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Jan 11th: Why don’t we talk about mental health? Watch

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    I'm very open on TSR but I've just found that in real life it tends to scare alot of people away and that's after I've even trusted them enough to talk about it in the first place. My four best friends know the severity of it and how bad it can get for me. I was suicidal in September and I was forced to take a gap year in between medical school. I've been this way since I was 14 but only started medication and therapy recently. What made me wait so long? I felt ashamed.

    I've had someone in our friendship group say that I fake it, that I cry for the attention. The final straw was when they made a loony bin joke targeted at me which infuriated me. Only those who are ill will ever really get it.
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    (Original post by Studying Nothing)
    Nobody wants to be viewed as disabled or weak through having Mental Health issues.
    Second this. :crazy:
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    It took me five months to finally open up to my family about my depression and self-harming. If I had the flu or had broken my ankle, I wouldn't even have hesitated to tell them. When I finally was honest with them, they asked me why I didn't tell them sooner. I told them I was scared; I didn't want to worry them. Everyone was happy and I was terrified that my honesty about my illness would ruin their happiness. I realise now that these thoughts were my self-loathing illness speaking. Now I try to tell them everything about my mental health and not pretend to be okay. The more I have spoken to them about my mental health, the more I have accepted my condition as a real illness and not a over-dramatic inconvenience (which is what I used to think). That's just my personal experience. I am lucky to have a pretty accepting family. Although my dad still kinda views my mental illness as a 'flaw' or a 'weakness' that needs to be fixed...his use of words can be a bit insensitive sometimes but I know his intentions are good and he supports me.
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    Why don't we?

    Personally, I think it's due to being treated "differently" if we say anything, plus people who don't have anxiety don't think it's anxiety/depression - they just see it as "oh he/she's a bit of a worrier" when it's much more serious and can have physical/emotional effects.

    I'm 23 now, and when I was 16, I got really bad anxiety whilst I was at college. I didn't go to sixth form because the course I wanted to do wasn't full-time, so I went to a (further education) college. I left my old school friends there, with hope that I'd still meet up with them. Over time, they basically drifted away, and being the shy guy I once was, I didn't really have any new friends.

    I really didn't like myself because I was shy, and it just made me feel really down because I didn't have anyone. I was worried they drifted away because they didn't really like me, and I started thinking I wasn't good enough, or I was weird and things.

    At it's worst, the anxiety turned in to me rushing to the bathroom before I'd leave for college in the morning. I'd stand over the toilet, heaving to be sick, with nothing coming out. Sometimes on the way to the bus stop, I'd have to come back, to return home. I'd also feel lightheaded, or short of breath, or like my heart was going to jump out, or like I couldn't control my breathing.

    My first stop was my Doctor. She wasn't good at all, she printed a few leaflets from her computer on "anxiety". I was quite upset that she didn't want to speak to me or anything, and I got a few tears. She looked at me and said "I'll leave you with those to read... I can't magic this away". I felt like I wasn't cared about. It was like "this is your medication... a few things to read, I can't be bothered. Even though you have an illness, I have people in the waiting room with bad colds".

    I went away, and got so upset, I didn't go into college. My Mum phoned my college tutor and said I'd be off due to my anxiety. When I returned back to college, it felt like I was getting special treatment... the next few assignments, I got distinction grades. I was good at my course, but I was worried that all 3 of the lecturers purposely gave me higher grades to make me feel better - unless that's just how I felt at the time. This isn't what I wanted - I only wanted them to know I was off because I had anxiety.

    At one point, my anxiety was so bad:

    - I couldn't go anywhere unless I had a bottle of water with me (this took away the feeling of being sick/light headed) and because I was drinking it helped control my breathing.

    - I couldn't go to the local shop... a few minutes walk away.

    - I live in Bristol, and couldn't even get a bus to town due to fear of crowds, and people thinking I was weird or different.

    - I used to cry myself to every night.

    MY OVERVIEW ON ANXIETY... Why I never spoke about it, is either; people thinking you were "different", people didn't care, people giving you the special treatment, and sometimes it felt pointless because not everyone understands anxiety. It's something that gives you physical and emotional feelings (for example I'd feel sick or lightheaded, and I'd become really upset/cry), it's not just worrying.

