July 2017 Mental Health Awareness

Special days & weeks in July

Along with Advocacy & Awareness
for mental health related issues
(and a calendar for the month!)

by Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
Part of the ADD/ADHD Cormidities series

July is Fire Cracker Month in America

Please be aware that many vets will have flashbacks triggered by those noisy explosions that you think are harmless fun.

If ALL you want is to make a bunch of noise, please think again – or, at least, confine them to ONE DAY – July 4th, when many vets with PTSD go away.

Addendum from a comment from Ray’s dad Colin:

Pet owners will also really appreciate fireworks being restricted to that one celebration day. They can then plan their pet’s outdoor time accordingly. In advance… many thanks to all those who do limit their celebrations to July 4, and are respectful and sympathetic to vets… and pets.

Mark your blogging calendars!

Many days of the year have been set aside every month to promote awareness or advocacy of an issue, illness, disability, or special-needs related cause.

In addition to a calendar for the current month, each Awareness post attempts to offer a list highlighting important days and weeks that impact and intersect with mental health challenges.

Included on every Awareness Month list at ADDandSoMuchMORE.com are awareness and advocacy reminders for health problems that intersect, exacerbate or create additional problems with cognition, mood, memory, follow-through and attention management.

I have NOT lengthened the post by adding text to explain them all – but I have added links to posts and websites with explanations, for those of you who are interested in learning more or blogging about these issues.

If I’ve missed anything, please let me know in a comment so that I can add it to the list below.

I pray that 2017 will be the year
when EVERYONE becomes aware of
the crying need for upgraded mental health Awareness.

Stay tuned for more articles about Executive Functioning struggles and management throughout the year (and check out the Related Posts for a great many already published).

Remember: If you write (or have written) an article that adds content to any of these categories,
feel free to leave a link in the comment section and I will add it to the post’s Related Content.

IMPORTANT: All links were active at the time I created this document, and I tried to limit the number of “.gov” sites and sites with federally funded content.

Since the American president is busily removing government content that doesn’t support his agenda, I can’t promise that off-site links will still be active when you click – or how much of the original content will remain.

Don’t forget that you can always check out the sidebar
for a reminder of how links work on this site, they’re subtle ==>

Awareness and Advocacy Events for July
(intersecting with Mental Health & cognitive challenges)

Hemochromatosis Screening Awareness Month
The Hemochromatosis Information Center

Hemochromatosis is a genetic iron disorder in which the body absorbs up to four times more iron from the daily diet than the 8-10% absorbed normally.  An essential nutrient found in many foods, iron delivers oxygen (in hemoglobin) to all parts of the body and brain.

Since the human body cannot rid itself of excess iron, iron damages major organs such as the heart, liver, pancreas, joints, and pituitary. Untreated hemochromatosis can eventually be fatal.

Type 1 hemochromatosis (or Classic Hemochromatosis – HHC), is a leading cause of iron overload disease.

HOWEVER, it is estimated that more than 16 million Americans alone have some degree of elevated iron and are at risk for the same diseases that occur in people with the untreated classic type: bone and joint disease, cirrhosis, liver cancer, diabetes, hypothyroidism, hypogonadism, infertility, impotence, depression, or premature death due to liver or heart failure.

International Group B Strep Awareness Month
Group B Strep International

Approximately 1 in 4 pregnant women carry GBS, the leading cause of sepsis and meningitis in newborns according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). GBS can also infect babies during pregnancy and the first few months of life.

Not all babies exposed to GBS become infected, but, for those who do, the results can be devastating. GBS can cause babies to be miscarried, stillborn, born prematurely, become very sick, have lifelong handicaps, or die.  Even babies born to moms who test negative can become infected by group B strep.

Fortunately there are many ways to help protect babies from group B strep. Click the link above for resources for you to learn more about GBS and help prevent its devastating effects.

Group B strep (GBS) is a type of bacteria that is naturally found in the digestive and reproductive tracts of both men and women. About 1 in 4 pregnant women “carry” or are “colonized” with GBS. Carrying GBS does not mean that you are unclean. Anyone can carry GBS. Unfortunately, babies can be infected by GBS before birth through several months of age due to their underdeveloped immune systems.

