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How do you feel about the term 'Mental Illness'?

Posted by SLS on November 15, 2017, at 10:03:34

I have come to be accepting of the term "Mental Illness". I was extremely against its use from the moment I discovered that bipolar disorder had largely biological origins. To be defective mentally meant that my struggles with depression were somehow my fault and an indicator of weakness. I didn't want to be one of those people who were f*ck*d-up in head. Obviously, I was the victim of stigma, including my own.

1.Major Depression (Unipolar Depression)
2.Bipolar Disorder (Manic Depression)
3.Dysthymia (Minor Depression)
4.Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
6.Schizo-Affective Disorder
7.Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
8.Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Which of these brain disorders do NOT affect one mentally? How does one categorize a condition that involves changes in mental function that remains undiagnosed? The only thing we know about such a person is that their mental processes are abnormal. Actually, the term "abnormal" seems to be one that people have grown resistant to when it comes to human psychology.

If we accept the term "Mental Health", why do we not accept the term "Mental Illness"? Are we not then agents of the perpetuation and reinforcement of stigma?

All I know is that I am still reluctant to stand on a street corner and yell out as loud as I can that I am mentally ill. The perception of the public remains largely unchanged over the years. In fact, the perception of the mentally ill has taken on a new stigma that serial killers and mass murderers are products almost exclusively of mental illness. I am less likely to use the term "mental illness" to describe myself than I have been at any other time in the past.

* Of course, not everyone has a problem with the use of these terms. However, many of us struggle to find an alternatives. I would be very interested to know what other terms people have come up with.

- Scott

Some see things as they are and ask why.
I dream of things that never were and ask why not.

- George Bernard Shaw




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