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Mental Illness: Social Stigma

Kali

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Why is there still such a stigma in reguards to Mental Illness? Why?
 

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Because dealing with the mentally ill is friggin' creepy, frustrating, and potentially dangerous to both parties if one is not a licensed mental health professional, which the vast majority of us aren't.
 

CaptainCourtesy

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Why is there still such a stigma in reguards to Mental Illness? Why?
Mostly because people don't understand that it is an illness, not unlike any other illness, and because many people seem to think that it is a sign of weakness and someone should be able to "snap out of it", which is not accurate.

The social stigma of mental illness and the fact that it is often not taken seriously is probably my number one pet peeve.
 
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LaMidRighter

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Mostly because people don't understand that it is an illness, not unlike any other illness, and because many people seem to think that it is a sign of weakness and someone should be able to "snap out of it", which is not accurate.

The social stigma of mental illness and the fact that it is often not taken seriously is probably my number one pet peeve.
I agree. Much of it comes from the stereotyping of these conditions as well I find, two of my second cousins suffer from types of severe mental illness, one can be maintained and the other is too severe, but they are on one end of the spectrum. I find most people see that someone is suffering a mental condition and automatically think these people are dangerous which couldn't be further from the truth.

It also stigmatizes many people who otherwise could have a great life from seeking help. While I'm not in your profession it frustrates me to no end that many in our supposedly modern society can't be bothered to learn about this issue.
 

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For me, it's because it can be an easy scapegoat. I've seen people get on disability because of "depression". What a f'n joke. People often use the guise of mental illness as a blanket to cover irrationality and a lack of logic. As much of a kook Tom Cruise is, he's absolutely right in many ways. America is WAY overmedicated. Go across the pond to Europe sometime and see what portion of their population is on anti-depressants. America has become a lazy bastion of "quick-fixers" who think a magical little pill is going to give them something to take the edge off.

Now if we're talking autism or conditions that can easily be proven, that's one thing. When we start getting into all these other psychological grey areas, including the two most idiotic words in the English language - "clinical depression" - I'm less apt to believe these matchbook professors who want to simply compartmentalize people based on manipulated emotions.

I'm not giving someone a band aid for self-inflicted pain.
 

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Maybe it's just me but I don't think of 'depression' when I think of 'mental illness"
 

CaptainCourtesy

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For me, it's because it can be an easy scapegoat. I've seen people get on disability because of "depression". What a f'n joke. People often use the guise of mental illness as a blanket to cover irrationality and a lack of logic. As much of a kook Tom Cruise is, he's absolutely right in many ways. America is WAY overmedicated. Go across the pond to Europe sometime and see what portion of their population is on anti-depressants. America has become a lazy bastion of "quick-fixers" who think a magical little pill is going to give them something to take the edge off.

Now if we're talking autism or conditions that can easily be proven, that's one thing. When we start getting into all these other psychological grey areas, including the two most idiotic words in the English language - "clinical depression" - I'm less apt to believe these matchbook professors who want to simply compartmentalize people based on manipulated emotions.

I'm not giving someone a band aid for self-inflicted pain.
This is an excellent example of what I was talking about. Lack of understanding of psychological issues, minimizing them into "laziness" or "manipulation". They are neither. There is a difference between feeling upset and being clinically depressed. If you have not felt the latter, you don't understand how it feels. The physical symptoms are quite real, ranging from excessive hypersomnia, to major GI issues, to many others. Depression is recognized as a diagnosis that can cause someone to need SSD benefits. I know that I have assisted at least half a dozen clients get SSD because of their severe depression.

And calling it "self-inflicted" demonstrates ignorance of the issue. No one who has a real psychological disorder chooses to have it.
 

CaptainCourtesy

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Maybe it's just me but I don't think of 'depression' when I think of 'mental illness"
And you'd be wrong about that. Depression is one of the most debilitating of all mental illnesses.
 

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Maybe it's just me but I don't think of 'depression' when I think of 'mental illness"
I don't think you're at all alone. There's plenty of depresson that isn't mental illness, so in that respect, you're right about a lot of it. However, there are people who have gotten sooooo deep into depression that it's caused a chemical imbalance in their brains. Doctors don't know why, they just know it's real. They aren't even sure why their medications work; but they do. Problem is, that the truly clinically depressed? Well, they have a really hard time staying on their meds, for some reason.

It's easy to recognize (and sympathize) with a diabetic, someone who suffers from cancer, Parkinson's Disease and any number of physical ailments. It's really hard for people at large to grasp that depression isn't much different. It can be debilitating as it removes every single ounce of joy from one's life.

I have a family member who suffered from manic-depression. I use that archiac term because that term more clearly defined her symptoms. When in her manic state, her pupils were dialated as if she were on drugs. When she was depressed, she often sat in her kitchen with a plastic bag trying to get the courage to end it all. The only thing that stopped her was that she knew her children would find her. I think once one has seen someone they love struggle with clinical depression it becomes much easier to understand.

I agree with the poster who mentioned it is a cop-out diagnosis today to go for disability. You can't miss the truly clinically depressed. The life is gone from their eyes. They speak in monotones. They just try to get through the day with their profound sadness.
 

