thebluepolarbear

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Coping Suggestions for Hearing Voices

There is a link on this website with a downloadable document with stratagies. It talks about taking care of yourself, keeping busy, avoiding triggers, dont believe what the voices tell you, use selective listening, support networks and celebrate each time you take control.

Remember -“Research shows 4-10% of people hear voices, the same number as have asthma.

Voice hearers throughout history have included a great many influential people: religious prophets, doctors and psychologists, philosophers, artists, poets, explorers and politicians”. Here is also listed modern day voice hearers.  And in the past – Plato, Isaac Newton, Mahatma Gandhi and Socrates… there are many more.

Perhaps there is more on this website that is helpful and advice for Family


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Learn to think differently about yourself

Medications are only a tool. Psychiatric medications are one tool among many other tools that you can use to recover. Physical exercise, eating well, avoiding alcohol and street drugs, love, solitude, art, nature, prayer, work, and a myriad of coping strategies are equally important to your recovery”

It takes a courageous human being to step through that door and build a new life”

Recovery is hard work. No pill can do the work of recovery for me. Part of recovery is learning to trust yourself again”

Patricia Deegan, Ph.D
National Empowerment Center


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Henry’s Demons – surviving mental illness

Henry‘Togethor, Patrick and Henry’s stories create one of the most compelling, nuanced and courageous portraits ever written about surviving mental illness’


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Open Dialogue Approach to Mental Health Services

We appologise for including so much text – but we understand that sometimes people feel a little nervous to go to links – so have included most of what we hope is important below (from an article written in the Independent by Celia Dodd 6th December 2015)  more

“The Open Dialogue approach was first developed in Finland in the 1980s, which at the time had one of the worst incidences of schizophrenia in Europe. There are now well-established services in Berlin and New York, where state investment in four respite centres that practise Open Dialogue has been doubled to $100m (£66m). Services are also springing up in Italy, Poland and Scandinavia.

What’s most impressive about Open Dialogue is its success with even the most intractable mental illnesses, where current systems of care too often fail, or offer only short-term respite. Results over the past 30 years from Finland sound impressive: 74 per cent of patients experiencing psychosis are back at work within two years, compared with just 9 per cent in the UK. Crucially, relapse rates are far lower than here: after an average of two years’ treatment, most patients don’t need to come back – ever.

Here, a mental-health diagnosis can feel like a life sentence.

Open Dialogue’s key principles are: people are seen within 24 hours of becoming unwell; and all meetings with the psychiatric team are held at home, or wherever the patient finds most helpful. Significant others in the patient’s life – family members, or trained peer-support workers – are engaged in meetings from the word go. What service users appreciate most is that they always see the same people.

One family’s comments: “The number of times I went to meetings with my son to see a team of people we’d never seen before. How are you supposed to start talking to someone you don’t know? My son just felt that he wasn’t listened to.

What also sets Open Dialogue apart from standard treatment is that discussion about patients takes place in front of them, in what are called “reflections” between members of the team; this adds to their sense of control.

But whereas the mainstay of standard treatment is usually medication, the mainstay of Open Dialogue is talking. But there’s something else which encourages patients to open up: mindfulness. Every member of the team, from psychiatrists to support workers, practises it. Dr Razzaque explains: “This is not about teaching service users mindfulness. This is about clinicians practising mindfulness themselves. 

The writer of the above article describes this treatment as radical – we think it sounds like common sense – treating people at a vulnerable time in their lives – with respect.”

Open Dialogue is currently being piloted in four NHS trusts. It could revolutionise mental-health care in the UK.

Open Dialogue UK is a good starting point to find out whats happening here in the UK and which just recently (February 2nd 2016) had a Conference promoting openness and democracy in mental health services and also offering Foundation Training for NHS teams, peers and independent practitioners (deadline for applying – 26th April)


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The Painted Brain … interesting website

Ozymandias - m.joy

 Ozymandias – M.Joy on The Painted Brain

Ozymandias – Percy Bysshe Shelley

I met a traveller from an antique land,
Who said—“Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. . . . Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed;
And on the pedestal, these words appear:
My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings;
Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.”


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Microbes Help Produce Serotonin in Gut

“Although serotonin is well known as a brain neurotransmitter, it is estimated that 90 percent of the body’s serotonin is made in the digestive tract. In fact, altered levels of this peripheral serotonin have been linked to diseases such as irritable bowel syndrome, cardiovascular disease, and osteoporosis. New research at Caltech, published in the April 9 issue of the journal Cell, shows that certain bacteria in the gut are important for the production of peripheral serotonin” – more

“While many think of their brain as the organ in charge, your gut actually sends far more information to your brain than your brain sends to your gut..” more

Never knew serotonin was produced in the gut but long thought  the answer to improving anxiety/depression was better diet and exercise. Anything which overly sedates people disturbs this balance.