We Are The Patients’ Family

Three persons looking down on their colorful sneakers

Interaction With Psychiatric Patients

Some psychiatric patients have been institutionalized for so long, that they no longer have a family on the outside. Their family has either moved on and away from their lives, have passed away, or simply feel distant and disconnected from them. After many years of hospitalization, the psychiatrists and the team have become the patients family.

Many patients have different goals and objectives. Some patients are goal-oriented and comply with the team’s instructions: they take medications, attend groups, follow instructions and are working towards discharge. But some patients are too psychotic to even take a shower or utilize the toilet; these are the ones who end up staying institutionalized for years or even life.

Some patients avoid prison time by malingering that they have a mental illness. They will literally feign symptoms, in order to convince the court to send them to a psychiatric institute to serve the rest of their time. These patients may have an underlying mental illness, but not the one they are obviously feigning.

And then there are the patients who have a mental illness, are functioning and not symptomatic at the moment, but refuse to be discharged because they have no where else to go. Some of these patients do not even have a family anymore. They are so comfortable living in the psychiatric hospital, that it has become their home and we have become their family!

No matter what situation or state of mind a psychiatric patient is in, the primary team adopts a family role in most patients eyes. We are the ones providing medication, comfort, treatment plans, diets, mental and physical support, encouragement, time and care!

The moment that you see their eyes harboring a release of tears, is the moment that you come to the realization that we are in fact their family!

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Mental Health Is The New Focus

Kneeling psychotic brunette woman with hair covering face wearing a brown dress

Momentum For Mental Health

As more people come out and admit to suffering from a mental health condition, this process will continue to help shed more light on how significant mental health is. Every single thing that we do revolves around psychology and the mind; without it, we’d be walking corpses.

More people are coming out to realize that they are not alone in the battle against mental illness; it is much more common than we previously thought. As a matter of fact, we always knew that mental illness was common. But now, society in general is warming up to the idea that its prevalence and incidence are massive.

We are living in a time where people want to improve, and they want to improve fast. This is the day and age where people want a quick fix and perhaps some pleasure to go along with it; however, there’s a big BUT that comes along with this mentality.

This BUT is: there are no quick fixes to mental illness. Even antidepressants take 4-6 weeks to improve one’s mood and alleviate symptoms of depression, and even then, there is no guarantee. Many patients are on antipsychotics and still have florid psychosis churning in their minds.

Mental health is here in the sense that more people are coming out to admit their pain and suffering. But mental health is also not going away anytime soon. It takes time to heal from a mental illness, and even then, there is never a guarantee that your mental illness will not make a comeback at some point in the near future.

So rather than looking for that quick fix that you will never find, take a seat in that comfy couch or chair and open up to your psychiatrist about everything that is going on in your mind! We are very close to demolishing the stigma that has plagued mental health since the beginning of time.

And without your help, the process only slows down. We need the entire world to join behind The DSM Ready Movement and make mental health the new kid on the block.

Mental health is in. Are you?

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

East Coast Arctic Blast

Man reading a book on sofa chair near Christmas tree

Studying During Cold Weather

Find a cozy corner by the heater, a window to look out of just in case big flaky drops of snow make landfall, a warm cup of caramel coffee and a great book to read from! When cold weather makes an appearance, this becomes the perfect time to start studying and improving your knowledge on a certain topic.

During the summer, the excuse becomes, “it’s too nice out! I can’t focus on these books.” But during fall and into the winter season, the cold weather has some of us hibernating like polar bears. This becomes an amazing time to get warm and cozy while learning new concepts, about whatever it is you would like to learn about.

Utilize the winter time to read as many book as you can! During spring, it becomes too nice out to always stay indoors to read. And during summer . . . well, that’s even harder to read through. If you’re struggling with the motivation to study, then winter time is the perfect opportunity for you to start opening up those books.

Unfortunately, winter time is also when many people develop seasonal affective disorder (SAD). This is when one becomes depressed during winter time only, but the depressive symptoms go away once spring follows. If you are struggling with SAD, this does not mean that you cannot study efficiently!

