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Do you believe in mental illness

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    (Original post by Sovr'gnChancellor£)
    I believe 'Mania' is classed as a 'mental illness'. However, this essentially says that there is something ;wrong' about 'Mania' etc.

    But this is dubious as some of the so-called 'symptoms' of mania are grandiose thoughts and ambitions and brief periods of euphoria and so on and so forth. I cannot at all see what's 'wrong' with that. .
    Then you are either misunderstanding mania, or naievely underestimating the intensity, duration and destructive power of it.
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    (Original post by lightburns)
    It is undeniably detrimental to many individuals. But it still doesn't answer the issue of the fact that it is most likely a brain-based disorder that causes maladaptive perceptions and behaviour. As the disorder cannot be treated at the brain level, it is instead treated by bringing the body in line with the perceptions.

    The problems such as medical professionals and laymen considering it "someone who is really a man who considers himself a woman" (note the incorrect pronoun, which is also common) or vice versa is a separate problem that needs to be addressed by itself. Avoiding this by making it no longer a mental disorder is just covering up the problem that already exists. It is also worsening the general stigma of mental disorders - if someone with GID says "see, I'm not crazy, it's not a mental disorder!", what does that imply for mental disorders? I have seen so many people with GID who make comments which really do deepen this stigma, and show their own stigma towards the label of mental disorder. There is an issue here that it should not be shameful to have a mental disorder - but some people with GID think that it is.
    Sex (and the determiniation of) has come some way in these past few decades (babies are no longer not sexed as male if their penis is not considered to be large enough for future copulation), however it still is very phallic-centric (a boy is a baby with a penis, a girl is a baby with the absence of a penis), when actually, the primary sex determination is that of the brain.

    Of course, science is not advanced for us to cross-check all sex identifiers in babies before announcing their sex and so genital determination is still necessary. However, anomolies do occur (more often than one would think) due to sex identifiers such as chromosomes, genitalia, internal sexual organs, brain sex etc. not complementing each other.

    The brain is the primary sex identifier (refer to the Joan/John case of the boy who had his penis accidentally destroyed during a circumcision and was raised as a girl. Unaware of his circumstances, he still strongly identified in the male sex role. Similar to transsexual male children.)

    Genitals have, effectively, no influence on one's sex role (other than heavily influencing how one is raised as a child). This complements most children, but for those whose brain sex differs from what their genitalia imply, this causes confusion but, their brain sex is still dominant even if in a repressed state. For example, if a woman lost her clitoris and vagina in some freak accident, she would still be a woman. Although the majority of the time the genitals are a good indicator of sex, the brain ultimately is primary with the body as secondary.

    You are right that is is likely to be the brain that developed as the 'wrong' sex than the body (as chromsomes and genitals in transsexual people usually are complementary), because the brain is the primary indicator I believe it is more appropriate to view the genitals and social role as the issue and therefore treat it as other biological/physical conditions.

    The stigma attached to mental illness is severe, and this is part of the problem in the case of G.I.D. You are also right that transsexual people often appear to use negative terminology towards mental disorders and this is likely due to a desire to distance themselves from it as much as possible. Stigma towards mental illness does need to be addressed and I hope one day it will diminish completely. But, even in an ideal world where mental illness was not stigmatised, I still believe the connotations of transsexuality would still cause misconceptions about the condition and therefore is not an appropriate classification for the well-being of the service users.
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    (Original post by OU Student)
    Well, yes. Why would anyone who is of sound mind commit suicide?
    With this is mind....... do you think people that commit murder are also mentally ill?
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    (Original post by Dmon1Unlimited)
    is that very rational? in terms of at that time and place, sure, but to think there is no way to get over this? that there are no solutions?
    Are you suggesting that it is impossible for such a situation to exist where there is a negligible probabilistic chance of the situation getting better?

    Your post actually reminded me of the brains biased updating of belief for new positive and negative information referred to in this episode of horizon - http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode...ut_of_Control/ at roughly 20 mins in, and this article - http://www.nature.com/neuro/journal/...l/nn.2949.html

    Rationality can sometimes be unhealthy it seems.
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    (Original post by memomemootoo)
    see that's the thing.. is it always necessary to "treat" whatever is labelled as mental illness? Some of the greatest people in history can be classified as mentally ill, and i doubt that they would have come close to achieving what they had if they were "treated" and homogenised into what society considers normal.
    There's a lot of minor problems sure that you could argue aren't really that big a deal.

