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 - 12:05pm
"How sweet, and very observant of your DD to somehow know that would engage him." -------- They like each other, but the relationship remains extremely limited due to his illness. Her reaction was in part because I had explained to her ahead of time that uncle had an illness. If I had not explained, she might have been frightened by his odd behavior.
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Registered: 06-27-2013
Tue, 10-22-2013 - 1:50pm

1. I have personal experience, both as a relative and as someone affected by it. 

2. I think there is still a stigma attached to it, which is why I've always been very open honest about my own battle. Because when you shine a light on something, you take the darkness away.

3. I don't think it is controversial. I do think it is misunderstood. I view it as a chronic medical condition, like any other chronic medical condition. Unfortunately, there are still people who view it as a character weakness. I think that needs to change.

Avatar for rollmops2009
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Registered: 02-24-2009
Tue, 10-22-2013 - 2:11pm
"Unfortunately, there are still people who view it as a character weakness. I think that needs to change." ----------- I really people that the number of people who believe this is getting smaller and smaller. Also, I agree with you about shining the light.
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-27-1998
Tue, 10-22-2013 - 3:42pm

1. Yes, several family members with depression and two who are bipolar.

2. I am very careful talking about my child's depression and anxiety IRL, partly to guard our privacy and partly because it is usually the mother's "fault" :( and I don't enjoy being judged. In any case, my first duty is not to society to destigmatize mental health problems, but to my own suffering family member.

3. Mental illness shouldn't be controversial, but the truth is, people do treat it differently from diseases like cancer or diabetes. And MI gets a lot of bad press, especially when a person with MI commits a crime. A person with severe MI can be unpredictable or even scary to deal with, so I do understand why people are reluctant to be friends with someone who is suffering in this way, even if they understand that it's a disease.

I look forward to the day when researchers have a better understanding of this (they are years behind other areas of medicine) and better treatments.

Avatar for Cmmelissa
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Registered: 11-13-2008
Tue, 10-22-2013 - 4:01pm

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, but nothing as severe as bipolar and such.   

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 don't believe it is stigmatizing, it only is with people who aren't knowledgeable about the subject.  More education and the willingness to talk about it will go a long way with getting rid of the stigmas surrounding it.  I've had it happen more than once where I'll be talking about my oldest's ADHD, or anxiety issues in some of my boys, and another mom will open up about her daughter's bipolar issues (this exact scenario happened last spring during baseball practice, and I have other similar stories).  It helps to know that you aren't alone, and you can talk to someone who isn't judging you.  

3. Do you consider mental illness to be a controversial subject, and if so, in what way?  I think so just because of all the misconceptions out there.  People are afraid to admit they might have a weakness, or think that somebody who takes meds is flawed.  We are all flawed, some flaws are just more visible.    I have no problems admitting I have to take anxiety meds whenever I fly now, something that wasn't necessary a few years ago, or that I'm currently taking a mild anti-depressent while going through some personal issues.  I'm doing what I need to do to be a happier person and a better mom to my kids.  I've also taken up running and joined a gym ;)

Avatar for rollmops2009
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Registered: 02-24-2009
Tue, 10-22-2013 - 4:04pm
"Mental illness shouldn't be controversial, but the truth is, people do treat it differently from diseases like cancer or diabetes." -------- Yes, I guess many people still do that. But I don't think it is because there is anything inherently controversial about MI. I think it is mostly because those people are misinformed.
Avatar for rollmops2009
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Registered: 02-24-2009
Tue, 10-22-2013 - 4:07pm
"I've had it happen more than once where I'll be talking about my oldest's ADHD, or anxiety issues in some of my boys, and another mom will open up about her daughter's bipolar issues..." ---------- Yes, same here if my brother's illness somehow comes up, suddenly people will open up about their personal experiences with this. Good for you for taking care of yourself.
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-27-1998
Tue, 10-22-2013 - 4:13pm

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, the less serious of anxiety and PPD. 

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 don't think so but sadly I do no others who feel that way about mental illness.  Among my friends, we are very open and honest with other, we talk about it with each other and in the group.  We all support each other and there isn't any negativity about the issue and I feel that we are all willing to talk.

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

I do and I don't.  I don't think it is but I see it in society sometimes.  There is just so much wrong information out there, really a lack of education and empathy for the subject.  

PumpkinAngel

Avatar for savcal2011
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Registered: 10-06-2010
Tue, 10-22-2013 - 4:45pm

rollmops2009 wrote:
But I don't think it is because there is anything inherently controversial about MI. I think it is mostly because those people are misinformed.

Can't that be said about almost ANY controversy? That much of the "debate" comes from misinformation or lack of [factual] information?

"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
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-24-2009
Tue, 10-22-2013 - 5:01pm
Can't that be said about almost ANY controversy? That much of the "debate" comes from misinformation or lack of [factual] information? --------- I am not so sure about that. Sometimes, more often I think, it is because both sides in a debate have very strong beliefs or reactions to something.

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