Only a few babies who are exposed to GBS become infected, but GBS can cause babies to be miscarried, stillborn, or become very sick and sometimes even die after birth.

GBS most commonly causes infection in the blood (sepsis), the fluid and lining of the brain (meningitis), and lungs (pneumonia). Some GBS survivors experience handicaps such as blindness, deafness, mental challenges, and/or cerebral palsy.

Fortunately, most GBS infections that develop at birth can be prevented IF women who have tested positive receive at least 4 hours of IV (through the vein) antibiotics just prior to delivery.

Juvenile Arthritis Awareness Month
Arthritis Foundation

World RTS Day (Rubinstein-Taybi Syndrome)
July 3
Sam. Conqueror. Overcomer.

Disability Independence Day July 26
NPR: Independence Day For Americans With Disabilities

This day commemorates the anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) on July 26th, 1990.

New York City’s Annual Disability Pride Parade

Jazz musician Mike LeDonne formed Disability Pride NYC, Inc. in 2011 and together with the Mayor’s Office for People With Disabilities (MOPD) realized the first annual Disability Pride Parade on July 12, 2015. That was also the 25th anniversary of the signing of the ADA.

The seed money for the parade was raised from a Jazz concert called Jazz Legends Play For Disability Pride put on by Mike in which many of the biggest names in Jazz donated their talent for the night.

Almost 4,000 people showed up for the first parade, which culminated with a celebration featuring the talents of the disability community.

There are 2 or 3 Grand Marshals each year and Mayor Bill De Blasio declared July to be Disability Pride Month in New York City.

The first Disability Pride Day was held in Boston, MA in 1990, followed by The Chicago Disability Pride Parade held on July 18, 2004, held annually subsequently.

Excellent point of view: Why the Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act Felt Bittersweet


Sarcoma Awareness Month

GIST Awareness Day
July 13
Guide to Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor – GIST

Because they develop in a different kind of tissue, the connective tissue — cells that connect or support other kinds of bodily tissue — sarcomas are not the same as the more common carcinomas

The more than 50 types of sarcomas can be grouped into two main kinds: soft tissue sarcoma and bone sarcoma, or osteosarcoma.

They are most common in the bones, muscles, tendons, cartilage, nerves, fat, and blood vessels of your arms and legs, but can can be found in any part of the body.

* 50% begin in an arm or leg
* 40% start in the torso or abdomen
* 10% occur in the head or neck

Rare in adults, (about 1% of all adult cancers), more common in children, (about 15% of all childhood cancers), about 12,000 cases of soft tissue sarcoma and 3,000 cases of bone sarcomas were seen in the U.S. in 2014.  Sarcomas can be treated, often by having surgery to remove the tumor.

Hepatitis Day
July 28thone of only 4 official disease-specific world health days

Worldwide, 400 million people are living with hepatitis B or C. Every year 1.4 million people die from viral hepatitis and yet all of these deaths could be prevented. With better awareness and understanding of how we can prevent hepatitis we can eliminate this disease and save 4,000 lives a day.

That is why, in 2010, the World Health Organization made World Hepatitis Day one of only 4 official disease-specific world health days, to be celebrated each year on the 28th July.

Millions of people across the world now take part to raise awareness about viral hepatitis and to call for access to treatment, better prevention programs and government action.

Viral hepatitis can be prevented. It’s up to all of us to act. They’re asking 4,000 people to stand up and be counted in the quest to raise awareness. YOU can provide a voice for the 4,000 lives that will be lost on World Hepatitis Day, this year alone. Together, our voices become a powerful symbol for the need for action to prevent future deaths.

Simply tweet using the hashtag #4000voices or upload an image to their website to contribute your Twitter avatar or photo to their collage and use to your voice to call for action.

