Netflix Picks: Call Me Crazy
A Few Cards Short of a Full Deck
Perhaps it is due to the shocking nature of extreme mental illness, but many people would prefer to laugh at those struggling with the reality of a chemical imbalance or emotional dysfunction. Mental illness is no laughing matter. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 1 in 4 adults in America has a diagnosable mental illness. Disorder covered in this film are:
- Schizophrenia- An abnormal interpretation of reality. It can be accompanied with auditory and visual hallucinations. It typically does not cause violence but it does happen at times.
- Bipolar Disorder- A mood disorder. Also known as manic depressive disorder. It causes severe mood swings ranging from extreme bliss to paralyzing depression.
- Depression (male)- Note: Male depression differs from female depression in many distinct ways. Male depression is difficult to diagnose typically because it shows up as anger or escapism, which many spouses may interpret as a sign of infidelity rather than mental instability. Also, society does not embrace a man who emotes, so expressing feelings other than Super Bowl joy and sadness at a funeral is difficult for most men.
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder-a mental health issue where a violent reaction is triggered after a trauma has been suffered. Many sufferers experience flashbacks, anxiety and night terrors. The most challenging aspect of this is disorder is assessing the damage. No one knows what their trigger is until they experience the negative response.
Crazy Is As Crazy Does
High Functioning Dysfunctionals
Mental illness affects people of all socioeconomic backgrounds. The stereotype of being a homeless crazy is the furthest from the norm. Educated professionals are just as prone to a psychotic break as those from a less promising background. Most patients struggle with accepting their need to take medication for a disorder beyond their control. They usually fall into what is known as partial non-adherence, a sort of rebellion against the program. This leads to denial, because the initial day or two after the medication isn't taken, no extreme symptoms occur. As soon as a level of control is perceived, a relapse occurs, and the victims are usually family members and medical staff. The shame of being labeled also encourages non adherence. The idea that a person can just "get a grip" or lacks maturity and wants attention is enough to drive a person away from seeking help.
Call Me Crazy
Taking Down the Beast
If you or someone you care about is suffering with a mental disorder on any level, there are some ways to handle the situation with kid gloves.
- Seek professional help immediately. You do not want to lose friends, family, or employment because you are too prideful to seek help. Many programs are free, but some are limited to your insurance.
- Do not laugh at those who may be in need of help. Many people who need help are fearful of the scrutiny they may receive. If you do find that someone you know is exhibiting symptoms of a deeper issue, make sure you create an atmosphere of compassion when speaking to them. Also, do so in private.
- Guilt your loved one into seeking help. Yes, it is manipulative, but guilt sometimes helps people push past their fears and seek the greater good. If you see signs of chronic depression in a single parent, for instance, inform him or her of the legal consequences of neglecting their child. Sometimes the things we are not strong enough to do for ourselves are easily done for our children.
- Consider changing your diet or adapting an exercise regimen. Exercise releases endorphins, and constipation causes moodiness. Consider the entire system of your body before you take medication.
"We Whisper Mental Health Issues"
Help for the Youth
The above video presents some poignant facts about the isolation people place on themselves when they have mental health challenges of their own or within their family. The fear becoming a burden is the main reason many people don't ask for help. Also, many people don't know the distinction between, for instance, the expected sadness following a loved one's passing, and a prolonged sadness caused by a chemical imbalance.
Children with mental health issues are the most neglected. Adolescent suicide is on the rise. All mental health issues are further neglected when we misinterpret the signs.
Educating yourself, being in touch with your emotions, and being present when interacting with your family and friends are the best ways to effectively combat mental health illness in your life and community.