Well, this makes a lot of sense. I have a very clear picture of why determining mental health or illness is done as it is. Thank you.
This has also opened my thinking. From what you said about listing things in the negative rather than the positive. I can see that sometimes the positive can encompasses a vast amount of details while just saying the negative can give a quick beginning.
I particularly appreciate and found it revealing when you said,
“A clinician must rely solely on what you say, this then requires that (1) you are aware of and understand how you feel (people are notoriously bad about being aware of their mental states) and (2) are willing to and are capable of truthfully communicating this information to the clinician (people are terrible at this as well, people often leave out some information to prevent embarrassment or to not appear ‘whiny’, and often people don’t know the vocabulary of clinical training and find it very hard to find a way to clearly describe their mental states)”
I can see that my concerns are more about clinicians “deciding” what someone is feeling, thinking, experiencing than with the system.
it was after seeing a clinician that did not check out their theories that was the very negative diagnosis, and it was a clinician that talked with me for a while that concluded that I was not in need of specialized help. Might I add that I saw the clinician that made the very negatively impacting diagnosis merely for 1 visit before they started to talk of me and to me as if something was severely wrong. Seriously. it was after the initial consult.
I’ll tell you, and I would much appreciate your thoughts on it for it has been a difficult thing for me because of the negative impact that has ensued after their diagnosis.
I had some concerns that were bothering me and wasn’t making the headway I wanted to in them and the limbo time was particularly painful for this event.
I talked to a friend that was successfully seeing someone professional for her concerns. My friend said that it would be a good idea to find out ahead of time what the clinician was willing and not willing to do. I was telling her how when I open up about my concern, I felt a lot of pain inside that was difficult to deal with and i was concerned about the time between visits. My friend told me that you can actually call some clinicians between visits but I would have to find out if this particular one did such.
My friend went on to tell me many other things that clinicians could do but it was dependent on the personal views, opinions and abilities of each clinician and I would need to ask each of them what their boundaries were.
I proceeded to meet with the clinician. I asked if they were someone who allowed calls during the week if things got difficult. If they allowed phone consultations (at the time I had no car and severe anxiety attacks so going anywhere when things were particularly stressful sometimes meant I ended up in the ER for symptoms that I thought were signs of heart issues.)
The clinician I am discussing did not know that, nor did I think to explain every reason i had a question. I assumed the clinician would just tell me what they did and didn’t do without much concern about it. This clinician later told me that I was trying to control her and the meeting by asking so many questions. Clearly not my intention at all. I can see now that she never checked out this theory. Or if she did, she might have been caught up in her own issues at the time, I don’t know.
I later saw another person that was a counselor. Someone less “clinical” if that makes sense. I had a wonderful experience with her. She figured out what my concerns were and offered advice that she had seen help many of her clients with similar concerns. It was so relieving to talk with this counselor. I ended up not seeing her after a while since my concern was resolved.
That was my experience.
Thank you for all your time in this. I have a really clear picture of how this system works now. I can see that my concerns are stemming from my personal experiences of the clinicians I have experienced rather than this system. A Million Thanks for sure!!
I’m glad you are enjoying the conversation. I am gaining so much from it. This has eluded me for so long. I finally just decided that it must all be bunk since it didn’t seem to make sense or come together in any way for me. I’m starting to see some value in it and it is making more sense as well.
It sounds like Mental illness is just the ability to handle something or not. Or rather, mental illness is the inability to handle something on an emotional level in such a way as to produce an outcome that is devoid of harm to self or others. Is that a leap or just another way of saying what you are saying?
I think it’s the whole talking in negative that is confusing to me. Describing what something is by describing what it isn’t. I tend to do this when i don’t really know what something is. I mean, if you can’t describe what it is, than you don’t know what it is, right? So I default into describing what it isn’t for lack of ability to do otherwise. I suppose I firmly believe that if what something is cannot be described than it is not known. Of course some people have habits of talk and such. But baring habits and social norms of speaking, if they cannot describe it in the affirmative than they do not know it.
i think this is why i keep asking the question, how can you decide what it isn’t until you decide what it is.
I see from your answer that something is becoming clear for me. It seems that a person’s mental illness is not what is being determined here. It seems that it is more about finding where you fit in, in the social norm. In saying that I don’t at all want to trivialize the nature of the measurement device we are using here. The device being someone’s ability to cope and manage life.
At this point I am seeing that it makes sense that there would be one measurement rather than more than one describing , average, below average, extremely above average, extremely below average and such. It seems this might be an issue with mistaken meaning. I take this to mean that you are being told there is something wrong if you do not fit into the measurement or that you have to fit into the measurement. Or as I write that…. That there are clinicians decided for people where they fall on the scale.
