Breaking the Stigma: A Real Life Example of Misguidedness

images-1The beauty of the internet is its ability to allow anyone a platform with which to speak. The ugliness of the internet is its ability to allow anyone a platform with which to speak.

If you’ve ever been to a website you’re aware that as long as the “comments” section is enabled, everyone has access to it. When I was tossing the idea of starting this website in my head, I was warned that there will be good comments and bad ones – maybe even some downright ignorant ones.

Well this website is still in its infancy but I finally got it – the one comment that’s just too misguided to ignore.

Because we deal with some delicate stuff here at AAES, I’ve redacted the following comment slightly to fit the standard of respect we hold here. My response is in italics – the commenter’s is in bold.

BattedOutBagBride: interesting, but not exactly factual…
first of all the correct medical term for “major depression” would be “clinical depression.”

Atoms and Empty Space: Actually, the terms are interchangeable. Psych Central’s website says the following: “A person who suffers from a major depressive disorder (sometimes also referred to as clinical depression or simply depression) must either have a depressed mood or a loss of interest or pleasure in daily activities consistently for at least a 2 week period.”

BOBB: if you did your research, you would understand suicide doesn’t always sprout from “major depression for decades”

AAES: That was never asserted on this website. However, according to the American Foundation for the Prevention of Suicide: “Ninety percent of all people who die by suicide have a diagnosable psychiatric disorder at the time of their death” (See more at: http://www.afsp.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=home.viewpage&page_id=050fea9f-b064-4092-b1135c3a70de1fda#sthash.gMWLiANt.dpuf_

BOBB: second of all, it would be inaccurate to call yourself a “suicidologist” (not sure if there is such a thing, but im sure it would require some medical training to say you have any idea what goes on in the mind…)

AAES: A suicidologist is one who studies suicide. According to suicidology.org: “There is not a formal process or set of guidelines/activities that one must complete in order to become a suicidologist. However, there are some recommended steps to take and some activities to participate in on the path towards identifying yourself as a suicidologist. For the most part, it involves becoming familiar with the existing suicide literature, conducting research on suicide- related behaviors, and gaining clinical experience with suicide-related behaviors, issues, and with survivors of suicide.”

BOBB: Also, if your advocating the prevention of mental illness, you should know how much words hurt and bring down character… , this bothers me a lot that you would try to start the first ambitious endeavor you undertook on lies… you should practice what you preach, because I actually think you have a lot of good ideas on her and I’m impressed. But trying to build up character over the internet, and trying to convince people what they should do when you don’t do it yourself?

AAES: What I went through after my mother’s suicide was very much a struggle and it continues to be so. I not only try to build up character on the internet, but also in my everyday life. Nothing written/posted on this site is a “lie” or modified/manipulated in any way. Extensive research is done prior to posting for the sole benefit of the reader. I attend seminars, watch webinars. I familiarize myself with the latest on suicide and mental wellness research and data. I reach out to psychiatrists, psychologists, professors, organizations, and universities through e-mail and hand-written letter. If they respond, their response is posted in the page titled “Acknowledgments.” And finally, please refer to our ‘Disclaimer’, in particular: Atoms and Empty Space “does, and will always, recognize and respect a person’s right, freedom, and ability to make a fair, well-informed and unforced choice about whether they seek help or not. This website is merely a resource and does not attempt what-so-ever to diagnose or cure conditions. Furthermore, any case studies discussed in this website is researched in light of the utmost respect for the individual and situation.”

I’m glad this comment was brought to AAES’s attention because it offers a snapshot into the misguided impressions typical of individuals with preconceived notions of mental disorders and illnesses.

Education is our greatest resource and if we can educate people like this then we can make one step further towards eradicating the stigma of mental illness. 

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27 thoughts on “Breaking the Stigma: A Real Life Example of Misguidedness

  1. Thanks for your (intimately personal) marvelous post! I truly enjoyed reading it. I think its safe to say you were meant to do great things and you will be a great author.
    I want to encourage you to continue your great writing, have a nice weekend! – Ami

  2. All I can say is WOW. The way you handled that was impressive. I don’t know what I’d do if confronted with such ignorance. pffttt.

  3. This is really interesting, I’m following your feed and look forward to updates. Also, I’ve shared your site on my blog – check it out and comment. Thanks!

  4. May I just say what a comfort it is to discover someone who actually knows what they’re talking about. You definitely understand how to bring an issue to light and make it important. More people have to look at this and understand this side of your story.

  5. this article sheds light on a sad reality. For BOBB to acknowledge depression is only “clinical” (which is true, psychologists do use that term) is a step in the right direction – on a broken foot. Depression goes by many names but its impact on one’s mind is not any less destructive or painful if you call it the blues, chronic sadness, clinical or major. The name isn’t what’s important so much as the treatment is there. That’s what I took away from this anyway. Cheers.

  6. Don’t let people’s ignorance get you down in any way. The work you’re embarking on is extraordinary and its something many people talk about when tragedy strikes but so few have the willpower to do. I hope this helps you as much as its helping us, the ones who read your blog and seek a champion 🙂 Take care.

  7. where do you get your inspiration to write articles? i have a few suggestions if you’re looking for ideas..

  8. It’s a damn shame people are like this still. You’d things have changed with the internet and reality shows even. But like it seems like depression mental illnesses etc will always be taboo.

  9. Wow, how stupid… there’s no difference between clinical depression or major depression. Take a high school level psych class. I just love it when people try to put others down when they’re the ones that CLEARLY need their reality checked. Thanks for turning a negative into a positive though. I’ve faced a lot of stigma in my life because of my depression. It’s gotten to the point where I can’t even acknowledge it for fear of getting treated malignantly by people who are just not informed or are just set in their ways and refuse to change. I hope one day itll get better. Take care – CM

  10. Excellent post. I was checking constantly this blog and I’m inspired! Extremely helpful information specially the final section 🙂 I handle such information a lot. I was seeking this certain info for a long time. Thanks and best of luck.

  11. Excellent website you have here but I was wondering if you knew of any forums that cover the same topics discussed
    here? I’d really love to be a part of online community where I can get responses from other knowledgeable people that share the same interest.
    If you have any recommendations, please let me know.
    Thanks a lot!

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