Mental Illness is More Than What We Think it is

8개월 전


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I wanted to clear up a misconception about mental illness; one that I am also guilty of.

We all know that mental illness has been a hot topic now a days but after a bad social encounter, I began to realize that we have a narrow minded view of what mental illness is. Just look below and you will see the similarities.

Noticing a trend here? All of the videos are about depression and/or anxiety. This is what is popular right now. Does depression and anxiety encompass everything about mental illness?

Of course not. That would be like saying The United States = North America. Or Brazil = South America. Or Germany = Europe.

Mental Illness is more than just depression and anxiety. The only reason why I believe depression and anxiety are a focus is because society does not like unhappy people. The moment you start feeling sad for over a prolonged period of time, people will think you have a problem. While there may be some truth to that, by relentlessly focusing on one mental illness, you ignore the more dangerous ones.

Passive Aggressiveness

Narcissism

Psychopathy

Sociopathy

Yes. These are also mental illnesses/disorders too! And they require therapy and medication just like depression and anxiety does. But we do not talk about them. Why? Because they are usually happy and lack a conscience. Unlike depressed people who sometimes try to hide their mental state, the aforementioned mentally ill have their mental state out in the open. The closer you get to them, the more dangerous they are because you will become open to their manipulation tactics. But hey as long they do it with a smile, society will tolerate their behavior for long periods of time. We do not hold these people accountable even though these people can easily be one the most dangerous people on the planet. I won't name names but you can google to find out what they have done throughout history.

This double standard doesn't make sense to me. In my opinion, the worst thing a depressed person does most of the time is harm themselves. The worst thing a narcissist can do for example is harm everyone BUT themselves.

Even though I am not caught up with the news, I have never heard any public figure seeking treatment for those 4 traits. So what is the result? We may have less depressed people but the population of psychos and narcissists will increase. But it is the latter that creates depression and anxiety to begin with!

When we come across such dangerous people, most of the time it ends with us quietly walking away, and them looking for another victim. After all, those kind of people never believe that their actions are wrong. But when it comes to depression, everyone wants to exploit err...…. I mean reach out and give them support.
Guess that is why being depressed is so popular now.

So popular that I even misuse it in my previous posts. Every time I mentioned mental illness, in my head I was really referring to people who were depressed. I never considered someone like a sociopath or a narcissist. Even other people misuse it. And by misusing the word, we are only focusing on a fraction of the problem and not the whole problem.

Well I am going to try and stop using it improperly. The world won't become better unless EVERY disorder and illness is treated, not just the ones that are convenient to us.

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I don't think passive aggression deserves to be listed right before narcissism and sociopathy. It's not a psychological disorder, it's a behavior pattern.

By their very natures, narcissistic and antisocial personality disorders don't create a lot of pain, shame or desire to in the people who have them to change the conditions. Since treatment is an elective choice, you need to have a reason to do it.

People don't really seek "treatment" for either condition. Both groups don't think it is necessary to change so no one is going to make a teary video about how their narcissism caused them pain and receiving treatment helped them get back to normal functioning.

Most people are familiar with feeling anxious and depressed and find empathizing easier, but you don't have an "episode" of sociopathy for example.

So it's easier and more relatable to have a public outreach campaign about reducing the shame around treating these conditions-- while doing that with narcissism seems bizarre because of the complete lack of shame inherent in being narcissistic, right?

Depression and anxiety are treatable with therapy and medication. Some of the other clusters of symptoms in the DSM aren't necessarily causing the people who have them to suffer-- so they're not going to get treated nor diagnosed.

But saying that depression and anxiety are "caused" by narcissists and sociopaths is a real slippery and incorrect slope-- since when depression and anxiety are clinically diagnosed medical conditions, they become biological (when they may or not have begun that way) and continue, unrelated to the behavior of the people around.

For example, some people who experience trauma will develop PTSD.

Some will not.

Some people who have experienced narcissistic abuse will become depressed.

Some will not.

Your post brings up a good point about how these are less visible conditions, which is definitely true. Unfortunately, changing the people who have them isn't as easy as drawing more attention to the problem.

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Well written. I have worked with people with Mental illness for a number of years and agree entirely with what you said. Thanks.

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First of all, thanks for stopping by with a great comment.

I don't think passive aggression deserves to be listed right before narcissism and sociopathy. It's not a psychological disorder, it's a behavior pattern.

I'm pretty sure it's a disorder. Maybe not a psychological one, but definitely a disorder. Then again I don't want to harp on this.

People don't really seek "treatment" for either condition. Both groups don't think it is necessary to change so no one is going to make a teary video about how their narcissism caused them pain and receiving treatment helped them get back to normal functioning.......So it's easier and more relatable to have a public outreach campaign about reducing the shame around treating these conditions-- while doing that with narcissism seems bizarre because of the complete lack of shame inherent in being narcissistic, right?

Humorous don't you think? But then again would a narcissist even believe that he or she has a problem to begin with? Recognizing these people and treating them is a complete different and more difficult problem from treating depression. No wonder it is swept under the rug.

But saying that depression and anxiety are "caused" by narcissists and sociopaths is a real slippery and incorrect slope-- since when depression and anxiety are clinically diagnosed medical conditions, they become biological (when they may or not have begun that way) and continue, unrelated to the behavior of the people around.
For example, some people who experience trauma will develop PTSD.
Some will not.
Some people who have experienced narcissistic abuse will become depressed.
Some will not.

Agreed. I tend to type like this from time to time. I should have used the word "probably" but I didn't want my post to be toothless. It is obvious that there is a connection between the two. Narcissism from parents for example, is definitely a thing. How strong is this connection however, is definitely up for debate.

Welcome to Steemit BTW

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@snoreball Unfortunately, narcissists don't believe they have a problem-- which... well... is part of their problem. Although, fairly large support communities exist to help people who have been victims of narcissistic abuse, thank goodness.

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And, thanks @snoreball for the warm welcome!

Passive Aggressiveness
Narcissism
Psychopathy
Sociopathy

These are just some of those that we can find in the range of pathologies that we can suffer, just for the fact of being human beings.

As you say, it's incredible that you try to simplify a fact of such great magnitude and only talk about depression.

Recently I read a phrase that will be marked in my mind forever and that is closely related to the title of your publication:

"The worst part of having a mental Illness is that people expect you to behave is like if you did not have it."

All best, Piotr.

Interesting perspective- we often say that narcissism is a sickness but we often say that as an insult rather than truly wish for those people to get medical help. After reading I decided to check if it’s listed as a mental health disorder - it is. How does one point out to someone that they need help in this area? Hmmm sociopaths have a difficult life ... what kind of help is Available for these people ?

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Yes. It is like calling someone retarded; it is used as an insult when it denotes something much more serious.

Narcissists are mentally ill and treating them is difficult because they have no shame in their behavior and they honestly believe that they are normal.

Honestly the best situation is not to help them, but to run from them.

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I endorse this sentiment! 🏃🏾🏃🏾🏃🏾🏃🏾🏃🏾

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