World Day for International Justice
July 17
Amnesty International USA
World Day for International Justice – Wikipedia

International Justice Day, also referred to as Day of International Criminal Justice, is celebrated throughout the world on July 17 as part of an effort to recognize the emerging system of international criminal justice.

July 17 was chosen because it is the anniversary of the adoption of the Rome Statute, the treaty that created the International Criminal Court. On 1 June 2010, at the Review Conference of the Rome Statute held in Kampala (Uganda), the Assembly of State Parties decided to celebrate 17 July as the Day of International Criminal Justice.

Each year, people around the world use this day to host events to promote international criminal justice, especially support for the International Criminal Court. The day has been successful enough to attract international news attention, and for groups to use the day to focus attention on particular issues such as genocide in Darfur, Falun Dafa, and serious crimes of violence against women  (Wikipedia links – open in new window/tab). 

International Day of Friendship
July 30
UN site for International Friendship

Proclaimed in 2011 by the UN General Assembly with the idea that friendship between peoples, countries, cultures and individuals could inspire peace efforts and build bridges between world-wide communities.

“When greed supersedes concerns about the health of our planet or its inhabitants, when fanatic attachment to ideology is pursued at all costs, and when people suffer human rights violations because they are considered somehow less than equal, the heritage of humanity is betrayed and our future wellbeing is placed in peril […]

On this International Day of Friendship, let us resolve to cherish and cultivate as many warm relationships as possible, enriching our own lives and enhancing the future.” ~ UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon

Other links to other posts and lists can be found below (in the Related Content section at the bottom of the majority of my articles), with my appreciation for improving your own Awareness, with hopes that you will help me SPREAD THE WORD!

© 2017, all rights reserved
Check bottom of Home/New to find out the “sharing rules”
(reblogs always okay, and much appreciated)

Thanks again to Terri Mauro, Parenting Special Needs Expert from the VeryWell.com site
for many of the links that formed the genesis of the original Awareness articles.

As always, if you want notification of new articles in this Series – or any new posts on this blog – give your email address to the nice form on the top of the skinny column to the right. (You only have to do this once, so if you’ve already asked for notification about a prior series, you’re covered for this one too). STRICT No Spam Policy

IN ANY CASE, do stay tuned.
There’s a lot to know, a lot here already, and a lot more to come – in this Series and in others.
Get it here while it’s still free for the taking.

Want to work directly with me? If you’d like some coaching help with anything that came up while you were reading this Series (one-on-one couples or group), click HERE for Brain-based Coaching with mgh, with a contact form at its end (or click the E-me link on the menubar at the top of every page). Fill out the form, submit, and an email SOS is on its way to me; we’ll schedule a call to talk about what you need. I’ll get back to you ASAP (accent on the “P”ossible!)

You might also be interested in some of the following articles
available right now – on this site and elsewhere.

For links in context: run your cursor over the article above and the dark grey links will turn dark red;
(subtle, so they don’t pull focus while you read, but you can find them to click when you’re ready for them)
— and check out the links to other Related Content in each of the articles themselves —

Related articles right here on ADDandSoMuchMore.com

Related Content ’round the ‘net

BY THE WAY: Since ADDandSoMuchMore.com is an Evergreen site, I revisit all my content periodically to update links — when you link back, like, follow or comment, you STAY on the page. When you do not, you run a high risk of getting replaced by a site with a more generous come-from.




About Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC
Award-winning ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching field co-founder; [life] Coaching pioneer -- Neurodiversity Advocate, Coach, Mentor & Poster Girl -- Multi-Certified -- 25 years working with EFD [Executive Functioning disorders] and struggles in hundreds of people from all walks of life. I developed and delivered the world's first ADD-specific coach training curriculum: multi-year, brain-based, and ICF Certification tracked. In addition to my expertise in ADD/EF Systems Development Coaching, I am known for training and mentoring globally well-informed ADD Coach LEADERS with the vision to innovate, many of the most visible, knowledgeable and successful ADD Coaches in the field today (several of whom now deliver highly visible ADD coach trainings themselves). For almost a decade, I personally sponsored and facilitated seven monthly, virtual and global, no-charge support and information groups The ADD Hours™ - including The ADD Expert Speakers Series, hosting well-known ADD Professionals who were generous with their information and expertise, joining me in my belief that "It takes a village to educate a world." I am committed to being a thorn in the side of ADD-ignorance in service of changing the way neurodiversity is thought about and treated - seeing "a world that works for everyone" in my lifetime. Get in touch when you're ready to have a life that works BECAUSE of who you are, building on strengths to step off that frustrating treadmill "when 'wanting to' just doesn't get it DONE!"

