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Old 05-03-2017, 06:21 PM   #1
Pi.R^2
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Mental health myths/things you want your parents/teachers to know

Hi all, apologies if you've already seen this on fb!

I'm leading a section of a training session on mental health aimed at school staff and parents. If anyone has any myths/misconceptions about mental health that irritate you and/or things you wish the adults in your life knew either now if you are still under 18 or if not, when you were under 18, then I would very much appreciate your comments either on here or via message. Thanks in advance

Jenna



We may not see eye to eye, but we can respect each other's opinions and find the truth in them.
Perhaps in those honest conversations, instead of demonising each other,
we might see each other as imperfect humans, doing our best. ~ Jodi Picoult


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Old 06-03-2017, 09:27 AM   #2
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I used to find it difficult that teachers used to assume that I was upset because someone had said something hurtful. They had been informed I had depression, it used to make me feel wrong for "just" being upset because of my thoughts.

Other students would often say my panic attacks were for attention, it would have been helpful if they had been pulled up on it and given some information on anxiety.

After a while my teachers worked out when I needed to talk, when I needed a quiet 5 minutes and when I needed distracting with school work. Not every thing needs to be talked out.

Just because my exams were making things more difficult didn't mean it was all due to the pressure of exams. It would have been helpful if they acknowledge that things were difficult and xyz must be making it more difficult but please don't assume that xyz is the sole cause. It made me feel so much weaker than my other classmates who were coping so much better, in reality there was other stuff underneath and exam stress was just the icing on a very miserable cake.

I was over 18 for my most difficult period of school and didn't want my parents informed and the school used any loop hole they could to contact my parents and it really broke my trust in them. They never explain why they were concerned or what they wanted to say to them, why they thought it would help. It was just "fine you don't want us to talk to your parents but we will find any reason we can to do so. have a nice day"

If you want a student to open up to you, threatening to put on their uni application that they aren't well enough to do a degree really isn't going to work!

I would like to say my school-health liaison officer and some of my teachers were brilliant and I owe most of my adult achievements to them as they got me through school however ugly it was at the time.



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Old 06-03-2017, 05:48 PM   #3
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There are only a couple of people who know about my mental health issues but one seems to think that taking anti depressants changes you as a person so you're not really 'you' anymore. I wish he could see that they don't change who I am, they just lift the darkness of depression which hides who I really am.

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Old 07-03-2017, 08:40 AM   #4
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When my parents found out about my mental health problems and were struggling to get their heads around it one of the other mum's said to them "just because you have learned something new about a person doesn't mean that they aren't still the person you knew"

I think it is important to stress to parents that when their kids are going through things they might be act or behaviour like you would expect them too but the person they knew is still there. It is just super difficult and confusing to be dealing with mental health stuff especially when it is new and you are so young. Be patient, keep them safe but don't feel like you have to take away all their pain, give them boundaries but also give them space.



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Old 07-03-2017, 11:58 AM   #5
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I was a member of the church when I first got unwell, and it was super frustrating to hear that my illness was due to lack of faith.

Also, with family, there was an idea that if I "wanted" recovery enough, I'd b all better, and it would show that I loved them. In actual fact, it just made me feel guilty for not loving them enough to be well and drove the illness into further destruction and secrecy.

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Old 09-03-2017, 12:46 AM   #6
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There's a tendency to view a failed exam as the moment at which the problem started. No, it's just the inevitable moment at which I couldn't hide it anymore, like a runaway train reaching the points. The exam is collateral damage, or the delayed casualty of a long term issue, or just an instant that will pass while the real problem persists. Don't simplify it. Acknowledge it.

If anxiety at school were an industrial disease, an F grade would just be the cough.



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Old 10-03-2017, 01:27 AM   #7
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That I didn't know what would actually help me, to give me time to open up to talk to someone about my problems. For someone to actually help come up with some solutions to help recovery. I honestly think a lot of my issues stuck around because no one knew what to
do to help me and professional support wasnt really offered until I was in my mid 20's

Don't invalidate feelings because 'you are too young to feel that.' No one us ever too young to feel any emotion.

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Old 10-03-2017, 06:49 AM   #8
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That family therapy isn't an opportunity for the therapist to divulge all of your secrets. You are still entitled to dignity in that context and boundaries need to be clearly established even if you are a minor.
Parents- who need therapy too- might take the opportunity to vent their issues in the session that should be for the child, in front of the child. My biggest issue was the amount of unqualified and underqualified "mediators" that we used.





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Old 11-03-2017, 11:31 AM   #9
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Something I struggled with when i came out of IP the first time was the expectation by everyone around me that I was somehow "fixed" by the IP stay. I had never even been in a hospital for a physical illness at that time, let alone something MH related........ It was hard for myself and others to understand that IP was a crisis intervention, a starting point for years of recovery, which would be up and down and at times quite ugly. I struggled for a long time to be "real" because others expected me to be well again, and I was afraid to show that I wasn't there yet.... hence more secrecy and further destruction.

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Old 11-03-2017, 11:58 AM   #10
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Thank you so much for sharing your views and experiences. I used lots of your ideas in my training and I think it went quite well and hopefully people will take on board the issues raised :)

Thanks again for your help!



We may not see eye to eye, but we can respect each other's opinions and find the truth in them.
Perhaps in those honest conversations, instead of demonising each other,
we might see each other as imperfect humans, doing our best. ~ Jodi Picoult


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Old 15-03-2017, 10:05 PM   #11
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That by showing my arms, I was screamng for you to help me even though I said otherwise.

That "I'm fine." is the biggest lie ever told and you should have realised that I wasn't fine.

That wearing sweatbands and bracelets and long sleeve tops was the only way I knew how to hide everything.

That wearing a white t-shirt under my shirt was not an option.

That when you were nice, and friendly, I opened up to you and more likely to talk to you. :D




The world is just illusion always trying to change me.
You will find wonder wherever you can, and spread joy whenever you are able.


I felt emotions of gentleness and pleasure, that had long appeared dead, divide within me. - Frankenstein.


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