Tag: mental health

Mental Illness is a Myth

My aim in this essay is to raise the question ‘Is there such a thing as mental illness?’ and to argue that there is not. The quote above are the first words in a thesis by Dr. Thomas Szasz titled, “The Myth of Mental Illness.” You may be surprised when I tell you that Szasz was a psychiatrist. Yes, oddly…

When a Loved One Doesn’t Understand Mental Illness

When a Loved One Doesn’t Understand Mental Illness The other day I posted an article suggesting ways you can tell your family and friends that you have a mental illness. What do you do, however, if they don’t understand? I’ve been in enough support groups to learn that many people, unfortunately, have loved ones who don’t get it. Some may…

Stigma Prevents Many From Seeking Mental Health Assistance

The Problem I frequently joke that in Los Angeles people think you have a problem if you don’t see a therapist. Joking aside, the stigma of having mental illness here is alive and thriving just like the rest of the world. Sadly, the stigma keeps many from letting their friends and family know they have some form of mental illness…

Treatment of Mentally Ill in the U.S. And How We Got Here

How It Began Our country does not have a good track record for treating the mentally ill. North America’s first public mental health hospital opened in 1773 in Williamsburg, VA. Named the Public Hospital for Persons of Insane and Disordered Minds. The treatments given were nothing short of torture. One procedure involved submerging patients in ice baths until they lost…

Alcoholism and Mental Illness

Restless, irritable and discontent. Sound familiar? Do you have bipolar disorder and have those feelings on a regular basis? These feelings are common among those diagnosed with bipolar, however, they are common among alcoholics, as well. In fact, “restless, irritable and discontent” are specifically expressed in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous. It is in the chapter “The Doctor’s Opinion.”…

Bring Change 2 Mind: End the Stigma

I’ve written before about Bring Change 2 Mind, but recently I’ve been writing each week about organizations which are mental health allies and decided it’s time to revisit them. Bring Change to Mind is an anti-stigma organization that was co-founded by Glenn Close in 2009. Her inspiration was her sister, Jessie, who has bipolar disorder and her nephew, Calen, who…

Living in Acceptance: Seek Balance

The Problem Having bipolar disorder means life is a balancing act. Trying not to go too far on the manic side and not fall too far on the depressive side. It’s fitting that I’m a Libra. The symbol for Libras is balance. The scales. Life, for me, is constant turmoil trying to stay in that balance, and this monkey brain…

Mentally ill in Jails Rather Than Institutions

Early Prison Reform for Mentally Ill in Jails Dorothea Dix was the first child of an impoverished family. Her father was a Methodist preacher who was an abusive alcoholic. Her mother struggled with depression. In 1841, when she was 38 years old, Dorothea was asked to lead a Bible Study class for women at the Cambridge House of Corrections. It…

Am I Crazy?

Am I crazy? How about loony? Demented? Deranged? Loopy? Mad? Psycho? Whacko? Cuckoo? Nutjob? Are all of these okay? Are any of them okay? What about calling me mentally ill? Is that okay? It is with me. Unlike many diagnosed with a mental illness I don’t mind being called mentally ill. Granted, many of the names used above have been…

Increase Life Expectancy – It’s Up To You

This week I’ve written about how to increase life expectancy of those with bipolar disorder being 9.2 years less than the U.S. national average. I touched on what you can do to close that gap. Having BP can be a daily struggle just to perform “normal” activities. The last thing I want to hear is despite overcoming obstacles my entire…