Distress is not a mental illness

When I hear the terms ‘mental illness’, ‘disorder’ and ‘disease’ to describe someone’s suffering, I get pretty fired up.  I’m not sure when we started to pathologise our very human reactions to experiences like trauma, but it is potentially the most damaging thing to a person to make them feel like there is something ‘wrong’ with them because they have been traumatised by something traumatic, distressed by something distressing.  By being diagnosed for these experiences ensures that the person suffering feels that they are wrong to feel the way they do which is totally devoid of the compassion that they not only deserve, but is essential to the person’s recovery.  Carol Spring has written an article on this very subject below which I found an interesting read.


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