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Tag: mental illness

When Severe Mental Illness Strikes a Loved One

When Severe Mental Illness Strikes a Loved One

Book Review: “I Am Not Sick, I Don’t Need Help” by Xavier Amador, PhD.  (Vida Press, 2012) For the last 20 or so years, brain research has helped doctors and therapists understand that the serious mental illnesses of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are diseases of brain function. During the century before the “Decade of the Brain (the 1990’s)”, these rare and frightening mental diseases were blamed on bad or inadequate mothering (the “schizophrenogenic mother”), thanks to the early theories of…

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Healing Traumatic Memory

Healing Traumatic Memory

If only life was one long, beautiful, inspirational journey. But it’s not. Some of us know that life can include experiences of such fear, helplessness and pain that we wonder how we survived. Over time, and with support, most of us get back to what we would call our normal. Yet others of us discover no matter what, we just can’t. We call these experiences psychological trauma, the kind of experiences that steal our mental equilibrium. Many traumas have their…

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Mass Murder & Mental Illness

Mass Murder & Mental Illness

As the roar of reaction begins to quiet following the horror in Newtown, many media comments I have read express a demand for better “access to mental health services.” I’m not sure what that means in this case. The biggest gap in mental health care in our country, as I have come to know it, is in in-patient hospital care. After Congress passed laws in the 1980’s that down-sized state hospitals, hundreds of people were released from care. States and…

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Major Mental Illness (MMI) and the Family

Major Mental Illness (MMI) and the Family

For all the research that has been done in the last twenty years attempting to understand the brain, the organ at the top of our spine retains its essential mystery. We know more now than ever how the brain works, how it has developed over the centuries to do the miraculous things it does, and what is happening to it when it gets injured. Doctors, parents, coaches and professional athletes are more alert to the dangers of brain concussion. Neurologists…

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Violence and Mental Illness, Again

Violence and Mental Illness, Again

Yes, most mentally ill people are not violent. Thanks to the USPRA for such a wonderful professional reflection on the violent attack in Arizona. USPRA Issues Statement on Tucson Shooting      January 13, 2011 The US Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association released the following statement in reaction to Saturday’s Tucson shooting in Arizona: In wake of Tucson’s tragic shooting that shook America over the past weekend, we wish Congresswoman Giffords and the 13 other wounded individuals a speedy recovery, and our thoughts and…

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Violence and Mental Illness

Violence and Mental Illness

Today I pray, along with so many others for the victims of the Arizona shooting yesterday: six dead, at least 12 others injured, including Congresswoman Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. The man in custody for this violence is now being held on multiple counts of murder, and his background searched for clues to his destructiveness. The county sheriff says the young man has mental issues. I say No Kidding. Most of us who suffer from issues of behavior, emotion and thinking have…

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Pastors are a Bridge

Pastors are a Bridge

When I first began my private mental health practice, I knew one thing was certain: I needed to meet as many area clergy as I could. Today I had the pleasure of having coffee with an another local parish pastor. Thanks, C! So many people still experience embarrassment, resistance and fear when it comes to seeking therapy for relationships, emotions, or behaviors, they stall when it comes to getting help. They may talk to their friend or family member. They…

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