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Showing posts from October, 2010

Mental Illness -- Stigma or Sexy?

Full confession time.  You may have noticed that I respect copyright.  I use images in the public domain or with permission, and don't use pictures where permission has been denied.  Which sometimes is a real bite.  The Des Moines Register...

I don't have permission for this one yet.  I ripped it from a site where you can purchase bracelets to support nkm2.org.  So I urge you to help me atone for my sins, while I write for permission.  Go to this link and buy one.  They have those cute little loony birds on them.  And you know how I love loony!

nmk2.org is Joey (Pants) Pantaliano's bid to make mental illness as cool and as sexy as erectile dysfunction.

Really.



Okay, it hasn't gone viral yet.   But Harrison Ford with one earring is kinda sexy.  It's a start.

It Gets Better

I was going to get funny this week.  But this won't wait.

The message below took place at a city council meeting in the center of Iowa.  It means all the more to me, because I live in Iowa, and because I know this small city in a rural and conservative part of the middle of America -- a fly-over state.

Oops -- a reader corrected my confusion.  Joel Burns is a councilman in Fort Worth, Texas.  Maybe that makes the story even more significant.

Joel Burns, elected to that city council, has lived long enough for it to get better.



Educators who want to respond to his challenge can find resources at the Teaching Tolerance arm of the Southern Poverty Law Center.


Their new documentary and classroom resource, Bullied includes lesson plans and is available for free to any school that requests it.


I also want to plug their quarterly magazine, Teaching Tolerance.  It gives teachers specific ideas and lesson plans for K-12 on many diversity issues.  Subscriptions are available for free to any te…

Weighing Costs and Benefits Part IV: Costs

Some people quit taking meds that their doctors believe will relieve their symptoms of mental illness.  Why?

Because the meds don't work, because they can't afford them, because the meds make them sick.

Manifesto:

For any of these reasons, people who quit are making intelligent decisions in their own best interests.

On The Other Hand

Sometimes the meds do work.  Sometimes people have decent health insurance with good drug coverage.  Sometimes the side effects are not as bad as the disease.  In that case, those who quit their meds are stupid.

Let's just get that right out front.

Moving On To The Costs
Today my series on weighing costs and benefits turns to the costs.  The costs do not tell you whether you should try a medication.  They simply give you the odds.  It is up to you to decide how you want to play the odds.  I calculate the odds based on the numbers of those who quit.  Those who consume have the best information about costs, what actually happens when they put these che…

Mental Illness Awareness Week -- One Year Later

A year ago, Prozac Monologues was just crawling, six months old.  I was new to this disability experience.  And NAMI Johnson County was new to me.

I am not sure how Della McGrath decided I was literate.  Maybe I had given her my card, and she read some of the blog.  But she asked me to speak at a candlelight vigil, to remember those who have died from mental illness, give courage to those who hope to survive it, and support to those whose loved ones did not.

The great thing about NAMI -- if able is always part of the contract.  So I could say yes, even when we were using sedation in place of hospitalization.  And hope for the best.

As it turns out, God gave me a window, and I was able to say what is written below.  It is reposted from October 3, 2009.  It is a bit out of date.  Once I was on disability, I could explore and admit to a better diagnosis, bipolar II, in place of major depressive disorder.  Bipolar is a disease with more stigma than vanilla depression.  And hardly anybody has…