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What are your thoughts on psychological disabilities?

A disability or stigma that is visible often times gets treated very differently than a psychological disability. Do you think individuals with psychological disorders should be given accommodations in university settings? Accommodations such as excused absences or additional time for assignments and exams due to a flair up of their symptoms? For example an individual with chronic depression may have cognitive impairment, low appetite, low energy and so forth. How can they be expected to perform as well as they would without their symptoms being present?

4EvanSake 6 Mar 16

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This is tricky to me - and I work in mental health. While I support some accommodations being made so that people can be successful, they are likely to find upon entering the workplace that exceptions/excuses are not given in the real world.

Yes, practical application is much different than theory.

but why not give them the chance? I havent seen anyone able to absolutely predict the future. I was in a team meeting where no one wanted to assist a woman with mental illness to live on her own because of a previous failure. I said go for it and she has now been independant with minimal assistance for more than 5 years. The same could apply in any other case and could give the person an opportunity to learn

@btroje I completely agree that as humans with empathy we should help people wherever we can. I’m just not sure that we are always doing service to young people by making accommodations that will not be available in the real world. Extra time to complete a test? No problem. But we also need to recognize our limitations as we choose paths for ourselves in life.


They have IEPs in High School-Individual Educational Plans for special needs kids. I know they have colleges who feature learning disabled students. I'm sure they are given accomodations. My LD daughter has taken college classes at Community College. There is always a way.


If I lose my leg in an accident, should I be able to compete in an olympic marathon with a suitable headstart so that I can have a chance of winning?
Someone with mental issues gets given lots of leeway for exams and such, becomes a brain surgeon, but can't complete operations quickly enough?
I worked in the disability field for most of my life, I had an argument years ago (that I lost) as to whether a person who is innumerate, just is totally unable to grasp mathematics, should be allowed to have a numerate support person to help them through their accounting studies/exams. The plan was then once they graduated, they would receive ongoing support on the job from someone who was numerate. Seriously?????
Time to be realistic.

That would be like a digger that couldn’t use a shovel. Ridiculous. The person actually digging, would be the digger. I bet the aide wouldn’t get the salary they were earning, doing the persons job for them.


I think that mentally disabled students only get minimal accommodations. And I am one of those students—I suffer from agoraphobia, depression, and anxiety. University is about cognitive fitness. A quadriplegic cannot become a typing champion. Not everyone can do or be whatever they want. It sucks, but it’s true.

Besides, how much more accessible can the University get, after offering online classes? I used to do my classes at one in the morning. The days I had to go in to test, I prepared for them. Online instructors are already working with Students, tests usually have at least a few days to choose from.

Not everyone wins, or graduates college, or lives past thirty.


Short answer - since it's late and I'm tierd, is 'Yes'.

So long as it has been diagnosed then it should be treated the same as any other illness. My view has always been that most mental illnessess are physical illness, since they are mostly cuased by dysfunctions in the brain, which is a physical organ like any other. FMRI scans appear to be supporting this view. I imagine if we were able to see into the brain at the microscopic level we would be able to see the physical causes of the dysfunctions.

Nomad Level 6 Mar 16, 2018

My autistic brother received a full ride scholarship to a private university and he is very excited, but as you can imagine, he is also petrified because his support system from high school won't be there. He has a hard time staying on task if not redirected, and while he works very hard and is very smart, he struggles in other functions. However why should he be denied the chance to fulfill his dream of graduating college in business administration simply because a school can't adapt to the growing number of people with mental disabilities?


Jobs have to make adjustments for ACA compliance, and I think universities should too. To an extent I think everyone who WANTS to go to college should be able to, regardless of their disabilities or financial abilities. An IEP maybe, to assess and discuss barriers to success and set boundaries so someone doesn't abuse it too much.

Not enough resources to get everyone who wants to into college. Same with healthcare. At some point you gotta draw the line.

@hlfsousa there are enough resources it's just that greedy people who want to up charge it 5000% to make billions tell you there isn't enough resources. College costs rose over 15000% since 1970 you honestly think that is a reasonable increase?


that is such a huge, multifaceted subject. I work in disability claims and maybe 15 to 20% of our claims are mental health related. One thing I hear over, and over, and over again is that it is so darn hard to get an appointment with a qualified mental health specialist. And now I'm wondering if the % of claims denied is higher for MH claims becasue it is so hard to get appropriate treatment.

And because they are hard to diagnose, I would expect a relevant amount of false (doshonest) claims, which can only make things worse.