Harry Guerrilla

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Because dealing with the mentally ill is friggin' creepy, frustrating, and potentially dangerous to both parties if one is not a licensed mental health professional, which the vast majority of us aren't.
My cousin, who died about a year or two ago, was schizophrenic.
All her late teenage and adult life people have been trying to help her with institutionalization, counseling, medication and group home care.

The thing is that she didn't stick to any of it and was prone to jet off, leaving unheard from for weeks.
It got frustrating as hell, so everyone stopped caring.

There is only so much you can do for some of these people.
She died in a house fire, can't remember where she was living.
 

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I don't consider manic-depression to be on par with what I've talked about. I'm talking about situations where chemistry is similar to what an average person is. Clearly with manic-depression, there's a lack of insulin being produced, which is a chemical imbalance.

Having said that, I still stand by my claim. I've looked at numbers elsewhere, and they're not close. The only country I've seen with even close to the same percentages of people on the meds is Australia, and that's really just a recent phenomenon.

I need more concrete proof. As of right now, there is absolutely NO blood test that can diagnose depression, which automatically makes it sketchy in my book.

Wanna feel better about yourself? Do a sit-up. Endorphins work better than a placebo you swallow with water.
 

MaggieD

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I don't consider manic-depression to be on par with what I've talked about. I'm talking about situations where chemistry is similar to what an average person is. Clearly with manic-depression, there's a lack of insulin being produced, which is a chemical imbalance.

Having said that, I still stand by my claim. I've looked at numbers elsewhere, and they're not close. The only country I've seen with even close to the same percentages of people on the meds is Australia, and that's really just a recent phenomenon.

I need more concrete proof. As of right now, there is absolutely NO blood test that can diagnose depression, which automatically makes it sketchy in my book.

Wanna feel better about yourself? Do a sit-up. Endorphins work better than a placebo you swallow with water.
You're right about one thing. There's no test for it. It's diagnosed by behavior. The same way Alzheimer's Disease is diagnosed. I also agree with you that endorphins are nature's wonder drug. And working out is probably second best only to sex for relieving stress.

Your assumption that clinical depression is caused by a lack of insulin couldn't be any more wrong.
 

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Why is there still such a stigma in reguards to Mental Illness? Why?
With a bad appendix or gall bladder, doctors can remove the thing that's causing the illness. Same with some types of cancer and other conditions. With an occluded cardiac artery, the artery can be bypassed and/or repaired. With mental illness, a doctor can't do a surgical repair or "fix" the problem with traditional medical treatments or surgery. The mind is still somewhat of a mystery in certain respects and neurotransmitters/dysfunction can be very difficult to treat. Anything that is not well-understood causes a general attitude of fear in some people. Just be happy that we don't still put mental patients in small cages. If that were the case, many of us could be put on display at the local assylum.;)
 

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My cousin, who died about a year or two ago, was schizophrenic.
All her late teenage and adult life people have been trying to help her with institutionalization, counseling, medication and group home care.

The thing is that she didn't stick to any of it and was prone to jet off, leaving unheard from for weeks.
It got frustrating as hell, so everyone stopped caring.

There is only so much you can do for some of these people.
She died in a house fire, can't remember where she was living.
OMG. I am so sorry for your family. I hope her parents came to terms with her death. I also know someone who's daughter is schizophrenic. It is heartbreaking, honestly. She is in a halfway house now. Has been in them before. And, then, for some quite predictable, but unknown reason, she goes off her meds. They will invariably find her in the streets somewhere hunkered down behind a dumpster hiding from her imaginary demons. One of the hardest of allll mental illnesses to treat.
 

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For me, it's because it can be an easy scapegoat. I've seen people get on disability because of "depression". What a f'n joke. People often use the guise of mental illness as a blanket to cover irrationality and a lack of logic. As much of a kook Tom Cruise is, he's absolutely right in many ways. America is WAY overmedicated. Go across the pond to Europe sometime and see what portion of their population is on anti-depressants. America has become a lazy bastion of "quick-fixers" who think a magical little pill is going to give them something to take the edge off.

Now if we're talking autism or conditions that can easily be proven, that's one thing. When we start getting into all these other psychological grey areas, including the two most idiotic words in the English language - "clinical depression" - I'm less apt to believe these matchbook professors who want to simply compartmentalize people based on manipulated emotions.

I'm not giving someone a band aid for self-inflicted pain.
why turn this into a rant about gov't assistance?
 

Harry Guerrilla

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OMG. I am so sorry for your family. I hope her parents came to terms with her death. I also know someone who's daughter is schizophrenic. It is heartbreaking, honestly. She is in a halfway house now. Has been in them before. And, then, for some quite predictable, but unknown reason, she goes off her meds. They will invariably find her in the streets somewhere hunkered down behind a dumpster hiding from her imaginary demons. One of the hardest of allll mental illnesses to treat.
Not to be a callous jerk but it was expected to happen, from her own behavior, a long time ago.
Her choices have put a great burden my aunt and being so erratic made everyone closed hearted to her situation.

