[QUOTE=badgergirl;1229509]giving a set of behaviours a name does not a disease make - it's simply a diagnosis.[/QUOTE]
And that is my major issue. It seems far too easy to diagnose a set of often ambiguous symptoms to label someone as mentally ill. If I had a dollar for every kid I taught with ADD/ADHD/etc I would have been the best paid teacher in 3 states. My roommate from college is disabled due to 'anxiety' which only seems to mean "I can't work" He has no anxiety at parades, clubs, parties, the mall, social events, occupy wallstreet rallies...only when it comes to getting a job. Now, that is not to say that there are not those who really have these issues. There are. My best friend growing up had a bipolar mom and she was/is definitely mentally ill (meaning no disrespect, merely that she is in no way faking it). There are also those crippled by depression and anxiety. There just seems to be no good way to separate the wheat from the chaff, especially when so many profit from selling pills, seeing patients, getting disability etc.
[QUOTE=canio6;1229517]And that is my major issue. It seems far too easy to diagnose a set of often ambiguous symptoms to label someone as mentally ill. If I had a dollar for every kid I taught with ADD/ADHD/etc I would have been the best paid teacher in 3 states. [U]My roommate from college is disabled due to 'anxiety' which only seems to mean "I can't work" He has no anxiety at parades, clubs, parties, the mall, social events, occupy wallstreet rallies...only when it comes to getting a job. Now, that is not to say that there are not those who really have these issues. There are. [/U] My best friend growing up had a bipolar mom and she was/is definitely mentally ill (meaning no disrespect, merely that she is in no way faking it). There are also those crippled by depression and anxiety. There just seems to be no good way to separate the wheat from the chaff, especially when so many profit from selling pills, seeing patients, getting disability etc.[/QUOTE]
Ok... that I don't even understand as a person who formerly had serious anxiety and PTSD.
My anxiety was in all social situations except for the smallest family gatherings of ONLY a few immediate family members in a familiar family members home.
Even in a familiar family members home if there were rarely seen family members, friends of the family, or some unknown guests my anxiety was pinged.
Social situations in any public area were a million times worse.
Public situations with no social interaction for the most part, such as going to get groceries on my own, were day by day...
I just can't imagine having that specific an anxiety, except as a type of "performance anxiety" I suppose.
Pills don't cure this... THERAPY.
I hate America and it's Pills for the Brain culture.
Sure pills can smooth things out for you while you get the therapy, or can be a real long term help for those with chemical imbalance. But most people with things like anxiety and PTSD are stick in a bad pattern like being on a roundabout, not people who have genetic predisposition to chemical whackery.
I think there may be a small minority of people who are biologically fucked up and need the adjustment meds. About half the people, I'd say, have a "true" version of the illness, i.e. it's not the pill pushers trying to make them shut up and get in line. The rest need to nut up and step away from the doc. Deal with the grief by dealing with it, not taking a pill. Most teenagers aren't bipolar, they're teenagers. Unless the kid is like my middle sister and needs ADHD meds so the rest of the world doesn't kill her, don't put your artistic/ slow learner/ different learner on pills. Fear of public speaking is not GAD (usually.)
As someone who has been diagnosed hypomaniac/ major depressive/ dysthmic/ PTSD/ GAD/ combined ADHD, I can tell you that most docs want you to sit down, shut up, and take the pills. Do I exhibit symptoms of all of these at some point? Hell yes. Doesn't mean I need drugs. when I told the doc I wanted to try a diet, therapy, and exercise approach, I got looked at like I grew a third eye and told "why not just take the medication?"
From my perspective, normal is a statistic. It doesn't exist. Never has. Give a shrink a "normal" person and they'll walk out with a diagnosis. Everyone has depressive/ ADHD/ bipolar/ younameit days, to some degree. some just have it worse and more constantly than others.
I'd say probably half the people being medicated don't need it. Another quarter only need it as a crutch until they face their demons or when then face their demons. There are true schizophrenics/ bipolars/ dysthmics/ ADDs/ etc that do need meds to survive. Even as a mental health patient myself, I believe most folks need to nut up and deal with the issue (if you need the crutch, don't make it permanent) or nut up and control their damn kids (the occasional spanking won't kill them or scar them.)