My thoughts are that just because you can't see em, doesn't mean they are not just as dibilitating and difficult with which to deal. Those friends for example who went off to war and lived through it but that person never came home. The individual living in that body did, but they were totally changed for life. And any person who wants to educate themselves should be afforded all the assistance possible. Do we want them to remain ignorant because of a non physical impairment? Ignorance is the enemy.


I have suffered psychological problems most of my adult life. people think you have to be in a wheelchair to be disabled but I can tell you now, im physically disabled and I know which one has disabled me the most hands down.

Leigh , arrr I been trying to click like on peoples subjects , and it keeps doing the wrong thing. So to you all, "i like all your comments" . I can relate to Leigh, if that is your face i can tell a lot from it and your words . I am with you Brother too. Like i said i would rather see my ulna protruding from my arm again, than go into an unexpected and unprepared battle with a psychological disturbance<< which has already compromised your resolve by being psychologically unstable to start with 😟 . At least with broken bones , people can see the impairment , with a problem in your head , well its invisible. I personally think it is actually all down to salt content in the brain fluid , as that is responsible for healthy brain activity. Last time i was in hell , i electrocuted my cats every time i stroked or touched them , even on wood floors , it was like i was overly conductive ?? << I am a self taught many things in life , as if i need or want to do something , i teach myself to do it << is also a great way to deal with psychological hiccups . Self Distraction techniques . don't know why the txt has linked the letter ( I ) to the one next too it ?? I found the like button now 🙂

yes, you can't rap plaster casts around your brain so it's just an educated guess sorting our mind out. I used to think if cutting an arm or leg of would stop this very scary battle in my mind I would do it in a heartbeat. I figured it to be a chemical imbalance in my head. it really does make you feel really alien and really scared as if there's a gun pointed at you without the gun. you can't run from it like maybe a gun or a lion. I have been in that walk or run situation and it's justifying because where do you run and nerve does seem hypersensitive


As a social worker that works in the mental health field, I witness the psychiatric disabilities on a daily basis. I have clients who can remain stable for months and then are triggered or cycle...then crash and burn. Sometimes it can take weeks or months to return to a period of stability again. To answer your question yes, provisions should be made. To be fair though, I say yes based on the diagnosis.


I was psychologically damaged material whilst still in nappies , I then had a brain injury in 82 and eventually life changing head surgery in 08. I have lived with it all my life . You just need to give people space to do what they can do, as not everyone can function at the same speed or grasp something as quick as the majority might . Psychological illness's are infinitly different experiences, for every single person , like a nervous breakdown may have the same physical effects , but the psychological effect is related to that individuals experience so far in life and their present outlook on life. I have broken un countable bones , but I would rather have a snapped bone sticking out of me , than suffer a mental/psychological uphill battle again . Until you have tasted what a psychological ilness feels like , for yourself , no one is in a position to understand the depth of the effects the sufferer is under. I guess there are far too many variables , to realistically comment on psychological illness's as a whole , as they are all different , you just have to be understanding and non judgemental , and be patient with people. No one wants to be suffering a mental disorder .


My father ,who worked in the avionics field ,would often tell a story about a young man whose dream was to become an airline pilot. He was not allowed to be on any form of medication particularly antidepressants and fly. The young man was on antidepressants for clinical depression. He got off his meds so he could pursue his dream ,but the outcome was tragic. he later committed suicide due to his unmediated illness.. My father said that he never really got over that young man's death. Unfortunately with physical or psychological disabilities you have to accept that they're going to be limitations. I don't really have an answer. Should the young man been allowed to be on antidepressants and have the lives of hundreds of people in his hands? Should the airline industry back off of their stance on psychological / chronic pain medication? I'm not sure.


I suffer with chronic depression and receive disability because at times it is debilitating. The drugs I have to take to keep me somewhat stabilized also have side effects that affect my brain function. I do have to work part time because disability doesn’t give me enough money to be able to live on every month. I’m not sure if students should be given an easier curriculum or more days to be absent, I think that as with cancer, big pharm makes too much bank on the drugs they peddle to figure out a permanent cure for both physical and mental maladies, imho.

Lisav, i feel you there , Pharmaceutical medication for psychological illness generally exasperates the illness, as it lowers the persons own ability to psychologically try to stay on top of its effects . Meds seem to slow the brain , cloud your thoughts and fire off side effects that can be a thousand times more unpleasant and long lasting, than the psychological disturbance was going to be if left un-medicated . We have 3 substances here in the UK they throw at suffers, basically to nullify them into zombiness, citalopram, pregablin and gabapentin << utterly horrendous medicines to take. We are all different people, so the same medication is highly unlikely to help us all or even any of us, but it is the only thing doctors seem to have to throw at psychological unrest, as a means to defeat or control it. I feel lucky , i suffer anxiety like in ocean fulls, but it generally passes within 3 months of living in hell , i just remind myself constantly , "Do not feed a negative inner feeling with self generated negative thought!", even if i have to tell myself to shut up, out loud to stop me feeding my own negativity . I don't know if this is the norm for thinking neg thoughts when depressed , that in turn feed the negativity and prolong it ??? I am self driven and self guiding , so i try to do as much as i can on my own , but when drowning in an ocean of anxiety and up to your neck with no sign of land , then i go to the doc and take there crap again 😟 . Lucky i am free of it for a while now , as a lot of mine was self created by over expectations on life and perhaps even on myself . Love and peace to you all, as you all sound like you have good experience and empathy towards the subject .


