Monday, August 18, 2008

Been There, doesn't work

When my mother was early diagnosed, my father thought he could "strong arm" her in the old school way to take her medicine. Take my word for it, you can't make a bi-polar person do anything, especially if they are in a hypo-manic phase or manic phase. We learned to live with her with positive reinforcement, give and take, and lots of compassion. We still had to call the police when she was delusional, but I will tell anyone without a doubt that I learned after a lot of years, that their behavior cannot be controlled very much on their own. It, I am sure depends on what level of bi-polar they are, my mother was the worst, of course. I had this conversation just today with a fellow teacher. One of my special ed. students, just starting third grade, is bi-polar. His new teacher said she was just going to tell him that he was too old in third grade to have outbursts and to sometimes run out of the room and around the school when he had feelings of anxiety. I do know that it works to give bi-polar people boundaries, so I just smiled at her and said "Well, you can try it". I will keep you posted, but right now I would bet a million dollars that her idea will not work with this child. I got him a bird feeder and rain gauge that we will put in the inner, outside courtyard, when I see him getting anxious I will ask him to go with me, outside to check the bird feeder. I am going to try to get him outside into nature as much as possible, instead of sitting, closed up in a classroom all day. We will see as the year progresses what will work for him. Thankfully, like everyone else bi-polar, he is very intelligent so his academics won't suffer.

Stigma of mental illness pervasive: CMA head

10% of Canadians think those who are ill could 'just snap out of it' if they wanted to, new survey find

MONTREAL — Almost half of Canadians believe that a diagnosis of mental illness is merely an "excuse for poor behaviour and personal failings" and one in 10 thinks that people with mental illness could "just snap out of it if they wanted," according to the startling findings of a new opinion poll.

The survey, commissioned by the Canadian Medical Association, shows that the stigma of mental illness remains pervasive, making it the "final frontier of socially acceptable discrimination," Canada's top doctor says.

Brian Day, a Vancouver orthopedic surgeon and president of the CMA, said the survey "shines a harsh, and frankly unflattering, light on the attitudes we Canadians have concerning mental health."

But he added that it is best to expose such views and tackle them head-on rather than allow stigma to fester. "It's important that these data be out there and we discuss them," Dr. Day said.

The survey of 1,002 Canadian adults, conducted by Ipsos-Reid, also found that:

One in four Canadians is afraid of being around someone who suffers from serious mental illness.

Only half of those surveyed would tell friends or co-workers that a family member was suffering from mental illness. By contrast, 72 per cent would openly discuss cancer and 68 per cent would talk about diabetes in the family.

Only 16 per cent said they would marry someone who suffered from mental illness, and 42 per cent said they would no longer socialize with a friend diagnosed with a mental illness.

Half of Canadians think alcoholism and drug addiction are not mental illnesses.

One in nine people think depression is not a mental illness, and one in two think it is not a serious condition.

Canadians are split as to whether the increase in the number of people with mental illness is because of better diagnosis, or the result of increasing stresses of modern life.

Jean-Bernard Trudeau, director of professional and hospital services at the Douglas Mental Health University Institute in Montreal, said the attitudes found in the survey are "deplorable but not that surprising."

However, he said, such views are not malicious, but rather the result of ignorance. "People are afraid of what they don't know. It just shows that we have to make a lot more effort to educate the public about mental illness," Dr. Trudeau said.

According to the new survey, three in every five Canadians think that mental-health care is under-funded. And 72 per cent think financing of mental-health treatment and prevention should be on a par with that of physical health.

About one in four Canadians will suffer from a diagnosable mental illness at some point in their lives. Contrary to popular belief, however, the vast majority recover. Mental illness costs the national economy $51-billion a year. according to research from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.

The survey on mental health is part of a larger National Report Card on Health Care, which the CMA publishes annually. This year, two-thirds of Canadians accorded the overall quality of the health system a grade of A or B, up slightly from last year. A failing mark was given by 7 per cent.

What doctors say

86 per cent of family doctors say they provide care for patients with chronic mental illnesses.

64 per cent of family doctors rate access to psychiatrists for their patients as being fair or poor.

Only 19 per cent of psychiatrists can see an urgent case within one day.

Psychiatrists are the worst-paid specialists in Canada, earning on average $175,444, about half as much as dermatologists.

The average waiting time to see a child psychiatrist is 5½ months; for adults, it's slightly shorter.

Sources: National Physician Survey; Wait Time Alliance; Canadian Institute for Health Information


Tavannah said...

obviously those that think this way have never had to deal with personal depression or mania.......

those that sit in judgement ......never cease to amaze me. as if they were diety! ha!!

Liz said...



william marino said...

and i thought my life in america is bad at least when i came out about my illnesses i wasnt shunned by everyone. Also i can get access to a therapist 24 hours a day at lakeside behavior hospital.about your friend whos son is bipolar and insurance wont cover it if its about being bi-polar ive never really had to worry about that as my dad is military and we have tricare but knowing people that dont have insurances that cover mental health care really just ticks me off that they will pay for so many types of physical problems but as soon as it comes to mental they just run away scared. I cant even get life insurance unless i pass a series of test that even someone who didnt have mental illnesses could pass

Liz said...

William, Yes, in some ways your life could be a lot worse. The military, I think has it's faults, but they are trying to do a better job with their mental illness programs, while the public and private sectors are still struggling. Medical insurance and life insurance have been a problem for bipolar for ever and I guess still are. Thanks for posting,