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Do you think people should self-diagnose mental illness? watch

  • View Poll Results: Do you think people should self-diagnose mental illness?
    Yes
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    (Original post by Tiger Rag)
    Can you tell that to a friends daughter who has constant issues controlling her blood sugar? Oh, and it can leave people with serious medical problems, such as blindness.
    ....I was being sarcastic hence (/s). I was taking the mick out of the user who said they challenge that depression is a medical illness. I know full well diabetes is real, my mum has it.
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    Well you 'feel' wrong.
    (Original post by SophieSmall)
    Yeah I know what you mean.
    I challenge the idea that diabetes is a medical problem too.

    s/
    It isn't necessarily completely incorrect that depression or other mental illnesses are a social problem, that isn't that to say that they are not an illness or that they are not real, but there is an element of these illnesses that are social. Mental health diagnoses are developed by a group of mainly middle class, white, males who decide what is normal and abnormal. They use their experience and studies to assist with this, but at the end of the day it is down to their opinion. This is not the same for physical illnesses. So a diagnosis of mental illness is based on a doctor's opinion, which can be influenced by their values, culture and personal opinions, so the diagnosis is not purely made on a medical basis.

    With mental and physical illness, the social model is a recognised model (although not as big as the medical model). It can be easily applied to mental illness - the actual collection of experiences doesn't make a person "disabled" or "impaired", rather the way society reacts to the person makes them "disabled". With this view - depression and other mental illnesses are partly a social problem. There is also a large evidence basis for the cause of mental illnesses to be social problems such as poverty, social exclusion, early childhood experiences, abuse etc. The medical model and medical hypothesis is being challenged.

    Before you get me wrong - I know that mental illnesses have a medical basis, BUT, there is a HUGE social element.
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    (Original post by bullettheory)
    It isn't necessarily completely incorrect that depression or other mental illnesses are a social problem, that isn't that to say that they are not an illness or that they are not real, but there is an element of these illnesses that are social. Mental health diagnoses are developed by a group of mainly middle class, white, males who decide what is normal and abnormal. They use their experience and studies to assist with this, but at the end of the day it is down to their opinion. This is not the same for physical illnesses. So a diagnosis of mental illness is based on a doctor's opinion, which can be influenced by their values, culture and personal opinions, so the diagnosis is not purely made on a medical basis.

    With mental and physical illness, the social model is a recognised model (although not as big as the medical model). It can be easily applied to mental illness - the actual collection of experiences doesn't make a person "disabled" or "impaired", rather the way society reacts to the person makes them "disabled". With this view - depression and other mental illnesses are partly a social problem. There is also a large evidence basis for the cause of mental illnesses to be social problems such as poverty, social exclusion, early childhood experiences, abuse etc. The medical model and medical hypothesis is being challenged.

    Before you get me wrong - I know that mental illnesses have a medical basis, BUT, there is a HUGE social element.

    Of course we are still at odds in understanding why these illnesses occur. But I was basically taking the mick out of the idea that the illnessess don't exist at all. As it's pure ignorance to ignore the physiological evidence these illnesses leave.
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    (Original post by SophieSmall)
    Of course we are still at odds in understanding why these illnesses occur. But I was basically taking the mick out of the idea that the illnessess don't exist at all. As it's pure ignorance to ignore the physiological evidence these illnesses leave.
    I don't think the user was saying that they don't exist, just that he isn't convinced by the medical argument and looks at the social explanation more. So I was just pointing out the social explanation. Yeah you're right there is some physiological evidence, but I do think there is just too much emphasis on it at the moment.


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    (Original post by bullettheory)
    I don't think the user was saying that they don't exist, just that he isn't convinced by the medical argument and looks at the social explanation more. So I was just pointing out the social explanation. Yeah you're right there is some physiological evidence, but I do think there is just too much emphasis on it at the moment.


