but not with as many subjects as they did with this study.
The article says: “These associations also remained after we did our best to take into account other factors such as weight, exercise, smoking, alcohol consumption and diabetes. Therefore, this increased mortality is not simply due to people with higher levels of psychological distress having poorer health behaviors.” Could it be putting on all that extra weight that comes with the newer antipsychotic medications that causes the distress? “People with minor symptoms of depression or anxiety often don’t seek medical help, and the researchers say their findings could have implications for how these minor mental health issues are treated by the health system.
It could be that treating these minor symptoms could reduce the increased risk of premature death.” It is just minor mental health problems. Still any kind of stress is not good for a person.     These people in the study were followed for an average of eight years. “People with mental health problems are among the most vulnerable in society…” Hopefully they can find a solution to this problem. It may just be working with the health system.JUST A REMINDER THAT THE RECOVERY BLOG IS MOVING TO A NEW ADDRESS: OUR NEW HOME IS:

Monday, August 27, 2012

Understanding Your Therapy

We all have problems at one time or another and we all deal with our problems differently. Some of us do very well at dealing with problems yet others don’t. Some people, such as myself, “stuff their feelings and emotions and we do not fare so well at problem solving, eventually going months at a time compounding what troubles we have." When I first began therapy, even though I placed myself in the therapist hands at the request of family members, I did not want to believe I had any problems, or even a mental illness, because of my drug addictions, I was not the one who was ill, that is an old story with many people who face emotional distraught. When you have a mental illness, you have to realize that the illnesses are real and that it is important to face what is causing the illness.
We can’t always think these problems thru that are created by our illness, we must understand that therapy can help us where we may not be able to consider other persons helping us to solve our problems. The first thing we must be aware of is being honest, even if we don’t know our therapist. Know that your therapist is a professional who at best knows how to deal with feelings and emotions.
Put aside the stigma of “only crazy people have a therapist”, just because you have issues concerning an illness or your own emotions, doesn’t mean someone cannot help you handle them, that’s what a therapist does, helps you think through the haze of your illness or problems. Some people stay in therapy for months, others for years, so you must also realize your problem may not be solved overnight.
When you’re attending a therapy session you must understand that emotions are going to be brought out. These emotions and problems are what need to be faced and talking about them helps to undo the damage that was caused; don’t hold back, every thought counts to getting closer to overcoming the problems that beset you. It’s alright to feel remorse, pain or anger it is clearing the mind of these emotions so that you will feel better. It’s all about how your therapist will better help you through the process of getting beyond your illness and feeling better.
If you are afraid of group therapy, don’t be. Group therapy lets you know you are not alone, and within a group you can meet new people and gain further support. You are meeting people who have some of the same experiences you have and you can further relate with them as you can with your therapist or trusted family members or close friends.
Written By Donald S.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Can an Antibiotic Fight Schizophrenia?

