MENTAL DISORDERS FACTS

Approximately 1 in 5 Americans are diagnosed with a mental illness in a given year.

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Anxiety and depression are the leading mental disorders in the U.S.  Approximately 1 in 25 Americans are diagnosed with severe mental disorders that also include schizophrenia, bi-polar, OCD.

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Mental disorders are the leading cause of disability for adults ages 18 - 44 in the United States.

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1 in 6 Americans has taken a psychiatric drug. For people of retirement age the rate is 1 in 4.

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SCHIZOPHRENIA FACTS

 

3.5 million Americans or roughly 1 in 100 are diagnosed with schizophrenia.

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Schizophrenia is not split personality -- it’s a collection of symptoms that can include aural and visual hallucinations, delusions and disordered thinking.

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Unlike diabetes, which is diagnosed according to insulin levels there is no medical test that confirms a physical condition called schizophrenia.

 

The primary treatment for schizophrenia is antipsychotic medication. 

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10 THINGS I LEARNED MAKING THE FILM

 

1        Antipsychotic drugs affect each person differently. Some people find meds very helpful, some function well without then, some find them impossible to live with.

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2       Antipsychotic side effects can be significant, and can include weight gain, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, akathisia (restlessness), tardive dyskinesia, tiredness, emotional numbness, depression, panic attacks, aggression and violence.

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Nearly three quarters of people prescribed antipsychotics for schizophrenia will stop taking them within 18 months mostly due to the side effects.

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3       Studies show that short term psych meds can be helpful, but long term they can damage people’s functionality and independence.

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More recent scientific studies show that Cognitive Behavioral Psychology and minimal psych drugs are the most effective treatment for most people.

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4       Schizophrenia is not a “death sentence.”

 50 - 60% of people diagnosed schizophrenic will recover completely or function well, i.e. have jobs and relationships throughout their life without meds or with baseline support.

 15 - 20 % will require more extensive support.

 20% will be significantly compromised by their condition.

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5       Many people believe that those diagnosed schizophrenic are violent and that it’s only a matter of time before they explode. But most people diagnosed schizophrenic are less violent than the general population unless drugs and alcohol are involved.

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6       A decision not to take prescribed medication is often interpreted as a sign of mental illness when it can actually be an informed decision.

 

7       Most states can force people diagnosed with severe mental illness to be medicated if they are believed to be a danger to themselves or others.

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8       Dangerousness is difficult to predict.

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9       The mental health rights movement came out in the 1970’s. It’s primary goal: to give a voice to those being treated. The disability rights slogan: “nothing about us without us.”

 

10     The lived experience of people diagnosed with mental disorders is vast, informative, inspirational & important.

 

TO LEARN MORE:

 

Madinamerica.com

Mindfreedom.org

Power2u.org

theicarusproject.net

hearingvoicesusa.net

bazelon.org

 

ALTERNATIVE SUPPORT & TREATMENTS

 

Peer support groups

http://www.hearingvoicesusa.org

http://www.theicarusproject.net/forums

Peer respite houses

http://www.power2u.org/crisis-alternatives.html

Emotional CPR

http://www.power2u.org/emotional-cpr.html

Warm lines

http://www.power2u.org/katrina/warmlines.html

 

 

WELLNESS/LEGAL PROTECTION FOR THOSE DIAGNOSED  

Informed consent

http://www.bazelon.org/SearchResults/tabid/41/Default.aspx?xsq=informed+consent

 

WRAP wellness plans

http://mentalhealthrecovery.com/info-center/developing-a-wellness-toolbox

 

Advanced Directives

http://www.bazelon.org/SearchResults/tabid/41/Default.aspx?xsq=advanced+directive

 

Whitaker affidavit re: effects of antipsychotics

http://psychrights.org/Litigation/WhitakerAffidavit.pdf