The Complexity of a Bipolar Disorder

Posted by on Jan 29, 2018 in Featured, Living with illness | 0 comments

The Complexity of a Bipolar Disorder

The Complexity of Bipolar Disorder When Accompanied By Co-existent Illnesses

At twenty-four years old, Susan Harris suffers from bipolar disorder, drug abuse, migraine headaches and social phobia. Due to poor coping skills, she lives with her parents. Normally she responds well to medication.

But on November 13th of 2012, Susan disappeared for four days and three nights. It wasn’t the first or the longest. On Friday the 16th, they found her in the alley on the backside of the DeWolfe Street hardware store. Cold, wet and shaking like a loose shelf in a 1850s freight car, she was huddle between the block walls and the dumpster. No one knows what happened or where she spent those missing days.

The burdens of caring for a young adult with bipolar disorder can break a parent’s heart. Each day carries a certain measure of fear and worry – even when the child’s current medication appears to provide measurable success. At any moment something can break and your bipolar child crosses into a season of darkness.

Diagnosing Bipolar Disorder Can Be Complicated By Co-existing Illnesses

Bipolar disorder is typically characterized by discrete and intense emotional changes ranging from extreme manic excitement to deep level bouts with depression. However, the disorder can also be limited to periods of long-lasting unstable mood patterns. When complicated by any of the following co-existing illnesses, bipolar disorder can be very difficult to detect and diagnose:

  • Anxiety disorders such as PTSD
  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
  • Substance abuse
  • Various physical complications, including diabetes, heart disease and migraines – all capable of inducing symptoms of depression or mania.

Current Treatment of Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder cannot be cured. Modern treatment helps, but this illness remains a lifelong affliction. Effective control methods include:

  • Medications such as mood-stabilizing products, sleep aids and Lithium treatments designed to aid with thyroid problems
  • Psychotherapy involving cognitive behavioral therapy, family-focused coping strategies, social rhythm processes and psycho-education designed to teach bipolar individuals how to recognize danger signs
  • Electro-convulsive therapy, which may be used in the event that medication and/or psychotherapy fails to provide positive results.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, several new studies indicate medication supported by intensive psychotherapy and social rhythm therapy provides better results than those achieved via collaborative care and psycho-education sessions. Yet the big question remains:

How long will it be before the parents of Susan Harris must endure another vanishing daughter ordeal?

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C.C. Sabathia Not Guaranteed Spot After Rehab

Posted by on Dec 3, 2015 in Featured | 0 comments

C.C. Sabathia Not Guaranteed Spot After Rehab

Recently, C.C. Sabathia recently opened up about his struggle with alcoholism. 28 days after his stint at an undisclosed rehabilitation center, C.C. Sabathia emerged and discussed his battles with alcohol, and now has a new outlook on life.

All of his teammates and family are incredibly proud of Sabathia for his courage to change his habits, Sabathia is not guaranteed a spot in the Yankee rotation.

While the Yankees are obligated to pay Sabathia a minimum of $30-50 million over the final two seasons of his contract, the team is not obligated to reserve a spot in their 2016 rotation. On Monday, general manager Brian Cashman implied Sabathia will have to earn a starting spot in spring training.

Cashman repeatedly states that C.C.’s recent stay in an alcohol rehab center had nothing to do with his reservations to put Sabathia in the five spots on the Yankee’s rotation.

While appearing at a charity event in Manhattan, Sabathia said that despite his month in rehab, he has already started working out for next season.

Sabathia’s Addiction to Alcohol

Sabathia’s stay at rehab to avoid relapsing and finding treatment for his disease is an inspiration for honesty about addiction. C.C. has stated that he wants to be a role-model to his community, meaning that he wants to be on his best behavior.

Sabathia also mentioned that he did not drink before any of his games.

C.C. was not allowed to have a telephone during his stay in rehab. His wife Amber, said that she heard from all-star players like Derek Jeter, Alex Rodrigues, Brian McCann and Andy Pettitte all in the same day.

Amber mentioned that their 12 year-old son was also aware of his father’s visit to rehab, and was very proud of his father for learning how to cope with the stresses of daily life without alcohol.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

Photo Credit by Triple Tri (Flickr) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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Free Resource CD On Shared Decision Making (SDM) for Mental Health

Posted by on Feb 25, 2013 in Featured | 0 comments

Free Resource CD On Shared Decision Making (SDM) for Mental Health

Although several new studies may lead you to believe that Shared Decision Making is new to the mental healthcare industry, the system has a history of researchers, practitioners and recovered patients. In fact, SDM and medication management go hand-in-hand toward the recovery process.


