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Understanding Mental Illness
# 91 : Saturday 16-1-2010 @ 19:29
Someone said :

I can now be Gaire's in-hospitl correspondent!! Oops, gotta log off and go no, back to the straightjacket and padded cell.

They are very comfy!! Take care of yourself JK.
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# 92 : Tuesday 19-1-2010 @ 13:28
Survey results released in todays Irish Times.

Also this is depression awareness week.

CHARLIE TAYLORTwo-thirds of Irish people would not tell their employer about a mental health issue, according to new research published today.

The online survey of about 300 people which was commissioned on behalf of the Association for Higher Education Access & Disability (Ahead), shows that 63 per cent of respondents would not disclose that they have mental health problems.

The research also reveals that some 78 per cent of employees believe there is a stigma around mental health issues in the workplace, even though almost half of those surveyed said they knew a colleague who had experienced mental health problems.

Not disclosing mental health issues to an employer would seem the sensible thing to do given that 35 per cent of Irish people who responded to the survey said they would personally feel uncomfortable employing someone if they knew that person had mental health problems such as depression.

Some 31 per cent of respondents said their employers have guidelines in place to manage stress in the workplace, while 36 per claimed their bosses would react unsympathetically if they complained about stress.

Furthermore, 56 per cent of those surveyed said that their job was stressful and 20 per cent described their job as being "very stressful".

The Ahead study also shows that almost a third of those surveyed believed they did not have a suitable work/life balance.

This figure rose to 40 per cent for people living outside Dublin in Leinster, while for people in Munster just one in five individuals expressed concern about how much their working life impacted on the rest of their lives.

The research was published to coincide with the Ahead conference on mental wellbeing in the workplace which takes place tomorrow in Dublin Castle.

Commenting on the report's finding's, Ahead executive director Ann Heelan said employers must do more to recognise that the mental wellbeing of staff is as important an issue as physical health.

Elsewhere, TDs and Senators from all parties have today united to mark Depression Awareness Week by challenging attitudes to people with mental health problems.

Deputy Chris Andrews, co-convenor of the Cross Party Oireachtas Group on Mental Health, said that more needed to be done to challenge attitudes towards mental health issues in Ireland.

“Research shows half of us believe that people with mental health problems shouldn’t have the same rights as everyone else and should be barred from certain jobs.

“We need to challenge these kinds of attitudes as the first step to reducing discrimination against people suffering from depression or going through other mental health difficulties," he added.

The Cross Party Oireachtas Group is to hold a meeting in Leinster House next week where a panel of mental health service users is expected to tell politicians the changes they believe are needed in our health service.

# 93 : Tuesday 19-1-2010 @ 15:30

Mental Health Issues in the Deaf Community
Outlining the Problems
By Marcia Purse, About.com Guide
Updated July 23, 2006
by Kimberly Read

There are approximately 20 million hearing-impaired people in the United States, of which about 10% are profoundly deaf (Steinberg, et al, July 1998). These individuals comprise a distinct community of men, women and children who must work daily to function in a world geared for those who can hear. They have to surmount formidable communication barriers with co-workers, employers, neighbors and, in some cases, even friends and family. They must also struggle against stigma and prejudice. In a study lead by Annie Steinberg, MD, 41% of the participants, all of whom were hearing impaired, believed that "communication problems, family stresses, and societal prejudice that accompany it [hearing impairment] could lead to problems ranging from suicidal depression to substance abuse and violent behavior" (Steinberg, July 1998). In addition to these unique needs, members of the deaf community, just as in all cultures, are also struck with the unfortunate reality of severe mental illnesses such as bipolar disorder. In short, this community needs viable mental health resources.

Lack of Interpreters
However, current research indicates that such resources are not readily available. Of the 54 participants in Dr. Steinberg and associates' study, more than half (56%) reported that they had been unable to locate mental health services that were accessible (Steinberg, July 1998). Furthermore, research has also given evidence that psychiatric conditions such as mood disorders are frequently under-diagnosed (Shapira, et al., 1999). Both of these problems seem to be caused by a "lack of and utilization of experienced interpreters, grammatical and syntactic translation problems between American Sign Language and English, and differences in how a deaf individual displays feelings and perceives mental health and the mental health community" (Shapira).

