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My Apologies, I Am a Bit Under the Weather Today….

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mental-illness

Stigma
By Veronica Emilia Nuzzolo,  M.Ed., Ph.D.

I woke up this morning,, really just not feeling myself,, it was a struggle to get out of bed,, I physically hurt,  I forced myself up and out, because I had to, I have to go to work, I cannot afford to be out sick,,

I’m a bit ill, a little under the weather,,  I will be fine,,,  oh, how nice everyone in the office is,, so very concerned,, do you feel o.k., can I do anything for you,, would you like a nice hot cup of tea,, feel better soon,, oh aren’t you so kind,, I will be fine,, thank you,,,

Minimal disclosure as to what a bit under the weather means allows for empathy, having a bout of socially acceptable “a bit under the weather” is not earth shattering news, no one is running for cover,, no one needs to know  that my a bit under the weather is mental illness.  Why,, well,, if they knew,, they would run for cover, they would cluster together and formulate a contingency plan to exit the premise and find a “safe location.”  They do not want to “catch it!”  Ha,ha,ha,,  thank you for your concern, but,, I am not contagious,,,,,,

I love irony,, when you were empathetic  to my being a bit under the weather,, with what you thought was my socially acceptable illness,  I was probably spewing those little pesky airborne pathogens,, contaminating the empathetic populace…….so sorry I gave you the common cold, flu, or I am so, so, so, sorry, mayhap tuberculosis….

The National Alliance on Mental Illness reports that mental illness is a condition that impacts a person’s thinking, feeling or mood and may affect his or her ability to relate to others and function on a daily basis. Each individual will have different experiences, even those with the same diagnosis.  1 in 5 adults experiences a mental health condition every year.

That 1 in 5 could be you…..mental illness does not discriminate and neither should you……… STOP THE STIGMA!

 

How to cite this article:
Nuzzolo, V. E., (2016).  Stigma. My Apologies, I Am a Bit Under the Weather Today.  Retrieved from, https://risetoshinetoday.org/2016/02/13/my-apologies-i-am-a-bit-under-the-weather-today/

 

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227 Comments

  1. Amela Agic says:

    When someone says “mental illness” they automatically assume that the person might be crazy or insane. When in all reality the person might just have an anxiety disorder. I think that to many people mental illness is an unknown field and it has been brushed under the rug for so long that people are still having a hard time adjusting to it. Yes, some mental illnesses are more serious than others but that is as the same as a cold and pneumonia. Both are physical illnesses except one is more dangerous than the other in terms of survival.

    Everyone has had days where they just feel mentally drained whether it be from work, school or personal things. Many people struggle with anxiety which is considered a mental disorder. But when someone tells me they have anxiety I don’t fear them, they aren’t dangerous. They might hurt themselves if they have an anxiety attack but not anyone else. While some other disorders like bipolar disorder or schizophrenia can be threatening especially if they are not on the right medications. I think that people automatically think of the worst when someone mentions mental illness. I know sometimes I can be guilty of this, even though I am a psych major and have been more informed about the topic. I think the stereotypes are so well ingrained in our society that we are having a tough time getting rid of them.

    No one should be isolated or left alone, no matter what illness they might carry unless it is highly dangerous/contagious. I believe that people think that the mentally ill should be isolated is because they fear that they are dangerous, when in reality they are mainly just a danger to themselves. With the right treatment and therapy people with mental illnesses can and do live in our society. You could be sitting next to someone in class, the train, work, etc. and not even know that they might be battling with a mental illness.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Veronica says:

    Hi Amela,

    Thank you for the well thought out reply,, but,, you wrote,, “While some other disorders like bipolar disorder or schizophrenia can be threatening especially if they are not on the right medications”,,,, this is not a true statement, this statement implies that people diagnosed with these two specific disorders can be, will be, or are violent, this is not true, and that is a big part of the problem from a social perspective, the stigma that people with mental illness are dangerous,,

    Please research the correlation between mental illness and violence,, you will be very very surprised to find out that the percentage of people with mental illness that have been violent, or maybe will be violent is minimal.

    Serani (2014) “evaluated evidenced based research that showed us that many who commit violent acts DO indeed have mental illness, BUT, there is more to this diagnostic picture. The 4% of individuals who are violent have very serious problems dealing with strong emotional thoughts and feelings, struggle with drugs and/or alcohol abuse, experience environmental stressors, school/job difficulties, financial issues, and social disturbances.[1] The other 96% living with mental illness are not violent, nor are likely to be prone to violence.”

    4% is minuscule,, media hype and sensation, and propoganda is what allows the negative stereotype to continue to exist and to hurt this population of people.

    Elbogen, E. & Johnson, S. (2009). The intricate link between violence and mental disorder: Results from the National Epidemiologic Survey on alcohol and related conditions. Archives of General Psychiatry, 66(2):152-161.

    Like

    • I really don’t think in this day and age most Americans are “fearful” of someone with a mental illness. But there is the factor of being judged by them to consider. Like the original article describes, it’s so much easier to blame your depression, anxiety, or bipolar disorder on something everyone can relate to, like a cold or flu. Not everyone needs to know your business, and when you’re at work or in some other social environment you’re there for a reason, not to give everyone a tutorial on why you’re “this way” or on “these medications.” Not everyone is as informed or open-minded as the next person, and depending on the environment you risk “becoming” your mental illness. Personally, I have no problem being open with people about being in recovery or what medications I’m on. But I know from experience it’s sometimes better to keep my business to myself, because one or two people with a small mind and a big mouth can stir up misinformation and (ugh) drama. I like to think that we’ve come a long way towards erasing the stigma of mental illness in out society, but one never knows how someone might react. But, if you have a mental illness and you “own it,” then YOU are in charge of it, not the people at work, or school, or anywhere else.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Veronica says:

        You are correct when you say,, own it,, personal accountability,, my mantra, I preach personal accountability, social responsibility, day in and out,, but,,, I am curious,, how you think,,, you have been on both sides of this fence,,,

        people are much more understanding,, and accepting,, oh,, your sober,, great job,, how long,, excellent,, keep up the good work,, oh,,, you stopped smoking,, awesome,, how do you feel,, keep up the great work,, oh,, you have bipolar disorder,, oh,, does security know???

        My job is to teach you to think,, outside of the box,, long-term big picture,, so say’s the devil’s advocate,, what do you think about that????

        Like

      • i absolutely agree that people in general just get very defensive when they’re in an uncomfortable stage, they have to blame their struggle on something eg. being bipolar. even though it’s an illness you still have the power of free will to choose who you disclose to and frankly yes the co workers don’t need to know.

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    • SteveMc says:

      Before I do my due diligence I want to create a record of thought. I have read the comments thus far and I will admit I have not completely digested the content. However, I feel as though there may be an argument for profiling within this conversation.

      Perhaps you have heard:

      !!THIS STATEMENT IS WRONG!!

      “Not all Muslims are terrorists but all terrorists are Muslim.”

      !!THIS STATEMENT IS WRONG!!

      I understand that no where near the majority of people with metal illnesses are violent. However, I wonder what percentage of violent people suffer from mental illness. I intend to look into this via the links provided.

      If what I suspect is true, that most violent people suffer from a mental illness, then that would create a reasonable argument for avoidance don’t you think?

      Like

      • Veronica says:

        4%,,,, is the documented percentage,,

        and yes, I believe that there has to be something wrong with the pathology if one can easily and consistently be deviant,,

        but,, I also believe that an entire history and understanding of the event is crucial,, what if the violence was a fight or flight response due to circumstance regardless of the persons psychopathology,,,,

        THINK………….. there is always an argument for profiling, since we have read the destiny of lesser animals,, what are we looking for,,, experience, interpretation, perception,,,,,,,,,,,,,that now brings us to stigma, prejudice, and ??????????????

        What does everything that we discussed have in common?????

        Like

    • Amela Agic says:

      I know that the percentage of people who are mentally ill aren’t violent, I think that’s what people in general might conclude when they hear “mental illness.” I mean the illnesses could be life threatening in terms of having breakdowns or conducting risky behavior which might put themselves in danger. I didn’t mean it as in they can be violent. I should’ve phrased it better.

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      • Shaldup Paljor says:

        Yes I see what you’re saying Amela. When people think of those with mental illness, it’s become synonymous with danger and violent. People suffering from mental illnesses don’t mean to do some of things that they conduct, meaning that in some cases they can inflict damage but that’s only due to their inability to contain some of their behaviors and actions.

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    • SteveMc says:

      Darren,

      I can absolutely relate to your view. I would take it one step further, let me know what you think. —- Those people that stir it up, are they attempting to shadow their issue by putting ours in the spotlight? I have personally found some of my closest friends that way. Can you believe once oiled the squeeky wheel at times rolls the best. Lol

      I suppose it goes along with everything we have been discussing. “Judge not lest years be judged.”

      As I said I really do agree with you. I just hope others (less aware than yourself) don’t miss the opportunity. The opportunity to communicate with others that are suffering and perhaps help.

      Like

      • Steve,
        You never know how other people in various situations will react to someone having a mental illness or being in recovery. I believe in teaching others what I know whenever it’s warranted, but some people have made up their minds about where they stand, and it’s a tough call to know who you can have an intelligent, insightful conversation with about things like depression, bipolar disorder, recovery, PTSD, etc. Even at my job, one person barely speaks to me because of bad experiences in his own family with alcoholics and addicts. To him I’m just another drunk regardless of how far I’ve come. Conversely, two co-workers are having a rough time with loved ones who they are losing to booze and/or drugs, and they come to me for suggestions and insight. In my opinion, having a mental illness or disorder is even more difficult to share with others because it’s not as cut-and-dried as letting them see you clean and sober every day. Sometimes I wish I could be an “Anit-Stigma Superman,” but I know I’m just a guy who can only work with what he’s got!

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      • SteveMc says:

        Darren,

        Well put. The only conversation point I can pull out of what you said was that one guy…..

        When we wash the dishes we add clean water until the filth is washed away, right? Should we as individuals who understand both sides attempt to wash away those limiting perspectives. If we allow those perspectives to fester won’t they multiply?

        “Misery loves company”

        All in all I think you and I agree. Given the particulars of any situation I believe we would make similar decisions.

        What are your thoughts on determining which mental illnesses require more assistance? SO I assistance and whatnot?

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    • Vanessa says:

      Hi Veronica, I be drained out most of the time. whether it’s from work school,or every day living. I believe a person with mental illness is not violent as long as they take their medication. I think a person not taking their medcation as needed can become violent and dangerous to themselves or other. I was emotionally, under the weather all the time when I was being active in my addiction. I felt like hurting myself, because I was tired of living that away until I got thehelp that I needed. Like you said, Veronica, there could be someone in class that we’re sitting right next to and don,t even know it.

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  3. A. Xayavong says:

    Veronica,

    Great blog post. Mental illnesses are often stigmatized in society but like the statistics show, it is extremely common. 20% of adults experience mental health conditions every year- that is a large number! Society has a very unwelcoming attitude toward mental illnesses which lead to, as you described, some sort of discrimination. It is unfair to those suffering from mental illnesses because now they are afraid to admit to it or they are discriminated against when they acknowledge it. The National Alliance on Mental Illness reports that 1 in 4 college students have a diagnosable illness and that a whopping 40% DO NOT seek help! That number is extremely concerning. This is a very tough situation to be in and most people do not seek help because of the stigma of a mental illness held by society. Mental illnesses are not contagious. People who have mental illnesses are not dangerous. Mental illness can affect ANYONE. Those suffering from a mental illness should not be afraid to seek help and support.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Veronica says:

      The National Alliance on Mental Illness is a great resource for evidence based issues regarding mental illness. Mental illness is not contagious but,, people act very different around those who are impaired, psychologically and/or physically,, why?? Think of this in terms of perception,, thanx…..

      Like

      • A. Xayavong says:

        Hi Veronica,

        People act very different around those who are impaired because the stigma of mental illnesses held by society. Society holds certain standards of what is considered normal or right and having a mental illness isn’t one of those normal standards. This is what makes people uncomfortable because they don’t know how to act in these situations that are not considered the norm. This is extremely unfair and society needs to become more accepting.

        Like

    • Vanessa says:

      Hi A. Xayavong, I agree with you on that about people who has a mental illness should not be ashame to let someone know about their disorder. I wouldn’t care who knew as long as I’m getting the help that they need, so they could live a good life. And to help themselves to cope in society.

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      • A. Xayavong says:

        Hi Vanessa,

        Very true! I think if people were more comfortable with how mental illnesses are perceived by society then they would be more willing to seek help. It almost seems as if people care more about what people think than their wellbeing.

        Like

      • Belice Puentes says:

        According to National Alliance on Mental Illness, an estimated 4% of adults have ADHD. With treatment, most people with ADHD can be successful in school, work and lead productive lives. I think day-by-day people have less fear and are being more open to let others about their disorders. I have to take notes for students who have learning disabilities, sensory impairments, psychological disabilities or physical conditions. Most of them have difficulty focusing attention or completing a single task or activity, and difficulty processing information quickly. It is challenging for them, but like any of us they have goals. I marvel how each one of them fight to overcome their illness, because they want to learn. It is an honor to me helps them.

