San Antonio Man Working To Erase Stigma Of Schizophrenia

A San Antonio researcher seeks new treatments for schizophrenia while a San Antonio man strives to live a life of purpose with the disease.

Thirty-year-old Fonda White was a football standout at Marshall High School on the North Side of San Antonio. He dreamed of becoming a professional football player. But that dream was shattered in his 20s when he began hearing voices.

“A lot of voices. A lot of seeing things. Paranoia. Those kinds of symptoms coming up, fully blown, when I was age 25,” White said.

White didn’t understand what was happening to him, and it scared him; so, he tried to ignore it. He tried to keep playing minor league professional football. He kept trying to go to school, but the symptoms interfered with his life and activities. He started missing practice. He started missing school.  more

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Celebrities Who’ve Spoken Out About Living With Mental Health Issues

Lady Gaga isn’t the only one who’s been refreshingly open discussing mental illness. Here are other celebrities speaking out in a bid to smash the stigma…

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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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CLC: Student-organized walk sheds light on mental health

Phi Theta Kappa students at Central Lakes College lead a walk through the campus to raise awareness for mental health Tuesday, Nov. 27. Steve Kohls / Brainerd Dispatch 

More than 18 percent of adults in the U.S. suffer from mental illness.

Locally, mental illnesses affect more than 1 in 4 Crow Wing County adults.

Those statistics—collected by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and Crow Wing Energized, respectively—have drawn attention in the area and driven several Crow Wing County groups to stand up against the stigma of mental health.

Most recently, Phi Theta Kappa students at Central Lakes College organized a mental health awareness walk to let their peers know about resources available on campus for those suffering with mental health issues.  more

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10 Lady Gaga Mental Health Quotes That Helped Break Stigma

While a decade ago Lady Gaga was best known for wearing a meat dress and arriving at the Grammy Awards in a giant egg-shaped contraption, these days she’s also lauded for her relentless pursuit of mental health equality. In fact, Lady Gaga’s quotes about mental health are so relevant they will inspire you to join her in the effort to break the stigma. It’s no secret that Gaga has always been strategic and intentional about making cultural and political statements with her music — few will forget her artistic commentary on the damaging effects of fame from her performance of the song “Paparazzi” at the 2009 Video Music Awards.

However, the addition of her brutal honesty about her own mental health struggles — she revealed at the SAG-AFTRA Foundation’s third annual Patron of the Artists Awards that she has battled PTSD and “debilitating mental spirals that have included suicidal ideation and masochistic behavior” — has sparked an important mental health dialogue. What’s more, Gaga is using every opportunity, including acceptance speeches, natural disasters, press events for her movie A Star Is Born, and more to speak out about the importance of bringing mental illness out of the shadows and into everyday conversations.  more

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Kevin Love raises mental health awareness with ‘Locker Room Talk’ website series

Kevin Love can’t remember being this freshly shaven, gliding his fingers over his smooth cheeks and chin while glancing at a large mirror.

The reflection doesn’t pain him anymore.

From the outside, the Cleveland Cavaliers’ All-Star forward appears to have it all: A model’s striking looks, a multi-million dollar contract and dream job. At 30, he’s in the prime of his career, and maybe for the first time, truly happy.

“I’m getting there,” he said, his voice conveying determination. “It’s still a work in progress.”
Nearly a year ago, Love suffered a panic attack during a game against Atlanta. The desperate, life-altering event eventually led to revealing his long-term battle with anxiety and depression.

Now Love is hoping to break down stigmas about men’s mental health. He has partnered with Shick Hydro on a website series called “Locker Room Talk”, holding candid conversations with Olympic gold-medal swimming icon Michael Phelps, former Boston Celtics star Paul Pierce and Cavs teammate and close friend Channing Frye.

No topic is off limits.  more

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Building Strength And Resilience After A Sexual Assault: What Works

Emily R. Dworkin, a senior fellow at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle, studies how the social interactions of trauma survivors can affect their recovery. She was also the lead author of a paper published in the journal Clinical Psychology Review in 2017 that looked through more than 100,000 studies conducted in the last 50 years and found nearly 200 relevant ones on the relationship between sexual assault and mental health to analyze.

What she found, Dworkin says, is strong evidence that sexual assault is associated with an increased risk for multiple forms of psychological harm “across most populations, assault types and methodological differences in studies.” Too many survivors still face stigma and internalize that blame, and that can make it harder to seek help. And while some types of therapy have been shown to be helpful, she says, more information on evidence-based treatments for survivors “is critically needed.”

Sexual assault [any type of sexual activity or contact that happens without the consent of both people] began getting research attention in the ’70s as society as a whole was going through a feminist awakening, and it kind of developed at the same time as PTSD [post-traumatic stress disorder], which was then known as “combat trauma.” Many things can lead to depression or anxiety. People with PTSD relive the trauma in the form of intrusive memories, nightmares, or even flashbacks. They avoid things that remind them of the trauma.  more

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Report: World Support For Mental Health Care Is ‘Pitifully Small’

It’s a major milestone in the fight to recognize mental health and mental illness as global issues: a comprehensive report from the Lancet Commission on Global Mental Health, three years in the making, released this past week at a London summit with royals Prince William and Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, in attendance to show their support for the cause.

But it was not a celebratory event. Threaded throughout the 45-page report is a lament that the world is ignoring millions of suffering people.

That neglect is reflected in “pitifully small” levels of financial support from governments and assistance groups for research and patient care, say the 28 mental health researchers, clinicians and advocates from across five continents who authored the report. And there are far-reaching economic as well as psychological consequences, the report notes: Untreated patients are often unable to support themselves, and sometimes their caretakers can’t work as well.  more

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Mental health event brings stories of help, hope

STOCKTON — Marsha Posner Williams is a successful television producer, winner of two Emmy and three Golden Globe awards for “The Golden Girls.”

Yael Deynes, who survived a suicide attempt, physical and mental abuse by his biological mother in his native Puerto Rico and controlling, mental abuse at the hands of his former gay lover, has made an award-winning short film and is seeking funding for his first feature-length motion picture.

The two will share their stories of success and offer encouragement Friday when they speak on “Curing The Stigma” from 1:30-3 p.m. in the Tillie Lewis Theatre as San Joaquin Delta College concludes its observance of Mental Health Awareness Week.  more

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9 Ways To Fight Mental Health Stigma

Most people who live with mental illness have, at some point, been blamed for their condition. They’ve been called names. Their symptoms have been referred to as “a phase” or something they can control “if they only tried.” They have been illegally discriminated against, with no justice. This is the unwieldy power that stigma holds.

Stigma causes people to feel ashamed for something that isout of their control. Worst of all, stigma prevents people from seeking the help they need. For a group of people who already carry such a heavy burden, stigma is an unacceptable addition to their pain. And while stigma has reduced in recent years, the pace of progress has not been quick enough.  more

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