Working with clients with serious mental health isues, i still find professional people have a certain taboo about talking and certainly listening to the issues. Wondered what fellow hubbers thought about why the whole subject of mental health remains a closed door subject dispite living in a forward thinking society......
It's a vicious cycle. People are afraid to talk about their mental illnesses because they are taboo, and they are taboo because most mentally ill people do not speak out. All we can do is be the change we wish to see in the world, to quote Gandhi, and educate ourselves and those around us.
For example, it is one of my pet peeves when people confuse schizophrenia with dissociative identity disorder (formerly "multiple personality disorder"). I try to be patient and simply explain it in a matter-of-fact way when I hear people misspeak. I'm also very open about my own eating disordered history. If I talk about it casually, without shame, I believe it helps others see the issue as less weighted (no pun intended) and feel comfortable asking questions.
The point is why would people not speak out when they have an illness - hence remains taboo.
You speak sense Maddie, with my own disorded eating history, a few years ago, it remained a 'secret' to other than those nearest and dearest - so to speak!
Now working with personality disorder and schizophrenia - as in two entirely different illnesses, I still find its left in the closet so to speak....
How can it be taboo when it is almost center of attention for almost all problems.
it remains a taboo subject dispite being the centre of many issues. Not entirely sure why though!
I have a woman friend who has dissociative identity disorder, or as she sometimes likes to say, "the government has certified me crazy." As with many people who have that diagnosis, she suffered horrible abuse as a very young child and managed to find a way to cope and survive.
The fact that her attitude or viewpoint can shift radically when she gets upset (as a result of another personality taking the reins) or learning the reason why tends to make a lot of people extremely uncomfortable around her. I can only guess the element of unpredictability is too much for some, or her willingness to honestly say "what her deal is" can be too much for others. The fact that I'm willing to accept that sometimes she's going to be a dichotomy or paradox is why we have a friendship.
In truth, she's no more or less difficult to be friends with than "sane" people.
This is a great issue to discuss here! I have often considered the reasons people can't openly deal with all kinds of psychiatric problems - I believe, bottom line, it has to do with how educated people are about these things. Just like with so many other social issues, people are willing to discuss and accept people's psychiatric problems depending on how much they have learned about them and how they learned in an accepting atmosphere of compassion. Problem is, some people are just not willing to learn about it and continue to have misinformation that is dangerous and mean. It is so important for people who have disorders, which are certainly not their fault, to know that people will accept them for who they are.
But I had to learn that there are people you will share with and others you won't, and times and places you will share and others that aren't appropriate. Unless I'm willing to educate people (in a gentle way) about these disorders I don't discuss them. There are my problems and there are my friends problems. It isn't a good thing to share indiscriminately - just like you don't come out as gay to everyone you know, probably or tell everyone about someone else's problems when it is not their business to know. Best not to gossip about these things. I think it is wonderful that in general, these topics are now more openly discussed - movies and talk shows are actually educating millions so there will be less and less stigma attached. Our media people for the most part are helping enormously!
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