The Entertainment Biz, Does It Do Mental Health Justice?

I wanted to go more into detail about mental health for my last post. In the media especially the entertainment business, there is a certain stigma and romanticism that goes around mental disorders. We see this happen in movies, tv shows, and music the most. So how does the entertainment business showcase mental health? Let’s take a look at some of the most talked about movies, music, and tv shows of this year.

*NOTE* Has spoilers for some shows and movies. Read at your own discretion.

13 Reasons Why 

13 Reasons Why has been the talk of the century since its release on Netflix earlier this year.  It was originally a book by Jay Asher, but the story follows a guy named Clay Jensen after his friend Hannah Baker commits suicide. Two weeks after her death, Clay finds a box of tapes on his doorstep. The tapes were made by Hannah Baker herself before she died; each tape had a different take of how events in her life with certain people led her to suicide. Because Clay received the tapes, he was one of the people who helped moved Hannah to her death.

The show has sparked a lot of controversy over glamorizing mental health issues because of the following:

  • Hannah’s Death
  • Sexual Assault charges with Hannah and Jessica caused by Bryce
  • The Blame Game from Mr. Porter
  • Physical Abuse issues from Justin’s Mother’s partner
  • The Whole Way was played out

Hannah’s death in the book according to MTV, Asher decided NOT to kill her. Hannah still tried to commit suicide, however, she tried to overdose on pills instead of slit her wrist like she did on the show. People found this to be glamourizing suicide as this took a much darker route. Especially in the way it was displayed in the show to the public. Mr. Porter who was Hannah’s guidance counselor was supposed to know the signs as she went to him before her death. However, he did not take her seriously and she died anyway.

The rape cases were displayed in a manner of controversy. Especially now that since all of these recent sexual assault cases are being brought up by the news. Bryce who is the captain of the basketball team rapes both Jessica and Hannah on two different occasions. Jessica was drunk and unconscious and Hannah was in a hot tub at a party. Hannah of course, screamed at him to let her go but he did not listen. Some people who saw the show at the time argued that Hannah was being dumb, and she should have never got in the hot tub with him in the first place. Mr. Porter even blamed her for not saying no which was the final straw for Hannah and led to her decision to kill herself.

The story with Jessica was for the longest time she did not know she was raped. She did not believe Hannah’s tapes when she received them that it actually happened. Jessica tried to drink her pain away which soon led to some substance abuse issues. Justin, who was her boyfriend during this whole ordeal, let Byrce rape her unintentionally which can be misconstrued as him being a terrible person. Which Justin was a terrible person, but he had his reasons.

The show was picked up for season two so when it comes out, hopefully, we justice toward these issues.

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SPILT 

Split is a movie that came out earlier this year. According to Rotten Tomatoes, this movie tells the story of a man named Kevin with twenty-three different personalities who kidnaps three girls and imprisons them against their will. While the movie is great, the film does portray people with Dissociate Identity Disorder (DID) in a negative light. Kevin is shown using his personalities by causing harm to the pubic and the girls as if that is the only purpose. Not everyone with DID are used to harm people in this manner. Kevin kills not only his therapist that understands him, but two of the three girls he kidnaps as well. Because the girls do not know pain and are not “pure.”

While the film does an excellent job at entertaining, it does not do a good job at explaining how Kevin developed DID, or how his personalities gained the insight to come up with this plan. It paints DID in a negative light and hopefully in years to come, we can see films that do not do this.

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Icon For Hire-Under The Knife 

The band Icon For Hire which is an alternative rock band does a lot of songs of empowerment such as depression, overdose, feminism and much more. This particular song, Under The Knife is about teens and self-mutilation. Teens are so stressed and have so many mental issues like depression that it leads to thinks like cutting themselves. Under the Knife has so much power and reflection written within the lyrics. I honestly love this band and they do such a great job expressing mental health in their songs. I hope you give them a listen. I will link their song down below!

ICON FOR HIRE- Under the Knife 

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Even though the media does not give a good message to mental health issues, there are some songs or t.v shows that do give it justice. As this is my last post, I want to thank anyone who supported me during this journey. I could have never done this without any of you. As always any questions or concerns comment down below or hit me up on twitter!

Featured Image Source: Stocksnap.io

World Prematurity Day

As my blog draws to a close, I wanted to write about something near and dear to my heart. November is Prematurity Awareness Month and November 17th is World Prematurity Day. Prematurity is severely unrecognized and with 1 and 10 children born premature, more has to be done in this situation or more children will die.