I'm dyslexic in that the two sides of my brain don't communicate well. While taking masters courses at the university in 1995, I was shocked when our teacher pulled a verbal pop quiz, and I couldn't understand her questions. I struggled to answer any of them, even though I knew all the answers in writing.

After class, I explained the problem to the teacher and asked her to please write the questions on the board next quiz, but she only mocked me, implying I was a lazy slough off. So I recruited my daughter to ask me random questions from the text chapter while we were driving, teaching my brain how to recognize auditory questions. I kept working at it and next quiz I could do it.

But not everyone is as persistant as I am, so there should be accommodation where needed.


I believe psychological disabilities exist, and be just as debilitating as physical ones.
If they are properly diagnosed by medical professionals, those so afflicted should be given the same considerations and exemptions as anyone else. If they're having symptoms that are documented, then they should be given additional time to complete whatever.
Not all disabilities are visible. It doesn't make them any less real.


Are they able to achieve the baseline productivity?
Are they able to recover from the current condition?
Is their presence a burden on their peers?
Are they paying for their eventual added cost?
Will supporting them improve society in an utilitarian way?
Are they preventing someone with better conditions to achieve a result that will benefit society (taking a research position or scholarship)?

These are my main criteria currently, but I have not thought about it too much.


I worked with a lady who had some sort of psychological illness, not sure what. As part of the interview process, I recommended against hiring her, and was overruled. But shortly after getting the job, she stopped taking her medications, and made working very stressful for me. I couldn't say anything without being accused of discrimination, but I was blamed when I couldn't control her behavior. When they finally fired her, she "flew" around the office, chanting "I'm free, I'm free". I felt like I was the one who was free.

marga Level 7 Apr 2, 2018

They suck


My question is, if they cannot perform in school how are they going to perform in the real world working a real job where no such accommodations are to be had? Will they be self employed under the delusion they can set their own hours and work just when they feel like and still make a living?


This is a super complicated question and there's no way one answer can address all situations or nuances...

I generally believe that everyone should be given a chance to learn, grow and be the best that they can. I think that the school system is better now than it was when I was a student, but might still have some room for improvement (as we all do).

I also think that it's important not to set individuals up for later disappointment and that learning one's limitations is equally important.

I, for instance, was never destined to become a ballerina... As much as I may have wanted to (I didn't, by the way) and even with an unlimited amount of help and allowances, I was never going to be a ballerina.
That's not to say that I'm not a fully functioning (hopefully valued) member of society. My limitations, in this case prohibited me from being a ballerina.

So, should everyone be given a chance?
Should everyone be encouraged to follow their dreams?
Should we make snap judgments as to what limitations someone has, and condemn them before giving them a chance?
No, probably not, although that might be what society currently does.
Should everyone automatically get what they want regardless of their limitation?
Absolutely not.

Again, just my take, and I am but one.


Yes. There are 2 majors points. The first is that school has both the need and the means for accomodations for mental health, and I'll describe why. The second is a response to the most common objection I've seen so far, which is that A) it coddles people, and B) it doesn't prepare people for the rest of life / work conditions and that work will not accomodate people in the same way. Regarding the latter:

The workload in most jobs is a constant and steady pace. Depending on the job. Most of them you do your 8 hours a day or whatever. It can be stressful and suck ass. But it remains more or less constant. good days and bad days sure...

But university is completely different. School is full of a lot of low stress periods followed by short but intense periods of high stress and anxiety. I broke down quite a bit finishing my classes (of course I blame myself for double majoring but hey w/e). I suffered a ton of test anxiety and nervousness while also student instructing.. Uh anyway. my point is university is a much less rigid time (or can be) and theres room to accomodate people who are struggling.

I dislike the idea that "if they're coddled in school they'll fail in life" because its based on the same fallacy, that school and work are the same, when they're not. Simply put, the rigors of school are so different to those of work that they don't have to be handled the same way, and being accommodated in school does not mean someone won't be able to handle work.

