The Mental Illness Dilemna

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2006
The Mental Illness Dilemna
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.


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.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 01-08-2009
Sun, 08-19-2012 - 8:53am
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-17-2003
Sun, 08-19-2012 - 9:12am


I think we've been down this road many times. I am not really sure where you want ot go with it. I understand certain parts of my posts stand out to you more then others, but, in part, I think that is because you have an agenda or belief you want to make clear.

So, do we keep going in circles?

I have not seen any question of whether or not some people are naturally more resilient than others

?? Question? I am not here to ask you questions. :smileyhappy: I repeatedly said I think some people are just naturally more then resilient then others. I honestly do not know how else or what else to post for you to get my point across.

Many, if not all posters, on this thread have made statements such as "parents do not cause mental illness" and "mental illness is a medical disease".

Yes, yes, you've said this numerous times. But, who said parents cause mental illness?? I do belief some parents can create stress within their children they may lead to bouts of depression or anxiety. Whether this would classify as a chronic condition or clinically dx is doubtful, but I did not think the disucssion was limited to that.

To further this thought, therapist have their handsful with people who want to discuss their upbringing. Not as a way to blame the parents, but rather the understand how their upbringing formed who they are today and maybe to resolve conflicts within themselves.

It sets the stage for a reinforcement of the long held cultural belief that most people are "normal"-ish until parents or some other force screw then up.

And again, a statement you've made numerous times. Sorry SUPS, if this is your belief, then it is. IMO, parents do need to be aware of the impact or influence they have on their children. I have seen many, many parents shift blame to society and others for their own inadequacies. This works both way. To be honest, in life, in work, I've seen more often then not, parents declaring, "what can I do, society has gone wild, it's not my fault, what can I do with drugs out there, kids having sex ... etc, etc" I see more parents placing blame on everything else. And many parents do feel powerless to change things.

So, I think to dismiss the parents role in their child's mental health is just as damning as it is to blame them.

IF some people are fully, resilient what does that say in terms of those who are not?

Again, where does this comment come from. Some people are "more" resilient then others. How does this translate into "fully".

LOL ... but yeah, I do know many people incredibly resilient. What does that have to say about anyone else? Probably what I've already said ... numerous times ... most people or children fall within the normal curve.

If you want to go out a limb and ask this question ... truly, people who cannot let go, people who cannot bounce back ... most likely this will effect their mental health, social life, educational capabilities. And, in some cases, I am sure, their physical health.

They my have bouts of depression, anxiety or a host of other problems.


. OTOH, any two informed people will naturally have a lot of overlapping opinions. It is difficult IMO to parse out the considerable overlap from smaller differences


My best guess is that this format is difficult. What is written, intended, and read are often somewhat different. Repetition is a necessary evil.

lol ... I don't know about it being a necessary evil. But, yes, I am not sure this format is not the best for discussing such a broad and varying subject. When we take into account individual differences and therapy, there really isn't a concrete answer.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-17-2003
Sun, 08-19-2012 - 10:11am

Ya know, I find this interesting ... concerning repetition. A friend of mine, a psychologist, often asks, "what does a lawyer do?" The answer .... a good lawyer asks the same question a dozen times. They do this because, at some point, a person will changeup or say something differently in which changes the context. 

I can keep trying to come up with ways to get my point across, but this only leads to more ways for you (or anyone) to misinterpret what is being said.

What I read from your post is that resilience, or lack thereof, is indicative of a problem within an individual.

What you said was therapy focuses a great deal on teaching resiliency. Yes, from that angle, it's presented as a problem.  A person who seriously cannot move past something and on with their life ..... really, this is going to cause a problem.

As such the best way to help someone manage problems is to to wait for a challenge or crisis to present itself, then watch for poor coping skills and correct them one on one.

No, we were discussing how this is handled in schools. lol ... I didn't say you had to wait for there to be a problem. lol ... I said you cannot "test" it as you would say, math. I mean seriously, do you know what crisis is going to happen to you and how you will handle it when it does? 

I also said a school counselor is not going to step in until a crisis arises. I believe this was in response to your statements about day to day bad things happening.

Ok, so now you want to handle children with adhd, anxiety and depression ... yep. often times they do know the appropriate answer during discussion, but it's when they are in the moment, they do not react the same way.

So, yep, for a school to offer a formal curriculum and testing process, IMO, is not an indication of how this will reduce the mental health stats we are seeing now .....

and it certainly isn't an indication of which children are simply more resilient then others to begin with. 

Oh, and considering the need for individual and group support, I would assume these programs are not a cure all solution.

Therefore, Ii would be difficult, at best, to create a curriculum because all problems need individual attention and resilience is a unique characteristic of each person. 

And again, many schools do. lol ... and no, I did not say ALL. But seriously, what one finds difficult to overcome, another one overcomes with ease. No? So, even though you build character and teach some coping skills .... you cannot test this until one faces a crisis (individual to themselves) And considering everything you posted and I posted includes a strong support network, with home support, chances of success are rather slim without it, regardless of what schools do. I think any good therapist will tell you the cooperation and collaboration of both parent and therapist is essential. I don't view schools as being any differently.

