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Re: please rephrase that again (Willful)

Posted by rnny on April 5, 2010, at 1:07:17

In reply to Re: please rephrase that again rnny, posted by Dr. Bob on April 4, 2010, at 19:40:19


My T told me to stay away from people with psychological problems to protect me from trying to get intimate with people who aren't whole enough to sustain the ups and downs of a friendship. But even before she said that, I would not have sought out people with psychological problems as people to form intimate friendships with. The reason I wouldn't have is because I have tried with several people who have serious mental illness and have found a common trait in all of them. An inability to behave in a way that doesn't drive others, including me, away. I have tried to befriend them by putting aside negative stigmas but have found them unable to attach in a productive way despite my giving them the benefit of the doubt. I can't say for sure that all people with psychological problems would be the same way, I can only go by those who have been or are in my sphere of life. When I refer to psychological problems I mean behaviors that don't make for a smooth connection. Such behaviors can take on a more subtle tone and as you spend time with the person, the behaviors become "obvious". Those behaviors would be getting to know someone and as you 'get' to know them, find them very narcistic. N's are destructive personalities and I would not seek out friendship with someone who has N traits. So yes, my T did say to stay away from people who aren't healthy mentally but even before she said that, I had my own standards for making friends. When you say you aren't close to anyone you don't really like, that is similar to what I am saying. If people with mental illness issues or subtle mental health issues were people I liked, I would want to be their friend. But as stated, my experience has been that such people are not capable of intimate friendship. And that is what I need right now. Like you, many people encounter others they don't initially connect with but can find a common bond with the person after the fact and even want to hang out with the person in time. To also clarify, I don't think the soul of people with mental issues are dripping with poison but I think there are some mental health issues that manifest themselves in ways that can be very destructive and hence "poison" those around them. I don't deem people with mental issues as unworthy of my friendship. I just have found the people with clearly defined mental illness have been incapable of making friends. I think you said it very clearly when you say that issues manifest themselves in ways that can be visible and disturbing but often can be under the surface. As to whether I agree with you that such underlying symptoms contribute to a relationship, it would depend on the person and what the symptom was. I had a negative view of myself before I sought treatment and still have a negative view of myself. I was raised by a woman who was a severely battered wife (my mother) and a father who tried to murder her several times and then abandoned us. She tried to kill herself and I found her when I was 12 years old. She was never able to carry out her role as a mother because she had a tremendous amount of inner turmoil that she took out on her children in the form of physical and verbal abuse. The impression I have of people with mental issues comes from being me. My siblings in their early 20's were very successful. On the other hand, I had a nervous breakdown and needed to be hospitalized. I have never forgiven myself for that and in many ways, my family hasn't forgotten it. So I include myself with the mentally ill people I distain. I have an advanced graduate professional degree that requires an approximate 3 day exam to be licensed. When I failed the exam 2 times I became severely depressed and couldn't function. I had been offered a good job in NYC and everything seemed to fall apart on the inside for me and I did not see it coming. This was after I accepted the position. Prior to that I only had the one other bout with depression and that was where I came to see myself as a mental case because I spent time in a mental institution. I was in one of the huge ones on Long Island that was closed down and there is a website now about "insane asylums" which has pictures of the day rooms, the hallways and other parts of the place. It hurts me to know I was a patient in that place when the site is clearly to attract the curious. So I am sorry I speak or have spoken harshly of the mentally ill. I have been around them all of my life because my own demons have reminded me that I am one of them. And I have been with me all of this time. PS- When I was in the hospital one of the patients was a psychiatrist and another was a psychiatric social worker. I used to go to them for help and they would try to help me but would also be telling me that they were there because they had problems too and that they might not be the best people to be asking questions of. rnny




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