There are a couple of people who sometimes respond to my threads who don’t like it when I say we shouldn’t be calling people mentally ill just because we don’t like them or act in ways that we don’t like. I think it is time for me to outline what is required to make a diagnosis:
- You have to be trained as a psychiatrist or a clinical psychologist. (Most “experts” or the “peanut crunching crowd” are not.)
- You have to have actually examined the person. This goes beyond watching them on television or reading about them in magazines or newspapers.
- You have to use proper diagnostic criteria.
- You must be neutral. Most of the pseudo-diagnoses that I have seen fail magnificently on this score. In my experience, progressives are the worst, but this does not exonerate others including conservatives.
- You must have the patient’s welfare in mind, not an opportunity to insult.
- You must avoid stigmatizing people with mental illness who are not anything like the person you are diagnosing. E.g. By saying that terrorists are mentally ill, you are implying that people who are mentally ill are like terrorists. (Research shows that people with mental illness are less likely to be violent than the normal population.
I realized I haven’t blogged in about a month. Where have I been?
I discovered an app called periscope. It lets you live stream and talk and others can type and chat. The few people who have came to my “scopes” are pretty shy, so I feel like I am talking to myself, but it is fun.
In the news:
There was a recent study on marijuana use and health
Teen marijuana use not linked to later depression, lung cancer, other health problems, study finds
Study contradicts some prior marijuana research
“Chronic marijuana use by teenage boys does not appear to be linked to later physical or mental health issues such as depression, psychotic symptoms or asthma, according to a new study.”
One of the researchers stated:
“We wanted to help inform the debate about legalization of marijuana, but it’s a very complicated issue and one study should not be taken in isolation,” Bechtold said.
MentalHealthJustice.net (has twitter and facebook pages) is collecting videos of people’s stories with mental illness.. They can be about 3-5 minutes
It has been bothering me for a few years now. The surge in young teens who seem absorbed in mental illness.
I first noticed it after I’d had my iphone for a while. Probably over a year after (I was 18 when I got it). I’d been diagnosed when i was 17, and was probably 19 when I noticed. I was on instagram when I got the random desire to see if there were posts about mental illness on there.
And what I saw horrified me.
Kids as young as 12 were posting horrible photos. Typically it was just the cliche depressed quotes over and over again. But there were also photos of other things… there was “thinspiration” where people would post skinny girls who were their “goal” look in terms of thinness. And then there was the pencil test to determine if you really are thin or not, so people posted pictures of those. And pictures of thigh gaps. But I can’t relate to eating disorders, never had one and don’t think I ever will. Then there were ones that flooded my search and were even triggering to me- self harm photos. They were everywhere. I was horrified.
Alright so this is a big topic for me. A fellow author posted a link to a ridiculous quiz on Facebook that I feel the need to (and was asked to) write about.
I am going to take this quiz, step by step, and report exactly what I think about it. And after I will tell you why these quizzes aren’t just silly or stupid, but dangerous (with my anecdote evidence- reliable I know).
Alright, so when you click on the quiz, it starts off by saying, “Are you prone to dramatic and unpredictable mood-swings? What about anxiety and frustration? What’s your level of uniqueness? Find that all out right here.” Right off the bat I am annoyed. This perpetuates the stereotype that bipolar is sudden changes in mood. Going from happy to sad and back in a second. Unless you have extremely rapid-cycling bipolar, this is very unlikely. Bipolar is experienced in episodes. Generally meaning they have to last at least a few days. Although I do have little spikes of bipolar feelings, they aren’t full episodes and are mostly just annoying.
And for anxiety and frustration, yeah those can happen. I have anxiety that is sometimes correlated with my bipolar. But bipolar itself doesn’t specify that you need to have anxiety. Additionally, “frustration?” Really? Who doesn’t experience that? And lastly- “What’s your level of uniqueness?” That makes me want to hit my face on my keyboard. Being bipolar is unique in a sense, because a small amount of the population experiences it. But in this context it is taken in a positive way. In the United States we have a culture where individualism and self-expression is very important. If you’re unique, then it’s usually considered a good thing. But as far as I’m concerned, bipolar is not a good thing.
And then, of course, it adds that this should be used as a diagnostic test. And I’ll explain later why that really doesn’t matter.