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.

[continued]

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: 01-08-2009
Fri, 08-03-2012 - 7:52am
I think resilience is a personality trait than can be nurtured. I am one of six kids. We moved around a lot because my Dad was in the Air Force. Plus there was alcoholism and divorce to deal with. All six of us have coped quite differently with the different issues thrown at us as children. If resilience were totally learned behavior, we would have all learned the same lessons in the same household, right?
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-17-2003
Fri, 08-03-2012 - 8:14am

Like patience and like tolerance, I think resilience is learned.  And if a parent is incapable of nurturing that then s/he should seek professional help especially if a situation like separation, divorce, etc. warrants it.

Oh, ITA, your friend should seek professional help. In general, when divorce occurs, I think it's best for children to have someone to talk to, the mom as well. But, during a transition like that, in general, I think it's best for the child to have an outsider to speak with, whether that be a therapist of clergyman or something to that effect.

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. However, our environment and what we are exposed to, has a great impact on who we ultimately become.

I also believe you can have a combination of the two. A child maybe be resilient and easy going, but have a high stung parent. Or, a parent may be very laid bad, but have a less resilient child. Pushing that child could end up with a high level of anxiety due to the way the parent, parents.

I do not believe patience and resiliency are definite learned behaviors. I don't think you can change the core of who a person is, but you can teach them better coping mechanism. There are many therapies, even a parent can do, to help a child in these areas, but you can only go so far, if the child is hardwired to be another way. And truthfully, I don't think we should change who a child is unless it interferes with their daily living or ability to function in society.

I am not really sure what you are saying. Previously you stated child are resilient, now you are saying it's a learned behavior. So, are you saying your friends child would be more resilient if the mother was? Just trying to understand your pov.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-17-2003
Fri, 08-03-2012 - 8:15am

Nisu, this is my field and I LOVE to talk about it and learn more! :smileyhappy:

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-17-2003
Fri, 08-03-2012 - 12:44pm

Resiliency isn't a concept. It's an ability to bounce back to original form.

And wouldn't the flip side of that be that a kid who grows up thinking that things will always go his way or that never learns to take turns doesn't learn patience then, too?

Life isn't a matter of extremes. There's a lot in between.

So, let me ask you, do you think conformity is always a good thing? Should people always conform in the name of resiliency? Should people always go with the flow? Again, my point is, we don't live in extremes so, the question is kind of pointless. We don't live in a one size fits all world.

I don't think age has much of this has to with this, within normal range of child development. Some people are just flat out impatient. Others are less tolerant and yet, others are less resilient.  Anyone having more then one child will certainly see the effects of nature vs nurture, as well, differences in personality and tolerance levels.

But to be honest, I am not completely following your logic. You seem to ping pong back and forth, from post to post. Like this: "Resilience/tolerance/patience are more than just things you're born with."

I never said they were. I actually said it's a combination of both. But, no, if you are inclined to be impatient person, there are certainly things you can do to change this behavior, but hardwired, you will always have that inclination. Now, throw mental illness in there, and you've added to the mix. For instance, children with adhd, many, not all, but many, are just not resilient people. They find it harder to bounce and don't accept change well. A parent shouldn't give into that, but it's just as harmful to ignore that. A parent cannot possibly help their child if they don't acknowledge what the obstacles are there in the first place.

And to assume all children or people are the same, well, I am not sure I can make sese of that.

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-17-2003
Fri, 08-03-2012 - 1:01pm

I thought this article summed up what both of us are trying to say:

http://www.scholastic.com/browse/article.jsp?id=3746847

Life is full of surprise, challenge, and, for some, distress and trauma. Children facing these experiences will show a range of responses. Some will regress when facing even the minor, unavoidable stresses of a typical day at school. Other children tolerate and even continue to thrive in the face of significant trauma

Temperament. While children are not born resilient, some are born with a very high threshold for tolerating distress. These children are easy to comfort. They tolerate hunger, noise, transitions, and chaotic situations relatively well. On the other hand, some children are born very, very sensitive to any stimulation. They are easily overwhelmed.

