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fed up

Postby danscott7 » Fri Jun 03, 2011 5:59 pm

I for one am fed up with society's prejudice against those of us with mental illness. Why can't they understand that it is a medical condition, like heart disease or cancer, that, unlike those problems (in certain cases) is NEVER the fault of the one suffering, and that they are people who are in need of love too, in fact, MORE in need of it than "normal" people?
No, while you wouldn't hear of someone with heart disease or cancer being shunned and mocked, even if it was their own doing, you WILL hear it done to those with mental illness.
I think this is in large part thanks to movies, tv, books, etc, that at every opportunity use mental illness as a cheap ploy to get scares and laughs.
And your so-called "normal" person, takes all this in and assumes that that must be how all mental ill people are, laughable or scary and potentially dangerous.
Well, mental illness is never anything to laugh at, and most of us are not potential psychopaths. I knew someone who had a simple learning disability, yet, due to his sometimes odd behavior due to this, most assumed he was a potentially lethal psycho.
I read of celebrities being stalked, and, while I do sympathize with their plight, and do realize that the stalker must bear some responsibility for their actions, I am gravely disappointed that you never hear any sympathy whatsoever for them, and the mental problems that led them to stalking someone.
No, they are villains and wicked and oh the poor star who must suffer their unwanted attentions.
Shouldn’t it be obvious that this is not a normal person, who one day decided to make someone’s life a living hell? Whose own life is a living hell, and who was driven by unseen demons to their actions, and who needs not just condemnation and correction, but love and support in order that they may heal?
No, they’re just evil and need to be locked up, says society.
Well, I know I’m preaching to the choir and spitting against the wind, but I for one am fed up with the media and society using us as blame buckets.
We are human, just like the “normal” people. We have hopes, and dreams, and fears, just like everyone else.
We need love, just like everyone else.
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Re: fed up

Postby sabrdawg » Sat Jun 04, 2011 4:18 am

It's the people who think they're "normal" who scare me the most. Obviously, if someone is going to think that they're better than those who may have had bumps in the road, that shows that they are the ones with the real issues. The people that are looked at as "crazy" or "psycho" know a lot more about the world because they have overcome obstacles and see the world in a different way, and deserve respect. One can learn a lot from someone who has been there and back :)
Normal is overrated :D
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Re: fed up

Postby jasil » Sat Jun 04, 2011 4:28 pm

Hey Fed up..............mental health in my experience is a art form and not finitely diagnosable like a cancer, broken bone, etc. Added to that mental health problems usually include a different set of norms that hurt those around them in a seemingly much more deliberate and different way.

Where does the buck stop? Do we give everyone a free pass? Does the pedofile have a mental problem, the beligerent alcoholic, the pyromaniac, the sex addict, and the list goes on......do we just say "Hey, it's okay you have mental illness?" At what point are people really held accountable for their actions?

My daughter fits this bill to a capital T. She showed some signs of depression her senior year we sent her to a therapist........she like it and said it helped talking to a stranger with no expectation. Her home life with her brother/sister was very normal, stable, and open we always had a blast together. Movies, the mall, the beach, I loved how close my daughter and I were!!

Well since leaving for college she is but a sliver of the person I knew 2 years ago. If you would have told me that she would be where she is at now....2 years ago I would have bet the farm that would not be the case. Since leaving for collge she has lied repeatedly, dropped out, spent all of her savings that we put in her acc. for her, in and out of 3 rehabs, IOP's, and diagnosed with depression, anxiety, and bi-polar.....................................not bi-polar......no with bi-polar it's always changinge depending who she sees.

Now her life consists of AA meetings 5 times a week, OP therapy 3x a week, she can't keep a job, misses her therapy appointments, is 50/50 in going to her pscyhologist appts ......and this is the 3rd different one.

Then she'll decide there is nothing wrong with me I'm not taking any medicine anymore. More lies, more poor me's, then something will trigger her like a "boyfriend breaking up with her" and then she'll say "I want to die" she won't act on this, but saying it si enough...... back to the ER back to another acute rehab and the cycle repeats.

This has been going on for 2 years now!! It's a much different cycle then someone with a broken bone or the flu the pain is much different.

As a parent who has bent over backwards only to be cursed out, stolen from, lied too, I don't like mental illness I don't like the system as a whole. I don't see how you fix it at all........you can't challenge the person as you would a normal person, you can't hold them to a standard because all you get in return is "You don't know what it's like being me so don't judge me" "I can't work there I just can't you'll just never understand" ......."I can't be around those people only addicts and people who struggle with what I do understand" but what she can do is go hang out with her boyfriend and smoke all day, go to the beach, play video games....etc.

The third side to this coin is my wife's best friend has sufferred with Bi-Polar for 20 years and you would never know it.....a few episodes here or there.

