April/May 2015

National Alliance on Mental Illness
Find Help. Find Hope
A Publication of NAMI Tri -County Illinois
P.O. Box 10167
Peoria, IL 61612
309 693-0541
http://namitri -county.org
Helping to meet the needs of persons with severe and persistent mental illness and their families in
Peoria, Tazewell, and Woodford Counties in Central Illinois
April—May 2015
22d Annual
Mental Health Mile
June 27, 2015
(rain or shine)
Detweiller Park, Moose Shelter
Announcing a New
NAMI Class
NAMI Homefront
NAMI Homefront is a free, 6-session educational program for families, caregivers and friends of military
service members and vets with mental health conditions.
Based on the nationally recognized NAMI Family-toFamily program, NAMI Homefront is designed to address the unique needs of families, caregivers and
friends of those who have served or are currently serving
our country. The program is taught by trained family
members of service members/veterans living with mental
health conditions.
What You’ll Gain
We are planning to
offer a 5k this year.
Please watch the
newspaper and our
website for more details about registration, signup and cost
to enter.
This is a major event for NAMI
Tri-County. Please plan to come
walk or run with us, or cheer us on.
Together we can make a
difference in mental health
services in our community.
With questions, call 309 693-0541
Recovery is a journey and there is hope for all people affected by
mental illness. This in-person group experience provides the opportunity for mutual support and shared positive impact. You will experience compassion and reinforcement from people who relate to your
NAMI Homefront teaches you how to:
 Manage crises, solve problems and communicate effectively
 Learn to care for yourself, including managing your stress
 Develop the confidence and stamina to support your family member with compassion
 Identify and access federal, state and local services
 Stay informed on the latest research and information on mental
health, including posttraumatic stress disorder and substance
 Understand current treatments, including evidence-based therapies, medications and side effects
 Navigate the challenges and impact of mental health conditions
on the entire family
Sign Up for a Class
A class will be scheduled locally when 10 to 12 individuals register.
Please contact Roger, 309 696-1824 or Bill, 309 370-9424 for information or to sign up.
Family Forum
April—May 2015
Family to Family Class
Please call to register for the next class
Parents, spouses, friends, or adult children of people with
mental illnesses are invited to participate in the next 12-week
course. There is no charge for this NAMI signature program.
Participants will learn valuable information to help them understand and support an ill relative while maintaining their
own well being. Please call 309 693-0541 for information or
to register for the upcoming class.
Peer to Peer Class
Please call to register for the next class
The next class will be held when there are sufficient numbers to offer it. Please call Dean at 840-0915 or Larry at
745-8359 to register. To take the 9-week class you must be 18
or older, have a psychiatric diagnosis, and have someone with
whom you can talk about any issues/problems the classes unearth. The classes teach information about the various mental
illnesses, tell how different medications function, help you
create a relapse prevention plan, and start you toward creating
an advance medical directive. The class will be facilitated by
Dean and Larry. There is no charge for this NAMI signature
NAMI Basics Education Program
Current Class is in Session
Please call to register for the next class
This course is for parents and caregivers of children and
adolescents with mental illness. Basics is taught by parents
who have lived similar experiences with their own kids and
have received training to teach the course. The class covers
the biology of mental illness, treatment, and the latest research
as well as the trauma of brain disorders for the child and the
family. If you are interested in this class, please call Beth
at 691-5830. There is no charge for this NAMI signature program but registration is required.
Also, check out www.NAMI.org "Basics" video on You Tube
for further description of the course.
With Sympathy
We extend sympathy to the family and
friends of Betty M. Knoblett of Washington
who passed away on Jan. 20, 2015. Betty was
a volunteer for NAMI Tri-County Illinois for
many years during its early years. We appreciate what Mrs. Knoblett did for the organization. Thanks also that memorial donations
were designated for NAMI Tri-County where
the funds will be used to continue its mission.
Page 2
Inside this issue
Mental Health Mile Information .......................
NAMI Homefront Class....................................
Educational Opportunities ................................
Thank You! .......................................................
President’s Letter ..............................................
Education Meetings Announced .......................
Trivia Night Report ...........................................
Clay Hunt SAV Act ..........................................
Education Meeting Nuggets ..............................
Important Contact Information ........................
Book Reviews ...................................................
NAMI Board, Phone Numbers ........................
Calendar ............................................................
PTSD ................................................................
Michelle Effect .................................................
Healing Touch ..................................................
Membership Form ............................................
Thank You!
Monetary Donations
Roger & Dianne Geiss
Joyce Harant
Heartland Festival Orchestra
Bruce & Marjorie Leman
Pekin High School Students—Change for Charity
Research Group
James & Harriet White
In Memory of Betty Knoblett
Kelly Abraham
Sally Abraham
Dan & Janet Baker
Arlene Brocksmith
Joel & Barb Carter
William & Sharon Conger
Keith & Jean Graff
Mary Grace Kelly
Martin & Sheila Matthews
Mark & Susan Milford
Laura Nelson
OSF Healthcare Systems, Performance Improvement
John & Gina Vozenilek
Randy Wolfe
For Services
Phyllis Jordan and her team at EP!C for the many printing , collating, and mailing services that are provided to
NAMI Tri-County Illinois
Illinois Central College, North Campus for providing
meeting room space for meetings as well as our office.