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  4. Rosalie Schwaeble says:

    I believe that this is a matter that is still being overlooked.
    I, myself, deal with people with mental illness on a regular basis. Meaning, I work in a nursing home and the majority of patients there have Alzheimer or dementia. There are some of them that I interact more than others because of different aspects but I never look at them as anything else than humans that could not help getting the condition they have. They have good days and bad days, as any other person. They all have their happy moments and their lousy moments, as any other person. They all have feelings and they all have behaviors.

    So, after saying all this, no, I don’t believe they should be isolated. I don’t believe we should be afraid of them either. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes I really feel that I can’t handle it, them. But then, you see somebody looking at you, hoping to catch your attention and once you get close enough to them you hear “I’m afraid. I don’t know where I am. Can you please help me?” You realize that, they are more afraid than anybody else should be.

    Mental illness is not a joke.

    Like

    • i really respect what you do and it’s not an easy position to be in. you really put a soft spot in my heart with that last quote. and i agree they should be given more attention because they need it and the other way around to isolate them.

      Like

    • Rosalie,
      I agree with you. Often people with mental illnesses are more afraid than we are afraid of them. I don’t believe that they should be isolated either. Someone with a manageable mental disorder should be able to get help and live a normal life. It is also important to look at the mentally ill that are violent. What do we do with them? Is admitting them in a mental hospital essentially isolating them?

      Like

    • Vanessa says:

      Hi Rosalie, I like what wrote. And I know your not jugemental, but it is true they are still human being. And deserve to be treated no different. I have a friend who mother died from the disease. I It hurted me ,so much to see my friend’s motherlike ,because she forgot who we were and she say things that did’nt make sense to us ,but maybe to her. I agree, that people with ant type of illness needs to be active and around other people or a love one. Mental illness isn’t a joke, nor funny.

      Like

    • Amela Agic says:

      I actually saw recently that some nursing homes are incorporating daycare centers into the actual nursing home. This helps the elderly interact with the children and vise versa. It shows that the patients are more active and happy with watching these kids. To help prevent mental illnesses during the senior years it is important to keep the mind active. I think these kids definitely keep their minds active because children are always learning and looking to learn new things. And the children have a great benefit too, they have many “grandparents” to play and teach them.

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    • Yajaira Ramirez says:

      I too respect what you do. It is not an easy task and while I am sure it has its rewards, it can be just as draining or overwhelming. Touching up on what Lissandra said, we say and believe individuals with mental disorders/illnesses should not be isolated, yet we live in a society that does just that – isolate or confine those individuals by placing them in homes or institutions to be with “their own kind.” One can argue that an individual with dissociative fugue is best placed in a home where they can be properly monitored should an episode occur. This prevents the family from being concerned about their safety and whereabouts, and having to go off to find their loved one and getting the police involved. We have learned to view individuals with mental illnesses as “burdens.” Until we change this perspective and fully invest in making a change in our mental health system, then people with mental illnesses will continue to be isolated.

      Like

    • Sara Sada says:

      Hi rosalie, I agree with you. People with mental illness are just like anyone else. We all have the same feelings and life experiences. There shouldn’t be a fear encountering a person who has a mental illness

      Like

  5. i don’t want to get too deep or philosophical here but as humans just by observation, we are not here for us to be isolated. we are all over 7 billion of us in a small planet so we are forced to be and work together. Isolating someone just because they are different is indeed a problem not just here in the states but around the world. this is a problem of not only a person with physical and mental disabilities but people of different cultures and beliefs. whenever someone is different in way for example a mental illness they are immediately outcasted and isolated into their own grouping. it becomes a natural reaction to act towards someone like that when that is the way of the social norm. one of the biggest problems that i absolutely despise is the nursing home. i understand there is an argument for it and why it’s there, but personally i do not and will not agree with it simply because i believe no one should be isolated away from their families whether old or young or with disabilities. Thank you let me know your thoughts.

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    • Amela Agic says:

      There is definitely a different stigma around mental illness in other parts of the world. Majority keep it to themselves because they don’t want to be an outcast from the family or society. I definitely believe that in the US mental illness has become more open in society. More people accept it and understand it, where as in other parts of the world it is taboo to talk about.
      Also, I too hate nursing homes because most of the time the elderly are so isolated. They become depressed because they lack human interaction. The nurses and staff are usually over worked so they don’t interact with them as much. Family also doesn’t visit them as much either. It’s truly sad to think that at the end of someone’s life they spend it in isolation.

      Like

      • yeah it’s crazy, my mother used to work at the nursing and the stories she would tell me is just really sad. i don’t know if there already is one but there should be a research done to study the effects of the nursing of someone entering it and how they experience it. definitely would cause more awareness.

        Like

      • josiane djounbou says:

        you right i work in the nursing home i see that all the time, the elderly do not have enough attention, they are alone, and vulnerable most of the time.Most people who work in the nursing home do not care about elderly, they only care about their paycheck at the end of the week. and the worst part is that their family,do not even come for a visit i believe that they deserve love come from both side and beside being elderly does not mean that your life is over or you do not have anymore life.

        Like

      • SteveMc says:

        Josiane

        I can appreciate the value in identifying the problems with the existing system. I recently witnessed my wife’s grandmother deteriorate after entering a nursing home. She was independently mobile and coherent upon admittance. Within one month she passed away. My wife, children, and I visited her every week. Still she all but melted in front of us. So I can absolutely appreciate your point.

        What can we do as a society to eliminate this issue? Frankly, I believe our American culture needs assistance. It appears to me that “we” (Americans) as a whole need a shift in our priorities. It seems we have allowed “The American Dream” to become perverted to a system of self-gratification.

        I believe I would like to live out my final days in the company of family. I have every intention, and am taking steps now to take my parents in when they are ready.

        It is easy to identify the problems. The work starts when we begin implementing solutions. Wouldn’t you agree?

        Like

    • Estefania Gomez says:

      Hi Souhil, I liked that you mentioned about nursing homes I completely agree with you on that. In my country there are nursing homes but is not as common as here. In fact is so rarely to send a relative away from home. It is so sad how old people are isolated by their own families here in the states. I believed their lives has become so focused on work and the stress of life they acquired here make them to put the elder in nursing homes. However is not excuse to isolate them.

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      • josiane djounbou says:

        you absolutely right, in this country people are very busy looking for money and forget about what is really important. Believe me i witnessed that all the time in this country,it makes me so sad, i witnessed one elderly begging his son to let him out of the nursing home. but there is so much going out there that we need to be aware. In my country, nursing home does not exist you could barely see an elder away from his family,whether they are surrounded by their grand kids and vis versa. Those elderly need attention and love.

        Like

  6. Sam Chan says:

    Reasons that people simply just don’t feel well could range from things like anxiety to bipolar disorder, or other things that inhibit a person’s complete happiness. Sometimes there’s no simple answer of what they’re afraid of, or what the solution to their problems are. Sometimes, it can run deeper, beyond words that could describe what kind of stress they feel. A lot of the time, more introverted people would rather feel isolated and alone which would give them time to sort themselves out while other times, the complete opposite is true. Mental illness as a whole seems like a blurred area to me that I can’t say I’ve personally experienced too often, so I might not ever be able to fully comprehend these struggles or emphasize.

    Like

    • does depression if you know at all lead to a sort of mental illness?

      Like

      • Rosalie Schwaeble says:

        Depression, is a form of mental illness because it affects the way you think and react towards certain situations. When you don’t have depression you are more likely to look at the bright side of things while if you have it, it would affect you in a whole new level. .

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      • Depression is one of the most common type of mental disorder. Depression can lead to many other problems such as insomnia and loss of appetite. On top of all that, people suffering from depression will constantly feel sad. Even when something good happens to them, they will feel happy for a moment and then go back down to feeling depressed. People who are depressed will also feel no motivation. In extreme cases, depression can lead to suicide.

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      • Estefania Gomez says:

        Unfortunately depression is one of the most common mental illness in U.S. It affects millions of young American adults. Depression leads to many negative outcomes, if is not treated on time. I read some articles about it and one statistic was the most alarming where it stated 70% of adolescents have a depressive disorder.

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      • Belice Puentes says:

        According to National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH):
        1. Women are 70 % more likely than men to experience depression during their lifetime.
        2. There is one form of depression called “Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD),” which is characterized by the onset of depression during the winter months, when there is less natural sunlight. The depression generally lifts during spring and summer. SAD may be effectively treated with light therapy, but nearly half of those with SAD do not get better with light therapy alone.

        Depression is a common but serious illness!
        That means anyone can have it. However people can get better with the right method

        Like

      • Suanny A says:

        It’s sad to say but depression is probably the most common mental disorder all around the world. People who suffer from depression are constantly feeling sad and alone every day. Although, there could be a time where they’re happy but it usually only lasts a second. Depression can lead to suicide and suicide is simply the breaking point, it’s when they’ve felt worthless and felt like there was no reason to live anymore. I feel like society doesn’t make it any better for those who are fighting depression. Our society just excludes them even more instead of giving them some sympathy and taking them in as a regular human being because they still are one and sometimes people forget that..

        Like

    • Peter Yin says:

      Sam I completely agree with you on this comment, treating people with those type of mental illness you have to treat them with kindness, and support them by making them feel better. Only in this way could they feel supported by society.

      Like

  7. Jacqueline Souza says:

    I think that everyone faces a down day sometimes, a day when they are just mentally exhausted or ill. Regardless, no one should be isolated because of this. It doesn’t seem normal that everyone has to be upbeat and happy ALL the time. and I feel like we all need a day of rest, to do nothing all day, and not put our minds to work. This is healthy for us mentally and psychologically. Maybe one of these days of rest is okay to be alone to catch our breath.

    I remember having a day when I didn’t feel mentally well…actually, every few weeks I need to take a “breather day”. If I’m dealing with a lot, like trying to keep deadlines at work, at school, and at church, sometimes it feels like my brain has no time to rest. Especially if something happens in the family, someone gets sick, or I get sick and that just adds one more thing to worry about. Sometimes my brain is spinning and I can barely sleep at night. I think that this is normal every once in a while, because people deal with different things. I guess a mental illness becomes “scary” when it starts to affect people outside of ourselves.

    When I think of mental illness, I think of depression, but over all, I think of something that makes someone different than me. With all due respect, I think of mental illness as something that makes a person unable to control themselves in a given situation. – This might be the result of a lack of knowledge in this certain area (mental illnesses), but I guess I’d be scared of encountering someone with a severe mental illness and not being able to correctly respond in any given situation. In today’s society, being “politically correct” pretty much dominates how a person needs to act in public and sometimes it’s scary to think that I could have the wrong approach if having to deal with something that is unfamiliar to me.

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    • johannaderas says:

      @Jacqueline Souza
      I think you’ve made a very good point, sometimes we just don’t know how to act when we come across something we know little about. I agree with you, I think it is always a good idea to take some time for our self. In this fast living style we need time to nourish our mind and body. Like you said, sometimes we just don’t feel good because we cannot control the thoughts of our mind. If we do not change the way we think we cannot change the way we act. Similarly, I also think of depression as one of the most prominent mental health illness, I do believe it is preventable and curable but it all depends on the person’s effort and if they have the support system they need.

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  8. Yajaira Ramirez says:

    There is such a broad spectrum of mental illnesses, however, society seems to have placed limits on them and/or what is socially acceptable. Mental illnesses range from eating, personalities, addiction, anxiety, mood, obsessive compulsive disorders – all which typically do no affect a person’s physical appearance. Similarly to a person with a heart condition/disease – they can function as normal citizen, but are limited to physical activities and may require more routine check-ups than an individual with a healthy heart. In addition, they may also require proper medication and treatment. It is no different from someone who has a mental illness – they too require proper care and treatment, even medication at times.

    My mother suffered from depression after being laid off from the casino in which she worked for almost 20 years in Atlantic City, and as a result, we lost our home shortly thereafter. Having all that you know and have worked hard for swept from underneath you is not easy. Like any mental illnesses, depression is not a choice, as many mistakenly think it is. It is not something we pick and choose to have. While some days were better than others, there were times she had no desire to get out of bed for days at a time. My siblings and I, being young and unaware that this was more than just a “funk”, could not understand her at times and would grow frustrated. How could out other allow herself to be defeated? How could she not want to care for herself? How could she just stop caring about us?

    Society has build this stigma that mental illnesses are a personal problem. Now that in itself is a problem. It is our social responsibility to educate ourselves and stop looking at individuals with mental illnesses as someone less than someone with a heart condition. We empathize those who may have just suffered a stroke, but why do we not feel the same about someone who just had an anxiety attack? or say someone who has been battling suicidal thoughts? We need to recognize mental illnesses as physical illnesses and work to have a better mental health system in place, collectively and bring an end to what we think are “normal” members of society.

