stigma tagged posts

Can You Thrive with a Mood Disorder?

dr_greg_simonGregory Simon, MD, MPH
Investigator, Center for Health Studies Group Health Cooperative

Can You Thrive with a Mood Disorder?

The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance has designated 2014 as the Year of Thriving. Throughout the year, they are challenging the organization and the mental health community to set higher goals, to shift the conversation from “surviving” or “managing” a mood disorder to truly thriving.

In a recent DBSA podcast, Dr. Joseph Calabrese and I discuss the limitations of current treatment options for mood disorders and the need within the clinical and patient communities to shift expectations and raise treatment goals to complete remission of symptoms and sustained wellness.

We are challenging our entire field—clinicians, researchers, administrators, and policy makers—to set higher goals for mental health treatment. Our goal is not simply to control or reduce symptoms, but to eliminate them.

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Target Zero: Redefining the Clinical Definition of Success

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The first priority in treating a mood disorder is ensuring that the person is out of immediate crisis. But should this be the end goal? Too often researchers, providers, family members, and peers consider a stable mood as a measurement of a successful outcome.

On April 1, the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) kicked off a month-long program challenging the mental health community to raise expectations from fewer symptoms to zero symptoms. “Target Zero to Thrive” is a campaign to insist on new standards for research and treatment that raise the bar from stability to lives of wellness.

Twenty-one million people in the U.S. live with mood disorders, and persisting symptoms increase the likelihood of:

  • relapse
  • functional impairment that increases the challenges of work, family, and day-to-day living
  • life-threatening co-occurring conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, hypertension
  • death by suicide

According to Allen Doederlein, president of DBSA, “Living with a mood disorder can damage hope and lower expectations so a person may not expect or think they deserve a full life. We as peers, clinicians, researchers, and family need to help them expect and achieve more.”

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What’s the Most Neglected Topic of 2014?

In his Sunday column of the New York Times, Nicholas Kristof offers his suggestions for the “Most Neglected Topic” of 2014. There is certainly a lot to choose from: political battles that shut down the government, ongoing war in the Middle East, lack of functionality of the ACA website.

In the opinion of Kristof, however, we aren’t paying enough attention to mental health issues in this country. And he shares similar views to comments I observed in Tuesday’s CFYM post. Both Kristof and commenters suggested that the media bears some responsibility for the problem...

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Yes, It is OK2Talk About Your Mental Health Condition

Sen_Smith_hi In today’s CFYM post Gordon H. Smith, president and CEO of the National Association of Broadcasters and former U.S. Senator from Oregon (1997 to 2009) informs our readers about the innovative OK2Tallk campaign aimed at young adults. This program provides broadcasters with PSA’s to air on their network and features young adults as role models to support peers living with a mental health condition.

Yes, It is OK2Talk About Your Mental Health Condition

How are you doing?” This simple question is one of our most often used phrases, but rarely do we listen to the answer.

It’s our nature to say “fine, thanks” and go on with our day. You rarely – if ever – hear someone say “not well, I’m having a really tough time and would like to talk about it.”

But We Should

One in four Americans will experience a mental health condition this year. That’s more than 78 million people – or a few million more than the populations of California, Texas and Pennsylvania combined. Mental illness doesn’t care if you are tall, short, rich or poor. Mental illness doesn’t discriminate.

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Why Communities Matter In Addressing Mental Health

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In 1996, then-First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton elevated the saying, “It takes a village,” in talking about the various outside influences of caring for and raising children. All politics aside, the impact of thousands of communities in treating patients with mental illnesses cannot be overstated – everyone has a role to play and how we go about addressing these illnesses will have far-reaching societal implications. This was the primary focus of a morning panel discussion at today’s Kennedy Forum in Boston.

Collaboration doesn’t exist without education. Panel Moderator Chelsea Clint...

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First Kennedy Forum Panel Spotlights Past and Future of Mental Health Care

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Care For Your Mind is here today at The Kennedy Forum, and the daylong conference kicked off early this morning with the first panel discussion that looked at the historical significance of President Kennedy’s mental health initiative. This month marks the 50th anniversary of President Kennedy’s signing of the Community Mental Health Act, a law that provided federal funding for community mental health centers in the United States. In addition, it helped raise the conversation around mental illness in this country.

Mental Health and the Civil Rights Movement

The discussion focused on exami...

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CFYM to Attend The Kennedy Forum

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On Thursday, leaders from the mental health advocacy community will gather in Boston, MA for the Kennedy Forum, a conference established to advance the national conversation around mental health care and advocate for policies that will improve our nation’s mental health care system. Panels and conversations at the conference will focus on creating new avenues for treatment for those affected by mental illness and other disabilities.

Honoring President John F...

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Can Erasing Stigma Lead to Earlier Acceptance of Treatment?

steve
Today, on National Depression Screening Day, CFYM reader, Steve, shares his story of emerging from depression onto a new life path of mental health advocacy. Erasing the social stigma of depressive disorders, he believes, will pave the way to earlier use of depression screenings and encourage people to seek and accept treatment.

After a distinguished career in the Navy, I was proud to join the public sector utilizing the immeasurable discipline and knowledge I had acquired serving in our country’s military. I enrolled in a rigorous doctor of education program at Vanderbilt University with an emphasis in Human Resource Development. I was well on the way to establishing a name for myself as an independent management consultant, focusing on organizational development, prospective employee screening, and middle-management development.

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