Executing The Mentally Ill

JamesThis is happening tomorrow by the way. A mentally ill man is being executed in Ohio. The story is here. The basis of the execution is that Abdul Awkal killed two people. As far as I can tell, he did not plead insanity. However, while in prison, he has been diagnosed with PTSD as well as Schizoaffective disorder. And the condition is recognized by the courts, only, not enough to warrant an appeal. And the biggest difficulty that I find in this case is that the diagnosing psychiatrist says that Abdul Awkal is so detached from reality that he does not know why he is being executed. If this is all true, then the state is executing someone who has no understanding of his crimes. Continue reading


Experiences with Free Mental Health Care

JamesI live in the USA, where health care is not free or taken care of by the state. But I’ve been lucky to experience free mental health care through my university.

In the UW system that I’m a part of, our tuition goes to pay for University Heath Services. A place where basic health problems can be dealt with and referrals can be obtained. When I had a back injury, I went there to receive free x-rays and a lot of vicodin for the pain. It’s free and open to the population of students and graduate students. Some 30,000+ people have access and it’s only 2 floors of medical services with labs on one floor. Yet, no lines, hardly any wait. Continue reading

Organizing the Chaos

JamesMental illness often presents us with a mental chaos. Panic disorders disrupt the everyday flow of life with high anxiety; generalized anxiety disorders present falsities about what we should be afraid of. Bipolar disorder with the disorder of moods, and schizophrenia and psychotic symptoms generously give false beliefs. All of the above in some way disorganize the mind as well as everyday life, and it is often the chore of reigning it back in that helps in the battle against these disorders. Personally, I have most of the above. I have panic attacks as well as generalized anxiety disorder, along with bipolar 1 and paranoia. Continue reading

At What Point Do We Stop Medicating

JamesThere is an awful lot of talk about medication in mental health. After all, when you have a mental illness, one wants to get back to a mentally healthy state. I’ll skip over the philosophical questions about what really is healthy and what is ill. Rather, I’m interested in the question of at what point do we stop medicating our illness?

The question was raised to me by my girlfriend. She pointed out that I tend to rely on my medication to control my moods. Feeling anxious, take a klonopin. Nearing panic, take xanax. Depressed? Cigarettes and coffee. Manic? Extra antipsychotics. Continue reading