Tag Archives: Mental Illness

British pensioner on Pakistan’s death row on blasphemy charge shot by policeman

A British pensioner who was sentenced to death after being convicted of blasphemy, has been shot and injured by a policeman inside the Pakistani jail where the 70-year-old was on death row. A Christian pastor was reportedly killed in the same incident. Muhammad Asghar, who is from Edinburgh and whose family says he has a history of mental illness, was shot in Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi on Thursday morning by a member of a specialist police unit allegedly using a concealed weapon. Pastor Zafar Bhatti was killed in the same incident, Reuters reported.

Mr Asghar was arrested in 2010 and sentenced to death in January this year after a disgruntled tenant presented letters he had written saying he was a prophet. During his trial, his family tried to present evidence that he was suffering from paranoid schizophrenia.

A lawyer for Mr Asghar, who asked not to be identified, said they had been told the pensioner had been shot in the back at 8.30am by a police constable attached to a specialist unit.

More » The Independent
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/british-pensioner-on-pakistans-death-row-shot-and-injured-9754963.html

Depression Kills

Via Vince Sparks

Last month, I was sitting on my sofa with my laptop when I saw the headline “Robin Williams Found Dead.”

I was shocked and deeply saddened by the news and the loss. It seemed like such a conundrum as to why someone with his persona would commit suicide.

As more information was revealed about his addictions, his Parkinson’s disease diagnosis, and his dealing with severe depression, I totally understood how this unfortunate incident could occur. Of course, the naysayers had to emerge and utter incoherent ramblings about cowardice and his leftist views that made him unhappy. All of the unintelligent garbage that gets reported needs to be tossed away promptly.

Suicide is not an act of cowardice, but a result of depression or other mental illnesses.

Robin Williams’ death is a tragedy, but if it can help start a national conversation about Depression and Mental Illness than something positive can come from an untimely death. It seems that many people view mental illness through a stereotype of straight jackets and padded cells.

Mental Illness encompasses many forms and can be as blatant as someone with agitated, incoherent behavior or very subtle cue which make a person appear to have nothing wrong with them.

I understand the symptoms and the impact, because I suffer from severe depression and anxiety. It is a hard condition to understand because it affects emotions. This makes it difficult for people, not familiar with the disease, to comprehend as a real illness.

Believe me, it is just as real as diabetes, cancer, hypertension or any other disease that hides beneath the surface. It requires treatment just the same as a diabetic requires medication to keep their condition stable.

The illness is as old as recorded history.

Years ago people thought of it as melancholia. The prevailing notion would be “he just needs to pull himself up by his bootstraps.” It was an uneducated thought that if you were sad, you would just get glad again. It was a self-inflicted pity party. The more the condition was studied and as medical advances were made, clinicians realized that there are many factors and conditions involved with the illness. Depression has many causes and can stem from genetic predisposition, life events, faulty mood regulation by the brain, and medical problems.

Whatever the specific cause for depression, there are always chemicals in the brain involved. There are many drugs available for treatment, but each person can react differently due to internal chemical reactions to the medications. The complexity of the illness is daunting for practitioners. They can’t simply review similar symptoms and think that the treatment will be the same for each patient.

Continue reading Depression Kills

Pakistan: ‘Blasphemy’ – A crime unlike any other

By NAZIHA SYED ALI

Last week, a 65-year-old British man of Pakistani origin, Mohammad Asghar, who is said have a history of mental illness, was sentenced to death for blasphemy by a court in Rawalpindi. He had been arrested in 2010 after writing letters to several individuals in which he claimed to be a prophet.

Read more » Citizens For Democracy
http://citizensfordemocracy.wordpress.com/2014/01/30/pakistan-blasphemy-a-crime-unlike-any-other/

I in 5 Americans suffer from mental illness

Some Alarming Facts About Mental Illness In America

By Pamela Engel

Mental illness is a increasingly widespread in the U.S., affecting around one in five American adults every year, according to survey from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Of the 45.6 million adults who had diagnosable mental illness in 2011, 11.5 million had serious mental illness. Other surveys put those numbers even higher.

Religious fundamentalism could soon be treated as mental illness

By JohnThomas Didymus

Kathleen Taylor, a neurologist at Oxford University, said that recent developments suggest that we will soon be able to treat religious fundamentalism and other forms of ideological beliefs potentially harmful to society as a form of mental illness.
She made the assertion during a talk at the Hay Literary Festival in Wales on Wednesday. She said that radicalizing ideologies may soon be viewed not as being of personal choice or free will but as a category of mental disorder. She said new developments in neuroscience could make it possible to consider extremists as people with mental illness rather than criminals. She told The Times of London: “One of the surprises may be to see people with certain beliefs as people who can be treated. Someone who has for example become radicalized to a cult ideology — we might stop seeing that as a personal choice that they have chosen as a result of pure free will and may start treating it as some kind of mental disturbance.” Taylor admits that the scope of what could end up being labelled “fundamentalist” is expansive. She continued: “I am not just talking about the obvious candidates like radical Islam or some of the more extreme cults. I am talking about things like the belief that it is OK to beat your children. These beliefs are very harmful but are not normally categorized as mental illness. In many ways that could be a very positive thing because there are no doubt beliefs in our society that do a heck of a lot of damage, that really do a lot of harm.

What is Schizophrenia?

Schizophrenia is a mysterious mental illness of delusions, hallucination disorder thought and feeling and a broken will. Some times the grip of schizophrenia calls “the cancer of mind”. Schizophrenia is a mysterious condition was first described in 1806, but no one is certain whether the illness – or more likely a group of illness – existed long before then but had escaped definition. Schizophrenia has a tendency to run in families, but hereditary alone apparently cannot explain why a specific individuals develops the full-blown illness. The term schizophrenia in 1908, describes a  specific type of alteration of thinking, feeling, and relation to the external world. The term refers to a splitting of psychic function, a peculiar destruction of the inner cohesiveness of the psychic personality. The person experiencing early symptoms, there is a dislocation of every faculty of time, space, and body, hearing voices, bizarre delusions extreme apathy or agitation, coldness towards others – taken singly unique to the illness, symptoms vary so much between individuals & over time for the same individual that the notion of a “typical case” is virtually non-existent, even the degree of disability far more severe, on average varies wildly. The defining characteristic of the illness is the profound feeling of incomprehensibility and inaccessibility that suffers provoke n other people. Psychiatrists describe person’s sense of being separated by a gulf which defies description from individual who seems totally strange, puzzling, inconceivable and incapable of empathy, even to the point of being sinister and frightening the onset of the illness dramatically intensified a pre-existing feelings that essentially disconnect from them and deeply unknowable.

Sugar Associated With Mental Illness

In a study of the effects of sugar on the development of mental and psychological disorders it is noted that, it weakens the mind, causing : loss of memory and concentration, nervousness, shyness, violence, excessive or no talking , negative thought, paranoia, and emotional upsets such as self-pity, arguments, irritability, and the desire for only sweet things in life.” People who reduce consuming sugar “nearly experience higher spirits, emotional stability, improved memory and speech, restful sleep and dreams, fewer colds and dental problems and better health in general.