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December 3, 2012
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Mental disorders and mental health issues

:iconnewyorkmornings:
newyorkmornings Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2012  Student Writer
My mother thinks I should toughen up and just 'get over' my issues, but I find it hard to get out of bed on a morning never mind that. Do you think people with mental issues should just grow up and fix things, or do you think its much harder than that? I tell her this but she twists and makes me think other things. Do you think its even possible for someone to get over mental issues on their own? I'm talking about things like anxiety, depression, suicidal ideation, anger problems, things like that. Also, how do you think they develop? I'm interested in all kinds of speculation on this subject?
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:iconangelxxuan:
angelxxuan Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2012  Student General Artist
I got mental disorders and you can't "grow out of them" or "get over them" you have to get tools in order to deal with them and cope and people who should try meetings, classes/etc/other in order to cope with a person who has mental disorders. like counseling/family counseling sort thing. typically mental disorders are genetic but sometimes they are environmental.
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:iconcait-cait93:
Cait-Cait93 Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
I think it's much more than being told to "get over it". I've suffered from being bi-polar, depressed, and suicidal most of my life. I'm actually looking at a disorder call BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder), because that seems to fit my behaviors and mood better than anything else I've found so far. If I could "get over it", I would very gladly do so. It's hard to wake up sometimes, it's hard to smile and act like it's ok when all I want to do is stay hidden in my room, away from people. It's something that can be helped, but it takes patience and understanding and support. No offense but your mom sounds like a manipulative and close minded woman if she treats you that way. I think you can get professional help, or that with the right support you can learn to cope with and live with your depression on your own. Again, it takes patience and support.

*hug* If you need to talk, I'll listen without judgement.
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:iconcait-cait93:
Cait-Cait93 Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
And to follow that up, being depressed and anxious can physically harm you. It can actually kill someone. It's a very serious thing.

How it develops? It's a chemical unbalance in the brain. It's one reason people go onto medicine for it, to help the chemicals stabilize or some such. I feel it is hereditary, but that you can become depressed over time by constantly being in positions that hurt you, that make you feel bad about yourself, that make you feel worthless, etc; (such as physical abuse, sexual abuse, mental abuse, so on and so forth).
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:iconbrainninja11:
brainninja11 Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2012  Student General Artist
People can and have gotten over problems like depression on their own. I did. However, I in no way think that it's the kind of thing that most people can do. My girlfriend has depression, and I can honestly say that she almost certainly can't get over it alone. She needs anti depressants and people to talk to (sometimes therapy). You shouldn't feel like a weak person for having these problems, because it's not something you can control. Often when people with depression or suicidal tendencies try to get over it alone, it ends badly.
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:icontheliarwolfram:
TheLiarWolfram Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2012  Student Filmographer
It'd be cool if I could will my hallucinations and abandonment issues away. It'd be cool not to have borderline personality disorder. :iconfacepalmplz: Mental illness is no different than any other illness. If people treated any other sickness the way they treat mental illness, it'd be deplorable, and your mom should know that.
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:iconsaintartaud:
saintartaud Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2012  Professional General Artist
Easier said than done.

While I do think there are cases where people are being over-diagnosed or there is a certain level of placebo effect with medications, just telling someone to toughen up doesn't really help anyone. The issue you're dealing with may not be a deep clinical depression that requires medication, it could just be teenage hormones creating extreme mood swings, or other similar factors (low blood sugar exacerbates mood swings for me). It might also be a real depressive episode w/o being a deep clinical depression. Medication might help, but so might therapy; many psychiatrists recommend a combination of both. People like your parents often dismiss therapy as well, I'm not sure. Then again, pursuing self-help means looking outside yourself for resources.

I'd also add that for someone experiencing depression, it's very hard to even seek help or to imagine that there's a way of fixing the problem. So you're not really inclined to do so, which can be pretty dangerous. Telling someone to toughen up can actually exacerbate feelings of low self-worth, since you see yourself as incapable of even that. I'm quite familiar with this way of thinking.
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:iconskulkey:
skulkey Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
it would be pretty fucking awesome if i could will myself to never have a seizure again without meds.
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:iconghostinthepines:
GhostInThePines Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
[link]

This link provides a pretty interesting conversation about drug companies, research, anti-depressants, placebos, and other psych drugs. He's talking primarily about American and Canadian medicine, but I'm sure people in other parts of the world would find this video interesting too.

