Sober Living Houses and Mental Illness by Kartar Diamond

Sober Living Houses fulfill a need and help people with drug or alcohol problems become sober. The people who move into a Sober Living house voluntarily are likely to be more successful than those who are court-ordered to live there, but each person has their own unique history with addiction and their own time table and their own resolve to change. Sober Living houses are often located in residential neighborhoods, indistinguishable from surrounding private homes. In order to maintain good standing in the [...]

By |2021-02-16T04:27:38+00:00February 16, 2021|Advocacy, Mental Illness, Treatment|0 Comments

When Your Mentally Ill Loved One Lives At Home by Kartar Diamond

In my parents’ era, kids were often out of the house and working at age eighteen or away in college. As the decades have rolled forward, more and more young adults live at home, usually for financial reasons. There is also a phrase, “failure to launch” which is mostly ascribed to young men who have a difficult time gaining independence. With economic downturns, such as in 2008, multi-generational households have become quite common. With the COVID-19/ Economic Lock Down, for sure we will [...]

By |2020-12-18T03:30:42+00:00December 18, 2020|Advocacy, Family, Mental Illness|0 Comments

Can People With Schizophrenia Lead Normal Lives? by Kartar Diamond

The functional recovery, aptitudes or limitations of people with schizophrenia is complicated. Different parts of the brain are affected under the same diagnosis and some people can maintain superior intellectual and creative capabilities, even when other areas of functionality are lacking.  There are many variables which come into play and I learned a lot from reading Dr. E. Fuller Torrey’s book, Surviving Schizophrenia.  The operative words in this article are “functional recovery” because there is no cure for the disease, but it can [...]

By |2020-11-13T17:29:53+00:00November 13, 2020|Advocacy, Family, Mental Illness|0 Comments

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

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

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

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

An Odd Time to Thank Law Enforcement

Without the need to elaborate, Mental Health Awareness Month included a day which will be seared into history as a pivotal moment in Black Lives Matter. May 25th, 2020 was a day when nearly the entire planet witnessed virtually a sickening and unnecessary death of a human being at the hands of excessive police force. So why would I want to send a virtual letter of gratitude to law enforcement, aside from the fact that U.S. police officers are mostly good people, trying [...]

By |2020-08-21T16:56:19+00:00August 21, 2020|Advocacy, Policy|0 Comments
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