89 Responses to July 2017 Mental Health Awareness

  1. I would like to add that depending upon your Health Insurance you only get a certain number of visits to a therapist then your coverage ends. Also in my experience I tell the doctors my days off and they give me appointments on days that I must work. Therapists/psychiatrists/psychologists have no concept that most people work which is how we get health insurance in the first place. The fact that I have a job that often requires me to work double shifts was totally lost on my doctors. In fact I got into an argument with the doctors and the so-called therapist. Most medical professionals expect you to sacrifice your job just to see them. They seem puzzled by the concept of job/work and why I can’t get time off as though they are special in some way. Why would I put my job in jeopardy for therapy? Then I’ll have a worse problem. Unless there is a doctor out there who will pay my rent and utilities I will boycott all doctors unless I have some type of an emergency.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t blame you, given your experience.

      If I could go back to respond to a few tut-tut-tuts about my own spotty health care through the years, I’d say, “When you guys work for free and pay my bills I’ll be here every day if you want! ‘Til then, open your mind before opening your mouth to repeat a comment of that type to ME or anyone.” 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • So true. And they also don’t understand that some medications or in my case anti-depressants seriously affected my ability to do my job. So much so that one of my supervisors and several co-workers became very worried about my strange behavior. This trusted kind compassionate supervisor told me to stop taking whatever pills they were giving me because they were turning me into a Zombie unable to do my job and specifically unable engage in normal conversation. I lost entire thoughts. I could not complete simple sentences whereas before I was able to give museum visitors mini-tours and some in-depth information regarding the museum artworks.
        I wonder why the mental health professionals do not consider the negative effects of these drugs before prescribing them. I need my life and intelligence back so into the garbage went the pills.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Many mental health professionals DO consider potential negative effects, but there is no way to predict how a specific individual will respond. They can only prescribe on the statistics — which, as you discovered, is simply NOT good enough in many cases.

          There are now genetic tests to *help* “predict”likely reactions – and some insurance plans actually cover them, but SO FAR we simply don’t know enough about how medications do what they do for them to be totally reliable.

          BECAUSE some meds must be tapered down and are dangerous to stop suddenly (strokes & temporary psychotic reactions even, for some meds), it is always the BEST idea to call your doctor (or pharmacist) to inform them that you intend to stop and why, and find out the safest way.

          But I agree, continuing to take a medication with side-effects that make it impossible for you to do your job doesn’t work for *anybody* – even when they swear that if you “ride it out” they will pass.
          xx, mgh

          Liked by 1 person

          • Thanks for your help. I always learn something new when I speak with you. At that time the drugs I was prescribed caused me to experience more anxiety and hallucinate. In fact I missed some days of work because I could not function. The doctor was angry that I stopped taking the pills but once I stopped I got better. They wanted to put me on more medication but I declined because having hallucinations is no fun. I also want you to know that I appreciate your blog and your efforts to educate people. Blessings.

            Liked by 1 person

  2. dgkaye says:

    I commend you my friend for being such a wonderful advocate for mental health issues and creating awareness. And nice note about the firecrackers and how people may not realize how they disturb PTSD vets and pets alike. 🙂 xx

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Christy B says:

    It’s great to see the awareness growing for a topic that once was so hush hush. Talking about it more, including at blogs, is helping educate more people about mental health and reduce the stigma. I like that there’s a friendship day – that’s my mom’s birthday, by the way ❤ Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m totally with you on that one, Christy. And the more WE spread awareness, the more other people step up to help with the spreading. I firmly believe that is how it works – even though it has taken most of my life to see some “results.” I do believe we’re getting closer to the tipping point. YES!

