Welcome to the launch of Mind You. While we intend to post on mental illness, mental health and life, we decided on the name Mind You to reflect that not everything is black and white. There are ideas and opinions but then mind you, on the other hand, one can say…….
And that is what we would like to reflect. Ideas about mental illness, health and life that can be debated and discussed so that we can come to a higher understanding of the issues. And, we have separated out mental illness from mental health because, despite their often interchangeability, they are distinct.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness defines mental illness as a medical condition that disrupts a person’s thinking, feeling, mood, ability to relate to others and daily functioning. Just as diabetes is a disorder of the pancreas, mental illnesses are medical conditions that often result in a diminished capacity for coping with the ordinary demands of life. Serious mental illnesses include major depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and borderline personality disorder.
On the other hand, the World Health Organization defines mental health as a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community. That is quite different from mental illness.
Unfortunately there is a tendency to confuse these and organizations like the Mental Health Commission of Canada have a tendency to talk about mental health issues and problems which are not the same as mental illnesses.
Both Dr David Laing Dawson and I (Marvin Ross) will be posting on a regular basis on a variety of topics. As murders of teens in Toronto has been in the news this week and as Dr Dawson practices child and adolescent psychiatry and is the author on a book on raising teens, we decided to kick off with his views on those murders.