Mental health fluff

Avatar for rollmops2009
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Registered: 02-24-2009
Mental health fluff
106
Tue, 10-22-2013 - 11:12am

Since some questions were left unanswered on the other thread, here goes:

1. Do you have personal experience, yourself or someone close to you, of going through a mental illness, either severe like bipolar or schizophrenia, or less serious like anxiety or PPD that required treatment?

2. Do you consider it stigmatizing to have a mentally ill family member? IOW, if you have been in this situation, is it something you talk to others about or do you try to avoid the subject?

3. Do you consider mental illness to be a controversial subject, and if so, in what way?

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Avatar for rollmops2009
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Registered: 02-24-2009
Tue, 10-22-2013 - 11:25am

1. Do you have personal experience, yourself or someone close to you, of going through a mental illness, either severe like bipolar or schizophrenia, or less serious like anxiety or PPD that required treatment?

Yes, my brother was DXed with paranoid schizophrenia when he was a teen. There is no family history, but he showed signs already in childhood of something being off. Also, one of DH's uncles is married to woman who has severe bipolar. She is very aware of her illness and takes her meds etc,  but because it is severe it is an ongoing challenge to control it and she has fairly severe side effects from all the years of treatment (mostly tardive dyskinesia, which resembles parkinson's).

2. Do you consider it stigmatizing to have a mentally ill family member? IOW, if you have been in this situation, is it something you talk to others about or do you try to avoid the subject?

No, I do not consider it stigmatizing. There are, unfortunately, still some people who think that it is, which for me is only all the more reason to talk about it. My auntie mentioned in #1 agrees with me and does the same.

3. Do you consider mental illness to be a controversial subject, and if so, in what way?

Not really. There is still a lot of ignorance about its causes and treatments and that can sometimes lead to some, uhm, interesting discussions with people, but that is true for cancer too, come to think of it. 

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Registered: 01-08-2009
Tue, 10-22-2013 - 11:44am
1. Do you have personal experience, yourself or someone close to you, of going through a mental illness, either severe like bipolar or schizophrenia, or less serious like anxiety or PPD that required treatment? Yes, of course. 2. Do you consider it stigmatizing to have a mentally ill family member? IOW, if you have been in this situation, is it something you talk to others about or do you try to avoid the subject? No, and no. I don't bring up diagnoses for either physical or mental illnesses if the person who has the condition would rather keep it quiet, but I don't hide anything, either. 3. Do you consider mental illness to be a controversial subject, and if so, in what way? It is in that there is disagreement in the medical community about diagnosing and treating certain conditions, but that goes for other diseases/disorders as well, which is why people seek second and third opinions.
Avatar for rollmops2009
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Registered: 02-24-2009
Tue, 10-22-2013 - 11:50am
"I don't bring up diagnoses for either physical or mental illnesses if the person who has the condition would rather keep it quiet," --------- That is a good point. However, I am thinking of when, for example, your kid asks why Uncle Bill is doing XYZ. Typically I would prefer to say that it is because Uncle Bill has an illness called ... instead of coming up with some euphemism or a silly explanation that is untrue. Another example would be a friend being distraught over a family member's illness, in which situation I would normally explain that I have BTDT.
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Registered: 01-08-2009
Tue, 10-22-2013 - 11:53am
I agree completely, Rollmops.
Avatar for savcal2011
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Registered: 10-06-2010
Tue, 10-22-2013 - 11:57am

Not that I consider anything to do with mental health as FLUFF, but I'll play.  :)

 

1. Do you have personal experience, yourself or someone close to you, of going through a mental illness, either severe like bipolar or schizophrenia, or less serious like anxiety or PPD that required treatment? -- Yes.

2. Do you consider it stigmatizing to have a mentally ill family member? IOW, if you have been in this situation, is it something you talk to others about or do you try to avoid the subject? -- Somewhere in between. I don't talk about it a lot - not because I care about the attached stigma (which I do think exists) but because it's not my story to tell; it's not something that I have the "right" to talk about very freely. I do talk about it, on a limited basis, with close friends when I need advice or support. 

