JRA – The myth of Biological Mental Illness

One of my bicycle mechanic friends told me that every single person who brings their bicycle into the bike shop talks about JRA. I was “Just Ridin’ Along…. and my brakes suddenly stopped working.” OR I was “Just Ridin’ Along, and my tire just went flat….” Out of the blue. The mechanics hear it so often that they just use the acronym JRA. Never mind, for instance, the brakes needed maintenance, or the tire had 1500 miles on it and was so thin that flats started being very predictable.

So the disease model, or biological mental illness, says the illness

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11 Mental Health Research Ideas

Recently, my favorite blogger, 1boringoldman.com did a post about four of NIMH”s mental health research grants that add up to $10 million. $250,000 each…. for what? It turns out they are basically me too studies or finding out answers that are irrelevant or already solved, or solutions harmful to us.

So here are some free mental health research ideas for these people to see whether or not they actually want to help us. These are ideas of programs that could help folks with mental health labels to move towards control of their own lives. All of these programs could generate

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People With No Alternatives to the Disease Model Are Satisfied With It

This post was originally published on MadInAmerica.com, Robert Whitaker’s website about creating alternative approaches to mental health care.

Peer support is an alternative to the disease model

Four out of five adults, youth, and family members of community mental health centers (CMHCs) in New Hampshire told researchers they are satisfied. Three out of four said their quality of service is good, despite repeated budget cuts.

How do people who have never seen alternatives to the disease model know if they are satisfied with what they have?

Would fewer clients and families be satisfied if they were told about alternatives

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Emotional Distress is Temporary

Recently I got an email from Jennifer Maurer from the Mother Bear Community Action Network. I met her at the Foundation for Excellence in Mental Health Care Conference in North Carolina last September. She says, “I would love for you to write a page on ‘How Emotional Distress is Temporary.’ ”

Emotional distress is temporary and it comes when our personal resources are overwhelmed. We begin to get a bit separated from reality. Here is the biochemical mechanism for how this emotional distress is temporary and reversible. It may be super happy or super sad moods, it may be seeing

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My Alternative to the Disease Model, Part 1 of 2

 

Label and Medicate: The Disease Model of Emotional Distress

The Disease Model of emotional distress victimized and traumatized me inexcusably several times in the past. Eighteen months ago, in the hospital, my clearly situational, trauma-based depression was inappropriately framed as a disease.

I’d previously been carelessly and crassly misdiagnosed — then, mistreated — twice. Part of my real problem was my dysfunctional family: my parents “bullied” me, choosing a lackluster counselor, unhealed from her own family problems. I was especially angry at a seemingly negative system by the time I was labeled unfairly in the hospital.

Was I

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Increasing Peer Support: A Radical Proposal for a Governor

New Hampshire Governor John Lynch could save a ton of money by increasing peer support.

Damien Licata, chair of the NH Mental Health Consumer Advocacy Council (my old job) asked me for some thoughts prior to his meeting with NH Gov. John Lynch, whose “broken” mental health system is being sued for civil rights violations by the U.S. Justice Department and others.

Here is what I told a friend to tell the governor about increasing peer support:

Public mental health systems all over the country are becoming economically unsustainable. State governments can’t afford to give everyone with a problem

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Anonymous – My epiphany on DBT, Trauma, and Undiagnosing Emotional Distress

Undiagnosing Emotional Distress as an alternative approach for mental illness seems to be the issue.

I attended a presention by the DBT guru at my local community mental health center. DBT stands for Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, a type of mental health talk therapy treatment that focuses on mindfulness or being in the moment, tolerating distress, and developing people skills. The founder of DBT, Marsha Linehan, is a person who is herself in recovery from mental health diagnoses. She recently shared her story for the first time in the New York Times.

The pillowcase project from Fulton State Hospital in

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How I Overcame Emotional Distress vs. Disease

Ken Braiterman, Board Chair of Wellness Wordworks, a proponent of emotional distress vs. disease

My experience of learning how to handle emotional distress vs. disease

Welcome to Wellness Wordworks’ site. My name is Ken Braiterman, Wellness Wordworks board chair. I’ll be blogging at this site about overcoming emotional distress vs. disease. Our business is changing the mental health system from a “disease model” to a “distress model.”

I will also write about my personal recovery from being a homeless, psychotic, traumatized cab driver in New York City. I journey through being a mental patient, to a recovery advocate, and

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