Anonymous asked in HealthMental Health · 1 decade ago

Why is it so hard to get help for mental disorders?


Yggdrasil Mithos - mental disorders do exist! Depression, Schizophrenia etc, to be honest people with the attitude of "depression doesn't exist" make me sick

14 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
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    Hi - Mental health is an intangible problem; it's not measurable and so it's very hard to identify. Many of the symptoms of mental illness are subjective, meaning that the sufferer is the only one who can experience the problem. There is no physical evidence that cannot be explained by some other possible cause, such as tiredness, sadness, lack of interest. Some people are tired because of unidentified physical reasons; some people are sad because of stuff going on in their lives, and some people are just bored and uninspired.

    A frequent problem occurs when someone getting help through medication feels better and stops his or her meds thinking he/she is cured.

    As for getting help, some health insurance pays for mental health services, and some doesn't. However, there are Social Service agencies that are publicly funded where free or reduced cost mental health assistance is available. If you're in school, your counselor could probably provide some referrals or you could look online at your city's or county's Social Services offerings.

    A good way to start is with your primary physician, who can do a physical exam to rule out any medical issues and who might be able to arrange a mental health practitioner's visit.

    If it's you needing the help, then good luck and don't give up. If you're asking for a friend, then you're a good friend for trying to help.

  • 1 decade ago

    Two reasons are Public misperceptions/ myths and money.

    I am a counselor trainee, pursuing my Masters at the ripe young age of 54, at Kent State University, seeking to be a Community Counselor. 2 years ago, I had no idea there was a difference between being a counselor and being a therapist.

    As several of the posts above mine indicate, there are many people who have no true concept of what is and is not a mental disorder. They assume that if you have a mental disorder, you are "crazy." Family members prefer to live in denial for fear, guilt, other reasons. They don't want people to know their personal know that Aunt Millie has Alcohol Dependence Disorder or Dad has Major Depressive disorder. What will the neighbors think?

    But the neighbors would not think that Aunt Millie was a "cripple" if she had torn tendons in her arm or that Dad was unworthy if he had some heart murmur. People could see that arm or notice the slow movements. It is a known situation because it can be seen. Mental disorders cannot be seen, and people have a tendency to make more out of the unknown than they do out of the known.

    I read where a Doctor of Chiropractic says there are no tests to help determine a mental disorder, and that is simply not true.

    There are several tests-above and beyond mere observation. Some of these tests actually indicate portions of the brain and brain waves that act in particular matters when we experience addictions, depressions, and other disorders. As a counselor, I will not be trained to perform or understand these particular patterns, but a report from a medical doctor would indicate or suggest some of these irregularities.

    I have to know Psychopathology, Life Span Development, and be able to make a Diagnosis where one is based on the Diagnostic and Statistic Manual.

    Having a mental disorder does not mean one is "crazy," "screwed up" or anything of the like. In fact, as a counselor trainee, I am in a profession that believes in the "wellness model." A psychotherapist believes in the "medical model," that is, they operate from the assumption that there is something wrong, and will perform tests and batteries to help determine what that something is. Assessment is the key to a therapist's work.

    A counselor believes that most people are basically well, but have obstacles in their path to healthy emotional development. We do not overlook those who have acute disorders, whether they be acute chemical or other imbalances or other issues. We work with the client to help the client unlock the key, where possible, to his or her disorder...but realize that sometimes that is not possible, and other interventions, a wide assortment of which currently exist,

    may have to be implemented.

    As I said, another reason for there being difficulty in obtainign help is not just how others feel, but the money. Sadly, because a counselor works from a "wellness" model, many insurance companies do not provide reimbursement. If your family has medical insurance, you might be aware that most of the time, the insurance company will not pay for a regular physical examination, especially as you get older.

    Insurance companies (I used to be an exec with one of the world's l;argest) pay to have something that is wrong fixed. Most of them do not pay for preventive care. So, if people are generally assumed to be healthy, unless they report or a family member reports, or some incident happens where they are involuntarily reported, to a mental health care provider for reasons that are covered by the insurance company, the insurance company will not pay.. This leads to fewer people seeking the needed help for their mental disorders. And, yes, it may be costly, although not always, to be treated. Some places do operate on fee paying ability.

    Yet another reason is that some discoveries are fairly recent. It wasn't too long ago that Grandma Mary was seen as being some senile old biddie, then they discovered Alzheimer's is an actial medical disease, It has only been the past few years that people have discovered the biological causes of addictions, and that these causes-brain functions--affect not just addictions to substances, but to behaviors, as well. In time, there will be more and more discoveries of the scientific causes of some diseases and disorders. But we are just on the cutting edge of that, The more we understand, the more we can help the public and families that are affected understand.

    Until then, the unknown will continue to frighten people.

  • 1 decade ago

    Because we live in a world of ignoramuses who not only don't realize that their brain is an organ that needs to be attended to, but that it's THE MOST IMPORTANT organ of the body. It can't be transplanted, and it's even more vital that the heart, obviously. Otherwise, we wouldn't take people off life support when they're brain dead and their heart's still beating away. People would rather live in denial, snicker about mental illness, or talk about it only behind closed doors, even though few of them would do the same if they had a health problem with another organ, such as diabetes. But I'm speaking as one who's had trouble getting adequate help myself in a really screwed up "reformed" system in North Carolina, and I've also seen a lot of other people either suffer needlessly or feel too ashamed to get help. It sucks! And if it sounds like I'm ticked off majorly, it's because I AM!!

  • 1 decade ago

    For one thing there are no tests other than a doctor observing you to diagnose mental disorders.

    Psychiatrists, who typically are more screwed up than the rest of us, get together every year for a convention, discuss new cases, and come up with new names for symptoms. Then, since drug companies have always come to the rescue, the doctor puts you on a drug to mask symptoms that do nothing to correct the cause!

    One way to help yourself is by improving your nutrition and making sure you supplement your diet with appropriate nutrients. Food believe it or not has always been available to help chemical imbalance issues etc.


    Dr. Tom

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    sometimes it can be an issue of family or finances. people may also deny they have a problem. but all too often, people are scared to get help- they don't want to be thought of as being "crazy" or don't want people in their lives to know they have a problem. however, mental disorders are in fact quite common, and usually can be managed with medication, therapy, or a combination of the two. many disorders also get progressively worse when they run undiagnosed, making them harder to treat.

  • There's still a stigma against them--some people either discount their existence (like the Scientologists) or see them as a sign of weakness.

    Another poster pointed out the subjective nature of the symptoms, and I have to agree. It's hard to see why someone feels sad or listless, whereas it's easier (usually) to see what's causing someone physical pain.

  • 1 decade ago

    Because the health care system in America is screwed up worse than Linsay Lohan locked in a Liquor Store!

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Many people are embarrassed. Far too often, people with mental disorders are looked at as if they are crazy, when that isn't the case at all.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    It's not hard if you have lots of money to burn! If you don't, well, just get used to it; nobody really gives a hoot about your problems anyway, unless you have lots of money to pay for their "help". I lived with "chronic, severe depression" for 48 years before meeting my wife whose love really did cure me, and all the suggestions, therapy and drugs they gave me did nothing, while they continued to pay their mortgages and luxury car payments with the help of my money.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Because they make money by treating and not curing.

    AIDS has the same problem.

    I don't believe Mental Disorders exist. Wasn't homosexuality on the list a few decades ago?

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