Mental Illness Affects People Individually


Photo Credit: freedigitalphotos.net

Photo Credit: freedigitalphotos.net

Those who live with mental illness are not all the same. They are not to be lumped into one group or meant to be labeled. They all have characteristics and diagnoses that are alike, but they don't exhibit the characteristics in the same ways as another person might. They are individuals that will display specific symptoms. Not all symptoms that are listed under a particular illness will even apply to every individual with that illness. Some may display more severe symptoms and conditions, whereas others may only display some or a less severe form of the illness. Due to each person displaying individualistic symptoms and characteristics, it makes diagnosing and finding a successful treatment plan extremely difficult.

 

What comes to mind when you hear that someone has a mental illness? Is a little part of you afraid or cautious? Does part of you automatically assume they're “crazy” and unstable? Or maybe you feel shocked because they don’t appear to fit society's image of a person who lives with a mental illness. They look and act just like everyone else. Well, that's because they are like everyone else. They are human who just happen to live with different obstacles than others may. Some people live with food allergies and can't eat certain foods, while some are diabetic and have to closely monitor their blood sugar. Those who live with a mental illness aren't much different when it comes to lifestyle changes. They may have to monitor their moods, eating habits, and even their stress levels so they don't have a relapse (mood swing, addiction habits, etc).

These reactions to mental illness are most certainly common when a person isn't familiar with mental health. This is why it is ultimately crucial to expand the education and awareness regarding mental illness and the truth of the person behind the illness.

 

Due to the stigma, some who live with a mental illness often refuse to share, speak openly about their illness, or even seek treatment that could save their lives due to what others may think and feel about them (or out of denial too, but that is a little different). They may feel ashamed, embarrassed, and weaker than others for having to seek professional help.

 

It is sad to think that so many will suffer each year out of fear of getting the appropriate help they need. We, as a society, need to work on making it okay and be supportive of those who may need mental health treatment. Denial of the existence of mental health, apathy, and lack of empathy will not make these illnesses disappear. It may only make matters worse.

 

So, the next time you hear or say “He/she is bipolar,” know that it is incorrect. He or she lives with bipolar is the more proper way of putting it because if a person has diabetes or cancer, you wouldn't say this person is diabetes or cancer. It is a condition that they happen to live with which involves treatment. Same rules apply for those who live with mental illness.

 

Mental illness is not as scary as it appears in the media. Just because a person who is said to have bipolar (or another mental illness) did a terrible thing that gets displayed nationally over the news doesn't mean that everyone who lives with that illness will end up doing the same thing.

 

People who live with mental illness are individuals and it affects each one of them in different ways. Have a heart, spread awareness, and help a loved one <3

 

 

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28 Comments

  1. I meant to say that I have only just begun to explore your site – it looks excellent. (Despite the pop-up to the contrary, I am following and have confirmed that.)

  2. The main thing I agree with in this post is that everyone is different, from which it follows that off-the-shelf labels/diagnoses should be treated with caution. To illustrate, I have noticed when meeting in the group I attend how much overlap there often is between one recognised condition and another with respect to a given person.

    Either many people are afflicted by two or more conditions at once or the definitions of conditions in the DSM leave something to be desired. In fact, both of these may be true. Given the way the DSM is produced, I don’t have a lot of faith in it – for example, in the area of borderline personality disorder, where the ‘experts’ can’t even agree among themselves.

    But at root all this difficulty results from people being individual.Something is always lost when a person is labelled.

  3. A vital topic and articulately written. yours is an important voice.

  4. I am not a parent, teacher or mental health professional, I am a person who faced difficulties as a child by not having the correct support around me. I am a person
    that wants to bring better education to mental health for all people that it may affect. If there is anything that I have reported incorrectly here, due to not being a parent, teacher or mental health professional, then please do feel free to state any corrections needed in the comments below.

  5. I’ve had to talk about this with a number of people; a lot of people don’t seem to understand the difference between situational depression and clinical depression. I’ve written about this on my blog, too; it is really hard to deal with people without mental illness when trying to explain things to them; I’m glad you are trying to spread awareness.

    • Thanks for your comment! It can be difficult to explain depression and other mental health topics to others who have not experienced them, nor understands them, but eventually I hope there will be a better understanding of mental health in our society. 🙂

  6. Really love what you doing with your blog. Thanks for the visit and looking forward to hearing more from you!

  7. Thank you for the follow. You have a very inspiring and well written blog. From time to time I may re-blog on my site- if that is okay.

