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Do you consider mental illness a chronic physical disease? Please explain your response.


Depends what you mean physical. My mental illness ahs had physical affects but I managed those by recognizing the triggers. Of course the triggers were strangers with strange men being the worst for me. So I avoided situations where I might be confronted with triggers. These triggers caused me to feel sick, even to get sick including violent vomiting, shakes, and more.

It manifested as cutting, I cut just to feel something, anything. Pain seemed real and that was all I seemed to be able to feel.

It is certainly not purely physical but it most certainly can have physical manifestation. They vary person to person I am sure. Mine has interfered with my standard of living and quality of life. Especially to avoid the triggers.

Do you think the lives of people with mental illness can be substantially improved with sufficient resources over time? If so, what would that improvement require? If not, why not?

Yes. It has been 10 months in a psychiatric ward, I’ve earned some time outside and at home. Right now it’s weekends and some nights. I am out for work now as well. My life is improving and I am learning to better manage my illness. They have and are teaching me coping skills which are helping.

So with the right treatment and when done as long as needed. I do believe the lives of those suffering like me with mental illness can be changed for the better. Am I under any delusion that it will be cured and never return? No but I do know my quality of life can be greatly improved.

Do you think the current boom of research into the brain will result in better treatments for psychiatric disorders? Why or why not?

Yes I hope so. The more we know about the normal function of the brain the better we can treat the brain when it’s wired incorrectly. Is it the cure all, be all? NO. But the more and better understanding we have the better we can treat the illness.

Also I hope as a sideline more knowledge leads to less stigma in the general population. This is a place I believe better understanding the brain will hopefully help those struggling with mental illnesses.

Have you heard of the recovery movement? If so, what do you know about it? 

No please enlighten me. Are those the people hoping to avoid medications where possible. There is certainly an over use of medication in our society though I know medication can help certain forms of mental illness.

Do you think there is a need for more public attention to mental illness? If not, why not? If so, what do you think still needs to be addressed? 

Yes the stigma around those suffering. In every awful event caused by man the news jumps immediately from well he/she was just a bad person to they were mentally ill. This perpetuates the stigmas as mental health issues means somehow you are dangerous and should be feared. We need public awareness about the real mental illness and the suffering alone most especially because of the stigma. Education that it is not contagious and the person is more often than not a danger to themselves and not others.

May we publish your insights and attribute them to you? (Your comments may be edited for length or clarity.) *

Yes. You may.

Female, 1984, No political party, Native American Lakota

Name Michelle Styles (Though styles is my public writing name) email: Michelle@aghostdancer.com Zip code: 96815

*Due to the nature of the cause of my mental illness a violent and brutal rape and some of the men survive today and to protect myself I do not use my real last name though I would provide it not for publication. You can publish my online persona of Styles