Working Together to Improve Mental Health Help

5238008583_60e40dfbf7_bWhen one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one that has opened for us. -Alexander Graham Bell

1. From Anna North: “Better Mental Health Care Won’t End Murder, But It Will Save Lives”:

“It’s hard to say what, if anything, would have helped Loughner, and Marcotte doesn’t pretend to have all the answers. But she does point out that although his school demanded he seek therapy, he didn’t do so — possibly because finding and paying for therapy in America is still extremely hard. Writes Marcotte, “If a community college student with poor access to health care needs contraception, she knows who to call: Planned Parenthood. We need something like that for people who find themselves in need of mental health services.” A Planned Parenthood of mental health care would help the many, many people in this country who are suffering from mental illness and don’t know where to turn. Most of these people are not and will never become violent, and getting them the therapy they need wouldn’t reduce the national murder rate very much. But it would reduce the number of sick people who can’t find help — and that, in itself, is a worthy goal.”

2.  From Dr. Charles Ralson” Do I have major depression?:

Question asked by Belle of Dallas, Texas:

“Hi, I am a teen in high school and I was wondering whether or not I should talk to my doctor, again, about taking medicine for depression. I have been so depressed for roughly two years, however it has progressively gotten worse. I have done some research and I have almost all the symptoms of depression.”

“I have told many trusted adults including my own parents, my doctor, and my siblings, however all of them just say it’s just a phase I’m passing through. Truly though, I know what I’m feeling and doing is not normal; my grades are dropping, I have gained weight, I have withdrawn from society, I am always tired, my period is late, I never feel happy, some days, I sleep way too much, and I wake up angry, sad, or crying.”

Expert answer:

“I am sorry to hear of your difficulties. You are having a “textbook” major depression, with all the symptoms that are especially common when teenagers get depressed. Eating too much, sleeping too much – these are classic markers for serious depression in young people. It’s paradoxical, but when it comes to depression, the more a person sleeps the more tired she feels. Sleeping too much almost always goes with feeling exhausted. You don’t mention it, but it’s common for depressed people who eat and sleep too much to also have feelings of extreme heaviness in their arms and legs.”

“Based on what you describe, I strongly disagree with anyone who tells you this is just a phase, which usually is code talk for “just ignore it.” The scientific data are very clear that when someone has the symptoms you do, it is imperative she gets treatment, and the sooner the better.”

“For example, a recent study showed that teenagers who develop depression and are treated with an antidepressant do much better for a number of years afterward than kids who get depressed and don’t get treatment. Psychotherapy is also very effective and would be another very good option for you, depending on what your circumstances allow.”

3. From  John Grohol: “Patrick Kennedy on Mental Illness and Treatment”:

“The speech Patrick Kennedy gave was forceful, thoughtful and rousing, and regularly invoked war imagery to spark our imagination in the “fight” against mental illness. I’m not much into political dynasties, but after hearing him speak, I can understand why the Kennedy’s have had such a long and successful run in politics.”

“When we say combat operations are over, we mislead our citizens to say the fight for our soldiers is over,” Rep. Ted Kennedy said. “Why are we leaving our solders prisoners of war? Prisoners of their war injuries like TBI (traumatic brain injury) and PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).”

“[Our veterans are] held hostage by depression, addiction. They’re held behind enemy lines by stigma. To them, it’s a moral failure,” Kennedy said. “Alcoholism, lashing out at their spouse… These are just the symptoms.”

“When we talk about ‘mental health,’ we re-stigmatize these disorders. Separate but equal. You have this [mental health] issue, you go over there to this other system. [It’s like] Plessy versus Ferguson — separate but equal.”

“Patrick Kennedy has a point. We have two separate systems in the U.S. — one that deals with the physical health problems, and one that deals with the mental health problems. These two systems are so separate, many physicians aren’t even aware of how the mental health system works. There is very little coordination of care unless a specific professional or patient works hard for it.”

Photo Credit.

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10 thoughts on “Working Together to Improve Mental Health Help

  1. A beautiful post — and a wonderful idea for a post, Kathy.

    Thanks for following me so that I could find out about YOU (and follow back). Reading down your sidebar, you are one busy lady! I stand in your shadow. Knowing how much time I spend keeping ONE blog going, I wonder if you sleep at all?

    I am humbled that you took the time to check out ADDandSoMuchMore – and plan to do so again.

    Feel free to use the comments section on my blog to leave a us all a “live” link to anything you have written related to any post on you read. (one “live link” per comment or you’ll be auto-spammed, btw)

    xx,
    mgh
    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMore dot com)
    – ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder –
    “It takes a village to transform a world!”

    1. Thank you, Madelyn. I started this blog–Emotional Sobriety–in 2004. Over the years, I took topics from this and started new blogs arranged around a main topic. Most of them are places where I “park” my content. I shut down comments for years so never really grew much. My readers are at one of my FB pages, also named Emotional Sobriety.

      1. I’ve clicked around to read more about you – left a few likes, a comment or two and pinned “I blog therefor I am” on my ADD-LOL board.

        Following up with followers adds a lot of additional time to my blogging efforts, but it is so broadening (and, for the most part, uplifting) it is worth it to me to at least attempt to squeeze it into the days where I can.

        I have been awed by the breadth of what the people who follow ADDandSoMuchMore are up to (yourself included).

        Surely, together, we can pull this dysfunctional world of ours out of its slump!
        xx, mgh

      2. Good Lord Girl! You are so far ahead of me technically my head spins.

        The only “reader” I’m familiar with is the one on WP.com – which slows my computer to a CRAWL (when it doesn’t lock it up totally). I never thought it would be worth the time to investigate another – there are FIVE others?

        Assuming they aren’t as worthless as Wprs’s, where do you get other readers?

      3. I do Emot Sob as my 12th step work and add 5-7 pieces a day. I also add to Group Beyond Blue. On FB in the morning 1/2 hour and evening 1/2 hour I am able to keep up with all.

      4. FB tractor-beams me (hyperfocused hyperfocus) – I do go on once in a while, but it’s never my first choice of ways to connect because I lose control of my time. (when I see how much – and how often – many people post updates, I wonder if the world could use a FB 12-step!)
        xx, mgh

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