Prepared by: National Stigma Clearinghouse
NEWS ARCHIVE 2004
Please scroll down for earliest items.
December 6, 2004 - News
of the Week
SURVEY FINDS SOCIAL SUPPORT IS KEY TO
Canadian Survey: 69% of Canadians with BiPolar Disorders are Working
By ANDRE PICARD
PUBLIC HEALTH REPORTER
November 11, 2004
The vast majority of Canadians living with bipolar disorder, a severe
mental illness, are high-functioning individuals who hold down
full-time jobs, according to new research from Statistics Canada.
The data, which were collected as part of a landmark survey on mental
health, shatters long-held perceptions about a condition that can lead
to alternating bouts of mania and depression.
Approximately 444,000 adults suffer from bipolar disorder in Canada, or
about 3 per cent of the population, the study reveals.
"For so long, people with bipolar disorder have been told there is no
hope, but this demonstrates there is real hope," said Penny Marrett,
chief executive officer of the Canadian Mental Health Association.
"They can find work and have productive lives and make important
contributions to society."
In its report, Statistics Canada said a "remarkable" 69 per cent of
people with bipolar disorder hold down jobs.
What distinguished those who worked from those who
did not wasn't the severity of the illness, the medication they were
taking or the health care and psychological services they used. Rather,
it was "tangible social support" that made the difference, according to
the study. (Emphasis added by Antistigma Home Page)
"Everybody needs a social network -- friends, family, neighbours,
colleagues at work and, for people with bipolar disorder, it's what
makes the difference," she said.
Dan Marinus, a Toronto bus driver who was diagnosed with bipolar
disorder six years ago, agrees. He said he managed to survive years of
wild mood swings with the support of his family, friends, and an
understanding employer. But when his drinking went out of control -- a
side effect of mental illness, he said -- his marriage fell apart, his
social circle collapsed and he lost his job.
"I had to start my life over again at age 58, and I was suffering from
manic depression," Mr. Marinus said. He quit drinking and started
taking olanzapine. Coincidentally, the drug, sold under the brand name
Zyprexa, was approved earlier this month for the treatment of bipolar
disorder. (It used to be approved only for schizophrenia.) The drug, a
product of Eli Lilly Canada Inc., is the first new medication approved
for treating the condition since lithium hit the marketplace three
While the new report stressed that social support is the key ingredient
that allows people to manage living with bipolar disorder, it noted
that one in four sufferers could not find help when they needed it.
Ms. Marrett said that is yet another stark reminder that mental-health
services are inadequate and spotty across Canada. She said the data
also demonstrates the need to detect mental illness early.
The average age of onset for bipolar disorder was 19. The study also
revealed that people with bipolar disorder were far more likely to
suffer from a number of chronic health conditions, such as asthma,
obesity and migraines, and to abuse alcohol and drugs. They also used
far more health-care services.
"If you have early detection, you're going to have better outcomes.
You're going to have people managing their condition, and able to hold
down jobs and contribute actively to society," she said.
The Statistics Canada research on mental health will also include
examinations of social anxiety disorder, panic disorder and alcohol and
-End of article-
November 21, 2004 - News
of the Week
MICHIGAN COMMISSION LISTS OBSTACLES TO
Findings Apply Nationwide
Source: Detroit Free Press, http://www.freep.com
Findings of the Michigan Mental Health Commission
November 20, 2004
--Public misconceptions about mental illness and emotional disturbances
lead to a stigma that gets in the way of timely diagnosis and
--Too often, people must be in crisis before they can receive mental
--Many people with mental illness or emotional disturbances are not
receiving the care they need, and too much of the care provided is not
of acceptable quality or appropriate to the need.
--There is an inappropriate use of the juvenile and criminal justice
systems for people with mental illness and emotional disturbances.
--Michigan's public mental health system is neither structured nor
adequately funded to deliver care to people effectively, efficiently,
and in a timely manner.
--The lack of access to integrated mental health and physical health
care and support for housing, education and employment slows recovery
for mentally ill people.
--The needs of the mentally ill and their families do not drive the
care and services provided to the degree they could and should.
Copyright © 2004 Detroit Free Press Inc. All rights reserved.
End of Article
Note from National Stigma Clearinghouse: We
respectfully suggest replacing the term "mental illness" in the above
report with the more accurate plural "mental illnesses." Also, instead
of "the mentally ill" we suggest using "individuals with a mental
illness." Both of these changes avoid the one-size-fits-all stereotype
that plagues individuals diagnosed with mental illnesses or psychiatric
November 14, 2004 - News
of the Week
AN INSPIRING OBITUARY PAINTS A MEMORABLE
The obituary below came to the Antistigma Home Page from Harold A.
Complimenting the newspaper, Harold wrote, "Editors: My sincere
congratulations to the author of this moving piece, and to the editors
who provided it public space. The writing, the tone, the feeling, all
Source: The Columbian, Serving Clark
In Memoriam: Charles Hilton Oliver
Friday, November 12, 2004
Charles "Charlie" Hilton Oliver was born on November 2, 1947 in
Portsmouth, VA, and passed away suddenly on November 6, 2004 at age 57.
He was the third child of Henry Marion Oliver and Helene Eva Louise
Oliver, following older siblings, brother Henry and sister Laura.
Charlie's mother, Helene, passed away in 1970 and his father was
deceased in 1994.
Charlie's early years were spent in Virginia, Australia, California,
and finally in Oregon where he graduated from Silverton High School in
1966. Charlie then joined the U.S. Navy, trained in the medical corps
and was deployed to the Southeast Asia Theater.
Serving aboard the USS Arikara, he earned the National Defense Service
Metal and the Vietnam Service Medal. While on active duty he developed
the debilitating mental illness paranoid schizophrenia, and was
honorably discharged on a service-related disability. For many years,
Charlie's affliction caused him to suffer a difficult and tumultuous
existence until improved medications eased his suffering. This enabled
him to be able to finally endure his disability at peace and in quiet
Charlie was overjoyed when he was adopted by his step- mother Brenda
Oliver in 1978. Brenda filled a deep void in his life and he loved her
unconditionally. As Charlie wasn't able to have a family of his own, he
shared close family ties with his father until his death, as well as
his mother, sister Laura and her husband Bill, and Laura's children
Sonya and Jesse and their respective children. Charlie cherished family
get-togethers and celebrations especially the holidays. He loved his
family deeply and was loved in return.
Charlie was a gentleman, with a kind, loving soul and a gregarious,
playful nature. He loved to read, smoke cigarettes, watch TV, play
bingo with his special friends, fish, go camping and patronize garage
sales. He had a keen interest in science, especially chemistry and
astronomy. The last several years of his life were spent in the Pacific
Northwest, in the Tacoma and Vancouver areas. At the time of his death,
Charlie resided at the Evergreen Inn in Vancouver, where he was beloved
by residents and staff alike. Charlie knew no strangers and his
trademark was a welcoming hug or handshake.
