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Stigmas Towards Mental Illness Expressed On Online Dating Sites


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#1 Guest_rw0_*

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Posted 02 May 2010 - 08:39 PM

So, occasionally I'll browse through profiles on online dating sites. (I like to maintain a slim amount of hope that I may still actually be able to meet someone someday)
Once in awhile, while reading those profiles, where people describe themselves and describe what they are (or are not) looking for in a partner, I'll come across a line such as "if you're on antidepressants, I'm not interested"
Sometimes, these comments can go beyond a simple "I'm not interested" to being completely insensitive and disrespectful.
The following comments were all taken from profiles on online dating sites:

For gawds sakes, if your bi-polar, on meds for depression, seeing a shrink, (or just plain crazy as a loon) ......

No one who is required to take medication to hold a normal conversation. I am going into Pharmacy for a living ; I refuse to date anyone who keeps it in business.

Please don't email me if you are taking medication for acute psychiatric reasons

if you need the aide of antidepressants to lead a productive life you are not the person for me.

Do you hear voices in your head? Do you drool? Do you bark? Do you take medication for this? Are you bi-polar (ok most of you are bi-polar) Are you clinically depressed? Are you on anti-anxiety drugs?


I suppose that everyone in the world is free to date, or not date whoever they wish. Just as some people may not want to date a person of a certain religion, body-type, ethnic background, or career.
And, to be honest, I don't think someone who suffers from and sort of mental illness or disorder deserves the type of person with limited understanding, who'd publicly post such a narrow-minded opinion, anyways.

But, it still disturbs me to see such people being allowed to publicly post such comments.

Some of those sites censor content of profiles. If you were to post content in your profile on those sites, publicly bashing people of a certain religion, bashing people of a certain ethnic back-ground, insulting people with obvious physical handicaps such as blindness or paralysis, etc, the content would likely be deleted. Quite possibly the user's account would be deleted too.
But, on those same sites, it's apparently perfectly acceptable to refer to someone as "just plain crazy as a loon"; or to make comments like "Do you drool? Do you bark?"



In fairness, I should point out that profiles containing such comments are certainly in the minority on those sites. But they do exist. I was able to find these comments by spending a short amount of time searching for such comments this afternoon.
They provide a good example of the sort of opinions that some people in society have, and enjoy publicy expressing.

#2 Chester Cheetoh

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Posted 02 May 2010 - 09:40 PM

this is a good thing.

The selfish, self-absorbed, unsupportive narcissists reveal themselves so we can avoid them.

#3 Guest_iowa_*

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Posted 02 May 2010 - 10:00 PM

Even if a person has those discriminatory thoughts, what they say could certainly be worded in a much kinder way. At the same time, I'd rather know to avoid certain people than to be treated like that in person. :shocked:
iowa

#4 Lifeintheslowlane

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Posted 02 May 2010 - 10:30 PM

Yes, there are a few people on some of these sites that write ridiculous things in their profiles regarding mental health. It's uncomfortable to read, as no legitimate site would allow anyone to post "If you are a N-word, don't message me" if they don't want to date a black person, or "don't message me if you are a f*g" if they don't want to date a bisexual person, for example. However 'don't message me if you've got a diagnoses, because you are nuts" - that is fine? Grrr. I almost sent a message to one person once because of her headline about "no mental cases" to express my anger. But then I calmed down and figured why bother, she's obviously not worth it. While she may end up with someone who does not have mental issues, people like that who are openly judgmental generally have shallow and unrewarding lives because they have no compassion and huge egos.

Everyone does have the right to express preferences in a civil manner. If I read a profile that said "I prefer to date someone without a history of mental health issues", then that doesn't sound so bad. Perhaps that person has mental health issues herself/himself. Perhaps he/she had a bad experience with a parent with mental health issues ... dunno, but at least it is respectful.

I definitely do not like the disrespect, the implication that people without mental health issues are better than those who have them. The part that I find so frustrating is that they do not have mental health issues because they have been fortunate enough not to experiences things that lead to depression or ocd or other illness. Like people ask for mental illness? It's the luck of the draw whether we get sick, a combination of biology and experiences that usually happen before we are adults and have a choice in the matter.



Many of the best people I know either have mental health issues or a family member/close friend with mental health issues and are kind and compassionate. Many of the shallowest, superficial -and doing the most harm to society - people do not have mental health issues (in terms of diagnosis).