    WHAT HAPPENED NEXT?... A few years later, on a University course, I was in a much smaller tutor group, and was able to make friends much easier due to similar interests, and it was quite a relaxed group if that makes sense. It made me happier. Plus, during the Summer, I got a job where I was able to meet new people.

    BUT... my anxiety was still there. Although I had met a few new friends, I was then worrying they weren't actually friends and silly things like that going through my head. I was thinking "well my old set of friends left me, so what's not to say these will leave me to?". I was still getting lightheaded and sick feelings, and that's what added to me feeling more depressed than I ever was. I was thinking "I want to enjoy these new friends, I don't want to say no to going out".

    I went to another Doctor. He gave me some breathing exercises. At first, they worked. But then I started to think "if people see me doing these breathing exercises, they'll think I'm some weirdo because no one else does it". I ended up being too scared to do them if I felt unwell in public, and didn't do them. I lost hope in Doctors because it just felt like they didn't care, or they just wanted to print a few documents off or some breathing exercises off for me to get rid of me.

    I started trying my own things like downloading apps to help cure anxiety, but they didn't work. I tried keeping myself busy by going cycling (that was the only thing I could do really) but then I was always cycling on my own, and it reminded me of what a "loner" I was. Even though I met some new friends from the University course, although it was a local University for me, they lived further away so it was hard to meet up.

    It got to the stage where I started crying in front of my Mum, and telling her I was fed up of my life. I've never cried in front of someone due to my anxiety. That was when she started realising it was more than just worrying (she never understood anxiety). I returned to the Doctors, this time a different Doctor.

    There's a saying, "third time lucky", and this time, it was.

    He gave me a leaflet with a contact name/phone number for a mental health service. At first, I didn't think it'd work because I thought the lady's thoughts were going to be "oh look, another one who gets upset". I went along, and just seeing the word "psychologist" made me think "finally, someone who understands".

    The sessions lasted 8 or 9 weeks (going for an hour once a week). It felt amazing to be able to talk to someone who understood, and someone who I knew would be listening. It felt like no one else were listening to me.

    One of the most helpful things, was keeping a diary. I had to write everything down, day by day, of what I was worrying about, and whether it was a real worry, or a "hypothetical" worry (something that wouldn't actually happen). At the end of a whole week of writing that diary, I realised, out of around 35 worries I wrote down, just 1 was a real worry - something I was worrying about, which needed worrying about.

    From that moment onwards, I immediately stopped worrying about things that could happen. I realised that I was always worried about going out with people as they didn't like me - but then why would they ask me to go out with them? I was worried about stupid things happening like the bus crashing, or there being some sort of terrorist attack. I live in Bristol, and couldn't even go to the city centre to go shopping.

    After I realised that all my worrying was for absolutely no reason, I thought "let's start living life again now". On a day off, I pushed myself to go out and do some photography (something I've always wanted to go into). This time, it wasn't in the local area or even Bristol. I went to the train station, and got a train to London. In London, I got the London Underground (something I was terrified about due to the London bombings), and got off at Westminster. In the busy crowded city that is London, I got my tripod out, and set my camera up for a photo of Big Ben at sunset. A picture I always wanted to take, but never had the confidence to.

    The week after, I showed the photo to my psychiatrist. She was smiling at me with TEARS were running down her face.

    This was the photo...

    Attachment 609038

    Since then, that photo has always reminded me to be happy, to go with what you want to do, and not to give a crap about worrying. I still get some down days and sometimes it feels like my heart is racing, but now I know that worrying is pointless - or I'm only worrying because I care.

    Speaking to someone who fully understood me has made me realise there are people out there who know how you are feeling, and once you know someone knows how you are feeling, it makes you feel so much better. Especially if you're getting years of upset off your chest. It's made me realise to keep trying... to NEVER GIVE UP.

