Bullying, mental illness and depression
Monday, September 23, 2019
Today we’re doing a piece on the unseen problem in the country and around the world. Too often people have clearly visible problems that are treated such as allergies, vision problems, and they manifest signs of illness such as coughing, sneezing, fever. Or perhaps they have mumps or tremors. These are all legitimate problems and of course need to be treated. Most countries have some sort of good medical care to at least address the problem. Although not every country has the best medical plans or health systems people are able to get by and survive. But do we really just want a health system with a passing grade? In some countries the health systems are heavily assisted via involvement by government according to Wikipedia such as in the UK, Spain, Australia and Nordic countries to name a few. From looking at a map of universal health care systems you would see that most of the equatorial and immediate neighboring countries simply do not seem to have a system of health care that delivers to as broad a spectrum as possible.
However this article is not necessarily promoting and recognizing the merits or detracting from such a system but instead to bring awareness to the iceberg illness that lies below the surface. Mental health. According to the National Institute of Mental Health there was an “estimated 17.3 million adults” in the U.S. that affected sleep, interest and pleasure in daily activities such as eating and perceptions of self-worth and that this statistic represents roughly around 7 percent and about three percentage points higher among females than males. And there was about “46.6 million adults” also with mental illness. These were from 2017 studies. And this epidemic affects not just one particular race or culture: White, Black, Asian, Hispanic, etc. It affects everyone in some way.
Similarly there’s an underlying culture of cyberbullying for instance that has an average percentage of 27.8% according to Cyberbullying.org that explains that people experience something like this in there life time which is defined as mean or with intention to hurt.
Now if you put all this together you can see why there’s a large problem as most people carry on their daily lives but there’s no redress or simple quick recourse as it is ingrained in many cultures to deal with surface problems. Live and let live but not really understand the person behind them. Is it any wonder why current culture has a lot of escapism? You see movies like “Joker” that are coming out that trying to show one “symptom” or one one side of human personality. Or you see in other superhero movies mixing politics, psychology and the fine line between what a person does. For example Dark Knight, or in Batman Superman with the crowd mob around Superman. And you see people holding characters like Harley Quinn as anti-heroes.
There is an undercurrent of dissatisfaction from the existing status quo and it’s because even though in most of the world people are good and don’t have as many old world problems as they did due to technology. After all, there’s no amputations like back in the Civil Wars. There’s no putting people on racks and torturing as in the Middle Ages. But people are multifaceted and not one dimension and will never be and you have to accept differences.
Yet, in some part of the world, someone is not getting enough food, or they have a parent that never taught them because no one was there to teach them and they’re just passing on dysfunction on and on to the next generation. There may be a heroin problem that is now prevalent in many parts of the U.S. There are still domestic problems. If you are reading this news / blog / entertainment site, consider yourself one of the lucky few that probably is living a life that is at least privileged enough to have an internet connection. You’re probably smart enough to read. And you’re bright enough to understand the content. A lot of our fellow people won’t understand what you’ve had a chance to understand now.
It is also an unfortunate fact that many people easily know the statistic of divorce at being around 50-50. And people that came back from war have PTSD. George Carlin famously said in one of his skits that had the people that had come back from war gotten awareness of this illness instead of skirting the issue and covering it up that a lot of them might have gotten the treatment that they needed.
We encounter this in our daily lives also, perhaps you have someone you’re a bit quick tempered with until you realize the person can’t hear or has a disability. People are so quick to think that life is a fairy-tale and that no everyone is perfect that reality is distorted. Where does it start? Media. You see many fairy tales where the Wicked Witch is “green and ugly” or that they are seen with warts or limping. And so people start having unconscious biases and judging people a certain way. We don’t get enough training unless we’re going into becoming teachers or coaches to deal with these people. If it’s it not our professions we disregard these people and that is the sad state about the education system. Which is why we choose to highlight the underdog.
Some of our staff have remembered incidents long time ago when we didn’t understand someone.
S1: I remember in elementary I had a person that had a learning issue. And he was joking around but then got too close to my personal space and I felt a bit uncomfortable and sort of put him off at a distance. He was confused and I tried my best to save face but I just hadn’t had much experience dealing with people like that.
S2: I remember in junior high that one of the guys had a slight learning disability and didn’t understand the meaning of a word. It mean “brother” or was cool for one group, but wasn’t politically correct when used by a different culture. We kind of all chuckled until someone told him it wasn’t cool to say.
S3: I think my first experience with mental illness was when it happened in our family. One of our relatives kept running away and also doing self harm. It happened many times but we were in denial of it. Until eventually this person was formally diagnosed. Many years later this person was taking six, seven, eight pills a day for prescriptions and also had depression and was also manic at times. Everything is mostly under control now. Regular injections. And for the most part stable, occasional ranting and not making sense or unaware of social situations and norms or eats a lot. It was sad because this was a great person and had a interest in science and a lot of things and was an honest helpful person. But sometimes lacked self-control. The other family members may have been influenced and they are also on medications. But not everyone in the family has the illness. So it’s not always automatically passed genetically. One of the family members hadn’t had any problems till the one year probation at this person’s job ran out and didn’t get rehired. Perhaps all the friends moved away and the degree didn’t help find a career or job again. This person has been argumentative, rebellious, and acting weird and coming and going all hours of the day.
S4: My experience with dealing with someone was in college. I dated a person that had an eating issue and also had abuse. We dated for sometime and this person seemed odd and buoyant and all over the place at times but also very caring and highly attentive. This person got me an actual lunch when I had missed a mealtime at the local cafe and one of the first time I had someone do something for me. I didn’t quite understand how to date or have experience with women at the time and it kind of just imploded. But I always remember.
