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  • Dan Popovich

Mental Health Care: Don't let it scare you



My first memory of anything having to do with mental health care was having seen the film "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest" on t.v. at WAY too young an age to understand what it was really about. That was way back in the 1970's as a kid.


Needless to say, my judgement was clouded regarding the topics of mental health and psychology and psychiatry from that point on.


These "horror shows" , old and new, that you continue to see in movies and t.v. and that some say fuel such things as "stigma" and negative stereotypes are actually beneficial to one's overall mental health and the mental health care system in my opinion.


Why is that? Simply because they are helpful in "separating the wheat from the chaff", if you'll excuse the biblical reference. That basically means to sort out the good from the bad when it comes to choosing carefully whom you will entrust with your care and healing.


Do these types of shows portray any semblance of reality?


They certainly do, but that wouldn't keep me from accepting treatment for something as life threatening as untreated mental illness any less than the prospects of chemo or radiation therapy would deter a person that found out they have cancer from seeking help either.


I claim to be a "champion of compassionate and effective mental health care". That means that it has to be administered by normal, healthy caring people, and that it has to work. PERIOD. NO EXCUSES OTHERWISE.


There is a simple test to see if you are "getting your money's worth" so to speak... RESULTS.


I can sense when I am sane and rational and strong and healthy. I can also sense when I am symptomatic. That doesn't come automatically. THAT is the result of very good treatment over the years.


Fear. What else can I say regarding the fear that some people have regarding mental health care?


Just this. Learn to accept help from unexpected persons and places and circumstances.


If you want to get "religious" about it then I would say "judge not lest ye be judged" regarding mental health care and the people that administer it.


Medicine, which includes "behavioral medicine" should be as nonjudgmental as is humanly possible for it to work well.


You need to be just as nonjudgmental if you want any hope of "winning the battle with mental illness". Which happens to be the title of my book if you REALLY want to know where I stand.


God bless you and have a great day!


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