April—May 2015
Family Forum
Letter from the President
We are fortunate that spring appears to
have arrived a little earlier than usual this
year, and after a very cold winter we are
grateful. NAMI got off to a good start
with excellent speakers in February and
March. We held a Trivia Night at the
American Legion in Bartonville in late
February where many braved the snowy
roads to enjoy the trivia competition as
well as old and new friends.
We had previously been selected by the Heartland Festival Orchestra at Five Points in Washington as a community partner
for the Mozart Concert on March 21. We were fortunate to
have Director Commanday attend the NAMI education meeting
on March 5 in order to increase his knowledge of the services
NAMI Tri-County Illinois provides. He along with the rest of
us heard Dr. Lisa Burkhartzmeyer offer an informative update
on “Childhood Mood Disorders.” NAMI is fortunate to have
the number of multi-talented professionals who give of themselves and their free time to support us in so many ways.
The topic for this newsletter is Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
(PTSD). We hope by choosing this topic that we will reach
enough family and friends of individuals suffering from PTSD
to be able to offer the first educational class for families of veterans and others suffering from PTSD. NAMI National is currently running a pilot program in several states on the topic to
see if there is enough interest to add this 6-week class to the
current complement of signature programs. Two of our members, Bill Bott and Roger Mohn, have been trained to teach the
class. Please contact either one of them if you have questions
or might be interested in attending this class. You will find
their contact information in the newsletter.
I want to take this opportunity to invite you to consider a volunteer role with our local affiliate. As you probably know, we are
entirely dependent upon contributions and volunteers in order to
be able to offer our classes free of charge. Having the classes
as well as the support groups, the fun events, the fund raisers,
the newsletter and the telephone helpline depends upon the ongoing support of volunteers. Volunteers are the most pressing
need that we have at this time. Please seriously consider volunteering your time to this longstanding organization in the TriCounty area. We need you now and we thank you for considering this opportunity. You can reach me through the helpline at 309.593.0591.
Page 3
Thanks to the Heartland Festival Orchestra for honoring
NAMI Tri-County Illinois as its
Community Partner at the beautiful Make it Mozart concert on
March 21.
Can you help?
Carolyn Jakopin is piecing together the history of
NAMI Tri-County which began in 1981.
We need pictures, newspaper articles or advertisements, jotted down notes regarding a class, picnic,
dinner, fundraiser, etc. for all years since the early
Please send paper copies or electronic data to:
Carolyn Jakopin
5200 N. Knoxville, Apt. 3085
Peoria, IL 61614
Or email to [email protected]
Thanks so much!
Do you want to keep up to date on the latest happenings at NAMI Tri-County and in mental health? If
so, sign up for our email notices! NAMI Tri-County
sends legislative alerts and general meeting information to those who have submitted email addresses.
An additional service will be an email notification
when the new NAMI Tri-County Family Forum
newsletter is posted to the web. If you are not receiving the email alerts but would like to, please
contact Carolyn at [email protected]
Enjoy spring.
Suzanne Spears
The newsletter can be read at your leisure on our
web site at
Hyperlinks to additional articles are available when
reading the newsletter on the web site
If you want to go Green and save postage and paper,
contact Lila at [email protected] and you'll be
taken off the mailing list for the paper copy.
Family Forum
April—May 2015
Education Meetings
First Thursday of most months
New Location: ICC North, Cedar Hall, Room 134
Page 4
Piecing it All Together Conference
How Children's Mental Health &
Mental Illness Affects Home,
School & Community
7:00—8:30 p.m.
April 10 & 11, 2015—Edwardsville, IL
April 2
Keynote speakers: Michael Trout, PhD & Ron Glodoski
Speaker: Marika Wrzosek, MD, Child &
Adolescent Psychiatry, UICOM Group
Topic: Current Trends in Child Psychiatry
May 7
Speaker: Roger Mohn, NAMI Tri-County IL Board
Piecing It All Together (PIAT) strives to bring parents/
caregivers of children who have mental health conditions together with school and mental health professionals all under
the same roof, hearing the same message of hope for our kids.
For the latest information on presenters and sessions, visit
The Clay Hunt SAV Act
Member & Instructor for NAMI Homefront Class
Signed 2-12-15, Source: nami.org
Topic: Dealing with PTSD
After being held up by a single Senator, this important bill
passed both houses of Congress unanimously and today was
signed by President Obama. Along with veteran service organizations and the military and veteran communities, NAMI supporters rallied to advocate for this significant legislation.
Please see the article on pp. 8 & 9 for a taste of
Roger’s passion for this topic.
June 4
6:45–8:30 p.m.
Election of Officers, 6:45-7:00 p.m.
Ask the Professionals Panel
The Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans
(SAV) Act was named in honor of Clay Hunt a marine who
served our country honorably. This law will help provide necessary reforms, accountability and community mental health
access for service members and veterans.
