Should Mental Illness Be Ignored or Educated About?

I'm on both sides of this.

On one side of the spectrum, I think that mental illness should be ignored. The stigma should stay, and schools should never talk about it. Before you hate me, here's why:

Many eating disorders, mental illnesses, and self harmers only begin when they find out about it. My own self harm began once I met my friend who was cutting, and that idea was planted in my head. Sure, it isn't her fault, but it definitely triggered me into self harm. I wasn't even depressed at the time.

Once you try something, you might become addicted to it. If a happy innocent person gets told 'don't cut yourself. Don't starve yourself. Don't succumb to depression and anxiety' that person who didn't even know what mental illness was now does. And now that person can go look up 'anorexia' or 'cutter' and see people doing it and want to try it.

That's what happened to me. I found out about self harm, and then tried it because i was a young stupid 11 year old. By the time i was 12 i was self harming every day and to this day I have scars up and down my arms and legs. When you cut, it doesn't just hurt your skin. It starts to affect your mind, and I became extremely depressed and insecure. When i was 13, i became anorexic and dropped from a bmi of 23 to 16. By 14, i was bulimic and purging 5-8 times a day.

Should mental illness be ignored or educated about?

That life was so miserable, which is why i'm so so wary of people telling others about mental illness. I want as little people as possible to know this. Of course, the MyTake I'm doing right now is contradicting that. Which is how I come to the other end of the spectrum:

Mental illness should be educated to everyone. As many people as possible should know about it. It should be as widely known as possible. Here's why:

If more people know about it, not only can we help educate them about the fact that it is not something you ever want to try, but when someone shows signs of mental illness, they can get help right away.

Getting help is EXTREMELY important!!! My bulimia was unknown from everyone for almost a year. Over that year, it got progressively worse and worse. I would binge on so much food and purge it all up to 10 times a day. I would never eat something and not purge it. I lost so much weight and became sickly looking.

I fully believe that if I had gotten help earlier, I would never have ended up skeletal and even more messed up in the head than when I started. I did show signs of bulimia. Weight loss, fatigue, binging, running to the bathroom after eating, yet since no one around me was educated in it, nobody found out until it became obvious when puke was found in the plumbing.

I also believe that if I had gotten help after the first few cuts, I never would have ended up so depressed. The thing is, when you are the one with the illness, you don't want to get help, even though that is what is good for you.

I just wanted to lose weight without anyone bothering me or interfering. Getting forced to gain weight while very underweight was much more painful than it would have been when i was a normal weight, because my mind had been sickened even more.

People need to know the signs and look out for them so people who are suffering can be put into therapy, IP, OP, etc, can recover before they go too far off the deep end.

But I also don't believe in this completely. Which puts me in the middle of the spectrum:

We should educate people about this only at an age in which it is assumed that most people won't want to try it out. To be honest, I only tried cutting because I was so young. I was in elementary school! Younger people are much more vulnerable to becoming addicted to things like that. Because that is what eating disorders and cutting are: addictions. And they lead to depression and anxiety and other issues.

Maybe when people turn 18, or even 21, we can begin to bring light on this topic.

But no matter what, it is impossible to shield people from becoming ill. A lot of the time, you don't even need a trigger to become depressed. Some people are born that way. Others are born feeling the need to restrict and lose weight and starve. It is just the way it is.

Also because of social media and the internet, there is no way to completely avoid talk about this. Which is why it remains a problem, and will always remain a problem.

I know for a fact that I began cutting because my best friend was doing it. And i know that i became anorexic when she told me that she also starved herself. But I am also almost positive that I would have had all these issues even if I never met this girl.


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Most Helpful Guy

  • Most of the stupid things people do are actually learned from others.
    When I was a kid, there was no internet yet. When I got depressed, I did what every other kid did... they moped and grouched. These days, kids that are very young find shit online they should not be seeing... and when they see it, they start to think such behavior that other people do is normal. Such as your example of self-harm and cutting.

    You will not see people my age with razor cuts all along their arms. Nobody ever put such a stupid idea in our heads. But even as you described... you didn't engage in self harm because the idea spontaneously popped in your head. You said "I found out about self harm, and then tried it because i was a young stupid 11 year old."

    While I'm sure some people engage in self harm, such people have some very SERIOUS mental issues. However, when someone like you WATCHES someone else do it online, and then tries it, it's kind of like all the lemmings who watched the ALS water challenge and replicated it at home. I doubt you would have thought up the idea to cut your arm with a razor, all by yourself.

    This also applies to anorexia. Unless you searched online for extreme ways to keep yourself thin (like making yourself throw up), you would have just dieted like the rest of the 99.9% of people in my generation.

    I seriously believe that the problems you and the 99.9% of people encounter during their life are simply part of being a human being. Everyone gets depressed at times. Everybody gets overwhelmed with responsibilities at times. Everyone experiences sadness, death in the family, illness and tragedy at times.

    However, the 0.1% of very twisted, and seriously fucked up mentally ill people are spreading their mental illness to people like you. Giving normal kids idea like "hey, lets slit my wrist with a razor", or "lets bring a gun to school and shoot everyone" (this one is also influenced by video games).