I happen to think that American culture at least is too drug-depended and really needs to work on getting away from the idea that pills can cure everything. Sometimes a little hard work, both with help and without it, does more good for a person in the long run than just turning to meds.
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
How do you grow up and fix the chemicals in your brain?

Hey, Type 1 diabetes is just an insulin deficiency, similar to how depression is (I'm way oversimplifying) just a serotonin deficiency. WILLPOWER YAY.
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:icondebra-marie:
Debra-Marie Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2012  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
If they were impossible to overcome, you'd probably be living in a mental hospital. I know its hard, but I have anxiety/depression too. Or maybe I should say they are controllable, I still get anxious, but I believe I can either get better, or get worse. (you couldn't stop anxiety/depression 100% because everyone gets nervous and sad sometimes...) You just gotta find what works for you. I think it can develop through anything, for me it was hereditary.
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:iconkalinka-shadows:
Kalinka-Shadows Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2012
There are two kinds of mental illnesses in my view. Psychological mental illness, which is learned behavior. (generally from some kind of trauma.) I think some of this can be fixed if we as people see justice or resolution for what caused it.

Then there are physical mental illness. This is when there is something physically wrong with your brain, and this requires drugs or surgery to repair.
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:iconcarusmm:
carusmm Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Nothing is more fake than reality or more beautiful.
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:iconalzircon:
alzircon Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
If you're a teenager, it is possible that it's just chemical imbalance/puberty and your suicidal thoughts and depression will eventually fade away as you get older as it did with me and most of my friends.
Of course, I can't know the truth with what's actually going on with you, but just thought I'd put it out there as an option. If it's interfering with your everyday life, I'd seek professional help.:nod:
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:iconnewyorkmornings:
newyorkmornings Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2012  Student Writer
Even if it was that in the first place, I've screwed up my serotonin levels with drugs (I know) apparently
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:iconiriastar:
Iriastar Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2012
Yes, it is possible. How much effort you have to put to accomplish it, is another thing.
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:iconlbthecc:
LBtheCC Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
There's certainly a line between normal sadness in response to life events and depression. Same for anxiety (normal stress vs pathology). That line can be kinda vague and fuzzy.

I'd be inclined to think that people with real chemical inbalances need therapy and pills. Period. They couldn't get over things on their own if they wanted to.

I'd also be inclined to think that people tend to overpathologize normal responses, or for that matter, overdramatize. Sometimes all a person needs to get over their "depression" is love, support, and a feeling of empowerment to overcome their obstacles. If you're stuck in a situation that can't be fixed and you've got no one to talk to about it, then of course you'll feel sad. Who wouldn't?

Meanwhile, in neither situation is "tough love" and "buck up" going to work to reverse it.
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:iconcarusmm:
carusmm Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
When the world is mad, madness is normal.
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:iconpuppy-dangerous:
puppy-dangerous Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2012  Professional Artisan Crafter
You can't just 'fix' it any more than you can think away a broken leg.

Yes, you can do nothing and leave it to heal on its own, and you may wind up functional afterward. You may be able to treat it yourself- as you could splint your own leg- and through your own care and efforts heal yourself. You can go to a professional and have your leg cared for and heal under their supervision.

Just like any injury or illness, these sometimes need a doctor. And, just like any other injury or illness, they may heal very quickly with the correct treatment- whether that is meds or just rest- or may be chronic issues that require lifelong treatment.

When treating a mental illness, it is important to make sure you take a two step approach- the first step is to control how you are acting and feeling IMMEDIATELY, which usually means chemicals. The SECOND part is the really important one, and the part that the majority of people skip- TREAT THE PROBLEM.

If you went in with a broken leg, you wouldn't just want pain pills to make you stop hurting- you'd want it in a cast until it heals, then you want the cast off so you can go back to your normal life. Same with mental illnesses.

Just taking chemicals won't actually cure your problem, any more than taking pain pills heals your broken leg.

The idea NEEDS to be- on the patients part- to get temporary treatment until you can alter your situation enough to function normally again.