    Like

    • Yajaira,
      I completely agree with you. I also believe that mental illness should be taken as seriously as a physical illness. This might be the reason why people simply can’t understand mental illness. It is not “visible” in most cases.

      I am really sorry for your mother. I can definitely relate. The best thing we can do is to accept that mental disorders exist. As a society, we need to accept that the mentally ill need medical assistance just as the physically ill. It is critical to understand that some mentally ill patients need medication, therapy and in some cases even a special mental hospital.

      Like

    • Vanessa says:

      Hi Yajaira, My best friend suffers from depression. I get calls from her crying and telling me how she feels. I feel really for her, because I know how she use to be like out going, bubbly person, now she just down all the time and it bothers me too,because I know she still is active in her addiction. I talk with her until I can;t talk anymore,but if a person doesn’t want to be help what could we do nothing. You could lead a horse to the water, but you can’t make him drink it.

      Like

    • @Yajaira
      I couldn’t have word it any better myself. Society tend to view physical disorder more “urgent” then mental disorder. What goes on in the brain is just as important as anything else because it could lead to death. Depression is overlooked because it’s not something people ask for along with any sort of mental disorder. People assume that if you’re depressed then simply find something that’ll make you happy when it’s so far from being that easy. The lack of knowledge leads to stereotypes that society has for these individuals which is why it isn’t taken seriously. If someone is threatening to kill themselves are wants to die, self-harm is just as urgent as any other because they both might lead to one result, death. Someone’s life is at risk, I say that’s pretty damn serious.

      Like

      • Yajaira Ramirez says:

        Vanessa,

        I am sorry to hear that about your best friend. It truly is heart-breaking and frustrating feeling like there is nothing you can do. Please understand that it is beyond her control as well. The chemical reactions and works of her brain in the current state is much too complex even for her understanding. Depression takes a toll on the surrounding individuals of the person because we care and want to see them well. Though as you said, you cannot help someone who does not want to be helped, that is the sad reality of the situation. But I would say to seek all possible resources that are available today. When my mother was going through her depression, we didn’t really know it at the time (I was too young to understand) and did not seek proper resources for her.

        Like

  9. Everyone feels sad once in while. It is part of being human, but mental illnesses have become a common epidemic in America. People are constantly being diagnosed with some type of mental disorder. The issue is, most people suffering with mental disorders are often scared to “come out” and admit that they are struggling with a mental disorder and constantly feeling “under the weather”. Often it is hard for people who are constantly sad to even talk about their feelings. Many feel as if they are bothering others and simply being a “big baby.” People often say, “Just get over it”.. but it is not that easy. I personally take mental illnesses really serious.

    I was born in Brazil and came to America a few years ago. In Brazil, especially in small cities like where I was born, no one really believes in mental illnesses or takes them seriously. I did not either until a tragedy happened. My uncle committed suicide.
    I remember thinking.. How could this be? He was always so happy and cheerful.. Little did we know, he was suffering from depression. This is what is hard about mental disorders. Often people who are suffering pretend that they are okay when they are really not.

    In today’s society, we have become more open about mental disorders and accepted them as a serious medical issue. Some people may be scared of the mentally ill simply because this is how the media such as movies portrays the mentally ill. For example, in the movie Girl, Interrupted, the teenage mentally ill girls were mostly violent and tried to hurt others around them. I personally think that society is becoming more and more accepting of the issue because it is so common.

    Like

    • @Lisandra
      Those who suffer a mental disorder often keep it to themselves because they are scared to face the assumption society has already prepared for them. So instead they let it eat them alive because nobody likes to be judged. I have had friends who were close to commiting suicide as well and they were the ones who no one would expect it from. I hope your uncle finds peace where ever he is. People don’t take it seriously because they’ve never walked in the person’s shoes to know what it feels like so instead they make jokes about it. I feel like in life you just have to be careful because you never know if that one thing you decided to say triggered someone to die or feel so insecure about themselevs that they wish to die. There are so many people out there that are more afraid of the world’s view of them then you are on what they might do. Mental disorders don’t necessarily mean violence, if people actually took the time to understand more about them or to be so relaxed that someone might reveal to you what it is that they feel before it’s too late. It’s not easy for them and society is just making it harder.

      Like

      • Luzanne,
        You are right. Many individuals feel the need to hide their emotions from society in fear that they will be judged or known as a “crazy person”. I agree with you that we should think before we speak. Many people tend to be sensitive to certain comments.

        When I was in middle school, there was this boy who was bullied a lot by other students. He seemed to not let it get to him. This boy had left school and committed suicide. He was not as “strong” as people thought he was. Hearing this made me extremely aware of how people talk to each other and how mental illnesses can be so private and so discrete.

        Like

    • Yajaira Perez-Ramirez says:

      Hi Lissandra,

      Ignoring mental illnesses is also a cultural thing. While I was born and raised in America, my parents and family are from Central America, Honduras to be precise, and we share similarities with the Latin-American culture. It is frowned upon for a man to share or express feelings of vulnerability, sadness, or even affection. Any feeling that is not of a strong-headed man, or “macho” sort to speak is ridiculed. The fact that your uncle had to pretend that everything was fine on the outside when he was far from that on the inside is sad alone. That our societies and cultures have placed such limitations and expectations on a man – a human being above all, preventing him from seeking help and driving him to take his own life is just absolutely tragic.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yajaira,

        EXCELLENT POINT!!! Culture plays an important role in the treatment and prevention of many health and wellness issues.

        Like

      • I agree with this. I am Haitian and I know that there is a mental health stigma amongst the Caribbean community, especially in women. My grandfather suffers from mental health issues, and he struggles to accept that he needs treatment. He has episodes where he is manic, and this occurs when he takes himself off of his meds. Times like these are when he doesn’t want to listen to what anyone has to say and it take a lot for his kids to get him back on his meds.

        Like

    • Peter Yin says:

      Another way that I think can make these mentally sick people feel right, and safe in society is by promoting disability through programs, and generally the media. By spreading this through media, the world can feel used to the disabilities in society, and not make people feel isolated from the community.

      Like

  10. Gabriella Calderon says:

    Having dealt with mental illness in a close range, I can understand both sides of an argument. Sure, push yourself harder, work for what you want and you’ll see results. That’s what we’ve been taught since we were little. However, let me give a situation and see if what we’ve been taught works. You’re in bed, you can’t even will yourself to take the covers off, the idea of even brushing your teeth seems impossible. Let alone getting dressed and going to class! If you cannot manage to make it through the first step of pushing yourself harder, ;how can you be expected to get out of bed and go work. I’m not talking about anything monumental, it’s brushing your teeth…something we do everyday when we wake up and go to bed. Mental illnesses take over your life, it’s not something that can easily be fixed with a pep talk, yes it may help and lead to the road of success; but realistically we are dealing with something much bigger than that. There are degrees to each illness, such as chronic depression and situational depression, both different degrees and dealt with in various ways. In some cases, we are even talking about a chemical imbalance, in which case a pep talk is most definitely not going to work. You can’t simply categorize something just because you aren’t familiar with it. Everyone is different and handles things differently, if we all did the same thing there would be no diversity and the world would be quite boring and the human race would have nothing to thrive for. An extreme, I know…but something I thought should be shared…

    Like

    • johannaderas says:

      @Gabriella Calderon
      I agree with your comment I believe that mental health illness may have different types of symptoms and conditions. Sometimes an individual might not fit under one box, and might show different types of symptoms. Mental health illness like you said can affect drastically your life style and those around you. It is very sad how some people underestimate the impact that this type of illness can have in a person’s life. In the other hand, others might want to be diagnosed as having certain mental health conditions in order to receive benefits or to be treated differently

      Like

      • Gabriella Calderon says:

        I absolutely see your point, it’s ridiculous how people resort to that kind of mentality and would rather fake a mental illness than be responsible for their actions. It definitely takes away from those who really need the help, whether its with tests or more serious things. There are always those who abuse the system and prey on those who have sympathy for people with mental illnesses, unfortunately this type of behavior extends to other matters such as welfare etc.

        Like

  11. No one should ever feel alone or have to be alone. It is human nature to want companionship. I can not speak from personal experience to say how someone with mental illness may be feeling but I would assume in their state, they would want someone to make them feel better. In fact if I had a co worker come to work with the common cold or flu I would be more hesitant to be around them then with someone who has a mental illness. I can catch the flu I can’t catch mental illness.

    I guess I can say that I have had days where mentally I have been so drained from school and work. I am always on the go. Working 40 hours a week, going to school full time, and being a full time girlfriend is a lot of work LOL. No but seriously. I know someone who has a mental illness (Bi-Polar disorder) and I don’t judge anyone. Anyone can become mentally ill. One day you can lose your husband and mentally feel lost. You can lose a child and feel like there is no reason to live. You can be in a car accident which happens to people everyday and that can cause PTSD. There are so many factors that make a person mentally ill. There is nothing to fear because we are the same. Of course if someone was not raised in an environment where they were exposed to someone who is mentally ill then it may feel a bit uncomfortable to see someone like that for the fist time but other than that I think there is nothing to fear.

    Like

    • Meraliz Colon says:

      @ Arianna Brown

      I agree with you when you said “In fact if I had a co worker come to work with the common cold or flu I would be more hesitant to be around them then with someone who has a mental illness. I can catch the flu I can’t catch mental illness.”. I feel the same way. I live with a family member who suffers from depression and PTSD. She has good days and really bad days but it doesn’t mean she has to be isolated. She prefers to be surrounded by her family who can talk to her and calm her down if she’s going through a flashback. Even if someone is suffering from a mental illness so severe he or she is harming herself/himself or others i don’t believe isolation is the solution. If anything thats an even better reason by they should be kept company by people they feel best comfortable around who can care for them. I feel like there’s ways to work around that.

      I myself have had days where i was feeling under the whether and overwhelmed because of school, work and the stress at home and to be honest i like having some of that alone time to think to myself. To think “okay, so what can i exactly do to release all this stress?” but after i collect my thoughts and I’m still feeling down I go to the person i feel most comfortable with to talk about.

      Like

      • @ Meraliz Colon

        Yes thank you I am glad you agree! When someone has a cold I am like stay away from me I have way too much to do and I can’t miss work or school like that. If I’m sick I can’t go to work which means I can’t pay my bills. PLUS being around people with mental illness teaches you so many different things. Just like your family member who has PTSD when she has one of her episodes I am sure you learn things about her that you probably didn’t know from your normal day life.

        Like

  12. Mental disorders aren’t something contagious yet we tend to be more comfortable around someone with a cold than someone with a mental disorder. Bipolar disorder for example has an assumption that it’ll lead to violence but it has to deal with emotions so why exactly can’t it just include other emotions such as going from being sad to happy etc? Mental disorders can lead to death if severe enough so why isn’t it taken just as seriously as physical disorders if the risk is all the same at the end? Mental disorders can happen to anyone such as ptsd can be from death, rape, war, car accident, etc. Imagine being judged as soon as you walked into a room based on your disorder because they think you’re crazy and unstable. It’s like assuming that someone in a wheelchair is weak and that is so far from the truth. Society has this assumption that having a mental disorder means crazy and violence when sometimes it leads to wanting to end it all. Depression can be caused by bullying, judgements, family problems, or even sometimes when everything is going right in your life you find yourself depressed and you don’t even know why. I have had friends call me with the knife in their hands shaking asking me for help and at that point I was put in a position where now its up to me to convince them to want to live. Do you know how hard it is to convince someone that it’s gonna get better when all they’ve ever experienced is it getting worst? It’s not easy dealing with depression I’ve seen it eat people up because they’re scared to face the world and the assumption made about them. They’re already being judged before they walk in the room. We need to start taking mental disorders just as serious as physical disorders because both are calling for help and both are required to function. Some people are living but to live doesn’t mean you’re alive & that’s what people go through. As a society we need to start being more comforting and accepting so that we can change the world for the better. At the end of the day they’re people and no one is better than the next no matter what it is. You never know who’s going through something like depression because sometimes it’s the people who seem most happy but behind doors it’s a different story.

    Like

    • Gabe Oliveira says:

      This is so interesting. It’s incredible how much a shift that the perspective on mental disorders have had. In the movie “First Do No Harm” a regular child, who everyone thought was normal developed an early version of epilepsy. He was frowned upon. During a certain scene with the other little boy in the hospital waiting room, he was playing around like a normal child would with the other boy. But the boy with the epilepsy was wearing a helmet to protect from crashes and blows to the head. People in the room began to notice the boy wearing the helmet and asked the mother why he had the helmet on. The mother replied “To protect him from his epilepsy.” So the mother promptly removed the boy from the presence of the epileptic child. This shows and reflects the common perspective and view of mental illness. The mother removed her child away from the epileptic because she had the predetermined notion that the epilepsy would affect her child. It is terrible to say that people still feel this way today. People see it as a contagious disease. Mental illness is something that needs to be taken seriously. They can be biological, happen by trauma such as PTSD, etc.