    It's also made me realise how much time I've wasted with not doing the things I love. Life is short after all. I'm a completely different person now... I've been able to cry in front of people... that's cry with laughter. I've got my social life back, and those friends from school?... They never drifted from me. They drifted from sixth form and drifted from each other due to jobs and different times of working. We're all meeting up soon... One more thing? There is no need to worry about superstitions... that day I went to London by myself? That was Friday 13th...
    • #1
    #1

    (Original post by Sanaa SurnamE)
    I think sometimes we don't talk about mental health problems because we are afraid not many people will understand how we are feeling and will judge us. but the reality seems to be that a lot of people go through these problems, and if we all spoke about it or even asked each other how we are genuinely doing more often, then perhaps the situation would get better. I find it hard to talk about too but once someone starts the conversation, it is s relief to be able to speak!
    Agree 100%
    i thought i was totally alone in everything but it wasnt until i have talked to other people (mainly on here as still too tentative to open up to more than a handful of ppl inrl) that i realised a lot more people have these issues than i realised.
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    (Original post by BBC Radio 1)
    Why don’t we talk about mental health?

    This week’s Surgery is all about your mind and you. Olly Alexander from Years & Years joins Gemma and Dr Radha to help break the silence around mental health issues, from anxiety to bipolar and everything in between.

    Are you struggling with your mental health? How do you know if you’re depressed or just sad? Do you find it hard to open up?

    Share your experience of mental health issues and tune in on Wednesday 11th January at 9pm on BBC Radio 1 for advice and support.

    Please note: You can post on this forum anonymously.
    Hi radio one,

    i recently completed my degree with a 2.1 (honours) at derby university last summer, and i have paranoid schizophrenia, and have had it all through this degree. It hasn't always been easy, and i have occassionally shouted at people, but you know, i got there in the end. A happy story i guess you could say? xx

    PS my degree was a Sociology major theatre studies minor, although i've yet to find a paying job, i have been able to start a voluntary position.....
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    I worry about being viewed as being weak and overdramatizing. I'm quite open on TSR and I would go as far as to say I have "friends" here which is awesome. But on facebook I don't say a word. If I see someone liking or sharing an article about mental health, I will read it but I wouldn't dare like it or share it. I'm so worried about my cousins and other family members or friends judging me. I feel like I've let down my parents by struggling with university so much.
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    (Original post by Sabertooth)
    I worry about being viewed as being weak and overdramatizing. I'm quite open on TSR and I would go as far as to say I have "friends" here which is awesome. But on facebook I don't say a word. If I see someone liking or sharing an article about mental health, I will read it but I wouldn't dare like it or share it. I'm so worried about my cousins and other family members or friends judging me. I feel like I've let down my parents by struggling with university so much.
    I was embarrassed to talk about it for a long time, far too long. If there is one lesson I've learned in life it's that if you need help, don't be afraid to reach out for it.
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    (Original post by john2054)
    Hi radio one,

    i recently completed my degree with a 2.1 (honours) at derby university last summer, and i have paranoid schizophrenia, and have had it all through this degree. It hasn't always been easy, and i have occassionally shouted at people, but you know, i got there in the end. A happy story i guess you could say? xx

    PS my degree was a Sociology major theatre studies minor, although i've yet to find a paying job, i have been able to start a voluntary position.....
    Keep at it John, you'll get there mate.
    • #2
    #2

    Even people within mental health professions have deep perceptual sets concerning mental health.

    As a young male undergoing a nervous breakdown a couple of years ago, I was TOLD that I was psychotic and a violent danger. Police were called multiple times and told to search for me because they were CONVINCED I was a danger to people.

    I wasnt, I was having a nervous breakdown while every "mental health worker" was simply calling me psychotic and violent, even though I told them I was having a nervous breakdown. Nothing was done. Apart from making sure I couldnt hurt anyone of course, because f**k that guys safety, we only care about imaginary people he will hurt, for he is a young male and therefore violent. (it should be noted that I wasnt violent at all, this was not simply my perception of events, I recorded some of it for evidence.)

    As a result of these events, I truly hate this country and society. I am attending uni in order to leave the country.

    People DO talk about mental health. The ACTUAL PROBLEM is that people who are trained to "help" people in these states. DONT.

    What's the point of talking about mental health when the people you talk to about it, don't have the slightest clue about the issue.
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    Mental health is very important for us to talk about because lots of people do not
    know much about their health.
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      (Original post by BBC Radio 1)
      Why don’t we talk about mental health?

