Archives for August 2016

Mental Illness and College

A Diagnosis of Mental Illness Need Not End a College Career
A recent survey reports that 47% of adults living with schizophrenia drop out of college, compared to the 27% college dropout rate in the U.S. overall.  Another study reports that students diagnosed with bipolar disorder are 70% more likely to drop out of college than students with no psychiatric diagnosis.
My son was diagnosed with schizophrenia in his junior year of college. I was devastated by what I perceived to be the loss of hope for his future, but he was determined to return to school and complete his degree. His university, which had been eager to help him withdraw when he became ill, was most unwilling to help him re-enroll after his symptoms were under control. When I called the Disability Services Office for help, a staff member told me, “Your son got in trouble…” I responded, “My son did not get in trouble, my son got sick.”
This kind of negative attitude from a university is tragic. Many young people with schizophrenia or other serious mental health conditions are perfectly capable of completing a college education. There is no reason for universities to discriminate against students living with mental illness—in fact, such discrimination is against the law.
Read entire article at NAMI.org

College & Bipolar: Strategies for Success

College can be hard even without a bipolar diagnosis but with lifestyle changes and plenty of support, you can totally score that diploma.
As if you don’t have enough to handle just getting through college, wham—you get a diagnosis of bipolar disorder.
Truth is, the timing makes biological sense. The late-teen years are a vulnerable period for onset of mental illness, whether you’re at college or not, because of the way the adolescent brain develops and teenagers typically behave.
Finding out you have bipolar is a blow, but it doesn’t need to knock you out of the game. With lifestyle changes and plenty of support, you can totally score that diploma—especially if you’re willing to take some extra time, have a plan B and, most of all, accept and accommodate the illness, says Russ Federman, PhD.
“I feel very optimistic about students’ ability to lead satisfying and productive lives,” says Federman, director of Counseling and Psychological Services at the University of Virginia (UVA) and co-author of Facing Bipolar: The Young Adult’s Guide to Dealing with Bipolar Disorder (New Harbinger, 2010).
Read entire article at BPHope.com.

The Latest PTSD Research

The recent National VA Research Week (May 16-20) and PTSD Awareness Month in June are ideal times to assess the state of science regarding posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), the often-debilitating psychiatric condition that can arise in the wake of intensely stressful life events such as combat, trauma or disaster.
Part of raising awareness about PTSD is publicizing the federal program devoted exclusively to gathering and disseminating scientific information about the illness: the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) National Center for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (NCPTSD), is a centers of excellence consortium with seven VA academic centers based on areas of special expertise.
NCPTSD has flourished since it was established in 1989, and continues to help policymakers, the medical and caregiving community, patients, and the general public understand the scientific basis for PTSD, circulating that information globally through a variety of educational and research initiatives.
“Research is helping us better understand how to address PTSD, how to prevent people from developing it, and how to treat it,” said NCPTSD Executive Director Paula Schnurr, Ph.D. “One of the most exciting changes in our field is that we have a range of effective treatments, so people who have PTSD have a choice among types of medications and among types of psychotherapies, and they can really see a life that goes beyond PTSD.”
PTSD now fully acknowledged as a serious mental illness.
Read entire article https://genesight.com/the-latest-ptsd-research-and-what-the-future-holds/