Joye, I understand what you are saying. I don't negate stats. I am only saying that some people tend to view certain statistics to mean that to be thier fate, when thats' not what it means at all. Statistics are good but they are not good in and of themselves. Statistics are meant to show the facts of what is being evaluated.
The statistics of the article you shared does not automatically mean that MY life expectancy will be 13.5 to 32 years fewer just becasue I fit into the category. But because I do fit into the category, my personal responsibility would be to make sure that I do whatever is within my power to make sure that I don't become that statistic.
So I'm not saying this particular fact stated in the article you posted is not important - it absolutely is important. What I think should accompany stats are a brief explanation of what stats mean and don't mean and that stats do not automatically doom the group of people the stats address. Some people don't understand that, and it shouldn't be assumed they do. But when anyone posts stats or an article like that without any kind of explanation, then you leave it wide open for all sorts of misunderstandings and even fear.
Joye, I would agree that stats (in either direction) can and are good, and in some cases, can serve as a motivator to change our lifestyles, but would you not agree that statistics are calculated and measured for the purpose of evaluating the progress or lack thereof on any given topic?
For example; where I used to work, we gathered data re member attendance and then came up with statistics based on that data in order to see what our average daily attendance was. We looked at those numbers to see if there was any pattern and made efforts to try to improve the stats.
So my point being - yes, the stats in that article are presumebly true, but it doesn't stop there. Just like with the above attendance stats, I can do something personally to change those numbers to work for my advantage. Statistics are not meant to be blanket statements about the topic - they are meant to evaluate the topic at hand and then manipulate and adjust to change the outcome. That is why I said to Cindyisme in the first place that, "instead of looking at those stats as your fate, look at them as a challenge of how you can improve the stats."
In my opinion, maybe adding something to that effect when you or anyone posts those kind of stats would be helpful for the reader to avoid misunderstanding and even more, to ADD understanding to the purpose of stats.
Cindyisme, the above is a statistic, just like statisitcs about any other illenss or disease - ie. it doesn't mean that you are automatically doomed to its numbers. I understand that's hard to see when you are feeling as you described in your post - but that statistic is not "a little more fun to lookf forward to." We all have choices we can make that can disprove any statistic. We all can live as long as anyone no matter what mental illness we have. I belive stats like the above are or can be warnings to us that yes, IF we don't take care of ourselves in our recovery, then those stats can potentially apply to us. You are working on your recovery. You may not be where you want to be right now, but that doesn't mean you won't be. Keep plugging away and you, with your doctor, will find the right meds that will work for you. It may take more time than you'd like, but keep moving forward. Work with your tdoc on the issues medications can't help with and take care of yourself in all the ways you can - by doing those things, what you have to look forward to is a life of mental health, love, joy, and stability. How's that for something to look forward to instead of the outcome of those stats?
Stats are there to evaluate. Based on the outcome of those results, we can make changes to improve the stats. So instead of looking at those stats as your fate, look at them as a challenge of how you can improve the stats.