Ms. Patricia Edwards
Judge Kate Gorman
Sergeant Willie King
Dr. Peter Alahi
February Trivia Night Report
We had our first “post Shelly and Dennis” trivia event…
and we made it! Thanks though to Shelly for her long distance
job of putting together the trivia questions, sending us a great
food list and even calling during the event to check in on us.
That was pretty cool! Roger Mohn stepped up as the MC and
organizer so Trivia Night went on as scheduled. We had eight
teams with participants who braved the falling snow to come to
the event. Everyone seemed to have fun, and we made almost
$500, so it was a successful evening. Thanks to all who came to
this fundraiser.
Thanks for those who helped with decorating, bringing
raffle baskets, selling tickets, getting food, and checking the
food supply all evening. Special thanks to Samantha and John
for doing the scoring, running the score sheets around and helping to make the night go smoothly!
We appreciate our contributors for this event:
The Catering Company—Donna List, Rod & Becky Dorman,
Lila Gammon, Landmark Cinema, Martin-Sullivan Implement—Ben Rodgers, Bob Albers & Sue Spears
After serving multiple tours,
Clay volunteered in Haiti after
the 2010 earthquake. He then
focused on helping other veterans, who like himself were
dealing with conditions such as
PTSD and depression.
Clay dedicated himself to helping others. We hope this law
will continue his efforts as an important step in addressing the
mental health of our veterans and service members. This law
shows that our country recognizes the importance of mental
health for our veterans and military service members.
Save the date for the
6th Annual Hog Roast
Saturday, August 1, 2015
$7 for tickets purchased in advance
$10 for tickets purchased day of event
This is always a fun event; plan to come!
April—May 2015
Family Forum
Education Meeting Nuggets
Psychiatrists Speak about Serving the Old
and the Young
Submitted by Beth Lawrence
Our NAMI Education Meetings this year have given us the
benefit of hearing presentations from two local psychiatrists,
both of whom graciously allowed questions and interacted with
individuals in the audience.
Dr. Matthew Preston, of Associates in Mental Health,
addressed “Challenges to Treating Mental Health in the Senior Years” for our February Education Meeting. And challenges there are; from the body’s aging process diminishing kidney
and liver function affecting the efficacy of medication and increasing the risk of side effects to complications of every other
physical ailment a body experiences and even thoughts of suicide. The progression of dementia frequently makes affected
individuals progressively less able to communicate their own
difficulties and their loved ones more responsible for communicating and addressing their needs. Of the medications in current
use to slow the symptoms of dementia, Namenda, used with
Aricept or Exelon, has shown the most notable improvement.
The short duration of this improvement leaves room for far
more future development! Depression, confusion, altered sleeping habits, the tendency to wander and the loss of such skills as
the ability to drive all add to the necessity of a daily routine
with emphasis on safety and a regular structure. Spontaneity
loses its luster. The Senior Behavioral Health Unit at Unity
Point Health Proctor is designed to meet these challenges. Dr.
Preston himself treats adults of all ages and values the relationships he has with them.
On the other end of the age spectrum are the youngest
members of our concern, children being seen with behavioral
and psychiatric symptoms. At our March meeting Dr. Lisa
Burckhartzmeyer (Dr. B), of the Human Service Center, presented “Childhood Mood Disorders: An Update.” Dr. B displayed a comparison of the most recent diagnostic criteria for
children from the DSM 5 to that of the older DSM-IV. (That’s
the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders)
Some specifications have been eliminated and two new diagnoses have been added. Those added are Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder (DMDD) and Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder. “To address concerns about potential over diagnosis and
over treatment of bipolar disorder in children, a new diagnosis,
Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder (DMDD) is included…” The onset of DMDD is before the age of 10 and the following symptoms must have been present for at least 12
Severe temper outbursts that are out of proportion to the situation
Outbursts that are inconsistent with the developmental level of the
Outbursts occurring on average 3-4 times per week
Mood between outbursts is irritable or angry most of the day,
nearly every day and noticed by everyone at home and at school.
The diagnosis is only valid for youth between the ages of 7
and18 years as the symptoms of DMDD will likely change as
the child matures.
Page 5
Important Contact Information
Local NAMI Information
NAMI IL – State Headquarters
National NAMI Helpline
Hult Center for Healthy Living
Integrated Health Center
Methodist Medical Center,
Community Behavioral Health
Children’s Home
National Suicide Hotline
24-Hour Hotline
American Foundation for Suicide
Survivors of Suicide
Police – all counties
Emergency Response Service:
Peoria County
Woodford & Tazewell County
Human Service Center
Tazwood Center for Wellness
VA Suicide Hotline
Crisis Intervention Resources
Youth: CARES (Crisis and Referral Entry Services);
CARES is Statewide and will assess eligibility for SASS
(Screening and Assessment Referral Services)
24-hour crisis lines:
Line to Hope 1-855-837-4673
Nat’l Suicide Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
Peoria County ERS: 309-671-8084
Tazewell & Woodford Counties: 309-347-1148
Dial 2-1-1 for a non-emergency number that connects
people with essential community information and services:
food, shelter, counseling, mental health, employment, elderly, children & families
How to Reach the Community Crisis Center
130 N. Richard Pryor Place, Peoria, Illinois
If the individual is at risk:
Contact the police department for an initial response. The
police will contact ERS when the situation is secure.