Charlie is survived by his mother, Brenda Oliver, of Salem; sister
Laura Oliver and brother-in-law Bill Vaughn, Ridgefield; brothers Henry
Oliver, Orange County, California, Karl Oliver, San Francisco, and
Douglas Oliver, Salem; nieces Sonya Hartig, Germantown, Maryland,
Andrea Oliver Luton, Salem, and Niki Oliver, Orange County, California;
and, nephews Jesse Williams, Battle Ground and David Oliver, Alaska. In
addition, Charlie's adopted family includes brothers Ian Cook and Mark,
Scott, and Brett McDonald and sister Stephanie Zufelt. Richard Beals, a
step-brother, passed away many years ago as did his step-mother, Norma
Charlie will be laid to rest in the Willamette National Cemetery. The
family requests that in lieu of flowers or donations, remembrances be
sent in Charlie's name to the Disabled American Veterans Association to
help support programs for these American patriots whose sacrifice for
their country continues for a lifetime.
October 31, 2004 - News
of the Week
PATTY DUKE KEEPS PROMISE, GIVES HOPE
Actress, author shares story of fight to beat depression
Source: Cincinnati Post, http://www.cincinnati.com
By Wayne Perry
Post Living editor
October 18, 2004
Watching Patty Duke star as identical cousins Patty and Cathy Lane in
the "The Patty Duke Show" from 1963 to 1966, you might have imagined
the talented teen was having the time of her life. After the show ended
she went on to make movies, perform theater and return to television
many times through the years.
But Duke was not leading an ideal life -- far from it. She was behaving
erratically and had no idea why until she was diagnosed as
"I suffered for 35 years before the diagnosis was finally made and the
lithium and therapy began," said Duke. "That was 21 years ago."
Today Duke (call her Anna please, her real name, not Patty) is a
spokesperson for mental illness, encouraging others who might have
similar problems to seek help.
The Oscar-winning actress and best-selling author will be the keynote
speaker on Wednesday night in Cincinnati for the Health Improvement
Collaborative 2004 dinner at the Hyatt Regency, downtown. "I'll be
giving a really personal overview of what it was like to be
manic-depressive and very, very lost -- and also very young. The
diagnosis was hard to make because some of it was delayed teenage
behavior, so it was hard for doctors to pinpoint."
Duke says her problems really began in her early twenties.
"It started with depression -- a depression that almost literally
paralyzed me. I cried nearly 24 hours a day. It seems impossible that a
person could cry that much, but I cried that much. I rejected any kind
of comforting or any suggestion of seeing a doctor. And I could go
anywhere from a couple of weeks to a couple of months like that --
"Not eating. Shrinking down to 70 pounds. And then -- it wasn't as if a
switch flipped -- but more like a dial rotated down -- and the
intensity of the depression lifted. I had no idea why, but little by
little I'd begin to participate in life again. Then there would be a
kind of an even keel for awhile," she said.
"There were ups and downs, Violent ups and downs. When I was going up
-- I would go and buy -- you know, I never believed it when the doctors
told me that over-spending, wild over-spending was a symptom -- you
have to have others to make the case, but it is one symptom of mania.
"I would buy things. I went to Palm Springs once -- I didn't live there
-- but I saw a dune buggy at a Sears and it was so cute I had to have
it. So I bought a dune buggy. Now that's not like buying a house, many
people do that -- but there I was in Palm Springs, no place to live but
I had a dune buggy."
Finally, however, she was diagnosed.
"It was a series of accidents -- all in my favor. I was in the process
of divorce from John Astin, therefore I was rational at this time. I'd
made a number of appointments with psychiatrists. I was also doing a
series at that time (1983) with Dick Crenna, my beloved Dick Crenna. It
was called 'It Takes Two,' and it was wonderful. You just couldn't wait
to get to work in the morning.
"One week I started to feel like I couldn't talk -- like laryngitis --
and we were to tape in two days so they sent me to a doctor to get a
shot of cortisone.
Now there's a lot of debate about this, some people believe, if an
episode is coming, a shot of cortisone can help it along. I don't know
that for a fact. All I know is that when I got back to the rehearsal --
I was wackier than ever.
After the rehearsal, I had an appointment with a psychiatrist and after
about 10 minutes he said, "You know Anna, I've suspected this for so
long, I think you're manic-depressive.
"My reaction was 'Thank God! It has a name.' Why a label was so
important -- I do not know -- but it gave me a sense of relief that it
wasn't the 'bad me' doing it -- that it was a chemical imbalance of the
"The show shut down and we began lithium therapy two days later. About
three weeks later, I began, and others began, to notice a difference in
me. I could still laugh when it was funny and cry when it was sad --
but that out-of-control motor that would send me into space was not
running anymore. And to this day, knock wood, I have not had another
episode," she said.
"I still have a tremendous amount of energy and I can get really elated
about something and I can get very, very sad about something. But they
refer to those as causative reactions, not spontaneous, out of your
brain cells nuttiness."
Duke says that as she travels telling of her experiences (she does
about a half-dozen such appearances each year) she learns a lot about
"One of the issues that is extremely important that I have found out
from talking to people -- well, first of all is the fear of being
'found out.' In the work place or anywhere else. But also the fear that
they will lose their creativity. I have read many things where that has
been said. I can only tell them from my own experience that not only
has my own creativity grown, but I am actually able to accomplish
When I was out of control, I could get the best ideas in the universe
but I couldn't do anything about it because I didn't know how to get
from 'A' to 'B.'"
She is committed to using her experiences to help others.
"When I was so sick -- you know -- you bargain a lot. I bargained with
God a lot. And one of the bargains was 'if you make it stop I'll do
anything. -- I'll help anybody -- .
I'll do anything I can to help somebody else so they won't have to feel
like this.' So when it stopped, the first couple of months it didn't
occur to me. but then I remembered 'Oh yes, I have a bargain to keep.'
"So I've kept it. It was important to me on a subjective level as well
because, seeing things in print seems to validate them and I got to
tell the very bad girl stuff and the struggling good girl stuff and the
stuff that I truly think I'm made of which is absolute love for my
fellow man," she said.
Incredibly, through it all, Duke maintained a successful career. She's
made an amazing 72 television movies. Recently she starred in the
Hallmark television mystery movie "Murder Without Conviction."
"I played a nun and I fell in love with the part. I'd like to play this
part forever. It was very successful. I understand that they have
written a second script. It's in the polishing stage. None of that
means anything until some executive gives it the 'go' -- but it
certainly is keeping me hopeful.
That could be my next project. Or it could be somebody calling from
'Law & Order,' which I'd also love to do."
Says Duke, now 57, of her continuing acting career: "This is what I do.
And the part of me that needs to do it is very needy right now so I'm
hopeful. I want my cake and I want to eat it too. I want to work and
then I want to come back to Idaho, where I now live, and enjoy my
She says the favorite part of her work on behalf of mental illness is
after she's given her speech.
"That's the portion of the evening when we open it up for an exchange
-- when my answers can be much more specific to people who want to ask
about a problem or anything else. We do that for what's supposed to be
a half hour, but that one always goes an hour and a half.
