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: 07-11-2006
Tue, 08-07-2012 - 4:29pm

I really like the National Association for Self-Esteem's definition of self-esteem:

NASE believes self-esteem is "The experience of being capable of meeting life's challenges and being worthy of happiness.

http://www.self-esteem-nase.org/

I've never put 2&2 together before, but I am wondering if there is a difference between "meeting life's challenges" and "resilience".

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2006
Tue, 08-07-2012 - 4:32pm

I do like what that website presents. I can see why it is not controversial. I know the middle school here emphasizes "respect" and other virtues. I wonder now if it is part of a program.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2006
Tue, 08-07-2012 - 4:35pm

What grades do you tend to teach? What subjects?

I stumbled upon this link - hope I can read it later:

http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/resilience.aspx

Introduction

We tend to idealize childhood as a carefree time, but youth alone offers no shield against the emotional hurts and traumas many children face. Children can be asked to deal with problems ranging from adapting to a new classroom to bullying by classmates or even abuse at home. Add to that the uncertainties that are part of growing up, and childhood can be anything but carefree. The ability to thrive despite these challenges arises from the skills of resilience.

The good news is that resilience skills can be learned.

Building resilience -- the ability to adapt well to adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats, or even significant sources of stress -- can help our children manage stress and feelings of anxiety and uncertainty. However, being resilient does not mean that children won't experience difficulty or distress. Emotional pain and sadness are common when we have suffered major trauma or personal loss, or even when we hear of someone else's loss or trauma.

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-17-2003
Wed, 08-08-2012 - 8:11am

However, if the child has ADHD and has the symptom, disorganization, then there is no point in figuring out what the parent did to cause ADHDsymptoms  including disorganization

Actually, I thought I addressed this. It's important in figuring out if the symptom is a symptom or a learned behavior. And yes, this will include looking at the homelife and parent contribution and perspective. Vanderbilt scales are very subjective. A thorough adhd evaluation with include other tests, some meetings with the child and the parent. The therapist will also spend time determining any variations in the rating scales. As I explained in the example in my previous post.

I can give more examples as well. Another question asks if a child participates in any risking behavior or unsafe behavior, something to that effect. Again, clearly subjective. Another ... does the child interrupt others. Do you need more? This holds trued when assessing specific behaviors as well. Does the child leave room a mess? Is the child driven by a motor?

For some reason you seem stuck on what "caused" adhd. No one is saying the parent can cause adhd or schizophrenia ... or whatever else. So, while the parent may not "cause" the disorder, the parents life style and perception plays a huge role in diagnosing the child. Am I making sense now?

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2006
Wed, 08-08-2012 - 8:30am

For some reason you seem stuck on what "caused" adhd.

True.

No one is saying the parent can cause adhd or schizophrenia ... or whatever else.

Ah, very good. There are a lot of people in the cyberworld who DO think parents cause mental illness [period].

So, while the parent may not "cause" the disorder, the parents life style and perception plays a huge role in diagnosing the child.

As I said in the post you quoted "I get that knowing the parents behaviors influences the diagnostic procedure."

Am I making sense now?

Yes, thanks.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-17-2003
Wed, 08-08-2012 - 8:34am

I do not see why it would be that different than teaching most other subjects.

Maybe you can explain how you would teach resiliency to a classroom of children? Because I thought I already said why I think it would be difficult to form a curriculum around it. How would handle individual differences among students? How would you get caregivers on board? Most schools I have experience have counselors to help children deal with any major life changes. There's counselors for children who are having a difficult time handling any type of stress. For all students, they form social groups, use self esteem building techniques, teach tolerance, respect and patience, they teach children to identify feelings, how to problem solve, reduce stress to some degree, how to handle conflicts with classmates ..... what would you add to that?

I guess, truthfully, I do not agree with much of what you've said on resiliency. In general, people fall within a normal range for handling stress and being resilient. People who are not resilient may end up with a mental illness or see a therapist to learn ways to cope with stress. There's all sorts of coping tools and problem solving techniques people can use to reduce and handle stress. Ok, that much we agree on, but fundamentally, for one, it's impossible to narrow down if this is a learned skill or innate ability because people are influenced by both genetics and environment. It's impossible to narrow down who is not resilient ... until, they are not resilient. We do know, most people manage rather well and are pretty resilient.

Resiliency, IMO, is something you tackle when you realize you are not resilient ... my house was robbed, now I panic whenever I leave home. My parent died and I can't get over it .... I have no money, lost my job and can't get out of bed .... lol .... it's when you realize you are not bouncing back that you receive help. Otherwise, most people handle stress, again, within a normal acceptable range. Other then what's mentioned above, how would you teach a group of students how to handle a situation that hasn't happened yet and may never happen?

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-17-2003
Wed, 08-08-2012 - 8:36am

Ah, very good. There are a lot of people in the cyberworld who DO think parents cause mental illness [period].

Very true and although I think it's important to keep stressing parents do not, I think it's equally important to stress the role they do play. :smileyhappy:

I addressed adhd specifically because much of work experience revolves around this. It's what I know. Other mental illnesses, I cannot speak of or know for sure, but the criteria for dx seems a bit more specific and concrete. Although, not always. Adhd initial dx relies solely on a subjective checklists, therefore making the parents role a little more important in understanding the symptoms and behaviors ... and yes, even what is age appropriate for the child.

Oh, and this is probably where I can my ideas on resiliency as well, anxiety and depression and seeing how they all work together, separate and influence each other.



iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2006
Wed, 08-08-2012 - 10:34am

More for me to mull! I am going to read this link for starters.

http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/resilience.aspx

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2006
Wed, 08-08-2012 - 10:49am

I guess, truthfully, I do not agree with much of what you've said on resiliency.

Maybe so.

1. Resiliency, IMO, is something you tackle when you realize you are not resilient

2. In general, people fall within a normal range for handling stress and being resilient. People who are not resilient may end up with a mental illness

In particular, we seem to disagree on these issues.

I believe that resilience can be addressed very pro-actively, so that one could manage more stress than one would have been able to by increasing resiliency ahead of time.

I believe all people have different levels of resiliency. I believe that given enough stress anyone's resilience can be insufficient.


iVillage Member
Registered: 08-27-2001
Wed, 08-08-2012 - 11:04am
I think the challenge of this conversation is with the use of the word resilience. It exist on a spectrum, and has little to do with mental illness. Humans are inclined to survive no matter what. Most of us rise to situations as they occur. That down't mean that we are not impacted, but we change and grow to make it through. In the original example of divorce-
A child who's parents divorce will almost inevitably go through a grief process. Some will take longer than others. This event may trigger a temporary situational depression that is not the same as long-term biological depression.

When someone dies there is a grief process. Again, some will become depressed temporarily.

Sometimes I think resilience is determined by the amount of outward emotion shown. We think the people who carry on with a smile on their face are more resilience or "stronger" than those who tear up talking about a loved one. I think both things can be signs of resilience.

A true depression or mental illness can be triggered by a grief inducing situation but the mental illnesses has to be there all along. Is that a lack of resilience? I don't think so. I think it's the presence of a mental condition.

In some ways I think the conversation about resilience can easily turn negative because it feeds into our cultural value on being tough and hiding our emotions. I don't think that type of resilience is helpful in the long run.

I read the apa link you posted, nispulla, and I think that it discusses a much more beneficial type of resilience. I think it's built in to all of us in different ways but also needs to be nurtured.

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