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Our hidden secret: Mental illness

By Phyllis Dolinsky

This country has a serious problem. Millions are affected by it. Yet we sweep it under the carpet. If it is in the family, we may hide it. If we have it, we (and the family) may suffer from it. Our entire lives will be affected by it each and every day.

What is it? MENTAL ILLNESS

It is as stated above – an illness. Yet we don’t treat it with respect like cancer, high blood pressure or even hives. It deserves respect for the people and the families who live with it.

Many of these people are super bright, but when their thinking becomes distorted, they are not able to realize it.

Our country has laws so that the person suffering may make the choice of taking or not taking
medication. The problem with the above is the person may or may not be capable of making that decision. If the behavior reaches a point where he/she may be hospitalized, while hospitalized, they will be given medication. Under the Hippa law, the families and loved ones may be kept entirely out of the loop. If a person goes into the hospital with a heart problem, the families are in touch with the care takers, but if it is a mental illness, they may be left completely out of the loop and also be expected to take the ill person home with no notice except, “We are releasing them, come take them home.”

There are many people who have mental illnesses and take the appropriate treatment and depend on their families or loved one to help them if they need it. They appreciate the love and support of their families during difficult times.

Then there are the ones who wish to live with their illness even if they are not always able to function at the moment in society. This does not only affect them it affects everyone who has contact with them.

The families, the wives, husbands and children need the help and support of their loved ones and the community.

This is a real problem with real solutions. It’s time to do something. If you have stories of loved ones, both positive and negative, please write about them.

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