Of course, there are cases when the illness is something that will need treatment forever. Sometimes your brain really just isn't made quite right and you need to keep it in line with artificial means. But most of the time, it's not like that.

It doesn't matter what the disorder is, for everybody it's going to be personal whether they can heal or not. There are just way to many factors to determine off the bat who can do it and who can't.

Mental illness is partially genetic and partially environmental. Neither of these, or even both together, mean you ARE going to have problems. It just means you MIGHT. You should be aware and monitor yourself. If your family has a history of breast cancer, you make sure to check them regularly. If your family has a history of mental illnesses, treat it the same way- keep an eye out for signs something is going wrong.

Depression, or any mental illness, is 'sever' when it interferes with your daily life. There isn't a line it crosses when it suddenly become something you need to treat- it is different for each person. The defining part of a disorder is that it INTERFERES WITH YOUR LIFE. If you can't do what you need to do, or want to do, then it's time to get treatment. Depression can just be having absolutely nothing you like or are interested in, ever- or it can be experiencing so much emotional and physical pain and exhaustion that you literally cannot get out of bed.
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:iconstaple-salad:
staple-salad Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2012
I think it's more than just that.

I'm depressed, and there are days when I can barely function if I don't have medication. Some days I can't separate my desire to jump off something or into something from most things I do. My dad often tells me to "just be happy" but it's really not that simple. If you could just MAKE yourself happy when you're depressed, or anxious, etc. then there wouldn't be a need for shrinks or mental health medicine.

I think most people have something different that causes it, especially since with the DSM V that's coming out, that you may qualify for "depression" when you're sad because someone dies. And I know where the root of my depression is (I can't pay my bills, I feel caged, I hate where I live with a passion, I almost never see my friends, there are none of the things I'm interested in here, I'm stuck here just to support someone who refuses to move but is unemployed, I feel my life slipping away, I have no idea who I am, I've lost interest in most of the things I used to love, my life no longer has meaning for me, and I have nobody to talk to, etc). If I could move about a 1 hour drive away, 99% of my problems would disappear. But I'm trapped so I use depression meds to avoid becoming an alcoholic and to avoid one day going from thinking about suicide and hurting myself to actually doing something.

On the other hand I have a friend who said she could feel her brain misfiring. My boyfriend was on depression meds because he had a somewhat abusive step-father and that's what the doctors said to do. I think the overwhelming reason though comes down to an overwhelming amount of stress that you can't find a way to handle or deal with.
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:iconstaple-salad:
staple-salad Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2012
So, it's definitely not as simple as toughening up. A lot of the causes are outside someone's control and the only thing that will help is love, understanding, support, and sometimes a good does of meds.
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:iconferricplushy:
FerricPlushy Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2012  Hobbyist Artist
Aside from professional help, regardless of whether or not you can afford or acquire it, you have to get over your mental issues. No one's going to help you, no one's going to fix these issues for you, you're the only one that can fix this. I don't know what kind of person or event these people expect but I assure you they're not coming.
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:iconkaikaku:
kaikaku Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
People with mental illnesses should get the help they need. There's no shame in it. You are a strong person for recognizing that you need help. Your mom is incorrect, people with mental illness cannot be expected to simply 'toughen up' and 'get over' their problems. It isn't easy. And sometimes you need professional help.

I'm going to go against the grain a little and say that yes it is possible to get over mental issues on your own. It's also possible to fall from a 2-story building and walk away with minor injuries. In other words: Yeah you can find examples of people who have done it, but don't count on it working that way for you. I've dealt with serious depression before on my own, and I've never actually been on medication; but I know that not everyone is like me, not everyone's depression is the same, and what works for one person might not work for another. You have to find a solution that works for you, and it sounds like you recognize your limitations.