"I don't want to put the hex on it -- but in the hundreds of these that
I have done, the sensation by the end is almost like a revival meeting.
People will come up to me at the end and say they suspected they had a
problem but they didn't want to go to see a doctor -- but now they are
going to go," says Duke.
"So that's the sort of night it is. It's usually a night of laughter,
tears and a real communing."
- End of Article -
October 10, 2004 - News
of the Week
RECOVERY IS NOT A NEW IDEA, SAYS PAT DEEGAN
Source: Pat Deegan PhD and Associates, LLC
(click Recovery Journal)
History and Self-Directed Recovery
Today we talk about recovery as if it is a new idea. However, the idea
that people recover is not at all new. In 1881, the Superintendents at
Worcester State Hospital in Massachusetts conducted a follow-up survey
on 1,157 people discharged from that asylum between 1840 and 1893. They
found that 58% of those people discharged as recovered, remained well
for the rest of their lives, some as long as 40 years after discharge.
The same researchers found that 51% of those discharged prior to 1840
also remained well for the rest of their lives. These recovery rates
from the 19th century compare favorably with modern longitudinal
studies of recovery that show that half to two thirds of people
diagnosed with major mental disorders recover or significantly improve.
If recovery rates are similar in the 19th century and the 20th century,
then maybe these data say more about the fundamental resilience of
people diagnosed, than about the "wonders" of modern treatment. This
would be a consumer/survivor-centric interpretation of the data.
People diagnosed with mental illness have been recovering across the
centuries with, and sometimes in spite of, the "treatment" we have
received. We need to reject the image of ourselves as fragile human
beings who are broken or who need to avoid stress. We are strong,
resourceful and resilient. We can and often do direct our own recovery.
From a historical perspective there are many examples of this. One need
only read the story of John Perceval's recovery in the early 1800's. In
this fascinating first person account of self-directed recovery we
learn of the wide variety of coping strategies that Perceval discovered
in order to find his wellness.
Among other strategies his voices taught him a form of meditation in
which he attended to his breathing: "Moreover I have remarked, that
when my mind is most disturbed, I breathe at that time violently and
rapidly, and with difficulty through the nostrils...The spirits also
which I conceived to speak to me, used to direct me to control my
breath, and to 'breath gently up one nostril and down another.' I have
often found too, that when I am depressed or agitated by any passion, a
deep-drawn breath will change the whole complexion of thought and the
tenor of my desires." (Perceval/Bateson p. 274).
Perceval also learned to be a close observer of his own behavior as
well as that of others. He learned to listen to the helpful voices.
"Now the voices I used to hear during my illness at Dr. Fox's
(madhouse) told me...'keep my head and heart together,' not to let 'my
head go wandering from my heart,' - that 'if I kept my head and heart
together,' I should do well." (p.272). In time Perceval learned that
these voices had something of value to teach him. To paraphrase what
his voices told him: Keep your heart and your head together and you
will do well. Don't let your head go wandering off from your heart or
you will be out of touch with what you really desire and need. What you
really need is what your heart and health dictate. Keep your head
focused on that. Sage advice!!
Perceval also learned to challenge the voices that tormented him or
threatened harm. Early on in his stay at the madhouse his voices were
ordering him to do a variety of things and if he disobeyed, he was told
he would be struck by a lightening bolt. In an act of courage Perceval
defied the command, only to find that the thunderbolt struck harmlessly
by his side. By challenging his delusional voices he was able to
reality test the extent of their power. He concluded that they were not
as powerful or correct as he as assumed: "A kind of confidence of mind
came in me the evening after I had been threatened (by voices), and saw
the thunderbolt fall harmlessly by my side...nothing ensuing,
confidence again came in me, and this night a change took place in the
tone of the voices." (p.54) Over the course of four years Perceval was
able to use these and other self-directed recovery strategies to rid
himself of his delusions and to think freely again.
If you are interested in reading more about John Perceval's
self-directed recovery, you can find his books excerpted in a text
called "Perceval's Narrative", edited by Gregory Bateson (1974).
I think we can learn from our history. Recovery is not a new idea.
People have been directing their own recovery across the centuries. We
are immersed in disease centered treatment systems.
Recovery is a person centered model that acknowledges that we are not
diseases. Diseases don't recover but people do. We need to remember to
look to ourselves and to our peers to learn what we are already doing
to help ourselves cope with our distress. We don't always need to look
to professionals for answers. Sometimes our answers lie within us if
only we listen.
About Pat Deegan PhD & Associates, LLC:
A consumer/survivor/ex-patient run organization whose mission is
to improve the personal, social, economic and cultural well being of
people with psychiatric disabilities through ex-patient directed study
We conduct research and study to:
Broaden the knowledge of recovery, resilience,
empowerment and healing,
Promote self-determination for people with
Create new resources, including self-help and peer
Amplify the voice and support initiatives of people
of color, women, children and youth, and gay men and lesbians who have
been diagnosed with mental illness,
Discover, interpret and preserve the historical
perspective and collective heritage of people receiving services in
mental health systems and
Investigate problems with and propose solutions to
the forces that oppress and devalue people with disabilities.
Pat Deegan PhD and Associates, LLC
-End of Excerpt from website-
Note from Jean Arnold, National Stigma Clearinghouse:
When Pat Deegan's writings began to circulate in the 1980's, they were
a revelation for families. Pat's gifted work, for the first time, gave
clueless, worried family members valuable insights about the nature of
recovery and hope as experienced by a person with schizophrenia.
September 26, 2004 - News
of the Week
INSIGHTFUL SURVIVORS JOHN McMANAMY AND KAY JAMISON
Source: McMan's Depression and Bipolar
Weekly, Sept. 24, 2004. (Contact: email@example.com)
Special Kay Jamison Exuberance Issue
Lead Story: Kay Jamison celebrates a positive life force in her latest
Also in this issue: AD black boxes, AD
use down in kids, Cons of Prozac, Point/Counterpoint on ADs, Exercise
beats dementia, Mind over mind and matter (relaxation, menopause,
heart, mindfulness), Coming soon, McMan's Web, Donations.
In an interview this week with Kay Jamison PhD, this writer asked if
she ever had her moments when she turned off the phone, drew the
blinds, put on Beethoven's Seventh, and pretended she were Isadora
Now what kind of question is that to ask of a professor of psychiatry
at Johns Hopkins, a celebrated researcher and author and mental health
advocate, recipient of a McArthur genius grant and other awards far too
numerous to mention?
We go back in time to April 2002 to the DRADA Conference at Johns
Hopkins and Dr Jamison's talk she gave there. We have "given sorrow
many words," she told the conference, "but passion for life few."