 

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According to the March of Dimes, “An estimated fifteen million babies around the world are born premature each year and more than one million of them do not survive their early birth.” As previously stated, prematurity is significantly important and without recognition or support organizations like the March of Dimes will go unnoticed.

Several celebrities each year show their appreciation for world prematurity day by either donating to research or sharing their stories if they have some with the public.

So, why is this important for this particular blog?

“Being born prematurely can have some serious mental health issues in the adulthood,” according to psych-news.

Some mental illnesses that can occur are:

  • Depressive Disorder
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Schizophrenia
  • Nonaffective psychosis
  • Anxiety

In Psych-News, researchers from Stockholm, Sweden were trying to figure out how mental illnesses are linked to prematurity. They stated: “Prematurely birth was significantly associated with increased risk of psychiatric hospitalization in adulthood.”

This research study gathered information that basically says: people who were born preterm were more likely to have a higher chance of developing a mental disorder if born at a certain gestation period. These babies have higher risks as the earlier a person is born; the brain, lungs, and other vital organs are not fully developed yet. This puts complications on the baby that could lead to one of these mental disorders or could lead to fatality.

The reason this movement is so important to me is that I fully believe in the research. I was born premature, and I barely made it out alive. I was born on March 18th when I should have been born on April 15th. It was not a huge significance, however, it was still a grand one as I was stuck in the hospital for five weeks after my birth. I was attached to a breathing tube as I could not breathe on my own yet. Growing up, I have been experiencing some anxiety issues so I can say the research might be proven correct?

I also have a cousin who was born at the seven-month mark.  Another mental illness or disorder you could gain from being born too early is Cerebral Palsy. This is a problem to the brain as not enough oxygen has gotten through to it. So, muscles die off from the rest of the body. My cousin cannot walk, and she has to have a towel wrapped around her neck. Because she cannot close her mouth fully to stop the salvia from coming out. She also has the mental capacity of a four-year-old even though she is twenty-six.

 

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World Prematurity Day is more than just funding for research. You share a bond with millions worldwide! Do you know if you were born preterm? If so, this day is for you. Wear purple to celebrate this monumental day and pass it on. YOU are important and always will be. Please never forget that. Share your story, donate, tell other people about today!

For more information about World Prematurity Day, please visit the March of Dimes website. Otherwise, share your story in the comments below!

Featured Image Source: StockSnap.io

 

Capturing Mental Illness

When it comes to visuals, you can capture pictures of anything these days. However, when it comes to mental illness, it is hard to capture a picture of mental illness without offending anyone or misspeaking about a disorder. That was the real challenge with gathering videos and pictures for this weeks post.

I think, however, I achieved the challenge quite well if I say so myself.

The first picture I gathered happened to be during this week at school. I was getting out of the elevator when I took a picture of the door. Now, I know you guys are probably looking at the screen as if I am crazy but hear me out.

 

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Kassie’s Original Image

Do you get it now? Having a mental illness or disorder, especially a rare one can be constricting. You can feel unheard and trapped just by being you. Other people who don’t have these disorders and who do not understand will make you feel caged. That is why I took the picture in black and white. This is why it is important to have a support system and to have people who care about you. That way you can continue your journey with your disorder or illness.

The next photo I took was during my school’s Sexual Abuse Awareness Week. On Thursday, November 9th, William Peace decided to participate in the Clothesline Project. The Clothesline Project mission is to educate students and the community that violence is a problem everywhere, help is available, and there is hope and a path to healing. The clothesline is made of t-shirts created by survivors of sexual abuse or in their honor. Sexual abuse can bring on a bunch of mental disorders like PTSD, Anxiety, and much more. So having programs like this helps people know that they are not alone. Unfortunately, the picture I used I decided to use Boomerang, and the website I am typing this on does not allow videos like that on here unless it is hyperlinked. So, lucky for you guys I have the video on the Buddy Project Instagram Page that I run. Click the hyperlink to see it. 😀 It is the most recent video I took.

Back in August, I did a video on my youtube channel mental health so I am using for this post. It follows a week or two after Chester Bennington’s suicide, and I wanted to touch bases with people about how important their lives were. You could be hurting and others will not even know it because of the facade you put up. It is especially important for today’s youth and that is what I touch upon in that video. I will hyperlink the video so you guys can watch it but be forewarned it is nine minutes. Just skip to 2:52, I believe to start on what really happens, but I would be really happy if you watch the whole thing. Enjoy!

Mental Health Discussion

I understand that capturing Mental Health on video or on film can be a difficult thing to do. It can also be a hard thing to process mentally for yourself as well. However, adding everyday elements can help explain what you are feeling, and what you are trying to tell someone like the caged elevator, or the t-shirt clothesline, or even just talking about it helps a person out.

