Quora: Dumb and Dumber

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I like to answer reasonable questions about mental health on the question-and-answer forum Quora, but often reasonable questions are hard to find.  Here are some of the dumb ones I’ve come across that show that mental illness stigma is alive and kicking.

QDo you think it’s cowardice to think that people with borderline personality disorders are all evil?

A (the most frightening one out of several): Do you understand that the Personality Disordered person is the coward? These people refuse to take responsibility for their own actions and constantly manipulate others to exploit them for their resources, precisely because they are COWARDS. The PD’ed person uses all sorts of tools, techniques to avoid the effort it takes to exhibit and exercise conscience towards others and themselves in the home and in society.

QWould long term exposure to nature be a more effective treatment for depression compared to pharmaceutical medications?

Q: How is a bipolar manipulative behavior treated?

Q: Can meditation cause schizophrenia?

QDepression, anxiety, “personality disorders”, etc. can be healed naturally, so why do we tolerate a mental health system that is drug-based, and is failing people?

My favourite answer: They can be healed naturally? You are out of touch with reality.

Q: Does depression lead to materialism?

A: Depression … n .. materialism … no way …. It is another disease callled bipolar .. where materialism comes .. go to google for details

Q: Is depression just sad narcissism?

Q: Do bipolar people have coexisting autistic and psychotic traits?

Q:  It seems like a lot of untreated people with severe schizophrenia eat out of the garbage, are unclean, and lacking sleep, but do not get sick like well people probably would. Do people with schizophrenia have stronger immune systems than most people?

QPeople with no real problems to tackle usually get depressed. Is depression a disease whose first symptom is laziness?

Are there any particularly stupid or bizarre questions you’ve seen/heard people ask about mental illness, on Quora or elsewhere?

Stop the stigma from Mental Health @ Home

There’s more on mental illness stigma on the Stop Stigma page.

37 thoughts on “Quora: Dumb and Dumber”

  1. This series has gone way beyond funny, past disturbing and into tragic.

    Then again, I’ve never tried to cure my depression by “exposing myself to nature”, so maybe I should try living off berries and raw squirrel meat while naked in the woods.

  2. Oh wow. That’s…. deplorable.

    When I was younger, in high school, I had a music teacher (my piano teacher at church) who gave me an instructional set of audio cassettes about being grateful, having gratitude, a good outlook, all that. I know she was just trying to help, but I don’t think she understood that I was living with a terrorizing mother and doing the best I could to hold it together. As if changing MY outlook at that point could have done anything. I was inherently positive, but my mom was negating it right out of me. And I’m sure this music teacher thought, “Meg breaks down into tears all the time because she’s feeling sorry for herself and feeds on attention.” Uhuh. She meant well, but she had no idea. And that sort of cluelessness comes to mind after reading your post!!

  3. :/ So frightening… I know ignorance may be contagious, but where some people take their views on mental illness from, it’s a mystery for me.
    As for the stupid questions I’ve heard, not so long ago my Dad asked me quite sceptically whether it is actually possible to get along, like hold a decent conversation or something, with a person who is autistic. I was just speechless for a while, he’s maybe not the most open-minded guy in the world, but I wouldn’t expect things like this from him, and even when I tried my best to answer this question possibly plainly, I don’t think I really convinced him. It actually made me feel a bit resentful because after all years and years ago I was being assessed for autism spectrum disorder, and even though I didn’t technically get the diagnosis because of too few symptoms, apparently I still do have quite a bunch of autistic traits. Plus I know some people with ASD with whom I’ve had some definitely interesting conversations.

  4. I use Quora for informatic tips, I never read the questions about mental illnesses and now I’m happy I didn’t do it. My aunt once told me if i “attack myself at the chandelier like Miley Cyrus in that video” and “you have to recover, yourself in a institute for learn how to live”.

  5. Some of these made me laugh, but in a sad, “someone actually thinks that?” kind of way. I like to look up questions on Quora too, and some are really helpful and others make you question that intelligence of the human species.

  6. I would like to weigh in on the meditation/schizophrenia question. I’ve read up a lot on adverse effects of meditation because of some fairly horrendous experiences with meditation myself that I wanted to understand better.

    Short answer is, meditation doesn’t “cause” schizophrenia, but it is possible and well documented that extended silent meditation retreats can result in psychotic symptoms in some (presumably predisposed) people. Meditation can also result in de-repressing traumatic memories which may be quite fragmented and not intitially recognised as that, which is what happened to me and basically resulted in a form of delayed-onset PTSD. There are other things that can be problematic when frequent long term meditation is not appropriately guided/mentored such as a form of depression (“dark night of the soul”). It’s all quite fascinating actually. Meditation is by no means the completely harmless panacea that many claim it to be. If you want more info or links I am happy to provide them.

  7. Ummmm … while I’m down for trying the natural treatments and pretty much anything that seems do-able …. these questions / answers are on a whole other level. It has kind of inadvertently answered a few questions I’ve been having re the in-laws and their warped perceptions of mental illness though … I think those asking these questions might be kin to them … so thanks 😉

  8. I honestly can’t believe these questions. Truly ignorant people out there. It’s very disappointing to read these questions.
    Oh, by the way, Ashley… you have officially pushed me into adopting a guinea pig. I held a 3-month-old baby today. I wish I could have gotten him right then and there, but I held off. I want to make sure he has a decent home and many provisions for the little one I get down the road. Again, most likely after I get back from Florida. I can see why you love them so much. I honestly didn’t want to put that baby back in the cage. 💗

  9. Well some interesting and weird questions indeed.
    I once had someone tell me that drinking water was the devil’s way of quenching and obtaining your soul. Also that being outside affects our happy Gene’s and just depressed us further. Another is about being able to.have a conversation with s “real” person. Someone once asked me why I dont look them in the eye when they are talking to me; well you’re not who you say you are, “you’re the evil guest whose soul we should feast upon.”
    There are plenty more but finally getting tired at 6:44am

  10. Wow I’m quite speechless at some of these. Honestly shocking. This post is great at highlighting the lack of education around mental health/illness!

  11. Some good finds, Ashley!
    “Does depression lead to materialism?” Yes, it’s a strict cause-and-effect policy there, to have depression you will go on to extreme purchasing and valuing possessions above all else; if such a symptom doesn’t exist, you do not have depression. Jeeeees…!

  12. Slightly off-topic but I once called a domestic abuse hotline (to ask about how I can help my young adult neighbors being verbally abused by their father) and the “professional” on the line told me that they’re adults so they can simply stop being abused by telling him to stop since they’re old enough to stand up for themselves! Definitely the worst/dumbest thing I have ever heard, it took me a moment to check if I had called the right number!

  13. People just like to post random questions . If someone has something useful to say , he can either lookup for existing questions or ask a nice question himself. Yes ! Some people ask stupid questions , but that’s how it is . We can’t do anything about that though?
    Quora doesn’t work like that , if you want extremely topic specific and exact questions , you should try stackexchange.
    Many questions are posted just for the sake of asking something , even of it’s dumb.

  14. Also , many questions are JOKE questions , same is the case for many answers . Some might find those offensive cause ‘DARK HUMOR ‘.
    Yup! Mental health is a serious topic and people should be well informed about it .

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