“We are all molded of the same clay.”

These words were spoken by Dr. Chand J. Nair who, in receiving NAMI-PA’s annual Exemplary Psychiatrist Award at last night’s third annual Cherry Blossom Ball, emphasized the fact that having a psychiatric disorder does not make anyone the inferior of another, for these illnesses are remarkably democratic, striking the rich and poor, the privileged and the uneducated, old, young and middle-aged alike.  Being “well-adjusted” (my words, not his) will not protect you.  Avoiding street drugs, addiction to prescription medications, and alcohol will not protect you.  In fact, to date, no one knows what will protect you.  All we can do is live the healthiest lives we can…and hope that, should we or a loved one develop depression, bipolar, schizophrenia or another such condition, state-of-the art treatment that meets our individual needs will be available and accessible to us, and that we will have such treatment, get good results with it, and be sensible enough, with whatever support systems we need, to make the best possible use of it for the rest of our lives, or until science and medicine can find a cure for whatever ails us.  Many fine treatments already exist, but not enough to help everyone; and too few people are able or willing to take advantage of the excellent treatments that are out there.  And for those who do so, and who get those wonderful results, there is still no escape from the effects of age-old prejudices on one’s personal, educational, professional and financial life.  The mass media don’t do enough to help; neither do others.  It can be frustrating and discouraging…and then someone like Dr. Nair gets up and speaks in front of hundreds of people, and a hopeful breath of fresh air fills a room!

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About barbaraj60

I've been a librarian for three decades and change, specializing in history, genealogy and consumer-health information, education and advocacy, with a passion for music and for languages and literature, especially French. It's now July 2015 and in about two and a half months I'll be retiring from a public-service library job in social sciences, history and genealogy, by which time I'll be taking some courses (online) through the Medical Library Association to earn a second three-year renewal of my Consumer Health Information Specialist certificate; I also plan to start taking a 15-week online course through Boston University, leading to a genealogy certificate. It's not the CG but it should help me prepare for that quite well. So...my plan is to start a research and information consulting business, working with individuals and companies, especially nonprofit organizations, focusing on bringing individuals and groups to history and genealogy--and vice versa--and the same in the case of knowledge and its positive outcomes in such fields of medicine as mental health and mental illness, thyroid (and parathyroid) diseases especially thyroid cancer, lymphedema, and eye, joint and connective-tissue diseases. Why all these? Because I know them intimately and first-hand, and I am well aware of the power of knowledge to help us live as well and as long as we can, while helping others to do the same! I'd also love to go back to school and get my Ph.D....but that's another story for another day. Meanwhile, first things first: a lot of writing, a lot of one-on-one and small-group teaching, and sharing and transmitting my sense of the vital importance of information and education to any society that hopes to merit the adjective "free"!
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