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Mental Illness: Are we all crazy, or do we just think we are?
ObiWanKenobi
post Aug 4 2012, 01:42 PM
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What better way for me to get involved with the forums than with some good ole-fashioned debate?

I come to you truly curious. Anecdotes are welcome, but I'd really like to see your opinion on the subject. It's some pretty good food for thought, at least. Now, we all know what mental illness is. Everyone these days has one, it seems. "So-and-so has ADHD, he needs to take his pills!" or "Oh, I always get depressed in the wintertime." I'd like to know what you think along [mainly] two lines of thought. Feel free to introduce more, of course, I just felt like it would be a good starting place.

Over a year ago, I was hospitalized. I was kept there for eight days, and came out with a brand new diagnosis to add to my ever-growing bundle: According to this particular hospital, I had borderline personality disorder. My psychiatrist had previously decided I had bipolar II, whereas my very first diagnosis two years before had been simply depression. Since then, another therapist has added that she believes I also have ADD. I'm starting to juggle an awful lot of opinions and diagnoses as to just what my brain is doing to me.

On the one hand, I can see how each and every one of those diagnoses could make sense. It's a pick-and-choose your symptoms sort of thing. I've read that medical students do this all the time-- when they're reading about all these illnesses, they think they're coming down with them and start freaking out at the slightest sneeze. In my case, it began with, "Aha! I see I'm depressed! I connect the dots and see that it makes sense!" Later, when my doctors crossed out depression and replaced it with bipolar II, guess what I thought? "Aha! I see I'm bipolar! I connect the dots and see that it makes sense!" When I was told I had BPD and ADD... well, I'm sure you can think of what I was thinking. Then I took a step back, looked at all the initials, and something felt off. Was it possible for one person to be all of these? Was there a label for every single thing I did and thought?

Maybe the hospital had only wanted to fill the space in on my diagnosis form, or maybe it was a rushed diagnosis. They only knew me for 8 days, and they weren't exactly the most flattering. Then again, maybe I truly do have BPD and I'm just overanalyzing. These days, I identify simply as bipolar II, which makes the most sense to me. And now whenever I look at people, and they list off their different medications, I wonder... do they truly need it? Or is our society just more comfortable with putting a label to things they don't understand?

What do you think, GTS+?


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DJ Majja Kool
post Aug 5 2012, 01:33 PM
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I think people are often misdiagnosed with a mental or psychological disorder. There are doctors and psychologists who will diagnose a patient with a disorder who has (a) personality trait(s) associated with the disorder in question, while the "symptom(s)" may just be (a) personal quirk(s) or not actually extreme enough for it to be a disorder. Just because a person has mood swings doesn't mean he/she is bipolar, for example. There are also people who self-diagnose that have little understanding of the disorder they assume to have (or are making their problems out to be a lot more severe than they actually are).

I myself was misdiagnosed with OCD. Unfortunately, a lot of people seem to think that OCD = wanting everything to be clean, organized in a specific order, and/or facing a certain way. I did research on the disorder after being misdiagnosed, and it revolves more around repetitive actions than cleanliness and organization. People with OCD might wash their hands until they bleed (I mean this literally), or go back to make sure they locked the door 36 times every day before leaving for school/work. If OCD was as simple as liking things to be clean and organized, at least 90% of the population would have it.

This post has been edited by Facing 3 Admirals: Aug 5 2012, 01:35 PM


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DaemonicFae
post Aug 24 2012, 07:34 PM
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I really like to think that I don't have Bipolar or PDD-NOS, but I literally can't function the same way as people who don't (sometimes not at all). Even though the medications they tried on me made things worse, there's definitely something off about me. I have a family history of pretty much everything I'm diagnosed with (not just that shit, but those are the most problematic as of now).

