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Politics of Mental Illness

Have you considered using the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to help your mental health recovery? Many people with mental illnesses are employed, but working with a mental illness can be challenging. Stress can cause symptoms to break through, and there may be times when you need time off. Would your supervisor be supportive? Could you apply for benefits under the FMLA to help your mental illness recovery?
Working while on disability should not be penalized. I used to work in a restaurant for $8.25 an hour for 20 hours a week. I reported this income to Social Security, and my Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits were terminated. Not only that, but the government told me they overpaid me and I had to pay the money back--all at once. This is not right. Working while on disability should not be penalized.
There are three myths about hospitalization that keep people from seeking mental illness treatment when they need it most (Facts About Psychiatric Hospitalization). When I first started having symptoms, I believed all three myths. They kept me from seeking psychiatric treatment for about two years. Ironically, if I'd sought treatment when I first started having symptoms, I might have avoided the first hospitalization. Here are the three myths about hospitalization that keep people from seeking mental illness treatment.
It's clear we need a sensible drug policy in the United States. My generation grew up with a government policy of 100 percent abstinence from illegal substances. We became the most drug-addicted generation in history. When you explore the racist history behind our current drug policy and read what the science really says about illegal drugs, it can easily lead to one conclusion: We need a sensible drug policy in the United States.
There are many myths about involuntary treatment for mental illness (The Realities of Involuntary Treatment). Involuntary treatment is extremely controversial, and that's an understatement along the lines of saying, "The Arctic is kind of chilly." Part of the reason it's so controversial is because we rarely do it for other illnesses. We prefer to let people "die with their rights." While I'm hesitant to recommend involuntary treatment become standard operating procedure, I can discuss three myths about involuntary treatment.
It's time to reform the mental healthcare system. It's been time for years. While the George W. Bush and Barack Obama administrations made great strides, all that progress could be lost under the new administration (Mental Health Care [In A Perfect World]). Already, Congress voted to reinstate pre-existing conditions (which prior to the Affordable Care Act many insurance agencies used to refuse to cover an individual with mental illness or refuse to cover mental healthcare). Congress also voted to prevent Medicare from negotiating with drug companies to lower prices. And legislation that would have lowered drug prices was shot down--you may have seen the meme naming which politician voted against it and how much money they've received from pharmaceutical companies. President-elect Donald Trump needs to take action and reform the mental healthcare system.
Because of my youth, I wonder whether mental health screenings should be done in schools. Much of my childhood was spent being shuttled from doctor to doctor in an effort to figure out what was wrong with me (Why Can Mental Illness Be So Hard to Diagnose?). Everyone agreed there was some kind of mental health condition, but no one could decide on a treatment. So most of my childhood was spent depressed with occasional bouts of psychosis. This led me to ask, "Should mental health screenings be done in schools, just as vision and scoliosis screenings are?"
There are many mental health issues that come up thanks to Donald Trump. The past week has been cruel to me. I've been called everything from a snowflake to a crybaby to (my favorite) Satanic because I don't support Donald Trump - or Hillary Clinton, for that matter  (Don't Stigmatize Emotional Reactions to the US Election). I've been told to get out of America even though I'm a veteran, part Native American, and the descendant of a Revolutionary War veteran. Both the winners and losers in this election have displayed the worst in terms of their conduct. But my concerns about Trump boil down to a five-year-old girl: my niece, Addie. This is what I want my niece to know about mental health issues and Donald Trump.
The government can help people with mental health issues. I am on Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and run a small freelance writing business (How To Get Disability Benefits For Mental Illness). Until recently, I could not get insurance because of my schizophrenia being a pre-existing condition, which forced me to stay on disability so I could get Medicare and Medicaid so I wouldn't be wiped out again if I were hospitalized. This meant I had to watch my income. So I have plenty of ideas about how the government can help people with mental health issues.
A recent incident made me think about if force should be used against a person with mental illness. I recently was notified of an incident in which a prisoner with mental illness attempted to end her life after extended solitary confinement. Although she was unconscious when the cell force team entered, she is facing charges for "resisting." Absurdity of the charge aside, it raises a valid question: should force be used against someone with mental illness?
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