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  1. #1
    Antidote's Avatar Rude & Shouty
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    Little Tolerance For Mental Illness Despite Growing Belief In Genetic Cause

    I found this article a little while ago and forgot to post it but I think it's pretty sad:

    Aug. 29, 2008 — A new study by University of Pennsylvania sociology professor Jason Schnittker shows that, while more Americans believe that mental illness has genetic causes, the nation is no more tolerant of the mentally ill than it was 10 years ago.
    I imagine similar results would emerge from other developed countries...

    Schnittker’s study, “An Uncertain Revolution: Why the Rise of a Genetic Model of Mental Illness Has Not Increased Tolerance,” attempts to address why tolerance of the mentally ill hasn’t increased along with the rising popularity of a biomedical view of its causes. His study finds that different genetic arguments have, in fact, become more popular but have very different associations depending on the mental illness being considered.

    “In the case of schizophrenia, genetic arguments are associated with fears regarding violence,” Schnittker said. “In fact, attributing schizophrenia to genes is no different from attributing it to bad character — either way Americans see those with schizophrenia as ‘damaged’ in some essential way and, therefore, likely to be violent. However, when applied to depression, genetic arguments have very different connotations: they are associated with social acceptance. If you imagine that someone’s depression is a genetic problem, the condition seems more real and less blameworthy: it’s in their genes, they’re not weak, so I should accept them for who they are.”
    I don't have access to the research article at the moment but I think it comes down to fear and relatability. Disorders that are considered relatable, ie. depression / anxiety are more likely to evoke sympathy than schizophrenia, because depression / anxiety exist on the extreme end of a normal emotional spectrum. However, psychosis and delusions are things that most normal people never or seldom experience (maybe only when under the influence of drugs or acute physical illness like when having a fever), so there's a foreign and scary aspect to that. Moreover, thanks to the distortions perpetuated by the media, schizophrenia, certain personality disorders and probably to a lesser extent bipolar is associated with violence and cruelty which evokes fear.

    Character weaknesses are still attributed to anxiety / depression though (including by people who HAVE the condition themselves). At least anxiety disorders don't tend to make the general public afraid of you, at worst they think you're cowardly, weird and pathetic.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...0829135352.htm
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18703264

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    Otherside's Avatar
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    It's sad really. I don't feel comfortable informing anyone in feel life that I suffer from bipolar disorder. It's said that when I do, I get a shocked "You can't possibly have it" look. I was one reading an answer on yahoo answers, that was telling someone to "dump his bipolar girlfriend" because all they cared about "was sex and anger and can't love anyone." It hurt, that.

    Do people think I'm pathetic? Yes, they do. They don't think I'm "trying hard enough". They don't fully understand why I'm not in college right now. No doubt, they'll tell me it's because of my personality and to "get over it". I don't ask for people to feel sorry for me, and I'd rather they didn't. I never use my illness as an excuse for my actions, but really, I expect some understanding for why I am currently the way I am. And why I currently do some of the things I do. Or have done.

    There's a thread over at another forum (Not that one) in which a lot of people are claiming that "mental illness isn't really, everyones got there own quirks". Let's turn this around...Multiple Sclirosis isn't really, because hey, everyones different..."

    And it bugs me. Anyone who doesn't think mental illness is real should spend a day in my head.
    I'M GONNA FIGHT 'EM ALL
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  3. #3
    Antidote's Avatar Rude & Shouty
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    Quote Otherside View Post
    It's sad really. I don't feel comfortable informing anyone in feel life that I suffer from bipolar disorder. It's said that when I do, I get a shocked "You can't possibly have it" look. I was one reading an answer on yahoo answers, that was telling someone to "dump his bipolar girlfriend" because all they cared about "was sex and anger and can't love anyone." It hurt, that.
    I have seen that kind of attitude towards bipolar disorder. On that other forum (that one), there was once a thread where a number of posters blatantly said women with bipolar where unpredictable and untrustworthy. Several also said bipolar women would be the type to have a one night stand then accuse the person they slept with of rape. I was absolutely appalled and disgusted.

    Quote Otherside View Post
    There's a thread over at another forum (Not that one) in which a lot of people are claiming that "mental illness isn't really, everyones got there own quirks". Let's turn this around...Multiple Sclirosis isn't really, because hey, everyones different..."

    And it bugs me. Anyone who doesn't think mental illness is real should spend a day in my head.
    That's just dumb. What kind of forum is it? Do they also think delusional schizophrenics are just being ''quirky''?

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    Otherside's Avatar
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    Quote Antidote View Post
    I have seen that kind of attitude towards bipolar disorder. On that other forum (that one), there was once a thread where a number of posters blatantly said women with bipolar where unpredictable and untrustworthy. Several also said bipolar women would be the type to have a one night stand then accuse the person they slept with of rape. I was absolutely appalled and disgusted.

    That's just dumb. What kind of forum is it? Do they also think delusional schizophrenics are just being ''quirky''?
    Sadly, this was on a support forum as well. I won't be going there again.
    I'M GONNA FIGHT 'EM ALL
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    compulsive's Avatar
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    Well actually people don't understand anxiety disorders at all and they do look at you crazy for having minor meltdowns. People say that you are hurting them by acting in these ways and they don't really care about how you feel. Mostly people just want you to shut up and pretend. People only understand if the thing you are anxious about is socially acceptable.

    But yeah I agree with the rest. Its quite unfair how some disorders are portrayed.

