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Lessons of The Weeping Camel for Texas

May 17, 2012

The Story of the Weeping Camel is a riveting drama that follows the recovery from  postpartum depression by a camel.  This is poignant and eye opening, because this first time mother is experiencing the mental breakdown that many human mothers experience after giving birth.  Postpartum depression is a mental health issue.  The camel herders tried everything they could to mend the broken emotional state of the camel and her rejected calf.  They finally had to get a professional to help, because the calf was going to die without it’s mother.  This remote location in Mongolia only offered professional help in the form of Buddhist monks and ritual music therapy.

First, all the best intentions in the world are ineffective when they do NOT communicate to someone who is mentally ill.  If you don’t understand what is happening, you are not helping but making it worse.

Second, there really are knowledge bases that specifically target specific mental health issues.  There really are trained professionals who have better tools to treat the mentally ill.  Sometimes mental illness is a symptom of a different medical or environmental problem.

Third, the stigma of mental health is a giant wall, that no one wants to address, let alone climb.  This prevents most mentally ill from receiving effective treatment.

Fourth, just like some aspects of Alcoholics Anonymous, you have to admit there is a problem, there must be acceptance and diagnosis.  You have to hit bottom before you can bounce back.  Interpreted as, admit you are powerless over issues you are not trained to address.  Diagnosis is critical.  Mental health issues evolve and can rarely self correct.

Fifth, mentally ill people who are not identified and diagnosed, are not treated.  Untreated mental illness can only get worse.  Mentally ill acting out is hazardous to all, and creates a multitude of victims.  Mental illness self propagates itself by harming other people, causing even more undiagnosed, untreated mental health issues.  Child Abuse Can Lead to a Lifetime of Bad Decisions and can affect a child mentally and physically while impacting choices throughout life. Children who were abused were at a greater risk to take drugs and abuse their own children as adults.

SIXTH, there is creative mental illness and there is destructive mental illness.  Sometimes there is a very thin line between them.  It is important to note that any diagnosis is subjective. Even mental health professionals are at odds to the point of contradicting each other.   Today, there is a grand dispute about re-categorizing mental health disorders.  Why? Because insurance companies, health corporations, politics and Big Pharma have a say in how the world addresses this under-reported human condition.  It is unfortunate that the American Government has such a bad track record of effectively addressing mental health.  Aside from all the agencies that study it.  Especially considering that it contributes to the mental health problem by sending soldiers, diplomats and contractors around the world to experience conditions that cause mental issues. There is a worldwide cultural bias against specific kinds of disorders.

WIKI:

The consumer/survivor movement (also known as user/survivor movement) is made up of individuals (and organizations representing them) who are clients of mental health services or who consider themselves survivors of psychiatric interventions. Activists campaign for improved mental health services and for more involvement and empowerment within mental health services, policies and wider society.[85][86][87] Patient advocacy organizations have expanded with increasing deinstitutionalization in developed countries, working to challenge the stereotypes, stigma and exclusion associated with psychiatric conditions. There is also a carers rights movement of people who help and support people with mental health conditions, who may be relatives, and who often work in difficult and time-consuming circumstances with little acknowledgement and without pay. An antipsychiatry movement fundamentally challenges mainstream psychiatric theory and practice, including in some cases asserting that psychiatric concepts and diagnoses of ‘mental illness’ are neither real nor useful.[88][89][90] Alternatively, a movement for global mental health has emerged, defined as ‘the area of study, research and practice that places a priority on improving mental health and achieving equity in mental health for all people worldwide’.[91]


Mainstream Media, religions and modern culture are all culpable.  We know better, now.  A mentally ill human is not occupied by demons.  They are not to be dismissed as crazy, eclectic, a little off, obsessed or just unique.  Unless someone is a mental health professional, your holy person, your grandmother, your favorite blogger, is not your best resource for addressing someone you know who has issues.

In this technologically advanced and socially advanced culture, that we call America, the State of Texas is finally admitting the consequences of ignoring mental health care.  This is a remarkable event that Texas lawmakers are actually reviewing the inadequate mental health system in the state.

Texas lawmakers review mental health programs

AUSTIN, TEXAS — Both Republican and Democratic senators agree that Texas needs to do more to help the mentally ill.

Democratic Sen. Jose Rodriguez pointed out Wednesday that Texas ranks 50th in the nation in per capita funding for mental health programs. Republican Sen. Joan Huffman observed that so many mentally ill people have ended up in the Harris County jail that it has become the largest treatment facility for mental illness in the United States.

A top official, Michael Maples, reported that 10,000 people are currently on the waiting list for mental health treatment.

The Senate Health and Human Services Committee met Wednesday to discuss what the Legislature can do to address the problem. While mental health programs are expensive, senators agreed that treating patients earlier will save money.

