Friday, April 4, 2008

Because I've been asked

This piece is not intended to be directed at any one individual, if you take it that way then that is solely your responsibility not mine.

Recently I was asked about some opinions I had on mental illness and my belief that mental illness is a made up phenomenon. While I still believe that many related mental illnesses such as ADD, ADHD, OCD, bipolar and the like are more a character issue and not a real problem I did have to rethink my thoughts after I read my comments.

I made the comment that all mental illness was bogus, however upon thinking about this issue I need to clarify my thoughts.
I do believe the mind can see something so horrific that the brain will revisit this scene often such as soldiers on the battle field, law enforcement officers in the field, fire fighters and the like. The mind can be a delicate part of the body in these instances and as such can create mental problems for years to come.

Depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder, are all disorders which the individual has the ability to change. Many people get depressed or many of the other symptoms which have been mentioned here and yet they have either the will power or the desire to change their behavior. Anyone that looks deeply into these issues will plainly see almost any behavioral problem can be explained away with some mental disorder. People with gambling problems simply need to stay away from casinos. People with eating problems need to slide away from the table and eat in moderation. We have eating disorders which have become borderline mental issues when it is quite simple to keep your fingers out of your mouth. People that have sex with multiple partners or any other variation you can think of simply have a problem saying NO and thus lack conviction and are looking for an excuse to forgive their behavior.

A child diagnosed with either ADD, or ADHD with the help and guidance of parents and authority figures can change their behaviors, I know our youngest was told he had ADHD. We automatically changed the foods and the water of which we consumed and cut out numerous sugars and sweeteners and got our children involved in activities of the mind and body. This condition seems to be a way for parents to cope with children since their professional lives are much more important. This condition it is now said affects some of our adult population and I must admit often times I have problems sticking to a task, however I don't need some drug to correct my wondering mind.

I really don't expect many readers to agree with my position and that is fine, however you are entitled to your opinion just like I'm entitled to mine. Many people could learn from listening to the likes of Zig Ziglar, Tony Robbins, Dale Carnegie and numerous other people that have overcome instances in their life which could have led them down the path of a so-called mental illness.


Sky Girl said...

Do you believe in diabetes? Because many mental illnesses are caused by imbalances in neutrotransmitters the same way that diabetes is caused by an imbalance of insulin. Other disorders, such as ADHD, are caused by difference in brain development.

That said, some disorders are over-diagnosed, especially in children. And everyone needs to take responsibility for his or her actions. For some, this means sticking to the medication schedule recommended by his or her doctor.

You should check the neuroscience behind mental illness before you decide to dismiss it.

tom said...

So a medical condition is akin to a so-called mental illness ?? I look at the history of a condition and how many areas it has been known to cover. Bipolar is one of those all encompassing problems that fit many categories so yes I just dismiss something that can have so many symptoms to fall into place. Many people haven't the desire or the will to accept responsibility so mental illness has become the catch all for many conditions and the medical profession has gone along as a means to keep people medicated which keeps the professionals in a nice income bracket.
I wonder why none if any of these so called mental problems are found in sectors of our society such as the Amish, Mennonites, and Quakers.

tom said...

In diabetes which is a well known medical condition there are numerous test which can verify the condition and also determine the correct amount of medication.

I compare mental illness to global warming. In that there is NO scientific evidence for global warming nor is there any medical evidence of a mental illness, except the word of the patient. I could go online for the next few weeks and have a psychiatrist believing I'm (fill in the blank)and get a prescription to solve my made up condition.

Just because I don't believe every known agenda of the political mainstream doesn't mean I haven't spent numerous hours researching subjects for this blog, both through personal experience and countless hours observing people in general.

Kevin Craig said...

I tend to agree with you, Tom. I assume you're familiar with Thomas Szasz. I'm a fan of another writer who's a fan of Szasz, who leaves the door open for genuinely "organic" brain problems -- real physical problems, such as chemical deficiencies -- which actually interfere with or distort the transmission of electrical currents across the synapses, which can lead to undesirable behavior, but can be corrected with supplements of naturally-occurring elements like lithium. That sounds plausible to me.

But I would also investigate the possibility that these very same chemical deficiencies can be caused by anti-social thoughts and behaviors. The connection between mind [thoughts and actions] and body has been known for thousands of years. Proverbs 14:30 says, "A sound heart is life to the body, But envy is rottenness to the bones." Similarly, Proverbs 17:22: "A merry heart does good, like medicine, But a broken spirit dries the bones." Finally, Proverbs 3:7-8: "Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and depart from evil. It will be health to your flesh, And strength to your bones." See also Proverbs 4:20-23.

This means that many "mental illnesses," even if diagnosed as an "organic" brain problem of some kind, can be cured with the kind of personal discipline you and Solomon describe.

tom said...


Yes I've been made aware of Thomas Szasz only recently and I haven't had time to read his book or thoughts.
I guess my upbringing has much to do with my opinions on how people act and react to distractions in their life both real and perceived. Many people would sooner find an excuse for their actions instead of taking responsibility for them and the psychiatric professionals are more than willing to prescribe medicines for something that only takes mind over matter to correct.
Last year I joined a support group for my own medical condition of which I had to leave the group, since all anyone wanted to do was try to get medicines to try to correct an issue which hasn't been able to be corrected as of yet. It became a pity poor me episode on a daily basis and I could see many of those people were more inclined to want a medical miracle then try to change the way they live their lives to compensate for this issue.

It is often said you become much like the people you associate with which is why poor people hang out with poor people, wealthy associate with wealthy, those of weak minds will associate with like people.

Sky Girl said...

Your comments about tests for diabetes and tests for the appropriate amount of medication shows your ignorance on this subject. There are tests to be sure psychotropic medications are at the appropriate therapeutic levels.

There are symptom lists to diagnose disorders such as Bipolar Disorder, and no, they don't encompass everything. True, there are personality disorders that any psychologist will admit has categories that overlap. But Bipolar Disorder, Depression, and psychotic disorders have a huge amount of documented research on the symptoms and the effectiveness on medications.

And yes, there has also been a huge amount of research on cross-cultural symptomology.

I would advise reading on the state of psychiatric hospitals before the discovery of, and widespread use of, psychotropic medications.

Just because I don't agree with your incorrect ramblings and "personal observations," doesn't mean I haven't spent years obtaining higher education on these subjects, with continued professional reading on the most recent research.

You're also wrong about the research on global warming, but that is not my area. Might I recommend The Lorax at The2DollarBill.

tom said...

My comment about diabetes was right on the money since the reason I answered it that way came right out of the mouth of an individual which has the medical disease.

As for not believing in mental illness this position comes from much research and observations from those I've been around that have been diagnosed with some of these problems. I've been around the block quite a few times and just because I'm not in agreement with NIMH doesn't make my observations valid.

Some people are quite gullible in the manner of which they believe certain issues, I don't fall into that trap as I'm an uncommon person and believe in the power of mind over matter. I've seen it work too many times and have lived it personally.

As to your comment about "global warming" the earth much like an individual goes through certain periods of ebbs and tides which we haven't been on planet earth long enough to understand or interpret.
Is it possible the earth is warming in temperature ? I believe it could be !!
Do I believe the alarmist in the "global warming" movement ? NOT a chance until the prove of this event is compelling enough for a majority consensus that it exist. There is just too much evidence going the other way for me to believe that the earth is on a path to destruction because of mankind. I believe the political party known as the democrats would like to brainwash people in this direction, but information comes from many sources not just those that Al Gore agrees with.

Sky Girl said...

Agree to disagree.