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I often find myself irritated by the immense stupidity that surrounds us in our everyday lives. I have been particularly bothered by the notion that people with mental problems are inherently weaker than those without mental problems. Many people seem to believe that mentally unhealthy are maladaptive to the regular stress of everyday life and merely unable to cope with the misery of human existence. My family is of this view and my mother made the comment to me the other day that "Some people just cant handle it," implying that I was a person that simply cant handle the harshness of life. When I hospitalized I also received a similar comment from a counselor who was disturbed by my self confidence when she stated that "If you were a strong person, then you wouldn't be here." I believe that these attitudes are mostly ignorant, and shows a complete misunderstanding of mental illness and a disregard for the personal willpower and strength that people dealing with mental illnesses must have in order to survive. I don't consider myself a weak person by any means and I admire my own strength in dealing with my problems the way that I have. I have never once abused any substances whatsoever and have never been drunk a single day in my life, so I consider it insulting for someone to question my personal fortitude. In fact, I think those of us dealing with mental illness have more hurdles and obstacles to overcome and deal and its understandable that we succumb to self medication in a variety of ways. Essentially, we have to deal with a lot of things that comes much more easily for a lot of people. But what is your take on the situation?

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Hi darkcloud

Depression and mental illness is so misunderstood and many people who have never suffered from it, just do not understand. Yes, there are people that see it as a weakness. It is just ignorance on their part. It is not a weakness and I do agree that people suffering from depression and various mental illness's are strong to overcome all the obstacles in the way. It shows tremendous strength to live with this illness.

Trace

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I suffer from depression and I always viewed as a weakness. In fact, at times I still do. My pdoc is helping me to see it as what it really is; an illness. It is hard for me not to think of myself and my personality in terms of my depression. I know what you get, but... I

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Calling it a weakness is judgemental, insensitive and shows a lack of basic understanding of mental illness. There are many causes of mental illness, and I'm certainly not qualified to list them all.

All of what follows is my opinion. I'm not a mental health professional, just someone who's had a lot of personal experience with mental illness.

In the case of depression and anxiety, what others might call weakness I would call "lacking the tools to cope with emotional distress". Nobody is born with healthy coping skills. Some never develop them for a variety of reasons. Physical and emotional neglect or abuse, major or a repeating pattern of trauma, lack of healthy role models, and a host of other reasons can lead to underdevelopment of emotional coping skills. Combined with genetic predisposition, an unhealthy environment, or other risk factors, emotional coping skills play a role in the development of depression specifically, and mental illness in general.

In my own case, my emotional growth was stunted due to a variety of factors, and until fairly recently, I did not develop the skills necessary for anything other than emotional survival. I don't consider myself to have been weak, I certainly had the fortitude to stick it out, despite the emotional train wreck that was my life.

Not having healthy emotional coping skills is not a weakness. I suppose having healthy coping skills and choosing not to use them could be considered a weakness, but who would choose that?

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My family is of this view and my mother made the comment to me the other day that "Some people just cant handle it," implying that I was a person that simply cant handle the harshness of life.

One way to respond to statements like this is to agree with them (in your own special way)... i.e. "Yes, it is very difficult for me to handle things when the chemicals in my brain aren't working right..."

Show them that you are proud to be who you are... flaws and all... Think of your mother saying to a diabetic "Some people just can't handle sugar..." If you take her statement at face value and turn it around to a positive... "Yes I can't... thank goodness there is medication to help me..." then there isn't much she can say to that. It is hard to criticize someone that owns their identity.

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I suffer from depression and I always viewed as a weakness. In fact, at times I still do. My pdoc is helping me to see it as what it really is; an illness. It is hard for me not to think of myself and my personality in terms of my depression. I know what you get, but... I

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I suffer from depression and I always viewed as a weakness. In fact, at times I still do. My pdoc is helping me to see it as what it really is; an illness. It is hard for me not to think of myself and my personality in terms of my depression. I know what you get, but... I

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I have seen depression in myself as a weakness for a long time. It wasn't until the past year when I started getting more/worse symptoms and I did some research that I started believing that what I have is actually an illness, not a weak mind. I'm still in that transitional period of thinking, where part of me still sees myself as weak, for not finding happiness in things, or being able to do the things that seemingly come easily for other people my age. But over the course of this year I'm realizing it is an illness, and that thinking I am weak is just another side effect of the depression, and not true at all.

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I saw it as a weakness for many years - and never admitted to myself that something was wrong with me. I thought that that would automatically make me a weak person. Weak people cry for help, and strong people handle their problems on their own and never need anyone, right? Wrong.

