mental health

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"Love is merely a madness; and, I tell you, deserves as well a dark house and a whip as madmen do..."

So says Shakespeare, anyway. Frank Tallis might agree.

In his new book, The Incurable Romantic and Other Tales of Madness and Desire, writer and clinical psychologist Frank Tallis shares stories from his own practice of patients whose obsessive love of others has turned to madness.

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The expression "I lost myself" rolls off the lips fairly easily.  But it's a real thing for some people. 

For a variety of reasons, there are people who walk the Earth who feel like they are either missing parts of themselves--the "self" is gone--or actually believe they are dead. 

Anil Ananthaswamy tells some of the startling stories in The Man Who Wasn't There

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Mental illness often shows up early in adulthood, but it can affect a person earlier in life. 

This month on Compass Radio we hear from Debra, a Southern Oregon Compass House member who has experienced episodes of mental illness since childhood.

She told Compass House interviewer Bryce Harding that her illness first manifested itself in the form of premonitions – she would actually predict events before they happened. 

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The idea of our wounded younger selves continuing to haunt us into adulthood was brought up years ago by many experts on the mind.  So by now, the idea of an "inner child" should sound familiar. 

Therapist Susan Anderson is more concerned with another part of us, the OUTER child. 

She writes of the issues raised, and how to deal with them, in Taming Your Outer Child: Overcoming Self-Sabotage and Healing from Abandonment

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Spend too much time consuming news, and you can get a real sense the world is in trouble.  Ignoring the news competely is probably not the answer. 

But perhaps an adjustment to our definition of hope is in order. 

Kate Davies certainly recommends such an adjustment in her book Intrinsic Hope: Living Courageously in Troubled Times.  This is a bit different from the kind of conventional hope most of us grew up with. 

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Memorial Day gives the Exchange staff a chance to get out of the office... along with all of the people we would potentially interview.  So we offer up a pair of gems from past programs:

At 8: therapist Kim Schneiderman suggests stepping back from our daily lives and considering how they'd read as a story.  Her book is Step Out of Your Story

At 9: Alex Sheshunoff was feeling very stressed by his life in the big city, so he got far away from it.  He tells the story in his book A Beginner's Guide to Paradise.

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We stopped the "warehousing" of people with mental illness years ago.  Or did we? 

The huge state hospitals with thousands of residents are generally gone, but our jail and prison population has boomed. 

And there's plenty of evidence that the two trends are related... like the fact that up to half of the people in lockup have psychiatric disorders. 

Journalist Alisa Roth researched the trends and the people they represent for her book  Insane: America's Criminal Treatment of Mental Illness

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Federal farm bills, are, by nature, monsters.  They contain federal attitudes toward farming and food in thousands of avenues, from crop insurance to food stamps. 

What you might NOT expect in a farm bill is a discussion of suicide.  But there's a call for attention to mental health care in our rural areas; by some counts, farmers commit suicide at several times the rate of the general population. 

Michael Rosmann is a clinical psychologist and a farmer, providing his services through AgriWellness, Inc. and Ag Behavioral Health

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The Affordable Care Act--Obamacare--put mental health care on par with physical health, as far as health insurance goes.  But insurance does not automatically mean a lot of providers are available. 

And a recent report shows a shortage of mental health (behavioral health, in their lexicon) workers in California. 

Janet Coffman at the University of California-San Francisco led the reporting team; she joins us. 

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The United States has been at war non-stop since the fall of 2001, almost a lifetime.  And by some counts, up to 30 percent of the people fighting for the United States come home with post-traumatic stress disorder, PTSD. 

David J. Morris is one of them.  He explores his own experiences and the effects of PTSD on many people in his book PTSD: The Evil Hours

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The criminal justice and mental health systems have become intertwined in America, with many people who need mental health services ending up in jail instead. 

Mendocino County provides a good example; its psychiatric hospital closed nearly two decades ago. 

But voters passed Measure B in the November election, putting local money into mental health services.  Sheriff Tom Allman was a booster of the effort, and happily watched it pass. 

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Life can be hard on anyone, but just imagine trying to navigate daily life while dealing with mental illness. 

People consider and commit suicide when they just can't see a way to a better life. 

Southern Oregon Compass House in Medford takes up the issue of suicide in the latest chapter of Compass Radio. 

We hear the voices of a clubhouse member, a mental health expert, and Executive Director Elizabeth Hazlewood. 

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Few of us are equipped to understand the challenges of mental illness. 

And that's why we hear the voices of people struggling with mental health in our monthly segment "Compass Radio." 

It is co-produced by Compass House in Medford, a center that functions on the clubhouse model of mental health care. 

Compass House residents talk about issues in their lives, including homelessness and unemployment, in recordings made at the house. 

JPArt

Anneli Rufus believed the voice that told her she was worthless. 

And the voice was her own.  If it's possible to measure self-esteem in negative numbers, that's where she was. 

And she realized over time that neither she nor anyone else needs to feel that way. 

Her journey of realization and reconstruction is told in her book Unworthy: How To Stop Hating Yourself

socompasshouse.org

Few of us are equipped to understand the challenges of mental illness. 

And that's why we hear the voices of people struggling with mental health in our monthly segment "Compass Radio." 

It is co-produced by Compass House in Medford, a center that functions on the clubhouse model of mental health care. 

Compass House residents talk about issues in their lives, including homelessness and unemployment, in recordings made at the house. 

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It's possible that half of the people in California who need mental health treatment do not get it. 

And money is not the only issue; social stigma also keeps people from getting mental health care. 

Those are just some of the findings of a white paper from the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists

And the younger you are, the more acute the situation: the same paper figures two-thirds of adolescents who need treatment don't get it. 

Wisconsin Blue Book, 1885

We've certainly changed a few things about our approach to mental illness. 

The days of gigantic state hospitals "warehousing" mental patients are generally behind us.  But what's replaced that system has issues of its own. 

Those are issues Ron Powers explores in his book Nobody Cares About Crazy People

It is history and current affairs, but also biography and memoir, because Powers had two sons who struggled with schizophrenia. 

socompasshouse.org

Few of us are equipped to understand the challenges of mental illness. 

And that's why we hear the voices of people struggling with mental health in our monthly segment "Compass Radio." 

It is co-produced by Compass House in Medford, a center that functions on the clubhouse model of mental health care. 

Two Compass House residents talk about the biggest accomplishments in their lives, in recordings at the house. 

Compass Radio: Recovery From Mental Illness

Feb 21, 2017
socompasshouse.org

Members of the Compass House tell us how recovery from mental illness isn't a myth.

Compass Radio is co-produced by Bryce Harding and the members of Compass House in Medford.

Compass House is a place for adults with mental illness to find support, in the clubhouse model of mental health care. 

Exchange Exemplar: Negating Narcissists

Feb 9, 2017
Public Domain

Think of the charming people you know.  Now think about the people you thought were charming at first, but who slowly revealed a very different side over time. 

There's a good chance you were dealing with a narcissist in that case.  Linda Martinez-Lewi has come across more than a few in her years as a therapist and clinical expert on narcissistic personality disorder. 

She wrote the book on the topic, Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life

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