DiversityNursing Blog

Happiness in schizophrenia 'is not an oxymoron'

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Mon, Aug 25, 2014 @ 01:32 PM

By MNT

schizophrenia definition

"People tend to think that happiness in schizophrenia is an oxymoron," says senior author Dr. Dilip V. Jeste, distinguished professor of Psychiatry and Neurosciences at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine.

"Without discounting the suffering this disease inflicts on people, our study shows that happiness is an attainable goal for at least some schizophrenia patients," he adds. "This means we can help make these individuals' lives happier."

Dr. Jeste's team surveyed 72 schizophrenia outpatients in the San Diego area - all but nine of whom were taking at least one anti-psychotic medication. Just over half of the respondents were residents in assisted-living facilities.

A comparison group was comprised of 64 healthy men and women who did not currently use alcohol or illegal drugs and who had not been diagnosed with dementia or other neurological illnesses.

The mean age for both groups was 50 years.

In the survey, the respondents answered questions on their happiness over the previous week. They were asked to rate statements such as "I was happy" and "I enjoyed life" on a scale from "never or rarely" to "all or most of the time."

The results reveal that about 37% of the schizophrenia patients were happy most or all of the time, compared with about 83% of respondents in the comparison group.

However, about 15% of people in the schizophrenia group reported being rarely or never happy, but no one in the comparison group reported such a low level of happiness.

'Patients' happiness was unrelated to the severity or duration of their illness'

The researchers compared the self-reported happiness of the respondents with other factors including age, gender, education, living situation, medication status, mental health, physical health, cognitive function, stress, attitude toward aging, spirituality, optimism, resilience and personal mastery.

The study - which is published in the journal Schizophrenia Research - suggests that the patients' levels of happiness were unrelated to the severity or duration of their illness, cognitive or physical function, age or education. This is clinically significant because, among healthy adults, all of these factors are associated with a greater sense of well-being.

Lead author Barton W. Palmer, PhD, professor in the UC San Diego Department of Psychiatry summarizes the study's findings:

"People with schizophrenia are clearly less happy than those in the general population at large, but this is not surprising.

What is impressive is that almost 40% of these patients are reporting happiness and that their happiness is associated with positive psychosocial attributes that can be potentially enhanced."

Source: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com

Topics: study, Happiness, healthcare, research, patients, schizophrenia

The Woman Who Posed With Her Colostomy Bag Has Inspired Hundreds Of Others To Do The Same

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Wed, Jul 09, 2014 @ 10:51 AM

By Rossalyn Warren

When Bethany Townsend snapped herself on holiday with two of her colostomy bags visible, she didn’t expect the photo to be seen by more than 9 million people.

When Bethany Townsend snapped herself on holiday with two of her colostomy bags visible, she didn't expect the photo to be seen by more than 9 million people.

facebook.com

But since her photo went viral, hundreds of other people who live with Crohn’s disease are sharing photos of themselves with their colostomy bags on show.

But since her photo went viral, hundreds of other people who live with Crohn's disease are sharing photos of themselves with their colostomy bags on show.

Facebook: crohnsandcolitisuk

The photos are being shared on the Crohn’s and Colitis Facebook page and on the Get Your Belly Out Facebook page with the hashtag #GetYourBellyOut.

The photos are being shared on the Crohn's and Colitis Facebook page and on the Get Your Belly Out Facebook page with the hashtag #GetYourBellyOut.

Facebook: crohnsandcolitisuk

Those who uploaded the photos are also speaking out about their illness with their stories of support and survival.

Those who uploaded the photos are also speaking out about their illness with their stories of support and survival.

Facebook: crohnsandcolitisuk

When Joseph Hendy shared his story, people commented on his photo saying what an inspiration to others he was, adding: “I hope everybody with the same illness reads your story and takes the same positive attitude as yourself.”

When Joseph Hendy shared his story , people commented on his photo saying what an inspiration to others he was, adding: "I hope everybody with the same illness reads your story and takes the same positive attitude as yourself."

