Monday, October 8, 2012


ILLNESS AWARENESS WEEK - The first week of October was named Mental Illness Awareness Week by an act of Congress. An estimated one in four adults - 58 million people - suffers from a mental illness in any given year. Mental illness. You’ve heard the names: depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, anxiety. And you’ve met the people who suffer from them. “They may be your brother or your uncle or the neighbour down the street,” said Debbie Moritz, head of the Bucks County National Alliance on Mental Illness. They won’t come right out and tell you, though. Otherwise, they might be associated with the tiny percentage of out-of-control individuals who give us all a bad name. 
A dynamic new career was recently invented, however, where the main qualification is the necessity of having a mental illness. My friend Tracey is a trained “peer specialist.” Her job consists of helping mentally ill people get on the path we all seek: a dignified life of work and loving relationships. 

Tracey can speak knowledgeably to fellow mental health consumers of the many travails that affect us all: finding medicines that work, combating suicidal feelings and nervously practicing for job interviews. She can also share in her peers’ triumphs, such as finding a great job, graduating from college or getting engaged to be married, as is Tracey. Not very different, is it, from what we all seek? New Directions was born in 1986. With good treatment - a good psychiatrist and therapist, medicine and a strong support team - the prognosis is excellent for a wonderful life we’re proud of. Most people in our support group do quite well. 
I get emails from my local police department requesting that if we see anything strange on our street to report it to the police as a way to stop burglaries. Why not do the same for our fellow mental health consumers? Why not simply call them or their families if we notice out-of-character behavior, like spending inordinate amounts of money or embarking on reckless relationships?

This is Mental Illness Awareness Week, an opportunity to learn about serious mental illness such as major depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and anxiety disorders. Mental illness is a medical illness. It does not discriminate. One in four adults experiences a mental health problem in any given year. “Imagine a world without prejudice toward anyone,” said Ruth Z. Deming, psychotherapist and founder of ‘New Directions Support Group’ in Philadelphia, USA. Please join the conversation to reduce stigma and promote better mental health in your own community. It is absolutely necessary to develop spiritually. Although spirituality may not be able to cure all forms of mental illnesses, it will certainly help.

Depression, according to recent statistics, is practically an epidemic, with over 70 million people suffering from its affects, such as a feeling of moroseness, uselessness, lack of energy, inability to sleep, and a poor attitude toward life in general, among other symptoms. Depression causes a pessimistic view of things. It also discourages enthusiasm and stifles one’s initiative. It may also produce despair and bring about sickness in the mind and body. ... Thus, it is imperative that we help cure depression so that people can live with more happiness, ingenuity, energy, and are thus able to reach a higher potential in life.  ... Although spirituality may not be able to cure all forms of depression completely, it will certainly help. In many cases, developing oneself spiritually can lay the groundwork so that if you are depressed, you may change your view which may allow you to rise above a depressed state of mind.

Stephen Knapp (Śrīpad Nandanandana dasa) :
“Curing Depression with Spirituality”
‘How to Overcome Depression’  -

Published by dasavatara das - "Vedic Views on World News"

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