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Archives for December, 2015

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Internalized Stigma Makes It Hard to Be An Advocate For The Mentally Ill

One part of me thinks this article is great. I am glad to see the trend toward including people with schizophrenia in their own treatment. Like every other patient of every other disease we should be consulted and included in our own care. Is it so surprising that including someone in their care leads to better outcomes? I don’t find that study too surprising, it seems obvious.

There are other parts of this article that make...
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5 Artists/Bands That Stigmatize Mental Illness

There is no doubt that artists help to create and shape our world.

Think of the protest songs of the 1960’s, such as Bob Dylan’s song “Blowin in the Wind” or Phil Och’s “What Are We Fighting For?” These are just two of dozens of examples (think John Lennon’s “Give Peace a Chance” and “Imagine”). These artists created music that defined a generation’s opposition to the war in Vietnam.

In recent generations we haven’t...
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5 Free Gifts For Mentally Ill Family Members Or Friends

Giving gifts is fun, but many people don't have the money to buy everyone close to them a gift this time of year. Here is a list of some free things that would make excellent presents for someone who struggles with symptoms of mental illness.

A homemade meal. A pan of lasagna, a pot of soup, or a batch of chili (or one of their favorite dishes) is a perfect gift for someone with a mental illness....
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It Is Time To Change The Word Depression

I have only once heard someone without a mental illness use the word schizophrenic to describe their actions. A man once said to me, “I’m going this way and that way. I’m so schizophrenic.” But on countless occasions I have heard someone without a mental illness use the word depression to describe a myriad of feelings or emotions. For example, “I am so depressed that Starbucks only serves the pumpkin latte for a short time every...
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5 Things To Consider Before Getting A Companion Dog

Getting a companion dog can help reduce anxiety, ease loneliness, bring comfort, and many other positive outcomes, but a companion dog isn’t for everyone. Even with all the benefits, there are many reasons not to rush to the shelter, or pet store.

Here are 5 things to consider before you arrange to make Fido a part of your life.

Are you stable on your medications? This may seem like a strange question to consider when you want to...
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5 Ways To Recover Self-Esteem After A Mental Health Crisis

Experiencing a mental health episode like mania, psychosis, a suicide attempt, or any other crisis that causes you to act in ways you wouldn’t normally act, or say things you wouldn’t normally say, can be embarrassing and shame inducing once the episode or crisis is over.

I know it is easy for people to say not to feel shame because 1 in 4 Americans will be diagnosed with a mental illness in their lifetime, but just because...
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They Got It Right, But Deny The Diagnosis

I have to admit that I have only watched two episodes of the show River (released in November on Netflix), but I am stunned by the portrayal of the main character. River is a cop, a good cop, whose partner dies, and he sees her (and others) and hears their voices. (He suffers from both visual and auditory hallucinations).

Although normally I am disappointed at best and frustrated and hurt at worst with the portrayal...
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Six Ways To Become An Ally To A Person With A Mental Illness

With the amount of misunderstanding, stigma, and stereotyping that surrounds mental illnesses, those of us who have one, can use allies. Here are six ways you can fill that role.

One of the easiest ways to be an ally is to speak about mental illness as an illness and not as a way to define a person. Examples of this are: I have schizophrenia. I am not a schizophrenic. Individuals have bipolar disorder, they are not, bipolar....
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5 Things To Avoid Asking Someone With Schizophrenia

I often want to talk to people of color about racism, and to talk to disabled people about accessibility issues and discrimination. I also find that I have questions for those people who identify as LGBT.  I frequently don’t know how to start these conversations though, and I am afraid that I will say the wrong thing.  I assume that there are people who would like to ask questions of those of us with schizophrenia too,...
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