S5: I dated this lady that had a spectrum of autism and wasn’t fully aware of all the things that was going on with her and didn’t realize that she had snuck out on her own. She was bright and smart, fun and flirty, but she wasn’t allowed to date. I didn’t realize that she was supposed to be taking meds at the time and she got in trouble and we stopped seeing each other.
S6: This person is someone I knew that had worked a job but had a nervous breakdown after getting fired for something they didn’t do but got their position back. This person gets highly agitated and has had other issues and interpersonal problems. Lot of bad mouthing people. Divorced… Distrustful and sort of quick to judge and pessimistic. Very bright individual and creative but sometimes fiery rage and quick to jump to conclusions. Lot of life experience and raised kids.
S7: I remember a few times I dealt with people that came in asking us to help them with things in our office and they rambled on and on. Not everyone can write or read and sometimes want to subtly convey this without bringing shame or attention to themselves or didn’t understand things. You had to say things over and over to them. One time I was a bit impatient with someone and the person blurted out he didn’t understand and was sorry cause of his disability. I instantly apologized as I hadn’t realized it and their friend was actually helping out both as a relative and guardian. It’s not always apparent that someone who appears normal, isn’t. And they comprehend things slower for some.
As you can see there are many forms of problems that people have and they come in all forms but it can reflect something deeper churning in someone’s background. Everyone has issues. Everyone has problems and is just trying to make it through life with a decent living and get through their life, survive, and thrive. We can make each day more difficult or help people get through their life a little easier and faster.
Bullying and making fun may be a way of entertaining one person also. For some people they are bored and don’t necessarily understand or perhaps they do but also it makes them feel maybe a rush or better in some fashion. Humor can be good but when someone starts getting seriously hurt, then it’s time to stop.
Unfortunately you can’t always gauge a person’s level of humor or sensitivity. But if they say you have offended them and you didn’t think it was a big deal, it probably is. And you should always give someone the benefit of a doubt. We can’t all be comedians or realize that for some a gentle ribbing or poking meant in fun can actually hurt or wound someone especially if they already have PTSD or mental issues or depression. As they say in the movies, all it takes is one bad day…
We want to apologize for the layout because we just skipped part II but the page marker will help you read this article.
Depression hits a lot of people and there are studies it hits some guys harder because they don’t have a social support network as strong as some of the ladies. Not sure if true and will need to do further research. But often when a guy or girl goes through a breakup the reactions are very different. Anecdotally there’s a breakup ice cream and commiseration over drinks or ice cream etc at least as portrayed in movies. But for guys it’s more tough it out or she wasn’t worth your time. Basically a lot of bad mouthing the individual. But that doesn’t really do anyone any good because there’s going to be what ifs and it’s dismissing a lot of the good things that happen in a relationship. Unfortunately there’s not much you can do about that and only time can change and heal.
But it is important to note in this article and another article about “Stress” that a person will display or manifest some signs such as:
- Being distant
- Being distracted
- Overly focused on work
- Not wanting to talk
- Maybe not wanting to eat
- Wanting to sleep a lot
- Lack of interest in normal things.
- Eating a lot and just binge eating and watching
- Sick to stomach
These are just some outward signs but you may not necessarily see outward signs and that’s why it’s difficult to diagnose. It’s important to remain part of a community and connect and not isolate your brother man in a sense when you can sometimes to be inclusive. Sure it’s okay for some alone time, but sometimes it’s good to pull yourself out of the funk.
In the movie “What Dreams May Come” featuring Robin Williams the character goes to face his wife who is in an impenetrable depression that’s “focused entirely on her own world and trapped and locked in her personal hell”. What has helped most people from alcoholism to people with drug problems is the realization that they are part of a community and they are not alone. People out there struggle like you and have overcome many challenges. People go into rehab and that for some guys or even ladies that don’t have that social structure of support that you are not alone.
For some it may help to get into self-improvement books or participate in social groups. For other it may be good to help and give back to the community. Just getting out of a funk means focusing only on self. Because often a person is in such a dark woe-is-me place that seeing you know, these others have had the same experience and need help just as much as I do can awaken them to realize they don’t want to feel like that any more. Or that some of that guilt and pain is survivable and they can get through it.
A highly recommended book we read one time was “Reviving Orphelia: Saving the Selves of Adolescent Girls” by Dr. Mary Pipher who deals as a psychologist with several teens and their struggles with growing up and conflict with parents. It’s an interesting read and there’s a part about a young lady that was a big fan of Prince and all things associated include his music and “Purple Rain” and wearing purple. It is an interesting read.
As you can see, this is a very short article. We briefly deal with 3 things:
- Hurtful comments can tear a person’s self esteem down even if you didn’t mean it. Often when people lash out in revenge such as divorce or break-ups it is super hurtful and destroys self esteem the most. The saying is that you always hurt the ones you love after all.
- Some of this can lead to mental issues but not necessarily all about relationships, it could be from loss of job, genetics and birth that has mental issues and other things. Although something like nervous breakdowns can be about “relationships” such as severance from the workplace for example. So that would usually entail loss such as loss of job, loss of friend or family member, parent, pet, etc. Again it’s not always something a person can control.
- And then when a person feels they have lost control or feels helpless this can spiral someone into depression or a demotivated state and a repetitive cycle that makes a person feel even more helpless. Perhaps a person can’t get a job and then are told they are a ‘lazy bum’ and they feel even more worthless.
In some of these cases you may offer assistance up to a point to be polite, but a person has a limit also where they will stop accepting assistance and then it’s bugging and bullying. So always make sure you’re truly helping and not displaying a moral superiority to assist someone. A person will truly only be able to accept help and be helped when they are fully ready.
We hope this article brings some good talking points.
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