Psychology Addict # 52 | Mental Illness – A Straight-Forward Discussion about a Non Straight-Forward Topic.

in #psychology3 years ago (edited)

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One of my habits from back when I was a teenager was to flick through the magazines and newspapers my parents subscribed to. There were those that were delivered daily, weekly and monthly. If my memory is not failing me, the articles rarely, or even ever, discussed topics regarding mental health. It seems that it was just not talked about.

Then, when I was a young adult Mrs. Matos’ (a family acquaintance) husband died from respiratory failure. Mrs. Matos entered a state of severe depression, the story goes that all she did for the subsequent months was to watch videotapes of family events that featured her late husband while dressed in his old clothes and crying. From then onwards, people would only talk about her with pity, as a conclusion was made that “she’d lost it”.

Just over twenty years later the picture is quite different. Mental illness has become ubiquitous across mainstream media. Topics that range from social-media addiction to suicide often make it to the headlines.

Does this mean we have a better understanding of it?

Defining Mental Illness

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While it’s a tad easier to answer what illness is when it comes to our bodies, when it comes to our mind drawing the line between what is normal and abnormal becomes a rather delicate task. For example, who said that watching old videotapes of a lost loved one is the “wrong” way to grief?

Only this morning when I took the rubbish out, I encountered my neighbour talking to herself while frustratingly fiddling with the stones that decorate her front yard. Has she lost it? Even if … let’s say that is something she does routinely. Is she normal? The thing is, it is important to highlight here, that there is no one single behaviour that makes someone abnormal.

Grey Areas

That is why mental health professionals resort to certain criteria which indicate whether an individual is likely to have some sort of mental disorder. And, for the sake of not making this article too long a read for you I am going to briefly discuss only some of them:

Maladaptiveness ➙ Put simply maladaptiveness refers to poor, unproductive ways of dealing with or coping with certain emotions and/situations. It’s the kind of behaviour that interferes with one’s well-being, enjoyment of personal responsibilities and relationships. Compulsive shopping behaviour can be used as an example of this. I have a friend who irrespective of the state of his finances, whenever he feels “blue”, off he goes shopping in the high street or in the shopping mall. The other day he told me that, currently, he possesses 43 pairs of sunglasses!

Does Charles have a mental illness? Or just poor money management skills?

Suffering ➙ Intense suffering and psychological pain is often, but not always, an indication of mental illness. An illustration of this would be the suffering reported by individuals presenting depression or anxiety disorders.

Here, a common misconception is that people with depression suffer “without a reason”. This is not correct!

Statistical Deviance ➙ This criteria looks into what is statistically rare, without claiming, nevertheless, that just because something is statistically common it is normal. For example, do you think it’s normal for example that wherever and whenever you look at people most of them are busying themselves with their mobile devices? Whether at a family dinner or a friend’s gathering?

This criterion then really comes down to value judgements: Is it common, but undesirable (social-media addiction)? Or, is it rare but desirable (mindful living)?

It is paramount to highlight that, in general, none of the above conditions are neither a sufficient (all that is needed), nor a necessary (an aspect that needs to be present in all cases of mental illness) feature of psychological abnormality. Consequently, I trust you can see now all the grey areas involved in the definition of mental illness, particularly with concern to deciding what is abnormal or disordered. This may be one of the reasons why there is a belief that mental illness is “less real” than medical illness 1. 2

We’re Slowly Getting There. Are we?

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The good news is that there has been an increase in awareness related to mental disorders being linked to “brain activities”. Something which consequently leads the public to understand and support the need of specialised care for those living with psychological conditions. Unfortunately, however, this increase in understanding has not reduced the stigma associated with such conditions. For example, schizophrenia, alcohol dependence and depression 3.

This has been somewhat an unpleasant surprise for those who assumed that a better grasp of the topic would minimize discrimination. Disappointingly, the stigma attached to mental illness reflect in members of communities reporting unwillingness to socialise, work with or become a neighbour of individuals afflicted by it 4.

I guess this explains why over twenty years ago neighbours and acquaintances alike were just happy to turn their backs to Mrs. Matos. The public stigma might have driven them to do so.

The frustrating thing about stigmas though is that they give rise to stereotypes, and you know stereotypes … those automatic concepts we all hold towards one thing or another based on superficial, trivial information.