Exuberance, she went on to say, "takes us many places," with "delight
its own reward, adventure its own pleasure." But exuberance and joy are
also fragile, "bubbles burst, cartwheels abort," all part of the yin
and yang of emotion, as "joy with no counterweight has no weight at
Dr Jamison was reading from a draft of a book she was working on at the
time, just out this week. The book is called "Exuberance: The Passion
for Life," a long-overdue look at the positive life force that resides
in all of us, the antidote to her previous "Night Falls Fast" on
suicide. If "Night Falls Fast" constitutes the lugubrious march to the
cemetery in New Orleans funeral processions, "Exuberance" is the joyous
homeward journey, when the monotonous drone of the dirge gives way to
life-affirming jazz in all its polyphonic glory. Together, these two
works represent the equivalent of a treasured boxed set into human
nature, a masterpiece of scholarship, insight, and literary elegance.
Dr Jamison's book starts out with Teddy Roosevelt, the youngest US
President, whose life, according to a friend, was the "unpacking of
endless Christmas stockings." Said Kipling, after a meeting: "I curled
up on the seat opposite and listened and wondered until the universe
seemed to be spinning around and Theodore was the spinner."
In her Johns Hopkins talk, Dr Jamison described TR as "hypomanic on a
mild day," an observation that did not make it into her book. Rather,
she sees exuberance as a temperament, equivalent to enthusiasm which in
Greek means a god within. "Happy is he who bears a god within," she
quotes Louis Pasteur, "and obeys it." But our species, she reminds us,
is well-served by a variety of temperaments. "The joyous, and not so,"
she points out, "need one another in order to survive."
In our phone interview, Dr Jamison stressed that exuberance comes in
degrees. The people in her book tend to experience it in supersized
dimensions, but even those who are depressed can catch it like a
contagion. "Joy infects," she writes. "Expressive individuals strongly
influence the moods of those who are unexpressive."
Notwithstanding her observation of exuberance as a temperament, the
author cites a 1980 study of hers where 35 bipolar patients reported
positive benefits to their illness, including increased sensitivity,
sexuality, productivity, creativity, and social outgoingness. Virginia
Woolf, who is best remembered for her madness and suicide, tends to be
forgotten as the person who lit up London's Bloomsbury group. Said a
colleague: " I always felt on leaving her that I had drunk two
excellent glasses of champagne. She was a life-enhancer."
Loose Cannons and Crushing Put-Downs
But Dr Jamison cautions there is the danger of crossing the line into
being too exuberant for one's own good (earlier in the book she cites
the fictional example of Toad of "Wind in the Willows" and his
celebrated string of car wrecks). And when mild mania ratchets up into
full-blown mania, we don't need an expert to tell us what can go wrong.
Moreover, exuberance has its dark side, for example when the adrenaline
rush of combat can transform into wanton bloodlust.
General Patton, she reminds us, was literally a loose cannon, who
encouraged his troops to take no prisoners, rape German women, and
butcher civilians (which predictably steeled the resolve of the enemy
and cost Allied lives).
As much as society benefits from exuberant people, the world is also
wary of them, Dr Jamison points out. In "The House at Pooh Corner,"
Rabbit and his cronies conspire to give the "too bouncy" Tigger a
personality makeover and turn him into "a different Tigger altogether
... a Humble Tigger ... a sad Tigger, a Melancholy Tigger, a Small and
Sorry Tigger." Happily, the plan backfires, but that is not often the
way things turn out in real life. In our interview, Dr Jamison pointed
out that because kids are so up-front with their emotions, they leave
themselves wide open to crushing put-downs.
In her book, Dr Jamison mentions the disturbing trend toward
eliminating recess in schools. Play is critical in the development of
kids and young mammals, she says, from ensuring a fully-functioning
nervous system that outlasts its warranty to acquiring the intelligence
and skills they will later put to use as adults.
Over-regimenting kids' lives, she confirmed in our interview, can have
enormous consequences for our society.
Adults at Play
Since childhood play has a biological purpose, this would explain why
adults are positive stuck-in-the muds by comparison. (Bad comparison -
when's the last time you frolicked in the mud? And in your good
clothes.) Kids have the luxury of play under the protection of adults,
Dr Jamison explained to this writer. Later, it becomes their turn to
provide that same level of comfort and protection to their offspring.
Nevertheless, some adults manage to retain their childlike capacity to
respond in wonder to the world around them the rest of their lives.
Writers and artists and musicians are the most obvious examples, but Dr
Jamison in her book feels a special affinity to scientists. This stems
from growing up in a household where her father, a scientist,
surrounded himself with ebullient colleagues who shared her own
youthful enthusiasm for the wind and stars and fireflies and on and on
Dr Jamison's Heroes
Dr Jamison told this writer that scientists, contrary to public
perception, are enormously inventive and creative. Her list includes
Snowflake Bentley (who wrote of the beloved snow crystals he
photographed, "was life history written in more dainty or fairy-like
hieroglyphics?"), Michael Faraday (who pioneered electricity and
commented, "nothing is too wonderful to be true"), the physicist
Richard Feynman ("the ultimate scientific galumpher" whose work was
play to him), and James Watson (co-discoverer of the DNA double helix,
who, "in pursuit of an idea is an unnerving mix of exuberant intuition
and deadly logic").
A case study of scientific exuberance in action is Robert Farquhar, of
Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, and mission director of the
Near Earth Asteroid Rendevous spacecraft, which in 2001 successfully
landed on the asteroid Eros. "I can't understand why they pay me to do
what I love," he told Dr Jamison. His enthusiasm gave him the staying
power to persevere over the NASA bureaucrats, who would have been
satisfied with a mere orbital mission. His colleague, Andrew Chen told
Dr Jamison that exuberance endows one with the resiliency to handle
inevitable rejections and bounce back, though he confessed it can also
scatter one's focus.
In an article in Science, Dr Chen wrote: "Watching that event was the
most exciting experience of my life. I was asked immediately afterwards
how I felt, and I mumbled something about being tired and happy, but I
missed the point. I realized afterward what I should have said: it was
like watching Michael Jordan on the basketball court, when the game is
on the line and he is in the groove. One miracle after another unfolds,
and we are left stunned and speechless. When we learned that the
spacecraft had not only landed on the surface, but was still
operational, we hardly knew what to think."
Following the Eros project, Dr Chen confessed to a kind of postpartum
depression, at a loss for something new to throw himself into, but even
as he made this admission he began waxing eloquent to Dr Jamison over
geological anomalies on the asteroid's surface ("I'm beginning to get
intrigued.") and over "this airplane-to-Mars thing."
In response to this writer's question if there is a difference between
male exuberance and female exuberance, Dr Jamison replied that a number
of studies have found that the trait is far more common in boys and men
than girls and women. From an evolutionary perspective, she told this
writer, a group's survival may have depended on the male's capacity for
adventure and exploration. But at the same time, society also has a way
of squashing women, which women in turn wind up doing to themselves.
Thus it was important to Dr Jamison that women be included in her book,
especially in her favorite category:
When astronomer Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin attended Cambridge in the
1920s, her gender prohibited her from receiving a degree. At Harvard,
she was denied an academic appointment and had to settle for the
position of an assistant. While there, she produced seminal work
showing that most objects in the universe are composed primarily of
hydrogen. According to Dr Jamison, Payne-Gaposchkin's exuberance was
critical to overcoming the obstacles put in her way. Harvard eventually
awarded her the full professorship she deserved and Cambridge finally
conferred on her the degree she had earned 30 years earlier.
