Psycho-Babble Medication Thread 1095891

Shown: posts 1 to 13 of 13. This is the beginning of the thread.

 

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)
5.Schizophrenia
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

 

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

Posted by Christ_empowered on November 15, 2017, at 10:22:10

In reply to How do you feel about the term 'Mental Illness'?, posted by SLS on November 15, 2017, at 10:03:34

I think of it...as a struggle with madness, in a culture in which madness now="mental illness," and is largely dealt with thru the medical model.

 

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

Posted by SLS on November 15, 2017, at 16:56:37

In reply to Re: How do you feel about the term 'Mental Illness'?, posted by Christ_empowered on November 15, 2017, at 10:22:10

> I think of it...as a struggle with madness, in a culture in which madness now="mental illness," and is largely dealt with thru the medical model.

Your words confuse me.

Do you not like the term "mental illness"?

Can you explain how "madness" is a more accurate or otherwise appropriate term than is "mental illness"?


- Scott

 

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

Posted by Christ_empowered on November 15, 2017, at 17:15:17

In reply to Re: How do you feel about the term 'Mental Illness'?, posted by SLS on November 15, 2017, at 16:56:37

to me, "mental illness" is the umbrella term for madness in today's culture. if you look at the history of madness...say, take a look at Foucault, "Madness and Civilization" , for instance...

...crazy happens. People have always gone mad, in every society, throughout time. Modern methods of dealing with madness and the mad are of fairly recent origin.

I don't know what to make of "mental illness." The idea strikes me as an example of the medicalization of deviance. Where before the mad might have been taken to priests, or perhaps left to roam the streets, now we/they are hauled off to psychiatrists. some get "better," some deteriorate, some walk away from the clinics, hospitals, etc., and move on with life.

Personally? I take an "atypical" tranquilizer. I'm "mentally ill," whether I like it or not, because my diagnosis/labels are a big part of my identity in the community.

The tranquilizer keeps me calm(er), keeps the worst of the madness at bay. I don't know that its "treating" anything, not really. For this season of my life, the tranquilizer is just...a part of my daily routine. I don't know if it always will be, or if one day I'll be able to taper off and walk away...

...it is what it is, basically.

 

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

Posted by Tabitha on November 15, 2017, at 19:56:53

In reply to How do you feel about the term 'Mental Illness'?, posted by SLS on November 15, 2017, at 10:03:34

I'd like to see a new term, but whatever term we use will always be stigmatized, since people are so uncomfortable with the fact that their sense of self is a phenomenon of their brain, and they have about as much control over its basic operating parameters as they have over their pancreas. We're just wired to be in denial of that reality, like we're wired to avoid feeling the reality of mortality. Being mentally ill is about as off-putting as being old and decrepit. It's an uncomfortable reminder of something most people would like to forget.

 

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

Posted by baseball55 on November 15, 2017, at 20:14:17

In reply to Re: How do you feel about the term 'Mental Illness'?, posted by Christ_empowered on November 15, 2017, at 17:15:17

Before I experienced real, non-situational depression, I didn't believe there really was such a thing. That's where the stigma comes in - many people deep-down believe that people who are depressed are just navel-gazers and malingerers who like to feel sorry for themselves. I thought that. My husband thought that. So when I get depressed, his response was -snap out of it, stop feeling sorry for yourself. And my response was to try to hide it, figuring there was something morally wrong with me that I was mired in "self-pity."

Having experienced depression, though, I now think of it definitely as an illness - some neurons/neurochemicals in your brain just aren't firing right. So I actually talk a lot about having depression to people, to educate them if nothing else. OTOH, I don't talk about it at work and have never told people at work, when I have been hospitalized, that I was suffering from depression.

So...maybe just illness, not mental illness. We don't talk about lung illness or bowel illness, really. So why not just say I have a medical condition that affects my mood and energy.

 

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

Posted by baseball55 on November 15, 2017, at 20:19:19

In reply to Re: How do you feel about the term 'Mental Illness'?, posted by Tabitha on November 15, 2017, at 19:56:53

One other thing. Mood disorders have become much more widely accepted than in the past. Psychotic disorders are a different issue. When most people hear the term "mental illness," they think homeless people wandering the streets talking to themselves. Psychotic disorders are less common (so most people don't know anyone suffering from schizophrenia for example), much more disabling to those suffering and much more disturbing to people who encounter someone experiencing a psychotic episode.