I suppose this is then a good time to encourage you to reflect on your own assumptions about individuals with psychological disorders:

✦ Do you think they are less responsible, dangerous, or unpredictable?
✦ On what basis have you formed your attitude towards mental illness?

Looking a Little Further

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Why not look for more meaningful information about it all? A more productive way of reducing public stigma would be to get to know the person who lives with mental illness, instead of looking into the mental illness alone. How do they feel? What do they think?

There are qualitative studies out there that inform us about exactly this 5, 6:

Subsequent to becoming unemployed and splitting from his wife Ravi described his state of depression as follows:

Even though you are not alone physically [...] you get into a state I think mentally where, you’re just like out on an island […] You can see from that island another shore and all these people are there, but there is no way that you can get across [...] or there is no way you want to get across.
(Smith and Rhodes, 2014, p. 201)

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After being diagnosed with schizophrenia Carol confessed:

People are always afraid of saying that word to me and they’re always saying something else … My [community psychiatric nurse] was too afraid to say it because it is a dirty word.
(Howe, Tickle and Brown, 2014, p.156)

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While Ben admitted:

… to have people treat me like that, you want to say, look, I’m not that bad.
(Howe, Tickle and Brown, 2014, p.156)

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It's Not That Alien!

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Now, you think about it. Have you ever felt isolated, or as if on an island (in a similar way to Ravi’s)? Have you even had people to treat you unfairly, or in a judgemental way to the point you thought to yourself “hey, give me a break, I am not like that!” (just like in Ben’s reports)?

I have. Plus, I also know several people who have felt the same too. And, it is because of that that I tend to resort to professor Aaron Beck’s reflection 7:

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PS: I know, I know ... I also hold the opinion that the term mentally ill is an uncomfortable one. I don’t use it because I think it’s distasteful. Just as I think it would be distasteful to refer to someone with breast cancer, for instance, as cancerous. But, believe me, if there is someone who can be excused for adopting this kind of wording is Professor Beck!

From this standpoint it then becomes easier to adopt a less prejudiced stance towards someone undergoing any type of mental disorder. There are those illnesses which come and go and there are those which need to be carefully managed throughout a person’s course of life. Just like it happens with illnesses of the body. Neither type makes those who live with them necessarily unable to work with, dangerous and/or unpredictable. Also, just like individuals with heart problems, for instance, need to take medication to have a productive and healthy lifestyle, so do individuals living with certain mental illness (e.g. schizophrenia and bipolar disorder).

And last but not least, it is important to know that while a mental illness diagnosis can be, for some individuals, a label that comes with stigmatization, for many, many others it is a stepping stone towards self-understanding and relief 8.

Image Source: 1, 2,3, 4, 5

Reference List:
1 Beliefs About Essences and the Reality of Mental Disorders.
2 Abnormal psychology an overview.
3,4 “A Disease Like Any Other”? A Decade of Change in Public Reactions to Schizophrenia, Depression, and Alcohol Dependence
5 Being depleted and being shaken: An interpretative phenomenological analysis of the experiential features of a first episode of depression.
6 ‘Schizophrenia is a dirty word’: service users’ experiences of receiving a diagnosis of schizophrenia
7 Madness explained.
8 The diagnosis of mental illness


Dear Reader,

Thank you so much for taking the time to read my work. It means the world to me 😊

I wish you all only the best in life.


Just logged in and got a message from steemitblog saying it's been two years in here. Wow. Time flies when you are having fun.

It's good to see yet another of your post, most of the times it feels as if I'm reading an interesting story without the jargons that usually fill posts of this nature. Sadly, most people still treat any mental disorder as something "spiritual" rather than just some disorder. I once asked one man, "Why don't you take someone suffering malaria to prayer houses?" He said that will be a foolhardy decision. I then asked, "why then do most people advocate such when it comes to mental disorder?" He was speechless.

Goodness me Green! What a wonderful surprise to see your comment here in my feed 😃 I thought of you not long ago, when a discussion about Elon Musk unfolded during a family gathering.

The situation you described here just illustrates the whole new "category" people tend to place psychological disorders in! And of course, as you also observed, depending on the local culture they range from being something "spiritual" to being something "unreal".

