Please Stop Treating Mental Illness Like It Has A One Size Fits All Solution by H. Gladwell
Mental illness affects one in four people in the UK – meaning at least a few people you know live with a mental illness. But those people are not all experiencing the same thing.
We need to stop talking about mental health issues as one mass of problems with one cure-all fix.
Ways of treating and helping each person will be different.
As someone who lives with both bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder – which share similar symptoms but are totally different – I know firsthand what it’s like to have to treat two disorders differently.
Bipolar disorder is usually treated with medication, while borderline personality disorder is normally treated with psychological evaluation and therapy. Both are very different treatments – even if they achieve similar results. We should look at it this way when it comes to all mental illnesses.
Time after time I’ve watched people suggest ways for other people to cope with ‘mental illness’ or improve their ‘mental health’. These people don’t see mental illness for what it is – a range of disorders and illnesses that come with a whole variety of symptoms.
They see it as one blanket term, as if you either live with a mental illness or you don’t. They hear the term ‘mental illness’ and lump everyone’s experiences in together.
This is only lessening the understanding we so desperately need.
What works for one person won’t work for everyone.
Let’s look at it this way. Antidepressants aren’t going to help anyone who doesn’t live with depression. In fact, antidepressants in some disorders, such as mood disorders, can only worsen the symptoms – as they can trigger mania.
…If people realised just how complicated mental illness is, maybe they’d understand that treatment is just as tricky too.
Read more of that editorial here