If individual safety is not a concern:
Contact ERS at 309 671-8084 ~ TTY Line: 309 6713566. You will be asked for some brief information to
assist our response.
Medical Detox:
309 689-3080
Family Forum
April—May 2015
Book Review
When the War Never Ends: The Voices of Military
Members with PTSD and Their Families
by Leah Wizelman, Rowman & Littlefield (2011)
Review Source: Doug Bradley, NAMI HelpLine Information and Referral Associate
This book is a collection of accounts of traumatic events and
the continuing effects they have on veterans, their spouses and
other family members. Each chapter is told by a service member or other family member describing what exactly triggered
the posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and how the symptoms of PTSD manifest themselves in the narrators’ current
The good news is that many of the veterans and their families
are finding ways to cope. Lower-stress careers, medications,
therapy, the support of other veterans and friends are all helpful
to those in this book. While there is no magic cure, the people here take advantage
of what they can to move on. Like the Vietnam veterans who knew that PTSD was
real, these current veterans are on the cutting edge of recovery from this disorder.
Page 6
N A M I Tri-County Illinois
(309) 693-0541
Pres .................................... Suzanne Spears
Vice President .................... Beth Lawrence
Secretary..................................Roger Geiss
Treasurer ................................ Roger Mohn
Past President ........................ Dianne Geiss
Editor.................................... Lila Gammon
Becky Dorman
Larry Fordham
Dennis Lester
John Mayfield
Patricia Edwards
Carolyn Jakopin
Shelly Lester
Clark Wade
Family Support Group Facilitators
Lila Gammon
Denny Lester
Marjorie Schwebel
Gay Knapp
Shelly Lester
Suzanne Spears
Connections Support Group Facilitators
The Invisible Front
By Yochi Dreazen, Crown Publishers 2014
Review Source: Joni Agronin, NAMI Communications Coordinator
The Invisible Front, written by respected military journalist Yochi Dreazen, tells
the story of the journey we have faced as a country growing and learning to understand mental illness in a field that depends on mental strength
and stamina. But that’s the difference; mental illness has
nothing to do with mental strength.
Dreazen’s book primarily follows the life of retired Major
General Mark Graham and his family. The Grahams lost one
son, Kevin, to depression after he died by suicide when he
was in college and another, Jeff, in combat in Iraq. The family was struck by the stark differences in the way their close
military community responded to the deaths of their two sons
and because of their love for both of them and for the Army,
they have since devoted their lives to fighting the stigma that
surrounds mental illness, especially in a time of war.
The military estimates that almost 153,000 active-duty military personnel have
been diagnosed with PTSD since 2001 and that number is unfortunately only
growing. The good news is, it’s clear the military is taking steps to improve the
resources available to individuals and families facing mental health problems.
Larry Fordham
Dean Harris
Lori Knapp
Eymarde Lawler
John Mayfield
Family to Family Class Instructors
Brenda Bleichner
Roger Geiss
Angie Lamb
Bruce Leman
Roger Mohn
Dennis Staggs
Dianne Geiss
Carolyn Jakopin
Bill Lamb
Lisa Marie McKeown
Lindsey Naffziger
Jean Wallace
Peer to Peer Class Instructors
Dean Harris
Larry Fordham
Basics Education Program Instructors
Becky Dorman
Pat Lindberg
Beth Lawrence
Pat Sefried
For any subject matter of interest or suggestions, please call Suzanne Spears 309 3601143 or Lila Gammon 309 648-5420
Trauma: Healing the Hidden
By Peter M. Bernstein, PhD, 2013
Thirty Days with My Father
By Christal Presley, PhD, 2012, Review at nami.org
Christal Presley’s recent memoir Thirty Days with My
Father: Finding Peace from Wartime PTSD is a universally
meaningful narrative, but is particularly relevant to the NAMI
mission. Presley’s story of the diagnosis of posttraumatic
stress disorder (PTSD) she shares with her father, a Vietnam
veteran, is an eloquent testimony to the fact that mental illness
impacts entire families, never just an individual alone.
Review: amazon.com
What is trauma? Why
do its effects last far
beyond the event or
events that caused it?
Why are our human
reactions to it so debilitating? Most importantly, how can we help
someone heal the deep
wounds that it can
leave in its wake?
April—May 2015
Family Forum
Page 7
April & May 2015
~~Meeting Location Change: Illinois Central College North, 5407 N. University, Peoria, Cedar Hall,
Room 134 for Education Meetings and Family Support Group; Room 77 for Connections Support Group~~
Thursday, April 2, 7:00–8:30 p.m. Monthly Education Meeting, ICC North, Cedar Hall, Room 134. Speaker: Marika Wrzosek,
MD, Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. Topic: Current Trends in Child Psychiatry
Tuesday, April 7, 7:00 p.m. Survivor’s of Suicide, The Chapel, Proctor Hospital. Hinrichs, 309 697-3342 or Sylvia Murphy 309 208-3027
Thursday, April 9, 6:30–8:30 p.m. Mood-Challenge meeting at Trinity Lutheran Church, 135 NE Randolph Ave., Peoria
Thursday, April 16, Monthly Support Groups, ICC North, Cedar Hall
Family and friends of people with brain disorders, Room 134. For further information call Sue, 309-360-1143.