However, just the fact that people like you have the energy and will to challenge this type of belief and attempt to shake superstition off other's views, makes me optimistic about what the future hold for the understanding of mental illness :)

Thank you so much for stopping by Green!
I wish you a wonderful rest of the day ❤

Ps: Congratulations on your 2-year Steemit Anniversary. We have been around these quarters for the same length of time.

Wow, that's a nice thing to say. Imagine me in the Elon Musk discussion :) Thank you for the well wish.
I've been around, just lost in my little world. The outside world aka work is taking all my time these days. I'm fighting it so I can win and get more time for me time :) Hahaha.

It's always a pleasure to read your article, which I often share with people who tend to think there is something so much extraordinary about mental problems. I guess we have movies like Exorcist to blame for this :(

The outside world aka work is taking all my time these days.
Yep! I know exactly how that feels like ! Sometimes it's just impossible to juggle. Then ... priorities first! :D
I often share with people who tend to think there is something so much extraordinary about mental problems

Thank you so much Green! This truly means a lot to me. Yeah, mainstream media and the entertainment industry don't make mental health professional's lives any easier 😣

You take care & have a wonderful week! :)

Thank you
It's an another Friday :)

Hey green, how are you doing?
I read you comment and following my immediate urge to respond :)

I think you know why that is (talking about the last question of your comment). When you are sad or depressed, you would like to speak to someone with empathy and patience. Once, that was a priest or a shaman, nowadays it's a little more tricky. Maybe you live in a place where a shift in seeing mental sickness happens in a different manner. Here you don't go usually to a priest but to a therapist. But waiting lists are long and being embedded somewhere you can get consolation and understanding not a sure thing. I have nothing against the term "spiritual" in connection with depression or other mental issues. Maybe it's different from where you are. Nobody here seems superstitious anymore and therefor this term can be used without being categorized too much.

How is it for you? Is where you live enough covered for people with mental diseases? Do you have enough therapists or other health facilities?

Oof. A touchy subject.

I have dealt with a friend who has bipolar disorder. The fact is, he is fine as long as he is on his meds. Problems only occurs when he stops doing that. After the latest manic episode, he's becoming more vigilant about taking care of himself.

I also have a loved one who I believe may be suffering from a "cluster b" personality disorder (not bipolar). The unfortunate part about that is it's harder to prove and they are high functioning in society. However, dealing with them can be a nightmare emotionally when they are acting out.

Like you said, there is still stigma attached to mental illness that people are unwilling to believe their loved ones may have issues and need help. Instead, the afflicted are either left isolated or allowed to continue their rampage against those around them.

Hello there @enforcer48 :)

What a wonderful comment! Thank you for taking the time to add yet another point of this touchy topic: that which reveals the position of those dealing with someone who has a mental illness. Further, I truly appreciate your honesty. Yes, it can be a very emotionally draining situation to be in.

Further still, highlighting your friend's experience of learning to look after himself in order to keep a productive life going just shows how mental illnesses can be kept under control and how they can be managed. This is not easy, though. But, it is far from being impossible. Rather than passive recipients of their treatment individuals with psychological disorders are active agents in their own improvement.

Finally, reading about your loved one brought to mind cognitive therapy. Whether living with a disorder or not we all can do with a little reevaluation of how we think, feel and behave :)

Thank you once again for stopping by and taking the time to leave such an insightful comment.

I wish you and all your loved ones all the best!

Loved this piece. I have always wondered how do you draw a line. I remember this time in my life when I was fighting to quit smoking. I went to a psychiatrist for help. She gave me pills for bipolar disorder, and I was in shock, why? I am fully functional, in fact, more functional than many around me. Just because I see science in ink blots presented to me and I said that I knew smoking is suicidal and yet continued it how would it be bipolar. She later explained to me that I don't have anything serious, just that I have a personality like that and hence these medications would help me in quitting.

That was the first time my brain got completely fucked up - how to draw a line between personality and disorder. Did I have low days and super energetic days - yes. Did I get suicidal thoughts, maybe, but never a will to act on them - apart from starting to smoke? What about those days where I would feel very excited - did I room part in risky behaviour and mismanaged money? Maybe, but nothing more than average teenager, maybe slightly more careless in terms of money. I mostly used this energy to read books, go on binge watching movies without sleep, you know. As a teenager growing up in environment where mental illness was looked down upon it was very stressful to me to be even labelled with a personality linked to it.

