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As I began to pursue this interest in mental health more deeply, I discovered that there are more ways of looking at this field than I had thought possible, and only a multidisciplinary approach at looking at the world of mental health will solve the related problems that are pervasive in today’s world.
A knowledge of the biological bases of behavior is important, showing that much of human behavior is rooted in brain chemistry as well as genetics. It is essential for a modern discussion of mental health to acknowledge the neuroscientific aspects of behavior, for many serious disorders can be treated using medical techniques stemming from this knowledge.
Second, the interplay between culture and mental health should be examined as well. An analysis of the attitudes of different cultures toward mental health will not only broaden perspectives, but will teach people that there is not always one right answer. A major issue in mental health today is the question of “what is considered normal?” A religious belief in one culture may be branded as a bizarre delusion by psychiatrists in another.
It is vital to address the interaction between mental health and aspects of society such as the law, healthcare policy, and education. An overview of the types of professionals that provide mental health services, the most common mental disorders in the United States, and different types of therapy should be explored as well. Importantly, learning about mental health would be incomplete without discussing the stigma surrounding mental health, with a goal of increasing awareness and tolerance.

Check out this facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Fashion-Recovery/113249125541955
Its called Fashion Recovery, and it is living proof of the fact that eating disorders can be beaten. Scrolling down the page for just a minute, you will see that there is more to a person than an eating disorder, and that there is hope for recovery. The page is full of inspiring quotes and pictures that serve as reminders of everybody’s magnificence, inside and out. As the creator of the page writes in its description, “This is a page that advocates self-acceptance, recovery, healthy body image, acceptance of others and most of all the meaning of true beauty ♥ stay strong”.

Check out this intriguing article! https://www.madinamerica.com/2012/03/i-dont-believe-in-mental-illness-do-you/

Michael Cornwall, Ph.D. argues that maybe mental illness doesn’t really exist the way we think it does! Its possible that emotional suffering and madness, no matter how extreme the extent is, are all regular parts of life, even when they are presented at near-clinical levels.

Just some food for thought.

In the past several years, there have been quite a few cases on unexpected gun violence, leading people to ask the question, why? How can we prevent this?

Of course, gun policy is one of the first few things to be addressed. Debates ensue, and solutions to ensure that guns end up only in the hands of responsible owners are proposed. After some conversation about gun control, the topic of discussion turns to mental health. All of a sudden, people who have had no prior experience, directly or indirectly, with anything related to mental health, prop up and suggest screenings and other forms of detecting mental illness in people before its too late. Unfortunately, “too late” to them only means the point at which individuals with mental disorders will commit acts of violence. Hopefully they do know that most people with mental illness are nonviolent and never cause harm.

With all this rah-rah of popular mental health talks after shootings, people begin to support the impovement of our national mental healthcare system. They think about what our country can do for those who suffer from psychiatric disorders, and at this point they seem like the most compassionate people in the world.

And then…boom. The mental health conversation is over and there are no more shootings for a period of time, so people occupy themselves with the next hot topic in popular politics. By the way, the mental health issues haven’t been resolved. These people who seemed ever so conscious of the suffering of mental health patients now care more for other things. No shooting means no need to take care of mental health problems in our country. Great.

As stated before, most people with mental illness are not perpetrators of violence. In fact, they are more likely to be the victims of violence. It is understandable that people want safety for themselves and their loved ones from shootings. Nobody wants their children to be in the situation of those shot during the Sandy Hook incident last winter. But for many people, the only time they actually see mental illness as a real issue is at the times of these shootings. It is as if suffering from schizophrenia is not significant enough to be treated if the patient has no violent tendencies. Its like saying, we dont care about your delusions in which you think the CIA is running after you. As long as you aren’t going to shoot us, its fine.

