I did a post a while back Gems of Ignorance From Quora with some of the frighteningly ignorant questions asked by people on Quora, a sort of free-for-all website where people can post and answer questions. Here are some more tidbits I’ve come across.
Some people seem to have a genuine interest in gaining some understanding mental illness. Some questions I’ve seen that reassured me that not everyone has their head stuck up where the sun doesn’t shine:
- Can you be depressed without being sad?
- How do you know the difference between drug-induced psychosis or psychosis from something else?
- When a depressed person starts taking antidepressants, does he/she start feeling happy or just “not sad”?
- What does it feel like to have depression or bipolar disorder?
- What’s the difference between feeling depressed and having depression?
- How do people with schizophrenia tell apart real sights/sounds from fake ones?
Other times, the answers people post are even more frightening than the questions:
- To a question about the maximum number of psychiatric diagnoses a person can have: “When a person enters mental psychosis I’m pretty sure their mind is so fragmented that they’ve pretty much got it all: ocd, npd, psychopath, sociopathy, bpd, anxiety, depression, split personality (definitely) and whatever else you could think of they have a little hint of. But a number? I’d say 17.”
- To a question about the use of lamotrigine in bipolar disorder: “You have only to scan back through a few hundred years of “labels” the so-called mental health professionals” have used… “humors”…. “phrenology”… etc..Now they claim there are “microbes” that cause brain disease.. or come up with labels like “bi-polar disorder”?? WHY should anyone place any confidence in such a science? To my understanding, they have very poor results to show for all their claims to be a “mental health science”. I think you will find results from a minister or group therapist probably as good and likely LESS harmful! I AM NOT A DOCTOR… I am trained in ministerial counselling that has proven very successful for most people!”
- To a question about the strongest antidepressant: “Meditation is much stronger than any antidepressants you may take.”
- To a question about whether there is a common mental disorder among mass shooters: “psychotropic drugs”
- To a question about a non-medication remedy for depression: “Truthfully, when you remove the stagnating, congesting foods like wheat, dairy and dead animals which are filled with anxiety and depression living in horrific factory farms, and fed nasty things, you perk up! You’re not the starched out, sleepy, congested and pale, super tired person you used to be!”
- To a question about why there’s stigma attached to being hospitalized for psychiatric reasons: “Because the mentally ill were warded with the prisoners in jail. They had no rights. They were stripped of all protections. After the separation, Usually, a lobotomy would be performed. The patient would be basically brain dead and again with no rights, die in a mental aslymn. Sad!” (My observation: Not to get political, but that sounds kind of like a Donald Trump 3 a.m. tweet)
Yes, this is the world we live in.
You can find more about mental illness stigma on the Stop Stigma page.