Anyway, now having worked on experimental models of stress and PTSD I have a little better understanding of biology behind it. I know how brain can be primed to have certain personalities and how when these traits get overamplified you transition from personality to a full blown disease - say a slight increase in dendritic spines in amygdala that can make you bit cautious in life vs the amygdala becoming hyperactivated to give you generalized fear or anxiety disorder.

Reading your post made me wonder if we can quantify the brain and inflammation status to tear apart everyday personality traits form disorders. Like what are the thresholds. And can we have actual values for them, like we have for body temperature cutoff to call it normal or fever or hypothermia.

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a slight increase in dendritic spines in amygdala

It reminds me of Sapolky's studies. Do you remember we had a brief discussion about this before? Gosh ... that was a while back :)

made me wonder if we can quantify the brain and inflammation status to tear apart everyday personality traits form disorders.

Can you imagine how complex it would be to disentangle with precision socio-cultural learned behaviors and environmental values from the traits resulted from neurobiological mechanisms? Setting cutoff points here would be a very, very delicate task!

Despite the high reliance the diagnosis of mental illness has on the biomedical model, a biopsychosocial approach mustn't be completed disregarded. Psychological constructs exist in a two-way motion that moves back and forth, back and forth : brain - mind - mind - brain. As much as our psyche is influenced by our brain activities, so are our brain activities influenced by our psyche. ref., ref.

Thresholds already exist in diagnosis, mental health professionals draw a line on a continuum, but they are rather based on a categorical diagnostic system (the DSM) :)

It is wonderful to hear from you @scienceblocks and I thank you very much for taking the time to share here with us your very personal experience with a mental health professional and your insightful reflections upon it! I was interested in how you managed to use that energy, as you put it, to good use and managed to be productive through that phase. Quite remarkable!

PS: You last post is simply a master piece! I read it all (over two days), but am struggling to find the time to leave a comment.

All the best to you my dear.

Your comments are sometimes as rich as your posts...and always sensitive.

You are so very kind @agmoore. You never shy away from being encouraging 😊

I feel so privileged. I have people who take time to read my writings and to meaningfully interact with me. I am constantly learning from the insights, personal experiences and the knowledge shared here in my comment feed. Hence, it is wonderful to hear, especially from you, that my replies contribute to these discussions in a significant manner.

It is a beautiful day over here today: Blue sky & sunshine. How is the NY Summer treating you?

With immense gratefulness & affection,
Your Brazilian Friend,

You're like a blossoming flower on Steemit. This is a commercial platform premised on crypto currency. Yet, in your corner of this crypto universe, there's warmth and wisdom. People find comfort, and discover tools for going forward and improving their lives.
I'm sure this is something you do in your physical universe, also, but your reach is so far on this platform, in the virtual world. These words will live on, the effect will continue. There is no seven day window on that.
I can imagine the work that goes into these essays. There's accumulated wisdom apparent, but also current research and consideration of the specific audience you address. All of this takes time and effort.
It is appreciated and valued. It makes a difference--you'll probably never know where and to whom.
Such a pleasure to know you. I start my day with your words. That, and the picture of a sunny🌞 landscape my son sent me.
Warm and sunny here, in humid, sticky New York. I'm sure the beaches are full

With great affection and respect,
Your sticky NY friend,😄


I'm off to read about the amygdala and post traumatic stress/generalized anxiety disorder. Sounds fascinating. I related to some of what you wrote... my motor runs a little faster than the 'norm'. I'm so grateful for that. As you say, I get a lot done :)

Truly a pleasure to see this in my feed. Although I am not usually interested in psychology, you have a way of writing that does not fail to capture my attention.

I'm currently in Uganda and just days ago I heard stories about how mental illnesses are not accepted in general society here. They tend to believe it does not exist or blame it on the fact that the person is punished by the spirits for probably having done something bad. It's sad to see how little acknowledgement or support there is here.

Hello there @samve 😊

I was about to turn the computer off and then ...

Although I am not usually interested in psychology, you have a way of writing that does not fail to capture my attention.

Basically, you just made me smile! :) This is very kind of you thank you.

As for the social reality you are/have been witnessing there in Uganda ... well, it just shows how we, sadly, at this point, still have a looong way to go.

