Sunday, May 27, 2007

Self Harm

Often, people with Mental Illnesses will deliberately harm themselves. This is a serious issue for obvious reasons. Please consider the less obvious form of self-harm (passive form, 'neglect'), as well - because this is often overlooked when placed beside the VISIBLE forms of self-harm like 'cutting,' visible substance abuse and other visually apparent evidence of self-harm.

NEGLECT if often overlooked - a mis-represented or hidden form of self-harm as well, so be careful to remember about this important element, too, when you are considering the topic of self-harm.

Sometimes, a person with Mental Illness will believe that they must punish themselves and will hurt themselves for this reason. Sometimes this punishment is in DENYING themselves something that healthy people do not deny themselves. These 'somethings' can be basic human needs that are being denied, such as food and water, human touch, human support, sleep, etc.

The reasons why someone might plan, obsess in the mind over, or engage in methods of self-harm are all quite complex...

I'm not a professional, so I won't pretend to delve into the complexities of this. I'm not attempting to explain away all the functions and elements related to 'self-harm' in this post - but rather, just tossing the topic in the air, offering some links to where 'self-harm' is explained in better and more thorough terms.

I believe that self-harm topics are uncomfortable - VERY UNCOMFORTABLE for most people to discuss and are, therefore, often pushed to the sidelines or even pushed under the carpet when they are present. For this reason, I am putting this post ON TOP OF THE CARPET and away from the sidelines.

Self-Harm can graduate all the way to the height of SUICIDE...but for some reason, people still find the topic an embarrassment and a discomfort - even despite the very serious nature of self-harm concerns! This attitude and way of dealing with the self-harm details will never allow many solutions to develop around this serious, sometimes life-threatening area.

People do not get embarrassed and try to hide other behaviors - even behaviors that are deliberately nasty and violent - like FIGHTS, unhealthy verbal exchanges and things like that - sometimes even violent actions like fighting are praised in society - if the actions were said to serve a good purpose. Fighting is almost never really a good action but it is accepted well above a person's QUIET cry for help in the form of self-harm (especially when in the passive form, the 'cry' is stifled into silence) - which might not physically harm anyone but the self-harming victim.

Even WARS are praised, but few people voice that this is an insane notion and occurence... where hundreds and thousands of people are deliberately killed, for any number of political agendas. By contrast, suggestions of 1 lone, single person experiencing Mental Illness and who engages in self-harming usually universally frowned upon as someone horrendously twisted - the acts themselves, horrifically perverted - that necessarily need be shoved in the closet as soon as possible before too many people find out about it!

Self-harm is often hidden by the individual, anyway - whether the self-harm is of a violent physical form or of a passive, neglectful altogether, 'self-harm' is a very difficult subject that needs as much reasonable EXPOSURE as possible...rather than the typical or past blanket thrown over it!

Here is a site that has several articles about the nature of, some of the reasons for and some suggestons for intervening in self-harm.

This site contains a great deal of information - under such headings as:

"Understanding Self-Harm"
"What is Self Injury"
"Self Perfection"
"Drug Use"
"Positive Responsibility"
Along with a lot more topics, too.

Some of the information at the "Accept and Adapt" portion of the "Project Spears" website will be disturbing to some people who didn't realize that they engage in self-harm - even though they are not diagnosed with an illness whatsoever...although they have never considered 'smoking' as such a bad thing - even if they just smoke a few cigarettes a day.....

Because of this last point...really - the problem of Self-Harm really isn't all connected ONLY to people diagnosed as having Mental Illness, either! This was a hard point for me to realize, but I have to conclude - after reading this information - that this is simply a rational, true statement! People who are considered 'mental-illness-free' are performing self-harm against themselves, in certain instances within our society, and they aren't even aware of it!

I encourage readers to go ahead and sign in to this site, instead of simply clicking on the available free article links. There are free downloads (You'll need Adobe for these), a 'diary' available and also, information about 'long term' dangers of self-injury.

Here's the 'Accept - Adapt" part of the site:

Accept Adapt Training

And here's the entrance to the full "PROJECT SPEAR" site:

Project Spear Website

Thanks for Reading...

I will post more about this topic once I learn a great deal more...


Try This Fun Quiz

Your Theme Song is Soak Up The Sun by Sheryl Crow

"I've got no one to blame
For every time I feel lame
I'm looking up"

You're laid back, optimistic, and very together
Like the sun, people feel warm and comfortable around you

Do You Like Sheryl Crow Too?

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Code Amber Alert Tickers Now On This Blog

I thought that posting about the USA/Canadian Code Amber Alert Systems would be a little off-topic on this blog, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that this blog is a perfect place to put tickers for the Code Amber Alert Systems.

Code Amber Alerts are real-time tickers online - and extensive broadcasting offline (Radio, TV, Billboard alerts) that are displayed and dispersed when there has been a criminal act against a child. Basically they occur when a child goes 'missing' and law enforcement authorities deem that the general public will be the best help in recovering the missing or kidnapped child.

