Mental health needs the nation's attention

  • Article by: Chris Bauer
  • Updated: March 26, 2013 - 4:34 PM

Too many people struggle alone. But even with an army of supporters, this war, like all others, is hell.

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pumiceMar. 25, 13 7:26 PM

From the article: "[V]ote for government leaders who support this cause." Thank you for sharing your heart-wrenching story, Chris Bauer. Minnesota answered your challenge by electing Jim Ramstad and Paul Wellstone to Congress. Ramstad and Wellstone ably supported the mental health cause. Who will take up the torch?

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bigbadbeanMar. 25, 13 8:53 PM

You can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink.

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FrankLMar. 25, 1310:37 PM

The mental health industry shares much of the blame. Too much is spent on trivial problems, and not reserved for those who truly have severe problems. How many mental health professionals will get paid today to listen to: "my brother got the bigger piece of pie".

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boris123Mar. 26, 1311:44 AM

Its the families of mental health patients who need to be the primary caregivers - their children, brothers, sisters, parents, etc.

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betherlyabcMar. 26, 13 1:55 PM

Chris is right on. I was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder when I was 24; by that time I was virtually non-functional. 10 years later, I am in a leadership role in my job, with better skills for handling even normal nervousness than anyone else I know. I am actually better equipped for my job and my life than most people because of all the therapy I've had. It's not because I'm better or smarter or more deserving than anyone else; it is because I had family and friends who were emotionally and financially supportive and helped me get the medical help that I needed. It was dumb luck that I ended up okay; as Chris said, many people don't have the support system that I do. And family may be able to be caregivers, but you would never tell family to handle a brain surgery patient on their own, without intervention, training and regular assistance from medical staff. Mental illness must be treated the same way. And as for reserving care for those with "severe" problems, that's absurd. If something interferes with someone living their life, it should be addressed. If someone had treated my problems during my childhood, when they were not yet "severe," I guarantee it would have saved my family, myself, and my medical insurance thousands of dollars, not to mention preventing the most difficult emotional crisis I've ever gone through. This was more difficult than being diagnosed with infertility. You have no right to judge what is "severe" or "trivial" unless you have lived through this yourself.

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mrarmsMar. 27, 13 3:05 PM

1 in 4 adults? Ha! Mental illness is everywhere. Try 95 in 100.

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auntiec57May. 28, 13 4:43 PM

To betherlyabc, I always tell friend, family and anyone else who will listen; "Walk a Mile in my Shoes" and then you have the right to criticize. If you've never experienced any mental health issues, kudos to you, because you are one of a small percentage in this country. When I started seeking help for my depression, OCD, anxiety, etc. I was told to see my family practice doctor. If you've been this route this will sound familiar to you; if they can't hand you a pill or give you a quick fix they don't want to deal with your problems. I floundered for many years not getting any help and was left in total despair. We are in the 21st Century and how much can we say that's been done to help the millions of people who are living with a mental health problem? Get involved in any of the great groups available and don't take no for an answer when dealing with a medical professional, it's their job to get the proper treatment for you. It took me almost 40 years, but I am finally starting to feel like a human being that's worth fighting for. You need to be proactive for yourself or bring a supportive person to your appointment and take notes. We all have to push for better mental health treatment in this Country. Auntiec57

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