mental health

The Importance of Mental Health

Cranberries lead singer Dolores O’Riordan suddenly died on Monday at the age of 46.
Now for all fans of Cranberries that are some shocking news.

Why is it so significant news for me though?

Not only did I like their songs, but there is another part in the story that interests me more than Dolores’s singing. And that is the mysterious reasons behind her untimely death.

It is still very early to know all the details (if we ever truly will know) surrounding her passing, yet some information is known already.

Dolores was diagnosed with Mental health issues, called ‘Bipolar Disorder’ only just about two years ago. However, her mood changes started a long time before that. When she would have felt on the top of the world (this is called mania) at some stage (pun not intended) and it would last for about 3 months or so. After that time Dolores would fall into depression. This is a common swing of moods in people with mental disorder called Bipolar.

What interested me in the articles where I read about her passing is, that she claimed to have been TREATED for this Bipolar disorder.

How Well Are We Treated For Death?

What that can mean for someone suffering the same symptoms is that they might not have been diagnosed yet and/or treated appropriately. What I meant by ‘appropriate treatment’ will be left to your imagination.

I would love to state that there are different forms of treatment for such an illness. However, most people in our western cultures are finding the final help in the hands of a psychiatrists. In the ideal culture, these symptoms would be understood as a change of perception and a break through the belief structures of the individual.

Now, my own question is “How do we educate people well enough to be able to foresee the signs of overall change of personality? And how to best deal with it naturally, without the need for chemical substances and locking the person up from their life?”

There is still a lot of stigma associated with mental illnesses. When more people come out of the closet and start to share their story and what it actually means to deal with some form of mental health issues, we will have more general understanding of the situation and how to best be of assistance.

In the meantime, please be open to learning more about the experiences of people with mental health issues. And if you know about someone in your environment who needs help with any aspect of their mental health, please be kind enough to point them in the direction of a suitable professional help in your location.

Breathe freely.

Sources:

http://www.tmz.com/2018/01/15/cranberries-dolores-oriordan-dead-dies/

http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/music/the-cranberries-lead-singer-dolores-oriordan-dead-at-46-20180115-h0iriy.html

 

Shock therapy

ECT aka Shock treatment – Barbaric or Helpful?

Scrolling through Facebook last night I came across a blog post by Dr. Caroline Leaf, specializing in Neuropsychology, who in her blog wrote about ECT treatments for mental illnesses. Now, Dr. Leaf’s blog post was not too long to get the full story, but in essence I felt there is rather strong disagreement with the general use of Electro-Convulsive Therapy.

Please know, that I do love and appreciate the work on the neuroplasticity of the human brain of Dr. Caroline Leaf and all of her wisdom.

As an advocate for a broader mental health awareness, and also someone, who experienced ECT several times on my own brain (the latest one in Jan 2017), here is my viewpoint on this controversial subject:

My experience with Electro Shocks

Despite the fact, that the ‘ECT treatment’ I received was always administered without my, or my family’s consent while I was unwell, now I would say it had its place. Upon reflection on it, if it was not for the ECT’s (given to me during several different hospital admissions and only after all other efforts using medication failed) there was a high chance that I may have not recovered so quickly from what was very debilitating and hard to manage condition.

The shock treatment has had for a very long time, a very bad reputation. To me that is mainly due to its portraying in the media for its past administration without the use of anesthetics and relaxants. That could be the very scary bit, that nobody would like to experience. However, nowadays it is given with full body anesthetic and relaxants injected into the bloodstream of the ‘poor’ patient. One goes to sleep long before the electrodes touch the head and wakes up afterwards without any pain. Just like after other successful operation.

So the barbaric associations that this ‘treatment’ has in the society is a little bit unfair. This is also due to the “One fly over the Cuckoo’s nest” movie, that had its place in showing the bad aspects of mental institutions back in the day. Nowadays, there are still surely not a place one likes to be held in, however, it all comes down to having good doctors and nurses, who make the big difference in any hospital environment.

Side Effects of ECT

While ‘my’ first ECT had a significant effect on memory loss and some other cognitive functioning, which affected my work abilities and my confidence, I am now able to express gratitude and accept this as one of the more effective methods of the mental health industry. Overall I had several instances when it was the last resort used by the treatment team and it was actually the one thing that really worked.

So unless you had ECT on yourself, please do not spread more fear and misunderstanding about it. There is greater need for more clarity and awareness though. Thank you for reading my thoughts on this. And if you or someone you know experienced ECT personally, I would love to read your thoughts in the comment box below.

Joy and clarity