    The minds of youth are very gullible and malleable. In human history, people have been able to mold the way society acts by acting upon people when they are kids. Kids can become ruthless killers (e. g. ISIS child fighters). They can be formed into anything... if you influence their mind at an early age.

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Most Helpful Girl

  • The problem isn't that they hear about it, it's that there's no education. If people were to find out about this with proper education about it and awareness, they wouldn't be so prone to do it. It's like with sex ed: people will have sez irregardless of whether they have it or not, sex ed gives them the knowledge necessary to deal with the issue. Or smoking, or any other addiction really. They'll find out about it, might as well know what consequences it has and act upon it before it's too late.

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Join the discussion

What Guys Said 18

  • I do understand your point of view. When people hears a lot about it some people, especially kids gets ideas planted in their heads, jokes about it or claim they've something when they don't have it to sound trendy, cool and grab attention. From my experience it applies to conditions generally. Both being transgender, identifying as something else than your physical body like an animal, depression, anxiety etc. have turned a trend among some young people from what I've seen.

    But the consequences about not educating it outweigh the cons in my opinion. If people didn't get to know about it, it would be more difficult for them to seek help since fewer people would understand them and fewer people would know how to treat them. A person who don't know what depression is are more likely to tell the person to man up and stop being lazy than a person who knows what it's about. Unwanted comments just makes it worse for the individual. When I went to elementary school (I was around 11) both I and other pupils came with bad comments because we didn't know about the diagnose one of the pupils had and we thought he was joking with us. Our former teacher just screamed to us without explaining anything and we were confused. He also received special treatment making us think the teacher had a favorite pupil and we didn't understand why he were allowed to cheat in education games, in lessons etc. I didn't know anything before I read about the pupil's condition a couple of years later. It wasn't a mental condition, but it's still a point because regardless if it's mental or not, if people don't know anything they would come with false assumption and not knowing what's right to do. I thinks lesser people would receive many bad comments if people just knew better.

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  • Interesting take - I agree that many maybe triggered for want of a better word by exposure of these issues but also there is a deep need for mental health education and information spreading. I think you have to step back and ask what is the greater good maybe society has a role to play in how it relays the information, to take the mystique out some mental health issues and show how it is an ISSUE that needs to be addressed on a personal level and a societal level before things get serious for a person.

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  • I'd be dead if I wasn't educated about it

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  • You're not informed enough on the subject to make these judgements. Which is hypocritical because you're talking about educating people about mental illness. Maybe go to college and study psychology before jumping to conclusions about how people develop cutting or eating disorders.

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    • 4d

      i dont need to go to college to know these things, i've experienced it first hand. of couse these are only my experiences, but i have a pretty good take on it as I have many friends with mental illnesses and am part of the community

  • Thank you

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  • They should treated

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  • People shouldn't ignore their mental illnesses. They should seek counseling and try to fix their problems.

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  • it should be educated about, and never ever be ignored. im a person, who is suffering from 8 different disorders and mental illnesses, which doesn't have any cure, so i know what its like to have mental illnesses.

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  • I have dealt with mental illness with a family member. It's something that has to be educated about indefinitely. If we just acted like it was not happening, our loved one could have been lost.

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  • of course it should be educated about brain is our very much part of our body and one have to accept that he is suffering from mental illness unless how will he or she be treated"

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  • No. High school.

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  • Countries should develop more their mental healtcare and make it more available.

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  • Mental illness isn't a choice. People need to be educated, you included.

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  • Too much text

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  • Mental illness is a construct of mankind and does not exist. People who are "mentally ill" have demons inside of them. The only reason why medication works on these demons is because the medical industry blesses each tablet. However, their blessings are not strong enough, so you need a priest to get rid of those demons.

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  • Seriously educated about!!!

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  • I think education is best and just humane in general

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  • it should never be ignored and the stigma surrounding it should be dispelled. the way you talk about it makes it sound as though its infectious and once a person knows about a mental health problem they will 100% be infected with said problem. this is untrue and quite sad to hear in this day and age.

    an impressionable person will be influenced in many ways, not just the state of their mental health.

    I have suffered from PTSD, depression self harm and alcoholism since 2009 and it was only last week in fact that i finally sought help. When someone breaks a bone, they get help and they get better. they may be out of action for a few months but they recover.

    someone with poor mental health can suffer for years and it can be even more debilitating than a physical injury. Speaking from personal experience i have problems leaving the house, I've lost a lot of friends, i haven't been able to work and through misguided coping mechanisms I've caused physical damage to myself.

    to completely ignore my problems means i would probably suffer for the rest of my life, an the same would be true for a lot of the people I know who are also suffering from PTSD one of whom comitted suicide. Why should they be completely ignored and forgotten about?

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What Girls Said 15

  • As a psychology student this had me shake my head and sigh.
    Education is VITAL, someone talking about cutting themselves or just saying "don't cut yourself" isn't education.
    Education is understanding what the problem actually is, what the problems could be rooting from. Is it genetic, is it nurtured, have they gone through something horrible? It is absolutely vital that they are aware of these things so they can do something about it.