      Like

      • Suanny A says:

        I strongly agree with @Gabe Oliveira, mental disorder is to be taken seriously. It amazes me how people view it as a “contagious disease”, although everyone is entitled to their own opinion and I respect it but it just interests me how those people think, “those people” I am referring to the people who think it’s contagious. I want to understand it with some backed up information.

        Like

  13. Marie Bernier says:

    It’s okay to be sad every once and awhile, it’s what makes us human. But what I think is wrong in our society today is that people just through mental illnesses into everything, if they get nerves they say that they have anxiety or if they’re upset about something they just say they have depression. In middle I was told by many people, in school and at home that I’m bipolar. I honestly don’t think I’m bipolar I can just get mad easily. I do believe society is becoming more open to mental illness but the way they portray it, isn’t always how it is. It took me a while to actually believe that depression is a thing, I think it’s because it’s the way I am brought up. I still don’t understand how if someone was diagnosed with depression how a pill can help them. It just doesn’t make sense how a pill can help with someone’s feeling, I understand how it works towards someone’s physical pain but not mental. I feel like the reason I think that way is because I haven’t experienced it myself, I just heard stories about people going through it.

    What gets me upset is how people act towards others with mental disorders. When people act poorly towards those with mental illnesses it makes them not want to tell people at all because they aren’t comfortable. People act as if being mentally ill is a contagious disease. Anyone can have a mental disorder, it’s always the people you least expect because they hide it so well.

    Like

    • Suanny A says:

      Yes it’s okay to feel sad and feel pain, it’s truly what makes us human. Although, I don’t think anyone should ever feel alone or isolated. I think we can all say that at one point in our lives we have felt alone/isolated and it’s a horrible feeling. It’s dark and unhealthy. I cannot imagine feeling that way every single day. And I completely agree with @Marie Bernier, today in our society people throw the word anxiety, and other mental illnesses around like it’s not a serious factor. Simply because someone gets mad easily doesn’t mean they are bipolar. Also just because someone is worried about how bad they did on a test doesn’t mean they have anxiety. People are so quick to judge and it sickens me. Most people think you’re dangerous when you tell them you have a mental illness which then makes you feel more isolated and not worthy. Some people are becoming more open minded and are making those who have a mental illness more welcomed and loved, instead of judging them which is great.

      Like

  14. Phanny Seng says:

    Having any type of mental illness, I feel that people make assumptions about you in a very negative way automatically if they know you are diagnose with some type of illness. Usually, I feel people would think that you are stupid,crazy, dangerous, etc.
    I feel that no one should be alone and isolated just because you are diagnosed with some type of mental illness because this is something that you cannot pass on to a person. I don’t think much people fear too much about another having some type of mental illness but, might just stay away from you because they don’t want to get judge.

    Like

    • @Phanny Seng I agree! and it’s not just people with mental illness that should’t and don’t want to be alone but that is everyone! Everything you said if is everything i feel too! In act I didn’t know so many people had problems with mental illness people until reading this article and forming a different opinion. You are just like me it is not something I can catch and that is exactly why I fear them even less!

      Like

      • phanny seng says:

        Hi Arianna,
        So glad you agree with me. People do not want to be judged. I was thinking what do you think of the other people’s perspective that understands people and really want to know what is wrong with people that are diagnosed with some type of mental illness?

        Like

    • Estefania Gomez says:

      Hi Phanny,
      I completely agree with you assumptions is what makes people to be distant causing these people with mental illness to be isolated form society. Unfortunaly most of people hear mentally illness and ” crazy” word comes up automatically. And I also I liked how you pointed out that society focus more on not to get judge rather than help those with mantel illness.

      Like

      • Sam Chan says:

        Hi Estefania,
        While I agree that some still feel that those with mental illnesses are simply “crazy”, it’s also nice to acknowledge that there have been significantly more who sympathize with them over the years. It irritates me to know that there are those who judge these people harshly without knowing what they’re being put through. It’s almost ridiculous how getting help for these illnesses under the circumstances of judgment seems like trying to jump a hurdle when it should simply be a form of relief.

        Like

    • Phammy,
      That’s what is so unfortunate about those with mental illness. They’re stuck with this stigma that only certain people can look past. More people need to be made aware of the fact that they’re no different from anybody else. They just require a little bit more… maintenance.

      Like

  15. Tara Culhane says:

    I believe that some people should have the space they need if they are having a day where they feel not well mentally. I have had many days where I haven’t felt well mentally, and sometimes the thing that is best for me is to be left alone. On the other hand, if I need help, i will ask for it. If I need someone to talk to, I will ask for it. When I am having days of not feeling well mentally, I am afraid of people judging me or criticizing me. I also fear that they won’t understand that I am seriously not well, and therefore underestimate my need to get help or be left alone.
    I have PTSD, and many times flashbacks happen and I cannot control when or where they happen. Sometimes I utilize coping skills that I have learned over the years to help calm myself down, and sometimes I may need a shoulder to lean on to help me. However, most times I simply need to be left alone so I can deal with the flashbacks on my own.

    Like

    • It was bugging me that I wasn’t sure when it was appropriate to use the term “mental illness” or to use “mental disorder.” It turns out that they’re interchangeable, according to this site. http://www.differencebetween.net/science/health/difference-between-mental-illness-and-mental-disorder/ I thi

      Like

      • …whoops, sent the post by before I was done by accident! I think the term mental “illness” has a more serious tone to it than “disorder,” but that’a just me! Anyway, just thought I’d put that out there, in case anyone else was wondering the same thing. Any thoughts?

        Like

    • Duncan Pantos says:

      Hi Tara, I agree with what you said. I think the tough thing, as you highlighted, is understnding if someone wants to talk through what is bothering them or if they are processing internally and don’t want to have conversations. I think it’s great that you know what the best way to deal with feeling unwell mentally is for you but I think a big problem right now is that a lot of people feel pressured to act a certain way and if they are having anxiety attacks, have PTSD or any other mental issue they feel obligated to hide their symptoms and appear “normal” so as not to make other people nervous or uncomfortable. However, I think acceptance of mental disorders and how they should be treated is improving as time goes by and people seem more compassionate about issues such as depression, which seems like huge progress.

      Like

    • phanny seng says:

      Thanks for sharing what your diagnosed with and how you deal with it. I was wondering how being left alone helps you deal with your flashbacks? What are your coping skills? Does it really helps or does it internalized it more?

      Like

  16. Duncan Pantos says:

    This was an interesting article because I can relate to this feeling at times, as I’m sure many others can as well. It seems people are more wary around others who are not feeling well mentally as opposed to physically exhibiting symptoms of a cold because they have a hard time understanding the personal struggles the individual is going through and attempting to understand someone’s mental unhappiness on a day they are not in a great frame of mind can cause questions about their own sanity and mental well being. As opposed to understanding a physical illness, which is oftentimes much more straightforward, for example “oh this person should drink less alcohol” or “get more sleep” and the physical symptoms of a cold should go away.
    Having said all of this, I also don’t think people should ever feel isolated, helping someone work through and understand what they are going through, no matter what, is crucial to overcoming physical as well as mental health issues.

    Like

    • Lake Amyel says:

      Hi Duncan,

      Thank you for bringing up the valid point that people can not be isolated while they are suffering from mental health issues. Unfortunately a common symptom of most mental illness is self-isolation. It seems like the majority of the population is more than willing to help them do that. Although it can be frustrating to be around someone who is mentally ill, it is so important that they get the support and validation that they deserve. Almost all of us at some point will go through a period of time where we are mentally unwell. As someone who has suffered from depression myself, I can say that the support of my friends and family was essential to my recovery. Anyone who has suffered from mental health issues emphasizes how important it is to have friends who encourage them, help them get out of the house, listen and most importantly show their love. I feel that helping people with mental illness has to be a community effort, and it is absolutely crucial to the health and improvement of our society and our people!

      Like

    • Marie Bernier says:

      @duncan
      I agree with you as to why people might seem hesitate to associate themselves with someone with an mental illness but just because they don’t understand how someone’s feeling doesn’t mean they can’t help, sometimes people just need someone to listen.

      Like

  17. Lake Amyel says:

    Hi Veronica, thank you for this enlightening blog post. It is so true that mental illness isn’t given the same respect that other illnesses do. Unfortunately, when you have a mental illness but still live your life normally, people often think you are “faking it” or just lazy. Little do others know how much more of a struggle it is to lead your day to day to life while struggling with a mental illness. Just because others do not witness the struggle doesn’t mean that it is easy to get up out of bed, shower and organize yourself. People with mental illnesses aren’t given the same accomodations that people with physical disabilities are, even though they are hindered in similar ways. Unfortunately, people with mental illness are forced to work as hard people without them and are judged severely when they are unable to perform to the same extent as people without mental illness. We desperately need a world where mental illness is understood, and people with mental illness are supported so they can thrive. We have so many people who are living difficult lives because there aren’t services for those with depression, adhd, ptsd, etc.

    It is extremely important that we start evaluating people for mental illness the way we evaluate people for physical illness. Regular screenings are necessary to ensure the safety of our people. So many people with mental illness don’t even know what they are going through, and when they find out it can be far too late. Anorexia, for example has a significant mortality rate. Can you imagine if this was something we regularly screened for and we could catch the symptoms before significant physical damage was done? It would save so many lives. It is about time that we recognize the effects of mental illness and how much our world would improve if they symptoms of mental illness were taken seriously. I think the varying levels of functioning in mental illness make it hard for people to believe that it really is a significant issue. It seems you have to be a certain level of “crazy” or you should just suck it up and continue. I know so many people with depression who have been told “everyone gets a little sad sometimes you just have to keep on going.” Although these people mean no harm, depression is a chemical imbalance and can not be solved by living your life the exact same way. However as I get older I see significant improvement in the way mental disabilities and illnesses are treated, and I have high hopes for the future.

    Like

  18. meralizcolon says:

    @ Duncan Pantos

    I like that you mentioned how some people keep to themselves if suffering with a mental disorder or situation because they don’t want to feel abnormal or don’t want to make people feel uncomfortable. I think this is true people tend to hide their problems. I don’t think they should feel the need to hide who they are or what they go through. Its hard for someone to live day to day with depression, PTSD etc. They should be proud of themselves because everyday they wake up its another day they were able to get passed it.

    Like

  19. johannaderas says:

    We all struggle in our daily life and sometimes we might just be a “bit under the weather” when this happens we naturally want to be listen to. We want to have someone support us and make us feel better. Nevertheless, as our emotions and feelings fade away we become ready to move forward in life. But what if this “under the weather” sensation lasts for months, years or a life time? People with mental health issues struggle with regulating their emotions and behaviors but their biggest enemy is society’s stigma. Some may not be educated enough about mental health illness and others due to cultural or religious beliefs might see it as a shameful punishment or curse. However, with the increase of technology and science society is slowly becoming more educated and well oriented regarding mental health issues. What we need to keep in mind is that a person with mental health illness is a still a human being in need of treatment and compassion. Instead of thinking that it might be a contagious illness we should focus on helping people with mental illness feel accepted and as part of our community.

    Like

    • I agree with you when you say we should “accepted mental illness as a part of our society”, that’s true, because no one should be left alone, and we must interact with one another everyday in our life. It does not matter whether they are mentally ill or not, as long as they are surrounded by people who sees beyond their sickness someone special,they would be more happier. I believe also if they take their medication which is assigned by a doctor, for those who is on medication they should be fine. However, we do not choose to be mentally ill, society should change their mindset toward people with health illness by begin to create more opportunities for jobs, which would help them being more independent.

      Like

    • Belice Puentes says:

      Yes, everyone have struggles in life. The big difference is the pathway each one decides to follow to overcome those struggles. For some people who have severe mental health issues medicine could be dispensable for continue their lives. However, for others, their religious beliefs have been their alternative to find healing. I’m a good example of that. Years ago, I found a light into my deepest darkness. After I acquired a deeply religious knowledge I overcome the anxiety, negative thinking and depression that I was carrying for long time. It was a huge renewal from depression to mental well-being. So, we cannot treat religious people as ignorant. We need to stop the tendency to make assumptions about everything. As a psychology student I have learned to make judgments in base a facts rather than personal opinion.

      Like

  20. Estefania Gomez says:

    When it come to think about mental illness automatically we take an automatically response of distance usually thinking they might be dangerous and harm you. We all face a day where we wake up not feeling mentally well, it happens quite often, yet there are people that surrounds us to make us feel better. On the other side there are people who wake up everyday with this situation struggling day after day, not having any word of solidarity. They are totally isolated form society and afraid of their future. I don’t think we should let people with mental illness be isolated, they are still human beings and they need help. We can help them understand the illness, get treatments, and educate them and us more about each illness a person is passing through.

