The Mental Illness Dilemna

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2006
The Mental Illness Dilemna
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Wed, 08-01-2012 - 10:51am

Advocates for the mentally ill are faced with a deep dilemma each time extreme and deadly crimes are perpetrated by those with a mental illness. Obviously, such acts are not sane or normal; it beggars common sense to suggest that a person who is thinking straight would choose to kill or wound dozens of strangers. And yet most mentally ill people — even those with conditions that have been linked to violence, such as addictions and schizophrenia — are no threat to anyone other than themselves.

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For the mentally ill, who might be seen as canaries in this coal mine, stigma serves to wall them off from the social support and medical care that are necessary to spur recovery and prevent illness from leading to tragedy. As a society, we need to understand that risk does not equal destiny — and that believing it does is a self-fulfilling prophecy. It’s not wrong to see schizophrenia as a disease or even to appreciate its association with violence, but to view people with schizophrenia as hopeless can in some cases worsen their course unnecessarily.

Read more: http://healthland.time.com/2012/07/31/mass-murder-and-mental-illness-the-interplay-of-stigma-culture-and-disease/?iid=hl-article-mostpop1#ixzz22J3U2hHn

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iVillage Member
Registered: 12-17-2003
Sat, 08-11-2012 - 10:56am

In subsequent posts you clarified, I think, that by "developing" you meant "diagnosing". Later you clarified that IYO parents do not cause mental illness.

No, I think you are taking separate topics or context and melting them together.

I brought up the parents role when discussing adopted children. The rest of my thoughts were never developed because the discussion, by then, had blended into something else.

I never said parents cause mental illness ... did I? I do believe there's also been a debate of genetics vs environment. Again, another subtopic. I would think ultimately, if one believes you can only have a mental illness through a genetic link, then parents or environment cannot be the cause. If one believes both, environment and genetics, plays a role ... then yes, how we parent impacts our children's mental health. I think at this point .. you decided that meant "caused". But, I don't think ever used the word "cause" but honestly, maybe I did and just don't remember.

At one point, when I pointed this out, you claimed you were writing to others reading and not responding. You wanted it clear for them.

OK .... then you separated garden variety mental illness from adhd, schizophrenia and such ... and yes, I do believe the parents perception definitely could play a role in the diagnosing of adhd ... being an accurate dx or inaccurate dx. I do believe a parents lifestyle can impact a child's behavior.

I think the way our world plays out is not textbook. There are so many variables and biases to be considered.

So, another subtopic came into play .... the Vanderbilt scale. And yes, it's considered reliable, but IME, on it's own, it's not a reliable source, unless the symptoms are very clear. IME, that isn't always the case. Usually, you will see a variant in answers person to person, perception to perception.

OK ... so, when people, or you want to make it clear parents do not "cause" these diseases ... good point, but I also think parents need to be aware and educated on how they influence their children's mental health.

Similarly, some of your posts led me to believe that your opinion was that resilience is more nature than nurture. It is now sounding like I misinterpreted your posts - again. I am curious as to how I got confused about the trait, innate thing.

Couldn't tell ya. I even posted an article reaffirming, the best I could, what my thoughts were.

But, it's kind of funny, because one of my first comments was ... resiliency isn't a trait, it's a process so, again, I am not sure why you are confused. I felt the more I said it wasn't a trait, the more you kept saying I said it was. :smileyvery-happy:

So again, the ability to be resilient is both effected by who we are (traits) and what our environment is. Even if you want to teach resiliency, some children will take to it more then others. And then you want to throw in day to day stresses, when the example given, by another member, was divorce and military children. Again, no one suggested resiliency wasn't an important skill, but how a child handles day to day stresses is both impacted by innate qualities and learned skills. I do not believe it's strictly a learned skill.

I think resiliency is effected by a person's mental health or mental illness.

Full circle then goes back to the notion "children are resilient". We cannot predict how anyone will react to life's stress. But, a child who clearly cannot get over day to day stresses, I would think clearly shows some signs of trouble concerning their mental health.

 



iVillage Member
Registered: 12-17-2003
Sat, 08-11-2012 - 11:19am

I suspect that this quote is the one that got me off track:

I think patience, resiliency and tolerance are something you are born with. They are personality traits or, I should say, all are influenced by one's intelligence and personality traits.. Both are ingrained in us.

I am not sure how this got you off track? I believe this was in response to Jams .... who used the three; patience, tolerance, and resiliency together .. and yes, I do believe all are effected by one's intelligence and personality traits. I do believe a patient person will show more tolerance and resiliency. 

