Wow, what an interesting study! I wonder if they were shocked at the findings. I would never have thought that mental illness could shorten one's lifespan that significantly (aside from the suicide factor).
As many know, I suffered from depression my entire life, from the time I was about 12 (maybe even as early as 8) until very recently...and I still have to watch triggers because I've noticed lately that I can still spiral into a dark place if I don't manage myself well and consistently.
So I know what it has been like to live with mental illness. And I know that it does take a toll on other parts of the body, via stress and prolonged severe anxiety...but perhaps the primary toll, in my own experience, stems from my reluctance to go see the doctor. After years and years of experiencing the temptation on the doctors' part to just brush everything off as being yet another symptom of depression, why bother?!
Four years ago, it took me several appointments over several months to get my doctor to take some very troublesome symptoms seriously. Honestly, she poohed them away as being menopause complicated by my old nemesis of chronic fatigue (which had often left me bedridden for weeks at a time - which in hindsight, according to two other doctors I've spoken with about it since, should have been thoroughly investigated at the time, but never was taken beyond a few blood tests, which DID show disturbing anomalies in my white blood count). Anyway, finally my husband came into the doctor's office with me and insisted that the doctor do more. She clearly reluctantly sent me to a gynocologist...cancer. It was cancer. Thankfully, because I had been so in tune with my body and so insistent that it wasn't normal menopause (and with my hubby's support), we caught it early enough that the full hysterectomy got rid of it, no need for chemo or radiation, thank God!!!
The point is, relative to this thread, is that before then, and since then, I DO feel very stigmatized BY MY OWN DOCTOR when it comes to my own healthcare now. She continues to want to see every little thing as just part-and-parcel of that same old depression (which I don't think I even suffer from anymore, since the hysterectomy!)
Anyway, I can fully understand why people with mental illness are more reluctant to seek medical help...fear of the same attitudes over and over again. We get labelled as hypochondriacs and hysterical. I can't tell you how many times I've ended up seriously ill because of this attitude and inability on the doctor's part to see beyond the mental illness.
I know this was a long post.
Edited by Eagle Heart (05/23/14 03:24 PM)
When you don't like a thing, change it.
If you can't change it, change the way you think about it.