One days she's in Illinois living with a man she called her husband, next week she was gay living with a woman somewhere else.
She lived a transient lifestyle, literally living all over the country.
Had 3 kids, 1 was given up for adoption, the other 2 were raised by my aunt.
 

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Not to be a callous jerk but it was expected to happen, from her own behavior, a long time ago.
Her choices have put a great burden my aunt and being so erratic made everyone closed hearted to her situation.

One days she's in Illinois living with a man she called her husband, next week she was gay living with a woman somewhere else.
She lived a transient lifestyle, literally living all over the country.
Had 3 kids, 1 was given up for adoption, the other 2 were raised by my aunt.
That's what makes that disorder soooo awful. After a while, we just can't FIND any more compassion for a person who appears to be making their own hell. If I'm not mistaken, it's generally diagnosed late teens/early twenties. A perfectly normal, happy young person just goes off. Very sad. I always figure, "We go around once," ya' know? Very sad that so many of those 'trips around' are nightmares.
 

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For me, it's because it can be an easy scapegoat. I've seen people get on disability because of "depression". What a f'n joke.
There have been many people put on disability for what I would also characterize as a joke- and a misdiagnosis of clinical depression, but clinical depression is truly a serious mental problem (the really severe cases) that does compromise one's ability to function in a somewhat normal manner. The good news is that it really is treatable to an effective degree- the bad news is that most people aren't willing to go to the needed degree required to really fix it (imo).

People often use the guise of mental illness as a blanket to cover irrationality and a lack of logic. ....

America is WAY overmedicated. Go across the pond to Europe sometime and see what portion of their population is on anti-depressants. America has become a lazy bastion of "quick-fixers" who think a magical little pill is going to give them something to take the edge off.
Agreed.
 

Harry Guerrilla

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That's what makes that disorder soooo awful. After a while, we just can't FIND any more compassion for a person who appears to be making their own hell. If I'm not mistaken, it's generally diagnosed late teens/early twenties. A perfectly normal, happy young person just goes off. Very sad. I always figure, "We go around once," ya' know? Very sad that so many of those 'trips around' are nightmares.
I believe that was when she was diagnosed.
Don't really know because I was an infant/toddler during that time.
She did have an incredibly ****ty childhood, her father...was a nightmare person to grow up with.
He should of been imprisoned for life but they didn't do that back then.
 

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I do think that medication is over-prescribed, and that often times lifestyle changes can avert this need; at the same time, there are people who are truly clinically depressed to the point that they cannot function in their daily lives without intervention. I am amused by people who think they know enough to say that depression is a bunk diagnosis just to get sympathy, but those people always serve as an example of ignorance that the medical profession exist to educate.
 

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I'm not saying every diagnosis is bunk. However I will say that out of every 10 diagnoses of depression, at least 7 are bunk - or at least situations that can be fixed with an overhaul of diet and exercise.

From what I've seen, nations with the highest reported per-capita numbers of depression are also the ones with the highest per-capita numbers of overweight/obese people. Now you can call it a coincidence, but I call it pretty damning evidence.
 

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I'm not saying every diagnosis is bunk. However I will say that out of every 10 diagnoses of depression, at least 7 are bunk - or at least situations that can be fixed with an overhaul of diet and exercise.

From what I've seen, nations with the highest reported per-capita numbers of depression are also the ones with the highest per-capita numbers of overweight/obese people. Now you can call it a coincidence, but I call it pretty damning evidence.
Interesting observation. I know two people with bipolar disorder. One with schizophrenia. All three are for real. All three are skinny as rails. If it was as easy as losing weight, believe me, these tortured souls would an anorexic.
 

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I'm not saying every diagnosis is bunk. However I will say that out of every 10 diagnoses of depression, at least 7 are bunk - or at least situations that can be fixed with an overhaul of diet and exercise.

From what I've seen, nations with the highest reported per-capita numbers of depression are also the ones with the highest per-capita numbers of overweight/obese people. Now you can call it a coincidence, but I call it pretty damning evidence.
This is part of the problem. There is no way for you to tell what is bunk and what is real. These things can be diagnosis, and if diagnosed by a clinician, i don't think you or I have the education to dispute the diagnosis. This is the thing about mental illness. We don't dispute cancer diagnoses nor cardiac problems. But as soon as someone starts talking about mental illness, some seem to think that it is okay to write it off if they don't believe its true.

Mind you I am guilty of this too as I think the ADD rates are astronomical in this country. So much so that it can't be true. But I am also a statistician and am not clinician.
 

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Well, then as a statistician you should know when there's bias. Big Pharm has its tentacles everywhere in the industry. This isn't just conspiracy theory; anyone can see if they dig that medication is practically thrust into people's mouths because of the payoff from the distribution end.

I would very much like to see a trial run with a placebo, and compare the percentages. You're a statistician - I'm sure you can appreciate this. Removing moderator/administrator bias and getting down to the nitty-gritty would really show who needs help and who just needs a huge kick in the ass.

My money's on the latter.
 
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