mental illness awareness week

Mental Illness Awareness Week: More understanding, less stigma

Did you know it’s Mental Illness Awareness Week? Or that tomorrow, October 6, is National Depression Screening Day? Each year, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) works to overcome stigma and provide education and support for those living with mental illnesses. Whether you’re living with mental illness, know someone who is, or just want to do your part to help change the way the world sees mental health, get involved by taking the #StigmaFree pledge. But first, check out this roundup of stories, study results, and more from the past year — all inspired by members from PatientsLikeMe’s mental health community: Treating PTS: What members said in a recent study “I am working on all of it slowly” — Member David opens up about his experience with PTS The highs and lows of bipolar disorder Touched with fire: Harnessing the fire of bipolar Touched with fire: Reframing the dialogue of bipolar Compassion for All: Overcoming the Stigma of Mental Illness “It is definitely a daily challenge” — An interview with PTS member Holden World Bipolar Day 2016 – Share how you’re #MoreThanADiagnosis   Share this post on Twitter and help spread the word.

The highs and lows of bipolar disorder

Since it’s still Mental Illness Awareness Week, we thought we’d share some facts on bipolar disorders, found in this dynamic infographic. Read our previous post for more information on how to get involved during this year’s awareness week – and all year long.  Did you know bipolar disorder is a worldwide condition? In Australia there are around 238,957 people with bipolar disorder. In the UK: 723,248 people. Germany: 989,095 Canada: 390,094 Iran: 810,038 India and China, each have 12 – 15 million people who are bipolar By the numbers… 5.7 million: number of adult Americans affected by bipolar disorder (or 2.6% of population) today 25: average age for beginning of bipolar disorder 50/50: men and women get bipolar equally 3X: But women are 3 times more likely to experience rapid cycling with B.D. 6: Bipolar disorder is 6th leading cause of disability in the world. For more facts about bipolar disorder, visit the full infographic. And don’t forget to share your experiences with bipolar disorder with the PatientsLikeMe bipolar community. Share this post on Twitter and help spread the word.

Mental Illness Awareness Week: #IAmStigmaFree

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) spends the first full week of October fighting stigma, offering support, educating the public and advocating for equal care for those living with a mental health condition. While these are a year round focus for them, this week highlights mental illness awareness and 2015 marks its 25th anniversary. #IAmStigmaFree This year’s theme revolves around building momentum through the new StigmaFree initiative. Being stigma free means: learning about and educating others on mental illness focusing on connecting with people to see each other as individuals and not a diagnosis; and most importantly taking action on mental health issues and taking the StigmaFree pledge. Did you know… 1 in every 5 adults – 43.7 million – in America experiences a mental illness. 50% of all lifetime cases of mental illness begin by age 14 and 75% by age 24. Nearly 1 in 25 adults – approximately 13.6 million –in America live with a serious mental illness.[1] Mental Illness Awareness Week encourages people to come together to improve the lives of the tens of millions of Americans affected by mental illness. How can you get involved? You can learn how to spread awareness this week on the …

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It’s time to recognize mental illness in October

Think about this for a second; according to the National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI) 1 in 4 people, or 25% of American adults, will be diagnosed with a mental illness this year. On top of that, 20 percent of American children (1 in 5) will also be diagnosed. And so for 7 days, October 5th to 11th, we’ll be spreading the word for Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW). What exactly is a mental illness? According to NAMI, “A mental illness is a medical condition that disrupts a person’s thinking, feeling, mood, ability to relate to others and daily functioning. [They] are medical conditions that often result in a diminished capacity for coping with the ordinary demands of life.” There are many types of mental illnesses. The list includes conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder, bipolar II, depression, schizophrenia and more. MIAW is about recognizing the effects of every condition and learning what it’s like to live day-to-day with a mental illness. This week, you can get involved by reading and sharing NAMI’s fact sheet on mental illness and using NAMI’s social media badges and images on Facebook, Twitter and other sites. Don’t forget to use the hashtag #MIAW14 if you …

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Did you know it’s Mental Illness Awareness Week?