      This week’s Surgery is all about your mind and you. Olly Alexander from Years & Years joins Gemma and Dr Radha to help break the silence around mental health issues, from anxiety to bipolar and everything in between.

      Are you struggling with your mental health? How do you know if you’re depressed or just sad? Do you find it hard to open up?

      Share your experience of mental health issues and tune in on Wednesday 11th January at 9pm on BBC Radio 1 for advice and support.

      Please note: You can post on this forum anonymously.
      I'll tell you whe we don't talk about mental health.

      It's because every sad ****er's talking about it, all the ****ing time. Yes, I have issues - clinical depression/bipolar, half a dozen different forms of anxiety, blaaah. Not to mention asperger syndrome and SLDs. But life it way too short for *****ing about how your brain chemistry is hosed/woe is me. Got to ****ing get on with it.
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      (Original post by Tootles)
      I'll tell you whe we don't talk about mental health.

      It's because every sad ****er's talking about it, all the ****ing time. Yes, I have issues - clinical depression/bipolar, half a dozen different forms of anxiety, blaaah. Not to mention asperger syndrome and SLDs. But life it way too short for *****ing about how your brain chemistry is hosed/woe is me. Got to ****ing get on with it.
      I think this does summarise the problem, though not necessarily in the way you intended. Telling people they have to just get on with it is exactly the kind of reaction most are worried of getting.

      Yes, perhaps this works for you, or perhaps you don't want to talk about it. But a lot of people do, and it can really benefit them to feel able to :yep:

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      (Original post by Tootles)
      I'll tell you whe we don't talk about mental health.

      It's because every sad ****er's talking about it, all the ****ing time. Yes, I have issues - clinical depression/bipolar, half a dozen different forms of anxiety, blaaah. Not to mention asperger syndrome and SLDs. But life it way too short for *****ing about how your brain chemistry is hosed/woe is me. Got to ****ing get on with it.
      I'm assuming by the fact you have these diagnoses that you had to go to the doctors or some kind of help and support in the initial stage? Perhaps you have medication or some support in place, or even if you haven't you've probably been offered it and just feel you can get on with it. Some people are too scared to even go to that initial GP appointment and get any diagnosis or support. Until people aren't scared and don't fear the stigma, then work and talk about MH is get to be done.

      (Original post by shadowdweller)
      I think this does summarise the problem, though not necessarily in the way you intended. Telling people they have to just get on with it is exactly the kind of reaction most are worried of getting.

      Yes, perhaps this works for you, or perhaps you don't want to talk about it. But a lot of people do, and it can really benefit them to feel able to :yep:

      Posted from TSR Mobile
      This. You wouldn't tell someone who had a broken leg to 'just get on with it' and walk or someone with diabetes, which is fairly invisible until you do tests, like with MH, to just eat loads of sugar or whatever they want and 'get on with it'. This is why we need more education, people are naive enough to think everyone can just get on with it without any consequence.
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      I guess it is still fairly astonishing, the lack of discourse on mental health issues such as depression, considering its significance for younger people:

      "Suicide and injury/poisoning of undetermined intent were the leading cause of death for 20-34 year olds, for 26% of men and 13% of women." - ONS, 2012.
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        (Original post by BurstingBubbles)
        I'm assuming by the fact you have these diagnoses that you had to go to the doctors or some kind of help and support in the initial stage? Perhaps you have medication or some support in place, or even if you haven't you've probably been offered it and just feel you can get on with it. Some people are too scared to even go to that initial GP appointment and get any diagnosis or support. Until people aren't scared and don't fear the stigma, then work and talk about MH is get to be done.
        I never said don't seek help. I said there seems to be altogether too much of this talking about problems and less getting the **** over them. Yes, talk is cathartic. But do we need to broadcast everything? So yes, I have depression, and I've been treated for it in the past. Five years free of drugs, paid attention in my CBT and force myself to review it mentally every day. I get through life by main force. Yes, it's nice to sit and kill a bottle of whiskey with my dad and talk things through Derek and Clive -style, but that's not the same as talking to some ****ing radio programme's representatives on the Internet.


