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Rethinking Mental Illness

Mental Health and mental illness | Hope Counseling

 

All throughout history, individuals with mental illnesses have been marginalized, if not brutalized and shunned. In ancient times, the mentally ill were often seen as possessed by demons, or in league with the devil, and as a result, were put to death. It is a sad commentary on world perception, that the mentally ill are still stigmatized, living as the outsiders among us, considered to be not “normal”, and sometimes dangerous.

 

People tend to fear what they don’t understand, and unfortunately, the mentally ill are still all too often misunderstood, and thought to be people to avoid. They are considered to be “strange”, “weird” and “crazy”. As a result, their lives are often lived in secret, and they seek no help or support. Even people who are well-educated have many misconceptions about mental illness, and frequently, it is up to the mentally ill to teach the rest of us what it’s really about.

 

That mental illness is physiological, that there is frequently medication involved in treatment, and there is a “diagnosis”, a label placed on the mentally ill person, that label oftentimes follows that person all her life. People say of the mentally ill, “She is a schizophrenic”, and instead of the schizophrenic saying “I have schizophrenia”, she will tell others, “I am schizophrenic”, thus identifying the totality of who she is with her illness. She takes societal stigma and judgment and places it on herself. Society’s stereotype becomes her own. She has become her illness. It is so counter-intuitive to her potential wellness.

 

The truth is that the those who live with mental illnesses are us. They often continue to live lives that are full and meaningful. They want to love and be loved and accepted, and to feel useful – that they matter. They want to be seen as more than just one part of who they are. They can be intelligent and creative and productive. And they walk this earth, not as outsiders or ghosts, but as human beings, the just the same as regular people. They only need the chance to become as fully realized as they can be. For that chance, it is up to us to educate ourselves and in doing so, to eradicate the terrible stigma that has followed people with mental illness for too long.

 

Mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, depression, and bi-polar disorder, post traumatic stress disorder, and several other mental illnesses are difficult to live with, but can also be overcome. For those that suffer these illnesses, it’s possible to live a completely normal life, without revealing that the illness is present. On one hand, this is great because it allows the person to live without prejudice. On the other hand, it forces them to be underground about their symptoms.

 

The solution is to allow change the way we think about mental illness. It can be scary and unpredictable. But at the root, it can be simply another hurdle for us to overcome. Diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders is paramount.

Scared to see a counselor?

 

Being scared to seek counseling is really common. After all, we’ve been taught that we should solve our own problems! Sometimes overcoming the realization that we need help isn’t an easy thing to do. Even if whatever your challenge is isn’t serious, admitting that we can’t fix the situation ourselves is difficult. Maybe you know what you should be doing, but you aren’t motivated to do it. Maybe you’ve just got a couple roadblocks to overcome. Whatever it is, you’re thinking that talking it over with a counselor might be helpful, but you’re a little scared to get started. Counseling can be the first step you take in making a difference in your life.

Here are some things to think about while considering seeking some guidance:

Hope Counseling | Session

 

It’s only a conversation

Sometimes all it takes is one meeting with a counselor to get the advice we’re looking for. Maybe it’ll take two. Maybe you’ll decide it’s really helpful and become a returning client. Either way, you’re not losing anything by just making one appointment.

You run things

If there’s a topic you don’t want to discuss, you don’t have to talk about it! Sometimes people are afraid that counselors will try to get inside your head and read your thoughts. Although this would be an amazing super power, I don’t know any counselors that can actually do that. If there is a topic you don’t want to talk about, just say so. If you feel like the conversation is going in a bad direction, say so. You have the stage to work on whatever problem you want to work on.

It’s Effective

You know how just venting to your friends is so cathartic? Imagine that your friend was actually educated in how to help you perfectly. That’s what counseling is. Many people have overcome depression, relationship issues, or self-esteem issues just by working through their problems with a therapist. They’ll help you look at your situation from a different angle.

Start with a phone call

Call the office and request to just talk to someone on the phone, to get a feeling if talking it out is something that can help you. You’ve got nothing invested, and you’re totally anonymous. If once you talk to the counselor for a bit, you’ve decided that it might be helpful to schedule a full session, go ahead! You’ve already made huge progress.

What to Do if You Have a “Problem Child”

A Problem Child will take his or her toll on family, teachers, and anyone who may have authority over the kid.  Mostly, kids in general have trouble expressing their emotions and in some cases, kids may feel like they can’t be honest about feelings or they might be in trouble. Now, add any other stress to a child, and they’ll probably lose it and act out. It’s hard to blame them; kids can’t handle pressure the way we can, it takes years of building emotional strength to handle life’s largest challenges. When you’re challenged as a child, with anything from a divorce to a death, it changes you.

Here’s what you can do if your child is acting out:

  • Identify if it’s medical, psychological or emotional issues causing your child anguish
  • Gather all of your information about what sets the behavior off
  • Consider that it may be a learning disability
  • Think about the home ife; has anything major happened?
  • If necessary, seek counseling; many behavioral problems are easier to treat when they’re not treated early enough. If you’re unsure, just contact us for advice.

How to Indetify Learning Disabilities in Children

Identifying learning disabilities in children

Counseling for Adhd Dyslexia and other learning disabilitiesLearning disabilities in children often go unnoticed. Many people, even good parents and teachers, can miss a few signs, as they are often cloaked under what most consider “poor behavior”. Adults expect a certain level of attention and success out of a child, based on his or her peers, and when a child does not perform up-to par, people often assume that he or she simply isn’t trying. Not only is that very far from the truth, but it’s offensive to the child, making them feel frustrated and alone. Identifying learning disabilities early on helps a child accept that he or she learns differently, and it can help their confidence.

Children with learning disabilities often struggle with self-esteem and loneliness, which can actually kill their mood and exacerbate their disorders. Take ADHD for example, kids with ADHD often do things in a unconventional way, which frustrates others.

The key to helping a child with a learning disability is an understanding that they are not lazy or unmotivated.

Watch for problems with motor skills. If your child struggles with putting letters or numbers in order, it may coincide with his or her inability to organize toys and clothes. Poor coordination while walking, talking, or writing is a big sign of motor skill problems.

You can also look for developmental delays. If your child appears to do many things slower than his or her peers do, he or she could have a developmental delay, or your kid may be struggling with only one thing that holds everything back. This is why communication is important with your child, you have to be able to identify what the setback is.

Watch your child’s interaction with schoolwork. If he or she never touches it, your child may be unmotivated or lazy. However, if you often see your son or daughter often start work but they never finish it, that’s a big sign of ADHD and other frustrating things.

Check their emotional levels. Does your child get angry when you mention his or her performance? Do you notice depressed or irritable moods for no particular reason? High peaks of mania and motivation, followed by low moods are also a big sign of learning disability.

Look for frequent confusion in your son or daughter. If he or she is always losing belongings or focus, it may be a learning disability.