Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Mental Illness Month

Some of you may not be aware of this, but March is Mental Illness month. Mental illness is a personal topic for me that has affected my family in deep ways. I myself have suffered from depression and my husband is bipolar schizoaffective, a disorder that is a mix of multiple mental health conditions that run a unique course in each affected person.  Needless to say, we watch our kids closely for signs of mental illness and keep ourselves appraised of advances in treatment for a slue of mental diseases that plague our fallen world. One great resource that we have come to rely upon is the Grant Halliburton Foundation.  The founder has such a tragic, yet all too common personal story of loss due to mental illness.

One in 5 Americans 18 or older has experienced diagnosable mental illness or behavior/emotional disorder over the course of a year according to a 2010 national survey released by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.  This survey that looked at 67,500 people ages 12 and up, showed that 5 % of adults suffer from mental illness so sever it limits major life activities. With 8.7 million people annually having serious thoughts of sucidide, mentl health is something that has the potential to effect us all.

Mental health can be effectively managed with medications and therapy. Unfortuntly due oto the cost of such treatments it is not always a viable option for some. Even the places that offer free services such as MHMR and Parkland require such a long waiting period to be seen that those who have the clarity to take action may not maintain it till the appointment day. Couple that with the length of time each appointment takes, normally requring you to leave work for the full day or multiple days in a week, such facilities are not an options for some. Especially those that are single parents, or live on a tight budget and cannot afford to take time off of work. We face a serious crisis here. People that want and need help, verses the availablity of good, quality mental health care that does not require you to sacrifice your jobs and limited income for services.
What to look for. K
It’s normal for teens and young adults to feel down or moody sometimes. But when those feelings last for weeks, it could mean that something more serious is going on. Depression is very common—in fact, it affects nearly 2 million young people.
It helps to know the signs:
·        You feel sad or cry a lot and it doesn't go away.
·        You feel guilty for no real reason; you feel like you're no good;
        you've lost your confidence.
·        Life seems meaningless or like nothing good is ever going to happen again.
·        You have a negative attitude a lot of the time, or it seems like you have no feelings.
·        You don't feel like doing a lot of the things you used to enjoy–like music, sports, being with friends, going out–and you want to be left alone most of the time.
·        It's hard to make up your mind. You forget lots of things, and it's hard
        to concentrate.
·        You get irritated often. Little things make you lose your temper; you overreact.
·        Your sleep pattern changes; you sleep a lot more or a lot less than
        you used to.
·        Your eating habits change; you've lost your appetite or you eat a lot more.
·        You’re using drugs or alcohol to cope.
·        You start having aches or pains that won’t go away.
·        You feel restless and tired most of the time.
·        You think about death or feel like you're dying; you have thoughts
        about suicide.
·        Sometimes people get depressed after something like a divorce in the family, someone dying, a messed-up home life, or breaking up with a boyfriend or girlfriend. It’s important to get treatment for depression before it leads to other problems, like trouble with alcohol, drugs, or sex; trouble with school or bad grades; or trouble with family or friends.

What to do:

Depression is a serious but treatable condition. If you are a teen or young adult and think that you may be suffering from depression, here is what you can do.
·        Know that you can feel better.
·        Don’t wait to see if depression will get better. Who will listen and help you get treatment. Who can check for physical illnesses that cause some of the symptoms of depression?
·         What works best in most cases is medication or therapy, or both. Therapy can help you find better ways to solve problems and change negative thoughts.
·        Don’t miss therapy sessions and don’t stop taking medications without talking to your doctor.
·        Eat right, exercise, and get enough sleep.
·        Positive activities
·        If you feel suicidal. Call for help immediately.

  • Call 911 whenever there is an immediate threat to someone’s life, or when you fear that someone may harm himself or others.
  • Any HOSPITAL EMERGENCY ROOM will help with a mental health crisis.
  • ADAPT has a mobile crisis team available for emergency situations.
Adapt Community Solutions877-738-9336
Adapt provides emergency and crisis services through telephone, mobile and clinic services with the goals being immediate crisis resolution, deflection from hospitalization, linkage with needed resources and maintenance of current community placement.
CONTACT972-233-TEEN (8336)
Provides 24-hour immediate, confidential, telephone intervention crisis support; information and referral; emergency aid, emergency transportation and a connection to resources. Education programs also available.
www.contactcrisisline.org or www.teencontact.org
Dallas Metrocare Crisis Hotline214-330-7722
Clinical consultation is available 24 hours per day, seven days a week through the crisis services team.
Suicide and Crisis Center214-828-1000
Confidential telephone crisis support, information and referral services 24 hours a day. Professional training on crisis intervention mode; community education; debriefing services offered to schools and businesses to deal with aftermath of suicide; structured grief support groups.
Turning Point Rape Crisis Center of Collin County972-985-0951
24-hour telephone crisis intervention counseling, advocacy and support to victims of sexual assault and their families and friends; provides education on sexual assault awareness and support groups for victims.
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