“So, What Would YOU Like to Say in the Area of Mental Health?” Comments, Page 1

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7 Comments on “So, What Would YOU Like to Say in the Area of Mental Health?”

  1. Thank you for the opportunity to speak.

    I attended a program held by our local NAMI this week. It was sports oriented, very interesting, and the speaker was accomplished. The speaker said his father had committed suicide, which is why he has accomplished what he has in his life in memory of his father. He did NOT say, however, anything about how his father’s suicide made him feel, and there was not one comment about or reference to his feelings and the chaos that had certainly occurred surrounding his father’s mental illness and death.

    As a consumer, I felt there could have been some reference to his personal struggle, even if it were a couple of sentences. I was not alone. Another consumer came up to me afterwards, and, while we both enjoyed the powerpoint presentation very much, she opened the conversation by saying that it would have been nice if he had said flat out that there was a scar from this experience that would never heal (which I’m sure was true), or something simple about the effect his dad’s illness had on him personally.

    Until the family members in NAMI and professionals speaking in public can “include” the feelings of consumers in their professional presentations (some small comment about “this horrendous illness” or a statement that it was “so very hard to get through and of course it will never end”) — that is, something self-referential, and self-disclosing, nothing will change for those of us who struggle every day. Besides the intellectual content, there must be a reference to the lived, affective effect of mental illness, or I believe this will come off as cold and unfeeling to most consumers.

    PS: I have a master’s degree and all the intellect in the world does not do justice to the lived, affective experience. People must start saying so with their mouths.

  2. Susan,
    Thanks for sharing this. I know I’ve found it very beneficial when a speaker relates his personal feelings on the effects of a traumatic event such as this speaker’s reference to his dad’s suicide. Could it be that he simply wanted to focus only
    on accomplishments in spite of and since the traumatic event? Or may he just need to, for personal reasons, put those feelings aside at that time? Was his speaking engagement, say near the date of his dad’s suicide?
    Sometimes I have to allow others the space they want, to not bring up the pain. I wonder if your speaker has written a book of his experiences, where he expounded more fully on the details.

  3. Bye Sarah!

    I’ve recently read quite a bit of your articles.
    And will miss your voice here. Your aricles often
    resonate with me personally. Love the food for
    thought you wrote. And quite eloquently may I add.

    PS I want your old job?

    Farewell and Good Luck
    in your studies.

    Well Dr. Maulhauser What a loss….

    Just lost my server so my response to I want her job application,
    just went swoosh. I’ll try back later…..and send in a new one.

  4. Sometimes I think its a travesty to America the way we don’t deal with it. Mental Health issues bombard all facets of life. I have watched the mentally ill try and get help. And there expected to jump through hoops they can’t jump through. And they are turned out into our streets and to other peoples homes. I have friends that a psychotic
    schitzophrenic son and even though their mom is a nurse and dad helps him. Its a constant battle for them. When he stops taking his medicine
    he’s violent to his family and starts stalking his passed friends. They finally get him locked up and sure enough he gets let out and its only a matter of time before it all happens again. After awhile even the family just can’t take any more. Its like theirs no viable system to protect them. Or protect his next victoms. I understand one thing
    we don’t put mental health up there on a list of priorities. Yet we cry cause the streets are filling up with the homeless.

    You know ever since the start of high school shootings. I was really wondering about more about mental health. I worked on school boards and
    it was a issue of high priority. Students safety and its often made me
    wonder more about early warning signs. The last shooting I remember something about pieces of shits coming up. And for me I wondered were they abused? Was their a parent with a personality disorder or looser
    raising this child? I know one the shootings in my son’s school was in anger management classes. Many of the kids said he was a perfectioist.
    He wanted so bad to get good grades he would do way more than necessary. I wonder about early detection…. He was recieving some help yet still this event happened. These types of incidents uused to be so few and far between. What’s the escalation from do you think?