    I read up some stuff on BDP(borderline) and people always diagnose assholes with it just because they are assholes. And people talk about how borderlines are psychopathic and destroy 'non bpds' etc, but most of these "borderlines" are not even diagnosed. People just shove the label at anyone that hurt them and they cant even read 1 wikipedia page (first entry!) to see they are wrong. Theres even books by complete idiots talking about how borderlines damage people and are psychopathic etc. These geniuses are not even experienced with mental illness let alone psychologists.

    Im like are you fucking me? You don't understand the first thing about mental illness.Please learn how to READ. How the [BEEP] can you diagnose borderline? Suddenly every person you ever dated must be a borderline because you had a fight.

    People without mental illness hurt others all the time and its unfair how people get special treatment when they hurt others on purpose because whatever they did was 'understandable'. It does not matter if you can understand a persons actions or not. I think its only fair that either everyone is judged by their actions and intentions or no one is.

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    People have a really hard time understanding mental illnesses. It's like, if you don't fit my standard of normal, you are dangerous...and I'll throw you into a box and say you are.

    I actually think judgmental people are more dangerous than someone who is a bit eccentric, but the world doesn't normally feel that way. And that just plain sucks.

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    Otherside's Avatar
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    Quote compulsive View Post
    People say that you are hurting them by acting in these ways and they don't really care about how you feel. Mostly people just want you to shut up and pretend. People only understand if the thing you are anxious about is socially acceptable.
    Yup, it's okay to be so terrified of spiders that you can't enter the room, but any other sort of anxiety, and that's not okay,

    I read up some stuff on BDP(borderline) and people always diagnose assholes with it just because they are assholes. And people talk about how borderlines are psychopathic and destroy 'non bpds' etc, but most of these "borderlines" are not even diagnosed. People just shove the label at anyone that hurt them and they cant even read 1 wikipedia page (first entry!) to see they are wrong. Theres even books by complete idiots talking about how borderlines damage people and are psychopathic etc. These geniuses are not even experienced with mental illness let alone psychologists.

    Im like are you fucking me? You don't understand the first thing about mental illness.Please learn how to READ. How the [BEEP] can you diagnose borderline? Suddenly every person you ever dated must be a borderline because you had a fight.

    People without mental illness hurt others all the time and its unfair how people get special treatment when they hurt others on purpose because whatever they did was 'understandable'. It does not matter if you can understand a persons actions or not. I think its only fair that either everyone is judged by their actions and intentions or no one is.
    Funny thing, I was watching a documentary the other day and it's not that we're more "dangerous" than the others. If anything, we're more vulnerable to be being hurt by other people...maybe not physically, but emotionally, we're more vulnerable.

    Borderlines...BPD doesn't come out of nowhere. Do some research on it and the stories of the sufferers and what you find isn't very pleasant. A lot of people with BPD might also have PTSD. I feel sorry for some of the people who are diagnosed with it.

    Once again though, it's people using words that don't understand. "Oh, he's Schizo" or "Antisocial because he isn't talking to people."
    I'M GONNA FIGHT 'EM ALL
    A SEVEN NATION ARMY COULDN'T HOLD ME BACK.......


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    We're not more dangerous, but we're more likely to be perceived that way.

    I've been told, by therapists no less, to not talk about my mental illnesses except with them. This is troubling, because it makes me feel like I should be embarrassed for being myself, and how can I live properly if I am ashamed of who I am?

    Being biPolar, I have to hear all the time disparaging things towards people who suffer from the same illness I have. Yes, I'm treated, and no, I don't outwardly show that I suffer from mania and depression when not taking pills...but it's a hot potato if there ever was one. I had a dorm roommate who treated me like [BEEP] because he found out I was taking medication.

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    Right, look at how ridiculously over-inflated the breast-cancer walks are in comparison to other illnesses. If people can say that everybody knows somebody who has been impacted by breast cancer, we can also say that everybody knows somebody who struggles with a mental health situation or has been impacted by it.... It's dark and it's creepy and it's unpopular.

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    WineKitty's Avatar
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    Only a handful, a very small handful, know that I have GAD and SA. I do a pretty good job of hiding it. But I always feel like a fraud to some degree because of that.

    People don't understand it and would label me "creepy" or "weird" if they knew.
    "You can never really know a person and if you think you can, you're living in a fucking dream world!" David Fisher, Six Feet Under

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    It really hurts when you see other mentally ill people telling you to avoid other mentally ill people.

    I've seen one forum where a lot of the posters complain about people never understanding, misunderstanding, not wanting to have anything to do with them because they're unwell...then say you need to stay away from anyone with a personality disorder because they're just going to "screw you up" and moan about how they should be hospitalized where they can't be "emotionally abusive".
    I'M GONNA FIGHT 'EM ALL
    A SEVEN NATION ARMY COULDN'T HOLD ME BACK.......


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    Quote WintersTale View Post
    People have a really hard time understanding mental illnesses. It's like, if you don't fit my standard of normal, you are dangerous...and I'll throw you into a box and say you are.

    I actually think judgmental people are more dangerous than someone who is a bit eccentric, but the world doesn't normally feel that way. And that just plain sucks.
    ............Gosh, I would get rides home with my co-worker a while ago and she would say to me "did you see the way that guy looked at me"..OR "did you see her face".....she would then laugh....And I hadn't really noticed it but people are often just very unfriendly in general. I was crossing the street in the cross walk and these two women looked out of the side of their SUV at me because apparently there was nothing else more interesting for them to stare out and their facial expressions were so grumpy and cold...it was yesterday Saturday, maybe they were going to do something unpleasant. I don't know. My point is I think there is already a level of unfriendliness anyways in our society, one doesn't have to even be acting mentally ill to have these kinds of experiences.

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