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Mental Illnesses

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NEWS
October 1, 2013
During the past two years our nation has witnessed horrible gun violence by people with mental illnesses. These shootings have forever linked mental illness and violence in the minds of many Americans. Yet most mentally ill people who are arrested are arrested for misdemeanors, and many police officers will take a mentally ill misdemeanant to a diversion program if one is available. Thus, when you focus on the few cases where mentally ill people have been violent, you should also examine the tens of thousands of arrests each year that occur because there is not adequate psychiatric treatment for large numbers of mentally ill people, many of whom want to access the system.
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NEWS
May 19, 2014
What is it going to take for society to realize that treating mental Illness is a serious issue that needs funding and major revamping in this state ( "WMAR barricade suspect had been hospitalized for mental illness, mother says," May 14)? I had the very uncomfortable task of requesting a petition for emergency evaluation for a person suffering mental illness and drug and alcohol abuse before a judge in the Circuit Court of Anne Arundel County a few weeks ago. The judge, understanding the seriousness of the situation, granted the petition and expressed a verbal "good luck" to me with his order.
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NEWS
By RICHARD E. VATZ and LEE S. WEINBERG | January 11, 1992
Psychiatry continues to try to medicalize the unavoidable problems of life in a modern, complex society. William Styron's and Mike Wallace's erstwhile depressions receive the profession's imprimatur as ''illness,'' though Mr. Styron wrote of how he willed himself out of his, and Mr. Wallace linked his to a potentially career-threatening lawsuit and other situational problems.The year just past also saw the discovery of still new ''mental illnesses.'' Typical was the tremendous publicity given to ''body dysmorphic disorder,'' an alleged ''mental illness'' whose major feature, according to psychiatry's diagnostic manual, is ''a preoccupation with some imagined defect in appearance in a normal-appearing person,'' or ''excessive concern'' over ''slight'' physical defects.
NEWS
May 18, 2014
David Zurawick is the czar when it comes to matters on TV. I always enjoy listening to his commentary on the radio. His column, "Surveillance images give unfiltered feel to WMAR standoff coverage," (May 14), discussed the effects on the TV station and its viewers but never discussed the real issue. Too bad The Sun's headline didn't read, "Mental illness: What are we as a society doing about this horrible problem?" No one seems to want to deal with the real issue of mental illness, and for that we should be ashamed.
NEWS
February 20, 1994
For years the nation's health insurance industry has discriminated against people suffering from mental illnesses. These unfortunate people had higher co-payments on doctor visits, shorter hospital stays and lower lifetime limits for hospitalization for their illnesses. Health insurers justified their discriminatory practices by claiming that mental illness was different from cancer, diabetes or multiple sclerosis.As a result, patients with schizophrenia, manic depression, obsessive-compulsive disorders or chronic depression had to dig into their pockets to pay for medicine, hospitalization or therapy visits that would have been covered if they had heart disease.
NEWS
By Charles J. Kehoe and Robert Bernstein | July 21, 2004
ON ANY NIGHT, nearly 2,000 youths languish in juvenile detention facilities across the country because they cannot access mental health services. As a result, children are endangered and traumatized and corrections staff struggle to serve a population they are ill-equipped to handle, all at taxpayer expense. Until recently, policy-makers have ignored the issue. Democratic Rep. Henry A. Waxman of California and Republican Sen. Susan M. Collins of Maine commissioned the first national survey of children held in juvenile detention centers awaiting mental health services.
NEWS
By Laura Lippman and Laura Lippman,Staff Writer | January 14, 1994
A state law that requires insurance companies to offer greater coverage for mental illnesses, held up temporarily by a legal challenge by insurers, is now in effect.Baltimore City Circuit Judge David Ross yesterday lifted an injunction that had been granted by another Circuit Court judge on Dec. 30. Judge Ross' action means that people receiving treatment for mental illnesses may be entitled to more substantial reimbursements for that treatment than in the past.Under the law, Marylanders insured by commercial carriers and nonprofit companies such as Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Maryland are entitled to certain levels of mental health coverage.
NEWS
By Madison Park and Madison Park,Sun Reporter | June 15, 2008
Will was the model student, lacrosse captain, student president at school. The Harford Technical High School whiz landed a four-year scholarship to the Johns Hopkins University. Everyone who knew William Garrett said the intelligent, affable teenager would one day be the president. Soon after arriving at college, he started hearing voices. Will accused his father of poisoning their dog. His grades in college began to falter. And he began seeing things, said his younger sister, Nicole Kanyuch.
NEWS
By Carl T. Rowan | June 11, 1999
WASHINGTON -- Mental illness has always been something to hide. So great has been the stigma of mental illness that, in most societies, it has been political suicide for any leader to admit any association with it.But now we get what, incredibly, is the first White House conference ever on mental illness with the woman who wants to be first lady, Tipper Gore, pleading for an end to "the last great stigma of the 20th century" while the woman who is first...