 

If you have any questions about anything in this post feel free to hit me up on Twitter. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to me on youtube and follow the Buddy Project Instagram page!

Featured Image Source: Kassie’s Orginal Picture DO NOT TAKE!!!!

 

 

 

The Word, With Kayce Meginnis-Payne

Last week, I sat down with clinical psychologist Kayce Meginnis-Payne (MP) to talk to her about mental illness. As she runs a practice of her own. She is also a full-time Psychology professor at William Peace University. *Note, this interview has been edited for space clarity.*

The first question I asked her was:

What Types of Disorders Do You See Most In Your Practice? 

MP: “Given the population that I work with, which is generally an employed population as they use their health insurance to see me, I tend to see more mild disorders. Meaning, on the whole spectrum of disorders they are mild for that person. I mostly see Dystimya, Major Depression, Bipolar II, Anxiety for sure, some PTSD.”

It was interesting to know that Dysthmia was there as a disorder which according to Psychology Today means: “a serious or disabling disorder that shares many symptoms with other forms of clinical depression.”

The second question I asked her was:

How Long Do You Think It Usually Takes People to Receive Help For Their Mental Illness?

MP: “Well, it depends on how long the symptoms have been going on and it depends on how severe they are. The research shows that people often feel significant relief after just one [therapy] session, and usually, they think its that there is a sense of hope that is been instilled. So there is this improvement, there is a plan in place. In terms of how we live better with the struggles that we have it usually takes anywhere from a couple of months to a couple of years. The goal isn’t as much is to get rid of symptoms, which can sometimes be an effective goal, but the goal is how you can live fully and meaningfully even if you have some of those symptoms.”

The third question I asked MP was:

How Do You Reduce the Stigma of Mental Illness in Your Practice? 

MP: “I reduce it in terms of who I am; I’m not sure how much I reduce it in the practice. I try to do so socially and in the role of being a mom of my kids and at their schools. I talk pretty openly about normalizing those issues. Especially for my students, I really try to not talk about ‘Schizophrenics’ or ‘Depressives’; I talk about people who have schizophrenia or people who have depression, or people who are dealing with depression. Certainly, there are people in my practice who come and feel embarrassed, or they feel that coming to therapy is a negative statement about them. I do try to reassure them that people who are taking proactive steps to work on improving their lives are much better off than the people who are just ignoring it.”

This helps the mental health community as a lot of teachers and people still associate having a mental disorder as a negative thing. Teachers I have known will sometimes dumb down what they are saying to a student because they have a mental illness. Others will sometimes not speak to the student at all or give them a hard time because of their mental illness. Professors like MP are who we need in the world for this struggling community.

The fourth question I asked her was:

What Type of Support Can You Give Patients If They Have None? 

MP:  “Well, I usually only see people weekly or biweekly on an outpatient basis, so if someone does not have very much support, then I will think of other ways they can get that. Because I’m only in their lives one hour every week, or every two weeks and that is not going to be sufficient. So there are support groups, or group therapy such things like that. I will talk about strategies on how we can get them out of their comfort zone; if they are not getting support due to having social anxiety or another reason.”

The fifth question:

What Influenced Your Decision to Be a Clinical Psychologist? 

MP: “I think growing up, I always liked the idea of helping people, and I was really curious on why people were the way they were. When I was little, in elementary school, I thought I would be a physician but I don’t have the stomach for that. So, I guess I went from wanting to be a physician to being a psychologist.”

Sixth question:

On the Opposite End, What are Steps Someone Can Take to Lend Support to Someone Who Needs it the Most but Does Not Want to Admit They Need It?

MP: “There is a fine balancing act. On one hand, you want to as a friend or a romantic partner.. etc… let them know that you care about them and that you don’t have to solve all their problems, but you can let them know that you are still there for them and that they are important to you as ever. Any suggestions that are offered, however, are fundamentally up to that person. They may not want the support and you can’t push them or force them to do it. You can also lend them resources like saying ‘There is this therapist in town I can give you their number if you want it?’ You aren’t completely responsible for them, but you are lending them a hand in helping them get better.”

Seventh question:

Do You Have Any Mental Disorders Or Illnesses That Make Doing Your Job A Lot, Harder?  

MP: “Most people who go into the mental health field have pain. They would not be drawn into the field without having their own. It is why having your own therapy is beneficial to the career. It is unfortunate that there is a higher substance abuse rate in this field. In my Counseling Theories class, I really emphasize that doing your own self-care is important because even with the best intentions it can impact our clinical work.”