      I love Friendship Day too – especially that it is International. What a lovely affirmation. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: July 2017 Mental Health Awareness | RoseyToesSews

  5. daisymae2017 says:

    Interesting post. Didn’t know about a lot of the weeks or Days in July. I found it important enough to reblog and share on LinkedIn. Thanks for Info.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. daisymae2017 says:

    A very Good and Informative Post. Please Read and share your thoughts.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I hadn’t realized the history behind the NYC Disability Independence Day. I’ve marked this as an event I’d like to attend in the near future. The possibility of an associated Jazz concert makes it even more appealing.

    And of course, I’m already making culinary preparations to show my enthusiastic support for Hot Dog Day. Thank you for curating this helpful post Madelyn, looks like it’s going to be a productive month.


    • Thanks for paying attention to it, Gabe. I learn new things every month, researching these Days I’m a big jazz fan, so I was thrilled to learn about the Disabilities Independence Day Parade seed money myself. SUCH an important anniversary of such an important anti-discrimination Act. (Good thing Obama didn’t sign the ADA, huh, or the Orangeman’s big goal would be getting rid of it – lol)

      The actual calendars are prepared by another site (link to there beneath it) – so we have them to thank for Hot Dog Day – lol. Can’t miss that!

      International Day of Friendship at the (30th) is my favorite this month – I want to make SURE I celebrate that one!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Pingback: Fireworks on the Beach – koolkosherkitchen

  9. Wendy says:

    I learned something here today. My father had hemochromatosis, he later died of liver cancer, I didn’t know there could be a link. Hmmm.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. This is a full calendar to be mindful and respectful of. Can’t wait to read the book collaboration.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Very important warning – very much needed!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Dolly. The MANY college students who live in my nabe have been pretty good about it – no simply noisy ‘crackers’ (and only a few of the noisy/pretty ones).

      It’s an awareness thing – and I’m pleased to imagine that somebody in the surrounding colleges has been making their students aware that their fun can result in someone else’s terror.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I haven’t realized it was mainly college students who were creating the noise. Here it’s mostly visiting rednecks who get so drunk that they pay no attention to anyone or anything.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Few tourists would really be attracted to my neck of the nabe – unless they came to spend time with a son/daughter/sibling/cousin in school.

          Quite a few colleges within walking distance – and landlords tend to cater to the grad student market (easier to raise rents with the frequent turnover and students are not as vocal about the lack of consistent maintenance) – lol.

          Right across the street is a great big, pricey “private dorm” – so it can be pretty noisy on drunken weekends. But they haven’t been going crazy with the firecrackers, Tink and I are very happy to report.

          Hope your drunks find another place to play.

          Liked by 1 person

  12. Its such an important topic.. And only now being addressed more here in the UK… Thank you for such an in-depth article Madelyn and dates to note in calender’s etc

    As one who has both suffered and worked in the mental health field, we really have to up our game in the awareness of how it impacts peoples lives..

    Sending love and warm hugs.. Sue xx

    Liked by 1 person

  13. colinandray says:

    Pet owners will also really appreciate fireworks being restricted to that one celebration day. They can then plan their pet’s outdoor time accordingly. In advance… many thanks to all those who do limit their celebrations to July 4, and are respectful and sympathetic to vets… and pets.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. GP Cox says:

    Fantastic article, Madelyne. I wish more would read and understand all this.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. When I was in the military (U.S. Army) many of the soldiers I worked with had served during Vietnam. They often shared with me their daily issues such as fear of loud noises, nightmares and thinking their wives were the enemy. Yes these men and women really suffered not only during war time but the extreme disrespect when they returned home.

    Many of the Homeless living on the streets and in the subways are Veterans. Does not say much for our country. All you get are Empty Thank yous on Veterans Day yet access to services and programs is horrible.

