A Quote From Candice's Parents

A quest for an understanding of mental illness as deep as the roots of an oak tree; and a desire to develop connections as strong as it's branches.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Missing blog

I would like to apologize to any and all of our followers and supporters. I have experienced lengthy computer technical difficulties. In the past two weeks, I have had a processor and motherboard replaced. Success,No?! Dell, has now determined that it is the hard-drive is bad as well. Oh, and now the previously working speakers are out also. What next, is there left to replace? May I also mention, Dell changed the keyboard and hinge cover too. All on the same service request ticket and still no computer.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Natural Treatment for Anxiety and Depression; My Trial Treatment

When seeking treatment for any given medical condition, depression and anxiety included; I am quite sure many of us have gone through various medical treatment options before finding success. My daughter has been through a minimum of four different prescription changes alone. At best she has stabilized, but has yet to recover. In a world where prescriptions are as numerous as the people who are being treated with them, what we have concluded is not every treatment works best for everybody. At every turn in the road someone seems to have an opinion about what they seem to believe works. What I have noticed works well is a variable of treatment options that can be combined to achieve optimum results. In a recent publication of our local Sunday paper, I happened to stumble upon an article regarding treatment for depression in pregnant women. The article concluded that no treatment at all, had an over all more devastating affect, than risks posed to an unborn fetus provided mother is closely monitored while taking prescribed treatment. Careful consideration is given, with regard to cases of devastating and recurring depression and suicidal thoughts. The guidelines also stress the importance of psychotherapy and emphasize that psychotherapy may be best and should be offered. Psychotherapy will be helpful in cases in which psychological factors like skewed thought patterns are identified to have caused depression. In such cases, psychotherapy or counseling will work better if there is good understanding and a solid rapport between the counselor and the patient. Depending on the severity of the disorder, long and frequent counseling sessions may be necessary due to the patient’s distorted thought patterns. Thought patterns, personal relationships, and low self-esteem must be corrected; giving particular attention to the level of self-love, additionally, stress has to be lowered or eliminated. The most important thing is the method of approach the counselor brings, as well as, the counselor-patient relationship.
Rehabilitation of individuals with various types of mental illness is a family and social responsibility. Attempts to treat mental illness by drugs alone will not be successful. For this reason, the stigma that is associated with mental illnesses has to be discarded. Loved ones must not discriminate against people with mental illness because this can make the problem worse. Love and support is the best way to start looking toward a cure. Research and treatment have made tremendous strides over the past decades, in light of previously used primitive treatment methods. However, I do not know anyone who has been through the long and difficult road back to health, personally or with a loved one, that does not believe that we still have a miles to go. As our family has endured numerous personal challenges of the most extreme, compounded with the demand of our daughters mental illness; I have personally battled with varying degrees of anxiety from mild to more severe. While I do not share my daughters' same mental illness struggles, anxiety is not a frivolous matter. It has caused me many a sleepless night with the only end result being complete exhaustion the next day. My symptoms have differed from shortness of breath, nausea, headaches, tension , and irritability. At the advice of my family doctor, who herself had positive results with Zoloft during pregnancy, I tried anti-anxiety medication on two consecutive occasions. I took Zoloft for a total of eight weeks with no success. I returned to the physician suffering from the same effects only to be recommended to Cymbalta which I proceed to take for another four weeks. Cymbalta conceded to be more harsh than the previous medication. My experience with anti-anxiety medication concluded that, for me, the side effects of the medication were worse than the actual anxiety and made no difference in my anxiety symptoms. My side effects varied from severe headaches, dizziness, indigestion, and fatigue, among others. My best results were achieved with meditation, breathing exercises and relaxation music. I am beginning a new alternative treatment program to help with my anxiety symptoms, I will keep you all posted over the next couple of weeks in regard to my degree of success. If anyone has had success or failure with either medication or any additional treatment please leave feed-back with blog. We are looking for feed-back on any type of mental illness. God bless you and may you have the best of luck in your medical seekings.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Count Your Blessings

