Fascinating Guide to Mental Illness Awareness Week: Day Two

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Mental Illness Awareness Week is the first full week in October. Today's topic is medication and prayer around mental illness recovery and understanding.
Mental Illness Awareness Week Tuesday page

Tuesday, October 4: Medication [National Day of Prayer for Mental Illness Recovery and Understanding]

It is Mental Illness Awareness Week from October 2, 2022 – October 8, 2022. I am posting a series going along with NAMI ( National Alliance on Mental Illness ), One of my favorite sites for all information on mental illness. 

Please remember, as I state in every post about mental health, I am not a Therapist, Doctor, or Psychiatrist. I am a person who lives daily with mental illness, so I feel confident in passing on what works for me and what I have learned myself about mental illness. I ALWAYS suggest that you seek medical attention.

The rundown for this week’s posts is going to follow their scheduled day topics which are 

Agenda

  • Monday, October 3: Stigma
  • TODAY – Tuesday, October 4: Medication [National Day of Prayer for Mental Illness Recovery and Understanding]
  • Wednesday, October 5: Therapy
  • Thursday, October 6: Disclosing [National Depression Screening Day]
  • Friday, October 7: Caregiving

Each day of this week, I will share information from NAMI and my personal real-life experiences with Mental illness. I have found some excellent information on their site and some videos that touch on these subjects. 

I want to Promote the NAMI HelpLine.

The NAMI HelpLine is a free, nationwide peer-support service providing information, resource referrals, and support to people living with a mental health condition, their family members and caregivers, mental health providers, and the public.

Anyone can reach the NAMI HelpLine Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. ET.

Call 1-800-950-NAMI (6264), text “HelpLine” to 62640, or email us at helpline@nami.org.

Let's get started on Tuesday, October 4: Medication [National Day of Prayer for Mental Illness Recovery and Understanding]

In my research for today, I found different prayers to represent major groups of religions. There were also prayers for candlelight services. It is fabulous that NAMI included prayer in Mental Illness Awareness Week, as many people with mental illness turn to their spirituality for comfort. 

An Advocate’s Prayer shared on the NAMI ( National Alliance on Mental Illness ) website that I would like to share here:

National Day of Prayer for Mental Illness Recovery and Understanding Prayer

O God of Light and Knowledge, — we pray that darkness, fear, and ignorance about serious mental illnesses might be dispelled by the light of knowledge.

We pray for Peace and Wholeness – for those with troubled minds and hearts, that broken lives and relationships might be mended.

We ask for Understanding — that the walls of stigma, labels, exclusion and marginalization might be broken down through education and advocacy

We pray for Healing — for men, women and children living with mental illness, for better treatment, for steadier recovery, for greater opportunity to work and serve.

We ask for Faith and Hope – for those who feel no one cares. Dispel their despair through a cup of cold water, an outstretched arm, a listening ear, a committed advocate.

We offer our Thanks – for new discoveries in medical research, for faithful caregivers, for dedicated mental health professionals and persistent researchers.

Most of all, O God of Steadfast Love, we thank you for your Love — that sustains the weary, that defends the weak, that sets the lonely in families, that brings beauty out of ashes, that brings a song in the night; that inspires courage to hope, to watch, to work for a new and brighter Day.

AMEN.

Medication

I found much information on NAMI ( National Alliance on Mental Illness ) regarding the day of prayer but not much about the focus on medication. So I looked to the Mental Health America website with an extensive article about medication and mental illness. The main thought there is 

Researchers believe that the symptoms of mental illness come from chemical imbalances in a person's brain. A medication works on these imbalances to reduce your symptoms, or sometimes, to relieve them completely.

The Topics There Are

  • Types Of Medications
  • Medication Decisions
  • Brand Vs. Generic Vs. Authorized Generic Medications
  • Pharmacogenomics
  • Talk To Someone Now
  • Getting The Most Out Of Your Medication
  • Dealing With Side Effects
  • Try To Keep Track Of Your Progress
  • If You Are Thinking About Stopping Your Medication
  • Staying Safe
  • Ask Important Questions

This is a MUST-read article! I also have this site bookmarked, which is a fantastic information source. 

Statistics

Medication is no stranger to Mental Illness. 60% of Americans taking mental health medication for depression have taken it for two years or longer. There are so many others that go untreated! 

In 2020 an estimated 21.0 million adults in the United States had at least one major depressive episode. This number represented 8.4% of all U.S. adults. 

In 2020, an estimated 66.0% U.S. adults aged 18 or older with major depressive episodes received treatment in the past year. Among those individuals with a major depressive episode with severe impairment, an estimated 71.0% received treatment in the past year.

These statistics are according to the National Insitute of Mental Health.

According to NAMI, 1 in 20 U.S. adults experience serious mental illness each year, and 1 in 6 U.S. youth aged 6-17 experience a mental health disorder each year. Those numbers are huge! Mental illness affects so many people it is essential to bring awareness and end the stigma around mental health

A stop at the Mayo Clinic website found this statement regarding medication and mental health.

Although psychiatric medications don't cure mental illness, they can often significantly improve symptoms. Psychiatric medications can also help make other treatments, such as psychotherapy, more effective. The best medications for you will depend on your particular situation and how your body responds to the medication.

My Feelings about Medication and Mental Illness

To be truthful, I do not like my medicine. I hate taking it at a particular time, it gets stuck in my throat, and I’m not too fond of the requirements involved with it (drink so much water or take it with food)

BUT

I understand what each one of my medications is used for and why I need them. I know when taken properly that, they reduce my symptoms. I have committed to my mental illness, doctors, and support team to take my medication as directed. It is essential, or my doctors would not have given them to me. ( I do believe these things even though I write them with a note of yuckiness to my voice. I hope that didn’t show through too much)

My Other Writings

I wrote an article about World Patient Safety Day not too long ago. The theme for that day was “medication without harm.” It is an excellent article, and much of its content would fit here, so please go here to read it. 

The main topic covered in that article was handling your medications correctly. Here are the items that I wrote about

  1. Follow the instructions
  2. Take it at the same time every day.
  3. Use the correct dose every time (don’t skip doses) 
  4. Be sure to tell your doctor if you are having a problem. 
  5. Tell your doctor if you take over-the-counter medication, use alcohol, tobacco, or recreational drugs 
  6. Never stop taking it unless your doctor says to stop.
  7. Do not share with anyone.

Please come back daily to share in Mental Illness Awareness week, October 2, 2022 – October 8, 2022. Tomorrow is Wednesday, and we will look at October 5: Therapy

Previous article in this series 

Interesting Guide to Mental Illness Awareness Week: Day one stigma

Mental Illness Awareness Week Tuesday main 2
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