    Like

  21. I work in a psychiatric hospital with a variety of mentally ill patients and you would not know a lot of them are “ill” when having a conversation with them. With some patients, it is more evident they are suffering from a mental disorder through further observation. A lot of them just enjoy being listened to. These people are feared solely for the fact they have a mental illness and because of the stigma that comes along with it. And the fear comes from ignorance or simply not understanding enough about mental illness. In a sense, they are isolated within a community of other mentally ill people but it is better than trying to overcome an illness all alone and with no support. I think some people fear surrendering to a mental illness and reaching out for help because they don’t want to be labeled. As humans, we do care about our status.

    Some people just need a personal day due to personal troubles or a series of recent personal troubles. They might not necessarily be mentally ill but experiencing depressing symptoms similar to those of mental disorders. Everybody needs time to reflect and find inner peace and if not it could lead to depression or other illnesses. We are humans and bound to be bothered by something sooner or later.

    Like

    • Phoebe Broomstein says:

      I agree completely with people being ignorant about mental illnesses. No one deserves to be judged because of their mental illness, and that is what these people do. Because of the stigma, many people tend to not talk about their illnesses. They fear being not accepted by others and isolation. Even worse, people may ignore their illness because they are scared of being different than everyone, so they will not get the help that they need and deserve. It is so unfair that they must suffer because other people are uneducated. Also, I agree that humans need mental health days. Our mental health is equally as important as our physical health, and must be taken care of. Everyone struggles, whether its work or school or their family, and we must relieve ourselves of this every day stress. Unfortunately, schools and work may not see this as a valid reason to be absent, making people feel wrong for wanting to take care of their minds.

      Like

  22. Cynthia Ordonez says:

    I believe no one should be alone or isolated, but even if they are with company they could still feel lonely. I’m sure everyone has experienced that emotion at least once, but feeling that constantly must something really difficult. I don’t have any mental illness but I know a handful of people that do, most commonly depression and/or anxiety. From what they explained they feel alone and not worthy, on top of that they worry too much about minor aspects in life. My instinct is to help them, but I can only do so much. I learned that you cant fix someone, you can’t help someone that doesn’t want help, the only thing you can really do is be there for them. Mental illness are serious, it’s just like we discusses in the mind over matter post, if one’s mind is not in good conditions the body will respond with bad conditions as well. Just as the cliche saying goes “be kind because everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • jepierce2016 says:

      It is also not a hard thing to be there for someone. a lot of the time they really dont want anything more than to know that there is someone who has their back. that alone can help push them in a better direction because it lets them know their not alone in this crazy world. it honestly takes more effort to alienate someone. then both of you feel worse in the end.

      Like

  23. josiane djounbou says:

    mental illness is not something that you can see, unless diagnosed by the doctor, i believe that everyone deserves care and support. the society has an ability to fear people who has mental illness,because they think they are violent but that not the case. i believe that there are many different mental illness that affect people in different ways within each mental illness, people may have different symptoms and challenges. commons group of mental disorders include anxiety disorders, they may include excessive and uncontrollable worry, strong fear, unwanted thoughts,panic attacks or fear around a past scary situation. Anxiety disorder are the most common mental illness and i think that each and everyone of us are facing one of them in our daily life.a person who has mental illness could live a healthy life only if they take their medication which is assigned by a doctor .we all likely know someone who has experienced a mental illness at some point. yet there are still many hurtful attitude around mental illness that fuel stigma and discrimination and make it harder to reach out for help. its also important to know that people who experience mental illness are much likely to be victim of violence than to be violent.

    Like

    • Cynthia Ordonez says:

      Josiane,

      I agree with some parts of what you say like everyone deserved care and support and society fear people with mental illness because fear can come from the unknown.

      With that being said I disagree with well many of your other idea, such as mental illness is something you can’t see, I believe that sometimes you can look at a person and tell that they are anxious by their tells like shaking their leg or tapping. You can tell someone is depressed by the dark circle under their eyes and how they carry themselves. I also disagree when you said that people assume that people with mental illness are violent if anything i believe they just have a negative connotation about it and prefer to stay away because it might bring their own mood down or perhaps further upset the person with the mental illness. Where you talk about everyone facing some sense of anxiety everyday, its a bit of extreme, people with ‘healthy’ minds may feel stressed and overwhelmed but not to the same extant or consistency in which a person who suffers form anxiety feels. Finally, a person with a mental illness may live a ‘normal’ life but it does not depend on the medication in which the doctor has prescribed. They may be able to do it off of no medication and rather the support and mentality they have. Which is why no one should be alone, they should have a strong support that can help them ease or even over come some mental illnesses.

      Like

      • Belice Puentes says:

        Josiane, I agree with the last part when you said the person with mental illness can live a normal life. That is true! In the other hand when you said, “It does not depend on the medication in which the doctor has prescribed.” That statement is not true. Medication is so important for the person with mental illness. Last summer I attended Family-to-Family program with National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). This course is designed to facilitate a better understanding of mental illness, increase coping skills and empower participants to become advocates for their family members. The lady who gave the program shared with us her testimonial. She has a son of 23 years with a mental illness. Twice he left the medications, because he felt better. Her mother was the one who suffered the consequences of his decision. The first time the police called her because he was walking on the street barefoot. The second time he left his home during the night. He walked almost all night long without shoes. She emphasized the importance of taking medication.

        Like

  24. Gabe Oliveira says:

    Being alone or isolated is a feeling that nobody should have the displeasure to endure. Humans from every time to time depending on the person, need to be separated and excluded to have a mental break. I have come across and met an incredible amount of people with depression. I knew this one person who could not sleep until she had taken her anti-depressants. She would not be able to function without them. Seeing someone you know and care for go through depression, have any sort of mental illness or disorder is painful and very frustrating. Feeling isolated or excluded for long periods of time is sheer torture that nobody should have to endure.
    I saw this episode of Law and Order where Detective Stabler is in charge of a case of an assault. He gains a new perspective upon the person who he is pressing charges against. He learns that the man had spent years in an isolated prison cell. Detective Stabler tries to equal the playing field and gain insight and reason as to the mentality of the man during the assault. Stabler performs an experiment where he asks his an officer to place him in an isolated cell for 3 days. At first, Stabler sleeps a lot. He gets 3 meals a day with no communication to outside officers. Stabler performs physical exercise to fill up his schedule. Stabler then begins to hear voices with his shadows and playing with bugs, reflecting his mental decline. Stabler begins talking to himself. Once the 3 days are over, he attacks the officer who put him in the prison and questions why he put him in there for a week, however in reality Stabler had been in there for 3 days. Time feels elongated when isolated. This episode really helped me gain a perspective on the mental effect isolation can have on a human.
    The word “isolation”, “mental disorder’, “mental illness”, etc has all lost it’s connotation. These words became euphemistic and do not accurately represent the seriousness of the condition behind it. Having a bad day every once in a while is human, and speaking as an introvert, every once in a while I need my own mental break with time just with myself to keep myself sane. Mental disorders deserve more attention and if you look at the history of how mental disorders have been classified, for example PTSD has evolved from words such as “Shell Shock” used to classify war veterans after the Vietnam War. The seriousness of mental disorders has reached a serious decline beginning from the mid 1900’s.

    Like

    • josiane djounbou says:

      belice
      read well i did not say medication is not important i said a person with mental illness can live a healthy life as long as it takes his medication, so medication is truly important.

      Like

  25. Shiori says:

    People do feel happiness, sadness, anger, depression, loneliness, fear or something like that emotions. I think that having all those emotions are important in our lives because there are something that we can learn or develop through those. However, when you cannot take a balance of these, that would be a huge problem related to mental illness. I am actually a type of person who can easily have mental illness, because i usually overthink bout anything. I do care about what people said, how people feel, how people see me. However, this overthinking might create new problem that was not there in the first place, and it hurts me a lot. I know I just think about something bad too much, but it is hard for me not to think about those crap. Mental illness is serious problem and is difficult to consider because it is related to our brain. Usually controlling mind is not easy by yourself because you can be blind when you think abut something too much because of that. That means that mental illness is very common illness, but it is also hard to cope at the same time. However, I believe that people can avoid or cope with mental illness by being surrounded by good environment. Therefore, we need to help people who have mental illness by providing good environment to them even though they tend to be isolated.

    Like

    • Hi shiori, I like how you mentioned all the emotions in the beginning. sometimes I feel them all in one day! pretty exhausting! My boyfriend over thinks absolutely everything. It’s hard for me to deal with someone like that because I feel sometimes overthinking leads to negativity. I learned that getting angry with him doesn’t work, neither does ignoring him (I tried), but actually just reassuring him things will go good for him, or even quoting positive quotes. Today he had an interview and he over thought it so much he was sure he was not going to get it. It’s something he can’t help but do. Surrounding him in a positive environment like you mentioned does work! My daughter and I prayed for him and he chuckled because she prayed he gets the job so he can have time to go to her ballet classes and we asked for silly things but this made him laugh and I told him to talk to them like he does me. Not everyone has a support system and you can change a persons day just by reassuring them sometimes life isn’t that complicated. It’s exactly like you said, “therefore, we need to help people who have mental illness by providing good environment.”

      I enjoyed your post, thank you.

      P.S. He has a second interview tomorrow. 🙂

      Like

      • Shiori says:

        Hi Stephanie, I’m glad you enjoyed my post. Like your boyfriend, there is no meaning to get angry or ignoring for people who tend to overthink because those attitudes don’t usually work well to them as you tried. I really feel your boyfriend since I have kind of the same personality as him. However, yes, you can be good supporter for him meanwhile you are his girlfriend by making good environment for him!! Wish both of your good luck and happiness. And hope the interview went well!

        Thank you.

        Like

  26. patriciarose10 says:

    “no one needs to know that MY a bit under the weather is mental illness. ”
    people need to understand as humans we all want to fit in and feel accepted. what’s the point to acknowledge a part of you that you don’t want others to meet. a part of you that you might feel ashamed of. the one thing about you that makes you feel “different”. its common for someone to fear the thought of someone finding out about their illness. people treat you different depending on your background, in reality first impression is everything because as humans we always judge others without even trying. people with a mental illness don’t want to be treated differently, they just want to be “normal”.

    “safe location.” They do not want to “catch it!”
    this is why people don’t want to talk about their illnesses. others might treat you like if your a monster. like if your a problem or as if your not a person but a “illness”. i understand that people with illnesses should not think this way but put your self in their shoes. this is something that has changed their lives and sometimes even the way they think. they might be very vulnerable and thats why they rather stay to themselves. to some people being locked in their rooms is their safe zone.

    Why should anyone be be isolated or alone? Haven’t you ever had a day that you just did not feel well, mentally?? Why and what are you so afraid of, what do you think you have to fear???

    i feel that people shouldn’t ALWAYS be by themselves but people do need some alone time. if your always with people it just feels suffocating. people need time to think, reflect, and relax. yes i have had days where i haven’t felt well mentally. of corse i have, I’m only human. we don’t wake up everyday of our lives feeling perfect, i wish we did. i was diagnosed with a sickness a few years ago and it was honestly killing me. having to deal with constant abusive pain only led to hand full of prescription drugs to help me cope with the pain. i thought i was going to die because my sickness was taking over my body and mind. i din’t tell anyone. i was ashamed. as a 14 year old girl i din’t think anyone could understand that a sickness was killing the person i am and a new sad, depressed, isolated person was being created. today i am 19 years old and i don’t fear anyone or anything. i realized that i am very young and life is too short to be spent in isolation. i got my life together and today i wake up happy and blessed everyday. a few months after constant pain i went to the hospital, i wasn’t diagnosed with a mental sickness but i was diagnosed with a genetic sickness that if not controlled or stabilized it would be the new owner of my life.

    i learned that when someone is sick they just accept it and allow their sickness to take over their lives and blame everything on their sickness. i insist to all those that have a sickness either if its mental or a new diagnoses, life is beautiful and i feel that you should embrace it and live it to your full potential. don’t isolate yourself because there are people that care about you. these friends and family members see you locking yourself in your room. they see the sadness and struggle on your face. smile no matter how hard your day is or how terrible you feel. your mind controls everything that happens to you. once you tell yourself your beautiful and your happy, then act like its true, soon there will no longer be a act but it will soon be your reality. take over your life!

    Like

  27. Ernesto Bonilla says:

    Being isolated or alone is like being trapped in a dark tunnel where your mind starts to wander on its own. It makes you think about personal things, others, self image, and conflicts. I had felt that way for about two years when I was in high school, sitting alone in lunch feeling isolated and depressed because of not knowing how or who to socialize with. I feared being a social person because I felt jealous that others had it well. There were days when everything would just bottle up, there would be times when suicidal thoughts and thoughts of hurting myself would come up. Luckily I was fond to drawing, so I kept a drawing journal with my drawn out emotions as cartoons. Was I mentally ill, did I suffer from an anxiety disorder? I could have possibly experienced both; just I didn’t know what was happening to me back then. Two years later I did find my place in high school.
    I can say that maybe this was abnormal, or it was just I struggling to find myself into society. Many young adolescents and adults tend to experience some type of mental illness. Some may be afraid to talk to someone about their emotions, feelings, or problems because we as human beings feel like we are going to be criticize and be called crazy. I myself would NOT like to have that title. The right thing to do is being able to comfort people who seem to struggle into this social environment/society.
    Definitely I truly believe no one should be isolated or alone, not even people who maybe consider dangerous or contagious. The only time someone should be alone is if a person decides to take some time to think and reflect. We are born to help one another, we share experiences which may guide others to have a healthier life or be resources to give hope.

