TED Conversations

Arjuna Nagendran


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What experiences have made you more comfortable with mental health disorders?

What things make you fearful of mental health disorders? And what experiences have made you more comfortable with it?

In the quest to dispell stigma, how can we help our society grow out of its fear?


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    Oct 11 2012: I am grateful that there is no longer such a stigma that people are afraid to seek the help that could improve not only their quality of life but that of their families and loved ones.

    I think what has made mental health challenges more accepted is that so many more people openly share that aspect of themselves alongside everything else they are. When I was young, I never remember anyone talking about being bipolar, and now I know lots of people who are.

    Many people also realize at this point that some of the most creative people who have ever lived have had mood disorders.

    There is a wonderful book on creativity and mood disorders by Kay Jamison of Johns Hopkins Medical school, I think, called Touched with Fire.
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      Oct 11 2012: Re suffferers coming forward.. For what are likely multiple reasons (including stigma) 90% of those with schizophrenia are untreated in developing countries.

      Globally, we have a lot of work to do.
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        Oct 11 2012: I don't hear many people talk about being schizophrenic. It is mood disorders people seem to share a lot.
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          Oct 11 2012: Schizophrenia is common, affecting ~ 0.5-1% of us, depending on your exact qualifying criteria, but that's about 1 in 100, which I think is a lot!

          Even with respect to mood disorders, depression for example. the figure is still high - 50% do not get treatment globally - and one of the 3 big factors this is put down to is social stigma. (The others being lack of resources and lack of trained providers).
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        Oct 11 2012: I have a simple question .... can you say if I am schizophrenic or not if you talk to me like now and would you belive in your feelings or an entire school system represented by a psychiatric doctor. Will you be blind and obey to a doctor paper and sign or you will want to know and maybe help one such person.
        I can give you also a foto copy of my diagnostic and I will ask then? Do you belive in what you see or your self perception and feelings about a person. Is a choice to belive in yourself and to belive in an entire medical school. Chose one, I am already "out" - "of my mind" :) but more can come if you do not take care of people around you and ask yourself, who will lose and who will have a lot of income in the next years for the simple matter that we do not love each other and take care of us.
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          Oct 11 2012: Schooling in any subject can only provide a framework, useful for learning from the collective past.

          Experience is the only thing that will fill in the gaps for the individual, to allow them to handle the future in a way as tailored to an individual as possible.
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        Oct 14 2012: So from your point of view individuals have "gaps" and you play a role in a scene and make this kind of scenes untill you do not see the "gap" to the the individual and if do not love that individual you give him more of your "gaps" as to say becouse I am sure love has nothing related to knowledge and only freedom of love and without borders like your "gaps" (or haps or caps - how I should say ?) can make happy anyone on Earth and also your ancestors and future family (or generations ... i should say :) ) . Think about .....
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          Oct 14 2012: Perhaps I wasn't expressing myself well, I think you've misunderstood.

          When I refer to "gaps" I refer to the disparity between all collated knowledge from books, teaching and the unique case of each individual. To help someone holistically, the medical professional needs to combine their theoretical knowledge with experience from multiple previous patients, and then tailor treatment to the unique needs of the individual. Medication is not the only treatment, in psychiatry in particular a lot of emphasis is placed on the biopsychosocial model - and even this can be tailored to what is the particular way, at that particular time that will help that particular person best.
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        Oct 14 2012: I can make you a small poem for the "doctors" with bad intention.

        Can a hap with a cap ,
        cover an imaginary gap?,
        If you hurt and you are so alone
        And can not throw into anyone the bone?
        Maybe you should have someone
        And show how is to love and done.

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