mental illness is real

it’s a question as old as the idea of mental illness itself. if you were to visit a psychologist’s office, one of the first things that he or she would do is assess your symptoms. what’s important to note is that the diagnosis is determined primarily by the symptoms.

if you go to the doctor complaining of upper respiratory symptoms and he or she diagnoses you with the flu, this provides an explanation for your symptoms—the flu virus is the cause of your coughing and sneezing. cognitive therapists later hypothesized that mental illnesses were often due to particular negative views of the self, known as schemas. as a psychologist, if i know that my patient has the particular combination of symptoms that would allow me to diagnose major depression or panic disorder or obsessive-compulsive disorder, i can turn to empirical research about what techniques have helped others with that diagnosis in the past, rather than reinventing the wheel each time. but they are useful descriptions of the very real suffering that people can experience.

whatever the answer to that question, it should cast no doubts or aspersions on the very real suffering of people with mental health problems. the problem, though, is that the efficacy of such treatments, and the mechanisms by which they work, tend to be oversold and presented as long-term solutions. poverty, relative inequality, being subject to racism, sexism, displacement and a competitive culture all increase the likelihood of mental suffering – as the survivor-led collective recovery in the bin brilliantly illuminates.

correlations between experiences and genetic phenotypes are conflated with evidence for molecular pathways that prove the existence of distinct disorders. the idea that mental suffering is a “real” illness residing in individuals, and especially in their genes, can therefore be damaging. some will choose to conceptualise their distress as an illness, others as a result of trauma, others yet as an embodied response to the mixed messages that are rife in society about who and how we are supposed to be.

so, are mental illnesses real? yes. but we need to understand their limitations. they’re generally not external invaders of the body like in one sense mental illness is obviously real – there really are states of distress and, for whatever reason, we call them mental illness. but but mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of! it is a medical condition, just like heart disease or diabetes. and mental health conditions are treatable. we, mental illness is real quotes, mental illness is real quotes, proof that mental illness is real, mental health, is my mental illness real.

mental illnesses are as real as diseases such as heart disease or cancer. understanding that mental illness isn’t a weakness or a character flaw helps people get help. some of the more common mental health problems include: depression. fact: just as with heart disease and diabetes, mental illnesses are a legitimate medical illness. research shows there are genetic and arguing in the myth of mental illness: foundations of a theory of personal conduct that they are merely ‘indirect forms of communication’, thomas szasz posited mental disorders, on the other hand, affect the very core of one’s being through a range of experiences and phenomena of varying severity that alter the, is depression a mental illness, 10 things to know about mental health.

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