The eighth question followed up with:

If You Can Talk About It, What Is The Strangest Disorder You or a Colleague Have Ever Witnessed? 

MP: “The most serious set of disorders I have ever seen are the life-long illnesses. Like people who have been dealing with schizophrenia for years, or people who have head injuries but also suffer from chronic substance abuse, or people who have had mental illnesses but have been in and out of jail so there are criminal problems. This is called the severe persistent mental illness (or severe impairment mental illness) and how it takes a toll on people’s functioning.

The ninth question leads in with:

What Are the First Signs or Symptoms That Would Prompt Someone to Send them to Your Practice?

MP: “Usually it is when someone has severe distress. When whatever is going on for you, it is causing you worry or pain, and it has begun to interfere with your function. Like divorce or a bad grade on a test. Those are the two main reason why people would come to my office.”

The tenth and final question that wraps up the interview by asking:

Is It Hard to Manage Teaching and Running a Practice of Your Own? Why or Why Not? 

MP: “Yes and no. The reason I say that is because of the hours. That being a full-time professor but also having this extra day of work, means I’m doing six days of work in five days. On the other hand, I feel so enriched by both jobs because if I was just doing one, I wouldn’t feel satisfied. By teaching, and advising and working with faculty, but also seeing clients and collaborating with other clinical psychologists it has really been rewarding.”

Thank you to Professor Meginnis-Payne for providing her answers for this interview. If you would like to follow her on Twitter, her handle is @DrKayceMP and her facebook is just her name.

 

Debate: Does B-12 Deficiency Cause Insomnia?

There are times where most of us will stay up late to watch a television show, or we stay up to catch up on some assignments for school. Some of us, however, stay up because we cannot fall asleep no matter how hard we try to. This phenomenon can last for a few hours, a few days, or even years. No matter how hard we try to lay down for a good night’s rest its no use.

So, what is this called?

Insomnia. 

But… Why is insomnia in a rare mental illness blog and why should we care?

Well, my beautiful audience insomnia according to the National Sleep Foundation is stated as “difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, even when a person has the chance to do so.” Insomnia is also known as a sleep disorder.

As for why should, you care, that is up for discussion in today’s debate.

Does B-12 Deficiency Cause Insomnia?

According to the research, I have gathered the answer is yes.

Vitamin B-12 according to Medicine Net is stated as: “A vitamin important for the normal  function of red blood cells and the health of nerve tissues.”

B-12 can spur these symptoms and conditions if not treated right away (B-12 Deficiency):

  • Confusion/Disorientation
  • Memory Loss
  • Depression
  • Suicidal Ideation
  • Psychosis
  • Mania
  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Irritability
  • Apathy
  • Personality Changes
  • Inappropriate Sexual Behavior
  • Violent/Aggressive Behavior
  • Schizophrenic Symptoms
  • Insomnia 
  • Changes in taste, smell, vision, and sensory/motor function which can be mistaken for psychiatric problems.

Crazy right? No one knew that having a vitamin B deficiency could lead to all these issues. Especially issues dealing with mental health. That is why is it extremely important to talk to your doctor right away if you are feeling any symptoms from a vitamin B deficiency because it can be reversed. Because no one wants to live a life with a mental illness.

 

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The B-12 patch introduces the important fact of how the vitamin b-12 plays a role in melatonin. Melatonin is our body’s “sleep hormone” and helps defend against insomnia. However, if you have a deficiency then your melatonin levels start to fall which can result in insomnia.

Of course, a B-12 deficiency is not the overlying cause of insomnia. However, it is still important to check with your doctor to make sure that it not the case here.

So How Long Does Insomnia Last?

Well, there are only two types of insomnia and they are called Acute and Chronic.

Going back to the National Sleep Foundation, Acute Insomnia is described as: “Brief and often happens because of life circumstances.”

While Chronic Insomnia is described as “Disrupted sleep that occurs at least three nights per week and lasts at least three months.”

People who have a B-12 deficiency tend to lean more toward chronic insomnia because chronic insomnia can also be “linked to other medical disorders or psychiatric issues.”

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How Can Someone Recieve The B-12 to Fix The Insomnia? 

There are many ways someone can fix their B-12 deficiency.

B-12 can be injected into you with a needle as according to vitamin injections, “Studies show that your sleep onset will improve from vitamin b-12 being injected into you.” B-12 can also be ingested orally with either a prescription or over the counter pills. Either method can work with increasing your vitamin B.

But Really How Dangerous is Insomnia Really? 

Insomnia can be life-threatening if not treated immediately. ABC News did a story on a man with a serious health condition relating to insomnia called Fatal Familia Insomnia.