I hope this post does not chase anyone off, but I chose to blog on Prayer and blessings. How often do we actually sit down and say thank you for what life has given us? How often do we say thank you for the blessings in our life. I'm sure you can think of just one thing to say thank you for. This long and challenging week, I realized I did have one thing to be thankful for. My husband just found out the results of his cancer scan. His scan came back negative for cancer. Wow, what a relief! After reflecting further, I realized I was thankful for two things. Mental illness can present a lot of challenges, but one thing that may not come to mind often, is just being alive. Just the other day, my daughter informed me that a young man she meet while in the hospital, died of a drug overdose. Additionally, a young woman she also met while hospitalized, has returned to self mutilation. That must be real painful for the family to watch helplessly as a family member injures them self. I recall seeing the extremely large scars on her arms as my daughter introduced us to her. I guess I should thank God my husband is still alive and for the most part, after two surgeries and radiation is doing rather well. I might also add ,that for the most part my daughter is doing better than some of the others we have encountered during her stay at the hospital. For the majority of Americans, Thanksgiving day is about the only time when we think about what’s actually important in life and why we should count our blessings. Happiness in life is not about material possessions or money. Happiness is first and foremost found in a certain comforting fact. That when our time has come to leave this life, we will spend the last moment we have alive on this earth, surrounded by the ones we love. It is about going through one of the most difficult challenges we have ever been through, such as mental illness and knowing we are not alone. Honestly, not everyone can say that. Our family visited my daughter regularly, during the four months she was hospitalized every other day, at times more often than that. We made the nearly hour long trip, during the only visitation time available, during rush hour traffic, from 6 to 8 pm. During her stay there, there was a particular young man that no mater how often we visited, never had one single person come by the entire four months. My daughter informed me no one ever came to see him, as so did the staff. It is the small everyday things that so very often the majority of us take for granted. We are all blessed, in some manner or other, no matter what walk of life we come from. We should all pray and count our blessings, and say thank you for what we have instead of focusing on what we do not have. For those who are recovering from a serious illness, prayer can be a powerful form of therapy and treatment, itself. It is a proven fact, that seriously ill patients who pray before beginning any type of treatment or surgery have better results afterwards. There have actually been many studies conducted on the subject of prayer in relation to the field of medicine and it's effect on patients. From the moment you awaken you should give thanks for what you have, waking up beside your partner whom you cherish and love, turning to them and saying “thank you” makes a great start to the day “Thank you” for loving me, for being there for me, just for being you”.This is the person you cherish and who you are lucky enough to wake up beside every morning. This alone makes you one of the most blessed people on earth and is good enough reason to count your blessings each and every morning. I don't disagree, that in this most difficult time we all are going through. Given an unstable economy, higher divorce rates, foreclosures, higher incidents of suicide, and job loss just to name a few. With all of these occurrences triggering a higher incident of depression and mental illness; it can be real hard to say a prayer of thanks. If mental illness is your current challenge, think for a moment, how lucky you are, to be alive and going through treatment for an illness in the first place. The most wonderful blessings in life can be found in the small things. I am absolutely sure we can all recall a few small blessings. I know I can add a few to my list, such as, being greeted by a favorite pet, the sunshine and fresh air, running into an old friend, smelling the flowers in our garden, a slice of our favorite pie. There are many things that happen throughout your day which we don’t pay attention to but truly are blessings, some can even occur as blessings in disguise. What is important is to be more aware of what is happening in our lives and appreciate all the little things that can often slip by us without giving them too much thought. Remember most of all, often it is the smallest things in life that can bring us the most happiness. To quote singer Edwin Mccain, these are the moments I thank God that I’m alive, these are the moments, I’ll remember all my life. God Bless all.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Life's purpose

