The stigma of being labeled as 'mentally ill,' can prevent many from seeking help," said Fletcher.
LOS ANGELES, CA, December 03, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- When Karen was two, her mother, who had been the toast of her social circuit, was diagnosed with a stage four brain tumor. Her mother vanished one day and came home weeks later with her head shaved and a five inch scar running down her skull. Karen's mother was shuttered away in a darkened room after brain surgery for what seemed like years. Her father hired a caregiver with whom Karen formed a close attachment who left to marry when Karen was eight. Her caregiver was replaced with a long list of housekeepers that did not speak English. Karen's father, a traveling salesman, who shuttled back and forth to Chicago in his sales position, was unaware that Karen, a once highly promising student, began to experience severe anxiety and obsessive compulsive tendencies. Once scoring high on IQ tests, Karen was no longer able to concentrate on the kinds of books that typically took her mere hours to read. She could not focus for any period of time. After Karen's mother died, she often left school and returned home during the day to change and re-change her clothes obsessively. She would often skip classes due to her compulsion to perfect her hair and clothing. She began failing scholastically, and was unable to hold down after school jobs. A latch-key kid, Karen walked into a dark house each night wondering why not a single family member or school official looked into her deteriorating situation. After suffering silently for several decades where she self medicated with alcohol, Karen was finally diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Karen's anxiety was paralyzing. It left her bereft of concentration skills and the ability to form key relationships. Recovering with weekly therapy and the right medication would prove a lifetime endeavor.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, (NIH) "Mental disorders are common in the United States and internationally. An estimated 26.2 percent of Americans ages 18 and older (about one in four adults) suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year. Even though mental disorders are widespread in the population, the main burden of illness is concentrated in a much smaller proportion, about six percent, (or one in 17) who suffer from a serious mental illness. Mental disorders are the leading cause of disability in the U.S. and Canada. Many people suffer from more than one mental disorder at a given time. Nearly half (45 percent) of those with any mental disorder meet criteria for two or more disorders, with severity strongly related to comorbidity," says the NIH. There are numerous obstacles people with mental illness face when trying to obtain treatment for healing and recovery. Said one mental health source, "Lack of access to treatment and resources, stigma against those with mental illness, and an uninformed society compounds the dearth of quality treatment professionals who offer affordable or sliding-scale payment options."
When Michael was 19, he was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder and addiction to heroin. Dual diagnosis. He lost his one room apartment, his job, his car, his mind, and had several suicide attempts. A friend got him to a hospital after he fell homeless and was living on the streets of Detroit for more than a year. Michael's parents had no idea that he was having problems until they got the call from the hospital emergency room. "It really frightened them" he said. "They came and packed up my things from my apartment and took me home. They put me in a 30-day residential treatment program where they specialized in treating people with a dual diagnosis." In the end, 30 days of residential treatment was not nearly enough. After relapsing numerous times, Michael ended up returning to heroin recovery treatment programs for nearly four years.
Acclaimed Journalist, Suzanne Marcus Fletcher, Anchor and Host of The Body Politic Radio show, (a podcast with a large following that can be heard internationally on Blog Talk Radio and iTunes) has put together a new, ongoing, series that shines a light on the gamut of mental health disorders and addiction problems that affect people worldwide. Her interviews with some of the nation's top rehabilitation centers and psychiatrists who treat patients with dual diagnosis offers hope to those looking for quality, affordable, support at the most critical time of their lives. The sponsored series has thus far covered PTSD and Addiction; Healing PTSD with EMDR; Compulsive Eating Disorder; Combating Opiate Dependence with Suboxone Therapy; Bipolar Disorder and Addiction; The Twelve Steps of Spirituality, Beating the Scourge of Alcohol Addiction with Summit Estate; Meeting the Mental Health Needs of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing; Inside Rehab; Healing Anxiety with Nations' Top Wilderness Program, and the Many Faces of Depression. Future shows with mental health experts will include topics such as Borderline Personality Disorder and addiction, Schizophrenia, Cutting, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Phobias and Eating Disorders, among other topics. The Body Politic podcasts can be heard or downloaded from www.blogtalkradio.com/thebodypolitic
and on Itunes podcasts at https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/body-politic-blog-talk-radio/id334821030
For more information on Suzanne Marcus Fletcher, visit www.thebodypoliticradioshow.com
or follow her on Twitter @ Politicbody.
"The stigma of being labeled as 'mentally ill,' can prevent many from seeking help," said Fletcher, who envisions her high-profile podcasts as opportunities for the public to learn more about mental illness and addiction. "It offers options to get people the help they need." Fletcher added, "The more we take mental illness out of the dens of stigmatization, the more it will be better understood, and become integral to the national conversation."
The Body Poltic Radio Show is a popular podcast that focuses on a myriad of social advocacy issues. Host/Anchor, Suzanne Marcus Fletcher, has a been a women and children's advocate for more than a decade.