Mental health reform and support should be an ongoing effort. It is upsetting to see that only after a massive shooting does our country talk about mental health as a large issue. It is as if those suffering in silence from things like depression, especially during a time when there is no national discussion of mental health, don’t matter. As long as they don’t shoot anybody. Bummer.

 www.namiccns.org

If you’ve read some of my posts, you probably have noticed that I refer to people who have mental disorders as “people WITH mental illness”, “people WHO SUFFER FROM psychiatric disorders”, and the like. I specifically avoid using the words “mentally ill”. Here is why.

“Mentally Ill” is in the form of an adjective. Adjectives define people through the use of one word. You can call somebody beautiful, generous, defensive, or robust. These are all defining characteristics of human beings. However, having a mental illness isn’t an intrinstic part of a person. I am a strong advocate of the idea that one is not his or her illness. An illness is an external thing that has happened to someone. It is not WHO they are.

By saying, rather, that somebody “has” or “suffers from” a mental disorder, I am not using the illness to define them. I am saying that they “have” an issue. It is something that they are dealing with. I would never say they “are” the issue. I know that, G-d forbid, if I had a mental illness, I would want people to know me as exciting, kind, humorous, and creative. Not mentally ill. This is why mental illness is not made into adjective form. A person is greater than the illness that he or she has. You are not your illness.

Eating disorders are not to be neglected in our discussion of commonly stigmatized conditions that people have. Here is Demi Lovato’s message:
“The journey that I have been on had been very, very difficult over the past few months. I was dealing with issues that I know not only girls just my age but of all ages are dealing with. People that are probably watching this video right now are dealing with the issues that I had to and I hope to one day raise awareness of everything. I can’t tell you how much light you guys brought into my life …in probably the darkest time of my life. Without you guys, I wouldn’t be here today. I wanted to let you guys know that I’m excited to get back to work. Yes, there have been times when I definitely have been tempted to get rid of my dinner. But I will deal with it for the rest of my life because it’s a life-long disease. I don’t think there’s going to be a day when I don’t think about food or my body, but I’m living with it, and I wish I could tell young girls to find their safe place and stay with it. If you are going through that dark period, go to your family and closest friends. Don’t put yourself in danger. It’s very crucial that you get your feelings out – but don’t ever inflict harm on your own body because your body is so sacred. I wish I could tell every young girl with an eating disorder, or who has harmed herself in any way, that she’s worthy of life and that her life has meaning. You can overcome and get through anything.” Demi Lovato [a message to her fans after leaving a rehabilitation center]


Courtesy of www.medscape.org

Although I am lucky to say that I have personally never experienced mental health issues, I both know people who have AND have worked in a psychiatric setting, AND I love creative writing; so I feel triply obligated to post this poem I have once written. It is dedicated to anyone who has ever suffered from depression. Here is what you can do: When reading this poem, think of the “I” as any person close to you who is depressed and let it serve as a springboard to inspire you to be there for them when they need you.

Oh, inner monsters inside my head- how long will you intrude my days and nights?

How long will you continue to tear up my sense of self and my happiness?

You disease of the mind- how long will you rob me…rob me of life?

How long will you grasp my conscience, so that I cannot think for myself as I had done before?

Tell me, where did I lose myself?

Where did my happy old self disappear to?

I thought I knew myself, until a spirit had captured me, into a world of darkness.

Until I have become swept in a terrible illusion, in which the world is always a half empty cup.

Where the world is a horrible place.

Where I am hated.

Why do I suddenly believe this?

Why is this illusion so easy to be swept by now?

This is an illusion which leads to an even worse reality-

A reality where nobody understands me.

They don’t see these demons inside of me, they do not comprehend why I behave so differently now.

They do not know.

They do not have a clue why I act this way.

They do not have the awareness that it’s not my fault.

They do not sympathize with me.

But they do see me as an inconvenience.

As an impediment.

As a plague in their daily life.

Rather, what hurts the most is what they disregard in me.

Because according to them I am not a person.

I am a disease. A disaster. A dungeon of darkness.

A deadly doom.

However, I still believe that I am a teenager, with goals and ambitions.

I believe that I am a dreamer capable of whatever lies in my desired path.

I am an achiever.

I am a friend.

I am a champion.

But most of all, I am a fighter.