What do you Tell Someone Who Doesn't Believe Mental Illnesses Exist?

  1. Perhaps you psych nurses don't encounter many of these types of people, but I've been debating one recently. He believes that since the autopsy of the brain won't prove the deceased had bi-polar, ADHD, SAD, or any other mental illness, they don't exist. He thinks people just claim to have mental illnesses due to pride and mis-information, and that all they need is a little counseling (perferably from a "religious leader") and they'll see the error of their life of lies. Suggestions anyone?
    •  
  2. 48 Comments

  3. by   DidiRN
    You been talking to Tom Cruise?

    Sorry, couldn't resist.

    Quote from NoelChristine
    Perhaps you psych nurses don't encounter many of these types of people, but I've been debating one recently. He believes that since the autopsy of the brain won't prove the deceased had bi-polar, ADHD, SAD, or any other mental illness, they don't exist. He thinks people just claim to have mental illnesses due to pride and mis-information, and that all they need is a little counseling (perferably from a "religious leader") and they'll see the error of their life of lies. Suggestions anyone?
  4. by   mercyteapot
    I've run across a number of these people. I have never found anything particularly useful to tell them. Their minds are pretty much made up.
  5. by   ChristineN
    Quote from DidiRN
    You been talking to Tom Cruise?

    Sorry, couldn't resist.
    You caught me (j/k)
  6. by   ChristineN
    Quote from mercyteapot
    I've run across a number of these people. I have never found anything particularly useful to tell them. Their minds are pretty much made up.
    Sadly, I fear that to be the case. Yet, I keep wondering, what do these people do when their own spouse, children, or close friends are diagnosed? Are they in denial?
  7. by   MereSanity
    I wouldn't say anything to them. They are a waste of time and energy. Smile and walk away.
  8. by   sirI
    I agree with Mercy here. It is a waste of your time and effort.
  9. by   ChristineN
    Quote from MereSanity
    I wouldn't say anything to them. They are a waste of time and energy. Smile and walk away.
    You may be right. I think I'm about to throw in the towel anyway, as he doesn't seem to want to think about the depths of what he's suggesting.
  10. by   sirI
    Quote from NoelChristine
    Sadly, I fear that to be the case. Yet, I keep wondering, what do these people do when their own spouse, children, or close friends are diagnosed? Are they in denial?
    Possibly so, Noel.

    The refusal to acknowledge the existence of mental illness could in all probablility be related to fear. Fear of the loss of control, fear of the inability to control, fear of this happening to them, fear, fear, fear.

    Also, cultural inability to acknowledge mental illness. Simply the way in which the individual was reared as a child. The imposition of parental influences.