Connections—individuals participating in recovery, Room 77. For further information call John 309 472-5907.
Tuesday, April 21, 7:00 p.m. Survivor’s of Suicide, The Chapel, Proctor Hospital. Hinrichs, 309 697-3342 or Sylvia Murphy 309 208-3027
Thursday, April 23, 6:30—8:30 p.m. Mood-Challenge meeting at Trinity Lutheran Church, 135 NE Randolph Ave., Peoria
Tuesday, April 28, 6:00 p.m., —COGS Volunteer Group Meeting at Hardee’s on W. War Memorial, Peoria
Tuesday, May 5, 7:00 p.m. Survivor’s of Suicide, The Chapel, Proctor Hospital. Hinrichs, 309 697-3342 or Sylvia Murphy 309 208-3027
Thursday, May 7, 7:00–8:30 p.m. Monthly Education Meeting, Meet in ICC North, Cedar Hall, Room 134. Speaker:: Roger
Mohn, NAMI Tri-County Board Member & NAMI Homefront Instructor. Topic: Dealing with PTSD
Thursday, May 14, 6:30–8:30 p.m. Mood-Challenge meeting at Trinity Lutheran Church, 135 NE Randolph Ave., Peoria
Tuesday, May 19, 7:00 p.m. Survivor’s of Suicide, The Chapel, Proctor Hospital. Hinrichs, 309 697-3342 or Sylvia Murphy 309 208-3027
Thursday, May 21, 7:00–8:30 p.m. Monthly Support Groups, ICC North, Cedar Hall
Family and friends of people with brain disorders, Room 134. For further information call Sue, 309-360-1143.
Connections—individuals participating in recovery, Room 77. For further information call John 309 472-5907.
Tuesday, May 26, 6:00 p.m., COGS Volunteer Group Meeting at Hardee’s on W. War Memorial, Peoria
Thursday, May 28, 6:30–8:30 p.m. Mood-Challenge meeting at Trinity Lutheran Church, 135 NE Randolph Ave., Peoria
Save the Dates
June 4, 2015, Annual Meeting & Education meeting, ICC North, Cedar Hall, Room 134, Ask the Professionals Panel
June 27, 2015, Mental Health Mile—see details on p. 1
August 1, 2015, Hog Roast, Detweiller Park
August 6, 2015, Education Meeting, Speakers Dr. Aman Singh and Dr. Jane Larouche on the topic of Sleep and Psychiatry.
Survivors of Suicide - Peoria
Contact: Rev. Eimo Hinrichs or Mrs. Pat Hinrichs, 309 697-3342 or Sylvia Murphy, 309-208-3027
Meeting Place: Chapel at Proctor Hospital, 5409 North Knoxville Ave., Peoria, IL 61614
Meeting Day(s)/Meeting Time: 1st and 3rd Tuesday, 7:00 p.m. Facilitated by: Peer/Professional
Charge: None
Brighter Days Ahead
513 NE Madison (309) 222-2012
“Brighter Days Ahead” offers a positive and uplifting environment for people who have experienced a mental illness. Its purpose is for members to
have a safe place where they can socialize, receive support, and be part of fun, recovery-oriented activities while envisioning the brighter days ahead.
Hours of Operation
Monday - Saturday from 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Sunday from 12 noon–5 p.m.
If you have any additional questions, we would be happy to talk either by phone 309-222-2012 or at [email protected]
Family Forum
April—May 2015
Page 8
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
What is Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
Abstracted from: www.nimh.nih.gov/.../post-traumatic-stress-disorder-ptsd/
Submitted by Sue Spears
When in danger, it’s natural to feel afraid. People who have
PTSD may feel stressed or frightened even when they’re no
longer in danger.
Genes. Currently, many scientists are focusing on genes that
play a role in creating fear memories.
Signs & Symptoms
PTSD can cause many symptoms. These symptoms can be
grouped into three categories:
1. Re-experiencing symptoms:
**Flashbacks—reliving the trauma over and over, including
physical symptoms like a racing heart or sweating
**Bad dreams
**Frightening thoughts.
2. Avoidance symptoms:
**Staying away from places, events, or objects that are reminders of the experience
**Feeling emotionally numb
**Feeling strong guilt, depression, or worry
**Losing interest in activities that were enjoyable in the past
**Having trouble remembering the dangerous event.
3. Hyper arousal symptoms:
**Being easily startled
**Feeling tense or “on edge”
**Having difficulty sleeping, and/or having angry outbursts.
Who Is At Risk?
PTSD can occur at any age, including childhood. Women are
more likely to develop PTSD than men, and there is some evidence that susceptibility to the disorder may run in families.
Risk factors for PTSD include:
Living through dangerous events and traumas
Having a history of mental illness
Getting hurt
Seeing people hurt or killed
Feeling horror, helplessness, or extreme fear
Having little or no social support after the event
Dealing with extra stress after the event, such as loss of a
loved one, pain and injury, or loss of a job or home.
