My Sojourn through Bipolar Illness – the Red-Headed Step-Child?

Has behavioral health always been the red-headed step-child in terms of research and funding levels? If these levels of research and funding followed the severity and reach of mental illness and addiction, might we see the following results? What if behavioral health funding were equal to say cancer funding or heart disease funding or diabetes funding?

  1. For one we would have adequate beds to treat people who needed inpatient care for behavioral health or addiction. 

2. For another, we would have adequate funding to develop psychotropic drugs and other interventions without such severe side effects as weight gain and Type II Diabetes onset and memory loss. 

3. Additionally, we would be treating war veterans for mental health and addiction impacts that can go untreated.

4. Fourthly, we would have enough resources to fund the Cohort Model discussed previously for people experiencing a significant event or setback. 

5. Fifthly, with more co-mingling of people with and without a behavioral health diagnosis we might be able to reduce stigma substantially.

6. Finally and most importantly, by being proactive in our behavioral health and addiction programs in the United States, we may be able to develop some early warning signs among people struggling with depression and/or paranoid thoughts and/or addiction so that we can care for those patients before their symptoms become dire.

6 thoughts on “My Sojourn through Bipolar Illness – the Red-Headed Step-Child?

  1. In Canada we don’t use the term behavioural heath, although I know it’s common in the US healthcare system. It always seems so strange to me when I do see it, because I have an illness of my mind, not an illness of my behaviour.

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    1. I did not know it was a US-centric term. Thanks for the education. I always thought behavioral health was mental illness including addiction issues since substance use is a behavior, but I could easily be wrong. You make me think also that the words behavioral health mean you could change your illness status by changing your behaviors and that is a simplification of reality and does not include the idea of there being a chemical imbalance of the brain – a mental illness as you say….

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      1. Yes, my understanding is that behavioural health refers to mental illness and addictions, but that still goes against what seems to be the current medical view that addiction is a brain illness. And then if you add in that a lot of stigmatized stereotypes are with regards to behaviours associated with mental illness, the fact that the health care system uses “behavioural health” just seems very strange.

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      2. I agree with you. The use of the phrase behavioral health seems outdated or at best inconsistent with teaching that says there is a chemical imbalance in the brain. You might go so far as to say the use of the term behavioral health is just another form of stigma being put on those of us with mental illness. Ie the message is the illness is somehow your fault. Perhaps I need to edit the post in the next few days. Or this conversation might just be a post?

        Liked by 1 person

  2. You all in Canada are far more advanced than we are here in the US. We are still trying to get universal healthcare together as a right and cannot seem to manage that challenge. My family often jokes about moving to Canada if the healthcare problems here get really bad. So it doesn’t surprise me that you all don’t use the term “behavioral health.” 🙂

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