    Like

  28. Herol Z says:

    As I read, what I was reflecting on was how defense lawyers, in a murder case, always say their client was suffering from some form of a mental illness at the time of the crime. The term seems to be passed around in the courtroom like a contagious matter easily obtained by anyone. The article clearly reveals the contrary. Mental illnesses are not spontaneously acquired. The fact that, such lawyers would try to find pity from the jury through such claims is down right wrong.

    I have and I think many have witnessed first hand how Alzheimer’s affects the mental state of someone. From my personal experience, when observing a family member who has the disease, it is as if they are always living in the past. Recalling on the memories they are living, at times you try to play along in the hopes of grasping them back into reality. In the moments where you truly believe your efforts are starting to pay off, they do something totally unexpected that shows and reminds you of the nature of their condition.

    In such a situation if I were to fear my relative, due to this illness, I would be doing them more harm than good. The reason is that, given my relatives current mental state, they still feel affection. There are still parts of the mind that stay in tact. Distancing my self could possibly enhance the mental illnesses status, because now they would be feeling an array of unwanted affection.

    None should ever feel unwanted or alone, whether they have a healthy or affected mind. We all have days where we mentally break down, but feel reassured once someone else provides some sort of comfort. That reassurance is also comforting to someone who suffers from a mental illness day in and day out. By trying to relate to a mentally ill person I believe we can make their lives a bit more easy than it is.

    Like

  29. Herol Z says:

    To many times we find that court cases have defendants lawyers searching for pity in front of the jury by stating, their clients suffered from some mental illness at the time of the crime. Claiming a mental illness state just to get your client to walk from a case, is just down right wrong. The article clearly states that a mental illnesses are not contagious, so I do not know why such lawyers treat mental illness as a contagious matter.

    Many of us have personally experienced the effects of a mental illness on a loved one or someone that we know. In my situation, I found that no matter how much I could try to relate to my relative, who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease, I can not relate to them on the level I would like. Recalling on the memories that my relative lives day in and day out, I try to play along in the hopes that I can grasp them back into reality. At the moment where I think they are coming to, they do something totally unexpected that reminds me of the state of there illness and the reality of things.

    In such a case if I were to distance my self from my relative, I would only be doing them more harm than good. Distancing my self only opens up feelings of unwanted affection towards my relative. Though they are suffering from a mental illness, some parts of the mind still stays in tact. I believe that such parts of the mind include but are not limited to relating to affection and emotions relating to a sense of worth. By trying to relate to my relative I can bring some sort of comfort.

    I am pretty sure we all had our days when we have had a mental break down. Those days when you feel you just can not go on. In such times do you recall how comforting it is when someone tries to provide some sort of comfort. By trying to relate to someone who has a mental illness day in and day out, I think we can make their days and lives a bit more easier.

    Like

  30. jepierce2016 says:

    no one should ever feel isolated or alone, i have felt that way before and it is not pleasant. people dont deserve to feel that way, But it still happens everyday. I believe that a lot of people are not equipped to be able to understand others feelings. weather they have no experience in being around others with social anxieties or they have too much experience and are not really willing to put more into it. Growing up the way i did and with who i did gave me some experience and a lot of empathy towards others. Some people are just down on themselves and life all the time, or a good amount of it. its important to pick others up when they have fallen, if you are able to brighten up someones day then do it! it is not contagious, It can be quite the opposite, you can easily turn someones day around and in doing so you will feel good about yourself. It sucks that so much of the world is jaded, but you do not have to be part of it.

    Like

    • Duncan Pantos says:

      Hi jepierce I agree and I like your response to this article. I think as you highlighted is part of the issue is some people are not equipped to handle other people’s feelings and I believe that comes out at times as anger. For example not understanding why someone is depressed can lead some people to think “why isn’t this person happy? They’re attractive, they’re in good shape and relatively young”. However for obvious reasons dealing with depression is not that simple. There are oftentimes several underlying problems that are not clear unless you have gotten to know that person very well. I also think it is true that picking others up when they’re down is crucial because sometimes all someone needs is a few words of encouragement or some type of boost to help them through the day.

      Like

  31. Phoebe Broomstein says:

    There are so many misconceptions about mental illnesses that people still believe today. There are still people today who don’t understand that mental illnesses are real, which is appalling to me. They think that depressed people should just “be happy”, or people with anxiety should just “calm down”. Their ignorance is so problematic, and it is so frustrating to me. Mental illnesses are real conditions that greatly can affect a person’s life, and they are just equally valid as physical illnesses.The stigma of mental illness is incredibly wrong. People with mental illnesses are judged harshly and seen as dangerous, making them feel isolated. I do not believe anyone deserves to be isolated. Humans depend on others, and sometimes we just need someone. Some mentally ill people just need someone to talk to, but they are feared because of the stigma that comes along with their mental illness. Also, something that really bothers me is when people use mental illnesses as adjectives. It is so offensive to say someone is “acting bipolar”, but I hear that phrase being said so often. It would be hurtful and infuriating for someone with that illness to hear that.

    Like

  32. samuelt21 says:

    Why should anyone be be isolated or alone? Haven’t you ever had a day that you just did not feel well, mentally?? Why and what are you so afraid of, what do you think you have to fear???

    l thin the only reason why people are alone is because it’s just easier to deal with a sickness that way. Me personally I like to deal with things alone, whether I was physically or mentally ill. That’s not to say that’s the recipe for dealing with it but it happens. I’ve have plenty of times where I felt “mentally ill” and I couldn’t make it outside, but honestly sometimes I did it to myself and other times it snuck up on me. Both have the same results. Personally I’m not sure if I’m afraid of something, I think it’s more of a “I need to handle” my emotions type of thing, or maybe I’m afraid because I didn’t want those thoughts to surface. You learn to be afraid of something it;s up to you whether you let it take over.

    Like

  33. I hate that people with mental illness’s feel this way. Nobody should feel that way, but then again it’s people’s fault. I can count the days in a month I don’t “feel good mentally.” Sometimes I just don’t want to talk to people, sometimes I just feel sad for no reason, I’m just not so happy. I think people react in a “mean” way towards people with a mental disability because they are just uneducated. The fact of not knowing why people might seem different or do anything that’s “not normal” frightens people and I think also draws their attention. That’s when the stares become awkward. Sometimes I have seen people with a disability and can’t help but look twice, I don’t look or stare because I’m like “yuck” but rather because I’m interested in what’s going on. I’ve always wanted to work with kids who have mental disabilities. I want to help people, want to make life easier for people that have more trouble at living a day to day life. I’ve worked at a substance abuse program for 11 years now and I love it.

    Like

    • Duncan Pantos says:

      Hi stephanie, I think you made a really good point in saying that a lot of times people are not looking because they’re disgusted or grossed out by someone with a disability. I agree because I have definitely done the same thing, I have looked longer than would be socially acceptable because I’m curious, I try not to look at people in a disrespectful or aggressive manner but I think it’s human nature to be interested in what someone is dealing with. Also I have to agree that a lot of people do seem to feel frightened or put off when they notice someone with a mental illness or disability because like you said they don’t understand it and are most likely uncomfortable with what they see, and instead of being open minded and trying to put themselves in that person’s position, many people end up putting up walls because it’s easier to not think about something uncomfortable than to question what you believe you already know.

      Like

  34. Okay, so I had already posted but as I was reading others post and choosing who to respond to it hit me. I have a mental disorder! I actually have ADHD, (Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) I don’t think I have ever looked at it this way and part maybe because it’s not something you can see. When I work in groups sometimes I get embarrassed because the teacher might say to read an article or something and it takes me so long to do so because I can’t stay focus for the life of me! I find it easier to remember things when I stand up or I have something in my hand I can play/handle with. If anyone knows what pinterest is, well I had a class before where the professor let me pinterest things during class because she realized when I did I participated even more and I explained I had ADHD and just flipping threw pictures made me tune everything else out and listen to her and class room discussion! I learned counseling and how to make dumplings in that class lol but I got an A. People don’t’ realize how hard it can be for someone to want to do something and your brain not cooperate! It has taken me so long to get my associates but I am happy to say I am 5 classes away from finishing and barely using any medication prescribed monthly to me. Sometimes it’s easy to prescribe medicine but I hate how I feel on it, my nose itches, super thirsty, stay awake for more than I should, and loose my appetite! Anywho, just wanted to add that I have a mental disorder because I realized not all mental disorders are visible but a person can be struggling within themselves.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Stephanie,
      I think it’s great that you found a natural way to help with your ADHD, I’m a Pinterest fan myself and I can see how that would work! I think exploring any type of holistic alternative to a drug is always worth doing. Still, it’s scary how quickly and eagerly many doctors will dole out a prescription without really considering other options, like what
      happened the little boy Robbie in “Do No Harm.” That diet that helped him had been around since the 1920s and yet decades later doctors were still pooh-pooing it over horrific medical and surgical treatments. It makes you wonder how much of that goes on today in the name of Big Pharma. Conversely, there’s someone in my family who decided she had ADHD without ever actually being diagnosed with it and doctor-shopped until she got a prescription for Adderall. Years later, she’s still abusing it (more than one prescription) and it’s brought her to a bad place. It’s things like that that can give people the wrong impression about someone who actually DOES have a mental disorder, and actually benefit from prescriptions that others might abuse.

      Like

      • Hey Darren, Thanks for your reply. I wanted to add to the substance abuse part. I’ve had people ask me if they can buy my pills off of me. I didn’t realize the “getting high” perspective of it because I never voluntarily wanted to use them. I have noticed that when I do use them to study and try and focus for school related stuff I become overly disappointed if I fail or don’t get an expected grade. It’s like my “self” tells me “dang, not even pills helped you!” sounds kind of funny, but in all reality sucks. It sucks to know I need something to help me organize myself but also sucks to think without it I can’t make it. I guess this is part of the reason the professor does not believe in long term medication.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Robert Tynes says:

      I can totally relate. To the point that I recently returned to seek an eval to see if they could re-prescribe Adderall before I started classes again to see fi it would help, due to a diagnosis I was given back in middle school. When I went for the eval, the psychiatrist started reading off things within my record from my childhood that I didn’t even remember and felt I would have been better off not knowing about the practice and it’s relationship with my mother in regards to me when I was a child. Fair to say, I left that office and never went back, I gave up on seeking the medication, and I’ve still been succeeding in my classes and focusing. Granted, it takes me a while to do an assignment, I find that if I pace myself correctly and give myself enough time, as well as control my environment, I still tend to get the work done, no medication necessary.

      Like

  35. SteveMc says:

    Stephanie,

    You are so not alone. I also struggle with diagnosed ADD. I am not prone to action quite as much however focus is a challenge. I like to draw things I as much detail as possible in order to allow the learning part of my brain to work. In short, you have a kindred audio processer in class.

    Like

    • @SteveMc Nice to know I am not alone. I will try drawing/doodling. Thank you for opening up and sharing you too struggle with ADD/ focusing. It’s scary I’ve been in college for a while and still can’t seem to choose exactly what works best for me in retaining information. It’s a daily struggle unfortunately.

      Like

  36. I don’t believe that anyone should be alone. But if they choose to be then what is the problem with that. I know I’m the type of person that loves to be in company of others, but there are also days that I just want to be left alone and peoples company irritates me on a whole other level. Most of the time when that does happen its because I am so overwhelmed with school work and dealing with my family.

    Like

  37. Sumaya says:

    I believe mental illness does exists and it’s crazy that there are people out there who don’t believe it’s actually true. The negative labels that people with mental illnesses are “crazy” that is such an awful mindset to have as person, people go through things and everyone should be understanding and try to help them get through it. Everyone needs a little time to their selves to recollect their thoughts and just have time to relax. You don’t always have to be in the company of others you should be able to just be by yourself. There is nothing wrong with being alone I don’t get why people think that is such a weird thing to do.

    Like

  38. Peter Yin says:

    When it comes to mental illness, people automatically react different to the people that tend to have this disability, people almost act like it’s contagious, by either avoiding them or treating them differently than normal human being. I believe that people shouldn’t react like that because it’s morally unrightful. Everyone should be treated the same regardless of what kind of mental illness they contain. Instead of treating others like that unequally, people should support those who are mentally ill, and make them feel comfortable in society so they can recover. Also the media should create more videos, and shows that support the mentally ill, so people could be comfortable around them, and the mentally ill can also feel comfortable.