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    This is exactly what I was trying to point out. I should've phrased it "I think depression is more of a social problem rather than a medical problem".
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    (Original post by SophieSmall)
    Yeah I know what you mean.
    I challenge the idea that diabetes is a medical problem too.

    s/
    What makes you think that depression is a medical problem? I'm saying this out of interest, devil's advocate, not being sarcastic back.
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    (Original post by Ayyylmaoo)
    What makes you think that depression is a medical problem? I'm saying this out of interest, devil's advocate, not being sarcastic back.
    If you did any actual research into depression and the physiological effects it leaves on the body you'd see it makes no sense to deny it is an illness.

    Research associating chronic depression with symptoms such as shrinkage in some areas of the brain, psycho motor retardation ect. You may also want to look into the research being done linking depression to possible inflammation.
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    (Original post by SophieSmall)
    If you did any actual research into depression and the physiological effects it leaves on the body you'd see it makes no sense to deny it is an illness.

    Research associating chronic depression with symptoms such as shrinkage in some areas of the brain, psycho motor retardation ect. You may also want to look into the research being done linking depression to possible inflammation.
    But a lot of psychological issues not class as medical/illness can have large physiological effects.

    Not that I'm disagreeing with your overall premise, but I disagree with the notion of a complete medical view of depression. Little evidence of a biological cause + antidepressants are about the same as placebo - points to a more socially/psychological based approach imo.
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    (Original post by Noodlzzz)
    But a lot of psychological issues not class as medical/illness can have large physiological effects.

    Not that I'm disagreeing with your overall premise, but I disagree with the notion of a complete medical view of depression. Little evidence of a biological cause + antidepressants are about the same as placebo - points to a more socially/psychological based approach imo.

    Yes, I know. But that's not really related to the topic at hand. Here we are talking about specifically depression.

    I don't agree that is necessarily points to that at all. I think that points to us still not understanding the condition or how to treat it.

    Also I don't really see psychology/ physiology as that far apart. Every thought we have, feeling we have ect is all driven biologically by a great number of things. Something physically causes us to feel the way we do from electrical impulses to neurotransmitter ect. You can definitely argue that the way we feel can often be attributed to outside factors such as a loved one dying, but you can't also disregard that in many cases there is not necessarily an external cause of our pain (still talking about depression) something internal is causing it because our feelings don;t just materialise out of nothing. What that is exactly the jury is still out.

    Also I realise reading through that I'm not explaining myself very well, please forgive me I'm very ill right now and struggling to form sentences properly let alone think
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    (Original post by SophieSmall)
    Yes, I know. But that's not really related to the topic at hand. Here we are talking about specifically depression.

    I don't agree that is necessarily points to that at all. I think that points to us still not understanding the condition or how to treat it.

    Also I don't really see psychology/ physiology as that far apart. Every thought we have, feeling we have ect is all driven biologically by a great number of things. Something physically causes us to feel the way we do from electrical impulses to neurotransmitter ect. You can definitely argue that the way we feel can often be attributed to outside factors such as a loved one dying, but you can't also disregard that in many cases there is not necessarily an external cause of our pain (still talking about depression) something internal is causing it because our feelings don;t just materialise out of nothing. What that is exactly the jury is still out.

    Also I realise reading through that I'm not explaining myself very well, please forgive me I'm very ill right now and struggling to form sentences properly let alone think
    With depression or any other mental illness, yes there is still uncertainty around the causes and the best treatment, like you have said. Personally, I do think there is quite a big difference between psychology and physiology, mostly in the approach to treatment. In your explanation you have placed a very large emphasis on neurochemical changes causing depression. This view is widely adopted - hence the massive amount of prescriptions of anti-depressant medication. However, as Noodlzz has said - there is evidence that it is only just better than placebo. I do understand where you are coming from, and I do accept this information - yes some people do experience depression as if it has come from "nowhere", the same for other mental illnesses, however, looking at it from a purely medical perspective, is in my opinion short sighted.