To be diagnosed with PTSD, a person must have all of the following for at least one month:
 At least one re-experiencing symptom
 At least three avoidance symptoms
 At least two hyper arousal symptoms
The main treatments for people with PTSD are psychotherapy
(“talk” therapy), medications, or both. Everyone is different, so
a treatment that works for one person may not work for another.
It is important for anyone with PTSD to be treated by a mental
health care provider who is experienced with PTSD. Some people with PTSD need to try different treatments to find what
works for their symptoms.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved
two medications for treating adults with PTSD:
 sertraline (Zoloft)
 paroxetine (Paxil)
Both of these medications are antidepressants, which are also
used to treat depression. They may help control PTSD symptoms such as sadness, worry, anger, and feeling numb inside.
Taking these medications may make it easier to go through psychotherapy.
Developing and Treating PTSD
Submitted by Roger Mohn with some excerpts
from nami.org
What is trauma? Why do its effects last far beyond the
event or events that caused it? Why are our human reactions to
it so debilitating? Most importantly, how can we help someone
heal the deep wounds that it can leave in its wake?
The experience of trauma is far more common than most
of us realize—many of us are affected by this hidden epidemic.
Veterans of war and survivors of terrorism, crime, accidents
and disasters are not the only people who suffer from PTSD.
Unless effectively treated, trauma can cause havoc in lives and
relationships, keeping our dreams forever out of reach.
To develop PTSD, a person must have gone through a
trauma. Almost all people who go through trauma have some
symptoms for a short time after the trauma. Yet most people do
not get PTSD. A certain pattern of symptoms is involved in
PTSD. There are four major types of symptoms: reexperiencing, avoidance, arousal, and negative changes in
beliefs and feelings.
Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can occur after you
have been through a traumatic event. A traumatic event is
something terrible and scary that you see, hear about, or that
happens to you, like:
 Combat exposure
 Child sexual or physical abuse
 Terrorist attack
 Sexual or physical assault
 Serious accidents, like a car wreck
 Natural disasters—fire, tornado, hurricane, flood, earthquake
During a traumatic event, you think that your life or others'
lives are in danger. You may feel afraid or feel that you have
no control over what is happening around you. Most people
have some stress-related reactions after a traumatic event; but,
not everyone gets PTSD. If your reactions don't go away over
time and they disrupt your life, you may have PTSD.
(Developing cont. on page 9)
April—May 2015
Family Forum
Page 9
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
(Developing cont. from page 8)
In his book, Trauma: Healing the Hidden Epidemic, Dr.
Peter Bernstein says this, “Some trauma sufferers minimize
their traumatic events or don’t even remember them at all. Others are reluctant to seek treatment for trauma because its very
effect leaves them feeling hopeless.” Dr. Bernstein’s book,
written primarily for trauma victims and their friends and family (although therapists and other mental health professionals
will find much of interest), educates readers in all forms of trauma and offers personable guidance for healing.
On NAMI’s website there is an article written by Joni
Agronin that also says “Twenty percent of Iraq and Afghanistan
veterans experience PTSD, half of which may never seek treatment.” She goes on to say that according to the National Center
for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, about 60% of men and 50%
of women will experience a traumatic event in their lifetime
and the numbers are even higher for the members of the armed
forces. Yet, why do so few people seek treatment for it?
I think I have one answer for that: STIGMA! Getting
treatment for a mental illness is still looked upon in
“mainstream America” as taboo or as anyone needing mental
health treatment is not strong enough to “pull themselves together.” Those of us who are involved in NAMI know this is
what prevents so many people from getting the help they need.
We read about it, hear about it and many of us actually experience it personally. As already stated, you didn’t have to be in a
battle zone to experience the effects of something that can
cause PTSD. So many factors can produce PTSD, but the ones
we most commonly think about and the ones that we see on the
news every day involve our military veterans.
People with PTSD may also have other problems. These
 Feelings of hopelessness, shame, or despair
 Depression or anxiety
 Drinking or drug problems
 Physical symptoms or chronic pain
 Employment problems
 Relationship problems, including divorce
In many cases, treatments for PTSD will also help these
other problems because they are often related. The coping skills
you learn in treatment can work for PTSD and these related
If there is one thing we try to get across to everyone in
NAMI, it is the fact that “you are not alone!” You may feel
alone, overwhelmed by events and circumstances that are/were
beyond your control, but you do not have to suffer in silence
dealing with it. Help is out there and we want to do everything
we can to educate people to that fact. Any time you feel in crisis, need help and don’t know exactly where to turn, please call
this number: 1-800-950-NAMI (6264) or [email protected] In
Peoria Country call 671-8084 and in Tazewell and Woodford
County call 347-1148. For veterans, besides NAMI’s website,
please visit: http://www.ptsd.va.gov/
So much help is available, yet so few people seek it when
they need it, especially our military families. It’s our job to
fight the stigma of mental illness by continuing our support of
NAMI. In that, NAMI national has developed a program called
NAMI HOMEFRONT, exclusively geared to help military families. It is a free 6 week course offered to military families,
friends and loved ones of those service members and veterans
living with PTSD. We have not yet scheduled a class, but as
soon as we can get 10 to 12 people to sign up, we will begin.