In societies that are generally superstitious we have to deal with supernatural beliefs, in more secular societies the issue comes down to skepticism resulting from lack of understanding. I believe it is in the hands of social workers, authorities and health professionals to start addressing mental health problems in a constructive manner.

Even if through a blog post on the Steemit platform 😉

All right, better go now. Thank you for taking the time to stop by and leave such wonderful feedback.
Still smiling ... :)

hehe, you're welcome, but it's true.
There is indeed quite some work to be done, but I also heard about the establishment of certain 'safe spaces' to talk and not be judged (although these are not entirely accepted or properly managed). There seems to be positive change ahead, superstition and supernatural beliefs are becoming increasingly less important, although it will likely take a few generations of time.

enjoy your day!

My Dear Abigail,

I wish I had a bigger upvote! What an article. So necessary. So astute.

I very much appreciate your effort to describe how psychiatric disorders are on a continuum, but may be characterized by certain qualities--suffering and inability to cope chief among these.

Stigma, I think, will linger until science is better able to diagnose and explain psychiatric disorders. There will be a fear among many in the general public that aberrant, even dangerous, behavior is possible because the treating physician doesn't really 'understand' a patient's disorder.

Have you even had people to treat you unfairly, or in a judgemental way to the point you thought to yourself “hey, give me a break, I am not like that!"

This was certainly true in my youth. After a while I learned to embrace the differences, perceived or otherwise. Age does have its virtues 😇 A great advantage of having experienced being 'different'--I think you imply this in your statement--is that we are better able to embrace the differences of others.

I love the way you capture the unfairness of mental illness as a label:

it would be distasteful to refer to someone with breast cancer, for instance, as cancerous

We have come a long way from snake pits and lobotomies (although not everywhere is this true), but we have such a long way to go. It's up to each one of us to approach others, no matter how 'different, with reason and compassion. Thank you for using your eloquence and knowledge to help us achieve that acceptance.

With affection and great respect,

Stigma, I think, will linger until science is better able to diagnose and explain psychiatric disorders.

It is a long and winding road my friend. And, as you observed, we've come a long way. Still, sometimes I feel we got stuck in the days when those with psychological disorders were just left to the hope that their medication will do it for them :/

A great advantage of having experienced being 'different'--I think you imply this in your statement--is that we are better able to embrace the differences of others.

This is touching and truthful my dear @agmoore. It reminds me of social psychology studies. I suppose this happens because of a shared social identity, "we are equally misunderstood", "we are similar in the way we are perceived by others". Empathy then unfolds naturally. It is beautiful :) If only we were all able to relate to one another through the identities we have in common rather than those that set us apart.

But, I have faith in humanity 😊

Thank you my dearest for your continuous encouragement and loving support. Your insights mean a lot to me, as they always teach me something.

With much, much love from sunny, windy Portugal.

If only we were all able to relate to one another through the identities we have in common rather than those that set us apart.

You nailed it, as usual. So nice to have you back sharing with us on Steemit 😇

Much love from steamy USA,

I'm so glad that you're back. I love it that I'm back to getting my weekly dose of psychology information from you!

I think that something else that makes the issue of mental health all the more challenging is that emotional states and clinical diagnoses often get intermixed together almost as if they are synonymous with each other, even though they are not necessarily the same thing. For instance, an individual may feel depressed but not actually meet the criteria for a clinical diagnoses of major depression. Mental disorders like major depression, generalized anxiety disorder, schizophrenia...etc have very specific definitions in the DSM-5 and they have a certain and specific criteria that needs to be present in the individual in order to be diagnosed with the disorder. The most important criteria in any disorder is that the symptoms must not be caused by substance use and they must cause significant distress or impediment to the individual's social life, occupational, or another important area of the individual's life. So basically, a person could feel very depressed (emotion) but still maintain employment and/or a social life (diagnostic criteria). I think this aspect makes the issue of mental health a little more confusing and convoluted as socuety tends to talk about mental health in terms of feelings and emotions.

An example of the confusion - I remember people in social media getting upset when there was discussion about adding "extreme video gaming" to the list of DSM5 disorders. Many people took that as - a person has a mental disorder if they play a lot of video games (so they were rightfully upset). However, they didn't seem to be aware that in order to meet that criteria the video gaming had to impede the individuals life in a significant way - i.e. the individual could not maintain employment and support themselves because of the gaming or they were experiencing severe physical health risks because they were forgetting to eat (or something).

