When We Embrace Recovery There is Hope

Maureen MurdockMental Illness9 Comments

Frankie & Alice Movie

For the past 8 years, Academy Award-winning actress Halle Berry has been working on Frankie & Alice, a film about a 1970s-era black go-go dancer named Frankie who has dissociative identity disorder (DID). Frankie has two alternative identities: a scared 7-year old little girl named Genius and a white, bigoted Southern belle named Alice. With the care and support of … Read More

Caretaking: Is Taking Action Helpful or Harmful?

Maureen MurdockAddiction, Mental Illness11 Comments

I have been to many NAMI and Al-Anon meetings over the years that were attended primarily by mothers and grandmothers dealing with their son’s or daughter’s mental illness and/or addiction. I’ve always wondered why there were so few fathers in attendance. Were they afraid to acknowledge their child had a problem? In general, it seems that mothers take on the … Read More

Shameful Profiling of the Mentally Ill

Maureen MurdockCriminal Justice System, Mental Illness10 Comments

In the recent Sunday New York Times, Andrew Solomon reported that a Canadian woman was recently denied entry to the United States because she had been hospitalized for depression in 2012.  She was told she could not visit unless she obtained medical clearance from one of three Toronto doctors approved by the Department of Homeland Security. A report from her … Read More

Creativity and Mental Illness

Maureen MurdockArt and Creativity, Mental Illness7 Comments

Nest by Alexandra Petersen

After I posted my last blog about Bring Change 2 Mind’s mission to fight stigma and discrimination associated with mental illlness, I received an email from a friend about a unique art gallery in Portland, Oregon that shows the work of artists who are challenged with a mental illness. J. Pepin Art Gallery features contemporary artists who are reframing the … Read More

Overcoming the Stigma of Mental Illness

Maureen MurdockMental Illness18 Comments

A friend of my son’s recently sent me an interview on NPR with the actress Glenn Close who is the co-founder of Bring Change 2 Mind. The nonprofit organization aims to confront the stigma and discrimination associated with mental illness. You may have seen a documentary about Bring Change 2 Mind taped in Grand Central Station. What impressed me about … Read More

Solitary Confinement and Mental Illness

Maureen MurdockCriminal Justice System, Mental Illness10 Comments

29,000 inmates at California State prisons are on food strike. They are rejecting their meals in protest over solitary confinement conditions, poor food quality, a lack of warm clothing and cut-backs in education and rehabilitation programs. There has been a consistent reduction of programs and classes offered in prison because of  funding cuts despite the fact that the facilitators for … Read More

Why is this Mother Telling Us this Story?

Maureen MurdockMental Illness11 Comments

Several of you have asked when my book is coming out. At first, I did not find a publisher interested enough in mental illness and addiction in the family to publish it. It just isn’t sexy. One New York editor, in rejecting the book wrote, “I wondered why [this mother] was telling us this story.  The scope of this book … Read More

Treatment is Not the End, It’s the Beginning

Maureen MurdockAddiction, Mental Illness3 Comments

Drug Rehabilitation

William Cope Moyers, son of Bill and Judith Moyers, struggled with addiction to alcohol and drugs for 15 years and has written an excellent book on recovery entitled “Now What? An Insider’s Guide to Addiction and Recovery” reviewed by Jane E. Brody in The New York Times. When he gave up trying to get clean “his own way” he finally … Read More

Getting Serious about Mental Health Care

Maureen MurdockMental Illness4 Comments

“We are going to need to work on making access to mental health care as easy as access to a gun.” President Obama According to a survey by the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, more than 45 million adults nationwide suffered from some mental illness in 2011. About 11 million had a serious illness and of those … Read More

Our Nation’s Shame: Incarcerating the Mentally Ill

Maureen MurdockMental Illness5 Comments

The “deinstitutionalization” of the mentally ill in the 1960s and early 1970s—a movement prompted by the same liberal impulses that gave us civil rights and women’s rights—has become a national disgrace. “Mentally ill street people shame the society that lets them live as they do,” writes Joe Nicera. What prompted Joe Nicera’s article, “Guns and Mental Illness” was a report … Read More

Mental Illness in Young Adults

Maureen MurdockMental IllnessLeave a Comment

The following news story about mental illness in young adults in the NAMI California November Newsletter caught my attention because my son’s initial mental breakdown was when he was a sophomore in college. Everything seemed to be going fine for him and then, out of the blue he went into a deep depression. He tried to deal with it on … Read More

Impact of Obamacare on the Mentally Ill

Maureen MurdockMental IllnessLeave a Comment

Obama’s re-election guarantees that mental health care will gain parity with physical health care under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). ACA covers behavioral health for those now eligible to seek health insurance through a federal or state Exchange and in Medicaid. In other words, under the provisions of the new law people with low income (individuals at or below 133 … Read More