For more information please visit NAMI.org and key in
“Homefront” in the search block. To sign up, please contact
Roger Mohn, 309 696-1824 or Bill Bott, 309 370-9424.
I encourage you not to suffer in silence, but to seek help so
in turn you can help others. After all, that is what NAMI was
built on and everything we do is based on the principle of helping those in need.
Understanding PTSD Treatment
Excerpts from ptsd.va.gov
Today, there are good treatments available for PTSD.
When you have PTSD, dealing with the past can be hard. Instead of telling others how you feel, you may keep your feelings bottled up. Talking with a therapist can help you get better.
Following are several types of treatment for PTSD.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
CBT is one type of counseling. Research shows it is the
most effective type of counseling for PTSD. The VA is providing two forms of cognitive behavioral therapy to Veterans
with PTSD: Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) and Prolonged Exposure (PE) therapy. To learn more about these
types of therapy, see the fact sheets listed on http://
Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) helps you by giving
you a new way to handle these distressing thoughts and to gain
an understanding of these events. By using the skills learned in
this therapy, you can learn why recovery from traumatic events
has been hard for you. CPT helps you learn how going through
a trauma changed the way you look at the world, yourself, and
others. The way we think and look at things directly affects
how we feel and act.
The four main parts of CPT are:
Becoming aware of thoughts and feelings
Learning skills to understand your PTSD symptoms
Help you question or challenge your thoughts and feelings
Understanding changes in beliefs about safety, trust, control,
self-esteem, other people, and relationships
Prolonged Exposure Therapy: Exposure therapy is a type
of therapy that helps you decrease distress about your trauma.
This therapy works by helping you approach trauma-related
thoughts, feelings, and situations that you have been avoiding
due to the distress they cause. Repeated exposure to these
thoughts, feelings, and situations helps reduce the power they
(Understanding PTSD cont. on page 10)
Family Forum
April—May 2015
Page 10
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
(Understanding PTSD Cont. from page 9)
have to cause distress.
The four main parts of Exposure therapy are:
Education about symptoms and treatment
Breathing to help you relax
Real-world practice of situations that have been frightening
Talking through the trauma with therapists
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are a type
of antidepressant medicine. These can help you feel less sad
and worried. They appear to be helpful, and for some people
they are very effective. SSRIs include citalopram (Celexa),
fluoxetine (such as Prozac), paroxetine (Paxil), and sertraline
Chemicals in your brain affect the way you feel. For example, when you have depression you may not have enough of a
chemical called serotonin. SSRIs raise the level of serotonin in
your brain. Other medications that have been used with some
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing
EMDR is another type of therapy for PTSD. Like other
kinds of counseling, it can help change how you react to
memories of your trauma. While thinking of or talking about
your memories, you'll focus on other stimuli like eye movements, hand taps, and sounds. For example, your therapist will
move his or her hand, and you'll follow this movement with
your eyes.
Experts are still learning how EMDR works, and there is
disagreement about whether eye movements are a necessary
part of the treatment.
Group therapy
Many people want to talk about their trauma with others who have had similar experiences. In group therapy,
you talk with a group of people who also have been
through a trauma and who have PTSD. Sharing your story
with others may help you feel more comfortable talking
about your trauma. This can help you cope with your
symptoms, memories, and other parts of your life. You
learn to deal with emotions such as shame, guilt, anger,
rage, and fear. Sharing with the group also can help you
build self-confidence and trust. You'll learn to focus on
your present life, rather than feeling overwhelmed by the
Brief psychodynamic psychotherapy
In this type of therapy, you learn ways of dealing
with emotional conflicts caused by your trauma. It helps
you understand how your past affects the way you feel
now. Your therapist can help you:
Identify what triggers your stressful memories and other
Find ways to cope with intense feelings about the past
Become more aware of your thoughts and feelings, so you
can change your reactions to them
Raise your self-esteem
Family therapy
PTSD can affect your whole family. Your kids or your
partner may not understand why you get angry sometimes,
or why you're under so much stress. They may feel scared,
guilty, or even angry about your condition.
Family therapy is a type of counseling that involves
your whole family. A therapist helps you and your family
to communicate, maintain good relationships, and cope
with tough emotions. Your family can learn more about
How long does treatment last?
CBT treatment for PTSD often lasts for three to six
months. Other types of treatment for PTSD can last longer. If
you have other mental health problems as well as PTSD, treatment may last for one to two years or longer.
What if someone has PTSD and another disorder?
Is the treatment different?
It is very common to have PTSD at that same time as another mental health problem. Depression, alcohol or drug abuse
problems, panic disorder, and anxiety disorders often occur
along with PTSD. In many cases, the PTSD treatments described above will also help with the other disorders. The best
treatment results occur when both PTSD and the other problems
are treated together rather than one after the other.
PTSD Caused By Disasters
Disasters can be natural (floods, tsunamis, earthquakes) or
caused by accidents or by humans. Any of these disasters
can certainly cause PTSD symptoms. Lack of space prevents a discussion of this but information is available at:
where you will find Resources for Survivors, Effects of
Disasters, and how Media Coverage of Traumatic Events
affects individuals.
