THINK THERAPY SHOULD BE THIS EASY? THINK AGAIN.  Complexity enters the picture when trying to decide when a  major mental illness might be keeping someone from doing what needs to be done, from harming self or another, or from simply enjoying the good life offers.  Moreover when the label has been attached more complexity ensues.

TOPIC #24   DAILY POST CHALLENGE 2012:   The complexity of deciding if a person has a major mental illness, which one and what to do to help.  If you have not read  a Shrinks Think post first go here click here for an introduction about SHRINKS THINK posts. Then read on.

Here is a link to a mother’s story about life with a son suffering from a major mental illness:

OCD is Messy « ocdtalk.  Here is a quote from her post:

I follow a number of blogs written by OCD sufferers, and the more I read, the more I realize how complicated, confusing, and unpredictable OCD can be.
I know a fair amount about the disorder. My son has OCD and I know firsthand how it can affect the entire family. I’ve seen how OCD can devastate lives. I’ve written posts on everything from symptoms and treatment to enabling and recovery avoidance. But I don’t have OCD, and while I can pick one aspect of the disorder to focus on, discuss, and wrap up neatly with a bow, I never truly convey the scope of this illness. My posts are neat, and OCD is messy. Writing about obsessive compulsive disorder is so much easier than having it.

What she says applies to almost every major mental illness. Common sense dictates that struggling with OCD or any major mental disorders also creates depression or low self esteem.  Common sense, but often ignored.  Stigma is part of the problem and in many situations a major part of the problem.   I will stop saying that when a person suffering from a major mental illness gets as much support, love, and understanding as a woman with cancer of the breast.

The problem of stigma often affects clinical judgement. No therapist, no pediatrician, no family doctor wants to slap a damaging label on a growing child.  No parent wants to say my child is not like other children.  Understandable.  Leads therapists to down playing symptoms and reassuring parents. Also understandable,  Sadly, that means children do not get the help needed when it will do the most good.  End of rant.

STAYING STRONG TIP: Don’t let stigma of any sort hold you back.    Don’t let stigma keep you from reaching out.  Don’t let stigma keep you from seeking help. Judge people on two things.  Are is their behavior kind or cruel?  Cruel to self or others?  Then ask how much control the person has over their behavior?  Major mental illnesses involve cruelty and an inability to control behavior.  It is usually easy to answer the first question, but figuring out the answer to the second is not easy.  It still must be asked and figured out.  


PRACTICE KINDNESS:  Don’t forget to thank all who do something for you.  I love to thank clerks and wait people.  I double my pleasure in doing so by adding a compliment. They feel good, their smiles make me feel good.

Remember also to be kind to  me, like and share. Get kindness badges for you, and help others get and stay strong. Click here for all 12 Daily Emotional Fitness Training Exercises.

IMAGE BY: Randy Glasbergen [email protected]

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