    I have my own PTSD issues, triggers, anxiety, panic attacks and Yes I’ve been hospitalized but the treatment/cure is much worse than the disease. I’m still debating as to whether I should share my psych ward experiences. All I can say is the only thing worse than being incarcerated on the psych ward and being fed pills was when my parents died. That says a lot about mental health services in this country.

    One of my greatest accomplishments was surviving two weeks of Kings County hospital hell. The Mental Health Ward (an Oxymoron) is the only place you can enter sick and come out close to death.
    mgh added white space for readability for those who struggle with longer strings of text; words unchanged

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh my darling, I am so sorry to read how horrendous your experience was for you. I am so sad to say this is not the first time I have heard about damage done by supposed ‘professionals’ in the name of MENTAL HEALTH – even here in one of the supposedly “best” hospitals here in Cincinnati. Unthinking (ignorant, actually) uncaring treatment from supposedly “caring” environments is something I can’t understand either – it always sounds so dark ages to me.

      I frequently wonder what they are teaching in those “higher” education environments – and why supervision isn’t enlightened and well-informed enough to turn make SURE that horrors do not happen.

      I stand with you about the disgrace of homelessness in America, one of the richest countries in the world – and the cruel and disrespectful treatment extended when the Viet Nam vets returned home must NEVER be tolerated again.

      We must ALL speak up for what we want instead – to our senators and representatives, to our hospitals and the people who work in administration, even to our friends and neighbors – over and over and always – until the contrast is so clear that the tipping point is obvious and things change.

      Thanks always for taking the time to ring in and contribute.

      Thank you

      Liked by 1 person

      • In order to get out of that hell-hole called Kings County Hospital I learned to lie. Very well. If you’re ever incarcerated and confined to mental ward/hospital put that mask on otherwise they will never let you out. Just tell them what they want to hear. Attend those stupid Group sessions and when you do get released throw those drugs/pills into the garbage at the first opportunity. I nearly lost my job taking those medications. The side-effects nearly killed me. As for the dumb follow-up clinic they sent me to that was another falsehood. I have very little trust or faith in doctors and the medical profession and none for therapists. The only thing my therapist did was piss me off. I wound up in a screaming match with the therapist and so-called doctors because I objected to being treated like crap. Never again. I’d rather deal with my problems on my own terms as opposed to allowing doctors to experiment on and lie to me.

        Liked by 1 person

        • What I’m “hearing” is not exactly that you “lied” but that you focused more on mental health than mental illness as you interacted with them – you did what you had to so that you could get out of an environment that was making things worse, not better.

          Good for you for getting out physically – and I want to encourage you to get out emotionally too — leave the buggers behind!

          I’m with you in how infuriating it is when supposed health “professionals” interact with patients on superficial levels (frequently with old information & technology). I can work myself into quite a state when I focus on some of the treatment I’ve heard from people who darn-well “should” know better!

          It’s so difficult to look at our own inner reality and the inner stability we want when we are encouraged to focus on outer “problems” repeatedly. Yet I have found it difficult to get away from lousy environments when I focus on my anger. I tend to fall into “rabbit-holes” that make me feel lousy and down I go. It’s still a tough balancing act to want to effect change without created anger. I keep working on it.

          Our mental health system is clearly broken. Rapid change is essential. It’s difficult for those who are struggling NOT to follow the advice of someone who is a supposedly professional “care”-taker – because we want to believe that they actually CARE — enough to keep up and mentor us through coping with illness to positive wellness.

          Yet we can tell when things feel continually worse, can’t we? And many, like you, get away. Sad that you had to but great that you did.

          There ARE modalities and health-care professionals who actually help, btw. I haven’t heard of many who work in hospital environments – most are in private practice – but don’t throw your baby out with other people’s bathwater. It will make you crazy – lol. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

          • Thanks. I will say that Public City Hospitals and Public Mental Health Clinics cater to minorities and immigrants. The whole plan is to medicate Black and brown people into submission. There was one young white guy on the ward. He was gay.