The U.S. Congress has recognized the week of October 6th as Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW), and if you or anyone you know is living with a mental health or neurological condition, it’s time to raise awareness and share your experiences. Serious mental illnesses cover a lot of different conditions (including depression, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder), and they affect almost five percent of U.S. adults, millions of people.[1] What’s more, the symptoms for each condition described as a mental illness vary greatly. We all have a lot to learn about living with mental illness, and here at PatientsLikeMe, we believe one of the best ways we can live better is through sharing our journeys with one another. So what else is going on during the week? For starters, MIAW coincides with National Depression Screening Day on October 10th, and you can find out more information about various screenings on the Screening for Mental Health website. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) has dozens of other activities planned, and if you are wondering what you can do to help, check out their list of suggestions. You can even share the NAMI’s promotional poster with your friends and family. The mental health …

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Mental Illness Awareness Week 2012: Dismantling the Stigma

Did you know that one in four adults – or approximately 57.7 million Americans – experiences a mental health problem in any given year?  Or that one in 17 lives with a serious, chronic mental illness? Since 1990, National Mental Illness Awareness Week has been recognized by the U.S. Congress as a time for mental health advocates and patients to join together for various awareness-raising activities. Sponsored by National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), the goal of this week is to transform the way we think about mental illness, which is defined by NAMI as “a medical condition that disrupts a person’s thinking, feeling, mood, ability to relate to others and daily functioning.” Like any other medical condition affecting a particular organ, mental illness is not caused by personal weakness or character defects, and it can affect individuals of any age, race, religion or income.  As an example, some famous people who are known to have lived with mental illness include Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill, Gandhi, Tennessee Williams and Mike Wallace (who was eulogized by one of our members last June).  Below is a new PSA ad for National Mental Illness Awareness Week 2012 that focuses on some of these legendary icons, …

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Mental Illness Awareness Week: Stigmas, Stereotypes and Sharing

On Tuesday, we recognized Mental Illness Awareness Week (October 2-8) by sharing some of our mental health members’ vivid descriptions of what depression feels like. Today, we’ve taken a look at what else our members are sharing – or not sharing – about more than a dozen mental health conditions at PatientsLikeMe. On the site, more than 80% of our active mental health members (meaning, those who have logged in during the last 60 days, n=1,589) are capturing the various factors affecting their mood and sharing those experiences with patients like them. 1,339 have posted an InstantMe update (shown above) to record their moment-to-moment status, and 843 have completed a weekly Mood Map survey. But what about sharing in the real world – outside of PatientsLikeMe? In a poll we conducted earlier this year, we discovered that patients with a mental health condition are, along with HIV patients, the least likely to share their diagnosis with others. For instance, overall results suggest that when it comes to immediate family, 81% of respondents say “all of them” know about the diagnosis.  However, in HIV, this figure is only 50%, and in mental health conditions, it’s 56%. Interestingly, however, our poll also …

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Mental Illness Awareness Week: What Does Depression Feel Like?

Since 1990, the first week of October has been recognized as National Mental Illness Awareness Week by the U.S. Congress. Under the leadership of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), mental health advocates across the country are joining together this week to sponsor numerous awareness-raising activities based on the theme of “Changing Attitudes, Changing Lives.” Here at PatientsLikeMe, we have thousands of patients sharing their experiences with more than a dozen mental health conditions, including 7,699 patients who report major depressive disorder and 1,638 patients who report postpartum depression. What do they have to say? Below is a “word cloud” of some of the most commonly used phrases on our mental health forum. The most popular single word, by the way, is “meds.” This graphic (which you can click to enlarge) gives you a feel of the many emotions, concerns and thoughts that surround the topic of mental health.  But the best way to increase awareness and knowledge, we believe, is to learn from real patients.  According to NAMI, one in four adults experiences a mental health problem in any given year, while one in 17 lives with a serious, chronic mental illness. To help show what it’s like …

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Mental Health Awareness: What do you know about Mood Conditions?

In honor of this month’s Mental Illness Awareness Week, here’s a snapshot of what’s happening in our PatientsLikeMe Mood community. Launched in 2008, the community now has more than 18,000 patients. Below are some interesting facts about the community, so please read and share on! DID YOU ALSO KNOW… You can search for patients under 15+ diagnosis categories, including depression, bipolar, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, addiction to tobacco, addiction to alcohol, eating disorder and more. In a PatientsLikeMe research study recently published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research, we revealed: 26% of responding mood community members agreed or strongly agreed that using the site had reduced thoughts about self harm 23% agreed they had decided to start therapy or counseling after interacting with others on the site 22% agreed they needed less inpatient care as a result of using PatientsLikeMe.  (See our “Patient Voice” report, video and member interview on inpatient therapy). Members’ experiences on the treatment Amitriptyline was used in an award-winning paper presented at Medicine 2.0 last year. How are our members treating their condition? Patients are using more than 1700 treatments, including prescription drugs, supplements, over-the-counter medications, life-style modifications, therapies, and more. The …

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