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Mental Illnesses


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#1
oxymrncparadx88

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OK, so I have a mental illness. I would like to get people's opinion on this: is this a bad thing, a turn off, a dealbreaker, whatever you wanna call it? Would you even consider dating someone with a mental illness? Does your opinion change depending on the mental illness?

P.S. No, I'm not asking people if they would date me specifically. I'm just asking in general.

#2
ashleigh

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Personally, I have no problem with anyone with a mental illness. For me to say otherwise, would be like the pot calling the kettle black. If you look at the statistics, one in four people have a diagnosable mental illness. Mental illness does not identify the person, it is only one aspect of their life. Kinda like having blue eyes, eight fingers, two thumbs, etc. How the person manages their symptoms is extremely important. Nonmanagement can put an extreme amount of stress on the individual as well as those in the person's life. Just as a person who has diabetes must take care of their diet and/or medications, so must a person with a mental illness. Mental illness is not the end of life as we know it, it is merely another facet of our lives that we must look after. I do not speak as a therapist, doctor, or counselor. I speak from my own experience. Yes, it does appear lonely at times. In many ways, it has a lot of similarities to coming out. But there are people who care about you as a person and anyone who considers mental illness a deal breaker is too shallow to be deserving of you.

#3
oxymrncparadx88

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Quote

Personally, I have no problem with anyone with a mental illness....But there are people who care about you as a person and anyone who considers mental illness a deal breaker is too shallow to be deserving of you.

Well, I must say, it's nice to hear that once in a while. :D

#4
ashleigh

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Being diagnosed with a mental illness is very traumatic, especially if it occurs when we are in crisis AKA extremely symptomatic. Self confidence goes right out the window along with previous coping skills and even a sense of who we are suffers as well. The fact that we are constantly bombarded by extreme negative examples of the mentally ill in the media does not absolutely nothing to help ease our fears and concerns. Toss in the stereotypes that our family and friends use and being diagnosed with a mental illness becomes something akin to being diagnosed with the plague. Each and every person who survives and thrives as best they can, deserves to be recognized as survivors and living miracles, because we refuse to reinforce society's negative images of what the mentally ill are supposed to be like. We are mothers, fathers, daughters, sons, neighbors, coworkers, the person you pass on the street. We are no different from anyone else, except that we have not given up on life.

#5
kardianaut

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it is nice to see people with educated perspectives on mental illness. about a year and a half ago my girlfriend dumped me after I told her I was depressed. i was pretty devastated at the time... it made me feel defective, like i have been permanently damaged by the experiences that i've had. but i realize now that she was being ignorant and shallow.

nobody chooses to have a mental illness. we didn't wake up one morning and decide that life sucks and then alter our own brain chemistry. so why should we be punished? for me, mental illness is by no means a deal breaker. in fact, it brings a different perspective to the relationship when not one but both partners are experiencing emotional difficulties. Perhaps some day the public at large will learn....doubt it though.

#6
angelica

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I recognise all of the above - the stereotyping, the out of hand rejection, the quasi-moral judgements placed upon those with mental health issues - but at the same time, I'm a bit wary of the idea that the only morally acceptable alternative is to simply not take mental illness into account. It does, obviously, affect people's actions and moods, and whilst this doesn't have any bearing on one's moral worth, it will inevitably affect how one is able to relate to people.

I have various issues - I'm not entirely sure whether I'd exactly class them as mental health issues or not, but I don't really think that matters - and whilst I'd be pretty horrified if someone thought less of me because of them, I couldn't blame someone if they said they wouldn't be able to cope with them in the context of a relationship. Similarly, my ex/best friend was severely mentally ill, and although I think incredibly highly of her and deeply value the time we spent together, it would be lying to say that it didn't sometimes affect how I felt and what I did. And in all honesty, I think it would be healthier in the future for me to be with someone who is more able to cope than myself.

#7
ashleigh

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In any type of relationship, there are always considerations to take into account. Considerations about mental illness are legitimate. The most important being how the person manages the illness. This is very much like how a person manages any other condition such as diabetes, a back injury, etc. Having any condition is not the end of the world unless that condition happens to be death. Just like making a purchase, people who have any type of illness need to be informed so that they are in the best possible position to effectively manage their lives. There aspects of my own diagnoses that do manifest in my life. This is brought on by stressors (both internal and external), whether or not I am just having one of those days, or any other factor. By being informed, I can recognize what is happening inside me so that I can take the appropriate steps in management. However, there are times that despite our best efforts, we just get overwhelmed. Being able to recognize this is just as important as anything else. Also bear in mind that nobody ever reaches an age without accumulating baggage. The thing that matters is our choice of baggage that we continue to carry. Hope this helps.

#8
ashleigh

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For some reason, people feel more secure with numbers and statistics. The common stat for the lgbtq population was/is said to be 1 in 10 persons. Now let us throw another set of numbers into this mix. According to SAMHSA, 1 in 4 persons have a diagnosable mental illness. This does not mean that each person is disabled or highly symptomatic. It merely means that going by the criteria set by the DSM-IV, that 25% of the population meets the standards to be given a diagnosis. Mental illness runs a large spectrum. Everything from being developmentally delayed to various personality disorders and lots of things in between. Like BDSM? Chances are that there is enough to be given a paraphilia diagnosis. ADD/ADHD is a fairly common diagnosis too. Up until the '70's, homosexuality was considered a mental illness. For those of us who are in the TG/TS spectrum, there is gender identity dysphoria. The point that I am trying to make is that mental illness is not something that is always a monster. Sometimes it feels like one, but not always. For a bit of irony, this past year, I actually had to go through a background check equivalent to obtaining a secret security clearance just to get a state license to be mentally ill. Kind of makes one wonder just what was going through our lawmakers' heads with that idea.

#9
craftylulu

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I personally have a mental illness. On the grand scale of things, it is not as severe as others, for which I am grateful; however, it is still a large part of my identity and just who am I am. I hope that any future partners can look past my mental illness to the other amazing qualities I have and maybe someday appreciate my mental illness as creating me as an individual overall.

I have dated people in the past who have had various mental illnesses. I think the "deal breaker" for me is refusing to seek any form of treatment. A mental illness is just like any other illness or disease--there is no good reason to let your diabetes go untreated and slowly kill you, just as there is no good reason to not seek treatment for a mental illness.

So to sum it up, mental illness in general is A-OK by me as long as it is being managed.

#10
Chazz44

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People who have a managed "mental illness" don't worry me. It's the ones who have an unmanaged one, or who are in denial about it, do.

The people who worry me the most, are the ones who can live in this world, as it is, and have no problems at all. 8)

Chazz - (A little bit crazy and pleased about it.)





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