        (Original post by shadowdweller)
        I think this does summarise the problem, though not necessarily in the way you intended. Telling people they have to just get on with it is exactly the kind of reaction most are worried of getting.

        Yes, perhaps this works for you, or perhaps you don't want to talk about it. But a lot of people do, and it can really benefit them to feel able to :yep:

        Posted from TSR Mobile
        The attitude I try to take isn't just get on with it. It's to be positive when everything is negative. To be positive out of pure bloody-minded spite to the disease we have in common. Myself, I've been through an awful life, especially in my early childhood. I've fought suicidal tendencies since I was nine years old, and have self-harmed as well. Every day I drag myself out of a pit just to get up and walk around. I try not to wear it on my sleeve, instead making sure I achieve something every day. Yes, I have down days still, but now I'm making sure I suck the marrow out of life. I find it much easier to get on with life. Maybe I seem like a douche for thinking that. Maybe I'm not as bad as my doctors think I am, I don't know. Or maybe what I'm doing is working.

        I don't like all this talk, though. Mostly because I notice a lot of people who talk so much about it aren't all that bad. All my friends who have depression are very similar to me. They know it's a desease to live with, not a feeling to get over, and they do very much the same as I do to keep on top of it. They don't spend their lives moping and complaining about how life is so bad. They look at the positives, and when all else fais, buy a kitten.
        • #1
        #1

        (Original post by Tootles)
        I never said don't seek help. I said there seems to be altogether too much of this talking about problems and less getting the **** over them. Yes, talk is cathartic. But do we need to broadcast everything? So yes, I have depression, and I've been treated for it in the past. Five years free of drugs, paid attention in my CBT and force myself to review it mentally every day. I get through life by main force. Yes, it's nice to sit and kill a bottle of whiskey with my dad and talk things through Derek and Clive -style, but that's not the same as talking to some ****ing radio programme's representatives on the Internet.


        The attitude I try to take isn't just get on with it. It's to be positive when everything is negative. To be positive out of pure bloody-minded spite to the disease we have in common. Myself, I've been through an awful life, especially in my early childhood. I've fought suicidal tendencies since I was nine years old, and have self-harmed as well. Every day I drag myself out of a pit just to get up and walk around. I try not to wear it on my sleeve, instead making sure I achieve something every day. Yes, I have down days still, but now I'm making sure I suck the marrow out of life. I find it much easier to get on with life. Maybe I seem like a douche for thinking that. Maybe I'm not as bad as my doctors think I am, I don't know. Or maybe what I'm doing is working.

        I don't like all this talk, though. Mostly because I notice a lot of people who talk so much about it aren't all that bad. All my friends who have depression are very similar to me. They know it's a desease to live with, not a feeling to get over, and they do very much the same as I do to keep on top of it. They don't spend their lives moping and complaining about how life is so bad. They look at the positives, and when all else fais, buy a kitten.
        Saying stuff like that won't stop people going on about it 'for attention' because yes there are some of them,
        it will stop the people who have kept it to themselves for so long trying to do stuff about it for fear of being judged for all the stuff you just said.
        In fact that is what got me into a horrendous mess 2 months ago, because despite feeling this way since around February i wouldn't listen to people who told me to get someone to talk to because i didn't want to be perceived as weak or emo or whatever and a lot of conservative ppl frown on stuff like that around me.
        Don't get me wrong i dislike it when people sort of define themselves by it and live through it in a similar way to what people sometimes do with sexuality, but telling people to get on with it isn't exactly helpful.
        And tbh just because you have had depression or whatever (not that i have that and tbh don't want to label myself as anything just trying to sort out one thing at a time) doesn't mean you can speak for everyone, one thing might work for you and not other ppl and tbh i think it is incredibly patronising to assume that you know someone isn't 'that bad' because how on earth would you know.
        you seem incredibly bitter tbh, maybe go buy a kitten?
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        (Original post by Tootles)
        The attitude I try to take isn't just get on with it. It's to be positive when everything is negative. To be positive out of pure bloody-minded spite to the disease we have in common. Myself, I've been through an awful life, especially in my early childhood. I've fought suicidal tendencies since I was nine years old, and have self-harmed as well. Every day I drag myself out of a pit just to get up and walk around. I try not to wear it on my sleeve, instead making sure I achieve something every day. Yes, I have down days still, but now I'm making sure I suck the marrow out of life. I find it much easier to get on with life. Maybe I seem like a douche for thinking that. Maybe I'm not as bad as my doctors think I am, I don't know. Or maybe what I'm doing is working.