Katy Payne, a research associate at Cornell's Bioacoustics Research
Program is best known for her studies of the songs of the humpback
whales and how elephants communicate with sounds too low for humans to
hear. In her book, "Silent Thunder," she wrote: "Standing alone in a
field where wildness crowded up yellow and green against our garden and
house, I said out loud, 'This is the happiest day of my life and I'm
Couldn't Agree More
Almost the way I feel when I turn up the swing band music real loud and
put on my tap dancing shoes. (Seriously, I love big bands and I do own
a pair of tap shoes.) So now you can guess where this is headed. "You
are going to see why I saved this one for last," I warned Dr Jamison in
our interview. Then came the Beethoven-Isadora Duncan question and
thankfully no hang-up click.
Rather came a laugh and her equivalent to an Isadora Duncan moment -
pulling down 25 books all at once from the shelves in hot intellectual
pursuit, part of the never-ending thrill of her lifelong voyage of
discovery instilled in her by her scientist father. Dr Jamison is as
open about her exuberant temperament as she is about her bipolar
illness, and it shows in her latest book, from insights as novel as
each of Bentley's snowflakes to prose that sparkles like the very best
champagne (invented by the English, of all people, she reminds us in
Way too often, psychiatry focuses on human failing and pathology. Dr
Jamison's "Exuberance," by contrast, is refreshingly upbeat and
life-affirming, from the joyous tobogganing of pandas to Louis
Armstrong's inspired trumpet to the spirit of adventure in whole
populations boldly seeking new lives on a strange and distant shore. As
Dr Jamison reminds us, exuberance is infectious and her new book is no
exception. You might want to start out on a small dose - say 30 pages a
day and build up gradually to 60 pages.
If this works well, don't be afraid to crank up the Beethoven real loud
and dance like you've never danced before.
You can help support this Newsletter by purchasing "Exuberance" using
And now back to regular programming ...
(Note from Jean Arnold: To see many informative links missing from
this reprint, please request the original McMan newsletter by
Black Box Warnings on Antidepressants
The FDA has announced it "generally supports" the recommendations of a
panel inquiry into antidepressants and suicidality in pediatric
patients. Earlier this month, that panel recommended by a vote of 15 to
8 that a black box warning relating to an increased risk of suicidality
in kids be placed on all antidepressants.
Other recommendations from the panel endorsed by the FDA include: The
risk for suicidality in kids apply to all the drugs studied (including
Prozac, which is the only FDA-approved antidepressant for treating
pediatric depression); a patient information sheet to be provided to
the patient or caregiver with every prescription; results of controlled
pediatric trials be included in the labeling.
Much more on the antidepressants issue...
AD Use Down in Kids
In the wake of the FDA antidepressant controversy, Medco Health
Solutions reports an 18 percent decrease in the number of patients who
took an antidepressant in the first quarter of 2004. An additional five
percent decrease occurred in the second quarter. The survey was
commissioned by the NY Times.
The NY Times reports that although Prozac is cleared for use in kids in
the US and the UK, it is not significantly different than the other
SSRIs that have failed to demonstrate their efficacy in pediatric
populations. The NY Times quotes Steven Hyman MD of Harvard, former
director of the NIMH: "It makes no scientific sense that you would find
any significant difference in the effects. All target and bind to the
same molecule in the brain." But the Times also notes that Prozac
lingers in the body longer than the others do, which keep levels of the
drug steady for people who miss doses, as kids are inclined to.
Pros and Cons
The Annals of Pharmacotherapy provides a "Crossfire"-style clash of
views over the FDA antidepressant controversy. Patrick Finley PharmD
BCPP of the University of California at San Francisco argues that owing
to the fact that 60 percent of patients with major depression will
consider suicide, 40 percent will attempt it, and four to 10 percent
will be successful, that "attributing suicides to antidepressants,
under these circumstances, may be somewhat analogous to blaming
sandbags for the Johnstown flood."
Dr Finley cites three sets of data: 1) Postmortem brain exams of
suicidal patients have found serotonin deficits; 2) Population studies
have found that as SSRIs came into widespread use, youth suicide rates
worldwide went down; 3) Clinical trial data involving more than 20,000
depressed adults found no evidence of increased suicide risk compared
to a placebo.
Jay Cohen MD of the University of California San Diego, by contrast,
cites his own clinical experience involving one of his first Prozac
patients in 1988, who became psychotic after just three 20 mg doses of
the drug. Dr Cohen attributes much of the problems with Prozac and
other SSRIs to too high doses. Twenty mg is the recommended dose for
Prozac, good for most of the population, but which can cause severe
problems in others. Dropping down the dose to as low as 5 mg can be
effective and reduce side effects (one study found this worked for 54
percent of patients vs 39 percent placebo, though 64 percent improved
on 20 mg). The author cited a 1998 study that found that more than 75
percent of all adverse drug events (not just antidepressants) are
dose-related, "an indication that, in too many cases, people are
getting much more medication than they need or can tolerate."
Another factor is that doctors fail to warn their patients over the
initial anxiety, mania, and agitation side effects, again dose-related.
Concludes the author: "Not one patient has ever told me of being
advised that lower doses of many antidepressants are effective and less
prone to causing such adverse effects."
Working Out the Brain
Two studies on exercise and dementia in JAMA: A Honolulu-Asia Aging
study of 2,257 men 71 and older from 1991 to 1993 found that those who
walked the least (less than a quarter mile a day) experienced a
1.8-fold greater risk of dementia vs those who walked more than two
miles a day.
A Nurse's health study of 18,766 women aged 70 to 81 from 1995 to 2001
and 1997 to 2003 found that women who walked at least 1.5 hours a week
had a 20 percent less risk of cognitive decline than women walking less
than 40 minutes a week.
Roll Over Descartes This week's Newsweek cover
feature is "The New Science of the Mind and Body," which includes
several articles related to good mental hygiene.
Relaxation - Scores of studies have confirmed that benefits of the
"relaxation response," where blood pressure drops and heart and
breathing slow, creating a feeling of tranquility. One exercise: Sit
quietly in a comfortable position, close your eyes, relax your muscles
from head to toe, breathe slowly and as you exhale say a word or a
phrase to yourself such as "peace" or "The Lord is my shepherd." Calmly
acknowledge extraneous thoughts and return to your phrase. Ten to 20
minutes is ideal, but five will serve you well.
Menopause - Two studies have found that a breathing technique called
paced respiration for 15 to 20 minutes once or twice a day resulted in
a 50 percent reduction in hot flashes.
The heart - Newsweek cites a study of downsized municipal workers in
four towns in Finland over seven years (during a severe downturn in
that nation's economy), which found those in work units with the most
downsizing suffered twice the death rate from heart attack and stroke.