Other then in one area ... schools cannot provide therapy without parental consent. And yes, this is when a child, demonstrating consistent problems with "bouncing back" a counselor will step in provide therapy, or form a friendship group or other support TYPE group ... with parental consent.

And yes, even school counselors acknowledge the need for smaller group and individual attention according to unique characteristics of each person.

(ya know, again, I think context is very important. One post, pages ago, Jams was discussing all the opportunities that come up daily for a school to help children become more resilient ... one example, if I remember correctly, was sharing and taking turns. Beyond that, if it remains a problem, the counselor will step in. Counselors do not automatically step in. It is handled with children who have a "problem" with bouncing back. For 4 years, the school counselor saw the same child because, if he decided he wanted to be friends with a kid and the kid refused, he couldn't let it go. He would continue to bother the child.

Another child, broke down every time she received a B ..... and never forgets it either. It festers and becomes a fear she will receive another B.

Another child, gets cut off in line. Still remembers this a week later and shoves the kid down when he thinks the child might cut him off again.

Now again, we can example the entire scope of what these children are dealing with, but the end result, is they don't bounce back, they don't let go and they don't forget AND ... it negatively impacts their lives.)

Then these "classes", again, children say things impulsively and cannot always judge what is appropriate. When you start discussing "crisis" with a child, all sorts of things pop out of their mouths. A school counselor or teacher, must be very careful they do not cross the line.

And yes, the article posted was a good one and concerned children already in crisis. Yes, they can learn, probably not all, but yeah, they can learn, but this isn't the same as comparing it to the generally school population.



iVillage Member
Registered: 12-17-2003
Sun, 08-19-2012 - 10:18am

I believe that all people are susceptible to mismanaging the challenges that life hands out.

I think this will happen regardless of well prepared a person thinks they may be.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-17-2003
Sun, 08-19-2012 - 10:27am

And apparently you missed the post where I said, something to the effect, I supported these programs through the school. But I am also aware of the limitations placed on the counselors and the limitations of the programs.

I won't repeat my thoughts from previous posts, but, in general, a child demonstrating lack of any proper coping skills, low self esteem, patience, tolerance ... any other characteristic of your list, yes, I do believe one benefits more so from individual, unique counseling.



iVillage Member
Registered: 12-17-2003
Sun, 08-19-2012 - 10:31am

The questions you pose to Jams, and this is just a thought, it appears you want to fit all people and children into a box. And that was my point .... when it comes to mental health, no one fits into a box.

With children, they are still growing and maturing. The expectations of a 2 year old are different then they are for 3, 4 ,5 ..... and so on.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-17-2003
Sun, 08-19-2012 - 10:41am

I think Jams, my point was I would not generalize one group. I would never assume to generalize one group. Personally I would look at how my child responded to crisis before assuming they would be resilient or not.

I do think somewhere along the way they've learned that avoiding conflict or avoiding certain situations is better than facing them. 

Ya know Jams, like I said, I know people like this. Just about every one of them suffers from some sort of anxiety disorder.

Ok, my only point to you, ions ago, was I can look at my children (aside from any other experience) and see, some are just naturally more resilient then the others. 


iVillage Member
Registered: 12-17-2003
Mon, 08-20-2012 - 7:46am

interesting ....

As Eric Michael Johnson writes for Scientific American, the biggest contributor to homicide in the U.S. is not mental illness, addictions or even the accessibility of guns. It’s economic disparity: the wider the gap between the rich and poor, the more violence a population breeds.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2006
Mon, 08-20-2012 - 10:10pm

 I think that is because you have an agenda or belief you want to make clear.

I wonder what you perceive my agenda or beliefs to be?

I repeatedly said I think some people are just naturally more then resilient then others.

Why do you keep saying that over and over again?

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-17-2003
Mon, 08-20-2012 - 11:31pm

 I repeatedly said I think some people are just naturally more then resilient then others.

I guess I must have missed that. I mean really, your last post still seems to question the same things and you are still questioning if someone can be "fully" resilient.

So, no, what your intentions or beliefs are is very unclear and your posts seem very repetitive. I even added another post trying to get back to your OP, but you seem to want to keep questioning the same things.

From your most recent post:

 But are almost all kids or most kids resilient?

Do most kids start out inherently resilient and they lose it over time? If so, what causes the loss of resilience?

If a kid is not resilient, what does that mean? Does that mean they are acting out for attention? Does it mean that they are mentally ill? Does it mean that their parents are screwing up?

Can anyone be fully resilient, ie, predictably capable of handling very difficult life circumstances?

Can someone be born minimally resilient? What does that say about their ability to become resilient? Is it possible? Is it likely?

 To me the implication that some people are naturally, fully resilient, along with questioning parenting behaviors, and a vague suggestion that lack of resilience is, in and of itself, a mental illness, is problematic. It sets the stage for a reinforcement of the long held cultural belief that most people are "normal"-ish until parents or some other force screw then up.

Now, maybe I missing something, but appears you are still questioning the same things about resiliency. (over and over again) I've attempted to once again to clarify and I am met, once again, with you questioning why I am answering you.

As far as agenda, shall we look back at how many times you've posted the same things concerning parenting and what this belief of resiliency might lead to? I hear your point and commented on it, only to have you reinstate your beliefs concerning resiliency and parenting. So, why is it you feel the need to say it over and over again?