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How to Help the Seriously Mentally Ill (Some Suggestions)

In a few years, I'm going to be writing a book exposing the corruption and perverse incentives within the organized mental health system, including how psychiatric hospitals compound trauma and many mental health professionals reinforce socially discriminatory power dynamics.

Please, if I tell you I'm thinking about, or I'm acting out through, suicide (attempts) or violence, or struggling with existential/general anxiety, and your only or primary solution is go to the hospital, back off and keep your mouth shut. You are not helping me recover, and though I may not tell or show you what I am thinking or feeling, it will instantly make me distrust you and push my feelings further inside.

So what, then, can you do to help me, and other individuals with serious mental illness?

1. Treat us first and foremost as equal human beings who are, just like you and everyone else, struggling to survive this wild Rollercoaster ride we call "Life." Do not patronize us, do not condescend to us, do NOT (in the name of all things holy, please help me God) make decisions for us or presume to speak on our behalf, even if it's in our "best interest", unless we freely give you our consent to do so. This has little to do with not treating us like children, and everything to do with affording us our fundamental human dignity. Even children cherish the freedom to care for themselves as much as they know how (autonomy), to choose the activities they do for fun (recreation), to choose their own playmates, friends, and associates (freedom of association), and to explore and engage with the world around them. Treat us like people, and give us the space to make mistakes, as well as good decisions.

Objection: But you cannot be trusted to make your own decisions. You are not responsible or trustworthy. You are dangerous to yourself/others. Who knows what you'd do if you were left at liberty to do whatever you wanted? You'll hurt yourself! You'll hurt us!

Answer to objection: Responsibility is not innate to any person; it must be taught every single day, by parents, by teachers, by peers. The child must be taught to do his chores, to tend to his hygiene and grooming, to control his bladder and bowels and know when he needs to go to the bathroom and empty them. The student must be taught to attend school every scheduled day, to pay attention to the lesson and participate in class, to complete and submit his assignments in a timely manner, to be honest in his studies, neither cheating by copying nor falsifying nor plagiarizing. The peer must be taught to consider the feelings and needs and boundaries of his mates, to select healthy associates and friends, to refrain from bullying and harassing behavior. The child must be taught to follow rules and obey the law, and must be taught the importance, and appropriate means of, protest and advocacy when he considers these rules or laws unjust. Now as for how others should treat the irresponsible person, it is not prudent to lower standards to placate or appease the irresponsible, as this will teach him that he can evade responsibility by getting angry and throwing a temper tantrum, which will hinder his maturation process and impede his psychosocial development: in other words, expect less of the irresponsible, and he will most likely struggle to "grow up" and "outgrow" his irresponsible ways. What is better, is to consider irresponsibility as a skill deficit, or a combination of skill deficits, and support the irresponsible person in developing the skills which he lacks. Does he struggle to manage his time effectively, to prioritize more important and urgent tasks over those that are not as important or urgent but that offer more immediate gratification? Demonstrate how time management has positively impacted your life, how you achieved your highest goals and still had time to do things you enjoy. Is he too emotionally reactive, too quick to anger? Demonstrate the benefits of controlling one's emotions and using reason and dialogue, rather than emotional outbursts, to resolve challenges.

As for being a danger to self by suicide or self-harm, such behaviors tend to come from a place of intense emotional anguish, deep soul pain, be it from traumatic life experiences or meaninglessness or the inherent complexity of life itself. For this, be present with the hurting person, not attempting to preach or persuade or push your point of view, nor attempting to control, dominate, or protect, but just be and actively listen to understand. As a good friend of mine says, "hold the bucket" for whatever pain the person needs to release. Don't try to build a dam to stop the water. Just hold the bucket until the person is done.

If someone is threatening or committing violence, make sure you and others are physically safe first and foremost, then tend to the violent individual. If you want to help the violent person and deem yourself in a safe position to attempt to do so, acknowledge his pain but let him know you cannot and will not tolerate any violent or threatening behavior, and specify and enforce consequences if violence continues. This may involve making some tough decisions, such as evicting the individual from your home or involving the authorities. If the individual listens to you and ceases his violent behavior, let him know you still care about him, and ask him if he is ready and willing to talk about what's bothering him. (I know a bit about how to deal with violence in mental illness because I used to struggle with it when severely depressed and suicidal.)

2. Listen to what we say about what we need, want, and feel. Actively invite us to share our perspectives and inner experiences, or at least ask us what you can do to support us, lest you just jump to conclusions and hurt us more. And please don't judge or invalidate our emotions, or give advice when we don't ask for it.###

(This is getting long, and it's getting really late. So, to be continued.)