I thought the same stuff when I looked at the symptoms and how they diagnose you. I dislike psychologists and psychiatrists because they're wrong a lot, and some are so stubborn in admitting it that it's harmful. One even wanted to medicate me for ADHD, which most people can tell you I obviously don't have. The medication for ADHD is a heavily controlled substance that gives horrible hallucinations to people with Bipolar disorder. It took me forever to get to a neurologist, but that was much more helpful than this bullshit.

I don't know about you, this just is my experience. :/
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Yuno Gasai
post Dec 2 2012, 03:27 PM
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I guess it really just depends on the person, the situation and their supposed diagnosis...
Being diagnosed with anorexia nervosa, had you asked me after the initial diagnosis, I'd have out right denied it. Even now, I still have doubts. From a medical point of view it's pretty obvious, in the last couple of years my BMI has only ever gone above 16 while I've been force fed in hospital. I've met girls in far worse condition than myself who will deny they have a problem and a big part of their recovery is acknowledging and accepting that their diagnosis is real.

I suppose we just have to trust the professionals to diagnose patients properly with mental health issues. If they get it wrong it can seriously impact a patient the same way any misdiagnosed physical problem could.


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colourcodedchaos
post Dec 8 2012, 08:21 PM
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You know what I think? I think that occasional overdiagnosis doesn't and shouldn't devalue mental illness, and I can't stand the people who deliberately underplay the severity of it. You know the type; the people who say that you can just "get over it," as if there's a great big button on your brain with MENTALLY HEALTHY written on it in big, friendly letters and you're only not pushing it because you want to be different, or edgy, or hipsterish, or (and this is my personal favourite) "because you want people to treat you better." I love that one, mostly because I cannot find work of any meaningful sort because I have both severe Asperger's Syndrome and clinical depression. Am I being bitter about this? Yes. Yes I am. Feeling angry is better than feeling nothing at all.


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The Winnebago
post Dec 10 2012, 01:56 AM
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Lately it seems ADD = This kid ain't paying attention in school.

Odd, hm?
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Shiny Vulpix
post Jan 21 2013, 06:01 PM
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QUOTE(Facing 3 Admirals @ Aug 5 2012, 10:33 AM) *
I myself was misdiagnosed with OCD. Unfortunately, a lot of people seem to think that OCD = wanting everything to be clean, organized in a specific order, and/or facing a certain way. I did research on the disorder after being misdiagnosed, and it revolves more around repetitive actions than cleanliness and organization. People with OCD might wash their hands until they bleed (I mean this literally), or go back to make sure they locked the door 36 times every day before leaving for school/work. If OCD was as simple as liking things to be clean and organized, at least 90% of the population would have it.

Yes, exactly! It really irks me that pretty much everyone I meet says they have OCD. I was diagnosed with OCD, and while cleanliness and germs are a factor in it, I have very repetitive compulsions. It's a difficult disorder.


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BarkingChaos
post Jan 21 2013, 08:58 PM
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I was misdiagnosed with ADHD in elementary school. Luckily, my mom actually has a degree in mental health and objected to that. The real problem was that I was bored in school because the work was too easy, and I'd get done and have nothing to do for 20 minutes.

But anyway, I really hate it when people have to self diagnose themselves. It's almost like it ends up becoming a "status" symbol, which is disgusting. Why the heck would you be PROUD of the fact you seem to be under the delusion that you decided for yourself you have ADD, OCD, ect? No. Just, no. Some people actually have to deal with this sort of thing because they really do have it, and I'm not saying that these people shouldn't tell others, it's the people who THINK they have it when they know nothing about it that irks me.
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Gryphaena
post Jun 3 2013, 02:25 PM
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According to NAMI, the National Association for Mental Illness, 1 in 4 Americans are diagnosed with a mental illness each year so I think it is more common than not to have a mental illness (in my country at least). I don't know the statistics for other countries.

I have psychosis not otherwise specified. I had a psychotic episode along with delusions, depression and thoughts of suicide. I had so many auditory hallucinations while I was hospitalized for a week they thought I had schizophrenia.

I manage my symptoms with medication, sleep and avoiding stressful situations.


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