mental health

Alfie 66/Wikimedia

It is possible that one in seven American children have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder? 

Because that's how many are diagnosed, and it is an issue that continues to roil physicians, mental health experts, schools... and parents. 

Alan Schwarz steps into the debate with ADHD Nation: Children, Doctors, Big Pharma, and the Making of an American Epidemic.  He comes to the issue with no axe to grind, but a long career as an investigative reporter, now with the New York Times. 

Viking Press

Lessons we learn in childhood tend to stick with us. Stove tops burn. Dogs bite. Some lessons, though, can keep us stuck in unfulfilling pursuits in adulthood.

Author Rosamund Stone Zander says the stories we write may keep us from enjoying each other and ourselves.

Her latest book is Pathways to Possibility

Stand Against Stigma

It gets a little easier all the time to talk about suicide... on a general statistics-and-treatment level. 

Individual cases can still be extremely tricky, because of longstanding societal stigmas about suicidal thoughts and actions. 

Shasta County's mental health apparatus swung into action against the taboos, creating "Stand Against Stigma." 

The project features a number of people putting their faces and stories forward, letting the world know of their struggles with depression and other mental illness. 

Wikimedia

Mass shootings this year raised once again the question of mental health care in our country.  Maybe all the people who need it do not get it, but innovations are being applied. 

Medford's Compass House uses the "clubhouse" model of rehabilitation, allowing multiple mental patients to take charge of their lives. 

Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center has been moving into the "sanctuary" system, which takes note of trauma in a patient's past. 

Both programs are recent beneficiaries of grants to continue and expand their work. 

Wikimedia

There are several songs about keeping your feelings inside of you, not letting them show.  The trouble is, that approach might lead people to think a bit less of you. 

That's the rough estimation of the findings of Allison Tackman and colleague Sanjay Srivastava at the University of Oregon

Suppressing emotions can lead to people judging the suppressors harshly, and interfere with the forming of relationships.

Wikimedia

Police tell us frequently how often they respond to calls that really should involve mental health professionals.  Which begs the question: is there an increase in mental illness? 

This is a question considered by the journalist Bob Whitaker, the head of the organization Mad In America

His reporting raises questions about mental illness generally and specifically about the use and reliability of psychiatric drugs. 

Whitaker plans a workshop in the Rogue Valley next month, sponsored by the Mental Health Resource and Education Network

Wikimedia

Police and mental illness... not an ideal combination, but one that happens all the time. 

And it turned ugly last month in Eugene. 

Police arrested a woman who tried to protect her son, reported to be having an episode of mental illness, from police.  The woman's brother happens to be Eric Richardson, the president of the Lane County chapter of the NAACP

He has taken his condemnation of the incident public, while police point to an ongoing issue with officers having to respond to people dealing with mental illness. 

Getting Confrontation Out Of Communication

Mar 27, 2015
Wikimedia

Are you talking to me?  Imagine that phrase in Robert De Niro's voice. 

And it's a question often asked, especially in the heat of a moment when we don't LIKE the way someone is talking to us. 

Joanne Lescher deals with that situation and many like it, advocating NVC, or nonviolent communication. 

She works with couples, individuals and business throughout the region and beyond. 

Family-to-Family Help With Mental Illness

Jan 30, 2015
Christian LInder/Wikimedia

We're still working as a society to shake the stigma that often accompanies mental illness. 

Roughly a quarter of American adults experience some kind of mental illness in a given year. 

The National Alliance on Mental Illness--NAMI--works to overcome misconceptions and stereotypes. 

Its Rogue Valley chapter offers programs for people dealing with mental illness in a family member to receive training--from people in similar situations. 

Wikimedia

Trauma tends to have effects that last long after the traumatic incident in a person's life. 

Witness the recognition in modern times of PTSD, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. 

Dr. Bessel Van Der Kolk started working with stressed-out veterans before PTSD was even an official diagnosis. 

Now he examines the many ways in which stress can alter the body and mind permanently, if not treated propertly. 

How To Stop Hating Yourself

Jul 24, 2014
Tarcher/Penguin

It's one thing to be hard on yourself, and take setbacks and criticism to heart. 

It's another thing entirely to actually hate yourself. 

Author Anneli Rufus is one of many people who struggled with low self-esteem all her life. 

And while she does NOT recommend going all the way to the other end of the spectrum, she does think it's high time to close what may be an epidemic of self-loathing. 

Inside Mental Health Care: "Sherry Goes Sane"

May 16, 2014
Sherry Joiner

We debate the proper treatment of mental illness a fair amount in this country. 

Sherry Joiner can shed some light on the debate from the patient point of view. 

Joiner emerged from a turbulent childhood with some serious mental challenges. 

After years of episodes, she finally got the treatment she needed. 

familypsychpress.com

A recent discussion on ADHD on The Exchange focused on the big picture: the numbers of people diagnosed with the condition, and how fast that number is rising. 

We take another look at attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder with psychologist Wes Crenshaw. 

Changing The Perceptions Of Mental Illness

May 2, 2014
Christian LInder/Wikimedia

The things we learn about mental illness tend to come from movies or the news. 

Sadly, mental illness hits the headlines when a person suffering from mental illness commits a notable crime. 

There is still a stigma attached to mental illness, and still a problem with mentally ill people ending up in jail instead of treatment. 

The ADHD Explosion

Apr 30, 2014
Oxford University Press

Many parents have wondered why there seem to be so many cases of ADHD, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, being diagnosed in America today. 

One in nine children are diagnosed with ADHD, and the majority of them receive prescriptions for it. 

Mental Health Care Revamped: Compass House

Mar 20, 2014
socompasshouse.org

We've come a long way since the days when mentally ill people were "warehoused" in huge state mental hospitals. 

But we're still looking for the solutions that work best for each community. 

Later this year, Medford will become home to Compass House, a mental health facility that is operated jointly by staff and clients.

Evolutionary Origins Of Depression

Feb 24, 2014
Basic Books

When you look at the life span of the human species, we're still pretty young. 

It wasn't so long ago that our ancestors faced threats from disease and predators.

Getting Past The "Secrets and Lies"

Jan 28, 2014
Doubleday

Think about a time when someone shared a long-held secret. 

Were you blown away by the truth?  Jane Isay listened as her husband explained his homosexuality, then helped him keep the secret as they stayed married for another ten years. 

The Narcissist In Your Life

Nov 7, 2013
Tarcher Penguin Books

Use, abuse, dispose. 

Family therapist Linda Martinez-Lewi says that is the cycle of the true narcissist, a person with little or no empathy or ability to form a true connection with other people. 

Method To The Madness: "Divine Lunacy"

Sep 19, 2013
David Gabriel & Peter Quince

How best to broach the subject of mental illness?

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