There are a variety of reasons that mental illnesses develop. Some are situational problems, some are learned patterns of behaviour, and of course some are physical. It's complicated.
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:iconemilyericson:
emilyericson Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
You don't need to "toughen up" and just get over anything. You need love and support and to be surrounded by people who understand that depression is a medical condition and medical conditions need some form of treatment. You need to seek help and your mother needs to seek knowledge. I hope you are able to get well.
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:iconzinc-tails:
Zinc-Tails Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
People who believe you can treat everything with good vibes and a cheery attitude typically know next to nothing of what they are talking about. Mental illnesses are hardly that simple. They have a variety of complex causes ranging from the physical, mental, and yes emotional. While you can work to make your situation better, it's likely you won't fully overcome it on your own.
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:icon0rg:
0rg Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2012
you're obviously sane enough to create this thread, so yeah, get over it
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:iconvanhir:
Vanhir Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Yeah, right before taking a bit out of the keyboard she is. :stare:
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:iconbullet-magnet:
Bullet-Magnet Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2012
If they could then they wouldn't be illnesses. I have depression, and it's infuriating when people advise me to "cheer up." It's a physiological thing, I can no more "cheer up" than a diabetic can chow down on a Mars Bar without advanced planning, or a quadriplegic can get out of his chair.

Altering my brain chemistry takes that edge off. I don't much like that idea, but an alteration of my brain chemistry is what the problem is, and that happened all by itself.
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:iconmondu:
mondu Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2012
Ask your mother if she thinks that the brain is the only organ in the body that doesn't get sick.

Some mental problems have a very real chemical and biological basis. Telling someone with clinical depression to "get over it" is like telling a diabetic to "get over it."
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:iconsvataben:
Svataben Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Such a good point. :nod:
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:iconproductno49:
productno49 Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2012  Professional General Artist
these things are generally pointers saying you're doing something wrong in your life or that you're not living according to how you should. people pop pills in hopes for a quick fix because its so much harder to fix problems by yourself or changing your life.
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:iconsvataben:
Svataben Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
"people pop pills in hopes for a quick fix because its so much harder to fix problems by yourself or changing your life."
Well, that put us in our place, doesn't it. Forget me chemical imbalance in the brain, I was just popping pills to avoid dealing. Good to know.


Ignorant.
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:iconproductno49:
productno49 Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2012  Professional General Artist
eh
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:iconsahidenethare:
SahidenEthare Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2012   Writer
I don't know if I should feel insulted because of his complete disregard for facts or sad over the death of his brain.
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:iconsvataben:
Svataben Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I just hope he never gets the chance to spawn.

I also just noticed my typo. Now I can only read my statement in a big fake Irish accent: "Forget me chemical imbalance" :lol:
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:iconsahidenethare:
SahidenEthare Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2012   Writer
Yeah. :lol: Is it bad I can imagine a depressed leprechaun saying that now?
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:iconsvataben:
Svataben Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Not at all! I'm thinking of the one from The Simpsons.
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:iconsahidenethare:
SahidenEthare Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2012   Writer
:giggle:
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:iconnewyorkmornings:
newyorkmornings Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2012  Student Writer
I can't really escape my situation though
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:iconproductno49:
productno49 Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2012  Professional General Artist
but you can change the way you relate to the situation though
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:iconbullet-magnet:
Bullet-Magnet Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2012
It's even harder when you're sunk in a hole of despair, unable to even contemplate a future in which you are happy or even still alive. That's what the pills are there for.

It's difficult to plot a way out of that situation when all your brain is capable of is plotting its own demise.
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:iconproductno49:
productno49 Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2012  Professional General Artist
pills are just masturbation. depression is a sign for you to change your life internally. pills only take off the pain for a period of time, but the same pain comes back(unless you became a braindead vegetable by the time)
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:iconkaikaku:
kaikaku Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I find it so disappointing that many of the people who have concerns about the standard of care in psychiatric treatment express it in such horrible ways. You're not helping. You're just stigmatizing the idea of taking medications. Not everyone's experience with depression is going to be the same as yours.
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:iconproductno49:
productno49 Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2012  Professional General Artist
"I find it so disappointing that many of the people who have concerns about the standard of care in psychiatric treatment express it in such horrible ways."
hehe maybe you've put your expectations too high thinking that there are no idiots like me out there.

all i was saying is that people jump too quickly at medication. besides, the effects of medication wear off after time, then what? you're going to have to face yourself one day or the other.