        I don't like all this talk, though. Mostly because I notice a lot of people who talk so much about it aren't all that bad. All my friends who have depression are very similar to me. They know it's a desease to live with, not a feeling to get over, and they do very much the same as I do to keep on top of it. They don't spend their lives moping and complaining about how life is so bad. They look at the positives, and when all else fais, buy a kitten.
        Now, please don't get the wrong idea here, I am incredibly pleased to hear that that method works for you, and I by no means want to dispute that. However, not everyone can force themselves to be positive, and not everyone can push through things without the help of their family/friends, or even just the support of random strangers on the internet; everyone is different, and everyone handles things differently.

        I can totally understand that you, personally, may not like the talk, and that's fair enough, no one is going to force it upon those who don't want it. But talking about it isn't the same as moping and complaining, it's just having a healthy outlet for when things get too much. Also, I'm not sure if I interpreted the first part correctly, so apologies if I misunderstood, but it's also worth keeping in mind that everyone has different coping capacities - so where it might seem to you that they aren't all that bad, it may be reaching the extent of what they can do without help.

        All that aside, I do like the idea of getting a kitten, because whatever your stance on this, cats are awesome :love:
        • #3
        #3

        I have OCD ever since I was around 11 years old, I live in a constant state of insomnia and anxiety. There is immense stigma around OCD - from people laughing and joking "ha you're OCD" to someone who just like keeping things neat, to 'neat freaks'. I myself don't have the type of OCD with compulsions to keep things neat, so on the rare occasion that I trust someone enough to open up to, they tell me "You're not OCD, your locker/house is so messy, you can't be" - people telling me, myself, that I don't have a problem when I do. I also suffer with a constant state of exhaustion due to the fact that when I lie down in bed to go to sleep at night, the obsessions and compulsions won't leave me alone, I can't get thoughts out of my head such as "did I lock the door downstairs", and "did I put the milk back in the fridge", making me have to go downstairs and check them repeatedly before I'm able to lie down long enough to sleep. People don't understand the challenges that people with OCD face on a daily basis and it's not seen as a serious disease because people laugh at it and joke about it.
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        (Original post by shadowdweller)
        Now, please don't get the wrong idea here, I am incredibly pleased to hear that that method works for you, and I by no means want to dispute that. However, not everyone can force themselves to be positive, and not everyone can push through things without the help of their family/friends, or even just the support of random strangers on the internet; everyone is different, and everyone handles things differently.

        I can totally understand that you, personally, may not like the talk, and that's fair enough, no one is going to force it upon those who don't want it. But talking about it isn't the same as moping and complaining, it's just having a healthy outlet for when things get too much. Also, I'm not sure if I interpreted the first part correctly, so apologies if I misunderstood, but it's also worth keeping in mind that everyone has different coping capacities - so where it might seem to you that they aren't all that bad, it may be reaching the extent of what they can do without help.

        All that aside, I do like the idea of getting a kitten, because whatever your stance on this, cats are awesome :love:
        Every body has their own problems. Sometimes these are correctly picked up by the mental health powers, and diagnosed and treated. And at others they are not.

        It is up to both the individual, and the people who know and relate to them on an everyday basis, to make judgements about this individual, and the risk they cause.

        If it is too bad the police may need to be called, and a person put on a section for an assessment period then renewed. Or if they respond well to treatment, and engage with their team, you can be let out after a few days.

        Every body with mental health conditions have different scenarios, and need to be respected according to this. Also it is true, that because this is the internet, things can easily get out of hand, and arguments occur, over the smallest of reasons. We shouldn't all get too worried about every white tiger, but equally we need to try and recognise when emergencies are happening, so that we can respond to them accordingly. Sometimes easier said then done.
       
       
       
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