    Like

  39. Shaldup Paljor says:

    Depression has been evident the lives of many, as I’ve seen. The word “isolation”, “mental disorder’, “mental illness”, has began to become perceived incorrectly. These words have become underestimated and don’t acknowledge the severity of such conditions. The seriousness of the condition has drastically lost it’s significance and has gradually lost it’s meaning. Nobody leads a perfect, and all people have some days where they feel hindered and unable. Mental disorders deserve more attention due to their effects they have on people. The presence of mental disorders seem to grow yet the attention it’s delegated by the people is seemingly decreasing. The seriousness of mental disorders has serious declined since the mid 1900’s.

    Like

    • Amy Considine says:

      Ok Shaldup, i completely disagree with you. We are not talking about sadness here, clinical depression is more than just an off day. Serious and persistent mental illness is alive and well in America and around the world. In the US there are 43.8 million people diagnosed, or 18.5% of the general population (according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness- nami.org) has a diagnosable mental illness. In Massachusetts there is a NAMI walk every year that raises thousands of dollars for the programs of advocacy in the state. I personally work with Massachusetts Department of Mental Health clients on a daily basis, there are hundreds across the state in our care. Are you saying that research has improved so much that the occurrence of illnesses is down? The seriousness of “mental disorders” has in fact not declined. They are still as serious as ever. People who work in mental health, psychiatrists, social workers, therapists, case managers, not one of these mental health professionals would say that the term”mental illness” has begun to be perceived incorrectly. I’m not sure who you have been talking to and where you have gotten your information. i would be happy to have a clarifying conversation with you.
      Best,
      Amy

      Like

  40. Very interesting post. I’ve never thought about it that way, as “under the weather” has been linked with a physical ailment a majority of the time. Those who suffer from mental illness have days where they feel quite normal, but then others that they feel off. Just like those with chronic physiological disorders/illnesses.

    Like

  41. Kaitlyn Plocharczyk says:

    Just as other prejudices are institutionalized, I believe the stigmas we have on mental illness are as well. No matter who taught us, someone in a person’s life teaches them to be weary of people with mental illness. It is not statistics and facts that cause us to have these predispositions. We see someone with a mental illness, and we begin to overanalyze their behavior in order to notice a difference between them and us. We don’t focus on the common ground we have with this person, because we are too busy trying to notice any strange behavior. I believe it gives some the security that they are “normal” when they can identify differences between themselves and someone with a mental illness. We exhibit these behaviors around people with mental illness, physical illness, and any problem we feel we cannot directly relate too. I believe this is because we fear the things we do not understand. We blame it on fear of something being contagious, but I really think it just trickles down to habits of ignorance.

    Like

  42. Sierra Hitchcock says:

    I personally have never understood why there is stigma surrounding mental illness. Maybe it is because I grew up with an older bother who had severe depression as a teenager so I learned from a young age that just because you could not see someone’s illness on their body does not mean it is not real or adversely effecting them. By 8 years old I knew what depression was and what it entailed. I witnessed it first hand as it grabbed my brother in its clutches and crushed him in its palm of despair and hopelessness. My brother stopped going to school and would spend days in his room in our dark basement listening to “More Than a Feeling” on repeat. I remember my mother calling the police because my brother physically lashed out at my father. I remember my mother collecting all the sharp objects in the house, taking a bag of knives and scissors over to our neighbors. I remember being scared of my brother so much that I would choose to play outside in the cold, snowy weather rather than be alone indoors with him. I was aware that just because my brother didn’t have any physical bodily symptoms that that didn’t mean he wasn’t sick. Mental health issues have always seemed “normal” to me. They were like any other illness. And I understood that like any other illness people would take medicines and medications to help them heal. Zoloft, an antidepressant, will forever be seared into my brain as the drug my brother would take in order to be a little less sick. And just like bodily illness, I am aware that it is possible to recover. My brother grew up and grew out if his severe depression. He weaned himself off of his medications years ago and now knows how to handle himself when he starts to feel depressed.
    Growing up with someone like that in my house made me extremely in tune with the fact that someone may be very sick even if we can not see it with our eyes, though we may see that illness manifest itself through a person’s actions. I’ve witnessed friends suffer from eating disorders, depression, and anxiety. I myself must deal with my OCD daily. You might not be able to see it but I assure you it is very real and very consuming. I relate to Mr. Monk on a very deep level. I don’t know why there is still stigma around mental illness and mental health. To me it has always been very real and very important to address with the right treatment, just like any common cold.

    Like

    • I am glad your brother is well, you are awesome,, and nothing will keep you down,, P.S. I love Monk!!

      Watch the video Willowbrook,,

      Like

    • Amy Considine says:

      So Sierra, i hear you loud and clear. My family tree is laced with lots of mental illness: my aunt was a raging alcoholic who was most likely disguising her bipolar disorder, my dad was on the spectrum and had ADD, my grandfather most likely suffered from clinical depression. I too have had my bouts of mental illness. My mother is a Social Worker and i am a case manager at a local human services agency where i work with people with all kinds of psychiatric disorders. I personally have been on many different psychiatric drugs with a range of side effects. i know that when my family was dealing with all kinds of mental illness nobody ever brought over a casserole as they would have if a family member had cancer or leukemia. I am active in the mental health community in the Boston area and I walk in the National Alliance on Mental Illness Walk every year. There should be no shame whatsoever in admitting to having a mental illness. These illnesses are not chosen, they pick you, not the other way around. Stigma still prevails today, i don’t know if anybody saw the article in the Boston Globe lately about the amount of people who have mental illness who murder people, while actually it is the other way around. People with mental illness are actually more likely to b victims of violence.
      Anyway, to get off my soapbox i know that many of you reading this know someone with a mental illness. You are lucky to know them, I hope that you can offer them some support if you ever hear of a bit of mental illness stigma coming their way.
      Best,
      Amy

      Like

    • Sierra,
      That was a great post. I really felt your emotional distress as you witnessed your brother experiencing his dreadful condition. The best news is that he was able to detach himself from the medication and teach himself how to handle it. Depression is definitely no joke and understanding it, is the key. Even though you and your family were scared and stressed, I’m sure the things that were going through his head were far worse. Most people that are severely depressed would rather not be alive than deal with their depression and I understand that completely. The act of trudging their way through to the other side, and finding that light, is a success story because not all victims have the patients.

      Like

  43. Amy Considine says:

    The article was really interesting. I too have had days where I needed to take a day off due to mental health reasons. At my last job “mental health days” were not allowed, my boss thought that they were just lazy days where someone just didn’t feel like coming into work. I suppose that those days actually were days that people really didn’t feel like coming into work, due to a mental illness or otherwise. I believe that as long as these days don’t happened more than once a month that it is ok. As mentioned in the article when as person comes into work sick, everybody is ready to offer a helping hand. If they knew the reason for being “under the weather” was psychiatric, maybe the well wishes wouldn’t be so plentiful. The thing we are talking about is PARITY, treating mental illnesses and physical illnesses the same. Legislation has been brought up to support this cause, the aforementioned National Alliance on Mental Illness has been fighting for it for years. i truly believe that people need to be supported for any kind of illness, mental or physical, and as far as parity goes, insurance companies should pay equally for both. i hope that some day in the future that this becomes the case.
    Thanks!
    Amy

    Like

    • Sierra Hitchcock says:

      The idea that a person with a mental health issue is really just being “lazy” is extremely detrimental. First, it invalidates what is going on for them and second, it can make a person who might already be dealing with low self-esteem feel worst about themselves. To have someone not believe that you are having a hard time mentally can make a person crazier than they might already feel. And to be told that you’re “lazy” can cause a person to feel like their worthless and no good. They don’t want to feel this way but they literally cannot bring themselves to get out of bed. They don’t want to be “lazy” but they are unable to do anything about it. I think mental health days should be more common practice but I don’t think they will be until the stigma ended.

      Like

      • Robert Tynes says:

        I agree with your statement about it being detrimental to someone suffering from a mental health issue to call it anything but what it is, especially something negative. The root of the problem, in my opinion, is that psychiatric “illness” is not necessarily always observable, and as someone mentioned in another post, can be regulated depending on your cultural background. Many cultures disregard the idea of a mental illness and put all of the control on the individual. I don’t believe it’s fair, but at the same time, allowing the use of mental health days can also open up the door for others not suffering from an illness to abuse that outlet unless actually properly evaluated by a specialist, although even then they may not be diagnosed correctly.

        Like

  44. Qian Ren says:

    It is sad that society stigmatizes mental illnesses and I don’t understand why. I see and hear about this the most in certain cultures that live by traditions. In China, especially in poor rural areas, if someone is diagnosed with a mental illness the family would keep it quiet and let the person suffer. To them it was a disgrace, shame, and humiliation. Sometimes they thought it was nonsense and didn’t even considered it to be an illness but a curse. In China with the only one child rule, having a child with mental illnesses was like the end of the world to them. They believed that their child are not able to live up to the traditional expectations. But if you go to the urban parts of China, there are more educated people and doctors so they stigmatize mental illnesses less.
    I believe that we should bring more awareness to this topic. Look at gay marriages and transgender, society is slowly being more open to it and seeing that people put in those categories are also human beings, there is nothing wrong with them. That should be how it is with mental illnesses, people need to see that it is just like being sick, and that there is nothing wrong with that. They too like the people with a cold need our attention and help, we shouldn’t be kicking them to curb. If we look at Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympian with a total of 22 medals, and now the first American male swimmer to make it to five Olympic teams, he was diagnosed with ADHD when he was little and no one can beat him in swimming. He was diagnosed with a mental illness and yet still stronger and accomplish something we can’t even do in a lifetime. Its ridiculous how society and certain culture stigmatize mental illnesses. It’s great to be unique and original, it’s boring to live up to the standards of others. “IT’S OKAY TO BE YOU!!!”

    Like

    • Sierra Hitchcock says:

      Qian, you make a great point by bring up Michael Phelps: Just because a person has something different going on for them mentally does not necessary mean they can’t find success and happiness in life. It might be harder for them and take more time but it’s possible. There are many well known, successful people who have dealt with or are dealing with mental health issues. I think voicing the fact that a person with a mental illness or mental disorder can still live a wonderful life might help lessen the stigma. Mental health problems do not always have to hold a person back. Usually it’s a careful treatment plan, and willingness to follow it and work with it, that allows a person dealing with mental health issues the ability to enjoy life to the fullest. The problem, though, is that the stigma of mental illness deters many from seeking the help they need making it harder for them to find the success and happiness that they deserve. Just one more reason to end the stigma!

      Like

      • Qian Ren says:

        Sierra,

        I am 100% with you, to add on to what you said, while on Facebook I came upon a NowThis video (link: https://www.facebook.com/NowThisNews/videos/1098407140249409/). In this video it talked about Emily Robinson whose mother Cindy was diagnosed with Schizophrenia in her early 20s. Emily started a project called You Are In This World documenting her mother’s life with this illness. Through this “she hopes to humanize the issue”. This video posted 10 hours ago on Facebook now have been shared more than 8,500 times. Social media is powerful and many use it to get their ideas/ opinions across, we could use it to teach people more about it and create more awareness to stop the stigma. Emily in the video powerfully said “The point of this project is I want people to see … this is my mom. There’s a real person in there that belongs to someone, who’s loved by someone, who loves other people just like we all do as humans.”. Even with the illness, Emily is able to seek happiness and success just like everyone else without it. She has a loving family that takes great care of her. I hope there is more projects like this to stop the stigma.

        Like

  45. This is a very interesting topic. Mental illness is so popular these days; it’s hard to distinguish between the “normal” people and the mentally ill. What is a mental illness anyway? Is it a chemical imbalance, maybe a physical switch that causes mental processes to stick out in the crowd, or perhaps a mental illness is an abnormal reaction to the daily stresses of today’s society.
    Firstly, I think there’s too much of a mainstream idea stamped on what mental illness is, or what the normal brain functions really are. I think staying “sane” in an insane world is a genetic achievement. The first question that should be asked, is not, what medication does this person need, but why is this person having this reaction to their life. The perfect setup for years of therapy to help you deal with the actual problem; the problem that everyone experiences daily but cannot explain it. It’s the invisible box we are held in, the subconscious realities that are pressed down our throats without even knowing it. Everyday, we feel this unrelenting stress on our brows that start with the daily misery when you turn on the TV in the morning, then the showering of capitalism on every corner as you go to work, while concurrently the Internet publically shaming everything that makes us human. This isn’t real. Everyone, every second of your day, lying to your face just so they can have more of your money, self-esteem, or sanity, this isn’t my idea of reality. Maybe, as the days disappear like the wine in your glass, all these things chisel down, little by little, the sculpture that you once knew as yourself. This reality is nothing but a dream amongst chaos, a propagation of beliefs and actions running on a mouse wheel in a cage of mirrors.
    So where does the stigma come from? After you knock off fear, ignorance, and narcissism, once again, you’re left with the environment. People don’t have the time to really care, or understand the real issue, they just choose a reaction that coincides with the present situation because the camera seems to be on them, then move one to the next. It’s not their fault that their amount of caring and emotional energy is maxed out between the dual jobs, bills, and chemical warfare that society has chained to their feet. Sometimes all people can handle is themselves, and that special glass box that holds all the things that aren’t relevant to their lives that they observe from a far. Through that distance comes all the stigmatizations, the judgments, the fear. When left alone, it grows uncontrollably more obscure like an undisturbed path.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Martin,
      What constitutes normal?? Watch the video Willowbrook,,, it gives great insight to stigma,,,

      Like

      • I understand the movie, as my older brother is mentally handicapped. I experienced the stigma around him my whole life. I took care of him for years while he lived with my father. He now lives in a home with a bunch of kids like him. I still take him out once in a while as does my other siblings. Understanding him was the biggest psychological challenge of my life. I realized a little while ago, that even though he seemed to not understand things fully, had no concept of math or scholastic subjects, couldn’t handle certain social situations, he still had a deep understanding of other things that nobody else noticed but me, it felt. When I matured enough to be able to show him that I loved him, I never had to say a thing. He knew that day just from looking at me. He reacted a certain way, and I understood him more than I ever have. He was a normal person with hijacked brain that understood love. Thats all that mattered.