I decided to write about, having a life purpose, as it is something I have contemplated from time time. Most, recently, since my daughter became mentally ill. More specifically, what exactly is my life purpose? I ponder about my life purpose, and where I fit in regarding her mental illness. I wonder, does she ever think about her life purpose? I am quite certain she is concerned about her life's purpose. Frequently, she will discuss various goals that she has. Thinking about your life's purpose can pose a variable of responses. Having a sense of purpose in your life goes a long way in helping your self confidence. Believing you have a life's purpose not only helps your confidence level, but affects your level of happiness as well. Where the challenge exists is, as an individual is going through the different healing stages of mental illness, it may not seem as if they have a purpose for their life. You may be on a leave from your job or school as my daughter is. Or quite simply, you can not resume all of your same activities as you used to before becoming ill. You can feel as if your life has no purpose or meaning, when in reality it may take some time to recover and adjust to any medication and medical treatment. You have just as much of a purpose in life as the next person. Just as much purpose as someone raising awareness about conflict diamonds, adopting 5or 6 children from a foreign county or helping to raise funds for the rain forest. Additionally, in these challenging times there can be a lot of outside influences to challenge your confidence and happiness, however, a sense of purpose can be created by any life experience. Your life's experience can be related to your career, a school accomplishment, doing volunteer work, or bringing up a family. Having a mental illness does not mean life stops and certainly does not have any affect on your purpose in life. It all directly relates to feeling you are making a difference in life. You can still be a great parent, you just need to make adjustments. Perhaps, your life purpose can be your valuable contribution to an organization such as, cancer society or autism foundation. Your purpose can be helping raise funds for important research. You are reaching your life's goal or making a contribution to society if you have a sense of purpose in life and you have something to look forward to everyday. You have a reason for getting up out of bed in the morning, reason to smile. It leads to a more confident person who is happy in life. Most young adults seem to have no problem developing a purpose in life. They are just starting out and most young adults are in college, starting careers, building friendships, dating, marrying, or starting families. The majority of the younger generation have a lot to look forward to and reason for a great sense of purpose in life. However, the older we get the more we have reason to start wondering about our purpose in life. The children have grown, friends may have moved, you may have retired. It can now begin to feel as if you no longer have a purpose in life. A set back, such as lingering health issues like mental illness can make you feel as if you have no life purpose. For some or us it may just be time to develop a new sense of purpose and learn new ways to accomplish this. Here are some examples listed below.

*Start a new hobby and do something you have always wanted to do. Consider going to your local senior center and volunteering to teach your craft there. Help raise a community garden as it beautifies your local landscape and feeds families, free or cheap.

*Get a new pet, pets are also good for curing loneliness and helping with depression, as well as can be trained to help individuals with disabilities live independently.

*Join a club, there are many social clubs which let people meet on a regular basis and enjoy coffee and socializing. A lot of these groups have activities you can take part in and outings to attend. It is very important to form positive connections Additionally, many clubs are very involved with the general public and have programs targeted giving back to the community. My daughter used to belong to the "stand by me club" in junior high. It is a club that mentors peers and encourages positive role models. The children, who are either physically or mentally handicapped, pair with another non-handicapped student who helps them out around school and they both make a new friend.

*Join a gym, or running club, learn tennis or bowling, additionally, are numerous types of exercise that are not overly strenuous i.e. pilates or water aerobics. Exercise aids in curing depression.Try your hand at a new sport, when you feel confident mentor a child of a single parent.

*Begin working with a volunteer group. Some meet on a daily basis and some meet weekly. Do what ever you are comfortable with. First, it gives you a sense of purpose and second, gets you out of the house. We volunteer at both our local homeless shelter, and at the American Veterans club. We have a personal interest in both organizations. Despite her mental illness my daughter has always enjoyed volunteering. She has stated it makes her feel good to help people.

*Take a part time job that you can handle, even if it is a few hours per week. It gets you out and meeting new people. You never know who is in the same boat as you and you can make new friends just about anywhere. It is never to late to make a meaningful contribution to the workplace.

*Never dismiss the idea of dating and get back into meeting the opposite sex again. It is never too late to start a new relationship. Most importantly, research has proven individuals who have a significant other have a more healthy mental attitude and live longer than their single counterparts. You never know just how much of a difference you make to someone, just by being in their life.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


