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Mental Health Use this forum to share your mental health concerns and to seek advice.

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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
Steffy Offline
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Belittling mental health issues.. - April 6th 2011, 09:23 PM

Hi guys, Im not sure if something like this has been posted before, its bound to have been. Sorry in advance if it has!

But anyways, ive been struggling with clinical depression, like a lot of people do, and with generalised anxiety disorder since i was 14. Im the youngest in my family, and theres a considerable age gap between me and the rest of my siblings. In my family these things are never talked about, never mentioned, its been made little of. My mum is always calling me crazy and that Id need to go 'look about myself' which over here means 'go get help'. Shes started saying things like that to me a lot more recently, as ive gotten older. The rest of my family have had episodes of speaking to me like this as well.

I always get the feeling that they dont quite understand how hurtful and devastating their words can be, and how personal i take it because they just dont understand how difficult it is to battle something you just have not been able to get rid of for such a long time.

Im not even sure if im asking you guys a question, venting or looking to start a discussion but if anyone else experienced a time where close ones belittle your issues and just dont grasp how difficult it is to deal with a mental health issue, please do share.

It frustrates me how little understanding a lot of people have about something that so many people deal with, and that a lot of people see fit to spit out nasty things without thinking. Like "just get over it", "get over yourself", "youre ruining this family", "youre heads away with the fairies".

Im part venting, part inviting people to discuss if they want Once again, sorry if this has been done before!

Peace and love xxx

PS: Not sure if this needs a prefix.. if it.. someone let me know, dont wanna get into trouble lol!
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Re: Belittling mental health issues.. - April 8th 2011, 12:41 PM

Hey Steffy!

Nah, no worries about the prefix -- I think the thread is fine. (:

As far as this goes, I can't say that I have experienced it directly, but I do know exactly what you mean just from interacting with people. A lot of people don't understand that mental illness is often just as difficult or more difficult to deal with than physical illness.. because they can't "see" it. Of course, if you've ever experienced something like this, you know very differently!

To play the "Devil's Advocate" position, I will say that I've learned that life is much easier if you learn to have a sense of humor about serious things every once in a while. Is it a terrible way to be? All the time, probably. Does it make light of things and help people focus on the happier things in life? It very well can.

But yeah, frustrating for sure. Have you sought help for these things? From a school counselor or something of the sort? I look forward to hearing back from you. I'll be keeping you in my thoughts!

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Re: Belittling mental health issues.. - April 8th 2011, 06:49 PM

Hi Katrina! Thanks for your reply

I can see where your coming from in regards to taking a light hearted approach and i may try and attempt this, one of the many approaches Ive taken to deal with it lol! But, its worth a try

Yeah, ive been in stress management and counselling since i was 14 and i made the mistake of not really talking about it, just became "the woman that Steffy goes to see", so they have no understanding of my situation I suppose. And ill admit thats its my fault just wish they werent so horrible about it! lol

I really appreciate your reply Thank you
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Re: Belittling mental health issues.. - April 8th 2011, 09:43 PM

Mental health issues in general receive more stigma than general (i.e. non-mental) health issues. It's from various reasons but generally it stems from being uneducated about the illnesses and often there's a fear associated with the illnesses from the idea that people are unable to control/unwilling to control themselves despite the detrimental consequences. Your best chance is to see some humour in what's being said and either have your counselor talk with your family, you try to talk to your family about how it is making you feel some more or, if all else fails, say you're getting better. Of all the ways, I'd say the light-hearted approach would be the best as it shows your family you're getting better and can make you feel better overall even if you still have the mental illnesses.

I can rip you off, and steal all your cash, suckerpunch you in the face, stand back and laugh. Leave you stranded as fast as a heart-attack.
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