Fatal Familial Insomnia or FFI for short is “A rare genetic sleep disorder where the sufferers of FFI fall into a state in which they are not fully awake or asleep. Sleeplessness deteriorates into exhaustion, dementia, and eventually death.”

The man who had this disorder was named Silvano and he lived in Italy. He lost the ability to sleep at the age of fifty-three and after four months of living in a sleep clinic, Silvano slipped into a coma and eventually died. Only 40 families are known to have developed this disease and past it on. Silvano’s family was one of them. There is no cure for FFI.

Bottom line, Insomnia is a serious problem and so are B-12 deficiencies. Talk to your doctor if you have a problem with either as you are so important to this world. YOU matter the most and no one wants to lose you because of something as simple as a B-12 deficiency.

For any questions or concerns you have on this article please feel free to DM me on twitter or comment down below. 🙂

 

Featured Image Source: Stocksnap.io

 

 

 

 

Dissociative Identity Disorder Vs. Schizophrenia, What’s The Difference?

One rare disorder vs one common one. How come Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) and Schizophrenia are both tagged as the same disorder? Or better yet, how come both disorders are pegged at as not being “real” disorders? Thanks for clicking this article because the answer is sealed within here.

So, let’s start with what they are.

Dissociative Identity Disorder

Dissociative Identity Disorder, DID, or previously known in the DSM-IV as Multiple Personality Disorder is described by Web Md as: “A severe form of dissociation, and a mental process which produces a lack of connection in a person’s thoughts, memories, feelings, actions, or sense of identity.” So, what does this mean?

Pretty much in layman’s terms, DID typically starts from trauma and manifests personalities to handle the trauma. A person with this disorder “dissociates” himself or herself away from a situation that triggers a past trauma, is too violent, or too stressful for their host personality.

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Symptoms of this disorder include, according to Web MD:

  • Having two or more personalities
  • Inability to recall important information
  • Distinct memory variations (Split Personality)

The personalities or “alters” as they are known as can be different from the host personality. They can be a different age, gender, have a different sexual orientation, and even become a different race.

When a personality reveals itself and takes over an individual it is called “switching.” Switching can occur for a few seconds to even days. It is very important to remember not try to do the following when someone has switched to another personality:

  • Try and get the switched personality to leave
  • Yell at the personality
  • Make the personality angry
  • Lie to the personality

If you try and get the personality to leave, that will, in turn, make them feel unwanted and add to their personal trauma. This can also result in the addition to a new personality. If you yell at the personality then you risk making them angry or upset which again, adds to their personal trauma and can add a new personality.

If you happen to make the personality angry this can lead to a lethal situation for both yourself and for themselves. The personality can develop a grudge against you and threaten to hurt him or herself. The personality can also be angry enough to hurt you as well.

Do not ever lie to a personality. The personality may not know you even if the person it switched from does so he or she will put all his or her faith into you. If you break this bond, you risk making the personality angry and all of what was said before could happen.

Schizophrenia 

According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), Schizophrenia is defined as: “A chronic and severe mental disorder that affects how a person thinks, feels, and behaves.” A person with Schizophrenia may think that they have lost touch with reality.

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The symptoms of Schizophrenia come from three different categories according to NIMH:

There are the “Positive symptoms” which are psychotic behaviors that are not seen in healthy people. Symptoms include:

  • Hallucinations
  • Delusions
  • Thought Disorders (unusual or dysfunctional ways of thinking)
  • Movement Disorders (agitated body movements)

The next category is called the “Negative Symptoms” which are “associated with disruptions to normal emotions and behaviors.” Symptoms vary from:

  • “Flat affect” (reduced expression of emotions via facial expression or voice tone)
  • Reduced feelings of pleasure in everyday life
  • Difficulty beginning and sustaining activities
  • Reduced speaking

The last category is called the “Cognitive Symptoms” which are not that noticeable in some patients but in others, they are “more severe and patients may start noticing changes in their memory and thinking.” These symptoms include:

  • Poor “executive functioning”  (the ability to understand information and use it to make decisions)
  • Trouble focusing or paying attention.
  • Problems with “working memory” (the ability to use it information immediately after learning it)

How They Are The Same 

DID and Schizophrenia do have similar symptoms in common. For one, anyone with either disorder can have a hard time recalling memories of importance. Someone with both disorders can also have delusions. However, besides being both mental health disorders, this is where the similarities end.

