Thank you, David Susman PhD

DavidSusmanPhD
Thank you, clinical psychologist and mental health advocate David Susman PhD, for steadfastly supporting fellow mental health advocates and sharing science-based information and resources at DavidSusman.com. Congratulations on three years as a mental health blogger.

Dr. Susman recently shared how I found purpose living with bipolar disorder, Your Life Has Purpose, in his Stories of Hope, a series of interviews with people living with mental health challenges, highlighting what they’ve learned.

You can find Dr. Susman on Facebook at DavidSusmanPhD and Twitter at @DavidSusman.

Veterans Day and Mental Health

Veterans Day Mental Health

Read Mark C. Russell’s November 9th editorial published in The Seattle Times entitled, On this Veterans Day, where is the outrage over mental-health crisis?

Russell concludes with this call to action:

Honor our veterans this holiday by demanding the president and congressional representatives to urgently do the following:

  • Conduct independent investigations into the cause of the military mental-health-care crisis.
  • Establish a unified “Behavioral Health Corps” within the Department of Defense.
  • End hiring restrictions of licensed marriage/family therapists, mental-health counselors and clinical psychologists to address chronic staffing shortages.
  • Establish a “Joint Services Behavioral Health Lessons Learned Center.”
  • Compel the VA/military to ensure every veteran has access to all evidence-based therapies per the VA/DoD PTSD guidelines.

Mark C. Russell

Resources:

NAMI | Support for Veterans & Active Duty

Nearly 1 in 4 active duty members showed signs of a mental health condition, according to a 2014 study in JAMA Psychiatry. On this page we focus on questions that military personnel often ask, concerning treatment resources, disclosure and staying healthy during the transition to civilian life. If you are having thoughts of suicide, the Veterans Crisis Line is available 24/7 by dialing 1-800-273-8255 and pressing 1.

Veterans Crisis Line

#BeThere for Veterans and Servicemembers - Veterans Crisis Line 1-800-273-8255

The Veterans Crisis Line connects Veterans in crisis and their families and friends with qualified, caring Department of Veterans Affairs responders through a confidential toll-free hotline, online chat, or text. Veterans and their loved ones can call 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1chat online, or send a text message to 838255 to receive confidential support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Support for deaf and hard of hearing individuals is available.

Thank You, Treatment Team

Photos of my treatment team: Alex Michelson, MD; Brynne Lum, LMFT; My Family (son and husband)

Assuming that my therapist, Brynne Lum, LMFT, was not available (she’s very popular), I called my psychiatrist to see if he was available. He was! Yay!

Alex Michelson, MD saw me, listened to me, and reassured me that it sounds like I’m exhausted, which is understandable considering all that I’ve done in the last year and a half.

Brynne happened to be there when I visited, and I learned that she had a cancellation next week. Double yay! Now I don’t have to wait until the end of the month to see her.

Dr. Michelson reminded me that group therapy was always available for me to rejoin.

Anyway, before I got through to my team, I decided to take a couple of days off. Not exactly on a nature retreat. Just staying in a local hotel overlooking our local toll road (which is LOUD). Not as nice as I had hoped…

Maybe I’ll check out tomorrow and find somewhere quieter for my second night “away.”

Rejected

Just got rejected by an online psychotherapist using LiveHealthOnline. Ouch. Slap in face. No doubt because of my bipolar diagnosis. I understand that online therapy is not always appropriate. The therapist in question may not have had the proper background and training. 

Still, it hurts, and I remain… I don’t know… Vulnerable… Feeling in need of support — specifically psychological support.

My psychiatrist, with whom my psychotherapist works, runs weekly group therapy, which I used to attend. But, I don’t do well in groups. My boundaries are poor. I take care of others and don’t get enough support for myself. I’m selfish right now and know that I need the undivided attention of a psychotherapist. I need some healing. Badly.

Honestly, my fantasy is to go on a therapeutic retreat. Something like a spa weekend, but including sessions with a licensed psychologist with expertise in bipolar disorder (which is a serious mental illness). Must maintain coping mechanisms. Cannot fall apart.

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