Monthly Archives: March 2014

A curse

hope despairPeople who are visually impaired know what it is like to live in perpetual darkness. Only people who have suffered a mental disorder really understand the pain, the frustration, the feeling of utter loss, the stigma, the loneliness and sadness that mental illness brings to the patient as well as to his/her family.

The stigma evolves because people reject things that they do not understand.

As a mother of a son with a mental illness, I had to learn a lot about life; and I did. I learned to accept things that cannot be changed even though it took a long time. It taught me to respect people who respected me in return. It taught me to be more empathetic and most of all, living with schizophrenia taught me the value of drawing strength from within.

Let’s all give or help find employment for a person whose mental illness has been brought under control. Let’s try and understand any person suffering from any kind of mental illness. They are in pain and need all the support that they can muster.

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To the Doctors and Nurses from ‘Running Toward Happy’

flowers 3Reblogged from :

Running Toward Happy

   To all the Doctors and Nurses

My mother suffered from schizophrenia all of her adult life so consequently, I learned some things about doctors and nurses.  I do hope that they will take the advice I have for them.

DOCTORS

1.  Do not play God with the mentally ill

2.  Do listen to the family members when they tell you their loved one is able to cope at a certain dosage of anti-psychotic medication.

3.  If our loved one is admitted into the hospital for a fall or surgery, make sure they stay on their anti-psychotic medications.

4.  If you go on vacation over a long weekend and decide not to be disturbed, please leave specific instructions for someone else on the staff regarding any mentally ill patients you  might have on the ward.

5.  Last but not least.  You are treating a person; someone’s  mother, father, son or daughter.  They need to be treated with respect.  Do not call the person with paranoid schizophrenia a “schiz”.  It is demeaning and heartbreaking to even contemplate that the medical community only sees the illness and not the patient.

NURSES

1.  If the doctor leaves town for a vacation and the family tells you their loved one needs to be on their psych meds, call that doctor, raise hell, scream and shout like the family would do.

Because after a few days of MY mother being admitted to a hospital near Austin, Texas for a fall, things took a very bad turn.  When I realized my mother was not on her psych meds, I told the nursing staff who tried to call the doctor.  I don’t know what was going through their minds.  Maybe they had just seen a movie where a patient was overmedicated and a zombie and they assumed that’s what happens with a lot of patients.  My mother was somewhat calmer when I saw her in the hospital on the Friday before Memorial Day.  I looked the nurse in the eye and said, “You are going to have problems if she does not get her psych meds soon. Call the doctor.”

I returned two days later and could hear my mother screaming as I entered the hospital corridor.  I knew in an instant, the hospital staff had not given my mother her medication.  The nurses were running up and down the hall trying to calm my her.  When the nurse looked me in the eye and frantically asked, “What do you do when she’s like this??!!!”  My response to her was, “I don’t know what happens next because she has to go to the psych hospital when she gets this bad!” 

Oh, the unneeded stress.  Oh, the money spent because of a doctor  that either does not believe in the previous physician’s notes, or thinks he knows better. Oh the patients who suffer needlessly because they don’t have their proper medications…..and oh, how my heart goes out to the families who see this and realize they can do nothing about it.

Pray for a cure.  Pray for a grant and more research to be done in the area of mental illness.  Don’t give up.  Pray, wait and hope.

I can’t manage to get the link but this is the website :

http://runningtowardhappy.files,wordpress.com/2014/03/mother-as-a-nurse.jpg

 

 

I had to control my stress and not let it control me

a willow treeFar too many of us suffer from illnesses related directly to stress. When our reactions to stress get beyond certain types of responses, it can be debilitating. I discovered how imperative it was to control the stress in my life, which was far better than allowing stress to control me. So, I simply had to learn  stress-reduction techniques, like saying no sometimes, avoiding stressful situations that I knew would upset me, as well as keep my TO DO LIST within manageable proportions.

There is nothing like a hot shower to make me relax my muscles; or visiting a nearby park with rolling green lawns and exotic trees. Laughter helps too but when suffering from stress this is not so easy to do.

Worthy of mention

wisteria 6Whatever  you do, don’t get stuck on the thing that ruins your day. SMILE, and be grateful as life is so short.

Live simply, love generously, speak truthfully, breathe deeply. Do your best.

Don’t spend so much on creating a perfect life as it can make you forget to live.

Go for long walks. Indulge in great conversations. Pay attention to the moment and count your blessings.

A very special greengrocer

a greengrocerA VERY SPECIAL GREENGROCER

I attended the Man of the Year ceremony at a Rotary meeting and the person to get the honors, was a greengrocer; a very special greengrocer indeed. Instead of leaving the surplus produce to rot, at the end of every single week, he calls a volunteer from the local Rotary Branch to come with transport and collect whatever he was unable to sell before the weekend. The greengrocer’s son, who is handicapped, helps the volunteer to pile as much as they can into the hatchback,  which is then taken to the nearest mental health rehabilitation center. Watching this was heartwarming. It was also so good to meet with the people who did not think twice about donating to the community with open hearts, as well as to discover that the Rotarians were prepared to help out. These same Rotarians organized a roster so that every single week, one of them visited the mental health rehabilitation center to deliver a lecture to whoever turned up … on any subject of their choice. The audience were people with mental illnesses and their comments were: ‘Thank you so much for coming. You make us feel like everyone else – ordinary.’ 

Mental Health Awareness

I am a bit late with this post, but do not want MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS WEEK to pass by without mention on my blog.

If a person feels well and healthy, it is so much easier to deal with life’s challenges and feel less stressed.

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A mental health nurse in a police station?

nurseIt might be a step in the right direction if mental health nurses were based in police stations to assist the officers who respond to calls and identify the ones with mental illnesses. Only too often, criminals with mental health problems are diagnosed only after they have been incarcerated in a prison.

Amongst the prisoners, there are always some with mental health issues or substance misuse problems. One in every four prisoners has a severe mental illness such as depression or schizophrenia. As a result, police officers spend a great deal of time they cannot afford, dealing with these people.

If a suspect is correctly diagnosed, they can be offered treatment and support which could affect the way they are dealt with by the criminal justice system. IF they are diagnosed and dealt with, the authorities have a way of reducing them from reoffending. While police officers should be working on their fight against crime, those with mental illnesses should be focused on and receive the care they need as soon as possible.

So many people are sent to prison needlessly due to a failure of the authorities to respond to some of the underlying issues in their lives. Nurses bring vital skills to these complex and challenging cases that are not meant for police officers to handle.  Strictly speaking, mental illness should be dealt with long before a consumer reaches the stage of imprisonment.