How They Are Different

For one, someone with DID cannot have hallucinations. Two, DID is more of a developmental disorder and Schizophrenia is more of a psychosis disorder. According to heretohelp, Schizophrenia does mean “split mind, ” however, that is more relevant to describe the split from “reality” that is experienced during an episode of psychosis. While DID is “does cause a split or fragmented understanding of a person’s sense of themselves.”

How This Relates To Me

I specifically have two people in my life with these crippling disorders. Someone I love dearly has DID and my cousin has Schizophrenia. That is why I decided to do this post so that people out there can truly understand the difference between the two.

Ending the stigma and the harassment is so important. However, in order to that, the world needs to treat each other with kindness and respect so that more people do not gain these disorders.

 

If you have any questions about this post or any others please comment down below or DM my twitter! 😀

 

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Featured Image Source: StockSnap.io

Spreading Peace at Peace

William Peace University decided to go green for a week to celebrate Mental Health Awareness Week! For those of you who didn’t know according to NAMI, October 1st-October 7th is Mental Health Awareness Week but Peace wanted to stay ahead of the curve. This was still fitting, however, considering it was the last week in September, and September was also National Suicide Prevention month. However, October is National Bullying Prevention Month so we welcome you October with open arms.

So, for this special week my school, William Peace University celebrated the whole week filled with jam-packed events.  Which was September 25th thru September 28th.

On Monday, September 25th, students wore green in support of mental health and also signed a pledge to stomp out the stigma of mental health. In the afternoon, students took a mental health walk to help raise more awareness.

On Tuesday, September 26th, students were able to take mental health screenings which were provided by a counselor on campus. After their screening, they are evaluated with their results and are told of the disorders they could have based on the questions they answered. The club on campus that promotes mental health called Active Minds also helped with this process.

On Wednesday, September 27th, students were able to participate in making positivity paintings!  Which basically includes painting whatever makes you happy. There was also a drum circle that the wellness center invited to come play for the Internation Club at the school. It was a nice thing for students just sit down and unwind after classes were done for the day.

 

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On Thursday, which was the last day of mental health awareness week, Active Minds, and the Wellness Center created a panel of speakers who had suffered from mental illnesses themselves to speak to an audience of other students around campus. It was discussion based and anyone could ask questions for the panelists to speak on. The panelist was made out of four students, and one teacher who also has her clinical psychology practice outside of school.

One fact, one of my old teachers who was panelist named Kaycee Meginnis-Payne (MP) said was that “1 in 4 college students meet the criteria for a mental disorder.” This can come from stress, moving to a new area, or any other detrimental factors.

Someone in the audience had asked a question of how people cope with their disorders. A senior at Peace had said: “Men are expected to keep their emotions to themselves. Self-medicating never helps either.” He is right about that. Self-medicating should never be the answer when dealing with a mental illness or disorder. In this case, his mental illness was depression, and he was self-medicating with substance abuse.

A sophomore said, “Mindfulness can help with depressive episodes. Like counting things in the room personally helped me.”

MP also added her opinion to this question stating: “Focus on one step at a time and you will get through it.”

I asked, anonymously, if there was a way to get diagnosed if you had no support in your family.

I have personally have had panic attacks since I was a junior in high school, (I am a sophomore in college now) and they always end up with me feeling drained at the end of the day. I have low self-esteem, and my body is always fatigued and cranky. I get very anxious if people walk behind me because I think they are talking badly about me, and I am always stressed out. This would lead to the conclusion that I could have anxiety. I have done the mental screenings at school, and they have led me to this diagnosis. I have also seen the school consular to help me with issues I have had in the past. However, my family is not very supportive of me to get diagnosed, so I have to suffer in silence.

A junior at Peace had answered this question as she has multiple disorders. She stated: “Don’t wait. Seek help if you need it. Take it seriously. You also shouldn’t put your life in someone’s else’s hands if you can’t go and get diagnosed. You have other support besides family.”

The same senior at Peace added: “Use the wellness center if other resources don’t work out.”

And MP stated: “There are free resources in Raleigh like AA, (Alcohol Anonymous) if you can’t use your insurance because you share with your parents. They offer a lot of help to get you on track.”

The last question asked was what do you look forward to in a mental professional?

The sophomore at Peace and a second-semester junior both stated that they needed tough love in order to function during their sessions.

There was also a comment added by the second semester junior that said:  “You don’t need to lie about your emotions all the time.”

The sophomore added to a question to look for warning signs when you are about to have an attack is to “Look for physical signs they are really important when you are about to break down.”

The panel ended on a high note as did mental health awareness week!

There is also more YOU can do to help out those in need to spread awareness for mental illnesses.