BEFORE I GET INTO The BLOG, I WOULD LIKE TO REMIND OUR READERS THAT The RECOVERY BLOG IS MOVING TO A NEW LOCATION: OUR BLOG WILL CONTINUE FROM OUR NEW HOME: That is what this article says that maybe it can lead to a new discovery for this type of antibiotic. “Five years ago, a Japanese psychiatrist and his colleagues observed something peculiar regarding two schizophrenia patients. One was a 23-year old man who had been hospitalized for a first episode of schizophrenia. While in the hospital he developed a severe case of pneumonia, which was treated with the antibiotic minocycline. Two weeks later, his schizophrenia symptoms resolved along with his pneumonia.” Is it only this type of antibiotic or is it all of them? This was this man’s first episode so I wonder if that has something to do with it also.
The article says there was a second person: “The other was a 61-year old man who was diagnosed with schizophrenia at age 20. During his most recent hospitalization for it, he developed a bedsore that was treated with minocycline. Two weeks later, the bedsore healed, and minocycline was discontinued. The patient’s schizophrenia symptoms worsened. Minocycline was resumed; within three days, the patient’s schizophrenia symptoms improved.” It has nothing to do with just the first time so this is pretty exciting news. Of course they will need more research. Although something made it work twice.
The article goes on to say: “I was surprised by these developments,’ the psychiatrist-Tsuyoshi Miyaoka, M.D., an associate professor of psychiatry at Japan’s Shimane University School of Medicine- told Psychiatric News. ‘Could minocycline have antipsychotic properties? I wondered.” It must be just this one antibiotic. I only take antibiotics when I get a sinus infection at least twice a year. I never feel different except I am sick. Maybe this one antibiotic does have antipsychotic properties.
In the article they go on to talk about how they gave this antibiotic to patients who had severe schizophrenia and it worked even one stayed out in the community. It even helps with negative symptoms and a lot of schizophrenia patients hate those negative symptoms they cannot get rid of. “So what about this antibiotic is leading to hope that it can be a weapon against schizophrenia, and especially the usually intractable negative symptoms and cognitive deficits of the illness? ‘We don’t really know for sure,’ Kelly acknowledged. ‘But minocycline is known to be capable of countering inflammation and of crossing the blood-barrier into the brain, and there is growing evidence that inflammation might play a role in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. So minocycline might be able to counter schizophrenia by countering inflammation in the brain.” It is just this antibiotic. To help with negative symptoms would be an improvement in the fight of schizophrenia.
They are not stopping here there are more randomized trials going on to see if this really works. “Since all [experimental drugs for negative symptoms or cognitive deficits in schizophrenia] have failed to date, you’ve got to bet that the next one will fail as well… ‘But…if minocycline has efficacy for negative symptoms, cognitive impairment, or both, that would be terrific…and transformative for the field.” A person can only hope that it will bring relief to those that have negative symptoms. A last word from the doctor that found this antibiotic property: “From our experience and clinical research, I believe that minocycline will turn out to be a truly revolutionary treatment for schizophrenia,’ Miyaoka declared.” A lot of things are found out by accident we can only hope this is one of them.  Please do not try and get an infection.  Please wait till they find out if it works or not. JUST A REMINDER THAT THE RECOVERY BLOG IS MOVING TO A NEW ADDRESS: OUR NEW HOME IS:

Monday, August 20, 2012

Mental Health and those of Fame

BEFORE I GET INTO The BLOG, I WOULD LIKE TO REMIND OUR READERS THAT The RECOVERY BLOG IS MOVING TO A NEW LOCATION: OUR BLOG WILL CONTINUE FROM OUR NEW HOME: I recently read an article from the New Yorker magazine over the internet concerning the rock star Bruce Springsteen. I can relate to parts of his emotional attitudes about his drive to success through his ambitions, being, “pure fear, self- loathing and self- hatred”. I experience some of these emotions every day, as I wake to go to work, what I have to do to do the work correctly or enjoyment, what I haven’t done, the traveling, meeting new people; those are the instances which cause me the fear I suffer from, in having to have a successful day. These are true demons in Bruce Springsteen’s life, the fear, loathing and hatred which he experiences and we all do at some time or another and experiencing these emotions, “demons” have you, always have an effect on our lives or any other emotion we might handle within our minds which are negative.
Feelings of loathing have always been a part of the realms of the artistic, whom are taking themselves beyond others whom they may feel less than of or the lesser by their own self-esteem, yet in the long run of this gamut of negative emotions, we are freeing ourselves and for a moment we are free from the negative, creating something we can feel rewarded for outside of the harbored blatant emotions.
Even rock stars get the blues: Bruce Springsteen talks depression - Los Angeles Times
Bruce Springsteen’s emotions show in the song entitled “The Streets of Philadelphia”, a song he wrote and produced which shows his loathing and fear of not only parts of society, yet of this world he has experienced through the knowing others. I listened to the song, and throughout, I feel the memories of my life toying with me, causing anger and fear and a deep sadness and loathing of the times I spent not only as a transient, yet as a vagrant and drug addict. I once considered my life as not worth living then, yet I am overcoming these emotions to make my life better. Bruce Springsteen thinks of himself as “a work in progress, this is a part of his good fortune and the stress he lives with as a part of his abilities and being important.” Being satisfied that you area as good as you are, is a show, and you’ll never be a success. He speaks of other actors and musicians, “the motivation, is the element of need to remake the self, where you live, the entire audience surrounding—and it is the desire of becoming renewed.” Knowing a person lives in doubt, and is critical of themselves is knowing that someone must find that niche of their own sanity and know that they have a vast world to deal with, and if you don’t, your first realization is that there isn’t anyone there to understand you and that you should understand that as a myth.
Written by Donald S.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Even Rock Stars get the Blues