In closing what you describe is a very real and true many people do feel that way. After the last 2 years I can definitely see why.
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Re: fed up

Postby Brumble » Sat Jun 04, 2011 8:55 pm

You know what made me mad a while back Danscott7, I was watching little house on the prarie with my mom and this girl was suasidle on the show. Okay so what happend is the mother started screaming at the depressed suasidle girl how selfish she was and to be glad for all this stuff, then the girl got better?? :shock: That made me angry!!!!! that is not how it works, shows how stupid people can be then and now.
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Re: fed up

Postby katana » Sat Jun 04, 2011 10:18 pm

when i was at school i felt like there was a choice: be pitied and pathetic or be feared. all i was really aware of then was that i felt depressed, but there was still a sense that you were either CRAZY or "poor little crazy".

the truth is that mental illness is often a normal part of the human condition, for all sorts of reasons, not some bizarre phenomenon that "nutters" have. people who have battled mental illness and genuinely come out the other side are often a lot healthier psychologically than people who think they are completely sane and see mental health in those negative ways.

if someone ends up off work & in hospital with food poisoning, the reaction is "oh that's horrible! here's a card, and some flowers, and a box of chocolates you can't eat yet..." lol. even people who've never had food poisoning are sympathetic. people need to understand mental illnesses are very similar in the sense that the person who experiences them is suffering.

with the example with the stalker, i agree you don't often hear "the stalker is safe in X hospital, being treated for (disorder) and expected to make a full recovery." a lot of this is because people don't know how to treat a lot of mental illnesses, and because professionals are very quick to jump at diagnoses. i think some of that is about people's need for control. they seem to not like things they can't control, so they call it a disease and say medicate it, but in a lot of cases, they don't really understand what it is at all.
it seems to be rare for people to admit they don't know in any field.

jasil wrote:Where does the buck stop? Do we give everyone a free pass? Does the pedofile have a mental problem, the beligerent alcoholic, the pyromaniac, the sex addict, and the list goes on......do we just say "Hey, it's okay you have mental illness?" At what point are people really held accountable for their actions?


the answer there is no free passes; all of these people will have to take responsibility for the consequences of their actions, but they also need accepting and unprejudiced help if they want to get anywhere in recovery.

i've heard people criticise things like AA over a punitive attitude, and its true from what i can see, AA is more of a coping strategy than a solution - its not a cure. a cure would involve psychological healing, and from what i know of healing punitive attitudes are incompatible with it.

vilification doesn't really have a place in mental health, and dehumanisation often actually enables people with "difficult" conditions.

jasil wrote: then something will trigger her like a "boyfriend breaking up with her" and then she'll say "I want to die" she won't act on this, but saying it si enough...... back to the ER back to another acute rehab and the cycle repeats.


might be worth looking into more psychological causes if these things are triggered by relationship breakups and seem more like cries for help? - not trying to dx her! i don't know her so i really have no idea, - just making suggestions for different directions you can think in that might help with treatment approaches, - not cut & dry diagnoses but just ideas that might lead to causes and therapy that might help her better.

its hard for people to be responsible for their actions when they can see no better alternative - good treatment should help show them, not just classify and medicate them.

i think set treatment plans e.g. a fixed number of sessions for counselling/therapy etc also aren't that helpful, neither are rigid approaches. because every patient is different, therapists need to learn to apply different treatment methods, the most important part being centred around the patient and seeing how the mental health problem affects them personally, not the diagnosis as a label.
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Re: fed up

Postby danscott7 » Sun Jun 05, 2011 12:20 am

Jasil;


Just my opinion, but it sounds to me like your problems with your daughter has colored your view of the mental health profession and mental illness in general.
I will agree that there are many problems with the mental health industry. It seems to me that too much of the time those in it see dollar signs, and rush to diagnose every little thing as a treatable illness. No cure, of course, because a cure would mean the bucks would stop coming.
As a patient, you're supposed to have a say in your treatment, but I once did a little online research and discovered that the medicine my doctor prescribed was not intended for the illness which he was treating me for. When I questioned that, I was told by his nurse "He's the doctor." In other words, we SAY you have a right to question your treatment, but when you do, we ignore you.
I have found that this is often the case, because, after all, we're "nuts", so why should a professional listen to anything we have to say?
On the flip side, I run into people who seem to have your belief (forgive me if I misinterpreted) that most mental illness is some kind of scam put on by those so diagnosed, so they can get away with whatever they want.
I can personally attest to the fact that that is not the case with me, and virtually all those with mental illness I have run into.
We definitely view the world differently than normal, and it causes real problems for us, and this is due to substantiated medical problems, our own kind of cancer, if you will.
I don't believe that someone diagnosed with mental illlness has the right to get away with anything they damn well please. They can't get into a fender bender, for example, then drive away because they're "crazy". Of course, in some extreme examples, some with mental illness might do that, psychotics, for example, but then they shouldn't be allowed to drive in the first place.
You see, there are those in society who are extremely mentally ill, to the point where they can't function even remotely normally in society, and you can't take those people and lump them into the category of using it as an excuse.
I have seen first hand those so far gone they honestly believe they are married to a famous person, or are a famous person themselves, for example, and I believe these are genuine cases.
We need to acknowledge the fact that most who claim mental illness truly are ill, and not simply gaming the system. They are not practicing an art; they are suffering a real medical condition, and they need sympathy and yes, at times, they need to be excused for their behavior as it is, whether you believe it or not, even if it may not be true in your daughter's case, beyond their control.
In the old days anytime anyone exhibited the slightest odd behavior they would be locked up, abused and tortured. Thank God we no longer do that, but now I agree we have gone too far in the opposite extreme, unless someone actually harms someone else, we are reluctant to put them away.
Anyway, the point I am trying to make through all this rambling, is that you seem to be saying (forgive me if I'm wrong) that most if not all mentally ill are just playing a game.
Like I said, in my case it is not true. If it were, I would stop playing it in a second, as my illness has ruined my life. I work a menial job, and sometimes do or say odd things that make others steer clear of me. I have few friends.
I wish to God this was only a game I am playing.
I am sorry for the situation with your daughter, but you must understand for most of us with metal illness it is a real medical condition, which causes us real problems, and we are doing our best to live normally and treat others decently despite it. In fact, most people I know with mental illness are some of the nicest people I have met, much nicer than so called "normal" people.
Sorry for going on, but it seems to me you were attempting to justify society's prejudice against the mentally ill, and I was not asking for all behavior excused, but at the same time not this knee jerk fear and hatred we seem to be on the receiving end of.
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Re: fed up

