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Mental Illnesses


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#11
ashleigh

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If one hangs around a psych unit long enough, one will wind up with a diagnosis. This was said to me by unit staff. Something I have noticed is that when one is in a psych ward, that is the closest anyone will ever come to being in as close to a judgment free environment as there can be. It doesn't matter if one is single diagnosis or a walking dsm-iv, gay, straight, bi, lesbian, or even tg. That is something that one cannot always find, even within the lgbtq safe spaces. Though I am undecided as to whether or not I will finish a psych degree, I am a state licensed mental health professional. The kicker of this is that in order to get the type of license I have, one must be a mental health consumer. In other words, I had to document my life experience with mental illness, work experience with it and undergo a state level background check just to get a state license to be mentally ill. If this sounds odd, think of it this way. Would you rather have someone working with you whose only experience with mental illness is secondhand at best or someone who has been down the same roads or similar that you have? This is why substance abuse counselors who are former addicts are more effective than those who have only learned about it from books and observation. Mental illness is not the end of the world, but it takes the individual experiencing it to find that out for themselves. The rest of us can act only as guides and living examples that there is life beyond having a diagnosis. Life that can be extremely rewarding and fulfilling. Even the darkest of hours can be a blessing if we only stop to honestly examine the situation. Easier said than done, but possible, it is. Also, I never said it was easy. How much in life do we truly value that comes easy to us? Let me know what you think, even if this thread appears to be a dead one like it did before. Good luck and Goddess bless to all.

#12
Painted Brumby

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Hi Ashleigh. Your posts are interesting. From having taken psych classes myself, I understand that, to work in the field, it's a requirement to go through analysis yourself. One of my professors suggested the reason is that it's for your protection, too. You don't want to be in session with someone and have some undealt with issue or condition come up within you and bite you in the derriere. You want to uncover everything about yourself, so that nothing takes you by surprise that could possibly negatively affect your patient and/or distract you and pull you into acting out through whatever issue or condition may exist in you. In other words, it's to help you thoroughly get to know yourself, to deal with whatever, to better prepare you. Otherwise, as a patient is describing their concern/condition, things they say could trigger, for the first time, anything that you haven't dealt with in yourself. Cooperating with analysis, also, gives you the experience of dealing with the situation and the tools to deal with it, should you need it. Plus, like you said, it helps you have first hand experience, instead of just intellectual knowledge.

I was also taught to be very careful with labelling patients. Labels can be more harmful than doing good. There's a fine line.

Good luck to you. Life has a way of preparing us for what may lie ahead. Abundant blessings.

#13
Jessica the Weird

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As someone whose brain chemistry is wired in all the wrong ways, I'm in no place to judge others on their own.

As long as whatever illness doesn't cause *harm to others*, I'm fine with it, although possibly a little awkward, depending on what the problem is.

(I'm a little tired at the moment, so I haven't read the whole topic. If I repeated someone else's viewpoint, that's why.)

#14
femmeexotica

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Most people actually do have some sort of disorder, maybe not labeled mental illness, but personality disorders, social disorders, and other abnormalities (if you would call it that) that cause them to function differently. These things just make us more unique and if you learn to live your life in such a way that it makes you a stronger person because of the challenge and self-motivation, you are probably a better person than "normal" people. I myself have a minor personality disorder that basically makes me a perfectionist who is motivated by pleasing others. Does this make me harmful in any way to others? No. It simply makes me self-motivating and I am constantly reinventing myself, setting new goals and working hard. ♥Ashleigh

#15
ashleigh

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It is not so much as having a disorder as it is a matter of just dispplaying a range of symptoms. Those of us who get/got caught just happened to have enough signs/symptoms to qualify as a disorder or diagnosis. There are things that we do that can make us more susceptible to onset of mental illness, such as going long periods without adequate sleep. This is one of the reasons that patients in a stabilization unit are generally given meds to encourage sleep. Basically, this serves as a rule out test. By using this example, I am not saying that nature does not predispose some of us to certain diagnoses. Though, it may be in our genes, it is not a guarantee that we will also have a mental illness. Like everything else in life, it depends on a combination of things and how we are able or unable to cope with events. Remeber, you don't see motorcycles parked in front of psychiatrist offices.

#16
Shannon1981

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And I am always upfront about it. I mean I didn't put it in my personals profile or anything, but I most certainly have every intention of revealing that right away to any potential partners. I posted a similar thread on AfterEllen, and, to my surprise, there were only a couple of 'absolutely not' style responses. So, I think there is hope, but you have to be honest about it rather than concealing it until you have some sort of episode. The person will feel lied to, betrayed, and rightfully so. I don't think it should be a deal breaker, but I do understand if it is.

#17
77lagata

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I don't think that it is the mental illness itself that scares people off. People hear those words and think about the struggle entailed with being a part of it. This sort of rejection falls into the same category as physical ailments for some people. Asking a person to deal with another person's mental illness is the same as asking that same person to deal with a paraplegic, quadriplegic, or someone who is missing limbs.

That being said, I believe that everyone deserves a chance. We all have issues - especially living in a society that still frowns on our choices in lifestyle. I will take the time to become acquainted with a person and will determine whether I can connect to her based on our interaction. I guess I am saying that I wouldn't automatically reject a person because of a mental illness.

I can remember this one situation, when I was still fooling myself into thinking I was interested in guys. I met this guy who had ADHD and we exchanged numbers. We talked on the phone and really hit it off. Several days later, I invited him over to my apartment to watch a movie. He talked all through the movie, and each time he'd ask me a question he would interrupt me before getting any sort of answer from me. I asked him what sort of medication he was taking and he told me that he didn't need medication; he swore that he was managing without. I quit calling him after that day - I couldn't deal with him. Would I have cut ties so quickly if it had been a woman? I don't know, most likely I would have. Would I do the same now? I don't think I would now because I understand more and have more patience with other people.

#18
Shannon1981

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@77lagata the guy you described sounds like the type who is in denial. And that is a normal phase. When I first was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, I did soooo many nutty things, and I didn't see how off I was until I started messing up my life. I hate that you didn't get to keep a friend, but I totally understand. People who cannot handle/properly manage whatever disorder they have, and won't take steps to do so, are often impossible to deal with at all, much less date. Furthermore, the only relationships people with uncontrolled issues like that need to be seeking out are those with therapists. Chances are, the behavior disturbances with the illness will make any romantic situation wind up doomed.

#19
77lagata

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I agree. I think that if he had been seeking out help I would have been more understanding. I have had my own struggles and at that time I was working through some of the worst of my psychological baggage; I would not have been able to be the strong one when he needed me to be, even as a friend. The sad thing is, for many people it is much easier to take on the "burden" of a person with some sort of condition when they have known her for a while. You know, when a person has been in a relationship for several years and then is diagnosed, her partner is a bit more likely to stick around. Emotional investment plays a huge role in the decision whether to be with someone.

#20
ashleigh

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We all have our ideas of what we are like when things are feeling on or off kilter. Because of that, we may not always agree with how someone is dealing or not dealing with a particular condition. Personally, I have been called antisocial, but I prefer to view it as being selectively social. I do realize that I need social interaction, but I will be damned if I am going to try to behave in a manner that is contrary to me. I do not deny that I have things to consider when going through my day, but no matter what, I must be true to myself.





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