    Diagnosis and medication is great and can help some people, but I do feel that we rely on it maybe too much at the moment. Service users should be much more involved in their treatment and should be invited to embrace their experiences and discover what they mean to them. Many people have found positives from horrible experiences and situations, and this should be encouraged. Thinking about psychosis - I feel that doctors and other professionals should encourage and support survivors to make sense of their experiences. There are stories of people who have previously spent large periods of their lives on heavy medication and told to ignore and avoid their experiences who then find ways to make sense of their experiences, and sometimes even come off medication - for example - some participants from the Hearing Voices Network.

    I do think it is important for doctors to consider how their diagnosis and treatment may disempower someone - like I said with the social model before - I do feel that society does make people "impaired" through their responses to the person who has been diagnosed. For example, in depression, a lot of people are seen as not able to work. Is this as a result of their experiences (e.g. low mood, tiredness, low motivation), or does society play a role too - expecting people with these experiences to work in a "standard" way when an altered work environment may allow them to work, which would in turn, most likely help their symptoms.

    And finally, the danger of attributing the cause of depression to one thing (biological explanations), runs the risk of ignoring other causes such as poverty, social exclusion, abuse, poor childhood experiences, trauma, bullying etc. We may acknowledge it, but if we say that all of these CAUSE a biological response, then we run the risk of assuming that medication will fix it all, which really isn't the case.
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    (Original post by bullettheory)
    With depression or any other mental illness, yes there is still uncertainty around the causes and the best treatment, like you have said. Personally, I do think there is quite a big difference between psychology and physiology, mostly in the approach to treatment. In your explanation you have placed a very large emphasis on neurochemical changes causing depression. This view is widely adopted - hence the massive amount of prescriptions of anti-depressant medication. However, as Noodlzz has said - there is evidence that it is only just better than placebo. I do understand where you are coming from, and I do accept this information - yes some people do experience depression as if it has come from "nowhere", the same for other mental illnesses, however, looking at it from a purely medical perspective, is in my opinion short sighted.

    Diagnosis and medication is great and can help some people, but I do feel that we rely on it maybe too much at the moment. Service users should be much more involved in their treatment and should be invited to embrace their experiences and discover what they mean to them. Many people have found positives from horrible experiences and situations, and this should be encouraged. Thinking about psychosis - I feel that doctors and other professionals should encourage and support survivors to make sense of their experiences. There are stories of people who have previously spent large periods of their lives on heavy medication and told to ignore and avoid their experiences who then find ways to make sense of their experiences, and sometimes even come off medication - for example - some participants from the Hearing Voices Network.

    I do think it is important for doctors to consider how their diagnosis and treatment may disempower someone - like I said with the social model before - I do feel that society does make people "impaired" through their responses to the person who has been diagnosed. For example, in depression, a lot of people are seen as not able to work. Is this as a result of their experiences (e.g. low mood, tiredness, low motivation), or does society play a role too - expecting people with these experiences to work in a "standard" way when an altered work environment may allow them to work, which would in turn, most likely help their symptoms.

    And finally, the danger of attributing the cause of depression to one thing (biological explanations), runs the risk of ignoring other causes such as poverty, social exclusion, abuse, poor childhood experiences, trauma, bullying etc. We may acknowledge it, but if we say that all of these CAUSE a biological response, then we run the risk of assuming that medication will fix it all, which really isn't the case.
    I agree with most of what you said.

    I think the main point I was trying to get across was that the physiological make up of our brain essential controls are psychology to a large degree, and outside influences can affect this but that doesn't change the fact physiological changes occur be that from an illness or from outside influence.

    I wasn't trying to say that they're the same in terms of treatment at all, I'm just not explaining myself well because I'll be honest I'm pretty out of it right now with being ill.

    Sorry if I missed anything in your post I'm finding it diifcult to read.
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    (Original post by bullettheory)
    With depression or any other mental illness, yes there is still uncertainty around the causes and the best treatment, like you have said. Personally, I do think there is quite a big difference between psychology and physiology, mostly in the approach to treatment. In your explanation you have placed a very large emphasis on neurochemical changes causing depression. This view is widely adopted - hence the massive amount of prescriptions of anti-depressant medication. However, as Noodlzz has said - there is evidence that it is only just better than placebo. I do understand where you are coming from, and I do accept this information - yes some people do experience depression as if it has come from "nowhere", the same for other mental illnesses, however, looking at it from a purely medical perspective, is in my opinion short sighted.