    I look forward to reading more from you and wish you love, prosperity, and happiness in your adventures…..

  8. Would you be bored if I tell you that this is a fantastic post? I would be the upteemth person to say so. I’m linking your blog to mine as a resource.

    Plus, I would like to invite you and your followers to humor themselves with this post about STIGMA and our ‘friend’ the DSM-IV. It’s HILARIOUS: “DSN-IV (The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of ‘Normal’ Disorders) [humor]”. For example,” 301.666 Normal Personality Disorder” is described as “An incredibly prevalent disorder, Normal Personality is dangerous and often chronic. Normal Personalities are primarily marked by conformity (either to tradition or to “fads”), self-centered attitudes and behavior, and a general lack of genuine caring for others.”

    Kait, thanks for stopping by my blog. I will be back here regularly.Sorry for the long comment. The humor article was posted at
    https://thecitywidementalhealthproject.wordpress.com/2012/07/02/dsn-iv-the-diagnostic-and-statistical-manual-of-normal-disorders-humor/

  9. Pingback: Friday Favorites | MAnaGIng mANiA

  10. John de Gruyther

    “We, as a society, need to work on making it okay and be supportive of those who may need mental health treatment. Denial of the existence of mental health, apathy, and lack of empathy will not make these illnesses disappear. It may only make matters worse.” This is so very true.. I wrote a piece about the media portrayel of mental illness and addiction, specifically relating to Amy Winehouse and Gazza (an english footballer) and so much more could be done by creating an environment where as a society we could more openly discuss things.

  11. “He/she is bipolar,” is not incorrect (except the he/she part since it excludes people from other genders and that’s wrong), it’s a matter of personal choice, there are people who claim that forcing others to say “person with” actually calls more attention to the characteristic than just saying the way that is more natural. It can enforce stigma, after all saying “They are bipolar” it’s quick and less awkward and no need to think about the words, saying it the most awkward way calls more attention because it needs extra thought and sounds forced.
    There are no rules about that, what people say is more important than how they say it, respecting how people identify is better.
    I never want to be called “person living with a mental illness”, many people don’t want to be call that either.

    Shame, stigma and denial are possible motives to avoid treatment but in general there are more important reasons, there is a lot of real prejudice from mental health professionals, for many it’s dangerous to be in the mental health system, it can make someone lose rights if they are not lucky, if they have other disabilities it’s worse if the service is even available to them.

    I appreciate the intention but I don’t really like posts that claim that we should be accepted because we act normal or are not as weird as people think because many of us are weird, we do strange things and have unusual behaviours, not everyone passes as non-mentally ill and that doesn’t mean we don’t deserve respect.
    I don’t act like everyone else, I never did, I never will and I don’t have that as a goal, it’s a big waste of energy for me.
    People like me and more different than me exist and I don’t think we are rare.

    • I can understand your point of view here, as how we label or describe something will usually leave somebody feeling “that’s not how I want to be seen as”.

      However I think the gist of this post is about how mental illness is viewed & trying to reduce the negative stigma around it.

      • I understood the good intentions and I liked a part of the post, I just disagreed with the parts I criticized.

        • I think this is a wonderful post, but I also disagree with that one paragraph. Cancer is a noun; bipolar is an adjective. You can say someone is bipolar just like you can say they are tall or handsome or smart. It isn’t entirely descriptive of who they are, but it is a descriptive characteristic, not something one possesses. The important thing – which I think your post otherwise eloquently stresses – is that as a society we must learn to view it as merely one of a person’s many character traits, not their sole defining one.

  12. we are all different and who’s to say where our perceptions come from, its how it makes us feel that’s the difference

  13. Pingback: Reblogged – Mental Illness Affects People Individually | The Bipolar Place

  14. Very good post. If my daughter had told someone about her depression she may still be here and still in med school, not put in her grave 4-11-13.

  15. “So, the next time you hear or say “He/she is bipolar,” know that it is incorrect. He or she lives with bipolar is the more proper way of putting it because if a person has diabetes or cancer, you wouldn’t say this person is diabetes or cancer.”

    Excellent. This is the one that drives me crazy, though I have to admit, I myself have said “I’m bipolar.”

  16. This is really well written. Would you mind if I reblogged this?

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