Still, there seems to be a lot of decent people on some of these sites and probably several with mental health issues who do not disclose up front for fear of the stigma.

That stigma really sucks.

Edited by Lifeintheslowlane, 02 May 2010 - 10:33 PM.


#5 Chester Cheetoh

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 07:24 AM

Firstly, you have to have a better understanding of the online dating dynamic.

A large number of these people think that they approach perfection in all facets of their makeup. They in turn seek the same in a partner not realizing that no such person exists in the world.


You then hear from them countless stories of how terrible online dating is because they cannot find this perfection.


They are narcissists and would be equally hurtful to you to your face as they are online. If not your depression, your clothes or hair or facial features or body type.



Personally I have no issues with them using hurtful language. It reveals their true nature so you can avoid at all costs.

#6 Guest_rw0_*

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 10:42 AM

In a way, I partly agree that it's good to see people's attitudes revealed so we can avoid people with certain attitudes.
But I still think that publicly posting certain insults and and condesending comments should be considered unacceptable.

The public airing of such attitudes does more harm than good. It contributes to the stigmas that already exist, and may cause sufferers to feel embarassed, ashamed or worthless. These feelings of embarassment, shame, and worthlessness can contribute to the worsening of one's condition, and can also prevent many from seeking the help and support they should be entitled to.


no legitimate site would allow anyone to post "If you are a N-word, don't message me" if they don't want to date a black person, or "don't message me if you are a f*g" if they don't want to date a bisexual person, for example. However 'don't message me if you've got a diagnoses, because you are nuts" - that is fine?

I agree that there's something disturbing about sites allowing public bashing of mental health conditions.
When on those same sites it wouldn't be allowed to publicly post insults towards a certain race or sexual orientation.

probably several with mental health issues who do not disclose up front for fear of the stigma.

That stigma really sucks.

I agree that the stigma is unfair and it sucks.

In our society today, we believe that someone with a physical disability (such as blindness, a missing limb, deafness, paralysis, etc) should not be ridiculed nor made to feel ashamed of their disability. Yet, it's still considered perfectly acceptable to publicly bash someone with a condition such as depression, bi-polar disorder, or social anxiety.



Firstly, you have to have a better understanding of the online dating dynamic.

Well, I think I actually do have a good understanding of the general mindset of many on those sites.
But, whetrher I understand their mindset or not, I still believe the public airing of such insults should not be accepted.

I may, or may not, understand the mindset of a racist biggot who runs a white supremacist organization. But, my understanding of his mindset will still not make me think it's ok for him to publicly promote racial hatred towards others.

#7 Guest_Radoo_*

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Posted 06 May 2010 - 12:02 AM

People have a right to say what their preference is. I can understand it because meds were a bad experience for me, and since I've quit I have become anti-drug in my philosophy. Yeah, they are usually insensitive people who attach a stigma which is mostly based on prejudice, but there is some truth to it as well.

So there are 2 sides to the coin. The ones you speak of are insensitive and basing their prejudice on the worst cases of mental illness. For me, I am anti-drug. I know the instability that goes along with switching meds, lowering doses, raising doses, and especially quitting them completely. I've seen the depths of hell because of meds, and I'd rather not be around someone going through it.

#8 Guest_rw0_*

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Posted 06 May 2010 - 12:05 PM

People have a right to say what their preference is.

But they certainly do not have to insult or ridicule anyone who does not fit that preference.

For example, some people may not want to date someone who is of a larger body type, and I guess it's their right to have that preference. But should they have the right to publicly insult or ridicule anyone of a llarger body type?

#9 Chester Cheetoh

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Posted 06 May 2010 - 12:30 PM

let me quote from the song "Tom Sawyer" by Rush.



What you say about his company
Is what you say about society



#10 Lifeintheslowlane

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Posted 06 May 2010 - 03:54 PM

Simply to add a bit of positive thoughts on this matter - although it doesn't pertain completely to dating sites, per se, but I have disclosed to several lovers that I experience depression and I haven't been rejected by any because of it. Hell, half of them have depression too. I am gaining some confidence that I am able to meet people and be judged on my behaviour, not on an internal health matter.