It is easy to see how the child with the easy-to-soothe temperament will be more likely to become resilient later in life.

A child's temperament appears to be determined by a combination of genetics and the "environment" of the womb.

Attuned Caregiving. No matter what a child's temperament, the capacity to deal with stressors is shaped by his caregivers

Healthy Attachments. Children with poor bonding with a primary caregiver-"attachment" problems-- will be less resilient.

Opportunities for Practice. In order to become resilient to life's unpredictable and overwhelming stressors, we first must build and strengthen our stress-response systems through "practice." Opportunities for gradual exposure to challenges will do this.

Reasons for Resilience

Resilience cannot exist without hope. It is the capacity to be hopeful that carries us through challenges, disappointments, loss, and traumatic stress

Children's cognitive abilities also affect their ability to be resilient. The child who learns quickly, and can learn from only a few experiences, will have an easier time drawing upon his own experience and his capacity to imagine a future that is happier and safer.

Finally, a key factor related to resilience is the child's ability to feel that he is special. This belief usually comes from a significant adult in the child's life-a parent, a grandparent, a teacher-reassuring him that he is unique, important, and special. A child's sense of his own unique role in the world will help to sustain him during chronic traumatic events. They have a special place-and this event is part of their special life.

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-25-2004
Fri, 08-03-2012 - 3:51pm

I agree that good parenting can do a lot to help a child deal with issues. Unfortunately, as I learned over years of teaching, there aren't enough parents who step up and help their children with some basic things. let alone trying to talk to them about important issues.

And support is available...sometimes...some places...at some cost. When people need a therapist or psychiatrist, too often the waiting list is long and it can be months before they can get in. Imagine having something as simple as strep and having to wait months to have anyone look at you. That's what people in our country are facing. And there are too few MH practioners out there. And then add the stigma, the significant cost because insurance doesn't want to cover it, and many many people with a MI go untreated. It's very sad.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-17-2003
Fri, 08-03-2012 - 4:43pm

Wow, how did you take what we talking about to extremes and conformity?

If you want to have a discussion, that is fine Jams, which, IMO, is an exchange of thoughts and ideas. Otherwise, I am not getting into this with you.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-18-2006
Fri, 08-03-2012 - 4:51pm

Kind've jumping in the middle here, so forgive me. Just wanted to point out that his mother is a psychiatric nurse, and apparently wasn't suprised to learn what happened.

Angie

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-18-2006
Fri, 08-03-2012 - 5:08pm

<<<That said, I think on the other end of the mental illness/mental health spectrum, support IS available for the person who has had a recent trauma but does not have all the symptoms of PTSD>>>

There are state services that sometimes offer counseling after a traumatic event. Years ago, I was attacked in my home by some would be house robbers and had a gun to my head. I wound up with a broken foot and concussion, all my medical bills were paid for by the state since I didn't have insurance. They also offered six months of free counseling, which I declined but in retrospect should've taken advantage of.

Angie

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-17-2003
Fri, 08-03-2012 - 6:42pm

I agree, good parenting can make a difference. However, when dealing with a mental issue, there is no cure. People manage their symptoms, which, in many cases, is a lifelong thing.  One of my sons is currently being evaluated for depression, although mild, there's always this undercurrent of negativity. He is not a go with the flow kind of person. Although we've helped him a great deal, we can't completely alter his natural tendencies. I've worked with so many children like this.

 And ITA, insurance companies can make things very difficult, even when one has insurance. Some schools squawk when children are dismissed for mental health appointments.

Anyway, we are dealing with an insurance company that flat out refuses to test for certain disorders. They also randomly audit therapists notes and if they don't care for what is being discussed, they will pull payment. They want as many dx as possible to go through a pediatrician. Ongoing therapy is only for those with severe disorders. Not all insurance companies are like this though.

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