    But try taking away labels from the schizophrenics.
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    (Original post by RandZul'Zorander)
    It's not a matter of necessarily treating it at the brain level. As with homosexuality GID isn't in and of itself a maladaptive thought pattern or behavior. It is social stigma which causes such maladaptive perceptions. If it were socially acceptable to change one's appearance and fluidly transition their gender regardless of sex then there wouldn't be many problems for transgendered or transsexual people. It would be seen similar to those who feel that they are goth, or whatever other social identity you can think of. They change their appearance and behaviors accordingly. So it doesn't necessarily seem to be an actual mental disorder but rather a trait with a social stigma, similar to homosexuality.
    But that's the thing - it's not a chosen social identity. A goth won't die if they need to wear a standard school uniform, and just dress up as a goth when they go out. GID is in itself a maladaptive thought pattern and behaviour; it is severe distress at a person's own body to the extent that they will kill themselves without medical intervention.

    What would it imply for mental disorders if GID wasn't a mental disorder? It might reinforce the stigma that mental disorders are 'bad' and that challenge the stigma that GID is...but I don't really see any other implications on mental disorders as a whole.
    This is more just that I've seen a lot of people with GID who don't want to be associated with mental disorders. This is a similar way in how some intersexed people don't want to be associated with transpeople. It's looking down at the label. There's nothing wrong with a 'disorder', which is why I am very careful to always call it GID and not Gender Dysphoria, which it is likely to become in the next DSM. 'Disorder' does not make it any less real, and that's what's being implied.
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    (Original post by brightonlad89)
    Sex (and the determiniation of) has come some way in these past few decades (babies are no longer not sexed as male if their penis is not considered to be large enough for future copulation), however it still is very phallic-centric (a boy is a baby with a penis, a girl is a baby with the absence of a penis), when actually, the primary sex determination is that of the brain.

    Of course, science is not advanced for us to cross-check all sex identifiers in babies before announcing their sex and so genital determination is still necessary. However, anomolies do occur (more often than one would think) due to sex identifiers such as chromosomes, genitalia, internal sexual organs, brain sex etc. not complementing each other.

    The brain is the primary sex identifier (refer to the Joan/John case of the boy who had his penis accidentally destroyed during a circumcision and was raised as a girl. Unaware of his circumstances, he still strongly identified in the male sex role. Similar to transsexual male children.)

    Genitals have, effectively, no influence on one's sex role (other than heavily influencing how one is raised as a child). This complements most children, but for those whose brain sex differs from what their genitalia imply, this causes confusion but, their brain sex is still dominant even if in a repressed state. For example, if a woman lost her clitoris and vagina in some freak accident, she would still be a woman. Although the majority of the time the genitals are a good indicator of sex, the brain ultimately is primary with the body as secondary.

    You are right that is is likely to be the brain that developed as the 'wrong' sex than the body (as chromsomes and genitals in transsexual people usually are complementary), because the brain is the primary indicator I believe it is more appropriate to view the genitals and social role as the issue and therefore treat it as other biological/physical conditions.

    The stigma attached to mental illness is severe, and this is part of the problem in the case of G.I.D. You are also right that transsexual people often appear to use negative terminology towards mental disorders and this is likely due to a desire to distance themselves from it as much as possible. Stigma towards mental illness does need to be addressed and I hope one day it will diminish completely. But, even in an ideal world where mental illness was not stigmatised, I still believe the connotations of transsexuality would still cause misconceptions about the condition and therefore is not an appropriate classification for the well-being of the service users.
    For individuals with GID, I would call it a mental disorder as the brain is indicating something completely different to every other indicator. The fact that so many individuals are not intersexed to any degree suggests that there is a specific issue where it is the brain alone that is the exception. It would be potentially very beneficial for GID to be seen in the intersexed spectrum, for example, which I would support - so I am not not totally against you. Intersex is when different sex markers don't match; if you were to consider the brain as a sex marker, then it would just be another category to tick off. However, if this were to happen, I would argue that it would still be a mental disorder as well.
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    (Original post by lightburns)
    But that's the thing - it's not a chosen social identity. A goth won't die if they need to wear a standard school uniform, and just dress up as a goth when they go out. GID is in itself a maladaptive thought pattern and behaviour; it is severe distress at a person's own body to the extent that they will kill themselves without medical intervention.
    Whether its chosen or not doesn't change that the identity itself isn't maladaptive. The social stigma is what makes it maladaptive. GID doesn't necessitate disgust with their body. Merely that their gender doesn't match the one they were assigned due to their physical body. The distress is shown to be due to a stigma that they cannot change their gender. Not because they feel it doesn't match but because it is not socially acceptable to change their gender to fit their identity. The difference is the maladaptive behaviors arise from social stigma rather than GID itself.