From an n=1 perspective, I'd say much of it falls to eating junk and not nutting up. Not always, but mostly. I cut the sugar, that shit died down to a tolerable level. I cut out processed food, it mostly went away. I've seen others do it, time and again. THere's something about an excess of sugar, junk oils, and a lack of saturated oils that fucks with the brain. It's also partially genetic, and I wonder if fetal nutrition also plays a role. If it's a chemical imbalance that happens later in life (adult onset bipolar and biological depression), how did it happen? Can that imbalance be reversed without drugs once we know what caused it? If synapses are failing, there's a reason the imbalance is there. Why is it there? I've seen no studies looking into that cause of low serotonin or low lithium or high wtfever, only that these chemicals artificially raise it.
If anyone needs to explain depression to someone who doesn't have it- this is an awesome description of it: [url=http://blessedwildapplegirl.tumblr.com/post/48217094235/depression-is-humiliating-it-turns-intelligent]blessed wild apple girl - Depression is humiliating. It turns intelligent,...[/url]
I think the problem with mental illness is that it is chemical, situational, and/or habitual. I'm also increasingly convinced it's a result of malnutrition and mis-nutrition. I have dysthemia (possibly chemical and/or habits and/or nutrition), SAD (chemical, but not helped by poor habits and nutrition), and I'm just getting over another round of situational depression (reading a book about abusive relationships and checking off boxes from how your [I]job[/I] made you feel is not cool). I've been on drugs, and I got little from them except for the side-effects. I've done therapy and how much it helped depended a lot on the therapist. My supplements are helping the physical parts, but I've still got mental habits that are inhibiting me.
I guess what I'm trying to say is- there's a reason it's harder to understand than most medical things :D
Maybe I should make note that I got my degree in 2000 - so a lot has changed since then. Personally I believe a LOT of "mental illnesses" are caused from malnutrition and imbalances that the world of pharmaceuticals can't fix. I think we have an epidemic of ADD and ADHD kids because of all the crap we're feeding them. Fake food doesn't nourish the brain.
^Tomi, I agree, but I also think that's not enough in a lot of cases. Myself being one. Good food has not been enough. Maybe it will just take longer, but [[shrug]]
Good conversation here, folks.
No, I'm not saying its the cause for ALL mental/emotional issues. There are certainly real cases of chemical imbalances that are fixed/treated only with medical intervention.
My sister suffers with terrible depression/anxiety and at one time had multiple personalities. (yes, I knew many of them!) Her issues were not caused by anything food or nutrient related. She had been sexual abused as a very young girl and for a long time. She was also born at 6 months gestation, and in 1957 that was too young to survive - but survive she did. I have always wondered if that had something to do with the problems she had. Possibly she was less able to cope with the abuse than if she had been a full-term baby? Who knows.
Schizophrenia is certainly not due to a lack of some vitamin or mineral either. Although I once knew a woman who had been diagnosed with schizophrenia and then a naturopathic doctor put her on HIGH doses of supplements and after several years she was fine. In fact she was a very intelligent and capable woman.
Just saying I think there are lots of mental/emotional cases that could be helped or prevented with proper nutrition.
And I'm not advocating that therapy fixes everything either. As with so many things, the situation is complex, often very individual and medicine - both disciplines involved - does not have all the answers.
Hmm...thanks all for the thoughts. It is indeed a confusing subject. There are so many things that it could be. Nutrition? Sure makes sense - junk food, low quality crap, and boxed garbage. Lifestyle - yup. When I was a kid it was school then outside running around until dusk. Now it is video games, smart phones, and netflicks. Poor parenting - yup - mom and dad (or just mom/dad due to divorce etc) working tons of hours and junior left to his own devices. The permissive culture of 'anything goes'. Also there are those that have brains which are just not wired correctly (or chemicals unbalanced or whatever). All in all, I guess we are all a bit f*cked up.
I once had a young lady in a bar define "normal" as maladjusted to the proper degree.... I think she was right. "Normal" is a range of acceptable behaviors, and that "range" has shifted over time. What we consider "normal" today would have been completely unacceptable in 1800.
Also, some of the diagnostic criteria have shifted as well.... which is why we are on DSM6 now...
Technology has changed as well. Communication is faster, and because of that, we hear about things that happen that 50 years ago we probably never would have heard about. Population has increased, and the incidence of mental disease will increase right along with it.
This is a multi-faceted issue, and I'm not sure if anyone can really get a handle on all of the aspects that impact mental illness.