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Mental Illness

Coping With Your Loved One’s Delusions

Maintaining a relationship with a loved one who may be experiencing delusions is like walking on shaky ground. Every step you take could land you in an argument or adversarial position. Whether you intend to argue your points or attempt to bring reality to the attention of your loved one, you will always be on the opposing side. Delusions are strong beliefs held to be true despite evidence to the contrary. 


Family

Taking Psychiatric Medication: How To Help Your Loved One

The introduction of Thorazine, an antipsychotic medication, in the mid 1950s led to multiple changes in mental health including positive (increased levels of independence, reduced psychiatric stay, and control of symptoms) and negative (terrible side effects, over-medicating, prescription drug abuse, and de-institutionalization) outcomes. Leeriness of psychotropic drugs has continued into 2013 and many supporters of medication usage are being met with resistance.    


General

Avoiding An Emotional Hangover: Picking Yourself Back Up

Have you ever noticed your emotions the day after a very stressful day running errands, meeting people, supporting family or friends, working, and meeting deadlines? Have you awakened wondering if you could have done something better the day before? Perhaps you could have spoken more friendly to someone or have greater patience with someone.


Advocacy

Balancing The Argument Against Civil Commitment Laws

While surfing the web I read an article about the “uncivil” nature of civil commitment laws.  Civil commitment is the legal process by which an individual with a severe mental illness can be involuntarily committed to a hospital for treatment. It gives families hope if their loved one doesn't think they need help. Arguments against this action dates back to the mid-1950s when civil rights attorneys fought to reduce inpatient care. The detrimental consequences of this argument is noticeable in the increase in homelessness, victimization, crime, incarceration, and suicide.


Adult Mental Health

Facts On ECT: Concerns With Shock Treatment

Electro-convulsive Therapy (ECT), termed shock therapy in the 1940s and 1950s, is a type of treatment used in cases of resistant or severe depression. It is often the last resort following a line of treatments (medication, talk therapy, etc.). ECT is the induction (or encouragement) of a seizure using an electrical stimulus (or electrode) applied to the scalp to create shock-like waves to the brain. Anesthesia or a muscle relaxant is used and a device is placed between the teeth to prevent loss of teeth. 


Adult Mental Health

Assisted Suicide and Mental Illness: Broaching The Topic

How would you feel if an individual stated the following to you? I want to commit suicide using assisted suicide when I turn 56 because I have severe Multiple Sclerosis and major depression, my life is over. Being the recipient of such a statement changed my perspective of older individuals with severe or untreated mental and medical diagnoses. What is a therapist to do? Even more, how is another human being who understands just how unbearable life can become to respond? I still don't know. Severe or untreated illness can push individuals into the most unlikely areas of life. Many end up homeless, incarcerated, dead, or hanging on by a thread often hoping for a way out. For families or caregivers of a loved one with severe illness, it can be difficult to change the mind of one so confident in suicide as a remedy. Due to social and moral constraints on suicide, many incorrectly believe that physician assisted suicide is a better way to accomplish their goal.


Caregivers

When Your Loved One Needs Care: Patient Rights

It's always important to have a thorough discussion with your healthcare provider prior to receiving treatment. This gives you the opportunity to ask questions about treatment, length of treatment, and most importantly, what your rights are. Many healthcare providers will review your rights with you, your loved one, or friend prior to treatment. In some cases, you may need to ask the person discussing your rights to detail everything. Of course, you don't want to make anyone's job more difficult, but you do what to safeguard yourself or loved one.