Must Have Book for Advocates

I began my journey with mental health advocacy by speaking out about my own mental illness, then focusing on the stigma surrounding all mental illnesses. Recently I have become keenly aware of the severity of our broken mental health care system which has abandoned those with severe mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, bipolar, and schizoaffective disorder.

The following book will shock you to action and is really required reading for anyone who wants to understand why the Los Angeles County Jail is now the largest mental health “asylum” in the United States. “Asylum” used to mean “safe haven.” There is no such place for most severely mentally ill individuals. This has major financial and public health ramifications that will come to a head in the next few years.

Crazy: A Father’s Search Through America’s Mental Health Madness
Pete Earley, 2006

"Anti-Anxiety Circuit" in the Brain

In the market for a new, functioning amygdala. Will consider any offer. Price negotiable.

Scientists discover anti-anxiety circuit in brain region considered the seat of fear
March 9, 2011

“Stimulation of a distinct brain circuit that lies within a brain structure typically associated with fearfulness produces the opposite effect: Its activity, instead of triggering or increasing anxiety, counters it.

That's the finding in a paper by Stanford University School of Medicine researchers to be published online March 9 in Nature. In the study, Karl Deisseroth, MD, PhD, and his colleagues employed a mouse model to show that stimulating activity exclusively in this circuit enhances animals' willingness to take risks, while inhibiting its activity renders them more risk-averse. This discovery could lead to new treatments for anxiety disorders, said Deisseroth, an associate professor of bioengineering and of psychiatry and behavioral science.”

Read the complete article HERE. We’re not just talking “brain chemistry” but brain circuitry. One more step in understanding the most complex organ in the body.