Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Do the Kids Do it Differently?

We've been talking about stigma and whether someone should tell people they suffer from a mental illness. I've said that some people advertise their illnesses and it draws people in, while other do it and find they are shunned. Commenters have had a variety of responses, but most votes go against telling people one has a mental disorder.

Does it matter what you have? Or how much it's disabled you? Or how it's framed? I talked about the chemistry teacher on antidepressants (and yes, the demographics were changed)--- she framed it as she was having a hard time after a major loss, not that she was suffering from a major mental illness that might effect her current behavior or reliability.

So is it different for the kids? They've grown up on Cymbalta, Zoloft, and Viagra commercials. They've posted their lives on MySpace and Facebook. When I think about my kids' friends, I have to say they are all pretty open about psychiatric illnesses-- I've had kids spend the night who take psychiatric meds, I've had little peeps point out a window and say, "That's where my psychiatrist is." I've heard that Sal and Hal both see the same therapist, that Bobby's been in treatment for anger issues, that Tom, Dick, and Harry are all on ADD meds. I've had a physician tell me about his depression and his family's therapy while we watched our kids' compete (and the whole teams' parents listened on). Back in the day when big pharma distributed pens, my kids would take them to school and other kids would volunteer, Hey I take that! When I think about it, I know a lot of kids who've had a lot of treatment.

ugh...blogger won't let me add a pic...