Monday, July 02, 2007

Mental Health Conference Call

Last week I was asked to be a part of a conference call held by NAMI (National Association on Mental Illness) on mental illness on Friday, June 29. I was not able to participate directly because of prior commitments, but I was able to contribute some questions. You can listen to the conference call here.

Dr. Ken Duckworth is the interviewee and he has some very encouraging things to say about treatments, pharmacological, cognitive behavior therapy, and other combination of treatments, for mental illnesses. I was very honored to be invited to participate and anyone who has had trouble finding just the right treatment that will work for them might find some useful information in this discussion as well as some ideas for treatments that you may not have thought of or been presented with before.

My questions were asked by the moderator, unfortunately they got my name wrong and called me "Joy Baker". Ah well, c'est la vie! I do answer to almost anything - I'm not too fussy! These were my questions, and I am very happy to have had them asked and answered.
  1. My family is riddled with alcoholism as well as various mental illness issues, including suicides. Regarding chemical imbalances, can you address the connections between alcoholism, bi-polar, and suicidal tendencies.
  2. As a relatively recent convert to medications, (I've taken Zoloft for nearly 3 years with phenomenally good results after many years of traditional talk-therapy that did nothing to help me, and which I would quit when I 'cycled-up' into a more manic phase), I wonder how important you feel traditional 'talk therapy' is versus medications in treating bi-polar disorders or depression.
  3. There are also many members of my family who have had thyroid problems and I wonder if there are any studies that show a connection between thyroid disturbances and brain chemical imbalances.
I'm happy to provide the link to this conference call and hope you will check it out as well as checking out Revolution Health and NAMI where you can find resources that may be helpful if you are having trouble. And if you click on the 'booths' at the Revolution Health Fair, actual money will be donated to the organization you click on! I love that. Let's help out with a couple of clicks!

Dr. Duckworth mentions that 10% of people with schizophrenia and bi-polar disease end their lives with suicide. Despair is terrifying, I know I've been there. I don't want anyone else to ever be there. There are options. Lots of options. If something doesn't work, don't give up - there is always hope.

Nothing is impossible, as long as we're alive.


Jay said...

That's awesome that you got to contribute. Lots of people are still so silent about it, it's hard to get all of the information in one place.

Joy said...

Thanks Jay, I'm really big on NOT being silent about it. Sometimes these topics make people uncomfortable, but the more it's brought up the less stigma is attached.

Daniel said...

If you are a victim of minor depression, it is possible for you to get rid of it with little effort but once you fall prey to serious depression, it may become altogether impossible to tackle this disorder without opting for medications. And among the medicines available in the market to treat depression, panic disorder and social anxiety disorder, Xanax and Zoloft are highly popular.