Maria Mangicaro – Can Mental Health Advocates Advocates Agree on a Message?

This is a comment originally posted on http://MadinAmerica.com that deserved some further attention.

If we consider the broad spectrum of issues regarding mental/behavioral/emotional health care, we start to realize there are many shades of grey in the “mental illness” epidemic and debate.  But what if mental health advocates could identify certain issues that are  purely black and white, right or wrong, and focus on just a few we agree on?

Mental health advocates should unite around a few issues they agree on.

We could start to create transparency among advocates.  For example, I am sure you are familiar with the war of

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Where is our honest discussion of psychiatric medications?

We did a post earlier asking for an honest discussion of psychiatric medication effectiveness, and now that mental health is back on the public forum due to yet another school shooting, it’s time to ask again. How about asking how many medications cause violence instead of reducing it?

Many medication users talk about psychiatric medication effectiveness they see. We don’t say their experience isn’t valid. It often comes back to the question, “How you would explain the root cause of your experiences? Some kind of physical deficit?” These theories about what the “root causes”  are tend to lead people into

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Maria Mangicaro – Check for Physical Causes of Psychiatric Symptoms First

Editors note: Much of this post came from a comment previously published on MadInAmerica.com.  The comment was by Maria Mangicaro. Because comment copyright ownership is still a matter of debate in the internet era, we’ll be glad to pull this if anyone objects.

Sticker found in Kansas City. What really defines psychiatric symptoms?

I am concerned with the “Chinese menu” approach, or using the DSM just to match people up with psychiatric symptoms:

1. Are certain individuals in our mental health care system. suffering from underlying medical conditions misdiagnosed as schizophrenia or bipolar?  Are they being forced to accept ineffective and potentially lethal

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Are Bipolar and Creativity Caused or Linked by Our Genes? Part 2 of 2

Is a gnetic cause of bipolar and creativity hidden along these chromosomes somewhere

Is a gnetic cause of bipolar and creativityin these chromosomes?

I used to think – only half seriously — that there was a genetic link between bipolar and creativity.  One element of the theory made my friends with biology training laugh out loud.

My idea was that so many people with bipolar are also very creative, and bipolar is a genetic disease.  So creativity must be nature’s way of helping some people with the bipolar gene live long enough to reproduce.  “Live long enough to reproduce” is what made biologists laugh, an essential principle in biology absurdly applied.

I

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UPDATE: Why So Many People Are Ignorant About Psych Meds They Take

Editor’s note  This blog ,by Diane Engster, was first posted August 18, 2012, without documentation.  As editor, I take full responsibility for the oversight, which several readers called to our attention.  We are updating the blog now, with documentation.

Whenever possible, WellnessWordworks.com embeds our documentation as links in the in the text, not a list of references at the end.  This enables the reader to click on the link, and look at the reference, without leaving the original page of the blog entry.  In this video, Wellness Wordworks founder and creative director Corinna West discusses the importance of documenting all claims

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Learning the Difference Between Happiness and Mania Was Hard But Essential

Happiness and Mania

The day I was invited to write regularly for  Robert Whitaker’s website, Madinamerica.com, alongside the best mental health writers in the country, I felt like I’d been called up to the Major Leagues.

But my first thought was to make sure I did not confuse happiness and mania.

I felt honored, recognized, and very proud.  But 30 years after my last manic attack, I still worry that sudden flattering happiness might lead to exhilaration, then mania.

So before I raced to the laptop to start my first blog for him, or tell my friends the wonderful

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David Hilton, Part 2: Good Anger, Bad Rage

David Hilton Would Not Take Care of Himself

My Mentor Was A Giant in the Mental Health Empowerment Movement

Note: David Hilton, Part 1 looks at David Hilton’s contributions to the mental health empowerment movement, and being my mentor and partner in New Hampshire.

http://wellnesswordworks.com/david-hilton-part-1-activism-friendship-anger/

David Hilton

When facts and experience contradict an ideology, rational people question their ideology.  Ideologues deny the facts and cling to their ideology.

My best friend, colleague, and mentor in the mental health recovery and empowerment movement, David Hilton (1953-2003), repeatedly ignored his own experience, and followed his anti-medication ideology  to repeated episodes of

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Solving emotional distress in children and teens

My daughter is really struggling, how can I help her?

Many, many parents find their children having emotional stuggles. They might have a story like CeeJai on the SAMHSA Stakeholder input forum:

I have a daughter [labeled with] paranoid schizophrenia who refuses to go to a hospital or take medication, because according to her— there is nothing wrong with her. My daughter has been homeless, without food and too afraid to let anyone know where she was located. She walked out of her apartment in the middle of December —-because she believed the people who were living in the apartment above

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Medicating troubled teens and younger children

by Ken Braiterman

Medicating troubled teens did not exist when I was one.

Far too often, doctors and school officials present medicating troubled teens and younger children to parents as relatively risk free, the only option, not one of many.  Both those statements are demonstrably false, though many children are helped by medicine in the short term.

Medicating troubled teens and younger children has gone on long enough to study long-term outcomes, which look increasingly disturbing.

Outcomes of Medicating Troubled Teens

In the award-winning  Anatomy of An Epidemic (2010), Robert Whitaker says, “Twelve of 15 studies of SSRI’s, a

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