Let's talk about mental illnesses.
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07-06-2014, 08:30 AM (This post was last modified: 07-06-2014 09:06 AM by anonymous66.)
Let's talk about mental illnesses.
Know anyone who has one? What do you think about them? Why are mental illnesses taboo?

I don't understand the mentality of the people who make fun of those with mental health issues. We'd never make comments like "Look at the way that guy is acting.. he must have cancer.". So, why is it an insult to refer to someone as possibly having a mental illness? Do people really believe that those who suffer from them bring them on themselves?
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07-06-2014, 08:36 AM
RE: Let's talk about mental illnesses.
I don't know. Perhaps it stems from fear. The thought of one's mind not quite being their own is rather a terrifying thought. And so, maybe (whether they realize it or not) their making fun of it is a way to cope with their fears? That's just a wild-ass guess, though.

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07-06-2014, 08:47 AM
RE: Let's talk about mental illnesses.
Mental illnesses are taboo for the same reason that making fun of amputees or blind people or people with cancer is taboo.
Say, for example, you were an amputee. You had your leg cut off, for whatever reason, but couldn't afford a wheelchair or prosthetic, so you just hopped around with crutches. Then some guys came over and challenged you to a race. Would that be acceptable, even if they then said they were "just kidding"?
What if your mother was blind? Would you like it if they made some kind of lame joke then, when she didn't laugh, say something like "Well, I guess you just can't see why that's funny." (the reason I put "see" in bold is that the speaker would be putting emphasis on that word with the intention of insulting your mother; the joke itself is non-existent for us with a brain, but, for them, it's hilarious).
What if your brother had cancer and someone came along and called him "baldy", as your brother had lost all hair due to the extremely painful process that is chemotherapy, or from radiotherapy?
The reason why we wouldn't feel comfortable with the latter two situations is due to empathy. Most of us naturally empathize with others, especially if they're family. The reason why we wouldn't feel comfortable with the first one is that it's about us. Sure, even if you personally wouldn't be affected (which I doubt, but am willing to accept it for the sake of the argument), you can understand how others might be.

The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
Why settle for normal, when you can be so much more? Why settle for something, when you can have everything?
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07-06-2014, 08:58 AM
RE: Let's talk about mental illnesses.
the older I get, the more prevalent I see it is. I meet more and more people who need treatment, and I meet more people who have sought out treatment in the past.

I think in the US we need better education, better medical coverages (typically mental health is limited # of visits), more inpatient beds and facilities (many who are in an emergency crisis can't find a bed in a treatment facility).

There are so many different causes too, from physical/biological problems, to social problems, various abuses (physical & drug). The need is great, the resources are low.


I hope it changes soon. We need to remove the stigma's about treatment. Many things people seek treatment for are not only treatable but recoverable-meaning that it doesn't affect you for your entire life or likely to get passed to your children, etc.

Historically people were put to death, said to be possessed by demons, eventually people just didn't talk about it to avoid social stigma. Hoping the next step is that people will discuss it, seek treatment when necessary and get it out in the open. Society will be better for it.


"Life is a daring adventure or it is nothing"--Helen Keller
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07-06-2014, 09:43 AM
RE: Let's talk about mental illnesses.
I've heard people make fun of those with impairments in a way that is inclusive. It's like they're making an effort to tease someone with an impairment (bald cancer patient, amputee, the blind) like they would tease anyone else. and, they do it to their face. With mental illnesses, it's like it's so taboo that they can't do it to their face, at least not with the same inclusiveness.... and/or there is still the unspoken assumption that those with mental illnesses have brought that mental illness on themselves, and so are worthy of our scorn and derision.
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07-06-2014, 09:49 AM
RE: Let's talk about mental illnesses.
I work with people with mental and physical and developmental issues.

It is very common for them to be teased and made fun of. In a very obvious and open manner.

Apparently its not as taboo as we would like to think it is. I have had to hold my tongue on several occasions.

Its also very painful when someone I'm working with tells me stories about how when they were little/or how last week at the store people were cruel to them. Breaks my heart.

