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Myths about Mental Illness


Bluerose
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People with a mental illness are violent and dangerous.

People suffering from a mental illness are no more likely to be violent than any other person or group. It is often the case that people suffering from a mental illness are more likely to be the victim of a violent act rather than the perpetrator of one.

Have you come across any?

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'You can't function in society if you have a mental illness'.

I've suffered from mental illness for probably 30 years and have managed to have a career and raised two lovely young women. I've had to take time off now and again, and I know that for some it makes it impossible to work, but we are contibuting members of society nonetheless and are not necessarily non-functional...

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"Everyone with a mental illness is the same."

We're actually as diverse as any other clump of people.

I remember when I was in the hospital. We had teenage girls with cutting scars, who'd had to have their stomachs pumped and were chatting gaily with each other about how nasty activated charcoal tastes. We had middle-aged guys (my age), who had been living on the streets, with skin peeling off their faces from the quantities of alcohol that had been in their systems. We had a young lady with "anger issues", which basically meant that she went from civil to amusingly loud, with an interesting mastery of Anglo-Saxon swear words, usually on the phone to her relatives, in about 20 seconds. We had one or two people wandering around in their own worlds, muttering, waiting for their medication to bring them back to a reality the rest of us would recognize. One of them was an elderly man, who was gentle and nice to everyone, but who turned out to be a bit of a klepto. Periodically, the staff would have to remove all of the ward's reading material, magazines and books, from the old guy's room, where it had mysteriously accumulated.

Anyway, the point is, we're all different. In different ways.

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"Everyone with a mental illness is the same."

We're actually as diverse as any other clump of people.

I remember when I was in the hospital. We had teenage girls with cutting scars, who'd had to have their stomachs pumped and were chatting gaily with each other about how nasty activated charcoal tastes. We had middle-aged guys (my age), who had been living on the streets, with skin peeling off their faces from the quantities of alcohol that had been in their systems. We had a young lady with "anger issues", which basically meant that she went from civil to amusingly loud, with an interesting mastery of Anglo-Saxon swear words, usually on the phone to her relatives, in about 20 seconds. We had one or two people wandering around in their own worlds, muttering, waiting for their medication to bring them back to a reality the rest of us would recognize. One of them was an elderly man, who was gentle and nice to everyone, but who turned out to be a bit of a klepto. Periodically, the staff would have to remove all of the ward's reading material, magazines and books, from the old guy's room, where it had mysteriously accumulated.

Anyway, the point is, we're all different. In different ways.

Mark,

You are absolutely right. As a teenager I was hospitalized for nearly 2 years. THe thought never crossed my mind that any of us were ill. We all just had our own ways of thinking and doing things.

I have been in the hospital too many times to know after that . Most of the people were there to stabliize.

Now, the last couple times , were for a 72hr hold. Many of these adults were suicidal .

I still do not like the term as being ill. I do not think of myself as "ill" Ill means sick.

I have good days, very good days . I do not SI all the time, or hear things I should not be hearing .

We are all different , and their is a huge population of people with all kinds of disorders and difficulties.

Your labeled ill if it continues , and life just becomes more and more unbearable, or losing touch with reality , allowing the voices to speak louder then what is going on around you , well , that's when we can and need the most help.

We all need help and support , some of us just need more of it at times. I still do not like the term mentally ill .

thing is a mentally ill person is more likely to hurt themselves then anybody else .

You can't tell by appearances only at times , if a person is mentally ill or not. I can function pretty good at times , and nobody knows anything about me .

Edited by mscat
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