Personal story. I have seen clinicians before. I noticed that the ones that connected with me said that I was healhty with minor issues to consider. That I would be fine on my own and if I wanted to talk and see them I could. Other clinicians, this was not so. It’s like when you are talking with a group. Some people you get along with and some you just don’t. It’s awkward. I was with a clinician and it was awkward and this clinician gave me some interesting labels. I read over the symptoms of them and it was clear that they sound like someone else’s life. And at the same time nothing I said or did seemed to make any difference to the clinician. They saw everything with the label they had given me. I could see how they got the decision by some key words I might have used.
This seems to be a label of how well you function in life. How successful you are at creating and maintaining the life you want and that is healthy to yourself and to the people around you. Is that an accurate conclusion of what mental health is? Or at least would you agree and do you believe that the “official” determinant of what mental health is would agree? Maybe a scale doesn’t agree or not agree. I suppose that’s all it is really. A scale to get an idea of where to start. It seems that this is what this is. A scale to get an idea of where to start.
Sorry if this is a long shout in your view. This is just getting so interesting and it’s rare to get to really sink your teeth into a topic like this. Like a mental fillet mignon. Mmmmmmmm.
Hmmm, only $16 on Amazon for the book. I’ll highly consider it as my next read. I’m always looking for a next read. I’m always in the middle of at least one book, sometimes two or three at a time.
Yes, how tallness is the measurement against and there must be something to measure something against to establish a judgement of it. I think that was what I was trying to say as well. I was not getting a clear definition of mental health, so that was causing some wonder about how there was even an establishment of mental illness. It is a little like saying, tallness for example, A tall person is someone who is not tall. Mental health is when there is no mental illness. You see?
I agree with your view on the stubbing the toe, that is a physical sensation more so and is to brief non the less.
What you say about the average being the measurement criteria makes sense and at the same time I would go on to wonder that the average measurement is only applicable to the average person as well. Wouldn’t there need to be a measurement for those who don’t fall into the average category, or are they saying anyone not average is defined as ill?
You have really helped me to understand this. I am open to further discussion if you feel you would like to do so as well and I’ll place an order for that book after I finish my current one.
Okay, this is starting to make sense now. I don’t know if I just needed it phrased differently a couple times or what…
Mental illness is
When a symptom causes distress or impairment.
Mental Health is
Anytime there is no distress or impairment.
Am I correct in assuming that according to these standards something as simple as stubbing your toe and feeling distress and impairment is considered a moment of mental illness?
Of course there is the “clinically” in there. It has to be Clinically significant. Is that stating that any time a clinician decides something is causing distress and impairment that it is mental illness?
If this assumption is correct then is it fair to say that the true decision on mental health is decided by the clinician, and since everyone has varying decision on when to decide if something is considerably distressful or not, than Mental Health is actually fluctuating dependent on which clinician is sought?
Thank you for continuing this with me. Your thoughtful responses are a breath of fresh air.
I’ve almost got my AA in psych completed. When I’m done with that I’ll be transferring to a school in Seattle to start working on my BA in Psych w/ a concentration in Criminal Justice and then My Masters in Forensic Psych.
It’s always interesting to look back at old shout-trails you’ve had with people on this site. You never know what you’ll find there. :)
That’s quite funny. I have yet to read any of his stories. My only knowledge of Nietzsche is through his wonderful quotes and a history class that touched upon the famous German philosopher. I will have to find time to read some of his works.
I claim to know as fact that the God of my parents is false as they describe and reference it. Then after much travel and in depth discussion, I realised there were more meanings to “god” than there were believers ( each believer having at least one distinct belief per lifetime) - so I had to admit agnostic to the god concept.
I’m not a bible beleiver, myself, and it always interests me when someone has that much knowledge and thinking capabilities and is also a believer. May I ask, and of course I won’t be offended if you choose not to answer, - are you religious?
No problem. I know some step parents who are worse than awful. One girl I know was raped by her step father and became pregnant. Now the child is his granddaughter and daughter… last time I saw her she was addicted to oxycontin and injecting cocaine in her arms. Just be glad for what you have, it can always be worse.
My dad was horrible to my step kids. He always treated them like crap and spoiled his real grandchildren. I refuse to be that kind of person. He would send all these presents for three of the children on Christmas and the other two (step kids) would get nothing. asshole….
I read you have a BA in psychology, could you please give me advise to help my spouse, if you decide to read my two posts it would help but if not (their kinda long) i’d be happy to explain. i’m truly concerned for m.s. with all that is going on and i am afraid m.s. might lose them self. we have no insurance and i am having a hard time convincing m.s. to help them self