What it means is that you must see a psychiatrist and get the recommended therapy. In this case, this is usually an antidepressant, psychotherapy and light therapy. But what is missing from this prescription? You guessed it! Reading. Reading keeps your mind active and distracts you from depression.

It’s winter time folks. Whether you have SAD or not, ’tis the season to get your cerebrum fired up on some awesome reading material!

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Planet Earth

Road going through forest during fall

Opening Up To Nature

With the hustle and bustle of city life, it becomes quite difficult to maintain an appreciation for nature. We become stuck in the realm of technology: playing video games for endless hours, surfing the web like maniacs, remaining glued to our iPhones or Samsungs, etc. Nature has almost become foreign to many.

But when you find yourself spending too much time in the technological realm, that is when you must push yourself the hardest to step out of this maze, and search for mother nature in your neck of the woods! The more you remain in a technological state of mind, the more difficult it will become to appreciate planet earth.

Planet earth is full of animals we have never heard of and sceneries beyond our wildest imagination. Sometimes these exotic natural beings and views can be observed in your local park; it doesn’t take a trip to the Grand Canyon to appreciate natural beauty. All of this can be done in your backyard.

But the question remains, “are you even curious to open up to nature?” For those living in the countryside, this may not be an issue as you are forced to deal with nature on a daily basis. But for all the city dwellers, your escape out of the city could be the natural environment nearby.

Nature and mental health are a great match! Escaping the city and allowing your mind to melt away in the comforts of a natural environment, can do wonders for your mental health. It makes a whole world of a difference when you don’t consistently hear sirens, people shouting, cars honking or even blinding lights.

The DSM Ready Movement is all about nature. Are you?

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Why Is Everyone Talking About Area 51?

Stop sign and warning sign at the border of Area 51

Curiosity Killed The Cat

What the human mind cannot observe in person, it craves unconsciously in order to learn more about it. When you don’t have the answer to a certain question, you become more motivated to seek and discover an explanation. Curiosity is innate in all human beings; we want to be able to learn more about the unknown.

Area 51 is a highly classified United States Air Force facility in Nevada, that has historically been tied to the Roswell UFO incident. It is believed that in 1947, a UFO crashed and the United States military recovered the extraterrestrial occupants, eventually leading to a possible cover-up. Ever since then, conspiracy theories have surrounded this military base and UFOs in general.

It is not surprising to see certain ideas or conspiracy theories make a resurgence. People want to obtain information to which they have no access to. If it weren’t for curiosity, humans wouldn’t have made the advancements which we see and observe in present day.

For many people, information is like an addicting drug: the more you obtain it, the more you want to keep digging. Information provides people with new ideas and alternative ways of viewing life; it stimulates them like a breath of fresh air. But sometimes certain information may get you into trouble!

The reality is that being inquisitive about other people’s affairs or seeking unnecessary investigations may get you into trouble. There are many sources of information, but many of these sources may also not come from a good place. When you go sniffing around where you are not supposed to, dangerous situations may arise!

It’s always best to keep your curiosity to a minimum in regards to controversial information. If you’re meant to discover new information, then it will happen without you investigating and inquiring about every source of information that is out there. The risk you impose on yourself by continuously inquiring on new information, is many times not worth the effort to begin with.

In the grand scheme of things, area 51, the JFK assassination or 9/11 are examples of situations in which people don’t feel satisfied with the answers which have been provided to them; they want new details that will stimulate their minds. And there is nothing wrong with curiosity, as long as the information which you are seeking will not place you into hot water.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Mental Health And Beauty

Beautiful woman naked in bathtub with water and flowers

Beauty Lies In The Eye Of The Beholder

Mental health and beauty are highly related because physical appearance is something that is on most people’s minds. Whether someone is beautiful, average or below average in physical appearance, it has an impact on their way of viewing themselves and those around them.