It used to be thought that type A personalities were particularly
vulnerable, but Newsweek reports that "if belligerence puts people at
risk, science increasingly shows that a life of quiet desperation does,
Mindfulness - I saved the best Newsweek feature for last: The essence
of Buddhist mindfulness meditation is paying attention. Says Newsweek:
"In 45-minute meditations, participants learn to observe the whirring
thoughts of the mind and the physical sensations in the body. The
guiding principle is to be present moment to moment, to be aware of
what's happening, but without critique or judgment."
It isn't easy. Our "monkey mind" keeps us flipping from past regrets to
future worries. The goal is to be a mere observer to these thoughts.
Says Newsweek: "Mindfulness takes you out of your same old patterns.
You're no longer battling your mind in the boxer's ring - you're
watching, with interest, from the stands. The detachment doesn't lead
to passivity, but to new ways of thinking. This is especially helpful
in depression, which plagues sufferers with relentless ruminations."
Exciting new research into early onset bipolar is providing us with
fresh insights into the illness and in ways of managing it.
Check out more than 280 articles on all aspects of depression and
bipolar, plus a bookstore, readers' forum, message boards, and other
Anger (Amazingly, the DSM fails to list anger as a symptom for either
depression or mania.); The Man Who Saw It Coming (Gustav Mahler,
whose music chronicled a doomed age unraveling.)
Oldie but goodie: Bipolar FAQ (For those new to the topic.)
You can support this Newsletter by clicking on any of the site's
Amazon.com links to do your online buying, including items not listed
All renewals and subscriptions have been ended, with no obligation to
pay. If you would like to support this Newsletter, you can donate any
amount you choose by by clicking on the PayPal button below:
Or going to: http://www.mcmanweb.com/newsletter1.htm
Or you can mail your check to:
PO Box 5093
Kendall Park, NJ, 08824
Please be sure to include your email address on your check. By way of
guidance, old rates ran from $10 hardship to $29 regular, with some
individuals contributing more, to $100 group rates.
For change of address, email firstname.lastname@example.org
with both your old and new email addresses.
For free sample issues, email email@example.com
and put "Sample" in the heading and your email address in the body.
If this Newsletter was forwarded to you or you got it off a mailing
list, you can subscribe by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
and put "Subscribe" in the heading and your email address in the body
Those who do not have a home computer or cannot open a Hotmail account
may request "depression" and "bipolar" be deleted from the heading.
Email email@example.com and
put "Private" in the heading and your email address in the body.
"Knowledge is necessity."
Copyright 2004 John McManamy
End of Newsletter
(Reprinted with permission)
August 29, 2004 - News
of the Week
UK EXPERTS SAY OMEGA-3 IS IMPORTANT FOR
Source: Independent (UK) http://www.independent.co.uk/
Changes in Diets 'Could 'Trigger Mental Health
By Maxine Frith and Sophie Goodchild
June 27, 2004
Changes in British diets are going to lead to an explosion in mental
health problems, medical experts said yesterday. They warned of a
crisis even bigger than the epidemic of obesity afflicting the UK.
They said that most of the increase could probably be blamed on changes
in farming and food over the past 20 years, which have led to
deficiencies in essential omega-3 fatty acids.
Experts will present new evidence at an international conference into
the study of the impact of fatty acids in Brighton this week.
The role of omega-3 has previously been underplayed by scientists, but
evidence is emerging that it could have a big affect on mental
Last week, the Food Standards Agency issued new advice encouraging
people to eat more oily fish such as tuna and mackerel in a bid to
increase intake of omega-3. Scientists are considering whether food
should be fortified with the fatty acid in order to avert a health
crisis in the future.
Professor Michael Crawford of London Metropolitan University, said:
"This is a major health crisis and a really serious issue, which hasn't
really been looked at before.
"We are going to have an epidemic of mental health problems in the
future if we do not deal with this now. omega-3 has a major role to
play in mental health and we need to start recognising that."
Research due to be released at the conference of the International
Society for the Study of Fatty Acids this week will show that pregnant
women with lower intakes of omega-3 are more likely to have children
who will go on to have behavioural problems, attention disorders and
The mothers themselves were more likely to suffer from depression if
they had lower-than-average intakes of the fatty acid.
Professor Crawford warned: "We are facing a monumental crisis here, and
a lot of it is due to the very simple issue of diet."
This follows a study highlighted earlier this year by the Royal College
of Psychiatrists, which revealed a world-wide link between a lack of
omega-3 in the diet and schizophrenia. This research showed that people
who ate high levels of sugar and dairy products, instead of oily fish,
were more likely to develop severe mental illness.
Omega-3 is linked to brain development and mental health and is found
in "green" foods such as cabbage due to the photosynthesis process.
Professor Crawford said that at the beginning of the century, people's
omega-3 intake was higher because of traditional farming practices
where cows and lambs were fed on grass.
However, intensive agriculture practices over the past 50 years have
meant that livestock is now fed on grain and vitamins rather than
Mental health problems are already predicted to become the third most
costly burden of disease in the world by 2020. The Independent on
Sunday has been campaigning for more than two years to improve access
to treatment for the mentally ill.
Scientists are concerned that unless the role of diet is highlighted by
the Government, that burden could become worse. Researchers are already
looking at ways to alter the feeding of dairy cows in order to increase
the production of omega-3 in their milk.
Decreasing intake of omega-3 has also been linked to low rates of fruit
and vegetable consumption in the UK.
- End of article -
FOR MORE ABOUT OMEGA-3, Click
August 8, 2004 - News
of the Week
A CARING COMMUNITY TACKLES LABELS AND BUILDS
AWARENESS IN OREGON
ARTICLE SOURCE: Corvallis Gazette-Times, http://www.gazettetimes.com/
Forum challenges mental illness labels
Fishbowl discussion focuses on stereotypes, awareness and rights
By THERESA HOGUE
July 25, 2004
Mental health issues carry an almost unshakeable stigma, and a set of
preconceived notions about what is "normal" and what is not. For those
who work directly with people who have mental illnesses, and those who
struggle with both an illness and its labels, confronting the issues
surrounding psychiatric labels is a step toward shattering those
Sunday, a group of area residents gathered at the Oddfellowship Hall in
downtown Corvallis to discuss human rights for people with psychiatric
labels, hoping to move from oppression of those individuals into a
realm of awareness and wellness. The group participated in a fishbowl
forum, that is, a central area of discussion with individual
participants moving in and out of the circle to support dialogue and
The event was sponsored by the Corvallis Community Alliance, along with
several other community groups that deal with civil and human rights
issues. Participants included mental health workers, advocates and
community members who have struggled for years with their own illness.
Darlene Osburn of Circle of Hope explained how the organization she
represents offers a special space for those with mental illnesses in
the community. "It was started by people to create more socialization
for people in the community to deal with the lack of socialization,"
People of all ages and backgrounds come to the center for support,
conversation and events, and more than 750 people a month utilize the
downtown facility. "We add to the plate of what makes life a better
place," she said.
Osburn is a poet, writer and mother, as well as an activist, and has
had a long struggle with her own mental illness. "It's been a long
road," she said. "I've learned a lot about my own aggression and about
By getting herself back on a more solid road, she's been able to devote
herself to reaching out to others dealing with similar struggles.