NEWS
By John W. Frece and John W. Frece,Sun Staff Writer | February 4, 1994
Insurers and advocates for the mentally ill struck a compromise yesterday that could substantially expand insurance coverage of mental illnesses in Maryland.The agreement also is likely to avert a legal fight over implementation of a mental health parity law that was passed last year but has never gone into effect.Generally, coverage for physical ailments has been much greater than that for mental illnesses, and advocates for the mentally ill have sought parity for years.The two sides agreed to support emergency legislation that would eventually eliminate differences inbenefits for inpatient treatment of mental illnesses compared with that of physical illness.
NEWS
By Jacques Kelly, The Baltimore Sun | May 15, 2014
Dr. Stanley Roy Platman, a retired psychiatrist and health administrator recalled as a champion of community-based mental health services, died after heart surgery May 7 at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital. The Guilford resident was 79. "Stanley would take on as patients human beings most others in his field would not," said Ellen Callegary, an attorney who represents clients with disabilities and lives in Baltimore. "He helped people with complex needs, including those with developmental disabilities and mental illnesses.
NEWS
By Justin George, The Baltimore Sun | May 14, 2014
Vladimir Mehul Baptiste imagined conversations with his family, according to his mother, banged on the walls of his home screaming, "What's wrong with me?" and sat in a rainstorm because he said it felt good. The man now accused of ramming a stolen truck into the WMAR television station had been hospitalized at psychiatric facilities in recent years, his mother said in an interview. She expressed concern her son was using marijuana. Baptiste was under outpatient care as recently as Monday - one day before police say he barricaded himself into the Towson offices of Channel 2 news.
NEWS
April 18, 2014
I read the commentary by Richard E. Vatz ( "Stigma can be a good thing," April 8) in which he claimed that some mentally ill deserve a stigma. I wish I can say that I enjoyed his views, but I am very disappointed that someone employed as a professor at Towson University could be clueless about mental illness. The following statement is very offending and is far from the truth: "In fact, there is no evidence that mental health professionals and counseling can reduce violence or even identify dangerous people better than layperson.
NEWS
April 15, 2014
To say I was appalled by Richard Vatz's recent commentary on mental illness would be an understatement ( "Stigma can be a good thing," April 8). Mr. Vatz takes us back more than 50 years to psychiatrist and author Thomas Szasz' book, "The Myth of Mental Illness," while ignoring all the research and studies done since then. Mr. Vatz must lead a perfect life, with no depression, no thought disorder, no PTSD and no mood disorder, not even anxiety. So he's fine with stigmatizing all of the people he sees as having "fake" complaints who act out behaviors they "choose" to engage in. As he sees it, if you didn't seek help - and here I refer especially to what we know about Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans - it's your own fault, not because there is stigma.
NEWS
April 11, 2014
t is clear we need to provide reasonable treatment for the seriously mentally ill who refuse to seek treatment on their own. A clinical review panel of professionals and layment would ensure that mandatory treatment is not abused. Currently, many individuals and their families suffer from lack of mandatory treatment services. Our current laws and practices fail to provide the care needed for the seriously mentally ill. We can do better for our families, our friends and our neighbors.
NEWS
By Richard E. Vatz | April 8, 2014
During an interview on the recent Fort Hood shootings committed by Army Spec. Ivan Lopez, who killed three people then himself, CNN's Chris Cuomo suggested that Post Traumatic Stress Disorder be referred to as just Post Traumatic Stress - leaving off "disorder" because of the "stigma" associated with the term. This is a clear example of the futility of eliminating stigma through rhetorical fiat. It simply cannot be done. The issue is decades old, and there is little, if any, reason to believe that there will ever be the elimination or even diminishment therein of stigma, defined as a source of infamy or disgrace.
NEWS
By Jayne L. Walker | June 13, 1997
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Words like ''mad,'' ''insane,'' and ''psychotic'' have long been banished from our official language, in an effort to reduce the stigma of the severest ''mental illnesses.''In one sense this has succeeded -- nearly everyone is willing to admit to a touch of depression, paranoia or some other mental illness. But in the process the special needs of those we once called ''insane'' are too often forgotten.The American Psychiatric Association created a public-policy nightmare when DSM III, its l980 diagnostic manual, abandoned the time-honored distinction between incapacitating ''psychoses'' and less severe ''neuroses,'' and democratically termed everything a ''mental disorder'' -- from manic-depressive illness (''bipolar disorder'')
NEWS
April 2, 2014
Thanks for your recent editorial highlighting attempts by the National Alliance on Mental Illness Maryland and our partner organizations to pass legislation in this year's General Assembly that would require an independent investigation of the use of isolated confinement in the state's prisons ( "Isolated confinement," March 31). NAMI Maryland is concerned about the extensive use of isolated confinement and other forms of administrative segregation in both adult and juvenile state correctional facilities.
HEALTH
By Jean Marbella, The Baltimore Sun | March 21, 2014
This spring, a group of college students will go about their usual campus routines, but with a voice only they can hear calling them names and making other distracting, disturbing sounds. In their case, the voice will come from a recording playing through earbuds as part of a research study. But researchers say the exercise could ultimately help increase awareness and break down the stigma that prevents those who suffer from auditory hallucinations and other symptoms of mental illness from getting the help they need.
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