Tell Congress to Decriminalize Mental Illness

Originally posted on Art by Rob Goldstein:

 This petition arrived in my email today.

Please sign it even if you think mental illness will never affect your life.  It will probably affect the lives of many of the people you love.

Mental illness is not a crime

If someone you love forgot where they were and became terrified, who would you call?

For cash-strapped communities across the country, the first and only option for people with a loved one suffering a mental health crisis is to call 911. Police are often then the first to respond, a situation that too often leads to handcuffs and a jail cell.

The state of mental health services in this country is unacceptable. Instead of social workers, we have armed law enforcement officers. Instead of treatment facilities, we have prisons and jails. More than 450,000 people behind bars have shown recent symptoms of mental health problems. The Cook County Jail in Chicago…

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Twinkle Twinkle Little Star piano variation

By Andrew G. Alt

After listening to some variations of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star by Mozart I got the urge to finish my own variation that I’d played with several months ago.

Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star – traditional piano arrangement variation by Andy Alt

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Music to improve mental health, resources

Amateur Piano Solos from Wizard of Oz Soundtrack

By Andy Alt

This is a followup to My Amateur Piano Solos, a post from August 22, 2014.

Special thanks to Lily B on YouTube. I got stuck with “If I Only Had a Brain” and found a helpful video of her playing the song on YouTube.

I screwed up a few notes, and the tempo changes a bit, but overall I think these are pretty nice recordings. I played them on a digital piano and used two voices—electric piano overlay with grand piano.

The tracks can played online or freely downloaded and shared.

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Not Sad Not Hurt Not Angry: Empty | Childhood Emotional Neglect

Posted by Andy Alt

Not Sad Not Hurt Not Angry: Empty
09/18/2014 11:06 AM

By Jonice Webb

It’s like I have no emotions. I’m numb a lot of the time.

Something is missing in me.

I have no idea how I feel about anything.

Sometimes my chest feels hollow.

I feel empty inside.

What might seem like five unrelated statements is actually five different people describing the same feeling. Everyone says it differently because there is no standard word for it. But for these five people, and thousands more, it is the same feeling, caused by the same problem.

The one word that sums it up best:


Of all the different emotions that a person can have, Empty is one of the most uncomfortable. To feel Empty is to feel incomplete. It’s a feeling of something absent or missing inside of you, of being different, set apart, alone, lacking, numb.[...]

via Not Sad Not Hurt Not Angry: Empty | Childhood Emotional Neglect. (Click for the full text)

Jonice Webb has a PhD in clinical psychology, and is author of the book Running on Empty: Overcome Your Childhood Emotional Neglect.

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Personal Request to Alleviate Stuff In my Mind, Body, and Spirit

By Andrew G. Alt

I think the inspiration for this post came from a recent discussion with lensgirl53. She made some words that touched me. I had mentioned to her about some weird irony that September 10th, 1981 was the day my father shot himself. September 10th happens to be World Suicide Prevention Day.

I was already having a hard time with a period of severe depression back when I heard about Robin Williams. It’s still affecting me, but not nearly as much as some other stuff.

Some people who have never struggled with prolonged depression don’t understand that depression is different from sadness. But I have to say that if someone is fighting off depression, then extra feelings of sadness don’t help much. In fact, they don’t help at all.

I’ve had a spot of trouble the last several years. I started meditating six years ago and have noticed some very positive improvements. My mood is more stable, I’m 90% less prone to angry outbursts, I can stay pretty calm much of the time and can even prevent a depressive episode from happening. Not all the time though. Continue reading →


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