Please feel free to ask any questions or offer any critiques, corrections, or insights in the comment section below. Please direct any private questions or comments to Please note, I am not a mental health professional or any kind of physician or practitioner of any healing art or helping profession. I am simply a person with lived experience with mental illness.

#MentalHealth #MentalIllness #MentalHealthAdvocacy #mentalhealthsupport

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I'm new here!

Hi, my name is EveyRosenbloom!

I am excited to introduce myself and share my story with you. Two years ago, I hit my lowest point and was struggling with severe anxiety and depression. It was a dark and difficult time, and I felt like there was no hope for me. But then, my daughter said something that changed everything: "Mommy, you can choose to be happy."

Those words inspired me to delve into the research and find all the ways I could pull myself out of the darkness. I ended up getting certified in positive psychology and the science of well-being as part of my own healing journey. And let me tell you, it has made all the difference. I went from being bedridden to completely getting my life back. The vertigo that had been plaguing me due to a vestibular migraine diagnosis faded, and I was able to start dancing and skating around the house with my kids and waking up early in the morning to swim and go ride horses.

I am happier than ever, and I don't take anything for granted. I continue to practice everything I learned – gratitude, journaling, affirmations, mindfulness, exercise, eating to beat depression and anxiety, filtering out unnecessary stressful content, and doing more of what makes me happy.

I also started a podcast called Choose to Be Happy, where I interview experts in the field of mental health every week to share with others how they too can be happy, regardless of their circumstances. I truly believe that anyone can choose to be happy, and I hope that my podcast can help inspire and empower others to do the same.

Here is a link if you want to check it out:

I am so grateful to be a part of this community, and I can't wait to connect with all of you and share more of my journey. Thank you for reading!

Evey Rosenbloom

#MightyTogether #Anxiety #Depression #OCD #MentalHealthAwareness #wellnessjourney #selfcarematters #healingjourney #positivityiskey #selflovejourney #happinessisachoice #mentalhealthrecovery #overcominganxiety #depressionawareness #anxietyawareness #mindfulnessmatters #mentalhealthsupport #MentalHealthAdvocacy #mentalhealthcommunity #positivepsychology #PositiveVibes #scienceofwellbeing #ChooseToBeHappy

‎Choose to Be Happy on Apple Podcasts

‎Society & Culture · 2022
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Many people aren’t familiar with #bpd ( #BorderlinePersonalityDisorder ) It is very common among young woman, such as myself! We look just like you, we feel just like you — only about 10x harder. It’s a disorder characterized by extreme emotional instability. The best part — is that it IS manageable, you can recover! It has been a few years since embracing this #mentalhealth #diagnosis. It took even longer for me to accept it and then finally being willing to share about such a sensitive matter. After finally feeling confident enough to share with others on social media, I quickly learn this condition is being hidden. The #hashtagbpd is currently banned from @instagram which is owned by @facebookapp. A hashtag won’t lead to death, that’s ridiculous! It is clear that BPD is often #misunderstood and #misdiagnosed . However, excluding a group already suffering will further our #stigma . This is a #minority being silenced, so it’s time to speak up. Being able to look up within the #bdpcommunity success stories, memes, diagrams, and related photos can be very helpful for #recovery. There’s a lot of positive things we may be missing from our #hashtagbpd and may even lead to finding #dialecticalbehaviortherapy or #cognitivebehavioraltherapy . Please, consider sharing this information and help #raiseawareness ! This #bpdban must be revoked — #UNHIDEBPD !
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Cheers to us!

I'm only 24 years old, but due to my mental illness, life feels like it's enough or even too much already. I had mental health issues even before I realize it which may have started at my 17. I appreciate all the support I received from anyone, but getting help in mental health communities (including the Mighty app) and therapists feels significantly different. We can relate and talk in the same wavelenghts due to all the experience we had. Thank you all and cheers for our life!

#grateful #Gratitude #ThankYou #mentalhealthsupport #mentalhealthcommunity #Mentalhealthsurvivor #mystoryisnotoveryet

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thank you the mighty

I am so thankful and feeling so good since I have joined this forum, people here are so nice and understanding. You guys are a real help and very supportive. I feel so satisfied that no one judged me or said that I don't trust God, or don't have courage or don't try to be cheerful or better. I am posting a lot of questions since last night, I hope it won't be a problem, I just feel like I am free to talk about my feelings with like minded helpful people. It's so reliving. Thank you everyone. #Hope #mentalhealthsupport

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