  5. Well, I am new to this site, but I’m feeling somewhat relieved to have the opportunity to share my story with others who can relate. I truly believe that every event that occurs in a life… every bump in the road, and every mountain that suddenly appears in front of us is all God’s plan. He has a specific purpose for everything, and I find comfort in knowing that He will never give us anything that HE can’t handle. I’ve been through a great deal in my life and have been in counseling for most of my adult life. Now, instead of feeling sorry for myself and wondering what I did to deserve this, I look deeply into the issue and seek how I can help someone else because of my experience. A few years ago I started attending a church other than the one I grew up in and was a member of since I was confirmed at the age of 13. I realized that I knew absolutely nothing about the importance of God in my life. All of those Sunday school classes and confirmation classes, memorizing verses that I had no idea what they meant had never brought me to know God or to WANT to know God. All those years of wondering what my purpose was in life is now so clear to me. Within 6 months of attending Calvary Church and actually seeing the holy spirit working in those people and their faith and devotion to grace God in everything they do, I attended a bible study group. “The Purpose Driven Life” by Rick Warren was my first study. I’ll never forget the night (just a few weeks into the study) when I had this overwhelming feeling of being loved and knowing exactly what my purpose is in life… finally… There is a page in the book that gives the reader the opportunity to commit his/her life to Christ – in writing and from the heart. I signed that page so fast and jumped up with a huge smile and sense of peace about me. Everyone else in the group jumped up, too, and they knew what was coming as I held up my signed commitment and started to cry tears of joy. They took my picture and put it in the church bulletin. Every time I look at that picture I can see the change. I was glowing from the inside out and everyone else who saw the picture could see it, too!

    I take great joy in using the challenges that God guided me through (without ever knowing God was involved until that day the Holy Spirit filled me) to help others get through a difficult situations by letting them know they are not alone and they WILL get through this challenge. It’s not the challenges that matter, but how we handle them, learn from them, and use what we’ve learned to glorify God by helping others.

    All that I learned in those many years of counseling I would have already known if I had known my purpose in life. And I would have known that I deserve to be loved and respected. I have learned so much more about behaviors and disorders, and how important the role of parenting is from the very beginning of a child’s life. The parent is responsible to glorify God in every way possible as we teach, love, and care for our children. All psychological disorders and behavior could be avoided if every parent were as dedicated to their purpose as God is to us, His children. I’ve often said that becoming a parent didn’t come with instruction sand guide, but I was wrong. It’s all provided for us if we just look.

    I can understand and recognize behaviors that were “learned” behaviors – the only way a child was taught – the hardest to change. Given the opportunity, I can help people to recognize that they aren’t “bad” and they deserve to be loved the way God loves us. They just weren’t given the right tools, and if they want to feel good about themselves, everything they need to know is available to them.

    Okay, I have lots of stories and I could say so much more, but I’ve already given more than can be expected to be comprehended at one time.

    I would love the opportunity to discuss your need for a “blogger”. Sharing my life’s lessons gives me great pleasure when I can help others to feel better about themselves, and this just may be the tool God is providing to me to continue serving my purpose on a larger scale.

    I am not a preacher, and don’t want to be, but I do have faith, and I do want to continue helping others. I read a great deal, but do not write regularly. My previous experience in writing was as an executive assistant, a legal assistant, a commercial real estate salesperson, and a teenage poet. I can give you samples of the poems I have written, and I may be able to find some of the papers I wrote in College English classes (if they weren’t damaged when the basement flooded – eek).

    I look forward to being a regular visitor to this website and possibly more.



  6. Mental health has always fascinated me. I have been on both ends of the spectrum. I have worked as a RN in locked psychiatric units, home health, hospice, long-term/skilled care facilities and correctional. I loved working in these places, but each time I worked it became shorter for me to be able to hold the job. The stress of working in places of overstimulation is something I’m unable to do.

    I was working on getting my BSN with the idea of switching over to a BA in psychology. I am still in flux as to rather continue with education or not. I really enjoyed it so very much especially the psychology classes. All of them were on-line classes. I was holding a GPA of 3.48, for me this was very good.

    The other end of the spectrum is I have been treated for PTSD and depression. I also have a history of traumatic Brain Injury which left me in a coma for several days and two broken femurs at the age of 12. I now find it is the symptoms of the TBI which come out when I am under increasing stress. I understand living survivor’s guilt; I understand sex abuse from a parent and other family member starting at age 5. I know what it is to live with a drug addict marital partner and to go through divorce. I know what it is like to have my son stand by as his girlfriend beats me up giving me a black eye and a concussion. I know what it is like to have a place to live, but have to rent it out to pay the mortgage and end up living in my car.

    Through all this I have started a Traumatic Brain Injury group, which meets once a month at our local hospital. The website is attached to my email showing the topics that will be discussed for each meeting. I still have a lot to offer and I’m not one to give up on some way for me to help others. I know the symptoms of TBI I have come out during even the smallest stress and I have limits on what I can do. I have only joined this website recently, but I do like what I have read and the way it is run.
    Thank you Sheila

  7. Hi folks,

    I’m going to close the comments form for this post now, as it was originally intended to solicit contacts by email for our opening for a blogger. I’m very glad to say we’ve had a tremendous response to the call for a new blogger, so we won’t be accepting any new submissions just yet. Stay tuned for news!

    Many thanks,

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