BEFORE I GET INTO The BLOG, I WOULD LIKE TO REMIND OUR READERS THAT The RECOVERY BLOG IS MOVING TO A NEW LOCATION: OUR BLOG WILL CONTINUE FROM OUR NEW HOME: This article talks about Bruce Springsteen’s depression. In the article he says: “…his ambitions have been driven by three separate but connected emotions: pure fear and self-loathing and self-hatred.” These are three enemy’s no one should have bothering them. Although Springsteen conquered his demons by them forcing him to go on stage and perform. “Rather than having a polarizing effect on his creativity, Springsteen’s emotional headaches forced him to the stage…” If only for all of us our demons forced us to do some good for everyone. That would be great.
Springsteen goes on to say: “With all artists, because of the undertow of history and self-loathing, there is a tremendous push toward self-obliteration that occurs onstage. It’s both things: There’s a tremendous finding of the self while also an abandonment of the self at the same time. You are free of yourself for those hours; all the voices in your head are gone. Just gone.” You’re free to perform and do it good. That is what Springsteen brings to the table when he performs. It is something I think all would like to enjoy whether or not they have a mental illness to just be free and out of yourself for a few hours.
The article goes on to say: “Things got so bad, says Springsteen’s biographer and friend Dave Marsh, that the artist in 1982 even contemplated suicide. ‘The depression wasn’t shocking, per se. He was on a rocket ride, from nothing to something,’ Marsh said, of the period surrounding Springsteen’s career-defining stark, acoustic effort ‘Nebraska.’” It always surprises me when people turn something wrong into something great. Even in the worst of times to turn it around and make something to be proud of. You have to see the blue skies even when it is gray and cloudy.
The article goes on to say: “The Boss’s emotional turmoil wasn’t a complete surprise, the New Yorker writes. After all, Springsteen openly discussed the inspiration behind the song ‘My Father’s House’ (from ‘Nebraska’) onstage, revealing to his fans that the song developed through conversations with his psychotherapist.” What a way to get inspiration. He goes on to say: “Said Springsteen, ‘If you are extremely pleased with yourself, nobody would be … doing it! Brando would not have acted. Dylan wouldn’t have written ‘Like a Rolling Stone.’ James Brown wouldn’t have gone ‘Unh!’ He wouldn’t have searched that one-beat down that was so hard. That’s motivation, that element of ‘I need to remake myself, my town, my audience—the desire for renewal.” They all went on to greatness. To keep searching in yourself until you find something great that most everyone loves or even that you love.
The article ends with a good comment I believe: “…Illustrate that self-doubt and self-criticism are pervasive among artists, and that each finds his or her own rationale and comfort level in discussing them with the public. The fact that Springsteen has hardly touched on these feelings in public all these years also shows that it’s a sensitive subject, and no one wants their work misinterpreted.” With all the bad news lately, these are stories of inspirations at a time when they are needed. That not all people with mental illness do bad, some do good. JUST A REMINDER THAT THE RECOVERY BLOG IS MOVING TO A NEW ADDRESS: OUR NEW HOME IS:

Monday, August 13, 2012

The New Age of Psychotherapy

The age of integrated care is here, psychotherapy will soon be walking hand in hand with our health care system.  What will this new system be like, how will therapist fit into this new process and what will the values be as both health doctors and psychotherapist begin to work with one another.  The American Medical Association and other companies will begin to identify the patient’s needs and steer them in the right direction for treatment and this is in essence an integration of medical and psychological services.
Most of us today have seen that we take care of our medical needs and that those are different from that of mental health.  Yet soon we will see that behavioral care will be treated as a part of medical patient care as well.  One reason for this change would be because health doctors are being pressured to reduce the cost accrued by the patients who are always seeking medical treatment as well as consultations, yet complaints by the patient may be due to undiagnosed psychological issues, which may go on for years until a diagnosis is found for the patient.  
Information of the patient can be understood by the therapist from records of the medical doctor making diagnosis not only easier, but can also save money because of the therapist, medical doctor relationship.  Another advantage of pairing the medical and psychological fields together is that it is easier to provide care for people with disorders, such as chronic pain or insomnia and people who may suffer from an addiction or alcoholism with physical disorders.  You can be assessed medically, psychologically; your social standing can be reviewed as well as your spiritual beliefs.  You would eventually see a behavioral care specialist and be guided in understanding the psychological problems as well as what causes and physical illnesses you may have.
In short, you would become more aware of both your mental health needs as well as your medical needs, while being involved in integrated care without the exaggerated medical cost or services.  What will be the nature of integrated care in the future of course will be the discipline and the path between therapeutic methods, and what science finds amongst other mental health professions. 
Written by Donald S.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Schizophrenia Relapse?

