Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Many mental illnesses reduce life expectancy more than heavy smoking

That is the title of this article I am writing about today.  “Serious mental illnesses reduce life expectancy by 10-20 years, an analysis by psychiatrist has shown—a loss that’s equivalent to or worse than that for heavy smoking.  Yet mental health has not seen the same public health priority, say the scientist, despite these stark figures and the similar prevalence of mental health problems.”  If you smoke and you have mental health problems I guess you are in worse shape.  Although they compared the results for smoking and mental illness and they saw that mental illness was worse.
What are the actual years? “The average reduction in life expectancy in people with bipolar disorder is between nine and 20 years, while it is 10 to 20 years for schizophrenia, between nine and 24 years for drug and alcohol abuse, and around seven to 11 years for recurrent depression. The loss of years among heavy smokers is eight to 10 years. Dr Seena Fazel of the Department of Psychiatry at Oxford University said: ‘We found that many mental health diagnosis are associated with a drop in life expectancy as great as that associated with smoking 20 or more cigarettes a day.” When they put it in those terms and associations it looks bad for people with a mental illness including me.
They must have reasons for stating this: “One problem is the tendency to separate mental and physical illness, explains Dr Fazel.  ‘Many causes of mental health problems also have physical consequences, and mental illness worsens the prognosis of a range of physical illnesses, especially heart disease, diabetes and cancer.  Unfortunately, people with serious mental illness may not access healthcare effectively,’ says Dr Fazel.”  That is one good reason to at least exercise.  I want to live longer but not sicker I want to have a good quality of life in my old years.  Mostly everybody I feel wants that too.  All three are bad to have diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
What can be done to help so this does not all come true? “Dr Fazel is certain: ‘All this can be changed.  There are effective drug and psychological treatments for mental health problems.  We can improve mental health and social care provision.  That means making sure people have straightforward access to health care and appropriate jobs and meaningful daytime activities. It’ll be challenging, but it can be done.’”  Maybe with the new health care law and more people getting insurance they can get the healthcare they need.  Hopefully the will do what the doctors say.
People with mental illnesses need to get in and see doctors so they can work on their health. I know that goes for me even though I lost some weight I have to get serious again to lose more. I have not been doing as much walking as I used to.  Back to the treadmill I king of lapsed working at that.  I always go to the doctor and as for my working out I am in good shape.  With more people getting Medicaid and other insurance and hopefully both their psyche doctors and their primary doctors they can get the help they need to make sure they live long and satisfying lives.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

How does a Mental Illness Start part 2?

This is the last part to last week’s blog. I was released from the county jail and I was finally free.  I decided not to drink since that is what caused all my arrests.   That only lasted a month since I did it without A.A. or any type of program.  I went to court and told them I would plead guilty if they let me go without parole or probation and they agreed and I was free.  I was going to leave town although an opportunity came along where I could learn computers in an accelerated class. I thought I could do this and things would look up.
I was going to all my classes and trying to learn although when I look back at it.  The classes were going too fast and I was not really at the typing speed I wanted to be at.  We were going to have a party at school to celebrate we were done.  I never made it I tried but the beginnings of my mental illness were starting to show I was supposed to take the drinks for our party.  I went on the bus but never made it there.  I started laying around the house and doing nothing just trying to figure what was going wrong with me.  Finally one night I went and bought alcohol and was drunk and committed a crime they arrested me.  I was back at the county jail although I was a shell of who I was before.
I was in a fight at the county jail I had never been in one all the times I had been locked up until now.  Instead of the hole they sent me to the infirmary and I stayed there quite a long time even spent my birthday in the infirmary. I finally was released from the infirmary and was put on the PC tier of the jail.  I was too insane to complain. Finally I was sentenced and they gave me one day to life in the State hospital.  I went there and really did not know where I was at.  I was given Haldol although it made my face cramp and they took me off it.  They did not put me on any medication until I went across the street to another ward.  Then they put me on stelazine.  I started to come out of it and start to realize where I was and what at that time it meant to me.
I did not understand the one day to life I finally talked to some of the guys and found I would not be there one day to life if I followed the rules. I finally was moved to another ward and then I asked to be taken off the medication I did not understand it was helping me.  They thought at the time my mental illness was drug induced.  A month later I was mentally ill again and they saw it was for real.  That is when I fought for a medication that would not make my arms and hands shake.  That is why I had wanted off of the medication in the first place.  The doctor finally found a medication formula for me.  It was moban and old drug and kemidrin to counter the side effects.  When I was lucid this time it is when I started looking at my life and knew I was now given a chance to change my life.
A worker asked me what I wanted to do with my life now.  I said I wanted to work in computers so she said she could help and introduced me to Tony that worked for Vocational Rehabilitation and he let me work and learn on his computer.  I was also going to school and getting things together for my release so I could go to college.  That meant getting my GED transcripts learning typing from scratch since I did not do so well in the school on the streets. I went to the circle program to stay away from drugs and alcohol. I did all the things necessary for me to be released and I was on a five year conditional release.  That meant I had UAs and A.A and then I started college.  I had one relapse when they lowered my medication so I went to school half time that is what took me so long to graduate.  I did not like the state hospital although if I would not have gone there was no way for me to stop drugging and drinking.  I would be in prison because they do not have programs there at the time that would have helped as much as the state hospital did.  There are ups and down in life although for the most part I am happy.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

How does a Mental illness start?