Anyway, this is getting long winded - like most of my comments. Great article @abigaile-dantes as always. I always learn something from you.

Ow @leaky20, even if your comments were long-winded I wouldn't mind reading them again and again :) They are always very insightful, constructive and informative.

I think that something else that makes the issue of mental health all the more challenging is that emotional states and clinical diagnoses often get intermixed together almost as if they are synonymous with each other, even though they are not necessarily the same thing.

I see this as a consequence of us (society) having "technicalized" suffering, and turned sadness and fear into pathologies that necessarily need treatment. What Buddhists and existentialists say about this? I wonder.

I appreciate very much that you brought the DSM criteria to this discussion. I have come across many people who are just dead against it. I am not, and for the very reasons you pointed out here. For example criteria that highlights what should be carefully taken into account when a certain diagnosis is considered.

The diagnosis of mental illness is indeed a very delicate topic.

And the illustration you used here, the public frustration with a possible diagnosis for extreme video-gaming, just shows how concepts that regard and involve mental health are misunderstood. But what to expect when society is heading towards a place where all excesses (gaming, shopping, eating etc...) have just become the norm? Oh well ... :)

socuety tends to talk about mental health in terms of feelings and emotions.

I am going to take the above remark away with me. It's a great, great one!

Thank you very much @leaky20 for always taking the time to stop by and share with us here your experience and knowledge. Thank you also for your humbling words and constant support.

All the best to you & your wife.

"Technicalized suffering"
That's interesting. I never thought of that part of it. Great point. Yeah it would be interesting to know what Buddhists think of that.

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What a great write here Abigail, this is more like it, great to definitely have you back. From my position I think when it comes to mental illness is blatantly A whole New World and something strange to people Uno not being able to process some of this unfamiliar behaviours that comes with mental Situation, maladjustment, is majorly the reason why people who go through it seem to lose it all. Especially when it comes to spouses, career and even family because basically the things surrounding them cannot handle the person they have basically become. In some other situations people hardly understand what they will do to help people who are going through it and through the process of trying to discover this they often do more harm than good that's why stigmatisation comes about. People fear what they don't feel familiar with. My mother had this issue and her whole world collapsed. I only wish and hope we'd discover other ways to do better for people with it.

It's great to have you back and kicking really, it's been like a decade

Ow @josediccus, how wonderful to see you here! 😊 ❤

Yes, yes, and yes :) It seems that all comes down to familiarity in the end. Because having a "technical" understanding of it does not seem to be enough to diminish people's reluctance. To have a family member with a mental illness is no easy feat. It requires extra strength from everyone. I hope your mom has managed to turn things around. I imagine you are a very kind, loving son. And I think love and understanding is the best way with which not only such circumstances, but any can be dealt with.

It is wonderful to be back writing for Steemit. Specially because I have people like you sharing their wisdom, and rich perspectives with me.

Thank you my dear.
I send you and your mom lots and lots of love.

Definitely amazing to have you back really and as for my mother, it's still same I mean she hasn't overcomed it really but I'm guessing she's getting there it's been like 15 years really and it was hard on us as young toddlers and we grew up to meet her this way, but we are coping and helping her get better really. Amazing stuff really from you, I miss everything. Glad you're back

Despite everything she has been through she is privileged for having you to help her to get better. May you and all your family be always able to find inner-strength and peace of mind :)

While I was reading about the case of Mrs. Matos, I remembered what happened to me. When my dad died about 12 years ago, after few days of grief, I resorted to listening to reggae music. It was my dad's favourite music genre. While I listened to it, I normally had the feeling that he was still with us. It got to a point that, one day, I started perceiving his perfume. It was later that I realized that all these were happening in my head. I'm glad mine didn't degenerate to mental illness.

Well, I later grew over it. People that have never been through emotional stress or strain may not understand how it feels.

Nice piece always Abbey. Much love

Oh Sammi ... this is a very touching account. The fact that you can comfortably and confidently share it with us here demonstrates that you have made piece with the loss of your dad and the emotions that gave rise to. Such accounts are very important for giving hope to others. So, thank you for taking the time to put it down in words. Some of us have been gifted with more resilience than others. While some individuals are able to just dust themselves off and go, others need a little push and understanding :)

With much love & respect,

hello Ms. Abi , hope all is well with you.

