Mental illness or disorder refers to a variety of mental health conditions that negatively impact on a person's behavior, mood or thinking. For a long time, I have carried certain beliefs in my mind concerning mental illness. For instance, one of the beliefs is that mental disorder only occurs in the family with a history of this illness. If there was once a family member who had mental disorder a long time ago, it is possible for history to repeat itself. Another belief is that mentally sick persons need to be discriminated by other people given the fact that they pose a danger to them. It is so since a mentally sick person can at times be violent and thus can hurt anybody hear him or her. A further belief is that mental illness is in most cases caused by stress. These beliefs were shaped after witnessing the struggle my sister went through.
My sister has borderline personality disorder. She is 29 now and wasn't diagnosed until a year ago, but she had did her whole life. My family always knew there was something wrong with her, but we were too scared to accept the truth. She takes a situation and makes a whole scenario in her head and lashes out. Till this day, she always feels persecuted, and when she feels someone is against her, she screams, yells and sends text messages like "fuck you." She cannot give and receive love in any way that normal people understands. I was 12 when my sister tried to kill my other sister's baby while pregnant. I was 14 when my sick sister tried to kill me. When 16, she tried to kill herself. I grew up with a sister whose erratic behavior demanded most of my parent's attention. It stands to reason that my siblings and I developed feelings of resentment even if the care she received was primarily negative. In all likelihood, I had to bear the burden of witnessing the stress that my sister's condition had on my parents' lives which undoubtedly affected me as well. I became very depressed and had anxiety. I also felt guilty at times and anger at other times. However, fear was a defining characteristic of some of the worst periods of her illness. However, as I got older, I had to make a congruent effort to work through my own complicated feelings that have helped change the dynamics of my sibling relationship and move us both forward in a positive direction.
However, with time, the beliefs began changing after watching on TV how easy it was for anyone to suffer from mental illness and not inheritance. Furthermore, after being taught in class that mentally sick people require support and not discrimination, I began to change the initial beliefs on the issue of distancing a mentally ill person. With the case of my sister, I began understanding how important it is for us normal people to take care of ourselves and our health. Realizing how damaging my sister's problem had on me. Seeking professional help is vital in that a person is given therapy to relax the mind from the pressure caused by the mentally ill person and afterward, be taught on how to understand and handle the victim. For instance, through counseling, I learned how important it is to keep close to the sick persons and show love and support to them. These are people whose emotions are imbalanced and given the fact that I am mentally okay, I have to help the victim relax in case of erratic emotions. In this case, I have come to understand how to handle people with mental illness and can interact with them when no one else can.
Furthermore, showing them love makes them feel appreciated and cared for even if they don't understand, thus making it easy for them to relax. Whenever I interact with other people with mental disorder, the first thing that comes to my mind is how I interact with my sister despite her condition. This makes it easier for me to know how to interact at what given time depending on the mood and emotions of the victim. In the case where the victim is restless and overreacting a more comfortable thing to do is to come up with something that will make him or her relaxed. For instance, most victims who have mental illness have something they like that automatically cools them when restless. This can be a song, food, a person, place or even a program. In this case, understanding what the victim loves makes it easy for me to interact with the victim at any given time.
Factually, with the professional values as well as the mission of social work, we are guided into responsible people who have adequate knowledge regarding mental health problems. The experience we have helps us develop a further understanding of the psychological issues and as a result, professionally respond to the various cases. For instance, in responding to mental cases, we have to take care of patients and treat them like normal people. Besides medical attention they get, lack of care and love from us will make the case even worse because they are always forced to take medicine as opposed to being sweet-talked into. Additionally, it is clear from the values and mission of the course that any mentally ill person does not need to be tied or discriminated since these acts fuels their restlessness and thus developing negative attitude towards other people. This is the biggest reason why mentally ill patients are always violent.
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