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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    How can we eliminate the stigma surrounding depression, schizophrenia and other mental illnesses?

    My mother was severely depressed and committed suicide… I believe one of the problems in today's society is the stigma surrounding various mental illnesses. This is why men do not tend to seek help for depression and families are ashamed to seek help for someone with schizophrenia, etc. What can we do to eliminate this stigma and raise awareness for mental illnesses? People should not be ashamed to seek help!
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  • My research interests include immunology and the mechanisms of amyloid formation. The latter has implications for people who are dealing with Alzheimer's Disease, Parkinson's Disease … View Profile

    This is a good question which I don't have an answer to.

    It came up a lot when I was going to a weekly mood disorders therapy group.

    The consensus of our discussion was that just because mental illness is “on the inside” does not mean that it is any less real than something  that is “on the outside” (eg, a broken leg). How one gets that message across to the general public I do not know.

    What I I tried to do when my colleagues asked “Simon, how come you are not at work on Fridays?” was to be matter-of-fact; “I am in recovery from Major Depressive Disorder and part of my treatment is regular group therapy which happens on Fridays.”. It was not something that I found easy, not out of any sense of stigma, but because I am a very private person IRL (in MBTI jargon, an archetypal INTJ/INTP).

    It worked to some extent and had an unexpected consequence; one of my colleagues felt sufficiently empowered by my directness to share with me the fact that she has (well-managed) Bipolar Disorder. We now talk regularly and try to support each other.

    Baby steps and just my 2c worth…

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