 

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

Posted by beckett2 on November 15, 2017, at 21:38:48

In reply to How do you feel about the term 'Mental Illness'?, posted by SLS on November 15, 2017, at 10:03:34

>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.


I hesitate to tell anyone I experience fibromyalgia or idiopathic chronic fatigue. My hunch is invisible illness is difficult to understand because the mechanics remain (so far) mysterious.

I'd like to tell people my brain hurts-- but very few would get the reference: http://tinyurl.com/nj7gmtu

Thinking about this, maybe classifying PTSD as an anxiety disorder triggered by environmental pathogen makes the condition more acceptable.

I'd love another term for and another way to think about mental illness.

 

Re: How do you feel about the term 'Mental Illness'? baseball55

Posted by beckett2 on November 15, 2017, at 22:16:24

In reply to Re: How do you feel about the term 'Mental Illness'?, posted by baseball55 on November 15, 2017, at 20:19:19

> One other thing. Mood disorders have become much more widely accepted than in the past. Psychotic disorders are a different issue. When most people hear the term "mental illness," they think homeless people wandering the streets talking to themselves. Psychotic disorders are less common (so most people don't know anyone suffering from schizophrenia for example), much more disabling to those suffering and much more disturbing to people who encounter someone experiencing a psychotic episode.

I agree. There seems two worn routes popular thinking runs when thinking about psychotic disorders--the creative type like John Nash or Van Gough or the violent mass shooter (#thankstrump).

 

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

Posted by baseball55 on November 17, 2017, at 18:32:30

In reply to Re: How do you feel about the term 'Mental Illness'? baseball55, posted by beckett2 on November 15, 2017, at 22:16:24

> I agree. There seems two worn routes popular thinking runs when thinking about psychotic disorders--the creative type like John Nash or Van Gough or the violent mass shooter (#thankstrump).
>
The latter bugs me though. Who says that violent mass shooters are psychotic? I don't know of any evidence that this is the case. Why do people even say they're mentally ill? Just because you do something "crazy" - in the sense of something most people can't empathize with or imagine doing - doesn't make you mentally ill in the sense of meeting any DSM category. It makes me angry when, after one of these all too frequent episodes, people start talking about keeping registries of the "mentally ill" or the need to do something about "mental illness" rather than acknowledge that there are just strange and angry men out there who have too easy access to automatic weapons.

 

Re: How do you feel about the term 'Mental Illness'? beckett2

Posted by Phillipa on November 17, 2017, at 22:00:24

In reply to Re: How do you feel about the term 'Mental Illness'?, posted by beckett2 on November 15, 2017, at 21:38:48

Fibromyalgia is now a medical condition treated by rheumatologists at least here. PTSD is also well known now the the Veterans. Phillipa

 

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

Posted by Christ_empowered on November 18, 2017, at 9:13:38

In reply to Re: How do you feel about the term 'Mental Illness'? beckett2, posted by Phillipa on November 17, 2017, at 22:00:24

I think in American culture...we have a tendency to try to make social issues "personal problems."

So...clearly, this is a violent culture, and we're armed to the teeth. Instead of dealing with it at a social level, I guess the easiest thing to do is label the (many) perpetrators of mass violence as "mentally ill," and demand more "treatment," more hospitals, etc.

Meanwhile...when the mentally ill -do- commit crimes, they/we are often published 2x. Where I live, mentally ill people convicted of felonies are often burdened w/ a "guilty but mentally ill" verdict, which often equals more punishment and harsh "treatment." Those who end up with an NGRI verdict (not guilty by reason of insanity) sometimes fare better, but a lot of that depends on their social status going into "the system."

 

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

Posted by Lamdage22 on November 20, 2017, at 13:29:03

In reply to Re: How do you feel about the term 'Mental Illness'?, posted by Christ_empowered on November 18, 2017, at 9:13:38

I never use that term or the german equivalent for myself or others.


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