This weeks post, I am writing about self-worth and the impact low self esteem has on our lives. Low self-esteem seems to be a common thread among people addressing the challenges of mental illness. Additionally, my daughter who is facing challenges with mental illness has battled self-esteem issues. My goal in writing this post is to see my daughter, as well as others, embrace their individuality and to focus on their strengths. Many individuals facing challenges of mental illness have achieved great accomplishments and surpassed many goals. An example of a quality to be proud of is my daughter has a great singing voice and has participated in chorus and choir events. It is crucial to healing to, minimize your weaker areas, work toward self acceptance, and understand the diversity among humans. We are all beautiful and many of you have great talents; as you all have a lot to offer life. As you all probably know by now from my Twitter, I love quotes. Already in my post, is my absolute favorite quote, from Mahatma Ghandhi. "You must be the change you want to see in the world." I love those little bits of wisdom. A token of discernment and cognizance, suspended in time, forever, a memento of history. Like history speaking to us; some one's grandfather, grandmother, father, or mother, reminding us when values mattered. Quotes make us think about resilience, humility, and substance. This is about value of others and values of oneself. To exude self esteem, one must make an honest attempt to embody authenticity. To honestly capture the essence of self esteem, you must have willingness for transition. Andy Warhol was once quoted saying, "They say that time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself." Realizing your value and self-worth have nothing to do with how much money you have, how many toys you own, or what type of job you hold. You realize, it is about you. It is in direct relation to the person you are in life. If you have a healthy sense of self worth you tend to give others respect, love, and consideration. But how often do we give ourselves what is due? How you value yourself is based on the self-esteem you have. Your self-esteem shows you how much you truly value yourself and your relationship with others. A healthy self-esteem encourages, happiness, independence, flexibility, and the ability to adapt easily to change. Healthy self esteem is congruent with a positive outlook on Life. Unhealthy or low self-esteem on the other hand, encourages fear, unhappiness, defensiveness and illogical thoughts. It creates a negative outlook on life. Our image of ourselves has a lot to do with how others see us. If we are smiling, content, and radiate confidence, then we are someone others want to be around. If we respect ourselves, then others will also respect you. Identifying and strengthening your self-worth is all about developing your self-esteem. Below are the parallels of self esteem.

*High self-esteem*

If you have a high self-esteem you will see certain traits in yourself. Qualities associated with a high self-esteem or self-worth is.
* You are secure about who you are.
* You are confident in your abilities.
* You are comfortable being yourself around others.
*You don’t have challenges with intimacy in relationships.
*You forgive yourself for mistakes and also forgive others.

*Low self-esteem*

There are certain thought patterns and behaviours associated with low self-esteem. Identifying and reverting those qualities you see in yourself is the key to a new beginning.
* You lack belief in yourself.
* You are very insecure.
*You have problems showing and accepting intimacy in relationships
* You never show your true feelings.
* You never recognize and give yourself credit for your accomplishments.
* You have the inability to forgive yourself or others.
*You are very resistant to change

*Developing your self-worth*

Below you will find tips for developing and boosting your self-worth, as you work toward a more positive and healthy you.

* Don’t take Constructive criticism to heart.
* Instead find the lesson to be learned from it.
* Take time out for yourself.
* Realize your have good qualities.
* Change your less positive qualities into positive ones.
* Pride yourself on all your achievements and accomplishments.
* Do something you enjoy; take a walk in nature, enjoy an ice cream sundae, surround yourself with people who love and appreciate you.
* Do not focus on negative thoughts and feelings.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Positive Therapeutic Techniques

Hello, I hope every one's week went well and you enjoyed time spent with friends and family. Creating a positive environment for one’s self, your friends, and family can prove challenging. On any given day, one can find numerous valid reasons to indulge in negative thoughts, ranging from the current state of the economy to something as simple as the weather. Our thoughts play a huge role in how we feel and interact with others in our life. Negative thoughts encourage low self-esteem, thus feeding our mental attitude and directly affecting our relationships with others. Positive thoughts and actions can make a tremendous difference in your current life, while on your path to mental wellness. Having a positive attitude is elemental to being happy and leading a successful life. Negative thoughts and behavior patterns only continue to create a vicious cycle. However, there are several techniques you can use throughout the day to help to change these negative thoughts and instill a more positive way of thinking. Integrating different forms of cognitive therapy and therapeutic techniques can be a very effective way to deal with negative thoughts and feelings, helping us stay in harmony with the world around us. While various techniques can be effective, they should be integrated with traditional medicine from trusted medical professionals. I can not emphasize enough, the importance of taking your medication and remaining on task with any other prescribed treatment plan. It is never a wise choice to take your health in your own hands, but to balance any therapeutic techniques with the existing medical remedy. Positive therapeutic techniques can make you more confident, grounded, and self assured, changing your life for the better. Below, I have included various therapeutic techniques that my daughter has used with varying degrees of success. Using positive techniques to over come negative thoughts and behaviors can impact your life for the better.