    So many factors, including outright ignorance and the simple refusal to believe, period.
  11. by   mdanielle
    Ha ha, please tell me this person ISNT a nurse or a doctor. Seems like that person is in denial about having a little mental illness themselves. TELL THEM "ADMITTING IS THE FIRST STEP!!!!!" HA HA HA. And this person is wrong about the brain not being different. IT IS. I dont know details about it but there is evidence on the parts of the brain used. Sorry I dont remember details. I did look into it at one time since both of my 9 year old twin boys have problems and are considered disabled and both are thought to have mood disorders, hard to know right now, they are young. They are good boys, well disciplined, but speech delayed, borderline MR(still in question too though because they think the mood disorder is affecting their learning, paranoid and they dont sleep. never really have. But have always since birth been really exceptionally good kids. Well lol most of the time. They are twins, they fight a lot. Well regardless, just saying...no amount of counsiling is going to fix my kids. We are trying though, but I know it isnt going to make it go away. You can see and have been able to see for years that my children just think differently. They were born this way, didnt learn this behavior. One of my kids has "seen" people that arent there. And I dont mean an imaginary friend. He was 5 and we were fishing on a lighted pier with some friends around midnight. He looked at me and says..."Hey mommy, why is that man on Don's boat." There is NO one on the boat. I tell him that. He says "Ooooh mommy, Dons gonna be mad, that man is working on Dons boat engine." Again, I tell him no one is there. He says, "Mommy see??? The man in the red hat on Dons boat...mommy LOOK!" I investigate the boat to see if there is something he is seeing that just looked like someone there, a shadow or something. We walked up to the boat..He looks at me and says, "Mommy look he is looking at us, the man in the red hat mommy, right there." I swear to God, it raised goosebumps. I know my son saw someone. Then he gets this shocked look and walks up to the boat real slow and says..."mommy....where did he go? mommy he is gone." He looked so confused and he looked around us. There was no way anyone could have got around us without us knowing and I think he knew that. That isnt a normal experience. I know my son, I know his behaviors, and I know he knew what he was seeing. I had a few questionable experiences like this as a child and was thought for a while to be schitzophrenic, but i dont know, I never had a good imagination. I remember my experiences and doubt it was an overactive imagination. It went away though just one day, all of a sudden just like that. Never had another episode, my kids dont know about it. Now they believe my boys are schitzo or bipolar. Research says there are a FEW cases is which they know schitzophrenia seem to resolve itself. Its rare, but they believe it happens. I still have some quirks though. Just discovered that all my life I have had sensory intergration disorder. CAnt stand for someone or something to touch me on one side of the body and not on the exact side exact spot. Can you believe I hid that all my life very successfully and barely admitted it to my doctors and my friends about 2 years ago. My doctor thought it was Obsessive compulsive disorder, but my friend is a therapist and specializes in sensory intergration disoder (SI). My doctor had never even heard of SI till I told her. Weird though, both of my kids have been diagnosed SI since by their therapists. You should see one of my sons face light up when he hears a vacuum cleaner. Most SI kids hate loud noises, and he does, except for vacuums. lol. Weird. Since he was 2 you could go to ANY store and he knew EXACTLY where the vacuums were and we had to go see them. Myself, my family and friends all have clean floors. lol ok maybe a little OCD going on there too. But hey if you are going to be obsessive compulsive, liking to vacuum isnt so bad.
    So what would your friend say to my situation...hmm, bad parenting??? maybe somehow I unwittingly taught my quirks to my children??? I doubt it. First of all, we have different quirks, and I learned early in life to hide them because of fear of being different. They thought I was hyper though, lol I was always jittering around though in school, easily distracted. WHY? Cuz I was constantly trying to balance out my body. If I had a pain on one side I would pinch myself on the other side to balance out. If someone touched me with a cold drink on my arm, you know messing around with me, I wouldnt be happy until I goyt a hold of something cold to touch the other arm. Now I really only do this when I am stessed out. I have learned to ignore it. my friends do like to torture me though once in a while and grab a cold coke put it on my arm and see how long it takes me to go make it even. Cold sensations for some reason has been the only one I can ignore the urge. I guess because its extreme and it makes me aware. Does your friend think, therapy will cure me? lol I learned to redirect myself mostly. It got better as I got older. I know I wont ever be cured. Would your friend say oh just get over it, just dont give in to it, its your choice to give in.Well yea it is my choice to give in. Its either give in or get increasingly anxious, jitery, moody until I do give in. I would LOVE to debate with your friend.
    danielle
  12. by   Whispera
    In one of my jobs I'm a psychiatric nursing clinical instructor. One semester I had a student who did not believe psychiatric disorders exist. She was from a country in which that is the belief. She had a very difficult time during the psych rotation, and never did (at least not openly) believe...

    So, seeing was not believing, nor was anything she read. I'm not convinced that people's attitudes about this can necessarily be changed--too ingrained.
  13. by   stephera
    Well, all I believe is with schitzophrenia is that it is pure evil, nothing but the devil. I mostly believe this for ones who are drug attics. I am not saying there is no psych problems though.
  14. by   stephera
    I am not saying that there are no psych problems out there but I do believe that drug induced schitzophrenia is nothing but pure evil, the devil.

close