    Having it not talked about can leave the person not talking about their problems to anyone, it can leave them feeling hopeless as though there is no way out (when there often is), it can make them feel like they are the only ones suffering with this problem.

    Me knowing my depression is genetic makes me aware that it can try to creep back on me even if there isn't anything bad in my life, but because I know that I'll be quick to let someone know how I'm feeling and I'll tell myself it's just one of those episodes again and it will go away eventually than feeling hopeless like I'm back to square one and my life isn't going anywhere. (My psychiatrist gave me this advice).

    And mental illness isn't just depression or anorexia or anxiety, its schizophrenia, tics, Parkinson's disease. People NEED to be aware of the symptoms in order to deal with them and quickly.

    Ignorance isn't always bliss, especially not when it comes to mental illness.

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  • I disagree that mental illness should be ignored and stigmatized. That prevents people seeking needed help and support.

    My parents worked in the metal health sector all of their lives , so i know how acknowledging metal health problems and seeking help saves lives, or at least provides a better quality life for thousands of sufferers

    Some metal health illness and personality disorders can cause some people to become very dangerous to society , but by acknowledging - not ignoring it, people can seek help and the right treatment to keep them stable and less dangerous to themselves and towards other people

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  • Ignoring mental illness is the stupidest thing you could have said,
    The more people know it, the easier they feel it is to seek help or coming out about it, the stigma makes people suffer in silence without ever seeking help for the fear of being judged.
    There is this friend of mine who has learned through person experience and has helped me a lot in getting over my insecurities and a lot of people through multiple forums.
    @SnapTsch is that friend of mine.
    He was in crippling depression for about 3-4 years where he also tried to end it. but survived, struggled hard, worked on himself to be stronger and has been helping people for the past 3-4 years.

    The more you stigmatize it , the more judgmental people become about it.

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  • It's not good to ignore it, that's why people are taking their life cause they feel like people aren't listening to them or feel invincible

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  • educated
    it's sad about your self harming, I've read that it released hormones in your body that can make you addicted

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  • They are educated... if they want to be. I. e., either go to university where they major in it (psychiatry) or they research themselves.
    Either way, it's not ignored, it's just on the INDIVIDUAL to take the time out of their day to learn.

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    • I thinks she's also talking about education in middle-school, high-school etc. so people knows what mental illness is, so it's probably not only about the university etc.

    • @curiousnorway Oh, in that case - kids have enough to learn as it is... I doubt they can cram in that as well...
      So they'll have to learn it on their own time.

  • I am suffering from two mental illness' right now... Just to say my point of view i think it needs to be talked about because otherwise kids won't know the damage they could cause until it has been done. My mental illness' is in my genetics so it didn't matter which path i chose i still would have been affected. But also it was caused from mental abuse as a child, I've had a mental illness since i was like 6 and once i got to high school my friends talked about it and i started to understand what was wrong with me and realised i needed help, so kids need to know this stuff otherwise they won't think to ask for help.

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    • and yes i did cut bc i thought it would help with my panic attacks to distract me. I also have tried to kill myself more than once and i'm only 15...

  • It should be educated about.

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  • Honey I show some sociopathic behaviour from a very young aget. At the age of 11 I first started being concerned about it but it wasn't until I was 16 that I found out on the Internet what it really is. I need to check a doctor but I can't.

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  • I think you can educate people about mental illness without going into graphic details of people's experiences with it.

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  • I have BPD/Borderline Personality Disorder. People who know ahead of time, are better able to deal with it, and manage when I am triggered.

    The disorder can be "inflicted" upon you, just by being around someone who has it, if they are in a position to use or control you. My mother, who doesn't have the disorder, is the cause of mine. She's been emotionally abusive to me my entire life.

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  • it shouldn't be ignored

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  • I don't agree that someone or something else is responsible for your mental health or lack of. For example, I really dislike critiques about a work of art wanting to censor it because it "will trigger people." Artists don't always have a place to have their own voice. Not in a typical society. So they need that outlet. And avoiding being triggered isn't the solution to all this. The solution would be to truly understand where your illness is coming from, or whatever other therapy methods you respond well to. I do agree that people should be educated on it, because I have often sensed a double standard about mentally ill people. Take personality disorders for example. The disordered have to take responsibility for more than their healthy counterparts ever will. If the disordered misunderstands you or where you are coming from, they are labeled as ill or paranoid or whatever else. And it's all their FAULT. But if the mentally healthy person doesn't understand what a disordered person needs, and if they do something that is actually cruel in the view of the disordered person, it's again the disordered person's fault. I feel very passionately about this, and I hate that mental illness is seen as this scary thing to avoid by the healthy, instead of what it actually is - representing the other side of health. You cannot seriously say you understand what human beings are if you dissociate health and illness. They are two sides of the same coin. Every healthy person has trigger (s) that would send them spiraling into severe mental illness. They aren't as far away from it as they think.

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  • It shouldn't be used as an excuse for bad behavior

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  • Ignore it. It will go away

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