The Buddy Project, for example, is “non-profit movement that aims to prevent suicide and self-harm by pairing people as buddies and raising awareness for mental health.”

They also have campus representatives for middle schoolers, high schoolers, and college goers! I happen to be one for William Peace University and I need to run a social media account. So besides checking out my twitter for weekly blogs, check out my Buddy Project Instagram for the school. Don’t forget to share it too!

Have any questions about what happened this week? Drop me a line in the comment section below. 😀

Featured Image Source: Kassie’s Original Photo, PLEASE DO NOT TAKE!!

 

State Increase in Mental Illness?

Unfortunately, there has been a significant increase in mental illnesses over the years. According to Mental Health America, “Nationally, 57 percent of adults who suffer from a mental illness or disorder do not seek treatment, and in states like Nevada and Hawaii, the number increases to 70 percent.”

By looking at mental health nationally, it is possible to look at everything on a global scale. Meaning, if a community or state were able to reach treatment options, what types of therapy are available for the people in America. That way people will know if mental illnesses are increasing or decreasing. That is mostly why you should care.

State wise according to The NSDUH report, adults eighteen years and older from the years 2011-2012 had serious mental illnesses that ranged up to 4.0 percent. In New Jersey, the rating was 3.1 and in West Virgina, their rating was 5.2 percent. This equals up to 9.3 million people in America with a serious mental illness.

Mental health goes beyond what it should. People with these illnesses sometimes cannot afford care or treatment because of the cost. It could be a factor of their stability or socioeconomic status. In each state where there is an increase in mental illness, the NSDUH report also has a chart that shows us the percentages of people who have serious mental illnesses in each state. New Jersey, Hawaii, Connecticut, and Illinois have the lowest quartiles (3.2 percent each), while West Virgina, Washington, Utah, Oklahoma, and Arkansas have the highest quartiles. West Virgina is at 5.5 percent, Oklahoma being at 5.2 percent, and the rest of the states that were mentioned being at 5.1 percent.

The lower quartile states are also low not only in having serious mental illnesses, but they are low in having any mental illnesses as well. “Nationally, 42.5 million adults aged eighteen or older experienced some type of mental illness during the 2011-2012 year. The average nationally for having any type of mental illness was 18.2 percent. New Jersey with 14.7 percent, Illinois with 16.1 percent, Connecticut with 16.7 percent, and North Carolina with 16.8 percent all have the lowest quartiles.

States with a higher quartile include Utah who has 22.4 percent and joining Utah is Oklahoma with 21.9 percent, West Virginia with 21.4 percent, Oregon with 20.9 percent, and Washington with 20.8 percent.

With the rise of these numbers, it is hard to ignore that people need help. According to CBS News, “In 2014, people who have mental illnesses in America were afraid to seek treatment or help for their illnesses or disorder.”  This is mainly because of one of two things. One, they did not have health insurance and were not covered. Without health insurance, it is very hard to get help since treatment is very costly. Two, there was a recession in late 2007 that affected everyone. No one could find a job or even a place to live nevermind about their illness. So mainly the psychological damage from that time period stops some Americans from getting help the study says anyway.

What is the next step? Well, we need to get these numbers down for starters. We have to start caring about what happens to our adults, our teenagers, everyone! You have a voice and it matters. Spread awareness for mental health. Because not only does this topic matter, but you matter also.

Leave any comments down below if you have any questions! 🙂

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Seven Treatment Options For Rare Mental Disorders

There are so many rare mental disorders out there that no one knows about. That is what the purpose of this blog is. To inform you of these illnesses, and to break that stigma that people with mental illnesses are not a burden or useless. So, what I wanted to do was give you guys seven different treatment options for rare mental disorders.

  1. Electroconvulsive  Therapy

Ok, so obviously this is not the most preferred method on the list anymore, but patients with Cotard’s Delusion, (where a person will feel like they are dead when they actually aren’t) have high success rates in lowered symptoms with this treatment.

 

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2.  Validation Therapy

In this case, validation therapy works for patients with Capgras Syndrome (people who think the closest people to them are imposters or fakes.) What validation therapy is when “therapists will use the delusions of the patients and support them instead of pushing them away or reject them. Which in turn, can reduce the panic and anxiety in the patient with the delusions.”

 

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3. Rational Therapy

A bit different from validation therapy, rational therapy “helps the patient recover and analyze the reason why they became traumatized in the first place.” This treatment option is for patients with Stendhal Syndrome which is when a person gets traumatized over a piece of art as it is a psychosomatic condition.

