Home|The new Leprosy?

The new Leprosy?

Could mental illness be the leprosy of today?
Claude Guidroz, president of the Beaumont chapter of the National Association on Mental Illness, thinks so. He points out mental illness has not been a major issue in the presidential campaign. In fact, it is not a major issue in state or local campaigns either.
Guidroz said it’s not a subject most people want to talk or think about.
He added that Texas spends more money on prisons than it does on mental illness.
The problem according to Guidroz is “people with mental illness get shunned by ignorant people who feel they should just snap out of it.”
He believes the main problem is that the general population is not educated about mental illness.
Most people do not even know the difference between the blues and depression according to Guidroz who explained it this way:
“The blues is when you hit your dog backing out of the driveway and become sad.
“Depression is when you love to fish, play tennis, watch movies and cook, but you no longer find joy in any of those things. People with depression find that they just can’t feel happiness. It is important to understand the difference because depression is the most common mental illness” Guidroz said.
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration depression affects 16 million Americans in any one-year period. The National Institute of Mental Health reports about 2.2 million American adults suffer from obsessive compulsive disorders, 5.7 million American adults suffer from bipolar disorders, and 2.4 million American adults suffer from schizophrenia.
The first step toward treating mental illness is admitting that the illness exists. This is tough because many times the family does not recognize the symptoms.
“Family members and friends are usually the last to spot problems of any kind. They operate in denial when everyone else can see the problem,” Guidroz said.
Family members also fear they may be blamed for the disease. Even if they acknowledge a problem, they try to hide it rather than seek treatment.
Guidroz said understanding mental illness and education about treatment options are the key. This helps with awareness which could lead to a family seeking help for a loved one.
The National Association on Mental Illness is a resource that can help with this understanding.
NAMI has meetings for families affected by a mental illness on the 2nd Thursday of each month from 6 until 7:30 p.m. in room M3 at the St. Jude Family Life Center at 6825 Gladys in Beaumont. NAMI also has weekly meetings with a paid therapist for someone suffering from a mental illness. These meetings are held Thursdays in room M1 at the St. Jude Family Life center from 6 until 7:30 p.m.
The NAMI helpline is also an excellent mental health resource at (409) 835-7121.

By | 2016-10-27T11:27:36+00:00 October 27th, 2016|English, ETC Online, This Just In|0 Comments
%d bloggers like this: