Why is physical health and mental health treated so differently by society?

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12aissid
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In the title.
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DrawTheLine
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(Original post by 12aissid)
In the title.
Elaborate please.
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Noodlzzz
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I think it partly has to do with not being able to 'see' a mental illness
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TripleSlash
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The concept of mental illness isn't as wide-spread and ancient as are physical illnesses.
When someone is physically ill, they display visual, easy-to-quantify symptoms that are more often than not consistent with only one or two diseases, while mental illnesses can be an entire spectrum of different issues, which makes it less believable in the public eye.

Another contributing factor is that mental illnesses can be faked much more easily than physical illnesses, and, as mentioned, the concept has been around for a much shorter amount of time.

We can't say "My mind hurts." without everyone rolling their eyes, while we can say "my arm hurts" and someone will probably try to give you advice.

Mental illnesses are something not many people pay attention to, because unless they have it, they don't have to care, while anyone can get physically hurt pretty much literally everywhere.
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Tiger Rag
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A lot of physical conditions are ignored too. Some things I've encountered over the years:

- I can hear, therefore, can't have hearing problems
- I wear glasses, therefore, can't possibly have sight problems and can therefore drive. It's far more complex than that
- I'm "too young" to have hearing and sight problems. I inherited my sight problems. My hearing problems are a mix of a procedure done a few years ago and a medication side effect
- I get migraine a lot. A lot of people think it's "just a headache". I really wish it was
- I get vertigo, which people either think is a fear of open spaces (?) or just feeling a bit dizzy. I've had it where I can't stand because I am so dizzy

All of my physical problems are invisible, which leads a lot of people to believe I'm faking it too and because I don't use a white cane when I'm out (because I'm more likely to get walked into) people also don't believe I've got sight problems too.

I'm trying to remember the last time something was done for an awareness day for a physical health condition. I can't. But there's a lot done for mental health awareness week.
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Noodlzzz
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(Original post by TripleSlash)
The concept of mental illness isn't as wide-spread and ancient as are physical illnesses.
When someone is physically ill, they display visual, easy-to-quantify symptoms that are more often than not consistent with only one or two diseases, while mental illnesses can be an entire spectrum of different issues, which makes it less believable in the public eye.

Another contributing factor is that mental illnesses can be faked much more easily than physical illnesses, and, as mentioned, the concept has been around for a much shorter amount of time.

We can't say "My mind hurts." without everyone rolling their eyes, while we can say "my arm hurts" and someone will probably try to give you advice.

Mental illnesses are something not many people pay attention to, because unless they have it, they don't have to care, while anyone can get physically hurt pretty much literally everywhere.
I would disagree with the not being as 'old' as physical illness. You can trace back the history of mental health to Ancient Greek philosophy and medieval times where they saw mental illness as a curse or a moral issue.
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username1869653
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(Original post by 12aissid)
In the title.
Mental illness is not tangible and the vast majority of people are not psycho-analytical.
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12aissid
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(Original post by Noodlzzz)
I think it partly has to do with not being able to 'see' a mental illness
Maybe it’s just me but even when comparing it to an invisible physical illness such as chronic fatigue syndrome, multiple sclerosis or Huntington’s/ dementia/Alzheimer’s there still seems to be more of a stigma around having a mental illness such as depression, anxiety or schizophrenia.
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12aissid
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(Original post by ugaaa5)
Mental illness is not tangible and the vast majority of people are not psycho-analytical.
A bit of my opinion but even with an invisible physical illness which isn’t tangible there still seems to be Moreno stigma attached to having a mental illness.
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username1869653
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(Original post by 12aissid)
A bit of my opinion but even with an invisible physical illness which isn’t tangible there still seems to be Moreno stigma attached to having a mental illness.
Especially with males.
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12aissid
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(Original post by DrawTheLine)
Elaborate please.
There still seems to be a lot of stigma attached to having a mental illness with longer waiting times to receive help than non-urgent physical conditions. People reacting differently if you tell them your on medication for a physical vs mental illness. I think I read an article in which 89% of people said they wouldn’t discuss a mental illness with their colleges which I’m going to take a guess and say is higher than those for physical conditions even invisible ones.
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12aissid
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(Original post by Noodlzzz)
I would disagree with the not being as 'old' as physical illness. You can trace back the history of mental health to Ancient Greek philosophy and medieval times where they saw mental illness as a curse or a moral issue.
Kind of reminds me of how some people treat issues like anxiety or depression as something the sufferer should just snap out of. Kind of like it’s a problem with their character/resilience.
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12aissid
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(Original post by ugaaa5)
Especially with males.
Toxic masculinity?
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Kathy89
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It is easier for some people to understand the logic in physical conditions than mental conditions.
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Pathway
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Idk I have physical health issues and mental health issues and my physical health issues are also poorly understood too, so I don't think it's limited to only MH issues not being understood, or on a level playing field or whatever.
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Tiger Rag
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(Original post by 12aissid)
There still seems to be a lot of stigma attached to having a mental illness with longer waiting times to receive help than non-urgent physical conditions. People reacting differently if you tell them your on medication for a physical vs mental illness. I think I read an article in which 89% of people said they wouldn’t discuss a mental illness with their colleges which I’m going to take a guess and say is higher than those for physical conditions even invisible ones.
Not my experience at all. I won't discuss certain physical conditions I have because I'm usually met with "oh, is that it?" I even get that from so-called medical professionals. I've stopped seeking help for my vertigo because I've been told it's all in my head. Ugh.
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There will always be more room to bring awareness to mental health.
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Pathway
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(Original post by Tiger Rag)
Not my experience at all. I won't discuss certain physical conditions I have because I'm usually met with "oh, is that it?" I even get that from so-called medical professionals. I've stopped seeking help for my vertigo because I've been told it's all in my head. Ugh.
I feel similarly. I hate having to tell new specialists for specialities other than rheumatology about my Ehlers-Danlos syndrome diagnosis because then they get their trainees to come in and then ask me to perform dumb tricks or show them my skin, or ask to touch my skin to show what they should look for in softness.

It's just weird. Makes me feel like a circus freak. Wish I didn't have to tell them about my EDS but it affects literally everything, so can't get around it.
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12aissid
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(Original post by Pathway)
I feel similarly. I hate having to tell new specialists for specialities other than rheumatology about my Ehlers-Danlos syndrome diagnosis because then they get their trainees to come in and then ask me to perform dumb tricks or show them my skin, or ask to touch my skin to show what they should look for in softness.

It's just weird. Makes me feel like a circus freak. Wish I didn't have to tell them about my EDS but it affects literally everything, so can't get around it.
I have had a similer experience when I was in hospital due to severe anaemia cause by a period issue. They decided to bring in the juniors and there was like 5 people in front of who I had to explain my period problem as a teen. But they did realise I was kind of uncomfortable and asked if they should reduce the numbers. Could you ask for that?
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Janso
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Haven't been arsed reading any other replies cos idrc about what anyone else has to say ngl but personally I'd say it was because you can actually see a physical illness, or at least see some of the symptoms etc of them. Mental illness is much less visible.
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