Researchers say that they may have found a red flag for schizophrenia relapse in this article. “Blood levels of a protein that helps regulate inflammation may also serve as a red flag for relapse in some schizophrenia patients, researchers said.” Inflammation can cause diabetes and other diseases so why not schizophrenia? Also they do not have a good way of determining if someone is going to relapse. “There are no good, objective measures of treatment efficacy or indicators for relapse, said Dr. Brian Miller, a psychiatrist specializing in schizophrenia at the Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Health Sciences University.” That would be good if you can find out before that someone is going to relapse. That would save that person and the psychiatrist some time and probably a lot of headaches.
The article says: “Researchers hope monitoring levels of interleukin-6 can fill that gap for a population in which more than half of patients don’t take their medications as prescribed, often because of side effects. The relapse rate is about 80 percent within two years in patients who don’t take their medication properly and about half that in those who do, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.” That is a lot because of the side effects. I continue to take my medication and do not suffer side effects on this new medication of Geodon. Although when I was taking moban the side effect I had was that I had to give up coffee because it brought on the symptoms. I would rather give something up that I liked rather than to lose control and bring on my mental illness. I do not like being mentally ill.
The article says: “To get a better handle on how IL-6 levels correspond to disease status, they are looking at levels in blood samples taken multiple times over several years in 305 patients enrolled in a study comparing injectable to oral medication. They also are taking one-time measurements in 80 healthy controls and comparing those levels in 240 patients who are acutely ill, stable outpatients or stable outpatients who smoke marijuana, a drug commonly abused by patients. While previous studies have excluded drug abusers, marijuana may increase inflammation, so they want to explore the relationship between IL-6 levels and its use, Miller said.” They are studying all aspects of inflammation. I’ve read before about inflammation and mental illness, although this is the first I’ve heard that they are finally studying it.
The article goes on to say: “Amazingly the contributions of “immune disturbances” to schizophrenia have been debated for about 100 years yet anti-inflammatory drugs aren’t routinely given to patients in addition to their antipsychotic medication, Miller said. Part of the problem is physicians still have no idea what percentage of patients with this very heterogeneous disease have evidence of increased inflammation. In fact, no two patients have the exact constellation of symptoms considered disease hallmarks, such as hallucinations, delusions, disorganized speech and thinking, he said.” So not everybody with schizophrenia will have this inflammation and be able to use the drugs that would help and for how long?
They go on to say: “But mounting evidence suggests inflammation’s impact in schizophrenia. A British study of 50 patients experiencing their first episode of schizophrenia behavior found a handful had indicators of an immune response to their brains, called autoantibodies, and no other conditions, such as brain infection, to explain them. What amounts to a chronic low-grade flu has been found in some patients and a rare immune system disorders such as Sjogrens syndrome, which attacks moisture-producing glands resulting in dry eyes and mouth, also tend to be more common in schizophrenics. Additionally, a handful of clinical trials has shown - not surprisingly - that patients with the highest levels of pro-inflammatory factors had the best response to anti-inflammatory drugs.” It is not everybody that has schizophrenia will have this inflammatory response. What they have to figure is when and how to treat the ones that does. JUST A REMINDER THAT THE RECOVERY BLOG IS MOVING TO A NEW ADDRESS: OUR NEW HOME IS:

