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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ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: Printmaker Bradley Davenport finds purpose in process

Nearly five years ago to the day, Bradley Davenport experienced an episode.

Then 24 years old, Davenport’s vehicle sideswiped a tractor-trailer while traveling along U.S. 20. In the throes of psychosis, he then led police on a high-speed chase beginning in LaPorte and ending near Michigan City, at times driving in the opposite lane, a news report indicates.

With the vehicle eventually spun out and blocked, a delusional Davenport punched in the face a police officer who attempted to restrain him. A Taser was employed, an eventual apprehension and admittance into a regional hospital’s psychiatric unit followed.

Shortly after the episode, and avoiding conviction, Davenport was clinically diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder — what amounts, in his case, to schizophrenia and bi-polar disorder, he explained.  more

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Mental Health and the Media: A Call to Action

Humanizing psychotic disorders is the next step in challenging mental health stigma

Having a diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder has been difficult because of the symptoms but also because of the stigma I’ve had to face.

There have been many misconceptions about mental illness propagated by media sources like movies, the news, and television shows over the years. Whenever I to turn on the news I would hear comments about how people who committed crimes had some sort of connection to mental illness. It’s been statistically proven that people diagnosed with a mental illness are less likely to commit crimes than those who are just normal people. There were also many movies that stigmatized mental illness and shaped the way people thought about those who had a mental illness creating misconceptions and prejudices surrounding those who had been diagnosed. For years it made it difficult for me to disclose my diagnosis because I wasn’t certain of what others would think of me or if they’d judge me or treat me differently. I still use critical discretion on whom I do and don’t disclose my diagnosis to. However, at this critical point in history, there are those out there who are willing to challenge the misconceptions and prejudices of stigma.  more

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5 Things Movies Don’t Tell You About Mental Institutions

Everyone knows that mental hospitals are horror movie prisons for crazy people, with padded walls, flickering lights, and evil nurses wearing tiny hats. Well, everyone might want to get their head checked, because psychiatric hospitals are nowhere near as exciting as all that. Most look more like college dorms with extra locks on the doors. I should know: I’ve been in six psychiatric facilities in three states, from the fancy McLean Hospital (aka the Girl, Interrupted place) to crappier state-run facilities. I’ve been diagnosed and misdiagnosed with everything from major depressive disorder to borderline personality disorder to schizophrenia. But I’m better now, and I swear that all this shit is true.  more

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