I'm not sure I've ever read of any kidnappings that have occurred where the perpetrator was NOT under some form of mental duress, under influence of drugs or alcohol or in some other way - not behaving normally. Certainly, breaking the law to steal, abduct, kidnap a child is not a normal or accepted behavior.

Sometimes, when someone has been deemed mentally incompetent to care for their child, certain authorities remove the child from the person's home. This, in itself usually causes a great deal of mental anguish.

A person deemed 'healthy' or not 'mentally ill' would undergo extreme mental, emotional and spiritual difficulty. Someone already or recently diagnosed as 'mentally unstable' might have their 'health' naturally and negatively compounded to the point of being completely overwhelmed.

In some instances, a person might resort to 'taking back' their child - in order to try and put some family stability back in their life. Authorities call this 'abduction' and 'kidnapping,' however, not all kidnappers and abductors have ultimately 'black' or homicidal designs for the children they steal.

Sure - some people are mentally defective in a manner that is very scary and very deliberately harmful - which the creators and implementors of the Code Amber Alert System recognize, as well.

In this, the Code Amber Alert System assists in the recovery of children from ALL KINDS OF abductors and kidnappers.

My only suggestion here is that NOT ALL mentally ill people who abduct or kidnap a child are doing so plainly just to kill the child. Sometimes the person is a distraught parent, so in light of the nature of this blog - to dispell the 'myths' of mental illness, I just had to make the aforementioned statements.
In doing so, I am in NO WAY determining that a parent who 'steals' their own child may not harm the child - but simply that harm may not be intended by all who do such a thing.

If someone is deemed to have a Mental Illness, and their child has been placed in alternate care for a while, it is highly likely that even if the parent is a loving parent, there are some ways in which they are unable to properly care for their child in a healthy way. Sometimes someone in this situation doesn't realize the magnitude of a court's or of a family's decision to place their child in alternate care facilities or homes, so the whole issue of child abductions and kidnappings most certainly does present a set of complicated data. For this reason, the tickers to deserve to have a place on a Mental Health/Wellness blog.

I have decided that the Canadian and American Code Amber Alert system tickers would have a suitable place on this blog. I believe that even if this blog contained other topics, besides or instead of Mental Health/Wellness information, a Code Amber Alert system ticker would STILL BE A PERTINENT ADDITION. Anywhere they can be visible, I believe, is a good spot for placing Amber Alert information! The reason they are successful is because they can be placed in so many places visible to a general public.

Had the Amber Alert Systems been fashioned and implemented before 1996, a certain Amber Hagerman, formerly of Arlington Texas - for whom the entire system is named, might still be alive! Amber was out riding her bicycle and someone kidnapped, then brutally murdered her. Had a Code Amber Alert been broadcast, some of the witnesses who saw the killer with her at certain locations would have KNOWN that Amber should not have been with that person at all - and that she had been kidnapped. Someone might have reported a 'sighting' of Amber and law enforcement officials might have found her before the kidnapper had a chance to attempt the brutal act of murder.

I am just sorry that I find the information sooner which would allow me to put a ticker on this blog and offer more of the general public additional access to such a helpful system.

The tickers for both Canada and the USA are located in the left-hand column and I would very much appreciate - if you see the ticker 'blackened' or not functioning, please interact with me and let me know. Under regular conditions, the ticker will run messages explaining the program details, however, when an Alert is under way, the message area will have a Yellow/Amber background and contain details of the Code Amber Alert in progress. Again - if you see the tickers in a non-functional state, please contact me so that I can check on them and make sure that something hasn't occured due to Internet problems or some other cause - to render the tickers non-functional. I will do what I can to make sure the items get back to working status as quickly as possible!

Thank you - ahead of time!

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Mental Illness Affects The Entire Family

Many people mistakenly believe that the one who displays Mental Illness symptoms is the only person involved in a particular mental illness and its treatment.

As well, a great number of people believe that once professional treatment is issued for a Mental Illness, that this treatment is a one-time 'cure' for a particular individual or a particular form of Mental Illness.

These things are not true, but are commonly held by a general public - as well as families who suddenly find themselves faced with someone in their midst who is diagnosed as having a mental illness.

Mental Illness affects everyone involved with the person who has been diagnosed with an illness - including friends, family, co-workers, and employers.

Here is an interesting video that I picked up at You Tube, which deals with a Canadian survey done to find out details about how Mental Illness affects caregivers. The title of the video, "Mental Illness Care Giver Survey."

Caregivers are often the loving, responsible people who have family ties with people diagnosed with Mental Illness. Too often, so much emphasis is placed on the Mental Illness and the individual suffering with Mental Illness, that the caregivers are pushed to the background.

Caregivers often require special attention because their stress is different from someone who is not primarily involved in a responsible position toward the person who has Mental Illness - though entire families are still affected.

This video is interesting because it brings light to the position of caregivers of people with Mental Illness - and explains in very simple terms that dealing with Mental Illness is a long-term affair.

Sites mentioned in the video:

Mood Disorders Society Of Canada

Schizophrenia Society of Canada

World Fellowship For Schizophrenia and Allied Disorders