I think, since this was written, it's been explained over and over again though. LOL ... yes, I do believe some people are more resilient then others .... naturally. 

Again, not really sure what threw you off, I should say, all are influenced by one's intelligence and personality traits.. Both are ingrained in us.

I do believe that .... Some children are more resilient then others. Some children will bounce back from a divorce, more efficiently then others, which was being discussed. If I were to get a divorce, I probably would not assume "children are resilient". I would look at the individual traits of each child before making that assumption.

But then again, most of who we are, IMO, is determined by innate and environmental factors. So, yes, in that context, I do believe patience, tolerance, and ability to be resilient are effected by who we are (innate) ad environmental factors.

I think after this post, we started discussing psychological definitions of resiliency. Otherwise, being flexible, easy going, impatient .... oh, I gave the list pages ago, are yes, innate qualities in a person. oh, oh ... also effected by environment.

Is that easier to understand?

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-17-2003
Sat, 08-11-2012 - 2:27pm

Sorry, I am editing this post out.

I think the main problem I have here is you are saying mental illness is genetic, yet, assert it can all be taught away. I think from there, you can add twists and turns and analyze things taken out of context, but you really can't explain how one would form or teach a class on resiliency. What would the curriculum be? How would you test it? My main point was even if you could teach and test on the fundamentals of mental health, you have no way of assessing how the student will apply that in a real life situation when one is under stress. There is also no way to predict how a person will react under stress, until they are experiencing that stress.

I just don't think a student will react the same way to a hypothetical situation for testing purposes, as they will when experiencing the stress themselves. I think it's easier to say what you should do as opposed to what you would do.

I don't think you take into account individual differences.

I have to clarify, I did use the word teach, but counselors do not teach the general school population the same way a teacher can teach a class. They are limited in what they can do without parental consent and they cannot enter into therapy without it. It's a fine line they cannot cross. So, here, they do go around and lecture children on certain skills and feeling good about themselves, but the personal involvement is not allowed. They do form groups, as I said, but children are chosen according to need and parental consent has to be given. If a child is going through a life crisis, like divorce or death, then certainly the school counselor can step in, with parental consent.

So, maybe we are discussing different things ... schools can teach within their limitations, the fundamentals. How useful that will be is questionable since therapy is generally something very individualized. Finally, I think parental cooperation would be very important in considering the effectiveness of a mental health class.

Oh, one more element to resiliency is a good support system. So again, even if we came up with the perfect hypothetical curriculum, without support from home, it's doubtful a student will benefit from such a class. And again, you talk about bad things happening, but most people do handle bad things, occurring daily, just fine. But again, I am not opposed to what the elementary school here does, but again, I think it's a stretch to say teaching resiliency in school will lead to less mental health problems in our society.

 

 

 

 

 

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2006
Sat, 08-11-2012 - 4:01pm

yet, assert it can all be taught away

Oh, goodness, NO!  I have stated that mental illness can not be taught.

Oh, wait. "Taught away" what does that mean?

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2006
Sat, 08-11-2012 - 4:05pm

. If I were to get a divorce, I probably would not assume "children are resilient".

And, of course, no one said or suggested such a thing.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2006
Sat, 08-11-2012 - 4:07pm

you really can't explain how one would form or teach a class on resiliency.

Yes, I did. You did too. I was just starting to believe that we had resolved that.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2006
Sat, 08-11-2012 - 4:11pm

I don't think you take into account individual differences.

Huh?

So, maybe we are discussing different things

I guess that explains it.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-17-2003
Mon, 08-13-2012 - 4:55pm

If I were to get a divorce, I probably would not assume "children are resilient".

And, of course, no one said or suggested such a thing.

Actually, another member used those exact words.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-17-2003
Mon, 08-13-2012 - 4:57pm

nis .... thanks for discussion. I just can't sit here debating one liners, taken from the original context. Maybe if I had more time, I would search through and try to figure out what you are referring, but I simply don't have that kind of time.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-17-2003
Mon, 08-13-2012 - 5:02pm

Yes, I did. You did too. I was just starting to believe that we had resolved that.

Not really, but if you say so. You said mental health would improve if schools taught resiliency. That hasn't been the case so, I am wondering how you would form a curriculum and test the students ... lol ... again, it's easy to know the answers, but how one reacts under extreme stress is quite different from a test.

So, how would you "test" a student. You can't possibly ask them to imagine event they would have a hard time getting over and you can't assume the stressors would be the same for all students.

Oh, and again, how would you handle parental support? How do you think lack of parental support effects these programs or even building a child's self esteem.

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