    Diagnosis and medication is great and can help some people, but I do feel that we rely on it maybe too much at the moment. Service users should be much more involved in their treatment and should be invited to embrace their experiences and discover what they mean to them. Many people have found positives from horrible experiences and situations, and this should be encouraged. Thinking about psychosis - I feel that doctors and other professionals should encourage and support survivors to make sense of their experiences. There are stories of people who have previously spent large periods of their lives on heavy medication and told to ignore and avoid their experiences who then find ways to make sense of their experiences, and sometimes even come off medication - for example - some participants from the Hearing Voices Network.

    I do think it is important for doctors to consider how their diagnosis and treatment may disempower someone - like I said with the social model before - I do feel that society does make people "impaired" through their responses to the person who has been diagnosed. For example, in depression, a lot of people are seen as not able to work. Is this as a result of their experiences (e.g. low mood, tiredness, low motivation), or does society play a role too - expecting people with these experiences to work in a "standard" way when an altered work environment may allow them to work, which would in turn, most likely help their symptoms.

    And finally, the danger of attributing the cause of depression to one thing (biological explanations), runs the risk of ignoring other causes such as poverty, social exclusion, abuse, poor childhood experiences, trauma, bullying etc. We may acknowledge it, but if we say that all of these CAUSE a biological response, then we run the risk of assuming that medication will fix it all, which really isn't the case.
    The social model of disability says that society's lack of understand and accessibility is what turns 'differences' (I hate that word when connected to disabilities but I can't think of anything else) into disabilities rather than the 'differences' being inherently bad. It doesn't say that if society wasn't ableist that those 'differences' wouldn't exist, just that they wouldn't be disabling (or would be less disabling than they are now). Even if stigma against mental illness was completely removed I would still be mentally ill, but people would see it as less of an issue and I wouldn't be isolated because people would rather believe stereotypes than know me. I would still not have the energy or motivation to get out of bed, but people wouldn't shame me for it. I would still find having a job too stressful, but I wouldn't be told I was 'faking' being ill. The same way as if most people knew sign language people wouldn't suddenly not be deaf, but instead that they would have less communication issues due to them being deaf. The same way as if every building was fully accessible to wheelchair-users with ramps, lifts, automatic doors that are wide enough, plenty of disabled toilets etc. it doesn't stop people needing to use wheelchairs but that using the wheelchair doesn't prevent them access anymore.
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    (Original post by SmallTownGirl)
    The social model of disability says that society's lack of understand and accessibility is what turns 'differences' (I hate that word when connected to disabilities but I can't think of anything else) into disabilities rather than the 'differences' being inherently bad. It doesn't say that if society wasn't ableist that those 'differences' wouldn't exist, just that they wouldn't be disabling (or would be less disabling than they are now). Even if stigma against mental illness was completely removed I would still be mentally ill, but people would see it as less of an issue and I wouldn't be isolated because people would rather believe stereotypes than know me. I would still not have the energy or motivation to get out of bed, but people wouldn't shame me for it. I would still find having a job too stressful, but I wouldn't be told I was 'faking' being ill. The same way as if most people knew sign language people wouldn't suddenly not be deaf, but instead that they would have less communication issues due to them being deaf. The same way as if every building was fully accessible to wheelchair-users with ramps, lifts, automatic doors that are wide enough, plenty of disabled toilets etc. it doesn't stop people needing to use wheelchairs but that using the wheelchair doesn't prevent them access anymore.
    Yeah that is what I was trying to explain, I might of not done it very well. I think I was trying to say that it's society that turns experiences into a disability through their attitudes. A person will still have those experiences, which may make life difficult, but they face less limitations.


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