Ignorance was Bliss by L.H. Soltres

Moving from New Jersey to Columbus, Ohio was a decision made after extensive research and planning. Never had I seen such green grass nor had I ever met so many lovely smiling people. Suddenly listening to country music while driving through fields of wheat became a glorious experience that made me feel alive again after ten years of going to doctors who spoke to me as though I were a hypochondriac. It had been my intention to bring my family over but this never did come to fruition. When I became severely ill I was terminated by my employer due to absenteeism during the probationary period. I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis shortly thereafter. Between paying for Cobra and my apartment I lost everything due to Long Term Disability being denied and having absolutely no income.

Some of my MS related health issues are: C.A.P.D. (Central Auditory Processing Disorder,) Trigeminal Neuralgia, Photophobia and Low Vision. I contacted the state agency for help to get back to work (or back to school and work.) I was advised that the health issues I had reported did not match the documentation from different doctors. Asking for large print with a note from my neuro-ophthalmologist seemed to be met with resistance as I was told that the specialist needed to provide detailed documentation regarding my condition. I can appreciate protocols needing to be followed but all of this in addition to calls repeatedly not being returned and being spoken to in a patronizing manner when I was always polite and respectful was disconcerting.

I put in a formal request for a full copy of my files from both divisions of the state agency with whom I had been trying to work and received the first copy on 04/24/2009. I physically collapsed when I saw that all of the notes from my visits to a L.C.S.W. (Licensed Clinical Social Worker) were in the file despite the fact that I NEVER signed a release for psychological notes.

I contacted the director of the counseling facility; she claimed that I had signed the release. Weeks later I found the “release” she had referenced, the box for psychological notes WAS NOT CHECKED. This situation would be upsetting for anyone but because I was the victim of rape it was especially heart-wrenching. The attack had occurred many years prior. I was 17 and had managed to fight off one boy but he then assisted the other boy by holding me down. During counseling I had explained that I was extremely thankful that it DID NOT happen two times but now with my MS how could I fight someone if God forbid it should ever be necessary? The counselor did not seem to be listening and I eventually stopped going to her because she was often a thousand miles away. I mention this because her notes, that happened to be on the very first page, contained information that was completely false. She wrote that I “was raped twice by men taking advantage in a social setting.” “Both situations were two men restraining her while they raped her. This was beyond human comprehension. I continued through all of the state agency files and saw numerous incorrect quotations there as well.

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Suicide: How To Recognize The Warning Signs

Suicide rates in the U.S. have risen dramatically in recent years; in fact, it’s estimated that one person dies by suicide every 13 minutes, or about 40,000 each year. With such a terrible loss of life, you might think that most people would be well educated about how to spot the warning signs in a person who is having suicidal thoughts and how to help. But the truth it’s often difficult to acknowledge that a person we love is in danger out of the fear that we’ll upset or offend them, or perhaps put the idea of suicide in their minds if it wasn’t already there. Suicide is not an easy topic to talk about, but it’s an important one to be informed about.

Many different things can cause suicidal thoughts: chronic pain, mental and mood disorders, PTSD, a past of abuse, or current substance abuse, to name a few. One of the best things we can do for a loved one who has dealt with any of these things is to let them know we’re there for them, that we’re listening, and that we won’t judge. Coming forward to ask for help can be difficult or even impossible for some, but if they know they won’t be shamed, it may be easier for them to open up.

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Psychiatric Beds: Getting from Not Enough to Safe Minimum

The information deficit around mental illness treatment and policy is especially deep on the subject of psychiatric beds, both public or private. Neither the federal government nor any of the states has identified or established population-based “safe minimum” bed target numbers. No member of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development has either, even tho ugh nearly all the 34 memberRead More

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New Research on Mental Illness Behind Bars

The drumbeat of surveys, studies and statistics detailing the plight of individuals with serious mental illness in jails and prisons continued in the summer of 2016 with the publication of new publications from organizations examining the treatment of mentally ill and other disabled inmates. Locked Up and Locked Down, a September 2016 study by the Amplifying Voices of Inmates with Disabilities (AVID)Read More

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At a Loss for Meds, Venezuela’s Mentally Ill Spiral Downward

MARACAY, Venezuela: The voices tormenting Accel Simeone kept getting louder. The country’s last supplies of antipsychotic medication were vanishing, and Mr. Simeone had gone weeks without the drug that controls his schizophrenia. Reality was disintegrating with each passing day. The sounds in his head soon became people, with names. They were growing in number, crowding theRead More

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VA a leader in the prevention and treatment of SUDs

Over 560,000 Veterans Treated for Disorders in 2015 VA is a leader in the prevention and treatment of substance use disorders (SUD), providing treatment for over 560,000 Veterans, including treating over 61,500 Veterans with opioid use disorders, such as heroin or prescription opioid use disorders, in FY 2015. Patients with less severe substance use problemsRead More

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House Passes Mental Health First Aid Act

By Alex Ruoff | • Bill would extend training programs to help police, teachers assist those with mental health issues • Senate, House lawmakers need unified bill to send to president A program to train first responders, law enforcement and teachers to assist anyone in a mental health crisis would be extended through 2021 underRead More

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Hearing Voices of Support


Have a story you would like to share? Positive voices of support can make a difference to people with schizophrenia and related brain disorders. Hearing Voices of Support is an initiative to promote acceptance, support, hope, and recovery for people living with schizophrenia and related brain disorders. Schizophrenia is one of the most misunderstoodRead More

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Expert Offers Advice to Improve Medication Adherence

“Working collaboratively with patients to treat their conditions and meet their health goals is an approach that can help to reduce the problem of medication nonadherence,” writes Chris Bojrab, M.D., president of Indiana Health Group, in the latest issue of Psychiatric News PsychoPharm. Not all patients take all their medications all the time, notes Bojrab.Read More

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Social Security Administration Should Revise Policy that Counts ABLE Account Distributions for Housing Costs as a Resource for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Eligibility and Benefits

By Steven Bruce, PWDF Legal Director (Source: http://www.pwdf.org/) Under current rules for the SSI Program, ABLE account distributions for housing expenses are not counted as the SSI beneficiary’s resources if the funds are spent within the calendar month in which the distribution is taken.[2 ] “Housing expenses” here refer to qualified disability expenses, or QDEs, forRead More

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