Additional Resources
nami.org—NAMI web site
Veterans_Resource_Center.htm—Numerous Veterans Resources
index.asp—more veterans resources
nimh.nih.gov/—National Institute on Mental Health
nih.gov—National Institutes of Health
childpsychiatry.thehastingscenter.org/—research results
samhsa.gov—substance abuse & mental health services administration
psychcentral.com—getting help for a variety of mental illnesses
http://www.adaa.org/—Anxiety and Depression Assn. of America
helpguide.org—help for mental & emotional help
Family Forum
April—May 2015
The Michelle Effect
Source: nami.org
Not long ago the phone rang. It was a young lady who
asked if I was Michelle with NAMI. Recently, she had
been released from a 21-day stay in a local psychiatric
hospital and had been given my name and phone number
to contact for support groups.
She said she had depression and that her husband didn’t believe she had a mental illness. I shared my story
about my husband, who also has depression and OCD.
We talked about how difficult it was when family members didn’t understand what it was like for those experiencing the symptoms of mental illness. She began to cry
and said I was the first person she’d ever talked to who
understood what she was going through. She asked, “How
did you come to understand your husband’s illness?”
This question brought me back to where I was 12
years ago. My husband had been ill about 25 years and
wouldn’t seek treatment. I was at the end of my rope and
thought I had nowhere to turn. A friend of a friend shared
a church bulletin that listed a course called NAMI Family
-to-Family. It said it was for relatives of an adult living
with mental illness. My friend jumped at the chance to
take the course and begged me to come along. I thought I
knew it all, but figured I might make some new friends so
signed up.
How wrong I was! I knew the basics about the mental
health conditions, but had no clue about communication
skills, problem-solving skills, self-care, and that there
were so many like me with ill relatives. The biggest thing
I was clueless about was empathy. I was so busy trying to
keep all the plates spinning in the air taking care of my
family that I never considered what it must be like for my
husband to have a mental illness. Not for a second did I
consider what it was like to have unrelenting thoughts
24/7 and to want to stay in bed the majority of the day.
For the first time I got it! That’s what had been missing! I knew the head part about mental illness; it was the
heart part
that I was
For the
first time I
experienced hope
that our
lives would
be changing for the
Page 11
Healing Touch with Guided Imagery
Shown to Relieve Combat PTSD
By Julie Erickson, NAMI Education Program
According to a recent study, the alternative medical
techniques of healing touch and guided imagery can be
effective in relieving symptoms of posttraumatic stress
disorder (PTSD) in returning active duty military personnel, when combined with regular PTSD treatment.
Healing touch therapy employs gentle touch to restore
the body’s energy balance and is meant to promote healing, relieve pain and reduce anxiety. Guided imagery uses
visualization by the patient in an effort to send a message
to the emotional control center of the brain, which then
affects the endocrine, immune and autonomic nervous
systems. These systems influence vital bodily functions,
such as heart rate, breathing rate and blood pressure
The study included 123 marines, 55 of whom received
regular treatment and 68 whose treatment plan also included healing touch and guided imagery. All participants
in this study had been experiencing at least one symptom
of PTSD before the trial began.
By the third week and the completion of six healing
touch and guided imagery sessions, the group whose
treatment included these complementary medical techniques showed significantly greater improvement from
their PTSD symptoms, when compared to the group who
only received regular treatment during that same period.
“Scores for PTSD symptoms decreased substantially,
about 14 points and below the clinical cutoffs for PTSD,”
said principal investigator Dr. Mimi Guarneri in a news
release. “This indicates that the intervention was not just
statistically significant, but actually decreased symptoms
below the threshold for PTSD diagnosis.”
Although the research on healing touch has been minimal up until now, the few studies that have been conducted on this technique show it to be effective in postsurgery recovery, anxiety reduction during radiation treatments and pain management for migraines. Guided imagery has been shown in studies to reduce side effects
from cancer treatments, pre-surgery anxiety, frequency of
migraines and general stress.
Wayne B. Jonas, M.D., president and chief executive
officer of Samueli Institutes, explains that “Service members are seeking out non-drug complementary and integrative medicine as part of their overall care and approach
to wellness.” Healing touch and guided imagery techniques offer patients an opportunity to include alternative
medicine as part of their overall treatment plan, without
the added risk and side effects that can come along with
many modern medicines.
Family Forum
April—May 2015
Page 12
NAMI Tri-County Illinois
P.O. Box 10167
Peoria, IL 61612
309 693-0541
http://namitri -county.org
An affiliate of the National
Alliance on Mental Illness
We provide education, support groups,
and advocacy for families, friends, and
individuals with mental illness in Peoria, Tazewell, and Woodford Counties.
NAMI Tri-County Illinois
Membership Form
An affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness
Membership dues also include membership in
NAMI and NAMI Illinois
You may join on line rather
than by sending in this form:
Open Door Membership
General Membership
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Complete and mail to NAMI Tri-County Illinois, Attn: Treasurer, P.O. Box 10167, Peoria IL 61612
Make checks payable to NAMI Tri-County Illinois. Phone: 309 693-0541