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HomeHealth & FitnessNew book brings information and hope to people with mental illness

New book brings information and hope to people with mental illness

September 7th, 2022 – Pooja Mehta started experiencing anxiety and hearing problems at the age of 15.

“I was fortunate to have very supportive parents who insisted that I get professional help. I was very against the idea, but I listened to them,” live Mehta said in Washington, D.C. She was diagnosed with anxiety disorder with auditory hallucinations.

But her parents are very worried that her diagnosis will be accepted by others.

“I grew up in a South Asian community and my parents made it clear that information about my mental illness would not be well received in the community, I do not Anyone should be told,” she said.

Mehta, now 27, did not share her diagnosis with the exception of some family members and friends.

She understood that her parents’ advice was to protect herself. But, she said, “I internalized it as self-stigmatizing and seeing mental illness as something to be ashamed of, which led me to be very unconcerned about my care and trying to convince myself that there was nothing wrong with it. Participate in their treatment or wellness treatment and it will not function well.”

When Mehta was in college, she had a panic attack. She told her closest friends in the dorm. The friend told university authorities that they asked Mehta to leave because they believed she was a danger to themselves and others.

“For the first time I really told people my whole story, I was forced to walk with a group of college students at a conference, except for a close few at home. ​​Government, where I was forced to defend my right to remain on campus and complete my studies,” she said, describing the meeting as an “incredibly hostile experience.”

She has an “agreement” with administrators that allows her to continue to be enrolled academically, but not to live on campus. She moved back to her family’s home and commuted to classes.

This experience prompted Mehta to talk about the stigma of mental illness and tell her story publicly. Today, she holds a Master of Public Health and is completing a Congressional Health Policy Fellowship.

Mehta shares her story in a new book, You’re Not Alone: ​​The NAMI Guide to Mental Health – Advice from the Experts & From the Real Wisdom for Individuals and Families, Presented by Ken Duckworth, MD, of the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Mehta was one of 130 people who shared a first-person account of their struggle with mental illness in the book, as a way to challenge stigma around illness and educate The public understands what it feels like to challenge mental health.

Stark Difference

Duckworth said he was inspired to write the book after his own family’s psychological experiences with the disease. His father had bipolar disorder but there was no “social license” or permission within the family to talk about his father’s condition, which was shrouded in secrecy and shame, he said.

When Duckworth was in second grade, his father lost his job after a manic episode and his family moved from Philadelphia to Michigan. He remembers the police dragging his father out of the house.

“Something that can move a family hundreds of miles away must be the most powerful force in the world, but no one wants to talk about it,” he said at the time.

Wanting to get to know his father led Duckworth to become a psychiatrist and learn practical tools to help people with mental illness.

When Duckworth was hospitalized, he had cancer.

“I was treated like a hero,” he said. When I got home, people brought casseroles. But when my dad was admitted to the hospital with a mental illness, there was no cheer No sound, and no casserole. It’s such a stark difference. Like me, my dad has a life-threatening illness and it’s not his fault, but society treats us differently. I’m tempted to ask, ‘We How can it be done better?'”

His passion for answering this question eventually led him to become the league’s chief medical officer and start writing the book.

“This is the book my family and I need,” he said.

COVID-19 “silver ray”

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, an estimated 52.9 million people (about one in five U.S. adults) will have a mental illness in 2020. Mental illness affects one in six young adults, with 50% of lifetime mental illnesses starting before the age of 14.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, Duckworth says , mental health is deteriorating both in the U.S. and around the world. But the “silver ray” is that the pandemic “has turned mental illness from ‘their’ problem to ‘our’ problem. So many people have or are suffering from mental illness that discussions about it have become normal. And the stigma is reduced. People are now more interested in this topic than ever.”

To that end, he said, “This is a book whose time has come.”

This book covers a wide range of topics, including diagnosing, navigating the U.S. healthcare system, insurance issues, how to best help a loved one with a mental illness, information on dealing with Practical guides for a range of mental illnesses Mental health conditions, substance abuse that accompanies mental illness, how to deal with a loved one who has died by suicide, how to help family members who don’t think they need help, how to help children, the effects of trauma and how to be an advocate By. It includes advice from renowned clinical experts, practitioners and scientists.

among the “experts” included in the book, 130 people with mental illness shared their stories. Duckworth explained that people with mental illness have unique expertise that comes from first-hand experience, not the same expertise that scientists and health professionals bring.

Tell their story

Mehta joined the National Coalition for Mental Illness shortly after clashing with university administrators.

One of the largest student organizations on campus,” she said. Today, Mehta serves on the national organization’s board.

She encourages people living with mental illness to tell their stories, noting that the coalition and several other organizations can “provide space” to share in a safe and welcoming environment — not because you feel compelled or have Stress, but because it’s something you want to do if you’re ready.”

Duckworth hopes this book will be informative and motivating for those suffering from People with the disease realize that they are not alone.

“We want our readers to know that there is a large community working on the same problem and that there are resources and guidance available,” he said.



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