WHAT MAKES ME TICK?

Mental illness or brain injury is responsible for devastating the lives of many innocent people. I see it OVER and OVER again.

Our focus as a society is wrong!

Regardless of whether we are dealing with mental illness or brain injury- we should provide adequate and ongoing treatment to people who need it.

We need to be proactive- not reactive.

Unfortunately insurance companies represent a major stumbling block for people battling with brain injury and psychiatric illness.  Insurance companies are not concerned with the quality of care but only about the bottom line… money. 

There is a direct relationship between socioeconomic factors and quality of care.  Only those individuals, who can afford to pay for private doctors, get needed support.   If you have a decent insurance plan, you have a better chance of succeeding.   If you are poor, you are not going to get the help you need.

Occasionally, rather than getting the appropriate treatment, patients will get the option that best satisfies the greed of the insurance plans.   Admittedly, I have seen colleagues and fellow psychologists also exploit the system so they can get paid.

From my standpoint, as a therapist, this makes me very angry.  I would like nothing more than to provide people with quality care and not let insurance companies dictate what I should do.>> Read more

LIVING WITH BRAIN INJURY – WILL I BE ABLE TO HANDLE THIS?

A sudden brain injury of a loved one impacts on many lives.  For the caregiver (i.e., spouse, child or parent) it marks the onset of a winding, unpredictable and exhausting journey full of uncertainty and fear.

Over the last 25 years of practicing psychology, I have repeatedly observed that even those individuals, who appear really strong, need extra support during this period.

As one of my patients remarked:

“No one can grasp the reality of my life in which nothing is the same as it used to be…”

 The following suggestions may help you:

  1.  Do not isolate yourself.  Loneliness and feelings of alienation are prevalent and contagious.  Force yourself to socialize (meet a friend for lunch).
  2. Allow yourself to receive help from others. Don’t be afraid to ask people for help.
  3. Try to establish some kind of routine in your day.
  4. Take care of your body and exercise. Make sure you are eating healthy food and not drinking too much alcohol.
  5. Find a support group for people undergoing similar experiences.  This will give you the reassurance and unconditional support you will most likely need.
  6. Alternatively, see a therapist who specializes in trauma. The emotional impact of the illness is likely to take its toll. 
>> Read more

Four legged creatures with waggly tails can save lives:

Last night, as I was flipping through channels, I came across a show entitled: CNN Heroes; Everyday People Changing the World.

The show featured Mary Cortani. She founded a nonprofit that matches war veterans who suffer from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), anxiety and depression with their own service dogs.

Afghanistan war veterans have to start their lives all over again.  Their disability does not get the proper recognition it deserves.  Unwanted dogs (from rescue and shelters), help in ways that are beyond the scope of human beings.  As I was watching the show, I was deeply struck by the strong bond between the veterans and their dogs.  I am a dog lover myself and understand the boundless strength I get from my dog Nelly.

My thoughts go back to a veteran by the name of Teddy who I met in my office. Teddy had just returned after serving as a commander in Afghanistan.  Like many returning veterans, he suffered from PTSD and TBI.

Here are some actual quotes from my first sessions with Teddy:

“ I’m a mess and on edge about everything these days…. “

“ I feel paralyzed and I can’t do anything….”
“I wish I had lost my legs in the war instead of a TBI. 

>> Read more