I think religion carries most of the responsibility for stigmatizing mental illness

It just occurred to me recently that religion is probably the biggest player in stigmatizing mentally ill people. To me, a naturalist, mental illness is just like any other illness - why would anyone think badly of a sick person? Seriously, people don't stigmatize people who suffer from cancer or kidney disease, do they? Why think badly of people for having another aspect of their body go haywire?

The only possible reason I can think of that people would be judgmental of mentally ill people is that those judging believe a person's "self" is something separate from his body. I'm surprised I hadn't thought of this before.

When going through rehab after a serious head injury I heard many conversations about other people worse off than I was. One conversation that particularly stuck with me was about a man who been in a car accident that damaged the frontal lobes of his brain. The conversation I overhead was actually frightening to me. Two of his family members were talking about him. One said to the other that Bob (I don't remember his name so he's Bob) got angry a lot and tended to use a lot of profanity and at other times acted sullen and childish. His other family member responded that Bob needed to get right with god - as if poor Bob's problem was a crisis of spirit rather than a result of the damage under the plate in his skull. It also made me very sad. That wasn't a very loving attitude to have towards Bob.

I encountered this attitude a lot, as if the "soul" is real and responsible for the mind and that because of this one could simply decide not to have mental problems. It's a real bitch when you are faced with brain damage and idiots who think you can just will yourself better. I think this idea of a soul separate from the body is responsible both for people's weird idea that once your hair grows back after brain surgery you're all better and the idea that mentally ill people are bad and choose to be sick.

Tags: illness, mental, souls, stigma

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Stoicism is the should-have-been-aborted foetus of cynicism.

It was a wrong path - the traditional cynics should have embraced hedonism. Shoulda. I shoulda married a rich chick. Shoulda, shoulda, shoulda...
I've seen this many times with depressives I've known. This seems to be especially true with men. I think that this has to do with being taught that showing emotion is a weakness and that asking for outside help is something to be ashamed of. That seems to be the attitude in my experience at least.

I can understand not wanting to be medicated. When I was a teen I was medicated in order to bandage my emotions instead of changing the circumstances that were really causing my issues. The feeling of basically being emotionally neutered was a horrible horrible thing.
This isn't difficult to do. Plot antidepressant use vs. amphetamine based drug use. It is a straight line. Due to adolescent speed orgies, I feel i have no choice. I medicate, otherwise I can't sleep, eat or leave the front door.

One only wonders about what crystal/ice will give us a decade down the track. Evil drugs. I never thought I'd say that about drugs, but they're evil. The direct result of the "war on drugs" - Poisons that were never conceivable. More drug law fascism = more poisonous drugs.

The hippies knew what they were doing - they had PhD chemists. Now its trailer park Joe Bob making cocktails that contain fuck knows what. Selling them to people who don't care.

Felch "Medicated Majority"
Crystal Meth was invented by the Nazi's. Hitler would often get by with just 2 hours of sleep. The famous down fall was when he ordered his staff not to wake him up under any circumstance; only to have delayed special forces that were to withheld from actually fighting without Hitlers orders and the Americans, British, and selected French Resistance; who were deliberately selected because they were not the communist and anarchist, who up until then were doing most of the fighting.
Drugs like that are just scary. My home town had a "meth problem". I can remember one time about ten years ago when one of the houses across the street from the elementary school was busted for being a meth lab. Heh, and then there were some trailer parks that everyone knew to avoid.

At one point I had the pleasure of watching a close friend of mine become addicted to the crap. Her anxiety issues seemed much worse once she quit. She seems to need to be somewhat sedated most of the time anymore.

There are legitimite reasons for taking medication. There are some things that counseling and, for lack of a better term, "emotional discipline" can not remedy.
That's part of the problem with religion and religious people (certain types anyway). It's like the only tool you have is a hammer so you see everything as a nail. Sorry but god/religion is not the answer for everything. Letting your child die of diabetes is a crappy thing to do because you prefer prayer to a doctor. Claiming mental illness is "demon possession" or a spiritual failing is cruel and irresponsible. Believe what you want, but don't inflict it on others.

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