Monday, August 6, 2012

Saving Your Life from Nicotine

BEFORE I GET INTO The BLOG, I WOULD LIKE TO REMIND OUR READERS THAT The RECOVERY BLOG IS MOVING TO A NEW LOCATION: OUR BLOG WILL CONTINUE FROM OUR NEW HOME: I have been a tobacco user since I was 10 years old. I have always had nervous tension, and have experienced anxiety from time to time and to this day I still smoke cigarettes, though I have tried to quit a few times in my life. The feelings of tension were a bit too much to go without having to smoke to relieve the tension I was facing and so I have ceased searching for a reason to quit even it becomes a reason of personal health. I have spoken to doctors about quitting, and have purchased patches, and other smoking aids to end my smoking, yet to no avail; I am addicted to tobacco and I am also a mental health consumer.
People with mental illnesses use more tobacco than those who have no mental illness and are less likely to quit smoking. Mental health consumers who are nicotine users have a greater mortality rate than the greater population as a whole. It is believed that because of biological and psychological reasons and because of certain other social reasons that there is a higher use of tobacco products among people with mental illness, including teen-agers and adolescents. Someone once said to me that smoking cigarettes and or other nicotine like products is just a cheap way to run from other problems or even more to find something other to do. For reasons of certain biological reasons which are neurobiological, the use of nicotine makes it harder to quit especially with complicated withdrawals.
Nicotine affects people who may be schizophrenic and these affectations tend to lessen negative symptoms of which they suffer from. It is has been published that nicotine enhances concentration and learning, yet this is said of persons suffering with psychotic disorders or cognitive dysfunctions or suffering from side effects from certain medications. Don’t think that I am pro-tobacco because I am a smoker; I do not like smoking at all and don’t think anyone should take up the habit simply because of the many negative attitudes that go with smoking and using other products. Other factors include nicotine’s effect on moods, feelings of pleasure and individuals seeking self medication.
Nicotine might relieve tension temporarily and anxiety not to mention other negative feelings which I have yet to experience, and I know I use lot throughout the day, yet other reasons are social, being a part of a group or participating in social functions. These are stigmas, such as not being able to quit smoking and stress as well. Try to change your life as a nicotine user; it’s the one experience to keep with self respect without it.
Written by Donald S.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Why Have Hope?

BEFORE I GET INTO The BLOG, I WOULD LIKE TO REMIND OUR READERS THAT The RECOVERY BLOG IS MOVING TO A NEW LOCATION: OUR BLOG WILL CONTINUE FROM OUR NEW HOME: A person should have hope. Why because things usually work out ok. I know there have been many times in the past when all I had was hope. One time I had two six month sentences at the county jail. I was told I would have to finish one at a time. Since I was going to be on probation when I finished the sentences, I was told that I would have to do the whole six months without good time. Well things were looking bad about five months at the county jail. I was working in the kitchen and was getting ready to feed the guys in the hole, when I was told to wrap it up. They told me I did not even have to start feeding just get out of there, my appeal bond had come through. That is one reason to have hope.
I believe without hope I would not be at the place I am at now. I will tell another story of the last time I was in prison and had my breakdown. I was sentenced to nine years in prison. The case if the judge would have allowed me the law the case would have been a misdemeanor. She would not even give me an appeal bond. I might have told this story in an earlier blog. I was angry, I was gambling in prison. They found me guilty of gambling and sent me to the hole for I think three days. I do not remember much of being in the hole. I know I went in angry. I woke on another tier that I had never been to before.
I was mentally ill now although I did not know at the time. They sent me to their hospital and I ended up staying behind the walls. My counselor told me I was a danger. She also told me that she was going to fight my parole. She did not explain that I had a mental illness. I knew I could not do the whole nine years. Just doing these two years so far was killing me because I did not know that I had a mental illness. Something had happened to me and I was different. My only hope was my appeal and when it came through I thought I was going to change my life. I made a deal that if they just let me go without probation or anything I would forget the two years.
I did not know my going to a fast paced computer course would bring on my mental illness and I would end up in the State Hospital. That is one place I hated more than any jail or prison. Although it allowed me the steps I needed to change my life and do it slowly so the changes would stick. I believe hope and never ever forgetting the streets helped me make through the State Hospital. All of these times I kept hope alive even when things would look bad. One friend told me I always came out good. It never seemed like it at the time. Although if you just keep your head high and remember something good will come soon enough. A person can remain optimistic and it works. There have been so many times that all I had was hope and things always would work out.