Positive Affirmations-
An affirmation is a technique that is used to change negative subconscious thoughts that can overwhelm your current day to day thoughts. Positive Affirmations help change your thought pattern, making your life more fulfilling and reassure a more positive attitude. Positive affirmations can be used throughout the day anywhere and at anytime you need them. The more you use them the easier it will be for positive thoughts will take over negative ones. An affirmation is a simple technique that is used to change negative self-talk that we are rarely even aware of. Most of us have engaged in negative thoughts, so changing your thoughts and the way you think won’t happen overnight. If you are consistent with affirmations they will work once you have retrained your way of thinking. Our thoughts play a huge role in how we feel and interact with others in our life. Negative thoughts encourage low self esteem, thus feeding our mental attitude and directly affecting our relationships with others. An example of a positive affirmation.
Healing-I am created in the image of God, blessed with strength and wholeness.

Find somewhere quiet where you are able to relax for 15 or 20 minutes. This is most effective if you close your eyes, and relax your mind of all thoughts and feelings. During this time you can pray, repeat your affirmations, or just listen to relaxation music. What ever method you use it is essential to use this time to decompress. It is pivotal you use words of encouragement and believe in what you are saying.

Tune out and Turn up the Positive Technique –
This technique can be used anywhere and whenever you catch yourself thinking a negative thought. When you realize you are having a negative thought, think of yourself turning down a volume knob inside your head. Turn it down low enough so as not to hear it any longer. Then think of a positive affirmation to replace the negative thought with. Turn the volume back up repeating it to yourself.

The release technique-
If you have negative thoughts write them down on piece of paper, crumble the paper, throw it away or burn the paper. By doing this you are telling yourself these thoughts are nothing and you are infusing a positive mindset.

Credit is given to Dr Andrew Weil for these next three techniques which are Breathing Exercises. Dr Andrew Weil states, "Practicing regular, mindful breathing can be calming and energizing and can even help with stress-related health problems ranging from panic attacks to digestive disorders.” Andrew Weil, M.D. Since breathing is something we can control and regulate, it is a useful tool for achieving a relaxed and clear state of mind. I recommend three breathing exercises to help relax and reduce stress: The Stimulating Breath, The 4-7-8 Breathing Exercise (also called the Relaxing Breath), and Breath Counting. Try each and see how they affect your stress and anxiety levels.

Stimulating Breath (also called the Bellows breath)-
The Stimulating Breath is adapted from a yogic breathing technique. Its aim is to raise vital energy and increase alertness. Inhale and exhale rapidly through your nose, keeping your mouth closed but relaxed. Your breaths in and out should be equal in duration, but as short as possible. This is a noisy breathing exercise. Try for three in-and-out breath cycles per second. This produces a quick movement of the diaphragm, suggesting a bellows. Breathe normally after each cycle. Do not do for more than 15 seconds on your first try. Each time you practice the Stimulating Breath, you can increase your time by five seconds or so, until you reach a full minute. If done properly, you may feel invigorated, comparable to the heightened awareness you feel after a good workout. You should feel the effort at the back of the neck, the diaphragm, the chest and the abdomen. Try this breathing exercise the next time you need an energy boost and feel yourself reaching for a cup of coffee.

