We Understand What You Are Going Through by Kartar Diamond

Many caretakers and family members come to a support group feeling isolated, frustrated and embarrassed about their situations with their mentally ill loved one. What you are going through is unique, but we also share some nearly universal circumstances: Most of us took a while to fully comprehend that our MIL (Mentally ill Loved One) has a serious mental illness which transcends ordinary emotions, personality or behavioral dysfunctions. Most of us have endured the fear of not knowing what to do and a [...]

By |2020-09-29T23:51:31+00:00September 29, 2020|Advocacy, Family, Mental Illness|0 Comments

Why Do the Mentally Ill Stop Taking Their Medication? by Kartar Diamond

The purpose of this article is to highlight the reasons why some individuals stop taking anti-psychotic medication, against the advice of family, friends and doctors. My purpose here is not to rally sympathy for a mass shooter who has stopped taking his medication. My purpose is not to discuss the merits or the risks of taking anti-psychotics to begin with. In fact we have, generally speaking, two large camps when it comes to public opinion. There are those who are strongly opposed to [...]

By |2020-09-22T18:14:06+00:00September 22, 2020|Advocacy, Mental Illness, Policy|0 Comments

Breakdown: A Clinician’s Experience In A Broken System of Emergency Psychiatry

I had a very personal interest in reading Breakdown, by Lynn Nanos, L.I.C.S.W., because I have a family member with schizophrenia. Along with many others, I have felt intensely frustrated with every aspect of the mental health care system, including hospitals and their staff.  I needed to find out what she had to report from her own professional experiences as a mobile emergency psychiatric clinician, with the special skills and ability to orchestrate involuntary hospital admissions. The book is well written, heart-wrenching in [...]

By |2020-09-21T03:58:08+00:00September 21, 2020|Advocacy, Book Reviews, Policy|0 Comments

Schizophrenia and Cigarettes by Kartar Diamond

Did you know that we all have nicotine receptors in our brain? When activated, the receptors release dopamine. 92% of all men with schizophrenia smoke cigarettes. This is one reason why Dr. E. Fuller Torrey devoted a whole chapter to nicotine and caffeine in his book, Surviving Schizophrenia. Parents have very different experiences with their son or daughter who has schizophrenia, depending on whether they smoke or not. Those who smoke appear to be living just for the next opportunity to light up. [...]

By |2020-09-20T00:18:35+00:00September 20, 2020|Family, Mental Illness|0 Comments

What Is an LPS Conservatorship? (Part 1)

A conservatorship is a legal instrument which grants a person the responsibility of being the legal guardian for another adult.  The person who is conserved is called the “conservatee.” There are different types of conservatorships and one which some people are familiar with is the kind of conservatorship put in place for an aging adult who has lost their ability to handle their own affairs. This can happen with dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease. Some conservatorships are long term or permanent.  In the case [...]

By |2020-09-15T03:19:00+00:00September 15, 2020|Advocacy, Mental Illness, Policy|0 Comments

Review of Hidden Valley Road

Book Review Hidden Valley Road: Inside the Mind of an American Family Robert Kolker’s book, Hidden Valley Road, is a distinct work in the midst of an upsurge in books about serious mental illness. He chronicles the events and transformation of a 1960’s family with twelve children, producing six boys with schizophrenia. To be clear: The mother had no idea some of her children had mental illness until after they were all born. Decades later, the family members’ contribution to medical research through [...]

By |2020-09-11T23:28:55+00:00September 11, 2020|Book Reviews, Mental Illness|0 Comments

What Is Dual Diagnosis? by Kartar Diamond

In the mental health care industry, it has become the standard to refer to a person with both mental illness and a substance abuse disorder as having a Dual Diagnosis.  If not explained, one might otherwise come to the conclusion the phrase refers to a person with two co-occurring mental illnesses.  An example of co-occurring mental illnesses might be schizophrenia combined with a (major depressive) mood disorder, usually called schizoaffective disorder. Dual Diagnosis is an important term because substance abuse will complicate and [...]

By |2020-09-08T02:09:12+00:00September 8, 2020|Advocacy, Mental Illness|0 Comments

What Is An IMD? by Kartar Diamond

The acronym IMD stands for Institute of Mental Disease. This is a fairly recent re-naming of what used to be called a mental hospital, a mental institution, psychiatric hospital, or in the last century: Insane Asylum.  Once attached to the word “insane”, there are now certainly plenty of negative connotations with the word “asylum.” Its original meaning and usage was more akin to a refuge, providing safe haven, shelter and protection, such as “refugees seeking asylum” in another country. Over the last sixty [...]

By |2020-09-05T18:45:46+00:00September 5, 2020|Mental Illness, Policy|0 Comments

Recognizing Emerging Mental Illness

Recognizing mental illness when it first emerges can be extremely difficult, even for family members who are so familiar with the personality and character of their suffering loved one. This can be an agonizing and fear-inducing predicament for obvious reasons. What makes the recognition of mental illness so challenging can be blamed on several factors. Firstly, the average person is not expected to be educated about mental illness, unless they already have someone in their life with a well-established mental illness. Some cultures [...]

By |2020-08-31T22:16:08+00:00August 31, 2020|Articles by Others, Family, Mental Illness|0 Comments

In Memory of Mental Illness Advocate DJ Jaffe

With both shock and sadness, I heard yesterday about DJ Jaffe’s passing the day before. It couldn’t have been more than a few weeks ago when I responded to one of his Facebook posts. He hid his illness well and worked tirelessly until the very end.  Others who knew him well have already written beautiful commentaries and his Facebook page has an outpouring of condolences which I hope his whole family will read.  I didn’t know him well, but my son and I [...]

By |2020-08-25T17:20:35+00:00August 25, 2020|Advocacy, Policy|0 Comments
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