Mental Illness--Debunking the myths/sharing some insight.. - page 2

by jadelpn Guide | 5,486 Views | 18 Comments

Mental illness is a most misunderstood illness. The brain is an interesting organ, and reacts differently to/or lack thereof chemicals to make it work properly. Mental illness can be a difficult thing to treat. It can be... Read More


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    Quote from DizzyLizzyNurse
    I would like to add to number 4 -

    "What could you possibly have to be depressed about?" Depression is about how you see yourself, your perspective. And no, making decent money at a job doesn't mean you "don't have anything to be depressed about."
    If I could like this a million times, I would!
    DizzyLizzyNurse and jadelpn like this.
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    Quote from TerpGal02
    Oh trust me #2 is very true. Maybe not with the mood disorders, but certainly with the psychotic disorders. If only I had a dollar for every time a delusional pt tells me, "No, don't you see, the police CAME into my house and left those three beans in my colander to harrass me, you must be Tue crazy one if you don't believe me". #1 is so true. If I had a psychotic disorder, I would rather have hallucinations than delusions. Hallucinations are far easier to treat with meds than delusions. Once we get into delusions, you're dealing with a person's core beliefs and damn if that isn't hard. Thank you for this. It's helpful to know people out there understand that the mentally ill don't leave their somatic issues at the door. In fact many of them get substandard somatic care because , "its all in their head". As a nurse and a person with Bipolar type 2, I thank you.
    From my purely ancedotal experience as patient interacting with other patients who were psychotic, I've found psychosis to be a lot more nuanced than the blanket statement that all psychotics believe all of their hallucinations and delusions 100%. It's like assuming that every 60 lb anorexic actually believes that she's 200 lbs. I've met - chatted with for hours during those long down periods during hospitalizations - plenty of psychotic individuals who would qualify as being chronically, severely mentally ill who, for instance, might believe in *some* of their delusions but understood perfectly that their hallucinations weren't real. I've met bipolar folks in the height of a textbook manic episode who *knew* that they were having a manic episode, even if they also thought that they were the president of the US. I talked with one patient who knew that he was having delusions, but thought those delusions were implanted by another delusion. (lol)

    Within the justice system, it's how someone with a long history of severe mental illness can kill another person - often with the fixed belief that said person is "bad" or will be better off dead - but is still held accountable because they knew that actually committing the act of murder was wrong.

    Duality of thought -- the skeptical believer, the apologist -- or normal, every day folks who become entrenched in abusive relationships or fall prey to things like Stockholm Syndrome are perfectly acceptable and even considered to be part of the human experience. Don't underestimate the severely psychotic individual's to also be part of that experience.
    psullivan95 and lorirn58 like this.
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    Unmedicated psychotics as a general rule do believe their psychosis to be true. Medications do act as a buffer for most to clear the mind enough to distinguish.
    And we shall agree to disagree, as part of the diagnosis of those who are anorexics do believe themselves to be obese.
    NAMI | Anorexia Nervosa

    Psychotic Depression: Losing Touch With Reality - Depression Center - EverydayHealth.com
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    Hey would you please go a little deeper into your last paragraph, dirtyhippiegirl? I am very interested in some deeper thought and clarification of this as I believe I know what you are saying and I agree....thanks.
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    Quote from jadelpn
    And we shall agree to disagree, as part of the diagnosis of those who are anorexics do believe themselves to be obese.
    No, one of the possible symptoms of anorexia per the DSM is that belief.

    I was a 60 lb anorexic at one point. For many years and many hospitalizations and many therapists, etc. I never believed that I was overweight -- I was always "slim" or "naturally small." I knew I was skinny, even too skinny (but too skinny was always okay because everyone who was anyone was too skinny.) I look back at pictures of myself and see someone who was sickly and emaciated. I never, ever believed that I was overweight. I had two heart-attacks at 15. Your average, chronic, severely anorexic patient doesn't really believe that he or she is obese. I was one and I've been friends with and chatted and simply known many more.
    SoldierNurse22 likes this.
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    Eating disorders are so vast and very personally dependent. I did not believe myself to be any more than the weight on the scale. I simply held the delusion that life would get oh so much better the smaller that number got. I did actually believe that delusion. I also did see my body as bigger than it was, but not obese in the slightest. I knew I was small. I just wanted to be smaller because somehow that would make everything "all better".
    Sorry to butt in on that topic, but eating disorders are so misunderstood. I just wanted to bring some clarity from a patient perspective.
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    Quote from lorirn58
    Hey would you please go a little deeper into your last paragraph, dirtyhippiegirl? I am very interested in some deeper thought and clarification of this as I believe I know what you are saying and I agree....thanks.
    I'm not trying to pull a Thomas Szasz. I believe firmly in the (mainly) biochemical roots of mental illness. I believe in psychotropic drugs to fix mental illness. But when you completely dismiss a psychotic individual's ability to be part of the human experience -- you're discrediting the individual and the ability of the individual to have divided core beliefs. I'm an atheist who prayed for and imagined my mom in a better place when she died last year. Why is it so impossible to imagine psychotic individuals with similar split-beliefs? You're doing your patients a disservice when you assume.

    My last roommate thought she was a dude. She also thought that she was part of a large gang (that doesn't exist in our area) and thought she was being persecuted by the devil.
    We argued back and forth for days.
    You're /not/ a dude.
    Look at my penis!
    I don't see a penis.
    etc. etc. for days.
    She eventually decided that she didn't have a penis because she had a female roommate (me) and x psych unit just wouldn't house boys and girls together. (My idea.) She still had all the same other beliefs, which I did question with her and she held firmly to.
    SoldierNurse22 likes this.
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    Quote from VivaLasViejas
    Where's the bowing smilie when you need it........THANK YOU for this excellent essay!! As a nurse, I appreciate your understanding of the science behind brain disorders; as a patient, I appreciate your understanding, period.
    I 100% echo Vivalasviejas statement!
    jadelpn likes this.
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    I found your article very insightful. My husband and I the legal guardians and aunt/uncle of a 17yr old niece. She spent a minimum of 8yrs suffering at the hands of a severely unstable, undiagnosed, violent, and abusive single mother from the ages of 6-14yrs of age. She has endured an incredible amount abuse in her life. I found this article beneficial as it is easy to understand and she can absorb it. There's so much more to her story but at that, it is her story. When she came into our family legally, she was broken and we have tried desperately to repair those broken places. So far it's just been 3yrs. Progress isn't fast or permanent but slow +steady gets us much farther.
    jadelpn likes this.


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