I'm infuriated by the fact that this debate implies that essentially mental illness, or more correctly brain disorders don't exist.
It is already known that schizophrenia and bipolar are clearly medical/neurological disorders. I also tend to be of the neurological camp re: most other mental illness.
This isn't to say that one's environemnt/life experiences/unique personality don't play a part.
However, all this does is stigmatize what we here
suffer from already. And all mental disorders come in varying degrees of severity. So it is impossible for one person to generalize from his/her experience how any one else here is feeling or what choice that individual makes in seeking treatment.
****I hope this discussion does not deter anyone from seeking treatment, or cause them to hold back information from a doctor.****
Mental illness has existed as far back as history recorded it. It was treated in many different ways. Barbaric and otherwise. Medicine itself is in its infancy, and the mind is "the final frontier."
Again, if you have a loved one with a mental illness, then you will understand it exists. The strangest thing is, here WE are, with various problems -- and none of them are "weakness of character" which is the stigma perpetuated by the public at large, by the media.
We are afraid to talk about OUR DP/DR, obsessive thinking, all manner of "odd sensations and strange thoughts" as we will be found out to be "crazy." And yet we say, there is no such thing as being crazy? (I HATE that word). It was created, when? Since pharmaceuticals were invented?
It is extremely frustrating, as someone who is a mental health advocate, to work on destigmatizing mental illness, to find fellow DPers, and those with other illnesses such as OCD, panic disorder, social anxiety, depression, etc., etc., etc. not acknowledging that these illnesses are as real and as disabling as heart disease, or AIDS, or emphysema.
I ask any of you to volunteer for a short time at a mental health day care facility, at a NAMI office (National Alliance for the Mentally Ill), spend time with a mentally ill relative or friend -- many have one mentally ill relative or more. And don't be "afraid" of someone who is mentally ill. They are as human as any of us here.
I'm just flabbergasted that here we are, on a forum, seeking help for something very much out of the ordinary, that was not created by doctors!!!!!!!, denying that these illnesses exist.
I have no words.
And again. A psychiatrist cannot CREATE bipolar, OCD, depression, DP/DR. A psychiatrist can MISDIAGNOSE, yes.
This is like saying that a Family Doctor can create diabetes. A Family Doctor could fail to notice the signs and symptoms, or misinterpret lab tests, or lab tests could be bungled, but the patient would ultimately show up in an E.R.
(Again, the one dicey area of psychiatry as I see it, is the area of MPD, multiple personality disorder. The diagnosis does not exist anymore. Psychiatrists, in trying to help patients that are indeed ill with something that is not fully understood, have made situations worse. The diagnosis is DID now. Dissociative Identity Disorder. And is still one illness, like DP/DR that is not well understood.)
AIDS, some 20? years ago, used to be called Gay Related Immune Deficiency Syndrome. GRID. I always pull this out of moth balls as an example of the revolution of understanding that must happen when a constellation of symptoms are identified, and the causes need to be understood.
We have a name for the illness AIDS now. People the world over have been diagnosed with it, or with HIV ... they are infected with a tiny virus we still have no clue how to immunize people against. And some still don't use condoms, still use dirty needles. "That can't ever happen to me."
Medicine is ever evolving.
The understanding of the brain will continue to evolve and we will never understand it completely.
My final word. A very close friend of mine whom I knew for 25 years, since college committed suicide about 3 weeks ago. I knew she had problems, but she kept them to herself. It was always difficult for her to discuss "problems." She became overwhelmed. She felt she had no one to turn to. And she would have been ashamed to see a psychiatrist -- maybe someone would have thought she was stupid to go to one, or that she was "crazy"...
.... she might be alive today if she had gotten help. I know I couldn't have stopped what happened. But once you have experienced this --the death of someone who felt there was no good reason to go on living -- maybe you'll understand. Maybe you will have compassion.
Maybe you won't.
She was a good person. As are most people on this board. And as are many mentally ill people who have nothing to be ashamed of.
Shame on you who say otherwise, or imply, or infer or whatever the word is.
To P. and sadly to M. (the story is too horrific)
Rest in Peace
Again, take a visit.... http://www.nami.org
The National Alliance For The Mentally Ill