Shortcomings Associated With Conceptualized Medication Management

According to a paper released in 2006 by Pat Deegan, PhD and Associates, mental healthcare professionals of that time period often practiced conceptualized medication management. However, the authors argue that compliance-focused strategies fail due to the complexity of the process, the nature of autonomous patients and an assumed projected learning curve that stretches into decades.

Strategies that help increase compliance in patients with severe mental illnesses are based upon paternalism that clashes with the principles of person-centered healthcare. Furthermore, using medication is a hands-on process that demands complex patient decision making interactions. The Deegan team identified this process as an opportunity for the patient to “work through decisional conflicts.”

To you, or your loved one, this means quicker re-entry into:

  • Society
  • Personal relationships
  • Independent living
  • AND peace of mind.

Shared Decision Making As a Model For Recovery

Using medication in an SDM environment establishes a partnership between you and your practitioner. It’s an opportunity for studying the success of a treatment within the context of short and long-term recovery from any major mental disorder. Sharing in the decision-making process permits you and your doctor to work as one in the evaluation of the advantages and the disadvantages of any treatment program.

A study conducted in March of 2008 by the Center for Multicultural Mental Health Research out of Cambridge Health Alliance determined that patient-provider communication potentially increases self-reported patient activation, retention and attendance. The study evidenced that intervention participants, when measured against comparison participants, were three times more likely to schedule follow-up medical visits.

SDM as a model for mental health recovery is not new nor is it dormant.

Currently available for free from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration: A new CD on Shared Decision Making in Mental Health Decision Aid. The CD-ROM is designed for:

  • Mental Health Patients
  • Substance Abuse Patients
  • Patients Battling With Alcohol Use or Abuse
  • AND others.

The materials focus on SDM intervention and how it helps people with mental illnesses make the right treatment choices. The context includes:

  • Tips
  • Videos
  • Workbooks
  • AND various interactive components of medication-assisted therapy.

You can order your free Shared Decision Making CD now at: http://store.samhsa.gov/product/SMA12-4696.

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Evolving Governmental Mental Health Packages

Posted by on Feb 1, 2013 in About, Featured | 0 comments

Evolving Governmental Mental Health Packages

According to reports from the Pennsylvania Mental Health Consumer’s Association (PMHCA), recovery-oriented systems of care have become the single most important solution for mental illness. The work, purposes and goals of the “recovery movement” advance the concept of recovery-oriented system changes.

Whereas previous treatment programs sometimes resisted the notion of permanent healing, the recovery movement focuses on the belief that people are capable of fully recovering from mental illness. As such, recovery-oriented healing should be the primary goal of any mental health service-delivery system.

National Support For ROSC Mental Health Programs

In the September 2010 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) resource guide, the authors assert a firm belief that ROSC is an integral component of the modern mental healthcare environment. Throughout the guide, caregivers, policy makers and providers of recovery support services are given clear instructions on how to fully integrate ROSC into the evolving changes in governmental mental healthcare programs.

As a relatively new model in the field of substance abuse disorders, ROSC is a continually evolving process. States, communities and even patients will learn and grow as the system is implemented, evaluated and permitted to mature. Sweeping changes in national healthcare reform promotes expanded coverage for citizens suffering from mental health disorders and substance abuse issues. ROSC is ingrained into the new health model. The focus on early intervention, prevention, treatment and full recovery shall rule the future of mental health management.

The Effects On You And Your Family

Mental patients and the families of mental patients can expect to see a change in mental health care that will align the tenets of reform benefits, current program frameworks and the history of ROSC into a single and efficient method of recovery-orientated mental health programs. The process promotes healing through:

  • Advocacy
  • Education
  • Elimination of the discrimination and stigmas so often linked to mental health issues
  • Promotion of social acceptance
  • AND more.

Through the practical application of recovery-orientated systems of care, a mental health patient can be healed, transformed and empowered to attain his or her full potential as a productive member of the local and global community. So, will ROSC open doors into a brave new world?

Time will tell.

