Thursday, December 20, 2007

Jon Armstrong on Dooce and Mental Health

For readers of Dooce, I highly recommend this post by Blurbomat author and Dooce husband Jon Armstrong. He write about his wife's battle with depression and how they both have learned to deal with it.

This bit comes across as having been learned the hard way:

To the people out there who denigrate mental health awareness and treatment, I say this: You aren’t helping. You are making it worse. Stop being an arrogant know-it-all. You aren’t right. You are wrong. If someone tells you they need help, your opinion means less than that of professionals. Stop being ignorant. Stop being obstinate. Stop insisting that your loved one, partner, child or co-worker “get over it”. They won’t get over it until you let it go and encourage them to seek help. There are many different approaches and ways to treat mental diseases and conditions. The first step is letting go. You could probably use some time talking it out yourself.

I cannot stress enough how correct I think Jon is. I've seen plenty of people suggest (both politely and not-so-politely) that someone just "get over it" when it's screamingly obvious that there's something very real that needs to be worked through.

Sadly, some of those times have been at work - and for me, that means teachers and students.

Update: I'm going to be even more specific; I see this happen with teachers who also happen to be coaches, or those with a military background. And while I think it comes from a place of wanting students to be self-sufficient and take responsibility for their own well-being, that makes it no less damaging or dangerous - it's certainly not a good way to go about achieving those goals.


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