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mental health V's Physical illness


Jay Jay from the UK
Staff Alumni
if a person has a severe physical illness, do you presume that it will be simple to cure or rectify?

Severe mental illness is no different to severe physical illness in that it can require long term professional support and input.

It would not be fair for me to say to a person who recently had a heart attack to "Go and run a Marathon" The same can be said of saying to a person who has a severe mental illness "Just think positive"

Invalidating mental illness is contributing to people taking their lives, belittling or dismissing mental illness contributes to people not asking for help.

When you speak to a person that has mental ill health, maybe pause and think how you may want to be treated in that situation.

Utilise empathy if you have it "How would I feel if I was struggling like that every day?"

Also, think about how you might feel if you were invalidated, would you feel deflated and hurt?

Illness is illness regardless of physical or mental.


✯✯ Heart of an angel ✯✯
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SF Supporter
Brilliant post @Jayjay289

Thanks for your continuous mental health related threads, the are always solid and a good informative read.


Well-Known Member
Honestly for myself I rather suffer from what they would call mental illness than be stabbed physically. Like yea, I haven't been through physical pain that often but it's definitely way worse, coming from a person who is sad very often.


Well-Known Member
I think physical illnesses are sometimes easier to resolve than psychological distress. The latter often results from feelings, thoughts, and even behaviors that were learned in childhood (and/or from a traumatic event or events that happened later) and can take a while to fully understand and process in a way that can help them stop causing distress. And I emphasize "sometimes" because I don't want to be dismissive of more serious and chronic physical illnesses that might have no way of being eliminated.

Personally I tend to avoid the term "mental illness" because I fear that it suggests a physical or biological condition - which may sometimes be true but very often is not. I know there is stigma in people suggesting that you just need to "be happy," which is by no means easy for someone who has experienced long-term psychological distress, but I fear that there may also be stigma resulting from treating psychological distress in the same way that we view medical conditions.

Just my thoughts! :)


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I think the tie-in of mental illness being actually physical should be called in here. Given that there is a biological cause for so much mental illness that makes it a physical illness in it's own right? It's not something one can just "get over" or "think positively" about or whatever. Perhaps some things can be highly treated (personality disorders, for instance) but much of these need medication because they're based in something being physically wrong with you.

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