Realising that I have a problem and finding the STRENGHT to seek help was the hardest thing I had to do so far. It made me grow as a person. And now I no longer view my thing (BPD, incidentally) as a weakness ... I view it as a kind of strenght.

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  • 2 weeks later...

...

My family is of this view and my mother made the comment to me the other day that "Some people just cant handle it," implying that I was a person that simply cant handle the harshness of life.

...

At this point, I would be tempted to say, "That may be true, but what do you think they should do about it? Or what should society do about them? Or what should you do about it? Should we start locking them in asylums again? Should we turn them out onto the street to beg for quarters? Just what would you do?"

People hate being forced to complete unfinished thoughts...

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The way I view it about being weak, having no control, etc, is that lets say you got stabbed in one of your organs, and then that organ failed to do its job properly 100%. Would you feel weak for not being able to control that part of you? Or perhaps, somebody was born with a weaker organ, and they have no control over it. Would they be called weak? Obviously this is physical but in my opinion this is how I relate to it. I mean, people with mental disorders exist. And people with physical problems exist. Its like, "Oh you lost an arm and I can see it so I get it" and "Oh you are completely fine from what I can see so you must have no problems". This is how I look at it.

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I think when anyone thinks of depression as a weakness or an illness, either way it's offensive.

Despite all the awfulness of depression, it is part of me.

My brain does this.

I don't see why it has to be a weakness or an illness; I don't see why it just can't be there, and be treated.

Because perhaps it's just more of a sensitivity where everything seems worse,

or maybe it really is something wrong with me/us/some of the population.

I see it like this:

People are like diamonds.

Some are yellow, some are crystal clear, and some have a few flaws.

But sometimes, the yellowing, the crystal clear-ness, the flaws

They give it character.

And even in a society where perfection is the ultimate standard

I think character is a good thing.

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For a long time even though I knew I was ill, I looked at myself as weak.

But I've changed that perception.

I now view it as an illness. I am not weak. I am ill. And I can be treated and recover.

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  • 1 month later...

I don't know how I see my depression; I know it's a disease, but I still blame myself and think I'm weak all the same. I guess it depends on my day. When I was in remission, I kinda regarded it as both: it primarily was an illness that could be used as a weakness if not treated or something along those lines.

Most people I socialize/socialized with see it as a weakness though. :( So if I'm being negative, they just see that as me rather than a symptom of my depression. Never mind that I'm usually NOT a negative person! Before I was diagnosed at 13 my family saw it and my anxiety as weaknesses and tried to get me to overcome them. Their ways of doing that tended to make me feel worse about myself though because I couldn't always do what they suggested.

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I recognize depression as an illness, much like diabetes. However, at times it is a weakness, both physically and mentally. It can be down right draining, but I wouldn't consider it a weakness in character. Depression doesn't define who I am, even if it is something that I will live with for the rest of my life.

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As far as I am concerned, mental illness is a chemical imbalance, injury or mis-wiring of the brain. If you have diabetes, you take insulin. If you have a mental illness, you treat it accordingly, too.

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I see it like this:

People are like diamonds.

Some are yellow, some are crystal clear, and some have a few flaws.

But sometimes, the yellowing, the crystal clear-ness, the flaws

They give it character.

And even in a society where perfection is the ultimate standard

I think character is a good thing.

I will keep this quote above

I dont see mental illness as a weakness. I am trying to see myself as a worthwhile human being and avoid labeling myself as a depressed person. I do see myself as weak when I feel self pity and when I use my depressed attitude as an excuse to avoid interacting with people and isolating myself.

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They don't tell people with diabetes to "just get over it."

I often find myself irritated by the immense stupidity that surrounds us in our everyday lives. I have been particularly bothered by the notion that people with mental problems are inherently weaker than those without mental problems. Many people seem to believe that mentally unhealthy are maladaptive to the regular stress of everyday life and merely unable to cope with the misery of human existence. My family is of this view and my mother made the comment to me the other day that "Some people just cant handle it," implying that I was a person that simply cant handle the harshness of life. When I hospitalized I also received a similar comment from a counselor who was disturbed by my self confidence when she stated that "If you were a strong person, then you wouldn't be here." I believe that these attitudes are mostly ignorant, and shows a complete misunderstanding of mental illness and a disregard for the personal willpower and strength that people dealing with mental illnesses must have in order to survive. I don't consider myself a weak person by any means and I admire my own strength in dealing with my problems the way that I have. I have never once abused any substances whatsoever and have never been drunk a single day in my life, so I consider it insulting for someone to question my personal fortitude. In fact, I think those of us dealing with mental illness have more hurdles and obstacles to overcome and deal and its understandable that we succumb to self medication in a variety of ways. Essentially, we have to deal with a lot of things that comes much more easily for a lot of people. But what is your take on the situation?