Beautiful people may unconsciously or consciously believe that they are better than others, or have an upper hand in certain situations. From the time since they were little, society has complimented their good looks, by providing them with opportunities that others were not granted.

By having good looks work to one’s advantage, beautiful people have learned how to maintain these opportunities in life. This does not mean that all beautiful people are stuck-up or believe that they are better than others. But this is an example of how beauty impacts mental health.

On the other end of the spectrum, unattractive people may have been made fun of since a young age. They quickly realized that society did not appreciate their unattractiveness, and labeled them as “ugly.” By having this word thrown at them since a young age, it gave room for insecurity, depression or anxiety to flourish.

In reality, the physical appearance of someone else lies in the eye of the beholder; the person who is observing gets to decide what is beautiful. What needs to change in our society is less emphasis on glamour and external beauty, and more care for the individual as a person!

By putting aside the importance of beauty and status that Hollywood and the entertainment industry throw at us, we will be able to focus more on what should be more important to the human race:

  • Personality traits
  • The care and comfort for another individual
  • Helping each other
  • Sharing mental health stories and symptoms of concern
  • Building fruitful relationships and friendships

. . . and the list goes on. Beauty is subjective, because what may be beautiful on the outside for one person, may be unattractive on the inside for another. But if we change the way we view others, by focusing more on the actual interaction among us, we will more effectively help alleviate insecurity, selfishness, excessive worrying, anxiety, substance abuse, and depression.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Happy Veteran’s Day

Brown military nutshell helmets on table

The Price Of Freedom

We often take holidays for granted, not actually appreciating the meaning behind their existence. We become selfish and only care that we have a day off from work. But what about the actual representation of the holiday? As for veteran’s day, this is a time to pay respect to the fallen ones who stood up for our country, and for those who stand up for our country every day!

It’s very easy to forget how difficult it is to give up your life for the military. It takes courage, strength and a big heart! It’s not about the lack of education or resources that drives one to enlist in the military. Even if these factors play a role in some, the biggest factor by far is patriotism!

Not all of us have the courage, right intent or interest to join the military. And that is totally fine! But we must at least remember those who have, and their role in protecting us overseas. We are fighting against an ideology based on brainwashing and evilness; an entity who wants to destroy the western world.

And our soldiers are out there in dangerous terrain, giving up their lives for us! The least that we can do is to pray for them and their families, and show them the recognition and respect in which they deserve. These men and women undergo intense physical and mental training, but nothing compares to their big hearts!

How about the military personnel protecting our airports against sociopaths and terrorists? It’s because of them that we feel comfortable and safe when we are standing in line at the terminal. Let us not distance ourselves from the military and the police. We must remember that they are doing their job and are here to help us.

The price of freedom should not be forgotten. The DSM Ready Movement is about uniting everyone around the world who has a heart and soul, and wants to improve the way of the world!

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Gathering Of Friends

Three white men sitting on white concrete bollards in front of tropical water

Cherishing The Good Times Together

As one enters high school, the goal of making a lot of friends and becoming popular sometimes supersedes education. Many of these friendships that are established in high school are either shallow or not for the long run. But as one ages, the amount of friends made becomes less important; it’s the quality that matters.

Finding a few friends who share your interests and treat you with respect is much more valuable, than finding many friends but who talk behind your back or don’t care that much about you. It seems like common sense, but it’s not applied by many people, especially during the younger years.

Once you find a few friends who have your back, work on developing your relationships by learning more about who they are. There is always something new that we can learn about someone. As a matter of fact, there is always something new that we can learn about ourselves, allowing others to learn more about us!

Many people complain, “I have friends, but they’re not exactly how I’d like them to be.” There is no such thing as a perfect friend! Everyone will have flaws, weaknesses and personality traits that might come off as annoying from time to time, but that shouldn’t stop you from being friends with them!

Unless you have friends who put you down and don’t really have your back, then stop complaining. Instead of wishing for better friends, be appreciative of who God has put into your life at the present moment. Work on improving your friendships while improving yourself as well!

