One in Five - page 2

That's the number of Americans said to be living with one or more mental illnesses, according to some statistics. Of course, that's just the number who have an actual diagnosis, or who admit to... Read More

  1. by   VivaLasViejas
    OMG, you really have been through it!!! I've had one miscarriage, lost a newborn daughter 29 years ago, and I thought that was end of my life right there......cannot imagine living through the sort of tragedies you have. More ((((HUGS)))) to you, hon.
  2. by   TheCommuter
    I was diagnosed with PTSD several years ago, although I've never been in the armed services, or on a foreign land, or off to war at any point in my life.

    To keep a long story short, my father was using illegal drugs during my early and middle childhood and I occasionally witnessed acts of domestic violence and destruction of furniture and other personal property, which was bewildering to me at that age. I also have memories of my father at the kitchen table splitting the rocks of crack cocaine with a razor blade on top of a mirror prior to smoking them.

    I also have an unpleasant memory of my mother holding a rifle considering suicide.

    I sometimes get powerful, overwhelming flashbacks of the unpleasant events that happened during my early and middle childhood years. Sometimes the flashbacks are so debilitating that I'll cry or go numb, similar to an out-of-body experience. People are insensitive and tell me to "Get over it." I wish I could. I wonder if people think I want to constantly relive the past. I don't. Believe me on that!
  3. by   dirtyhippiegirl
    Quote from mariebailey
    dirtyhippiegirl, do you mean that personality disorders aren't necessarily brain/biological disorders?

    My understanding is that Axis I diagnoses are considered to have a brain/biological component (e.g., bipolar, depression, anxiety, etc.). Personality disorders, however, fall under Axis II and are thought to have more of a developmental origin.

    I think it will be interesting to see the changes when the DSM-5 comes out later this year, not that I have a book on reserve.
    Kind of, I guess? It's more if you expand out to the literature. An "illness" is a derivative from the person's norm. A personality disorder is a derivative personality from the collective norm but not different from the person's norm. Some of the harsher literature delves into manipulation, intent. etc. It's more of a reflection on how many professionals view personality disorders, I suppose. I just brought it up as another way of thinking - re. the idea that substance abuse disorders are not mental illnesses, etc.

    Subjectively, it's an interesting conversation piece -- what constitutes a mental illness, are mental illnesses "illnesses." The history of the DSM and how it became the authoritative diagnostic guide to mental illness is also very interesting.
  4. by   SunshineDaisy
    Thanks! That is my main reason in becoming a nurse. Yeah, I want to help people, like most everyone else, but not just that. 10 years ago there was very little done for things like what happened to me. My nurse was awesome, and I will never forget her, but not everyone is so lucky. I know we have to, I dunno the word, like shut off our feelings? Towards things like that. I know that nurses can not dwell on the lost baby while taking care of the 2 or 3 other new moms/babies. But, I also know that just because that baby died doesn't make it less of a person than anyone else. I have heard so many horror stories! The moms tend to be taken care of less (from what I have heard from other baby loss mommies) than they would have had their baby been born alive. Almost forgotten. I want to be in there. I want to be the nurse that doesn't forget them, that treats them like a mother, because they are one. They have to same needs as any other new mom out there, and I want them to know that. I know that I can't do it for every single one out there, but if I can do it for just one person than my years of schooling would have been worth it.
  5. by   mariebailey
    For anyone who likes the Charlie Rose Show, they did a show on The Mentally Ill Brain as part of their Brain Series. It is a fantastic show with Elyn Saks & Kay Redfield Jamison, who share their personal experiences with mental illness. I think you all would enjoy it.
  6. by   VivaLasViejas
    By the way......February is not only the month for hearts and chocolates, but also for Bipolar Disorder Awareness (hence the green ribbon in my avatar). No, I didn't know this either until about six weeks ago, when I ran across a reference to it on a BP forum that I frequent.

    While I doubt it'll ever reach the prominence of Valentine's Day or even Presidents' Day---it's nice to see a movement being born that may eventually make life better for people with all kinds of mental health issues.
  7. by   Liddle Noodnik
    oh thanks re the green ribbon, I asked you in a PM but now I know ...

    glad you started the thread - yep I am one of those w/ bipolar illness and that is the primary reason I'm not working as a nurse - altho my anxiety is a major component of my disability.

    plus chronic pain, plus, plus, plus ... lol
  8. by   Sadala
    I tend to think that we over diagnose in this day and age. Behavior that was tolerated even twenty years ago is now seen as maladjusted. I don't mean to minimize mental health issues, because they affect our society greatly. What I AM saying is that there is great breadth in human behavior and not everything is a disorder. I don't believe that 20 - 33% of everyone in America suffers from mental illness. Just sayin'
  9. by   VivaLasViejas
    Well, the poll is now closed and Anxiety is the clear winner, followed by Major Depression. Pretty much what I expected.....I swear, half the nurses in America must be on anxiolytics and/or antidepressants, and with good reason. This profession is hell on the emotions, to say nothing of what it does to your back and your eating habits!

    Yes, I should have put "None" as an option; it would've been useful indeed in calculating the usefulness of the "one-in-five" claim. As it is, it would be interesting to know what conditions fell under the "other" category.

    I was also rather surprised and pleased to see that nurses with schizophrenia and borderline personality disorder had weighed in, as well as eight of my fellow bipolars. When I created this decidedly unscientific poll, I was debating whether or not to include cyclothymia, which is on the bipolar spectrum but not really considered a true form of the disorder.....more like 'bipolar lite'. Not to minimize the suffering of anyone with a mood disturbance, but there's a big difference between a low-grade wave of cycling moods and the kind of BP that literally drives people insane. I have a couple of friends with bipolar 1, and what they go through makes even my version of the disorder look like a walk in the park.

    Many thanks to everyone who participated! Even in the relatively anonymous world of the Internet, it's difficult to share such a personal issue and I salute all of you who have done so. I'm glad the subject is more out in the open than it used to be; maybe in another generation people with mental illness will be accepted in the larger society, much like everyone else who's ever had to fight for their place in the sun.