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I try not to, but it seems like a weakness to me. There are people with much bigger problems in the world who make the best of it, so I feel pathetic for feeling like this. I look around at friends who are happy, loved, and secure and can't help but feel like I've failed at something.

That and there are no obvious signs - with flu, you're sneezing all the time. Break your arm, and you've got a cast over it. But depression? Its all internal, there are times I wake up and look in the mirror and feel like I've failed at something everyone else passed with ease, as there is nothing outward you can see as being wrong.

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I try not to, but it seems like a weakness to me. There are people with much bigger problems in the world who make the best of it, so I feel pathetic for feeling like this. I look around at friends who are happy, loved, and secure and can't help but feel like I've failed at something.

That and there are no obvious signs - with flu, you're sneezing all the time. Break your arm, and you've got a cast over it. But depression? Its all internal, there are times I wake up and look in the mirror and feel like I've failed at something everyone else passed with ease, as there is nothing outward you can see as being wrong.

Hi Tylamon,

I understand feeling like mental disorders are not as significant as a heart problem or a broken arm, etc., however, consider how bad it might be if it goes unchecked? Would ending up in a psych. ward make you feel like your perceived weakness was significant enough?

Of course there are people in this world with much more horrendous situations than ours. The national news last night had their story on the hundreds of thousands of starving children in Africa, which made me sick and appreciative at the same time, but I still ate dinner last night.

You have not failed at anything. You have a condition that is classified as an illness. It happens to be in your brain, where it isn't as overt, but it doesn't make it any less significant than someone with a condition like Atrial Fibrillation (heart condition) that we can't see, but that must get treated.

We all have days when we feel like this, and honestly I'm just glad there is treatment for us. I have to consider what I'm thankful for when it comes to depression and anxiety, and not dwell on feeling inferior because of it.

Sincerely,

MaddieLouise

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi

How do I see depression...as a potentially fatal illness...although I don't see suicides from depression being quoted in the same way as deaths from heart disease.

Am I weak? I work full time in a very responsible job, bring up two children pretty much alone, am a good friend, support my family when they need it and I resist the temptation to sit in a corner and cry most of the time. I am anything but weak...and I'm proud of who I am

Em x

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  • 2 weeks later...

Dear all,

I had faces such like that before in past and present as well. Whatever they claims on you all, whether means too much or just irritated purposely to show rejections as well as ignorance just don't not bother. I am tend receives various of names most probably jabbed nickname's (bad or jokes or pokes) on your back just because you're sore arse or lacking too much until attempt to harassing or ascertain you are not in their group too. I always felt myself discontent and dishearten extremely whatever what they've done on me as they feel pleased whether in reality or virtual. Once you're recognized your own weaknesses, too afraid exposes? just let exposes..why we had to hide and feel ashamed ourselves?

Let's see by yourself, even thought my written skill is not so good or not so bad but a lot of them mocks on me is total suck ***...so then? Just write as much as you want. Is your life. Who control your life? Nobody can control you at all.

If you're too afraid to acclaims bad names from their, just smile at them and say "thank you so much", I am so pleased to get such a honor title. Hehehe.

Appreciate whatever you can, whatever you had and whatever you can do as much as you can and please do not forget that you're right to be happy and enjoy your life too.

I am trying to live up by myself regardless how i am being so unworthy, useless or jobless or ugly. Human is not perfect form but perfect derive by hard work and appreciation.

Who ever is not good in academics or sports or even in anything likes me..So what? Do your best and live on.

Be happy and be strong

Best regards,

soreloser

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  • 2 months later...

I saw it as a weakness for many years - and never admitted to myself that something was wrong with me. I thought that that would automatically make me a weak person. Weak people cry for help, and strong people handle their problems on their own and never need anyone, right? Wrong.

Realising that I have a problem and finding the STRENGHT to seek help was the hardest thing I had to do so far. It made me grow as a person. And now I no longer view my thing (BPD, incidentally) as a weakness ... I view it as a kind of strenght.

I feel like this to an extent...I still feel like it's a weakness. A weakness in me but when it comes to other people that have a mental illness I don't see them as weak. Just cuz they're are in pain doesn't make them weak know what I'm sayin? Anyway, I feel like a mental illness strengthens a persons mind. I feel like it matures you more than if u never received a mental illness. I don't know that's just how I feel. At the same time I say I'm weak and I believe I'm weak and I hate me. But at the same time I don't see others like that. I guess it's because I feel that everyone else is better than me. Would that be a thought distortion? I don't know.

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