Thursday, April 24, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
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Mental health consumers tell it like it is

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From page A16 | February 02, 2014 | 1 Comment

NAMI-Yolo invites mental health consumers, family members, friends and concerned citizens to “Consumers Speak/A Round Table Discussion” featuring people living with mental illness. They will discuss what works, what doesn’t, what’s needed and how families and friends can be a successful part of the recovery equation.

The panel discussion will take place at NAMI’s next monthly potluck dinner and meeting from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Wednesday at the Episcopal Church of St. Martin’s social hall, 640 Hawthorn Lane in Davis. Participation is free.

The potluck dinner begins at 6:30, and the program follows at 7:30. All are asked to bring a dish to share if they can, but are welcome even if they can’t. Those with last names beginning with A-H are asked to bring a main dish, I-P a salad and Q-Z a dessert.

NAMI-Yolo — a chapter of NAMI, the Nation’s Voice on Mental Illness — provides education, advocacy and support for people living with mental illness. For more information, call 530-756-8181 or visit www.namiyolo.org.

Enterprise staff

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Discussion | 1 comment

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  • New beginningsFebruary 02, 2014 - 10:53 pm

    My life has totally changed because of mental illness. The person that was close to me is affected and life with that person became unbearable. It came to the point where I had to make very hard life changing decisions. I gained strength and compassion through knowledge of this type of illness and the good people at NAMI were critical in my decisions but more importantly with my own coping of my situation. I consider myself to be a very calm person and very sensible, but in the beginning I was very unsure if I was the problem. I learned that I was the "target", the focus of my friend's anger and that the problem is a type of tunnel vision that focuses blame on one individual or group. There is a type of narcissism that develops and the person believes that all things bad are not the problem of the individual but rather the blame or focus is on the "target". As time passes the individual's conviction becomes stronger and behavior becomes more irrational. For those close to the person the anger is like a speedboat and as the person focuses more on the "target" the boat goes faster and others get caught in the wake. The issue is compounded because friends and family become ashamed and they distance themselves from that person. It is the modern day scarlet letter. I learned from my friends at NAMI that there is hope but the person needs to recognize that they needs help. It is for this reason that friends and family are so important because the "target or target group" is ineffective because they are the enemy in the individual's mind. The cure is not through a general practitioner or therapist it must come from a skilled psychiatrist, one who has experience in diagnosing the problem and has experience in prescribing the proper medication. I have been told that even with skilled psychiatrists it takes an average of three different tries with meds to get it close to being right. More importantly it is not like taking cold medicine and when you feel better you are cured. It is like being a diabetic, you will always need insulin. In speaking about my issue with friends I was totally shocked to hear of similar stories and that this is NOT UNCOMMON. I would say well over 33% of the people I have confined in have similar stories about family members or close friends. I can only hope that someday that more people will open up and that mental illness can be discussed without shame and without fear. Sadly I must move on with my life and I can only hope that someday my friend comes to the realization that there is help and that it will allow that person to live a better life.

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