Communication Problems
The scope of communication problems between the hearing and the deaf is not always obvious to many. After all, those who are deaf can still read and write. However, this does not, as it might seem, provide an easy solution. Because hearing loss so readily interferes with the acquisition of vocabulary, the mean English literacy of deaf high school graduates is at the 4.5 grade level (Holt, 1994). One hearing-impaired participant in a study which was evaluating these issues stated, "... many deaf people lack English skills. They are ashamed to write" (Steinberg, July 1998). Also consider that the average deaf adult can lip-read only 26% to 40% of speech (Waldstein & Boothroyd, 1995). Because these communication problems are viewed as such an issue, and for good reason, the majority of participants in a study of cultural and linguistic barriers to mental health service access led by Dr. Annie Steinberg and associates preferred a deaf professional (Steinberg, July 1998). Obviously experienced interpreters are vital.

Language Difficulties
However, the use of an interpreter is only the first step in resolving the problem of adequate mental health resources. The hurdle of grammatical and syntactic difficulties must still be overcome. In November 1998, Dr. Steinberg and others undertook the task of translating The Diagnostic Interview Schedule into American Sign Language, Signed English and speech reading (November 1998). This research team identified several specific translation problems. One of these is the translation of time. For example, since American Sign Language does not often use conjunctions or prepositions, duration concepts such as "for six months or more" present a problem, and time-within-time ("Have you experienced difficulty sleeping for one month or more during the past year?") are even more difficult to communicate. Another translation problem is the use of English phrases such as "feeling on edge." Additionally, hearing-specific phenomena presented a particular challenge. How does one ask a prelingual deaf person if he has been "hearing voices"?

Subtle and Unexpected Differences
Mental health providers must also learn how to recognize and address the differences in how a deaf individual displays feelings and expressions from those who are hearing. For example, someone who is deaf may pound on the floor to get attention. While this is considered aggressive by those who can hear, it is actually quite accepted and normal within the deaf community. Furthermore, while strong emotional displays are pretty much frowned upon in the hearing community, members of the deaf community count on vivid expression of emotion to convey meaning. As a matter of fact, one retrospective study found that clinicians often labeled rapid signing as a symptom of psychotic behavior rather than the change of mood that was actually indicated (Shapira). Another complicating factor in the expression of emotion is that there is a scarcity of signs within this language that can account for subtle changes in mood (Steinberg, November 1998).

A research study of cultural and linguistic barriers to mental health evaluated the participants' views of mental health institutions and practitioners. This study found that many deaf people have a fear of being incorrectly committed because they are unable to communicate with the staff. One participant is quoted as saying, "Even if I were just asking for directions at the information desk [of a psychiatric hospital], miscommunication could lead to my being committed mistakenly ... I don't want to go there, even for a visit!" (Steinberg, July 1998). This study further indicated that participants felt professionals erroneously consider a nominal level of communication to be adequate. Nathan A. Shapira, in his evaluation of bipolar disorder in inpatients with prelingual deafness, found that those making diagnoses often emphasized appearance over documented symptoms and collateral information (Shapira 1999).

Some Solutions
Examination of these studies clearly indicates that it is important to overcome these barriers and shortcomings in the mental health resources for the hearing impaired. While the remedy for this is most certainly a challenge, there are solutions. Hearing-impaired people should be encouraged to consider careers in the mental health field. Mental health professionals should secure more translators to work with the mentally ill. Furthermore, clinicians who have little or no experience working with the hearing-impaired should use extreme caution and seek second opinions when diagnosing the deaf. In addition, research and effort is needed to bridge the language barriers which now make it so difficult to communicate.

For comprehensive information about and support for the hearing-impaired, visit the About.com Deafness/Hard of Hearing website with Guide Jamie Berke.

Works Cited

Holt, J. A. (1994). Standard achievement test, 8th ed: reading comprehension subgroup results. Am Ann Deaf, 138, 172-175.

Shapira, N. A. MD, PhD, DelBello, M. P. MD, Goldsmith, T. D. MD, Rosenberger, B. M. IC/TC, Keck, P. E. Jr. MD. (1999). Evaluation of bipolar disorder in inpatients with prelingual deafness. The American Journal of Psychiatry, 156(8), 1267-1269.

Steinberg, A. G. MD, Sullivan, V. J. MA, Loew, R. C. PhD. (1998, July). Cultural and linguistic barriers to mental health service access: the deaf consumer's perspective. The American Journal of Psychiatry, 155(7), 982-984.

Steinberg, A. G. MD, Lipton, D. S. PhD, Eckhardt, E. A. CSW, Goldstein, M. PhD, Sullivan, V. J. MA. (1998, November). The diagnostic interview schedule for deaf patients on interactive video: a preliminary investigation. The American Journal of Psychiatry, 155(11), 1603-1604.