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Changing The Way You Deal With Your Child’s Mental Health

Posted by on Jan 28, 2013 in Featured, Parenting | 0 comments

Changing The Way You Deal With Your Child’s Mental Health

Helen Keller was treated as a mentally disturbed child yet her disabilities were physical and her mind was clear. But her ability to communicate with her environment was limited and she came from a time in which mentally ill children were often treated as a blot against the dignity of the parents. Society was void of knowledge, understanding and the courage to reject the so-called curse of a mentally disturbed child.

Kindness abounded, but little was done to change the circumstances. People like Anne Sullivan were among the uncommon. There weren’t many blind/deaf girls that enjoyed a world encounter at the faucet of a hand-cranked water pump.


A New Approach To Your Child’s Mental Health


A recent article from the National Technical Assistance Center for Children’s Mental Health brings to light a new conceptual framework for helping to ensure that your child has the opportunities that many of Helen Keller’s peers never received.

The new approach uses the impact of System of Care values to promote enhanced child development. The process focuses on healthy environments, physical health and mental health.

The core approach applies three primary principles:

  1. Identify a child’s mental health problems
  2. Help the child learn to optimize their mental strengths
  3. Focus public health concepts on areas that strengthen your child’s physical health, mental development and mental health.

Three major elements make up the conceptual framework of the program:

  1. Establish principles of application
  2. Establish a set of rules concerning public health response to circumstances
  3. Establish an expanded range of public intervention.

When functioning correctly, this new model of managing children’s mental health will promote better focus on positive mental health. Parents, teachers and authorities will work to prevent mental health problems through treatment and by reclaiming ground previously loss due to poor intervention.

Leaders of policy roles, federal and state facilities and local programs may soon take a “Big” hand in your child’s mental health. The question:

Is it “Big Brother,” interference or is it providing something that the children of Helen Keller’s age never had the opportunity to receive?

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Parental Involvement Improves Pupil Performance

Posted by on Dec 14, 2012 in Featured, Parenting | 0 comments

Parental Involvement Improves Pupil Performance

A recent article from the Department for Education and Skills (DES) examines the effects of spontaneous parental involvement on pupil progress and achievement. “Good parenting,” according to the authors Professor Charles Desforges and Alberto Abouchaar, is tightly linked to a parent’s spontaneous activity in and out of home. By involving yourself in home pre-school, parent to teacher discussions, child progress tracking and a host of other methods, you can help construct within your child a good foundation of:

  • Attitudes
  • Self Confidence
  • Skills
  • And Values.

The DES article attempts to enlighten parents concerning three areas of spontaneous parental involvement:

  1. The nature, impact and outcome of spontaneous parenting
  2. Things that hinder spontaneous parental involvement
  3. The evaluation and enhancement of a parent’s spontaneous involvement

Core Description And Nature Of Parental Leadership On A Spontaneous Level

Current DES research uses advanced statistical collection and measurement techniques to describe the scope and scale of spontaneous parental involvement in pupil achievement. To ensure good, in-home parenting you should provide daily resources that include:

  • A stable and secure environment
  • Active and positive communications with schools and educational leaders
  • Discussions between you and your child
  • Hands-on participation in school related work projects
  • Intellectual stimulation
  • Participation in educational, school and social events
  • Participation in school governmental decisions
  • Role model leadership concerning educational, personal and social citizenship and values.

Progressive Stages Of Diminishing Value

As a parent, you should understand two primary points concerning parental involvement in pupil performance.

1) Your ability to influence your child through spontaneous parental involvement can be hindered by your:

  • Family social class
  • Maternal concerns such as level of education, psycho-social health and dual parent status
  • Matters of material deprivation
  • Family ethnicity.

These matters are not insurmountable. They merely reflect a need to work harder and longer in your efforts to produce the improvements that can be derived through effective spontaneous parental involvement.

2) Your ability to influence your child’s personal and social growth is diminished as your child ages. Imagine how the benefits of an early start can enhance and extend the age of break-away.

Seven Question Checkup Of Your Spontaneous Parental Involvement

  1. Do my spontaneous parenting skills include effective parent-to-child interaction?
  2. Am I spontaneous in my school-to-home and home-to-school communications?
  3. Do I spontaneously volunteer for classroom events?
  4. Do I provide my child with effective homework help?
  5. As a spontaneous parent, am I helping my child make correct choices for educational options?
  6. What areas of PTA and school government occupy my time?
  7. Do I collaborate with community efforts to contribute to my child’s school?
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