Cherish the good times you do have with your current friends and enjoy their presence. Make yourself a good presence as well so they can partake in the good times. What matters the most is that you and your friends get along, have things in common and are healthy!

Don’t get stuck on the small details. The bigger picture at play is what usually matters most.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Exercise Alone Won’t Help You Lose Weight

Bowl on wooden table filled with colorful mixed fruits

The Weight Loss We All Crave

We all naively believe from the media that if we suddenly start hitting the gym or the hills, our weight will start to decrease over time. Until we realize after many weeks or months of decent workout routines, that our weight has not budged; or has not declined as much as we were hoping it would.

To achieve weight loss, an entire new mindset has to be adopted in order for the results to be observed. You have to be determined and believe that you will lose weight in the long run; not the short run. Many people don’t last as long as it takes to see weight loss results, because they lose hope prematurely.

Hope should only be lost if you are genetically predisposed to being obese and have tried your hardest to lose weight. But even then, hope should actually never be lost! Because lost hope opens the doors to mental illness: say goodbye to happiness and hello to depression!

In addition to a right mindset and legitimate exercise routines, you have to ditch the unhealthy food and start eating right! If you’re addicted to fast food, well guess what? You’re going to have to shed that addiction and make Whole Foods your new addiction! Bad food simply will not get you where you want to be.

Another mistake that people make is indulging in fast food mixed with healthy food, as if the healthy food would bring any benefit when junk is still being consumed! It’s like how we’re taught in the bible, “you can’t worship both good and evil.” How in the world do you expect to lose weight when you’re still sneaking in those quarter pounders?

Do yourself a favor and stop trying to find shortcuts in life. The DSM Ready Movement does not advocate for shortcuts. We are in this together to promote and lead a healthy lifestyle and state of mind!

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Planet Covered In Marijuana

Field of tall green marijuana plants during daytime

Recreational Marijuana For Relaxation

The debate continues as to whether marijuana is a good tool for relaxation. As a whole, it seems like were driven by a motor running on coffee, stimulated by nicotine when stepping out for a breath of fresh air, and turned on by alcohol when in the company of others. But does marijuana play a role in our lives as well?

Not everything that grows naturally is good for the human body and brain. Cocaine comes from the coca plant, yet people become addicted, develop nasal perforations, stroke out and even die of cardiac vasoconstriction. Tobacco comes from a plant and is the most addicting substance known to man!

And here comes in marijuana . . . a plant that provides beautiful flowers that humans can ingest and feel relaxed as well as high. The question is whether marijuana can be safely used by the masses for relaxation purposes, without bringing in all of the baggage that alcohol and tobacco have brought in.

Marijuana is not simply a pretty plant that smells great and provides sticky fat buds to roll up with. Along with the beauty comes the hidden dangers: the increased risk of developing psychosis; a lack of motivation; dullness of the mind; anxiety; social isolation and even violence in some!

But we have been trained by NORML and other organizations to believe that marijuana does not cause violence. If you are in the mental health field, you know very well that psychosis and violence go together like peanut butter and jelly! How do we know who is predisposed to developing schizophrenia before they take that first hit of Banana Kush?

On the other hand, marijuana and relaxation go together like milk and cereal: your body melts into the couch; your mind absorbs your iTunes; your eyes relax upon something beautiful; the touch of another human being feels silky smooth; your creativity sparks up a notch or two and sleep pulls you in like a black hole.

It’s important to keep in mind that this extreme relaxation that is provided by marijuana can be easily abused; after all, it is a drug. It can be abused because one may find less temptation to relax naturally, especially after experiencing the amazing effects that marijuana has on the mind. But marijuana should never be a replacement for natural happiness.

As governments around the world legalize the green skunk, we have to remind ourselves that it’s still our responsibility to use this tool appropriately, responsibly and maturely. The governments always have their own agenda and so we can not always rely on them.

The planet is covered in marijuana. Are you?

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)