I meet the most incredible people in my work. Struggle as they might with various vices like substance abuse, serial monogamy, stormy relationships or keeping a job, the people I’ve worked with consistently have a surplus of one thing I highly value: empathy. Image via Wikipedia It seems as if people who have suffered greatly often have the ability to understand other’s pain at a deeper level than most people. Often they have a depth of insight that far exceeds their “normal” peers.
Feel like everyone is in your way? Disappointed that everyone seems inconsiderate? Be the change in your life.
Image by RightBrainPhotography via Flickr Unfortunately, this headline is very true. And it’s not because the mentally ill are more likely to commit crimes. In fact they are no more likely and often less likely to commit crimes than the general population. You might wonder, why are they in jail? The reason appears to be that though they are very much in need of treatment, they are not getting it.
I really enjoy reading the blog Kellevision.com. She says it like it is and seldom misses the point of what she’s writing about. She identifies a problem in programming for homelessness and proposes a set of concepts to help clarify the situation. Image via Wikipedia “Many of the “barriers” faced by the chronically homeless are not external. They are self-inflicted. Repeatedly failing to pay one’s utility bills is not a barrier.
Many of the boomer adults were raised with a lot of TV. It would appear things have gotten worse. We know a lot more about what TV does to children, but it doesn’t appear to have had much effect. Simple logic will tell us that the experience of TV will decrease a child’s ability to tolerate a delay in gratification of desires. Certainly, the TV ads are designed to create the desire for things we didn’t know we needed, a certain frustration that we can’t have it all, now.
Image via Wikipedia A Bill that I hope will become law in Minnesota and an example for the nation is moving through the Legislature. StarTribune.com “The bill would prohibit “harassment, bullying, intimidation and violence” based on a student’s personal characteristics such as race, sexual orientation or religion. It would, in effect, “simply expand the categories of people that schools already cover with their anti-bullying policies,” according to OutFront Minnesota, one of the organizations pushing for its adoption.
Image via Wikipedia Coordination of care is one of the hidden dysfunctional aspects of medical care. The problem is that coordination of care is not reimbursed by insurance companies. Providers are expected to do the right thing and contact other providers between clients. From the outside looking in, that would appear to make sense. Good medical care requires consulting with other providers to ensure everyone is working on the same plan and not against each other.
One of every three people you know will be treated for a mental illness sometime in their lifetime. If you know someone in your family who suffers from a mental illness, chances are there are others struggling as well. As many as 60% of those who suffer from mental illness self-medicate with alcohol or drugs. Chances are if you know someone with a drug or alcohol problem, they are self-medicating their mental illness.
In some ways, the medical insurance business is in the Dark Ages. Mental and chemical health treatment are often not even included in insurance coverage. Even if it is, it is seldom afforded coverage equivalent for what you might get for a heart attack or other major surgery. Senator Paul Wellstone led a 5 year fight for mental health insurance parity, until he tragically died campaigning for a second term. His and other’s attempts to changing the law has been beaten back by business lobbies concerned about increased costs and special interest lobbies with considerable clout, like Scientology.
A group of physician, patient and constituency groups concerned about confusing messages in popular culture suggesting that depression is “just the blues” or worse, a “made-up disease.” Although they don’t say so, I suspect this movement intends at least in part, to counter the very well organized and highly funded lobbying effort by Tom Cruise and his Scientology friends to debunk psychiatry and depression. Instead they want us all to believe that depression is best alleviated by removing the sufferer’s covering of tiny disembodied souls of aliens dispersed by the Galactic Federation leader Xenu.