To futher expand on the subject, even work deadlines, while stressful, usually fall within the same parameters of the rest of the work, though typically more intensely. School tends to again run a much wilder and wider range of activities, expectations and stress.

Furthermore, work tends to be something that you function well in. It's something you gear yourself towards with your skills and abilities (or if you live in america, working fast food and retail or a call center because **** us I guess, lol). In school, at least in traditional college, you're expected to complete many different types of courses, some of which you suck at by nature, which only leads to even more stress. For instance, math and biology / life-sciences. I'm not going into a microbiology-centered career and I struggled so hard in that mandatory class. That same stress does not apply. If you suck at driving a car you don't go in for a driving job. You're not mandated to do a driving job for 1 year just to checkmark a box.

For those who might claim that there is no actual room within the school finances / I offer the following: Many schools are incentivized to accomodate those with disabilities, from private and sometimes public doners and institutions. Also the allowing of such accomodations will bring in students seeking those accomodations. Finally, while it may seem a bit snarky, almost all the universities out there waste hundreds of thousands of dollars a year on trivialities. There is money there, and I honestly refuse to believe that mental health accomodations are impossible when many schools already offer such things and are doing fine.

Finally, for those who believe there is no room for accomodations in a school schedule, I think that isn't really a good hill to stand on. While making exceptions is added stress and difficulty for professors, giving someone a day off or an additional day to finish an assignment is not the end of the world. If extra time is given for an exam there are plenty of ways to curb cheating, which I won't go over unless someone would like me to.

In conclusion, accomodations are beneficial to college students and there is room for them, and the nature of college vs work is such that being accomodated in school does not mean someone will be unable to function in a work environment.

(Anecdotal, but adding that I do suffer from a laundry list of issues, did make use of some accomodations in school, yet am able to handle working, as are many people here. I just don't find the argument that people who get help in college can't survive work very compelling)

TL;DR: Yes. For Reasons. Oh my god that was nearly 800 words. I'm so sorry.


I think we spend way too much time coddling people. My diagnoses are as follows: Bipolar Manic Depressant, Major Depressive Disorder, Severe Anxiety, PTSD, and 'evidence of a fifth, as yet unidentified disorder.' I'm terrified of big pharma drugs because I believe they do more harm than good, so, in addition to years of self discovery and reflection, I've taught myself to recognize the signs of my triggers and adjust my situation or attitude accordingly. We're being led to believe that we're weak, broken, damaged, when, in reality, we have the power to change our own thought processes and take control of ourselves without being turned into mindless, addicted zombies. I digress... If one's mental disability is so severe that they can't keep up with the rest of the student body, maybe online school would be more feasible, but rather than expecting a different set of rules, one should, imho, learn to accept your limitations and stop trying to make everyone else conform to what's comfortable to you.

I know of a man whose mother put him into a mental institution at the age of three because he wanted to learn to read and she was an undiagnosed Munchausen by proxy sufferer. ... Only she wasn't the sufferer - her son was. As a result he had very little schooling, was heavily drugged with some very dangerous pharmaceuticals and was simply turned into a schizophrenic who not only saw blood oozing from walls but smelt it as well. He is now in his mid thirties and has astounded psychiatrists by ridding himself of the problem. He lectured 50 psychiatrists on his techniques to rid himself of the symptoms and was warmly applauded. He now is diagnosed with anxiety only. The damage however is irrevocable and he will never recover those lost years, the additional years from having his life expectancy curtailed as a result of medications that he was put on for most of his life when a minor, nor the operations performed on him to satisfy his mother's illness.
This all occurred under the auspices of a caring regime.


Psychology is a soft science. Disorders can be congenital, chemical imbalance,drugs, trauma caused, inheirited by genetics or any combination above. The same patient can get two or more diagnosis' from just as many psychologists. Because of the often misdiagnosis of the illness treatments can be either useless or damaging or even effective. Yes, there should be a place in the workforce and education for them, education of their workmates and classmates should start at an early age to avoid discrimination. Even if we started now it would be years before any significant changes could be seen. We should start now.


I think accomodations might be a good idea.
I know that depression can definitely affect cognitive ability.

Coincidentally, about two weeks ago I had a Neuro-Psychlogical Cognitive Evaluation done because I have memory problems.

The memory loss was suspected to be caused by seizures due to frontal lobe scar tissue. (Long Story)
When I went back to go over the results I was surprised to hear that I did quite well on most of the tests.
The doctor's assessment was that it wasn't the seizures so much as my depression that was causing the memory problems.

I had never heard of this defore, but the results were both good and bad.
Good that it wasn't a physical problem, yet, but a psychological one.

If a person has been known to have cognitive difficulties, I think at least some accomodations should be made.

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