        Like

      • Willowbrook was a “state school” asylum in NYC,, Geraldo Rivera exposed the atrocities that were taking place there in the 1970’s,, horrifying the way the disabled were treated,, thankfully today, we can monitor the treatment of our loved ones..

        Like

      • Yea, It was so tragic seeing what they had to deal with, especially the kid with CP that endured that place for 18 years.. talk about prisoner in your own body.

        Like

      • I believe you are talking about Louis,, how sad,, can you imagine how horrifying to be trapped inside yourself,, and think about poor Patty,, today, she would be in school with all of the other kids and be an active member of the community…. but,, this is the consequence of stigma,, back then, they really did not know any better,,

        Like

      • Martin conserva says:

        What I was trying to say in my caffeinated jumble, was the label “mental illness” is a stigmatization in of itself. For someone to be labeled in that way means that person is not “normal”. That’s why, your question, “What constitutes normal” is perfect, because why should you be labeled with a mental illness because your biological processes don’t fall in line with the considered norm. I was labeling the society we live in as insane. I believe It’s a causation of symptoms in humans. Its the idea that a mind produces a set of chemical reactions in response to its daily environment. If that chemical process labels you mentally ill, that just means they don’t understand that chemical process and label it on the surface so to create a pattern of fixes to get that disorder back in line with the status quo.
        When I see someone suffering from a mental illness like depression or anything along the lines of a feeling that is less than ideal, I see that there is a series of situations that have lead to that emotional state, but because I’m trying to hang on with every ounce of my supposed sanity while dealing with this forced board game called life, I push off that full understanding to the professionals so they can figure it out..unfortunately, I believe, they are dodging the elephant in the room, which is the idea that we as humans are not made to wake up everyday with a huge list of responsibilities that we need to cure just so we can survive on this planet with a decent quality of life. That pressure can disturb our delicate chemistry. I believe once we understand the human condition, it will become clear why these things occur and the solution will be automatic.

        Like

      • You just inadvertently labeled yourself,, hahaha,, caffeinated jumble!!!

        Like

    • Robert T says:

      Wow, I hadn’t read your reply until now, but the fact that it read like poetry, intentional or not, was fascinating. I absolutely agree, I think many things are improperly labeled and many follow their classifications without questioning it’s truth. Sometimes we are so caught up in this system that we forget to take a second to observe it. I feel as though, if we separate ourselves from our everyday lives, maybe even this holiday weekend, and reflect on the motions we make, like gerbils on a wheel, or mice in a maze, we will realize how quickly the routine can become meaningless. In my personal opinion, living life to it’s fullest potential can only be done if you actively observe how you live and honestly detach yourself from and question all of those negative stigmas you learned throughout life. As philosophical and pointless as it may sound, I feel it’s essential to life, although it may have no benefit for living within the “get-up and go” system.

      Liked by 1 person

  46. pridethomas says:

    People I think tend to forget that we are all human and imperfect and now a days or maybe throughout man kind, people can be so cold. And maybe everyone has so much going on in there own lives they don’t have time to care about someone else’s issues. It’s like everyone has something going on and sometimes in culture its family business or just your business and you don’t speak on it and people don’t ask because their life is busy too.

    Like

    • Sierra Hitchcock says:

      I agree with you, Aleta. People seem to be so consumed with their own lives that they forget to stop for a moment and check on how others are doing. Maybe it’s human nature, maybe it’s the every present media that draws our attention away, I don’t know. I do think, though, that it is important to not forget we are all in this thing called “life” together. I look around and see so much hate, pain, and evil in the world that it is absolutely revolting to me. Is it really that hard to just be kind, caring, and considerate? Apparently. I don’t know if the world will ever change but I’d like to think it will. What I do know is that ever act of kindness, no matter how small, is worth the effort. So I urge everyone to keep that in mind and look out for those around you, whether or not they have a mental disorder, because the world surely needs more care and understanding. And when you are on the receiving end of an act of kindness please do not forget to thank who ever it was that provided it. It goes both ways.

      Like

    • Humans are selfish beings and a majority think about themselves and not of others. When someone sees another person who is just a little bit different from the rest of us they judge, and assume the worst. They assume that they are in danger just because this person has something different than them. And instead of trying to understand and realize that this person is probably no different than us.

      Like

    • Yes, Pridethomas, I don’t know who you are because of your ominous tag name, but ill trust you with my response anyway. Your right, and it is sad. And it’s not anyone’s fault that they don’t have the time to even understand someone. Most are too busy trying to make themselves seem normal so they don’t receive the same treatment. For instance, I talk to myself in my car so often, that I used to put my hands-free device in my ear so people wouldn’t think I’m a nutcase even though I am, but I’m cool with that. I decided long ago, you need to be a little crazy to be normal. Everyone else is, but they wont admit it.

      Like

      • pridethomas says:

        Really now Martin? You can’t see the picture ? *rolls eyes * 🙂
        Being a tad bit insane indeed helps you out! It sure helps me out too! I also talk to myself usually in the shower….lol we all a little cray.

        To lynnou yes humans are selfish but we should not give up on us! On mankind or else we might as well just start purging people once a year to get ride of all out anxieties kept up over the years.
        I believe humans are good and humans do care and it’s something in us that may be lost…. Maybe sweeping things under the rug and hiding is a learned behavior. What about people who live in tribes or smaller communities they may be most likely to have more sympathy and be willing to talk things out as a community so that no one feels alone. Life is hard ….mankind needs to strengthen there natural instinct to car and to help and to feel. I think we are not that selfish …I think we all just kinda learned to be this way …through media, history, and other distractions.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Anonymous Thomas you have a good point. I agree, it is a learned behavior. I would think it’s mostly top down approach considering people don’t take the time to have the bottom up experience. The problem with that, unlike getting stung by a bee, it would benefit society as a whole if we were to take the time to understand or be taught the real ins and outs of mental illness. I think the first fight against stigma is to stop calling most of these ailments “mental illness”. Like any label that has a connotation to it, it carries the stigma with it. The second you here mental illness, immediately you have a perception of that person, and most of the time it wrong.

      Liked by 1 person

  47. Jonathan Hock says:

    Being a ‘bit under the weather’ mentally happens to me around Christmas every year, and let me tell you, people take it personally! God forbid I want to lay down in bed all day and not socialize, bah-humbug. I never figured out why this mood happens around Christmas and I don’t really care. I’ve just accepted that’s when my seasonal depression kicks in. I just isolate myself and do what I think makes it better and not what I think makes it worse and generally people will get the vibe to back off. Other peoples insecurities about how I feel during the holidays makes it worse for me. Especially the guilt trips from the family. Truthfully it is not every Christmas either, just a trend I notice over the Holidays in my adult memory. I remember being grateful to be over seas during the holidays in the army so I didn’t really have to make an effort about caring about a Christmas tree or seeing the extended family we would never usually see, but hey, it’s Christmas. Not sure why I shared this; its part confession and this article reminded me of it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Robert T says:

      I can absolutely agree with this feeling. It’s not every holiday, every year, but it does happen. Last year it hit around my birthday and I just needed some time to myself for reflection and to process all of my thoughts. I think that the negative stigma associated with mental health is interesting. Possibly all of the extremely observable illnesses have influenced the way we think about it. Schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s, Down Syndrome, even autism. Society often calls people crazy even if they’re only thinking differently from the norm.

      Like

  48. Robert T says:

    Although I, without expertise in the matter, can agree with mental illness affecting people more often than we care to admit, I still am hesitant to admit to it myself due to the stigma surrounding such a claim. The minute you say that anything is mentally wrong with you people will either say you need medication or therapy, although I don’t disagree with the latter. Therapy provides an, often, judgement-free space to speak freely about what you believe could be bothering you and what is heavy on your mind. I was diagnosed with ADHD in the 6th grade and placed on medication for a few months, I stopped taking the medication on my own due to a variety of reasons. I may still suffer from the disorder but I feel like I don’t need to be “clinically” medicated. Many different things can either ‘correct’ my ADHD, apparently high amounts of caffeine can help, and in other cases I feel like my ADHD my be a benefit. I’ve read articles debating that it even exists. This brings me to my next concern, the book called “The DSM”. It is said to contain many ‘mental disorders’, but who’s to say that these are all valid in that they are disorders, or in that case then, what does “disorder” really mean, and should they be ‘treated’ after discovery, or should they merely be observed?

    Like

    • Jonathan Hock says:

      I completely agree that we shouldn’t jump to medication as the answer immediately. I would also argue that most people share this agreement with me, but it is the institutions (specifically government in my experience) that push for the use of drugs. I’m not sure exactly why, I should probably start by following the money, but you should see how many pills they give soldiers who seek mental help in the Army! For example, you get to see a nurse practitioner whose schedule is so full she has no more then 10 minutes to talk to you and her job title is ‘prescriber’ and that’s exactly all she does; prescribe pills. Their appointments are only long enough to see if the medication works or doesn’t and that’s pretty much it until next time. Now I’m not saying every government institution is like this, this is just my experience with the Army. This quick fix of trying new pills and doses so rapidly without therapy or someone to just talk to cannot be right.

      Like

      • Amy Considine says:

        Hi Jonathan, I hear you loud and clear. You would probably be interested in the findings of Robert Whitaker, author of “Mad in America”. Though he swears he is not, he seems completely against medication, whether it be antipsychotics or mood stabilizers. He cites studies in Europe and America where people went off their prescribed medication to find a marked improvement. He says that the idea that there are blocked dopamine receptors is not really true. If you actually asked him, he would probably say that he believes in meds with a full life included and not just the meds. I would agree with that. But in the work in mental health that I do, I would say that it is across the board not a good idea to just stop meds overnight. Jonathan, I know you were talking about meds as an across the board fixer. I do believe in medication, as you mentioned, with therapy, job coaching and a structured social life, at least with the people I work with. Medications are not the panacea, but they can help in specific situations. Personally, meds have worked for me, and I am able to live a robust life with their help. I don’t really know how much of my wellness is me and how much is my meds, but I’d rather not go off them and bear the consequences. I have dealt with a multitude of side effects but the good my medications do for me are worth it.
        Best,
        Amy

        Like

  49. It is sad that society stigmatizes mental illness, but it has a lot to do with media, or one person’s bad experience with someone with a mental illness. That one experience should not taint everyone’s view on how those with mental illness really act. There are people who are completely normal, and those who aren’t may have been provoked in some way, or are just trying to keep to themselves and someone is interfering with that.

    Like

    • Yes, media is extremely influential,, but, always remember the source, you want to think critically and ensure that your source(s) of information is/are credible.

      Like

    • Qian Ren says:

      I agree! Some people just stigmatize someone with mental illnesses because of a bad experience they had or media. The media or the news would report that a person committed a horrific crime because they were mentally ill. But there is only a super small amount of them in the population, people without mental illnesses are more likely to commit crimes than with. Often the stigma is associated with violence, like how Amy said, it is the other way around, people with mental illnesses are actually more likely to be victims of violence but yet the media does not report that. For people to just look at that one bad experience and label a whole population is really ignorant of them, they are judging from the surface. They are judging with zero knowledge about mental illnesses, like judging a book by its cover. People pay more attention to the negative and bad things and little to the positive part of things. The news of anything bad spreads like wildfire.

      I read an article online (link: http://depts.washington.edu/mhreport/facts_violence.php) and one of the facts they listed is “fact number 4: The link between mental illness and violence is promoted by the entertainment and news media”.

      Like

    • I agree with you when you say that ” with media, or one person’s bad experience with someone with mental illness”. because society believes whatever is shown by the media. Not everyone dealing with mental illness has the same type of illness. Everyone is different.

      Like

  50. Robert Tynes says:

    Alzheimer’s and the Brain > https://youtu.be/dWcdBOYy_bU

    Like

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