The visit by Buddhist monks revealed common knowledge among people of the earth.  Technologically advanced countries are plundering the earth and changing the earth’s ability to support her burden. In some ways, the Buddhist Monks were the best mental health professionals available to the Weeping Camel family.  When you admit your helpfulness is no longer effective, like the nomad family learned, seek professional help.

Sometimes we love the mentally ill, Texas just lost one of it’s favoritesLeslie Cochran was an iconWIKI: Albert Leslie Cochran (June 24, 1951 – March 8, 2012) was an American peace activist, cross-dresser, urban outdoorsman and outspoken critic of police treatment of the homeless. Cochran was known in Austin as Leslie.[1]  Cochran was considered the man who personified “Keep Austin Weird.”[2][3][4]   He was the creative consciousness of Austin Texas.

Sometimes mental illness is the light that we use to see beyond our own condition.  The Arts and Sciences are depictions of creative mental illness.  Destruction is the opposite depiction.  What would happen if there were no mental illness at all?  We would be as human as inanimate objects.  We would not be human at all.  Mental illness is a category that defines us as human.  Mental Illness is just one side of the human mental condition.   Like all living things, our minds are dynamic and influenced by everything they are exposed to.  Undiagnosed and untreated mental health issues cost everyone, dearly.  Misunderstanding the human mind can be fatal.

What is Mental Illness: Mental Illness Facts

Mental illnesses are medical conditions that disrupt a person’s thinking, feeling, mood, ability to relate to others and daily functioning. Just as diabetes is a disorder of the pancreas, mental illnesses are medical conditions that often result in a diminished capacity for coping with the ordinary demands of life.

Serious mental illnesses include major depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and borderline personality disorder. The good news about mental illness is that recovery is possible.

Mental illnesses can affect persons of any age, race, religion, or income. Mental illnesses are not the result of personal weakness, lack of character or poor upbringing. Mental illnesses are treatable. Most people diagnosed with a serious mental illness can experience relief from their symptoms by actively participating in an individual treatment plan.

In addition to medication treatment, psychosocial treatment such as cognitive behavioral therapy, interpersonal therapy, peer support groups and other community services can also be components of a treatment plan and that assist with recovery. The availability of transportation, diet, exercise, sleep, friends and meaningful paid or volunteer activities contribute to overall health and wellness, including mental illness recovery.

STATISTICS

Understanding the scope of mental health problems and treatment in the United States is central to NIMH’s mission. Much of what we understand in this area comes from research in the field of epidemiology; the scientific study of patterns of health and illness within a population. Research on psychiatric epidemiology shows that mental disorders are common throughout the United States, affecting tens of millions of people each year, and that only a fraction of those affected receive treatment.

The resource below represents an extensive collection of our best statistics on the prevalence, treatment, and costs of mental disorders. Equally important are sections that have been included on mental health-related disability and on suicide.

This resource is a continuing work in progress, and will be updated regularly as new statistics are released. As it continues to develop, NIMH seeks users’ comments and suggestions on its content, as well as its usability. Comments may be sent to NIMHstatistics@mail.nih.gov.

Hey, if I told you I made all this up, would it make any difference to your attitude about mental health?  Would you rather not think about it?  Is your rug big enough to sweep these issues under? 

I may admit that I am crazy, but I did NOT make all this up!  We are still reporting stories about children being locked away in attics, basements, closets and starved to death because a mentally ill person cannot relate to a child!

Texas child abuse, neglect deaths soar 31 percent

Texas Child Fatality Review

Minneapolis gunman’s family feared mental illness

I am trying to keep up with the abundant examples of mental illness related violence in America.  I know I have missed a few.  This is 2012, and the frequency of violence has accelerated.  Too many factors contribute to these occurrences, and Mental Health is the common denominator.  This most recent example admitted that family and co-workers and neighbors knew this man had mental problems.  He refused to see a professional, no one had the authority to make him seek help.  There are no ‘real’ laws or social options for anyone to use when they know someone has a problem.  Our education systems do not endorse mental health issues.  Our social system and culture avoid mental issues altogether.  It is more acceptable to have leprosy, than a mental issue.  Most mental issues have roots in body chemistry imbalances, which often makes it treatable..The stigma of asking for help has to be removed.  That takes education and leading by example.  First you must encourage someone to see a doctor.  Hopefully, new strides in affordable health care will make seeing the doctor easier …

Andre Gide: ~ Believe those who are seeking the truth; doubt those who find it.

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9 Comments
  1. June 1, 2012 6:51 am

    In many circumstances, the only option available options for treatment of mental illness are a short stay in a hospital psychiatric unit or occassional, impersonal psychiatrist appointments. Morningside Recovery has found that not only are these 24 to 72 hour stays too short for successful treatment of many mental health issues, but the impersonal environment is highly ineffective. Patients often find themselves back in the hospital multiple times with the same problems. We have developed our longer-term treatment options as a solution or addition to the all-too-standard, short-term psychiatric hospitalizations or 15 minute psychiatrist sessions.

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