 

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4.  Sometimes it May Go Away On Its Own

This is going to sound really strange, but this syndrome really exists. It might even explain why Freddie from iCarly always spoke random Spanish. In this case, the treatment option might just be that the disorder, syndrome, or illness will go away on its own. This might be the case for Foreign Accent Syndrome which is when someone will talk out of their native language and not know why. Yeah, this actually exists. For this particular syndrome, it might just go away on its own. Here is to hoping!

 

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5. Hypnosis

Hypnosis? Really? This actually works on some people. Especially with people who have Agonophilia and Apotemnophilia which are both sexual disorders. Agonophilia focuses on “a person having recurring intense sexual fantasies involving foreplay consisting of struggling, wrestling, and rape imitation.” While Apotemnophilia focuses on “Sexual enjoyment gained from being or becoming an amputee or even been seen as an amputee.” Yeah, this is unfortunately real, however, hypnosis is said to help with sexual disorders by erasing the disorder completely so that the patient will not have their desires anymore.

 

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6. Medication

Most illnesses or disorders just need medications to either treat them or to make them manageable. Especially if there are no known treatment options. For this next illness called Lesch-Nyhan Syndrome that is exactly the case. Medication does not treat the illness, but medication does help make the symptoms manageable at the very least. Lesch-Nyhan Syndrome is “when a person exhibits self-mutilation behavior due to the high levels of uric acid in their bodies.” This leads to biting the lip compulsively or biting your finger nails. This disorder is also known as self-cannibalism. Medication like allopurinol, which is gout medication, helps manage the uric acid levels.

 

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7.  Psychotherapy

The last of the treatment options for rare disorders is psychotherapy. This is a perfect candidate for Lycanthropy which is apparently real. Lycanthropy is a disorder that people identify themselves as actual animals. In this subdivision, they classify themselves as dogs or in the old legend, werewolves. Psychotherapy helps talk out the problems as a whole, so in this case, using humanistic approaches can help someone with Lycanthropy.

 

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Anything of these illnesses shock you? Leave a comment down below! 🙂

 

 

Welcome!

Why are mental illnesses, especially rare mental illnesses, important?

Why are mental illnesses, especially rare mental illnesses, important to me?

I have family with mental illnesses. I am also a psychology major, and I want to dive more into the mind because it is what I am interested in.

Why should you, my audience, care?

Because it is important to realize that the neighbor who you think might be acting strangely, actually has a disorder that you have never heard of and they seriously need help.

It is important to realize that mental health should not be looked at as a stigma.

It is important to note that people with mental illnesses especially rare ones, with no cure, need the most help and without manageable treatment options, they will not make it.

September is also National Suicide Prevention Month. Unfortunately, ninety percent of children that commit suicide have mental illnesses. 

By learning more about mental illnesses, especially unknown ones, we can break the stigma.  We can save children from making an irreversible mistake.

So, what should you expect in other blogs?

Well, that is truly up to what I feel should be released into your hands. No, you will not see a rare illness or disorder in your lap every week. This is not that kind of blog.

However, you will see treatment options, whether it be therapy or any medications to manage the illness in question.

You will see people’s stories of how they can look at the disorder if they have ever come in contact with it.

You will see the internal and external struggles of people with these disorders, and you might be shocked by how many disorders you never knew about.

You will even find out ways to take action yourself and help someone who could have a mental illness or disorder!

 

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Interesting huh?

Anyway, I’m sure you are not sold completely on why I want to do this topic.

I mean, rare disorders? What would a psychology major want to do that right?

Well, as I said before the mind does interest me. A ton actually, and let’s face it the world is a scary place. Full of murderers, psychopaths, and lunatics. However, how can we tell if you are really a psychopath or if you have a mental disorder? A rare one at that.

Well, illnesses like Cotard’s syndrome which I will be talking about here on the blog are disorders that do not get a lot of coverage or attention. We have to figure out more ways to show that mental health is not a stigma.

We, yes you in the corner there, can do a lot more to lessen the blows that are taken on mental health.

Such as, the stereotypes that are focused on mental health.

“People with mental health issues will never recover.” 

“People with mental health disorders are considered dangerous and unpredictable.” 

“Children to do not experience mental health issues.” 

All of these are myths due to people not doing enough research on the mental illness.

People with mental illnesses can recover with manageable medication and therapy if needed. People with mental disorders are not considered any more dangerous and unpredictable than anyone without a mental illness. In fact, ” people with mental illnesses are considered to more likely be the victims of violence than the other way around.” (Mental Health)

So, take this blog with a grain of salt. Let’s begin on the ride of our lives.

For information and updates on this blog, please follow my twitter page which will be located down below. Please also leave a comment if you have any questions or concerns!

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