            That’s why I believe they gave us so many pills and forced us to take them. When I first got on the ward I used to hear a Code Blue being called on other wards. One day a young Hispanic woman was very upset because they would not release her for her daughter’s birthday. Immediately six burly football player sized guys appeared who threatened her with “The Needle.” At the time several of us were in the TV room. The staff locked us in the room. We were terrified and the young man I mentioned previously began to cry.

            I had seen the needle used in the Psych E.R. on a young Hispanic man who was strapped to his gurney. He was yelling and screaming that he was God. Those burly guys came with the needle and whatever is in that syringe did silence him.

            I did not want to be held down and injected with “Silence Serum.” To this day I still get the heebie-jeebies just thinking about what I saw and experienced there. It will be a very long time before I engage with another mental health professional.

            Nothing they do really helps because you are released right back into whatever problems you had before. How can things change if you’re back in a hostile environment? Some of the patients were young women. One young woman was being raped by her brother. Right away she wanted out. That was not the place for her. I empathized with her because I was raped while I was in the military. I never spoke about it until I turned 50. Even with getting up the courage to discuss what happened to me no amount of therapy will erase what happened. Or the domestic violence I went through during my 40s. You can’t change the past. I think that’s why therapist make me uncomfortable. They give you false hope. I’d rather deal with my demons on my own terms.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Sure sounds like you made the right choice – and sure sounds like you WERE in a Dark Ages environment (a warehouse rather than a healing environment).

              It sounds a lot like a novel written in 1962 (55 years ago now) — made into a film 42 years ago, in 1975, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest . I am all too aware that you are accurate when you say that similar dynamics exist today – FAR too often in FAR too many places – half a century later.

              I want to remind you that the population you observed “inside” is frequently due to location. I could tell you similar horror stories about a primarily white, middle-class, SUPPOSEDLY excellent mental health ward right here in Cincinnati – malpractice, actually.

              We need to bring LIGHT into those Dark Ages environments regardless of the demographics of those “inside” them.

              Meanwhile, you have found a better way to work on your OWN mental health. I believe you are correct that focusing on the horrors in our past isn’t particularly helpful in our attempts to move beyond them. It’s good to know WHY, but not so good to live there, “rehearsing” the pain.

              You are so strong in being able to move beyond so much – and to keep on keeping on (for you AND your brother). Onward and upward.

              Liked by 1 person

            • Thanks. I did not know that this also occurred in white neighborhoods. I really thought that we were being singled out but maybe not. Both Brooklyn and Queens have a large number of immigrants and people of color which is reflected in the City hospitals. I had some scary experiences at Queens Hospital Center and I saw first hand horrible mistakes made by the hospital staff. We were trapped inside a twisted nightmare called health care. No wonder that people of all races avoid doctors and hospitals.

              Liked by 1 person

            • Sad and disheartening but true – to people I know personally, btw, and to a lesser degree to me personally.

              I would like to spank some sense into those doctors, the hospitals who aggrandize them, and the nurses who feel they *must* follow “orders” that they know are wrong.

              I would certainly try to do so if I believed it would work.

              The ONLY good thing I can think of right now about the generally lousy state of mental health care in this country is that it will become increasingly more difficult for those Dark Ages environments to remain alive financially as folks run away screaming to find a better way – and tell their friends.

              STILL, I do think it is important to spend *most* of our energies looking forward to what we want, rather than backwards at what we want to stop. I am still trying to figure out how mental health advocacy works in that manner, but I have no doubt that it will work BETTER.

              Meanwhile, I post articles and offer different forms of coaching hoping to give people alternatives that they will be attracted to take advantage of — and will be focusing more often there as time goes by.


              Liked by 1 person

  16. Very interesting, Madelyn. International day of friendship – isn’t that lovely. I was sitting here reading your post, Madelyn, and a thought came into my head. I have been writing a book about living with chronic PTSD and OCD and it struck me that including insights such as yours into a book like that might make it so much more useful for readers. I wondered if you would be interested in a collaboration? If you don’t have time or don’t like the idea that is no problem at all – it is just a thought.

    Liked by 1 person

And what do YOU think? I'm interested.

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