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The Mentally Ill As Advocates For Each Other

I once spent two days and a night wandering the streets of Los Angeles in a state of psychosis. I was extremely vulnerable as I walked through some gang-controlled neighborhoods. I was also vulnerable because voices were hounding me. I had delusions and hallucinations. I wasn’t thinking rationally, so I had no way of making decisions about keeping myself safe.

I was reminded of my experience when I read an article today. In the article, Sick...
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Treatment Can Be Harder Than You Think

It may be easy to look from the outside at people who don’t receive treatment for schizophrenia, bipolar, or any other mental illness, and criticize those people, but the realities of getting and maintaining treatment are much harder than most people realize.

Last week I went to a pharmacy to pick up my medications. I have been going to the same pharmacy for almost ten years. I have been on the same medication for approximately five years....
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Mental Illness Equals Creativity? Not So Fast.

One of the issues/topics I have frequently written against is the romanticizing of mental illness. One of the ways of romanticizing mental illness is to believe that people who are mentally ill are creative geniuses (or superior in creativity to others).

I understand that knowing the names and stories of famous people that were geniuses can help build up the self-esteem of someone who receives an initial psychiatric diagnosis. When I received my first diagnosis, I held...
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Inspirational Porn About People With Schizophrenia? Bring It On!

I had never heard the term inspirational porn until there was a controversy about the type of stories a major website was and is publishing. Many disability advocates wrote articles about the website and tried to engage the editors and other members of the community. They wanted others to hear their side of the story and change the direction of the content published.

Basically, inspirational porn is the objectification of a person with a disability (using them...
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5 Links To Help People Talk About Disability (Specifically Mental Health)

Those of us who have a psychiatric diagnosis are a part of the disability community as a whole. Recently there was a controversy in that community involving writing for a major website. The debate centered on the issue of who should be able to represent, or be the voice of, people with disabilities. I learned a lot from reading the blogs, Tweets, and Facebook messages that followed from both sides: People with a disability, and caregivers...
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5 Tips To A Better Relationship When Dealing With A Mental Illness

I’m not a therapist, but I have been in a happy marriage for nearly two decades and these are tips based on my personal experience (these tips are not intended to take the place of professional counseling or help).

Growing and maintaining a long term relationship when one of the parties has a mental illness can present unique challenges. With some time, attention, understanding, and empathy those challenges can be overcome. These five tips can help build...
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Marrying Someone With A Mental Illness Is Not An Act Of Charity

I came out publicly revealing my diagnosis in 2015 after more than twenty years of silence and secrecy. Over the holidays, People Magazine published an article about two men who saved my life. My husband posted the article on Facebook, so many people who didn’t previously know that I have schizophrenia found out.

Since I have come, out one of the most common things for people to say to my husband is something along the lines...
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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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