Postby danscott7 » Sun Jun 05, 2011 12:32 am

Also, wanted to reply that as far as pedophiles, pyromaniacs, etc, obviously, NO ONE who commits a crime and gets caught should just be let go, even if it is due to a mental illness. Too often though, they're just demonized, locked up, and that's it. I would say prison with counseling, medication, and treatment. Real, effective treatment, not just empty chatter, which is what I felt was all I ever got in therapy, for a hundred an hour.
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Re: fed up

Postby Platypus » Sun Jun 05, 2011 3:51 am

I agree with you katana, but I see it a little more strongly than perhaps you are suggesting.

I think in the example of the food poisoning victim, people are not simply sympathising with the patient, they are empathising. They can imagine what it would be like to be sick with food positioning even if they haven't experienced it.

But people generally do not want to empathise with a stalker or a child molester. They do not want to recognise that these people are human just like them. They don't want to believe that they too could commit predatory or violent behaviours if they suffered from the same mental conditions as the perpetrator.

The stigma against mental illness will not end until we can empathise with sufferers. Imho if you cannot imagine yourself as the suicidal daughter with bipolar or as the celebrity stalker, and empathise with these people, then you are perpetuating the divide between those who are well and those who are mentally ill.
No diagnosis, lots of opinions, and a bunch of issues that I haven't quite figured out.
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Re: fed up

Postby maddogmaddy » Sun Jun 05, 2011 6:43 pm

Platypus wrote:I agree with you katana, but I see it a little more strongly than perhaps you are suggesting.

I think in the example of the food poisoning victim, people are not simply sympathising with the patient, they are empathising. They can imagine what it would be like to be sick with food positioning even if they haven't experienced it.

But people generally do not want to empathise with a stalker or a child molester. They do not want to recognise that these people are human just like them. They don't want to believe that they too could commit predatory or violent behaviours if they suffered from the same mental conditions as the perpetrator.

The stigma against mental illness will not end until we can empathise with sufferers. Imho if you cannot imagine yourself as the suicidal daughter with bipolar or as the celebrity stalker, and empathise with these people, then you are perpetuating the divide between those who are well and those who are mentally ill.



Platypus, you make an excellent point - one that's never really crossed my mind before. Before my illness set in, before the diagnosis, back when I was 'normal', I tried my damnedest to understand the folks I was working with. The ones with MR, Autism, social phobias, sexual abuse history, paranoid schizophrenia, and the list goes on and on.....I read up on every person on my caseload, their whole life story. Everything from dr visits while they were children to captured journal entries - EVERYTHING. I researched each of their disorders. I tried to empathize with them, as I'm by nature an empathetic person. I tried so hard. I couldn't. I could read and listen until I passed out, yet I could never really, truly grasp how they felt in day-to-day life. Different story now.

Empathy is an amazing thing. I now understand the paranoid schizophrenic when he would carry on a conversation with the ceiling lights in walmart. I understand the lady with MMR who got so angry when she could tell people were talking to her like she was stupid. After living through some of these things myself, I finally understand. It's profound. I see now that many of the things we deal with and feel and how we sometimes act tend to run much, much deeper than most people realize; despite our efforts to make them understand.
Dx: Schizoaffective - Bipolar Type, Rapid Cycling
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Re: fed up

Postby johnbc » Sun Jun 05, 2011 8:05 pm

hey jasil...get a grip. suppose life might be easier for you if she had cancer...hm? seems to me, you and your daughter are much alike. shouldn't be so difficult for you both to reconnect.

DO IT!
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