Cynthia28's Blog

February 23, 2010

Mental illness and recovery

Filed under: Uncategorized — cynthia28 @ 9:42 pm


There is a growing movement in the treatment of mental illness. That movement is called the Recovery Movement. In the not to distant past, it was believed that people with a serious mental illness would not be able to do more then control their symptoms. They were often told they would do nothing productive in life, not have a job, or at least, not have a job that was more than dish washing, janitorial, or grounds keeping. People with mental illness were told what they had to do and what medications they must take. If they questioned the amount of medications, the dosage, the side effects or other treatment they received, they were called “non-compliant.”

Some of those who received a diagnosis that falls under the label of severely mentally ill decided they no longer wanted to be treated as a diagnosis, but as a person with a diagnosis. They told their doctors they wanted something better for their lives and wanted to make a difference. One such person is Dr. Patricia Deegan. Dr. Deegan was diagnosed with schizophrenia when she was a teenager. The doctor told her the best she could hope for was to control the symptoms. She believed this for a while. Then, she decided she wanted more. She attended college and earned a Ph.D in Psychology. She has been a driving force in the recovery movement. Watch Dr. Deegan talk about her recovery  

There are a number of definitions of recovery from mental illness. What it does not mean that all symptoms are gone. Recovery means regaining some of the roles we fill in our lives, or did fill before the symptoms of the disease started. It means recovering some, if not all, of our living, learning, working, and social roles in life. A recovery model and definition from Mecklenburg’s Promis . Here is what SAMHSA has t say about the subject

Some of the basic ideas of the recovery movement are directly related to community psychology. One of the most important goals of the movement is to empower those with a diagnosis of a mental disorder. The hope is to teach them to ask questions of those they see for help, to get involved with their treatment and encourage them to bring family and friends with them through their journey of recovery. The goal is to give them the power to have a life that is not all about the illness.

Another issue was the idea that the person was the problem and the person must do as the system said. This is not so, anymore. The system was broken, is still not working so well, and is being fixed; slowly it is true, by small wins. Person first language and person centered planning are two keys to recovery. Person first language is simple. “Do not refer to me by my diagnosis. I am more then that.” Person centered planning means including the person’s goals, ideas, requests, needs and wants in the treatment. It means moving away from “you are ill and to get better you will do as we, ‘the experts’, tell you to do”, to “you have an illness and we, the experts, will ask you what you want, you need, and we will listen to your concerns. We will give you all options and help you choose how you want to proceed. We will encourage you to stay in the community of your choice and help you grow to your potential.”

Yes, the goals are set high for those with mental illness. But, why not? The goals are set high for every one else.

Just an interesting video to dispel some myths about mental illness,


February 9, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — cynthia28 @ 11:12 pm

It is a sad state we are in now: The economic state and the state of Arizona. As the budget problems continue, the fear of more losses for those who can least afford it grow. There are new proposals every day on what cuts to make. However, the population most affected by those cuts remains the same. Those who live at or below poverty level are in the most fear of losing even more. And, in the long run, the most danger. The cuts to services for the poor may save some money in the short run but will affect all of us very deeply in the long run. The more people  with no insurance for medical or mental health problems, the more people will end up in emergency rooms for help, unemployed, and homeless. This will cause much more of a deficit then we are seeing at present.

Is it not the goal to have every person who is capable, working? Yet, new suggested cuts would eliminate funding for the state’s GED programs. Not only will this keep more people from getting a job, it will cost the state more in educating people in the traditional school system and end federal matching dollars.It seems people need someone to blame for the economic problems. It seems easy, for some, to blame the poor for everyone’s problems. “If they would just go to work…if they would try harder…if they would quit breeding…” “You’re facilitating the problem if you give an animal or a person ample food supply,” says South Carolina’s Lt. Governor. Unbelievably cold-hearted. I don’t know what the answer is, but to cut money to basic education, medical care, and food is not the correct one. To remove hope leaves people with nothing. The poor already have too little.  Lt. Gov of South Carolina.

Read more: The written report for Lt. Gov of S.C. Cutting GED funding Cutting GED funding Health care cuts Consequences of Cutting Healthcare More about the Lt. Gov of S.C.

Blog at