• Question: Which mental illness do you believe is the most detrimental to a persons life?

    Asked by Molly. to Robert, Olly, Caroline on 12 Jun 2019.
    • Photo: Caroline Brett

      Caroline Brett answered on 12 Jun 2019:


      All mental illness can of course be detrimental to a person’s life, although most people with diagnosable mental illnesses are able to function relatively normally with help and treatment.
      I guess things like schizophrenia can make it quite difficult for people to live a ‘normal’ life (e.g. hold down a job, or study) without treatment. However, depression can be dangerous because in extreme cases it can lead people to have suicidal thoughts and even to die by suicide. That’s certainly pretty detrimental 🙁

    • Photo: Oliver Clabburn

      Oliver Clabburn answered on 12 Jun 2019:


      I think all mental illnesses can be detrimental and have a massive negative impact on people’s lives. Often, however, illnesses are ‘hidden’, that is- there are no outward symptoms on display that someone is perhaps struggling. I think this can be detrimental to a person’s life as it might seem as though nothing is wrong, but it may be a very different story under the surface.

    • Photo: Robert Dempsey

      Robert Dempsey answered on 12 Jun 2019:


      A lot of mental health conditions have quite significant effects on people’s lives – I’m not sure if one is really worse than another. I’ve met people living with the same diagnosis who’ve had very different lives and function very differently. I do a lot of research with people with bipolar diagnoses and it really struck me how different some people’s experiences of bipolar are. Some people, when well and not experiencing a mood episode, are able to get out of the house and go shopping (which is their good functioning). Others I’ve met are running companies or doing degrees/PhDs when well. So I think it’s really varied in terms of how much mental health conditions impact on their daily lives – some people it is really significant even when not experiencing severe symptoms, others less so. What I think is interesting are people’s experiences of positives relating to their mental health diagnosis – e.g. a lot of people with bipolar talk about how their bipolar gives them energy, inspiration, motivates them, helps them to understand themselves and others. Not everyone has those positives but some people wouldn’t want to lose those aspects of their mental health diagnosis.

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