Well, i agree with you on this one , it's always hard to call or conclude that someone is mentally ill. it's kinda sensitive i guess. i've seen a lot of "what they consider mentally illed" when i was still young , there was these two men , named. "Agaton" and "Julio" . Julio is already dead now , but remembering him he used to sit on the chairs of small stores in our village and he looks so dirty , but he'snot harming anyone . they said it was because of him being too intelligent , so he ended up being clled "crazy" , while with Agaton , he always wanted to walk and walk in the streets like he can't notice that he can reach far places already , while walking he use to talk and talk , and whenever people tell him something he copies it and says it repeatedly , he also looks so dirty and like no one's caring for him , am just not sure how he became like that , but i think he's still alive now.

You know Ms. Abi for me those people like them i think lack family love and care , and maybe the first time they were called crazy and they repetitively heard it maybe they just accepted it ang be like that. so it's still i guess the lack of love attention and care and acceptance from the community

thanks for sharing another worth reading content po. Hope you are having a great time . take care always and much love from PH 😘❤️❤️❤️

My dear @zephalexia, you have been blessed with kindness in your heart. You look at the world with from a very personal perspective, but yet you arrive to very objective conclusions.

I do agree with you: the dreadful combination of the absence of love and care together with being stigmatized by society does not lead to stability. Thank you for telling me about Agaton and Julio. I am always very interested in such accounts. And even more so when you put then in the social context. As you so beautifully did here.

Thank you for you invaluable, constant support my dear.
You are a very beautiful person 😘❤️
Sending bags of love to the minis :D

Such a pleasure to open my mind this morning to your thoughts! You always cover a topic from so many angles and get me thinking about it in new ways. 🙂

Oh @geke! A HUGE smile overtook my face when I saw your comment. It's wonderful to hear that this post has sparked some new thoughts in you about this topic :) When people start to see that mental illnesses are part of life just as are illness of the body, not only will they take action to prevent it, but they will also be able to deal with it if/when it hits them, in a productive manner.

Sending you and the family bags of love all the way from Portugal.

This a good one about mental illness. I will definitely be sharing this on my twitter page.

I agree that there are social stigmas attached to people suffering from mental illness and this stigmas often worsen the conditions of the victims. A condition that could have been fixed by a simple drug becomes totally neglected and the victims are usually left with their fate.

My sister once had a form of mental illness and we were able to get helps for her. Today, she's happily married, mentally sound with 2 stunning kids. I think most cases are just as a result of neglects.

Also, people tend to stay away from mentally ill people because of unpredictable nature or past direct or indirect experiences. Especially for someone that has experienced some forms of violence from mentally ill person. I have heard stories of people being hacked to death by a mentally ill person and as a result, I try to put some distance between myself and any mentally unstable person.

Good job Abii. Looking forward to your next post

I have heard stories of people being hacked to death by a mentally ill person and as a result, I try to put some distance between myself and any mentally unstable person.

I completely understand your sentiment here, especially when you have heard horrifying stories like that. Also, It would be irresponsible of me to deny the presence of psychopathology among for example, violent offenders. But, my dear Shaid, please try not to put all those suffering from psyhological disturbances in the same box. After all, good, ordinary people are also capable of unpredictably committing horrendous actions Ref.

Having said that, I would like to thank you for also sharing here the experience you had with your sister! It is an example that gives hope and illustrates more accurately the reality of mental illness. A reality that despite being frightening and overwhelming does not rule out a life of happiness and emotional stability :)

I will definitely be sharing this on my twitter page.

😃 THANK YOU, you are my rock star! :*

Sending bags of love to you and little Rhamon (he is so big already! :D)

I got a strange feeling in reading your post. I am once in a while getting into my sphere, or island, especially when I work with a lot of (unrelated) people around me. I also talk a lot to myself, and my lips can probably be seen moving. I however do not think this should classify me as mentally-ill (no? :D ). However, this is not a permanent state and this is maybe where the difference lies.

Hello @lemouth :)

I am once in a while getting into my sphere, or island, especially when I work with a lot of (unrelated) people around me.