Relaxing Breath (or 4, 7, 8 breathing)-
This exercise is utterly simple, takes almost no time, requires no equipment and can be done anywhere. Although you can do the exercise in any position, sit with your back straight while learning the exercise. Place the tip of your tongue against the ridge of tissue just behind your upper front teeth, and keep it there through the entire exercise. You will be exhaling through your mouth around your tongue; try pursing your lips slightly if this seems awkward. Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound. Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose to a mental count of four. Hold your breath for a count of seven. Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound to a count of eight. This is one breath. Now inhale again and repeat the cycle three more times for a total of four breaths. Note that you always inhale quietly through your nose and exhale audibly through your mouth. The tip of your tongue stays in position the whole time. Exhalation takes twice as long as inhalation. The absolute time you spend on each phase is not important; the ratio of 4:7:8 is important. If you have trouble holding your breath, speed the exercise up but keep to the ratio of 4:7:8 for the three phases. With practice you can slow it all down and get used to inhaling and exhaling more and more deeply. This exercise is a natural tranquilizer for the nervous system. Unlike tranquilizing drugs, which are often effective when you first take them but then lose their power over time, this exercise is subtle when you first try it but gains in power with repetition and practice. Do it at least twice a day. You cannot do it too frequently. Do not do more than four breaths at one time for the first month of practice. Later, if you wish, you can extend it to eight breaths. If you feel a little lightheaded when you first breathe this way, do not be concerned; it will pass. Once you develop this technique by practicing it every day, it will be a very useful tool that you will always have with you. Use it whenever anything upsetting happens - before you react. Use it whenever you are aware of internal tension. Use it to help you fall asleep. This exercise cannot be recommended too highly. Everyone can benefit from it.

Breath Counting-
If you want to get a feel for this challenging work, try your hand at breath counting, a deceptively simple technique much used in Zen practice. Sit in a comfortable position with the spine straight and head inclined slightly forward. Gently close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Then let the breath come naturally without trying to influence it. Ideally it will be quiet and slow, but depth and rhythm may vary... To begin the exercise, count "one" to yourself as you exhale. The next time you exhale, count "two," and so on up to "five." Then begin a new cycle, counting "one" on the next exhalation. Never count higher than "five," and count only when you exhale. You will know your attention has wandered when you find yourself up to "eight," "12," even "19." Try to do 10 minutes of this form of meditation.

Saturday, July 18, 2009


I chose to write about the topic of mental illness stigma for this weeks post. The one year anniversary of my daughter's onset of mental illness is quickly approaching this August. For me, the onset of the disease and the diagnosis itself is still as painful for me today, as it was the first time I heard her diagnosis. In one year we have made very little progress toward recovery and stabilization. I feel very uncertain about her ability to function independently. It is painful for me to consider, if she continues on her current path, the hope of her fulfilling any dreams are non-existent. It hurts to see that sometimes flat expression she has on her face or the inability to sometimes express emotion. It is painful for me that we are unable to do most of the mother, daughter activities in the same manner as we once did or even look forward to new ones. What is even more painful for me than most of the above mentioned, is when I see her treated in a different manner. As the mother of a daughter, who in the past, always held her own in social situations, it is extremely challenging to see such a drastic change in her. In the past year, I have seen the number of friends begin to drop off. On two separate occasions while she was visiting with her friends, she had moments of internal stimulation in their presence, and they were completely disturbed by the episodes. Immediately succeeding both of the incidents she was told they no longer wanted to remain friends. I have even been told by family members they were afraid of her or even appalled by her illness. Very seldom do friends or even family ever consider, that nearly all of her actions are disease driven. It is very challenging to see or hear the actions of others, as she is avoided, ignored, or out right disregarded as someone less than human. I am aware that it is human nature to fear what we don't understand. The perpetual dilemma that enables societys' mindset towards the mentally ill is two-fold. First, the fears and anxiety of the public are fed by the entertainment industry through movies and television. How many times have we seen the portrayal of the mentally ill, institutionalized, in a frigid and isolated place? We hold images of steel, locked doors, and patients meandering around hospital wards with a forlorn look on their face. How many movies can you recall that replicates the common perception of the mentally ill? Sybil, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Fatal Attraction, Girl, Interrupted, just to name a few. Very seldom do you see the mentally ill characterized, as an integrated part of a normal, loving family. Is there any wonder why we would shun individuals with mental illness? With time, the right medical treatment, and professional intervention, they can return to wellness, while making a meaningful contribution to society. Would you suddenly avoid your favorite florist, stock broker, chef or lawyer, if you found out they were treated for cancer or hepatitis? Of course not, that is absurd, right? So, why would mental illness be different? It is a treatable illness. This kind of false ideology ensconces us with yet another myth, there must be something wrong with the family also. Give the caretaker some credit, as they engage in issues on every level from, legal, medical, educational, and financial, as the individual who is at bat, fighting for a shred of a normal life within the family structure.Well, when are we going to change societies' perception of individuals striving to heal and rebound from the stigma of mental illness, while trying to live a purposeful life? We live in the age of the millennium, isn't it about time we start treating mental illness as a disease, and the mentally ill as human beings with feelings? Wouldn't you want the same for your loved one or even yourself? Herein lies the second part of the mental illness dilemma, education and awareness. We have public service ads and education campaigns for heart disease, cancer, and muscular dystrophy, but when it comes to dealing with mental illness, that is a taboo subject. It also seems to command an element of humor, but to the families living with the effects of the debilitating condition, it is no laughing matter. When is the last time we shared a laugh over a co-workers' battle with cancer? It is time the health care industry ban together and facilitate an all-out education and awareness campaign and stop sweeping this crippling epidemic under the rug. We need an out right reform. We need mental illness reform on a multitude of levels, beginning with the legal platform and extending out to the medical system. The public needs to be educated to the fact that, people suffering from conditions with the likes of bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, bulimia, and depression, ect., are battling an ongoing disease that they are attempting to gain control of. Who among us is suggesting we inform the mentally ill to snap out of it? Additionally, shall we propose that we will not frequent any business establishment, if they contend to profess their medical condition. Well, that is the exact message you are sending man, who is just trying to support his family, when you do not hire him based on his medical background. Likewise, with the teenager you shunned, whom you found out was bipolar or schizophrenic. Are you really encouraging any of them to be open about their illness and seek help? Not if they fear any repercussion. Who among you is qualified to be the judge? We are ready to be advocates for many other diseases, but not mental illness. Mahatma Gandhi once said, "You must be the change you want to see in the world", now is the time for mankind to make the change! Stop the stigma, get educated.

