Monday, January 25, 2010

From the mouths of babes #Mentalhealth #Stigma

I just got home from a college fair for teens. I was asked to serve on the Health Forum to discuss health issues while in college. My talk was on social media and college. I talk about the good things social media provides and the less than desirable things in social media like cyberbullying.

Anyhow, I ran a discussion on suicidal threats. As expected, from the mouths of babes, roughly 18 years old, stated that:

"Suicide is a selfish act that people do..."

Aside from this statement being very judgmental by a bunch of ranting teenagers, I listened to them state all kinds of reasons why the the threat or act of suicide is the most "selfish" thing to do to oneself...

Then is dawned on me that they had not clue that the brain is sick, and it requires treatment...Then I said:

"When someone posts or threatens suicide, it is a medical problem and it requires a healthcare provider to treat the problem physically..."

Their eyes widened when I said "medical" and it "required treatment". They were blown away that depression, anxiety, bipolar, PTSD, etc. causes physical brain damage.

Now, I know they learned this mode of thinking from Family, but it was the age of these young people that I heard these statement...So young, so much misinformation...

I was saddened by that...