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Henry Emmons, MD

Here is an interesting article about a doctor who uses holistic approach to help people diagnosed with mental illness. His name is Henry Emmons, M.D. and his website is Partners in Resilience

Capturing Calm

A Minnesota psychiatrist and author is trying to shake up how people think about mental illness.

By MAURA LERNER, Star Tribune

In psychiatry, “we focus almost entirely on what’s wrong,” said Emmons. “I began thinking about joy.” And about how he might help patients in the midst of life’s setbacks get it back.

“Henry takes the perspective that depression is a holistic disease,” said Lori Knutson, executive director of the Penny George Institute for Health and Healing in Minneapolis, where Emmons works two days a week. “It’s not about mental illness. It’s about mental health.” Read the rest of this entry »

Hi, I haven’t been keeping up the blog partly because things are going so well for me. If you have been diagnosed with a mental illness and/or are taking psychiatric medication and stumbled across this blog take heart, you can recover. Your life can be fun, productive, calm…whatever consider as good. You can also wean off psychiatric drugs.

I started this blog to share my experience with others. I am at a good place in my life. I still am not ready to go public and I have other projects where I need to spend time. So I will not be posting as regularly.

I am currently feeling comfortable, centered and content.

modelntl1The 2 parts of the 4 compenents of Nonviolent Communication
The 2 parts of the 4 components of Nonviolent Communication

Hmm, maybe that doesn’t make sense because on the same token I am trying to plan my future. I wonder if I can ever have the relationship I want with my husband and I worry if I can ever support myself if I lose my disability.

The other night in my women’s group we learned about Nonviolent Communication. This is a whole theory and technique on how to express yourself without doing verbal damage to others. We call talk more harshly than we even realize.

So, I KNOW that my husband is verbally abusive.  But I thought my responses to him were rational and logical. But I wasn’t speaking to him from the heart.

I was saying to him, “YOU INSULTED me.  ” I didn’t say, “I feel hurt when you say xyz. ”  There is a difference.

The are four components of NVC:
1. observation

2. feeling

3. needs

4. request

From their website:

Nonviolent Communication is:

This approach to communication emphasizes compassion as the motivation for action rather than fear, guilt, shame, blame, coercion, threat or justification for punishment. In other words, it is about getting what you want for reasons you will not regret later. NVC is NOT about getting people to do what we want. It is about creating a quality of connection that gets everyone’s needs met through compassionate giving.

PJ of Spin Original posted that she no longer believes she is or was bipolar. She had many problems or issues that needed to be worked on. She does believe that the medicine stabilized her for a while although she gained 50 pounds.

Read her post Biploar No More here.

Warning: Never quite psychiatric medications cold turkey. You can suffer painful, physical withdrawal symptoms as well as cause a rebound effect that will mimic psychiatric problems. Read more on Duane Sherry’s Discover and Recover blog on his WARNING tab.

So hubby and I went to see “The Soloist” last night.

We liked it. I think I caught onto some stuff that other people may not have caught.  I certainly understood why Nathaniel got angry when he read the word Schizophrenic in the paperwork Steve Lopez tried to get him to sign.

I caught that the main worker at the Lamp said that many of the people have had 16 diagnoses..and they didn’t help a bit.

But I wondered if the other people sitting in the theater caught on to why the Lamp worker didn’t want to push meds or why Nathaniel didn’t want to take them. That wasn’t really explored…at least I didn’t think so.

I also caught a headline about Scientologists beside the column Steve Lopez’ column.

You can read the original column Points West here.

I was excited to see that they are a part of Participant Media but I was disappointed to see that it links to a NAMI site. If you go to the website it has links of ways you can help homeless people.  Take Part or Participant Media has links to

  • National Alliance on Mental Illness
  • The Nataniel Anthony Ayers Foundation
  • National Alliance to End Homelessness
  • Ocean Park Community Center
  • Coalition for the Homeless
  • Help World USA
  • Lamp Community
  • Mental Health America
  • Covenant House
  • NARSAD
  • NARSAD Artworks
  • League of American Orchestras

Hey, maybe some of the alternative mental health groups should try to ally with links also! ?