I still don't like the ridiculous judgments made by people, of course, and even more so that organizations with management and administrators don't put the clamp on this discriminatory language. It is a reflection of how easy it is to mock those with mental illness and still be considered a decent person. Someone please find me a person who can use racist language and not be shunned by anyone with a brain ... doesn't happen. However, mocking mental illness and even sexuality often leads to some twisted sense of admiration for not 'giving in to the politically correct police'. Bleagh bleagh bleagh. As if ignorance is heroic.

#11 Chester Cheetoh

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Posted 06 May 2010 - 04:59 PM

Simply to add a bit of positive thoughts on this matter - although it doesn't pertain completely to dating sites, per se, but I have disclosed to several lovers that I experience depression and I haven't been rejected by any because of it. Hell, half of them have depression too. I am gaining some confidence that I am able to meet people and be judged on my behaviour, not on an internal health matter.



So true. 100% of the world has something wrong. Whether it is mental, emotional, physical, experiential, character flaw, attitude problem, drug or alcohol issues, whatever.

Some people have zero medically wrong, but are just flat-out a-holes.


Its nice to meet people that are not judgemental prior to getting to know you.

#12 xchairity_casex

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Posted 06 June 2010 - 05:29 PM

yes i see this all over the place a few years ago i was so frustrated and all i wanted was SOMEONE to talk to i felt so strongly like well ending things for myself if you know what i mean so i got onto yahoo! chat and not one single person told me not too everyone was edging me on TO do it and calling me a coward and a liar ect. i did try becuase i felt so awful. of coarse i now know that that was an ***** move and i shouldnt have done it but i was 16 years old at the time. and also sometime last year i tried getting some info from yahoo! answers (im on yahoo! alot ) i asked a little bit about if anyone knew of any programs for getting in to see a doctor about getting a diagnoses becuase i had just lost my health insurance and several people told me to "quite faking" and to "stop being a burden to society" and "to stop being a freak" though there were a few people who tried helping me. it really was amzaing to see so many people trying to be so mean pourposly honestly when i first came here i really expected to be ignored or told off by people. :shocked: but thankfully that hasent happend and i am starting to feel better to talk to people about things concerning this.
I f i could get a firm grip on reality- id Choke it.
God is good,but never dance in a small boat
"No fair sky IM the one who feels like Crying..."

#13 Mythica

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Posted 26 June 2010 - 01:35 AM

While you're right, the rudeness tone of some of them could go down a notch... at least they're letting it be known that they don't have the mental or emotional capacity to support someone who needs that kind of support. Better to avoid it all together than have both people suffer the frustration of not understanding/supporting each other.

#14 Kalla

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Posted 26 June 2010 - 01:01 PM

I've seen this on a few dating sites too, and it's one of the reasons why I stay away from them completely. I found that the majority of profiles had unusually high standards or they had obvious emotional baggage that sent up red flags - for example, sometimes I'll see people on there listing their past relationship problems ("just got out of a relationship where my ex cheated on me" / "i hate liars, my recent ex was a total liar") - it makes me think they aren't ready to date again. From reading your post, these examples may have been from people who were in bad relationships with those who were on antidepressants or had mental health issues...and because of that bad relationship, they don't want to repeat it. It's ignorant, rude, and insensitive, yes, but it makes me wonder what made them specifically write that down on their profile.

We studied online dating in a relationship and gender class, and we were asked to look through profiles and "critique" them. We talked about how online dating is all about puting out your best "face" to attract a mate, just like it is in real life, but online profiles can be more controlled with the messages that can be sent out. And it can be more impersonal - you can write whatever you want without much consequence. Because of that, people often lay everything out and they come across as well...jerks. They put a perfect face out there and they expect perfectionism in their mates in return. I've seen the standard "I want a blue eyed, blonde, cute girl who knows how to make me happy" to "I want an intelligent, sexy, funny, and outgoing guy who can put up with my mood swings and take care of me 100%" It's sad, because they aren't perfect...no one is perfect. But it's a culture nowadays of perfectionism - and storybook romances where everything is wonderful and happy all the time. That you should expect to find "the one."

No one I know has had much success with dating sites, including myself. They were a waste of time and emotional energy. I'd rather be single my whole life than go through online dating again lol

"Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light."


#15 Blue_Envy

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Posted 23 September 2010 - 01:57 AM

I'd rather know their intentions and feelings early in the relationship than to fall in love and the subject comes up and he/she spills his/her guts about not liking someone because they are on medication and or have what the norm of society would label as a mental behavioral problem.




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