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Mental Health Services in Iowa: Web Extra #1

posted on March 3, 2010 at 11:14 AM


Michael Ackerman talks about his mental illness: His diagnosis and the community mental health program that helps him stay a viable part of his community.

Michael Ackerman, Fort Dodge: Well, I just started to believe that there were all kind of words games that were being played with me with the initials on the products that I was placing onto the conveyer belt.  That there were hidden messages being taught to me that were there was an underlying conspiracy.  It was post 9/11 of course and I believe that there was a secret language that was being taught to the country to prevent terrorists from being able to full understand or comprehend what was being said in the English language and I would liken it to an analogy would be like sort of like a if you were doing a crossword puzzle you might have a lot of fun doing that and it's fun for awhile but if you were to do that 24/7 -- 7 days a week it would get old and it would drive anybody to a nut ward and that's what it was like with me is I felt like I was doing a word game all the time.

Q:  Did you voluntarily go to the doctor?

A: No, I had to be committed because I believed so whole heartedly that the conspiracy was real.  That I did think anything was wrong with me.  It was the world around me I felt had the problem. 

Q:  So, were you in the hospital for several weeks? 

A: No, I was there for about a week I think it was and I was interviewed by several psychiatrists and they referred me to the action program which I -- it stands for assertive community treatment and they-- they help you set up your meds and-- and help you cope with day to day living. 

Q:  What have the helped you with?

A: Why I see a nurse-- I -- I actually see the team leader.  Her name is Deb Delp and she's been an immense help to me.  I-- I've shared a lot of things with her.  She's just as much a friends as she is a social worker and she-- she's really helped me cope day to day and keep me in check.  She's kind of like a check and balance for like the government judicial and executive branch.  They keep each other in check, you know, and she does that with me.

Tags: communities health Iowa mental health