Stephen Lawson of the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State
University discussed the work of a doctor with close ties to Linus
Pauling, Abram Hoffer, a megavitamin pioneer. Hoffer developed a theory
about the cause of psychosis in some individuals with schizophrenia,
which he believed was caused by a lack of niacin and Vitamin C.
Hoffer believed if someone could successfully undergo therapy and
reduce their psychosis to the point they could hold down a job and pay
taxes, they were "better," Lawson said. That point became a topic of
discussion throughout the fishbowl, as others argued that mental
illnesses come in all forms, and many "functioning" taxpayers suffer
daily from their mental health issues.
"People in all forms of life are mentally ill," said Carla Carter, who
discussed her own struggles with finding a correct balance of
medication for her own illness.
"Am I recovered?" asked Pam McCollum of the Accountable Behavior Health
Alliance. "No. Am I recovering? All the time."
Marie Parcell said there's a one-size fits all attitude when treating
mental illnesses, and that a variety of factors and options, from
medications to vitamins to diet should all be part of treatment. Too
often, she said, health maintenance organizations and health care
providers focus solely on medicating patients, not taking a holistic
"That would be a real enlightening attempt to find out what does and
doesn't work," she said.
McCollum said she sees some improvement in that area, as doctors are
now including some orthomolecular and light therapy treatments as part
of their caregiving. She said counseling was an important part of the
mental health package as well.
"No matter who you are, when you're facing a chronic problem, you need
someone to talk to," she said.
The instant impulse of many doctors to put patients on medicine such as
anti-depressants, anti-anxiety pills or other treatments is not often
the best choice, said some participants. They felt that the drugs led
to them being withdrawn and nonparticipatory in their lives. For
others, however, medication made them feel functional again.
The emphasis was there was no blanket treatment, no one solution. But
regardless of diagnosis or treatment, the issue of how the rest of the
world perceives those with a mental illness is a continuing challenge
"There is a feeling in the mental health community that we can't fully
participate in society," Parcell said. "There is a whole movement
trying to address that."
Circle of Hope operates with support from the community. Volunteers and
financial support are both needed to keep the center operational. For
more information, call (541) 738-7500 or drop in at 215 NW Monroe Ave.
Theresa Hogue is the higher education reporter for the Gazette-Times.
She can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
or by phone at (541) 758-9526.
Note from Jean Arnold, Antistigma Home Page:
- End of article -
In the article above, a psychiatric survivor rightly criticizes "a
one-size-fits-all attitude when treating mental illness."
However, the sentence uses "mental illness" instead of the more
accurate "mental illnesses." "Mental illness," often used
inadvertently, lumps together a wide range of individuals and
conditions . Other terms in the original article -- "the mentally ill,"
and "schizophrenics" -- are similarly dehumanizing. Therefore, I took
the liberty of slightly modifying these terms in the article you see
FYI: The article just below ('Less Stigma
Seen..." July 28 News) also refers to "the mentally ill" as a single
population and uses "mental illness" in the singular rather than the
plural "mental illnesses." These seemingly benign terms are markers of
a subtle one-size-fits-all stereotype that when recognized by writers
and editors, usually can be avoided.
July 25, 2004 - News
of the Week
LESS STIGMA SEEN, BUT REFORMS STILL MISSING
In the article below describing mental healthcare problems in Illinois,
a policy analyst points to failures that apply nationwide.
This story viewable online at: http://www.southernillinoisan.com/rednews/2004/07/25/build/opinions/OPI003.html
ILLINOIS GOVERNOR OPENS MENTAL ILLNESS DEBATE
by MIKE LAWRENCE
Interim Director Public Policy Institute
Southern Illinois University, Carbondale
[Saturday, July 24, 2004]
Gov. Rod Blagojevich, perhaps unwittingly, has ignited a discussion
about treating the mentally ill that could spark vast improvements in a
state system freed from the clutches of the Dark Ages four decades ago
but not yet fully enlightened.
The deficit-dogged governor tried to pressure community-based service
providers into helping him entice additional funds from Washington by
focusing even more on mentally ill patients eligible for Medicaid, the
joint state and federal health care program for the most impoverished
Illinoisans. He ultimately had to settle for a more measured approach
after legislators became convinced his gambit would crowd out the
working poor and others already deterred from accessing services. But
the throttled initiative could and should provoke full, honest and
action-inducing ventilation of Illinois' sluggish progress in
addressing debilitating and demoralizing illnesses that touch virtually
Mental illness is no longer widely stigmatized, but it still gets only
token attention from politicians on the stump and in the legislative
arena. An absolutely unacceptable number of Illinoisans lack insurance
for heart and lung ailments, but even more are not covered for
depression and schizophrenia. The state still treats too many mentally
ill people in hospitals and nursing homes instead of more humane and
far less costly community settings. Illinois has boosted local services
through the years, but the demand continues to dwarf the supply.
In the 1960s, Gov. Otto Kerner overhauled a scandalous system premised
on warehousing the mentally ill with virtually no treatment. Now this
governor and today's lawmakers need to marshal the intensity,
ingenuity, political will and fundamental decency to make their own
They should help working Illinoisans by closing gaping loopholes in a
well-intentioned law to prod insurers into giving equal consideration
to physical and mental illnesses. They also should substantially
increase funding for community counseling services, group homes,
subsidized apartments and other normalizing arrangements that will help
the mentally ill attain stability, enhance their quality of life,
become productive and live as independently as possible.
A robust community-care initiative could command tens of millions of
dollars. However, a good chunk could come from rerouting funds
currently channeled to institutional care.
During the last 25 years, Illinois has reduced the number of people
being treated in state hospitals by two-thirds and shut down half the
facilities. But, in a bow to the clout of public employee unions and
civic leaders battling proposed job losses, the state remains unduly
reliant on institutions.
It also sends thousands of the mentally ill to nursing homes known as
institutes for mental disease, where the mix with geriatric patients
has posed problems. The placements claim millions and millions from the
state treasury each year and usually fail to generate the typical 50
percent match from a federal government that frowns on the nursing home
approach and funds community-based care.
In fact, if the Blagojevich administration does indeed want to attract
more federal dollars, it should champion a dramatic shift toward
supporting care in homes and apartments near families and friends.
Federal reimbursement would swell, and a large share of the recovery
money could be invested in expanding community care for the working
poor and others.
To do the right thing, the governor and the General Assembly must
stiffen their backbones. They must risk angering the nursing home
industry and the union representing state hospital workers, both among
the foremost contributors to political war chests. Yet, even if their
campaign coffers suffer, they may feel better about themselves, which
just might be a boon to their own mental health.
This story viewable online at: http://www.southernillinoisan.com/rednews/2004/07/25/
July 18, 2004 - News
of the Week
RECOVERY PROGRAM WINS ACCOLADES IN OREGON
Source: Press Release /PRNewswire/Oregon's
First Recovery-based Program for Mental Illnesses Saves State $4.9
Million in Less Than Two Years
Public-Private Partnership between Office of Mental
Health & Addiction and Telecare Prepares Residents for Meaningful
Lives in the Community
GRESHAM, Ore., July 15
"I feel a rekindling of hope that through the Recovery Center I may
indeed call myself recovered."