I am not going to add all those urls in the list above…if you are curious click here.

Uggh!  I just read this on one of the links for tips on on to help:

Myth: Psychiatric disorders are not true medical illnesses like heart disease and diabetes. People who have a mental illness are just “crazy.”

Fact: The fact is that brain disorders, like heart disease or diabetes, are legitimate medical illnesses. Research shows there are genetic and biological causes for psychiatric disorders, and they can be treated effectively.

(If this is a fact…ask for a blood test, a tissue sample or a urine test. The doctor will tell you that there is none. Do you know of any other diseases that can not be proven?  When they can’t be proven they are know as syndromes. And the medical community admits they don’t have the answer.)

Tell you what…the movie is good….some other organizations are making hay with it.

It never, ever said mental illness was biochemical. The movie never ever said meds would help.

It said FRIENDSHIP and CONNECTEDNESS would help.

night-guard

Grinding your teeth can ruin them. And you might not even know that you are grinding your teeth.

I now wear a mouth guard at night while I am sleeping. Sometimes I wake up and my mouth is clenched so I know it would be bad news if I didn’t wear the mouth guard.  I purchased mine at a drug store and fashioned if for my own mouth.

You just boil it in water for a few seconds…let it cool a bit, pop it in your mouth and it forms to your needs. My husband also had one made by his dentist. It didn’t fit right, and the dog chewed it up…so that was a waste of over $100.00. Mine cost $22. You might think you can’t afford it, but I had ground my teeth so much that my bite wasn’t correct and one of my front tooth was slanted from the grind. This affects your appearance which affects your self confidence. I just had my teeth “corrected” or a filling on the part that was ground down. It was a tooth right in the center front of my mouth. I also had cracked a molar. I am sure it was from so much teeth-grinding.

A little preventative care can go a long way.  Teeth clenching can cause headaches too.

“Recent brain imaging tests show that imagining doing something is almost exactly the same to the brain–and the body–as actually doing something. The idea is to have your thoughts and feelings “vibrate” at the same frequency as what you want; if you desire stupendous wealth, raise your emotional bar to bring that in–expand, expand, expand.”

The above quote is interesting. I copied and pasted it from a Beliefnet article, “Ten Steps to Unlocking the Secret”.

I have also seen the movie/DVD. “The Secret” which the Beliefnet post is based on.

Here is quick synopsis.

  1. Clear you mind.
  2. Decide what you want
  3. Ask for it
  4. Visualize having it
  5. Express and feel gratitude
  6. Release control
  7. Stay positive
  8. Be patient
  9. Invite it in
  10. Share the wealth

While I find the materialist part of the Beliefnet article and the DVD irritating. I have found a basic truth in these steps. The movie seems to say if you want it bad enough, you can have it. And I can’t help think of people in dire poverty wanting food or shelter and I don’t think they will get it by just thinking about it. But on the other hand, if you don’t focus on solutions and visualize what you want, you probably will never get it. ( Huh, listen to the negative tone I used to write that last sentence. It could have been, “If you focus on solutions and visualize what you want, you are more likely to get it.)

The other very irritating part of Beliefnet are the ad to “treat” depression. Visit the site and don’t let those bother you.

Ironically during some correspondence with my ex-husband, he told me about this movie and thought its message might be helpful. My daughter loaned a copy when she came to visit. That was actually a couple years ago. I am imagining myself as successful. And slowly but surely, I have made incredible progress. It is not going to happen over night, but it will happen.

I remember when I had my first major depression at age 22 (?) I literally imagined myself as a failure, working a low-wage job and never having what I wanted. My hard would race, I had acid stomach, and sweat would run down my back. I do believe that thoughts affect your body.