Facebook: crohnsandcolitisuk

AnneMarie said that the campaign made her feel brave enough to share her own photo. She wrote on Facebook: “By seeing these posts by so many brave people who have gone through the same, it has inspired me to take my very first photo of me and my stomach.”

AnneMarie said that the campaign made her feel brave enough to share her own photo. She wrote on Facebook: "By seeing these posts by so many brave people who have gone through the same, it has inspired me to take my very first photo of me and my stomach."

Facebook: crohnsandcolitisuk

Tina, shown in the middle here, said: “It’s really great to see so many people sharing their personal and difficult experiences publicly. An inspiration to all. Well here’s my pic, Hope it helps someone somewhere.”

Tina, shown in the middle here, said: "It&squot;s really great to see so many people sharing their personal and difficult experiences publicly. An inspiration to all. Well here&squot;s my pic, Hope it helps someone somewhere."

Facebook: crohnsandcolitisuk

Laura said she was proud to join the campaign, saying: “We have suffered in silence and been hiding behind this horrible condition for long enough!! Proud to be a part of it! Get ur belly out people!!!!”

Topics: inspiration, Happiness, colostomy, health

Ethnically Diverse Areas Are Happier, Healthier And Less Discriminatory, Study Finds

Posted by Alycia Sullivan

Mon, Jun 03, 2013 @ 09:59 AM

If you live a neighbourhood which is ethnically diverse, you're more likely to be healthier and less likely to experience racial discrimination, a new study has found.

Researchers at the University of Manchester say diversity is associated with higher social cohesion and a greater tolerance of each other's differences.

They also found that someone from an ethnic minority is less likely to report racial discrimination in an ethnically diverse neighbourhood.

multicultural

And that a neighbourhood's high level of deprivation - rather than diversity - is linked with poor physical and mental health, low social cohesion and race discrimination.

The findings, based on analysis of census and survey data, will be presented tomorrow at a conference attended by the study researchers, policy makers and community organisations

Professor James Nazroo, director of the university's Centre on Dynamics of Ethnicity,said: "Our research and this conference is all about setting the record straight on those diverse neighbourhoods which are so widely stigmatised.

"So often we read in our newspapers and hear from our politicians that immigration and ethnic diversity adversely affect a neighbourhood, but careful research shows this to be wrong.

"In fact, the level of deprivation, not diversity, is the key factor that determines these quality of life factors for people in neighbourhoods.

"So our research demonstrates the disadvantages of living in deprived areas but the positives of living in ethnically diverse areas.

"It's deprivation which affects those Caribbean, Black African, Pakistani, and Bangladeshi people who are disproportionately represented in these neighbourhoods, as well as those white people who live alongside them."

Also according to the researchers, one in five (20%) people identified with an ethnic group other than White British in 2011 compared with 13% in 2001.

The ethnic minority populations of England and Wales lived in more mixed areas in 2011 and this mixing has accelerated over the past 10 years, says the study.

Traditional clusters of ethnic minority groups have grown but the rate of minority population growth is greatest outside these clusters with ethnic diversity spreading throughout the country.

Fellow researcher Dr Nissa Finney said: "Despite the clustering of ethnic minority people in some areas, the vast majority of ethnic minority people have a strong sense of belonging to Britain, feel part of Britain and feel that Britishness is compatible with other cultural or religious identities."

While colleague Dr Laia Becares said: "Increased diversity is beneficial for all ethnic groups so we say the policy agenda should develop strategies for inclusiveness rather than marginalising minority identities, religions and cultures.

"Policies aimed at reducing the stigmatisation of diverse neighbourhoods and promoting positive representations can only be a good thing."

The conference, entitled 'Diverse Neighbourhoods: Policy messages from The University of Manchester', will take place at Manchester Town Hall.

Source: UK Huffington Post

Topics: racism, ethnic diversity, Happiness, Health News, Race-Discrimination, UK NEWS, diversity, ethnicity

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