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Our Mental Health Blogs

Schizophrenia and the Social Brain: Why It Matters

Schizophrenia and the Social Brain: Why It Matters

My son Ben spent his Saturday afternoon playing basketball with 3 friends.

If you, too, have a child or other relative living with mental illness, you know that this is a small miracle – or maybe not so small. Ben’s social brain function has been among the victims of his schizophrenia. But it’s possible that it can come back – and, in some ways, it has begun to.

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Mental Illness and Growing Up: “Frozen in Time” Can Thaw

Mental Illness and Growing Up: “Frozen in Time” Can Thaw

The news is exciting: a research study has found that cognitive improvements are possible for those with schizophrenia – and that the results can stick. And even better: these results can be achieved with the help of a program to teach social and cognitive skills with the use of computer games. A reporter called me yesterday for a comment before she finished her article, and it certainly got me to reflect on my my son Ben, and how he is – slowly – beginning to show more signs of “growing up.”

One of the very first “aha moments” for me, when I finally began to learn about schizophrenia and its symptoms, came with the information that it is a “double-edged sword” of positive (added to personality) and negative (taken away from personality).

I also learned, in NAMI’s Family-to-Family course, about the concept of being “frozen in time” for many affected by mental illness. 

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Earlier Detection in Mental Illness: Possible?

Earlier Detection in Mental Illness: Possible?

Thomas Insel, NIMH
Thomas Insel, NIMH

Let’s hope so. Let’s hope earlier detection is possible. Why? Because it’s essential.  At the NAMI Convention in Chicago a few weeks ago, Dr. Thomas Insel of NIMH (National Institute of Mental Health) said that more research dollars are spent on tooth decay than on mental illness. Really? Wow!

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