Guest Post – Ontario’s Flawed Mental Health Legislation Reversed Psychiatric Progress
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by mross109
6d ago
By a member of  Mothers for Mental Health Care Reform I am keeping my identity and the identity of my family member (FM) secret to protect my family member’s privacy. My FM has schizophrenia but was doing quite well on a Community Treatment Order (CTO), although they had no insight into the illness. This lack of insight or anosognosia is a symptom present in 50% to 80% of all persons with schizophrenia. It is also common in dementia, structural brain damage and stroke. According to McNally K, it may be one of the most important symptoms. He said “When Eugen Bleuler categorized the core sy ..read more
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Mental Health Privacy Policies Leave Families In The Dark
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by mross109
1w ago
By Marvin Ross I first wrote about this problem in the article below in 2015 in Huffington Post and health privacy is still a problem that has never been addressed by most jurisdictions. At the moment, Manitoba is making changes in a new law just introduced that would  allow medical professionals to contact a patient’s support network in situations where serious harm is likely to result. It sounds quite logical and based on common sense but it is controversial and resisted in many jurisdictions.. Manitoba’s law arose, in part, from the case of Reid Bricker who took his life after being di ..read more
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Clozapine and the Need for More Pharmaceutical Research in Schizophrenia
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by mross109
2w ago
By Dr. David Laing Dawson Shortly after Clozapine was introduced in Ontario, a teenage girl was admitted to Hamilton Psychiatric Hospital. She had developed early onset schizophrenia two years before and was still psychotic. Her parents were Italian and spoke only a little English. An Italian speaking psychiatrist had been treating her in the community, the family resisting hospitalization until now. The other medications had failed to make much difference and the ward psychiatrist wanted to try a course of Clozapine. The child and her parents were informed of the protocols and risks that came ..read more
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Caregiver Resources – Part Two
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by mross109
3w ago
The books that I so shamelessly promoted last week in Part One were all Canadian. Bridgeross also publishes some American titles although, regardless of the nationality of the author, schizophrenia is schizophrenia and our books sell not just in Canada and the US but in many countries around the world. What a Life Can Be: One Therapists Take on Schizo-affective Disorder was brilliantly written by the late Dr Carolyn Dobbins who passed away suddenly in 2018 at the age of 57 at her home in Knoxville. Her book still sells well and, I understand, it is used in many university courses. Carolyn had ..read more
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Why do we Talk about Recovery in Severe Mental Illness?
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by mross109
3w ago
By Marvin Ross There are some medical conditions where recovery is not only possible but expected. Break a bone, get the flu come to mind easily but there are far more medical conditions that are chronic. You don’t, for example, recover from asthma or diabetes. What you can expect is that the symptoms will be well controlled with inhalers or diet, insulin and other strategies for types I and II diabetes. But, for some reason, many talk about a recovery from schizophrenia, bipolar and other serious mental illnesses. When people talk about recovery, they usually mean the restoration of a state o ..read more
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Resources for Families – Part One
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by mross109
1M ago
My apologies if this seems like shameful self promotion but a number of Bridgeross books on schizophrenia are still in print and still selling regularly. I am only going to list those titles that still sell regularly. After Her Brain Broke: Helping My Daughter Recover Her Sanity by Susan Inman was first published in 2010 and rapidly became a hit and, 14 years later, is still popular. Accolades for this book include: A Must have book on Schizophrenia (Healthy Place) Susan Inman’s memoir describes her family’s nine year journey to help her younger daughter recover from a catastrophic schiz ..read more
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Introducing Family Alliance on Severe Mental Illnesses or FASMI
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by mross109
1M ago
By Marvin Ross The goal of this new national organization is to strengthen the family voice advocating for those with psychotic illnesses in Canada. Family involvement and support are an integral part of better clinical outcomes when it comes to the recovery and stability of those with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and related illnesses. We want to make sure that families can access education and support they need to help their loved ones – and that the family voice is heard. FASMI is a nationally incorporated organization, certified under the Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act and plan ..read more
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In Memoriam – A Pioneer in Women’s Mental Health
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by mross109
1M ago
By Marvin Ross On April 23, Dr Mary V Seeman died at the age of 89. She was a professor emerita at the University of Toronto and first Tapscott chair in schizophrenia studies at the University. In that role “she led research that revealed the biological mechanisms underlying anti-psychotic drugs, informing drug development and guiding treatment. Her research into gender differences in schizophrenia shaped treatment guidelines and opened new avenues for clinical research.” She also established the first outpatient clinic for women affected by schizophrenia at the Centre for Addiction and mental ..read more
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An Obituary for Mental Health Week
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by mross109
1M ago
Here we go again. Another mental health week that talks in platitudes about having good mental health and does not mention severe mental illness and its impact on the sufferer and the sufferers family. I was planning to write about an article in the Journal of Psychiatry and Neuroscience that talked about how we ignore the serious for the worried well but then, I saw this very brave obituary in the Hamilton Spectator. It needs to be read and I am posting it with permission of the family. In April 2024, John died peacefully, in his home at the age of 76. John was the second child of Caesar (“Ja ..read more
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Insanity Abounds
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by mross109
1M ago
By Dr David Laing Dawson At the beginning of my journey into medicine and then psychiatry, I struggled, as all students of neurology, philosophy, and psychology do, with the concept of delusion, at least delusion as the product of mental illness. What is the difference between a true belief, a lie, and a delusion? Or the difference between a harmless and shared religious delusion, and those religious delusions seen in bipolar and schizophrenia? Well, I think I sorted it out for myself over the years, and became quite comfortable with the distinctions, while maybe getting it wrong a couple of n ..read more
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