During the past two years the words of this resident have been echoed
by dozens of alumnae from Oregon's first recovery-based treatment
program for individuals with serious mental illness.
The Telecare Recovery Center (TRC), a unique 16-bed facility located in
Gresham, Ore., saved the state approximately $4.9 million in 17 months
during treatment of its first 134 residents. A TRC resident's care
costs the state a little more than half the price per day than care
delivered in a traditional hospital setting.
TRC (celebrating two years of operation during a reception on July 21
at the Center, 4101 NE Division St.) opened April 25, 2002, at a time
when the state faced a crisis in funding and capacity for Oregonians
needing services for serious mental illness, such as schizophrenia or
Prior to TRC's opening, residents were among a group consuming up to 15
percent of the state's acute care bed capacity at a cost of up to $800
per day. During TRC's first two years, the average length of stay for a
resident was 52 days, compared with a median state hospital stay of 99
"We were using significant resources for these individuals, but they
were not being treated in the most appropriate setting nor were they
gaining the skills needed to take personal control of their illness and
create a meaningful life," said Bob Nikkel, administrator of the Oregon
Department of Human Services Office of Mental Health and Addiction
According to Mr. Nikkel, TRC is the first Oregon program that uses a
recovery-based model for persons who can benefit significantly from
state-of- the-art treatment that falls between what's offered in an
acute care setting and longer-term institutionalization.
To create TRC, part of Oregon's Post Acute Intermediate Treatment
Services (PAITS) program, the state initiated an unusual partnership
with Telecare Corporation, a private California-based company with 40
years experience in developing recovery-centered care.
"With the right type of treatment these individuals learn to take
charge of their lives and return to the community with new hope and
skills," said Kevin McChesney, TRC's on-site administrator. "Not only
is the quality of residents' lives enhanced, but the state saves
millions in health care costs."
Highlights of a Telecare report on the first two years
of operation include:
-- For each admission, the state saved $37,000
-- Per day cost, $454 at TRC, vs. $800 for acute care hospitalization
-- Program structure enables Medicaid matching and state costs of just
$190 per patient, per day
-- 94% of surveyed residents believed they could grow, change and
-- 80% said they are better able to deal with crisis
-- Referrals predominately from Multonomah (74%), Clackamas (10%), and
Washington (6%) counties
According to McChesney, TRC's model is based on the premise that every
person with mental illness can recover. The program relies on a multi-
disciplinary approach in a community setting where carefully selected
staff develop relationships with residents built on partnership and
"We offer a high staff-to-resident ratio and spend less time on group
therapy and more time one-on-one, providing residents with highly
personalized support," he said.
According to a staff member, "One thing I like about TRC's recovery
model is the fact that residents make their own choices about their
recovery. I believe this prepares them for the real world."
Telecare is one of the largest providers of adult mental health
services in the country. Based in Alameda, Calif., Telecare works in
partnership with local, county, state and other behavioral health
organizations to design and provide a wide range of innovative,
recovery-focused, outcomes-driven services and supports for high-risk
individuals with complex needs. Telecare is an employee-and
family-owned organization with over 1,900 employees and more than 50
programs in California, Texas, Oregon, and North Carolina.
Copyright © 2004 Yahoo! Inc. All rights reserved.
July 15, 2004 - News
of the Week
LOREN MOSHER DIES; HIS LEGACY SURVIVES IN
"Soteria: From Madness to Deliverance" coming out in September
This week's E-mail brought an outpouring of tributes to and
remembrances of Dr. Loren Mosher, a nationally eminent psychiatrist who
came to denounce psychiatry's over-reliance on neuroleptic medications.
Dr. Mosher's battle to humanize treatment won the respect of countless
individuals who have been forcibly mis-medicated, and who are joined in
mourning by admirers throughout the world.
Reprinted here is a mesage from AHRP with links to much more
ALLIANCE FOR HUMAN RESEARCH PROTECTION (AHRP)
Promoting openness and full disclosure
"We are deeply saddened by the death of AHRP board member, Loren
Mosher, MD, a psychiatrist of integrity who never yielded to the
pressures brought to bear by (in his words) "the unholy
alliance" of the drug industry and industry-supported
organizations: the American Psychiatric Association and the
National Alliance for the Mentally Ill.
Dr. Mosher, former Chief of the Center for Studies of
Schizophrenia, National Institute of Mental Health, founder
and first editor of "Schizophrenia Bulletin," advocated for a kinder,
gentler treatment model for psychosis, rejecting the coercive
methods used by his profession, usually in concert with
government policies of control. He encouraged mental health
professionals to reject involuntary treatment policies which always
resulted in increased use of powerful psychotropic drugs--a boon
to the drug industry and its beneficiaries.
In the 1970s through the early 1980s, Dr. Mosher and his colleagues
founded and operated Soteria house, a residential community-based
treatment for individuals undergoing their first psychotic episode.
With minimal use of drugs and no restraints, Soteria-treated
individuals showed comparable or superior outcomes to a control
group of hospital-and-drug-treated individuals. Two-year
follow-up outcomes were also superior for the Soteria
group. Although Dr. Mosher's findings are discussed in over
30 publications, his approach received little publicity in the
Soteria has been successfully replicated in several European
countries. Indeed, Soteria Berne in Switzerland celebrated its 20th
year of operation this year. Today, non-coercive, minimal-drugging
family approaches to schizophrenia treatment are flourishing in several
Scandinavian countries, in contrast to the United States, where
coercive approaches resting on indiscriminate multiple-drug cocktails
are the norm, even though such cocktails have never been tested to
demonstrate either their safety or efficacy. A succinct
description of the saga of Soteria and its institutional neglect
is included in Robert Whitaker's book, Mad in America.
Dr. Mosher challenged the psychiatric profession to provide
evidence-based proof that involuntarily prescribed psychotropic
drugs improved patients' quality of life or their recovery
outcomes compared to patients who were treated with compassionate,
alternative methods. Neither the APA nor the NIMH have ever met
his challenge to show proof of their claims.
Dr. Mosher died at the age of 71 this weekend in Berlin after
struggling with a liver disease. But his legacy is secure and will
be broadened further with a posthumous publication of his new book, Soteria:
Through Madness to Deliverance."
Board of Directors
Alliance for Human Research Protection
Loren Mosher's biography: http://www.moshersoteria.com/bio.htm
Loren's work: http://www.moshersoteria.com/
Info about Soteria: http://www.moshersoteria.com/soteri.htm
Latest results from the Soteria Project: Bola JR, Mosher LR. Treatment
of acute psychosis without neuroleptics: two-year outcomes from the
Soteria project. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease 2003 April;
Psychology Today article:
Letter of resignation from American Psychiatric Association
- End of E-mail from AHRP -