As suicides rise in Wisconsin and across the U.S., our ‘wounded healers’ are more important than ever

THEY ARE THE COUNSELORS AND SOCIAL WORKERS OFTEN BEST ABLE TO HELP PEOPLE RECOVER BECAUSE THEY’VE BEEN THERE THEMSELVES.

Editor’s note: If you or someone you know is dealing with suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at (800) 273-8255 or text “Hopeline” to the National Crisis Text Line at 741-741.

From China to Europe, from India to South America, average suicide rates around the world have fallen 33 percent since 1990.

Not in the United States. American suicide rates are at their highest levels since World War II, making suicide the second leading cause of death between ages 10-34, government data show.

The increase in suicides, combined with record levels of drug overdoses and alcohol-related fatalities, are so extreme that they’re lowering the life expectancy of the average American. Mental health problems disable more American workers than any other affliction — suburban, rural or urban — and caregiver burnout and compassion fatigue are epidemic.  more

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World Bipolar Day: “Awareness needs to be raised in society about our disorder”

Marked each year on March 30, World Bipolar Day (WBD) is a world-wide awareness initiative that aims to encourage global education, open discussion, as well as improving sensitivity surrounding bipolar disorder.

As many as 1% to 2% of the British population experience bipolar through their lives and recent research suggested as many as 5% are on the bipolar spectrum.

A severe mental health illness characterised by significant mood swings including manic highs and depressive lows, the majority of individuals with bipolar experience alternating episodes of mania and depression.  more

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Newly discharged mental health patients at much higher risk of death

Such patients are 90 times more likely to die from drugs overdose than general population, research finds

People with mental health problems are at a hugely increased risk of dying from unnatural causes, including suicide, soon after they have been discharged from hospital, new research reveals.

Such patients are 38 times more likely to die of fatal poisoning and 90 times more likely to perish from a drugs overdose than the general population, according to a new study.

Experts say the difficulties some people with serious mental illness have in adjusting to life after a spell of inpatient care are likely to explain the higher death rate among that group of vulnerable patients.  more

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FEATURE: Bucks man opens up about battle with psychosis in bid to end mental illness stigma

At 16-years old Martyn was a star footballer – however his sporting dreams were shattered when he was told he may never walk again following a devastating injury.

Although the doctors’ fears did not become reality – Martyn was unable to pursue his passion, and found himself sinking into a deep depression.

Years later, after developing paranoia, voices in his head and an addiction to drugs and alcohol, Martyn attempted to kill himself in a desperate bid to end his mental turmoil.

Now 34, the Chalfont St Peter resident is a trustee at mental health charity Buckinghamshire Mind, and is a passionate advocate for Bucks County Council’s (BCC) Time to Change Campaign – which aims to end the stigma surrounding mental illness.  more

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Foods That Are Good for Addiction Recovery

It would seem like a no-brainer that the foods you eat can affect your mood. It might also seem obvious that someone with a drug or alcohol problem would be the first to understand how substances they put into their body can affect their mental and physical health — but that isn’t always the case when it comes to healthy food and nutrition. Many people enter rehab with little to no knowledge about proper nutrition and how important it is to the treatment and recovery process.

Therefore, one of the most important components to look for in any prospective drug or alcohol rehab program should be the meal plans they offer and the foods they include in their daily menu. Here are some tips about nutrition during early recovery, as well as a sample rehab meal plan.  more

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Amanda Bynes reveals she’s 4 years sober, denies mental health challenges: My behavior was ‘drug induced’

Amanda Bynes is ready for her comeback.

The reclusive 32-year-old retreated from the spotlight after capturing way too much of it several years ago. Starting in 2010, the former Nickelodeon star made headlines for her odd behaviorpuzzling tweets and multiple legal issues, but she’s ready to put all that in the past. Bynes, a student at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles, is receiving her associate of arts degree in merchandise product development this month but wants to return to acting, eight years after retiring on Twitter.

In a rare, candid interview with Paper magazine, Bynes opened up about her private struggles that became so public. The former All That star revealed she became depressed after her 2006 film She’s the Man, in which she played a teen girl dressing in drag to pose as her brother.

“I went into a deep depression for four to six months because I didn’t like how I looked when I was a boy,” she reflected, adding that seeing herself with short hair and sideburns was “a super strange and out-of-body experience. It just really put me into a funk. …  more

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Hiding my psychosis for 10 years from the age of 12

Luke Watkin was in year eight at school and alone in a corridor when he first heard a strange noise.

“I heard what sounded like a train brake, followed by a metal on metal noise.

“It was just something completely out of the ordinary. It was a bit of a shock to the system, something I just couldn’t understand or really process.

“My experience at the time was quite terrifying.”

It was his first experience of the mental health condition, psychosis. Luke was 12 years old.
He said it went on from noises to hearing words, hearing his name, to eventually hearing whole sentences “of it almost trying to talk to me”.

The main symptoms of psychosis are hallucinations and delusions and it can be caused by a specific mental health condition, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or severe depression.  more

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On the Road with Rick Holmes: The return of psychedelics

Studies have found psilocybin, the ingredient that puts the magic in magic mushrooms, can relieve symptoms of depression resistant to antidepressants.

They are the plagues that define our times: Addiction, depression, PTSD, suicide.

Drug overdoses killed 72,000 Americans last year. The death toll from alcohol and cigarette addiction is even higher. Major depression affects more than 16 million Americans a year. Post-traumatic stress disorder is epidemic among war veterans and victims of violence. Suicide has been rising sharply since the turn of the century; with some 45,000 Americans taking their lives in 2016.

What are now being called “diseases of despair” are a big reason why life expectancy in the U.S. has dropped three years in a row. And mental illness doesn’t just kill; it cripples good people, destroys families and hurts the economy.  more

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