I wish people would think about what they do and say to the people around them. You may not think they understand, but trust me they do.
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07-06-2014, 10:42 AM
RE: Let's talk about mental illnesses.
(07-06-2014 09:49 AM)Hobbitgirl Wrote:  I work with people with mental and physical and developmental issues.

It is very common for them to be teased and made fun of. In a very obvious and open manner.

Apparently its not as taboo as we would like to think it is. I have had to hold my tongue on several occasions.

Its also very painful when someone I'm working with tells me stories about how when they were little/or how last week at the store people were cruel to them. Breaks my heart.

I wish people would think about what they do and say to the people around them. You may not think they understand, but trust me they do.

No one deserves to be teased in a way that makes them uncomfortable. I've even seen those in the mental health profession mock the mentally ill.

Just last night I was with a group of people and mental illnesses came up. The connection was made between mental illnesses and those that would commit violent crimes. My understanding is that, in reality, those with mental illnesses are more likely to be victims than to victimize others. But, I've never actually done the research to see if that it's true.
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07-06-2014, 01:28 PM
RE: Let's talk about mental illnesses.
An awful lot of people suffer from mental illness. For some it's curable and/or highly treatable, such as, for most, depression and most of the personality and trauma disorders. Some of these and other types of mental illnesses are, on a continuum, barely or not at all discernible to most people, unless you live with the person.

Then there are other types of mental illnesses that are more obvious like bipolar, schizophrenia, and antisocial personality (psychotic personalities). And even with some of these, based on a continuum and/or on meds, you may not recognize these illnesses in others during daily life and/or at work.

Almost all mental illnesses are treatable or manageable, but tragically for some people, it's a constant struggle to balance meds with the fluctuations of their illness.

It's interesting that depression has gained ground in social acceptance but no so with most other mental illnesses.

I do believe religion plays a part in our understanding of mental illnesses, certainly ignorance plays the greatest part.

I work in a field where we see quite a range of mental illnesses in our clients, and yet, many of my coworkers refuse to acknowledge the truth, blaming the devil all the way, with comments like, " I don't believe in mental illness," or even comments such as "possession." I'm not kidding here. If I've heard it once, I've heard it a hundred times. All these comments come from Christians. Now, I'll add this; most of my coworkers are uneducated and all are Christian, and I live in Texas.

Since you do not work with me, and it's unlikely we will ever cross paths, I'll share my mental illness with you.

I was diagnosed full criteria DID, a severe trauma disorder (you will have to look it up) when I was 48. Go figure!

For most of my life, I kept very still and quiet, despite the fact that I rarely recognized anyone--not even my own children for so much of the time. I learned early in life to cover myself. I had a crowd of people living inside me; and I knew it. I just did not know this was not everyone's experience. Things began to shake up when I began university and divorced after 33 years. I was driven to therapy.

I was lucky and latched onto a therapist who understood my financial situation and did not charge me for the seven years I remained in therapy. Also, he was deeply interested in my particular illness.

I am not cured, but I am largely integrated with my personas, and I am much more comfortable with being in the world. That's what I always called it--being in the world. I now always know who I am, and I now always know where I am, and I now say I not we.

My life remains somewhat dysfunctional. I am quiet, have some friends, work, and get confused easily with the passing of time and changes in settings. I always wake in a panic, an instant only, grasping for my name.

Most people do not understand, and I have learned not to tell.

But I am OK. I cope.

"If you want a happy ending, that depends, of course, on where you stop your story." Orson Welles
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07-06-2014, 01:36 PM
RE: Let's talk about mental illnesses.
Dissociative identity disorder is a big one. Thanks for sharing.

Give me your argument in the form of a published paper, and then we can start to talk.
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07-06-2014, 02:20 PM
RE: Let's talk about mental illnesses.
@Dee thank you for sharing and it's fortunate you found the help you needed.

Hug


But as if to knock me down, reality came around
And without so much as a mere touch, cut me into little pieces

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