P.S. I would like to acknowledge and extend a special thank you to Elizabeth, Shauna, Megan, Earic and Ivan, who all have remained loyal friends and supported Candice through her healing and recovery.

Free or discounted medication:


I trust if you are reading this blog you or someone you know is living with mental illness. It is a very important and integral part of healing to work together with medical professionals on a treatment plan and to take the prescribed medication. It is the opinion of some individuals that success can be found in alternative treatments, i.e. hypnosis or acupuncture, however it is only advisable if integrated with traditional westernized medicine. With today's rising health cost and the state of the economy, receiving adequate health care can be a challenge. Additionally, individuals with mental with mental illness can find it difficult to maintain employment thus making health care difficult or impossible. Below I have included a list of resources for free or discounted medication. I hope you find these resources helpful and wish you all the best of luck on your path to healing and wellness.

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If you have any information that might be helpful to some who is sharing the same challenge, please post a comment to this blog.

Trusted resources on mental illness:


About NAMI: Support, Education, Advocacy, and Research
From its inception in 1979, NAMI has been dedicated to improving the lives of individuals and families affected by mental illness.
For three decades, NAMI has established itself as the most formidable grassroots mental health advocacy organization in the country. Dedication, steadfast commitment and unceasing belief in NAMI's mission by grassroots advocates have produced profound changes. NAMI's greatest strength is the dedication of our grassroots leaders and members. We are the families, friends and individuals that serve to strengthen communities across the country.


About NIMH
NIMH Vision
NIMH envisions a world in which mental illnesses are prevented and cured.
NIMH Mission
The mission of NIMH is to transform the understanding and treatment of mental illnesses through basic and clinical research, paving the way for prevention, recovery and cure.
For the Institute to continue fulfilling this vital public health mission, it must foster innovative thinking and ensure that a full array of novel scientific perspectives are used to further discovery in the evolving science of brain, behavior, and experience. In this way, breakthroughs in science can become breakthroughs for all people with mental illnesses.

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The purpose of this blog is muti-faceted. It serves to share and express our emotions. To inform and to educate, and to be educated. Also, to fund our daughters' care, be it medical or basic. We are paid by our advertisers as you take the time to read their very important messages. Additionally, you are enabling us to provide quality care while continuing to keep her living in the safety of her home, as her physician works to find the right balance with her treatment. We graciously thank you for helping us achieve our goal.