Some of you’s probably heard my story here it is for those that have not.  It was nineteen eighty seven and I was in prison waiting for my appeal to happen.  I knew I would get out once my appeal was finished.  The reason was the Judge did not give me the law and everyone has a right to the law.  She wanted me to do time that is why she did not give me an appeal bond.  The appeal lasted two years.  That was on my mind also so was they had just moved be to east wing in the prison I did not want to go.  I know they had more freedom and wore street clothes but all that did not matter to me.  I had my friends in south wing and I was happy as far as being in prison goes.  I and a friend ran a gambling house it was just for fun for me.  It passed time and I did not lose any money.
I took the gambling house to east wing with me.  I had other problems going on at the same time a guy that I later found out I had just met a couple of times was going on the outside saying I was a snitch and that is something a person did not want going on. I had finished an accounting course and was now taking computer programing there.  I raised the limit on my gambling house and a guard I knew wrote me up.  I later found out he did it to save me he thought so I did not get hurt although at the time I was angry that he wrote me up. In computer class I had just been made a teacher assistant because I had finished my work early.
All this was going on and I went to the hearing for gambling and lost of course. They gave me three days in solitary and start all over from the lowest wing.  Well I went to the hole very angry and that is the last thing I remember because next thing I was on another wing and was mentally ill.  Although I did not know it at the time that I was mentally ill. Also did not know where I was at first or anything.  The next thing I knew I was cutting myself with a razor. I told the guard on duty what I had done cutting myself.  He next put me in a cell where they watch you and the next morning I was taken to the infirmary at Canon city.
A psychiatrist talked to me and at first thought I was mentally ill although he later changed his mind and just thought I was sleep deprived. He put me on Halcion sleeping medication although I did not start this medication until one night before Christmas. The psychiatrist came on seen me when I was better and asked where I would like to go for the rest of my time. I had been watching the inmates there and said right there behind the walls even though I could have gone back my friends all stuck by me there.  Although I had changed I was not the same person and will never be.  I changed with the mental illness.  I went back to the infirmary once more and that is when they started watching that I took my sleeping medicine.
My counselor at the time told me she was not going to recommend parole when I came up for it because she said I was a danger to myself and others.  I did not know what she meant at the time.  I knew they could not hold me once my appeal came through so I was not worried.  I wish now that at the time she would have explained it to me.  She was from Pueblo so she knew about mental illness.  I finally received a job there in the library and won my appeal six months later.  I did not know that I had a mental illness.  I will talk about the streets and how I became mentally ill the second time next week.  I sort of had a mental illness in the county waiting for my appeal bond although I had friends that took care of me there.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

7 Types Of Experience Your Brain Needs To Function At Its Best

That is the title of this article I am going to let you read as we all need help in making our brain work better.  Why this article?  I know I lost a lot of my brain with this mental illness.  I used to be better at math than I am today.  I am glad that I did not lose my memory of numbers.  As far as English all I remember is the speed reading classes and I thought I was doing well at that subject.  Although when I took English in college the professor said that the only reason I passed was I was always in class and did the work not because I have a grasp on English.
With all that I lost would I return to those days the answer is no.  My life was miserable all I wanted to do was drink.  I could not hold down a job because when payday came around that money was spent drinking in a day.  Then I was borrowing for the lunch and everything for the following week.  I had tried college although when my friend came to pick me up after class I was drinking and forgot about college.  All I ever thought about was why things did not work out and my dreams did not work out.  Do I miss my friends from those days who are still in the same rut?  Hearing about them dying.  The getting high for them has not changed.  I had to and I am glad I have my dreams I have my daughter and grandkids that I hope and pray they do not have to go through what I have been through.
Last week I wrote about aging in blog a did you know that was the way I thought when I was younger it was a song by Blondie live fast die young.  I did a lot of crazy stuff that is lucky that I am still alive. You know that is something I never was able to make my old friends understand is that I had to change for me.  I was the one in trouble I was the one that was going to die young or be in prison for life.  When I was at the state hospital I seen a way to have a better life and I took that road instead of the one I was on.  If I did not change would my friends have accepted me with a mental illness? Yes and I would still be destroying my life that is why I had to change because it was destroying me who I am.
Is life a bed of roses?   No but when I see my grandkids watching their show and on the computer at my house I am glad.  If it was the old me I would not have fifty cents to my name because I would get it and it would go to getting high.  I never thought that I would out live some of my friends that were younger than me. To see the youngest die from a heroin overdose that is bad those powders are the worse drugs ever made.  When you hear about those kinds of deaths it does make you stop and think.  Now I look forward to a good life it only gets better for me. You just have to think positive in a world that can be kind to you.