Grey Day for Elcia:
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No worries, perhaps I responded a bit harshly myself, but I do get somewhat defensive when it comes to this subject. On the topic of professionals, I was, in fact, sent to two different psychiatrists, neither of which cared to give any sort of diagnosis. The first one put me on Ritalin (twice), which had no affect other than to make me lose my appetite and thus, a ton of weight, then fucked off to another country. The second had no interest in my case beyond how much money it was making him and his department of the hospital, making absolutely no effort towards making a diagnosis or helping at all. I cottoned onto his act pretty quick, quicker than my parents at any rate, though to be fair, we stopped going after they did. As a result, I don't have a lot of trust in psychiatrists, so have never been to one since.
I realise that ASD's may or may not be as serious as other mental conditions, which can only be determined on a case by case basis, I'm not trying to make out that "woe is me, it's the end of the world", I was just sympathising with the OP as I can totally see where he's coming from. I can pretty much visualise what's going through his kid's mind as I used to be exactly like that, is all.
Also, it's the less visible traits that have followed me into adulthood, meltdowns are not part of my repertoire of symptoms any more. :P
EDIT: Yes, opinions we have, and strongly we hold them. /yoda
I think we actually agree more than we disagree, lol. As explained before, I'm quick to anger due to being entirely frustrated with how mental health is treated and seen by the general population. Also, like you, I get a bit defensive out of habit.
I think psychiatrists in their current form cause more harm than good to people such as you; rather than give you tools to overcome whatever unique oddities you posses, they only seem interested in drugs and finding new labels for people. While infinitely useful in managing severe disorders, sitting down with someone, listening to them and using your training to offer them ways in which to cope and grow as a person, so that they may eventually participate more freely in life, is vastly superior to telling them what you think they "have" and throwing a prescription at them.
Grey Day for Elcia:
100% correctness was contained in this post
Absolutely, couldn't agree more to be honest. At least, in my experience anyway. Who knows? Maybe I just got unlucky twice and as and when I visit another in the future (maybe that should be if and when, w/e), things will actually be better.
While you are frustrated by how mental health is portrayed, I too am somewhat irked by the way Autistic people are portrayed as well. While not necessarily outright negative, the coverage I've seen isn't exactly complimentary either, often showing (sweeping generalisation incoming) "us" as incapable of independent action, thought or just plain stupid, requiring people to explain everything to us and treat us like delicate little eggs, which is far from the truth as Autism affects every person differently. But that's getting into another topic altogether, and I've got to write something for my little blog yet, so I'll bid you adieu for now and go get on with it.
Grey Day for Elcia:
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Chill fella, chill. Just a minor disagreement between me and him/her, I think it's already fizzled out. :)
Yes, seeking out help for a diagnosis would probably help a bit, but it's only part of the problem I think. The other part is that I just don't have the faintest clue what I want to do with my life, possibly due to reasons I'm not going to go into here. Maybe getting a diagnosis would help with that, maybe not. Feh, something I need to think about on the already long list of such things.
Grey day (sorry Grey Day!) just posted a very friendly update while I was writing my post :-). I was not angry at Grey Day, as I understand what he/she meant to say and I was happy to see the post once I replied :-D.
What I read is that you went to a psychiatrist instead of a psychologist. In cases like yourself however, a psychologist is normally a better fit. A psychiatrist is basically a physician with a specialty in mental illnesses. Typically the psychiatrist deals with the very heavy cases where medication is often the only option. And while they often do great work, the psychiatry field is known to run quite a bit behind on the psychology field regarding new methods of treatment. Most groundbreaking research is all done in Psychology. Normally (at least in the Netherlands) one would first go to a psychologist who would try to help you without medication. If that would not work out and the psychologist thinks drugs might bring an improvement, they would send you through to a psychiatrist. It is exactly the psychologist who can help you to deal with questions like what to do with your life and how to get there. In general this is not an expertise of a psychiatrist.
just in case: Many psychiatrists do great work and they are very necessary as well ;-)
edit: hahaha I just read both your posts and we all agree :=/, is this still the internet we are on?
Just read through the rest of the discussion -- and this is why I love The Escapist. To answer the rhetorical question: "is this still the Internet we are on?" -- somehow, yes! Good discussion everyone!
I too am wary of over-diagnosis and *especially* self-diagnosis. In the cases of both myself and my son, I refuse to just scour wikipedia and try to label particular behaviors.
Future discussions regarding mental health and gaming need to happen, and they will happen. Let's hope they'll all be as civil as what I've witnessed here. ^_^
I very much disagree with the idea of "once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic," but other than that it was a great article.
To elaborate, addiction is more of a neurological thing than a behavioral thing. Certainly, people can form habits that revolve around behaviors, but to be addicted a substance/action has to activate the "pleasure center" (nucleus accumbens, releases serotonin and dopamine) of the brain. Continued, regular activation then leads the brain to recognize higher dopamine and serotonin levels as normal and the withdrawal symptoms drive a person to continue the behavior. So, in reality, once a person is completely sober they are no longer addicted at all.
With that said, genetics play a huge role in alcoholism, but I'm not completely sold on all of the literature out there. I think the medical community really likes defining things as a disease to increase treatment and such, which is fine, but a little dishonest in my opinion.