3. Do you consider mental illness to be a controversial subject, and if so, in what way? -- I think it is controversial.  I think many people don't understand it at all (my own understanding is limited, at best). And I think that many think it is something that has blame to be placed, upon either the ill person themselves or their family/parents/genetics. I also think some people think in one of two extremes - 1) you throw meds at it and all is okay or 2) there's nothing to be done and you just punish/incarcerate/commit/whatever. What makes it controversial really boils down to two things: 1) mental illness is resonsible for a lot of pain and hurt in this world and 2) there is so much "gray" and unknown about it.

"I don’t mind a banshee, that’s fine. 2 banshees? I HATE you. I actually wish bad things upon you." -- Day[9] Daily #459 P1

Avatar for rollmops2009
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Tue, 10-22-2013 - 11:58am
Bord, I remember a very touching interlude between my dd and my brother, when dd was maybe 4-5 years old. We were at my mom's house, but my brother was close to catatonic, sitting with his head down, not budging or participating in the company. He is an artist and dd is a decent artist as well. She sat there quietly observing her uncle, while sketching. Then she got up, went over and stuck paper and pencil in front of him. He looked at her, at which point she took him by the hand to another table, where they each drew the portrait of the other.
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Registered: 11-28-1999
Tue, 10-22-2013 - 11:59am

rollmops2009 wrote:
<p>Since some questions were left unanswered on the other thread, here goes:</p><p>1. Do you have personal experience, yourself or someone close to you, of going through a mental illness, either severe like bipolar or schizophrenia, or less serious like anxiety or PPD that required treatment?

My exHusband has bipolar disorder.

</p><p>2. Do you consider it stigmatizing to have a mentally ill family member? IOW, if you have been in this situation, is it something you talk to others about or do you try to avoid the subject?

I did not think it was a stigma, but he did.  He didn't even allow me to tell the kids (we each had kids from a previous marriage).  This was a big mistake because the kids ended up thinking that he was just behaving like a jerk.  If they had known and understood about his MI, then they could have understood that maybe sometimes he wasn't able to control his behavior and felt sorry about it after.  They also could have helped by not doing things that would have bothered him.

</p><p>3. Do you consider mental illness to be a controversial subject, and if so, in what way?</p>

I don't think it's controversial.  I think if more people admitted that they have MI (like a lot of celebrities have done) then people wouldn't feel there was a stigma and it would be better understood.

Avatar for rollmops2009
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Registered: 02-24-2009
Tue, 10-22-2013 - 12:01pm
"I did not think it was a stigma, but he did. He didn't even allow me to tell the kids (we each had kids from a previous marriage). This was a big mistake because the kids ended up thinking that he was just behaving like a jerk. If they had known and understood about his MI, then they could have understood that maybe sometimes he wasn't able to control his behavior and felt sorry about it after." --------- Oh wow! That must have been extremely difficult.
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Registered: 07-08-2001
Tue, 10-22-2013 - 12:02pm

rollmops2009 wrote:
Bord, I remember a very touching interlude between my dd and my brother, when dd was maybe 4-5 years old. We were at my mom's house, but my brother was close to catatonic, sitting with his head down, not budging or participating in the company. He is an artist and dd is a decent artist as well. She sat there quietly observing her uncle, while sketching. Then she got up, went over and stuck paper and pencil in front of him. He looked at her, at which point she took him by the hand to another table, where they each drew the portrait of the other.

I got a chill reading that. How sweet, and very observant of your DD to somehow know that would engage him.

Avatar for rollmops2009
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Registered: 02-24-2009
Tue, 10-22-2013 - 12:03pm
Savcal, yes, "fluff" may not be the best heading for this subject, lol. You said: "And I think that many think it is something that has blame to be placed, upon either the ill person themselves or their family/parents/genetics." I think that is quite true, although it is unfortunate.

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