Waldstein, R. S., Boothroyd A. (1995). Speechreading supplemented by single-channel and multichannel tactile displays of voice fundamental frequency. Speech Hearing Research, 38, 690-705.
# 94 : Tuesday 19-1-2010 @ 15:31
Marlbo, thanks for letting us know it is depression week.
# 95 : Wednesday 10-2-2010 @ 01:16

PROVIDING ALL the money in the world for the development of mental health services will be useless unless the fear people have of accessing these services can be addressed, Minister of State with responsibility for mental health John Moloney said yesterday.

“I’ve met many people, and I’ve been going around for the last 15 months, who are afraid to talk or even present to the services lest their employers or their colleagues hear about it. And the reason is because of this awful stigma that’s attached,” he said.

He plans to unveil a national programme in April aimed at tackling this continuing stigma.

Well-known sportspeople and broadcasters will be involved and events will be staged at venues around the country, as well as on local radio, to get the message out that there is no need to be afraid to seek help or to be seen going into or out of a centre where mental health services are provided.

He said there were many different levels of mental health support required.

If people with depressive episodes, for example, presented early they could be back at work within weeks, he stressed, adding that this was his own experience when he himself had occasion to access the mental health services some time ago.

He was speaking at the launch in Dublin of a new report from the Health Research Board on the experiences of mental health service users of all ages and what helped them make a recovery.

“Understanding what helps people recover and establishing what hinders recovery is essential,” according to its author Dr Yulia Kartalova O’Doherty.

“Our findings reveal that people’s main concern is reconnecting with life and they do that through self-acceptance, meaningful interaction with others, coming to terms with the past and planning and executing their future,” she said.

It is hoped the findings will now be translated into clinical practice and that they will also show the public “about the possibility and reality of recovery”, Dr Kartalova O’Doherty said
# 96 : Monday 15-2-2010 @ 23:47
A fascinating essay takes a look at mental illness seen through the eyes
of various cultures and the effects of americanisation of mental health.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/10/magazine/10psyche-t.html?scp=14 etc ...
# 97 : Tuesday 16-2-2010 @ 00:10
The DSM is the Bible which mental health professionals use to determine what ails you.
The next iteration is being compiled and as always changes will be made.
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 5,
or DSM-5 will be published in 2013.

So what is termed as a mental illness today, may not be in a few years; as homosexuality was once classified as a mental illness, it no longer is.

For more info on DSM-5:


also if you google DSM-5 it has been in the news lately.
# 98 : Tuesday 16-2-2010 @ 00:19
Here a re some new ones, See I always thought laziness should be recognised as an illness and it has been what I suffer from is sluggish cognitive tempo disorder. I kid you not.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/health/article702 etc ...
# 99 : Tuesday 16-2-2010 @ 21:43
This is for Dolli.

# 100 : Tuesday 16-2-2010 @ 22:01
That was a lovely clip, Marlbo.
# 101 : Tuesday 16-2-2010 @ 22:09
Again, that wasn't what I was getting at all. The idea that myself of all people... oh look, I'll don the virtual sack cloth and ashes on this one and perhaps we can leave it at that?
# 102 : Tuesday 16-2-2010 @ 22:31
Great Vid
I find people are very open about been depressed and depression. I was watching a program about medication and its only quite recent that, that is the case. Before it was in decades past it was totally hushed. The expert said, referring to the SSRI class of drugs, because there is an effective treatment for depression now people can be open about it. I thought that made sense. Nobody was impotent, everyone was virile then viagra became the best selling drug of all time.
# 103 : Wednesday 17-2-2010 @ 01:18
What the f*ck is wrong with being "mentally ill"? Who told the know alls what defines it anyway,if you choose to have a banana bake party in the mountain with your favourite goat over a cognac,what makes the likes of that wrong? There is way too much credence placed on so called bloody sanity,give it a rest you mentalists.
# 104 : Wednesday 17-2-2010 @ 01:20
Someone said :
What the f*ck is wrong with being "mentally ill"? Who told the know alls what defines it anyway,if you choose to have a banana bake party in the mountain with your favourite goat over a cognac,what makes the likes of that wrong? There is way too much credence placed on so called bloody sanity,give it a rest you mentalists.

+1(-1)but +1 as well, it an insecure +1 (for anyone wondering ) I would actually think that picnic really brilliant though if that makes sense. +1 again
# 105 : Thursday 15-4-2010 @ 22:45
Today, Minister John Moloney launched The National Mental Health Stigma Reduction Partnership.

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