It is no wonder why professor Beck points out that mental illnesses' symptoms are just enhanced forms of what we all experience from time to time. I know exactly what you mean! I have been there (in that sphere/island) many times ;)

Interesting... I have never seen you there... :D


I may have seen the two of you! :-DDD

🤣 🤣 🤣

Ahahahah Ahahahaha

This is funny! :P

Hello @lemouth :)

I am once in a while getting into my sphere, or island, especially when I work with a lot of (unrelated) people around me.

It is no wonder why professor Beck points out that mental illnesses symptoms are just enhanced forms of what we all experience from time to time. I know exactly you mean! I have been there (in that sphere/island) many times ;)

It's great to be able to read your unique content on the label, and that you're back constantly publishing is very good for our project! Thanks Abigail

Dear Carlos,

It makes me so happy to hear that my work here on Steemit, somehow, contributes to the Steemstem project. It is very kind of you to take the time to stop by and let me know about this. Your words are humbling and very encouraging indeed!

Thank you for your commitment to the project and making our community a better place as a result of your dedication.

All the best to you :*
Have a wonderful weekend!

I just realized that I overlooked this article of yours! What a pity, because I find that you consider very important things. In particular, I also find your bold text to highlight.

Aaron Beck’s reflection ...

For me it is as clear as day that people don't get sick as individuals alone, but within a system. Why is it so obvious that in children psychological disorders are so easily understood as an expression of a dissonance in the family system, but in adults this is apparently less so?

Of course, the family systems are to be mentioned first in children, because they are still shaped most by them, but the older we get, the more systems are added and what we experience and feel is always also an expression of what a community/society/nation/world experiences and feels. For me, depressive or other psychological problems are indeed the measure of a society, they express what others oppress or ignore.

I mean, you really don't have to be a psychologist to see, for example, that a wife gets sad and depressed when her husband buries his own grief with work and distraction after the death of a child. The more he denies it, the more she will carry it out into the world in the form of sadness (or anger, or both). Both of them affect the systems around them (social and other systems).

The psychology of man is like a signal flag, like a fire that wants to be seen and thematized. If a person has the impression that nobody around him is interested in his grief or insecurity with regard to his life planning and development, he uses other means (e. g. addictions) or becomes "mentally ill" in some alternative way (I agree with you and find the term distasteful, too).

How can one doubt this and say: My husband, my girlfriend, my son, my colleague at work is ill because his brain doesn't work properly, because his hormones are playing badly with him, because he has a physiological defect. Which is not entirely wrong, but also not entirely right.

I emphasize this because it is easy, for example, to explain a depression on this basis. But it is much more difficult to include the systemic aspects and find an explanation. Anyone who - as a relative, spouse, sister, father, colleague, boss, team participant - wants nothing to do with the illness of the person affected and believes that the person is somehow depressed regardless of the social environment and the conditions, may be afraid to see such things and reflect on them themselves.

I find this contribution of yours very much to the point and would like to say that this is how I see it in general, too.

This is a wonderful comment Erika. I am grateful that you were able to take time and add such invaluable insight to this discussion. The observation you made about the isolation of adult individuals (and not of children) when it comes to psychological distress is both valid and important. No one wants to acknowledge there is a possibility they are also a contributing part of the issue.

It does break my heart when I see the emphasis the diagnostic system puts of the biomedical model: "Here, go home and make sure you take your medication." Alas!

Thank you once again for gifting us with your infomed, intelligent rationale Erika!

Much love to you always :*

Yup. Sadly, people like to put it all on the single person but exclude themselves out of the equation. But we are here to tell otherwise, aren't we? LOL!! I think we will succeed in the long run and one day it will be common knowledge. Maybe not in our life time, though.

Have a good day, dear Abi.

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😃 Thank you guys!

Nice topic bro keep sharing ☺

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Good morning @slowgrow

Just in case you are interested in my point of view please take a look at this post I wrote a while back: Is psychology a science? The post does not cover all the angles a discussion like this could/should go into, but it's a good start. Nevertheless, many of those angles were brought up and debated throughout the comment feed. Further, I would like to point out that psychology goes way beyond the field of clinic work and diagnosis. But, I suspect you already know this :)


Take a look at yourself in the mirror and in your videos before you offer any bogus insight into the discussion.

The only sociopath here is you. You spend hours and days finding ways to knock off "pennies" from other Steemians out of spite. You talk crap about others, but afraid to tag them directly. You come here acting like some sort of expert, but have probably never studied sciences in your life.