Link – Mental Illness Is More than ‘Worried Wellness’

Dismissing people who are genuinely suffering, and implying that they’d be fine if they’d simply stop worrying, is a costly error in judgment.

It’s time to retire condescending stereotypes like “the worried well.” Mental illness doesn’t always take forms as dramatic as a broken leg or a harsh cough, but it deserves proper treatment as well as proper respect. In truth, the use of the phrase “worried well” obscures the very real, very serious nature of mental illness — even as it misses something very important about healing and humanity: that the body and mind often get sick, and get well again, together.

I find it troublesome that there are medical professionals who use this term to describe mental health issues like depression. Many people dealing with mental health issues go to their general practice doctor as the first step in getting help. In fact, many insurance plans require that doctor to refer someone to a mental health professional before it will cover that expense. What chance do these folks have when their doctor dismisses their very real problems as “worry”?

People are dying because of depression and other issues. If that’s not a concern for all health care professionals, then they are failing in their responsibilities.

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