A good meal <good [Feb. 2008]   bad>    Look at the ingredients

What’s in the meat [Feb.12, 2008] and A good meal to soothe the soul

This week Gianna posted that it was her second blogiversary, at the time I remembered when I began reading her blog. I tried to leave her comments every day to encourage her. I was so excited to read about what she was doing and wanted to encourage her to keep going.

As I read about her second blogiversary, I began thinking that my blogiversary must be coming up too. I am totally of psych meds. [I reluctantly added a blood pressure med a couple months ago. Read about that here .] I made my first real post on February 7, 2008. I posted much of February, none in March, and in April I started going great guns for posting. In fact a really popular post was on April 28 as a cheat sheet for purchaing organic food.

I waver back and forth….am I a recovery story or not?  I have made a new life for myself. NO ONE would ever suspect the problems I had a few years ago. I am on disability and working to get off. [I remember when I wet the bed, drooled, sounded drunk and couldn’t remember something a person just told me two minutes previously.] Now, I sometimes worry that people will think I am taking advantage of the disability because I am so stable and seem so productive. But in the back of my mind, I wonder, “Can I really support myself? Would I ‘go nuts’ if I had a “competitive job.” ?  My marriage has never been that good. Can I support myself if I leave my husband? Right now I work out of my home. I set my own hours. I work when I want. I wonder, “If I had a boss, would I crack?” In that past, I have had huge difficulties working for other people. Often in organizations I would be scapegoated by my co-workers and belittled by my boss.

Interesting enough, my present husband, [whom I am separated from because of verbal abuse] always had faith in me as a sane person. He worries that I will get in trouble for receiving benefits. He never knew me as that drooling fool or the wigged out anxiety-ridden, crazy-woman. When he met me I was on Zyprexa, working part time as a hostess, and living in HUD housing. [I was so relieved to receive the benefits, they allowed me to spend time with my daughter and not struggle for money. My hostess job was only 10 to 15 hours a week.] I visited a county-supported doctor at the a mental health agency, and since I was so poor I didn’t have to pay. I told her I didn’t want to take Zyprexa or Risperdal every day. [And I didn’t have any prescription coverage to pay for it.] So she allowed me to see her every two weeks to monitor my mood and nip a mania or depression in the bud. [I would take Risperdal at those times and only for  a couple weeks.]

I truly feel like  a new person. I am trying to work with a program named AAATakecharge. It is an Internet based program for people who have the “Ticket to Work.”

I feel bad about not posting too much lately and not commenting on other’s blogs, but I have been working very hard to be gainfully employed. I find that reading blogs. commenting on other blogs and writing my own can be very time consuming, but so therapeutic.

Well, I told readers that I would give yoga a more serious try. This week I have gone on both Monday and Tuesday. On Monday I took an easy lunchtime session and today in the late afternoon I took Kundalini Yoga. Wikipedia says: Kundalini yoga is a physical and meditative discipline, comprising a set of techniques that use the mind, senses and body to create a communication between “mind” and “body”. Read more here.

Nothing was really hard about this. There were a few times that my arms got tired and I did stop. Both times included the teacher or leader hitting a gong. It was a loud and pleasant sound. It was impossible to think about almost anything, but it was a pleasant. During the lunch time yoga the teacher came over while I was lying on the mat, and rubbed my head and neck… it felt great. Today we also had partners to pat our back….it was an anger release type thing.

The whole reason I am doing this is to bring my blood pressure down.

 

Pyrs wonders if this is something women have more patience for than men…I don’t know, but both Monday and today it was all women. There were some men at a previous Saturday session.

I still have to keep my mind open to this…I don’t know how some of it is different from just lying on my bed at home. But it is relaxing.

Gianna has commented that maybe I need one-on-one support. I think she may be right. Or that maybe I need another type of support. I have been searching out other ways. I remember one time when I was depressed I took a Dale Carnegie class. It was very expensive, over $1,000. But hey…therapy is expensive too. I learned about the power of positive thinking in that class. I also liked his book How to Stop Worrying and Start Living.

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