"Not everyone's experience with depression is going to be the same as yours."
on the surface they all seem different but at the root and base of it, its all the same, just a sign for you to change something in yourself. after that its up to the individual to decide how to deal with it.
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:iconkaikaku:
kaikaku Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
See that's the thing. I don't think you're an idiot. I had to deal with people insisting that drugs were the only way that someone could overcome depression and yet I've gone through periods of major depression and I've always come out of it without them. If what you said the first time around is that sometimes people jump to the drugs too quickly, or that other forms of therapy might be better suited to some patients, etc etc I'd be wholeheartedly agreeing. That's not what you said, though. You said the pills are just masturbation. I mean, at least make it clear you're speaking for yourself, if someone got better and had their life turn around after taking a psychiatric medication they're going to see problems with that. Half the time when I have run-ins with the "meds are always needed, all depression is 100% physical" crowd, I can't help but wonder if they're having a pendulum reaction to all the people who insisted their illness was really just some sort of emotional problem they could have fixed.

As for your insistence that it's always a sign that people need to change something within themselves--well there's no proof of that. I agree that can be one cause but it's not the only one. I've known too many people who tried to find solutions many times over and what ultimately worked for them was the medications. Sometimes that really is the best--possibly the only--solution. I had a family member who lamented that he'd spent so many years avoiding pills and that when he started taking them things got back on track. But it means he suffered for years when what would have worked for him was available all along. Some people are greatly helped by the medications and that enables them to make the necessary changes in their life they need to recover. I've known many such people. Also, lots of people stay on them permanently. This is in fact part of the reason why I think that psychiatrists should be more hesitant to prescribe these drugs so readily, they're really more of a long-term treatment, the withdrawal from them can be awful and can cause problems. Yet I've known more than a couple people who were told to go on them even after recent bereavement, for crying out loud. They shouldn't be the first go-to-solution for all cases of depression (or things that resemble it), yet that's how they are sometimes used. :-/
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:iconsaintartaud:
saintartaud Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2012  Professional General Artist
Yet I've known more than a couple people who were told to go on them even after recent bereavement, for crying out loud.
This happened with my mother after my brother died and my boyfriend's grandmother when his grandfather died. I'm kinda on the fence about this one, because I've experienced some episodes of depression related to grieving and managed to muddle through without medication. But in their case, they simply weren't able to function over a longer term. I don't like that medication was the solution, but it did help them cope with the loss. My boyfriend's grandmother still has bad days, even with the medication.

Anyway, I used to be in the same camp as ~productno49, but experience has taught me not to jump to assumptions about each individual situation. Their approach works for me, but it doesn't work for everyone and assuming it will isn't very compassionate.
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:iconkaikaku:
kaikaku Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
PS: I'm really sorry about your brother. You've mentioned him on these boards before, and I can't even imagine what it must have been like for your family.

I'll keep your bf's grandmother in my thoughts. It isn't easy.
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:iconkaikaku:
kaikaku Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
This is such a hard subject to talk about. I've got friends who have taken my personal decision not to go on medications as an affront to their belief that depression is completely physical and beyond one's control. It's difficult to even know how to be compassionate about it, since on the one hand, I absolutely feel that if someone has a solution that works for them, they should keep at it. On the other hand, the studies I've looked at on SSRIs suggest to me that many of the people using them are actually being helped by the placebo effect. I generally feel like I can't even talk about that latter point without it igniting anger. I do not want to overstate the problem, but I have long-running concerns about how these drugs are administered, and I acknowledge that there are not simple solutions.

I don't necessarily have a problem with people making the decision to go on medications after bereavement, I just find it surprising that they get pushed in those cases. I mean, my dad told me his doctor was telling him to go on antidepressants less than two weeks after my mother died. My MIL was advised to go on them a week after she got a cancer diagnosis. It just seems too casual, sometimes. But I also understand that physicians want their patients to know they're an option.
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(1 Reply)
:iconzinc-tails:
Zinc-Tails Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
dysfunctions* To hell with auto-correct!
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:iconzinc-tails:
Zinc-Tails Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
My degree would beg to differ. You know nothing of the practice of mental health. Many disorders are caused by physical distinctions which can;t be fixed simply through a "life change". Would you tell a schizophrenic they just need to "change their life"?
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:iconproductno49:
productno49 Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2012  Professional General Artist
I never talked about schizophrenia smartass. OP was talking about depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts,etc. this is also coming from a person who is not exactly sane either and lived through moments of delusions and still do, I'd like to think that i know what im talking about.
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