    This is more just that I've seen a lot of people with GID who don't want to be associated with mental disorders. This is a similar way in how some intersexed people don't want to be associated with transpeople. It's looking down at the label. There's nothing wrong with a 'disorder', which is why I am very careful to always call it GID and not Gender Dysphoria, which it is likely to become in the next DSM. 'Disorder' does not make it any less real, and that's what's being implied.
    Having a disorder implies that there is something 'wrong' with you. I can understand why a trans person would prefer to not be associated with such a label. I am currently not sure whether or not it should be labeled a disorder but I can undertand why people wouldn't want to be associated with such.
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    (Original post by lightburns)
    For individuals with GID, I would call it a mental disorder as the brain is indicating something completely different to every other indicator. The fact that so many individuals are not intersexed to any degree suggests that there is a specific issue where it is the brain alone that is the exception. It would be potentially very beneficial for GID to be seen in the intersexed spectrum, for example, which I would support - so I am not not totally against you. Intersex is when different sex markers don't match; if you were to consider the brain as a sex marker, then it would just be another category to tick off. However, if this were to happen, I would argue that it would still be a mental disorder as well.
    I may me misinterpreting here, but:

    GID is mental disorder because is causes psychological distress to the person experiencing the dysmorphia.

    However, being transgendered (i.e. resolving the GID by changing one's gender identity) is not a mental disorder.

    Also, I'm not sure if you're trying to indicate that the brain, if it were sex marker and differed from the other sex markers, that that would a mental disorder? :confused:
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    (Original post by RandZul'Zorander)
    Whether its chosen or not doesn't change that the identity itself isn't maladaptive. The social stigma is what makes it maladaptive. GID doesn't necessitate disgust with their body. Merely that their gender doesn't match the one they were assigned due to their physical body. The distress is shown to be due to a stigma that they cannot change their gender. Not because they feel it doesn't match but because it is not socially acceptable to change their gender to fit their identity. The difference is the maladaptive behaviors arise from social stigma rather than GID itself.

    Having a disorder implies that there is something 'wrong' with you. I can understand why a trans person would prefer to not be associated with such a label. I am currently not sure whether or not it should be labeled a disorder but I can undertand why people wouldn't want to be associated with such.
    It's not just the social stigma. Even if there was total and complete acceptance, a person with GID would still have maladaptive problems with disgust at their own body, making it something 'wrong' with them.

    I would argue that anyone who doesn't have disgust with their own body and an inability to live with it may be transgendered but would not have GID. If they don't have disgust over their body, then there's no necessity to change it medically.
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    (Original post by NYU2012)
    GID is mental disorder because is causes psychological distress to the person experiencing the dysmorphia.

    However, being transgendered (i.e. resolving the GID by changing one's gender identity) is not a mental disorder.

    Also, I'm not sure if you're trying to indicate that the brain, if it were sex marker and differed from the other sex markers, that that would a mental disorder? :confused:
    I'm really thinking back to what I've said earlier, that it has parallels in my mind to Body Integrity Identity Disorder. In this example, if GID was caused by a similar mechanism as BIID, it would mean that the neural mapping of the brain said "here is your penis" when there isn't one, causing the distress. Even if it's not neural mapping, it would still be something brain based causing the difference. This is why I would label it as a mental disorder.

    On the intersexed stuff, I was meaning that you have sex markers like chromosomes, genitals, hormones, etc. If they don't match, you say that someone is intersexed. Could add the brain to that list.
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    (Original post by lightburns)
    It's not just the social stigma. Even if there was total and complete acceptance, a person with GID would still have maladaptive problems with disgust at their own body, making it something 'wrong' with them.

    I would argue that anyone who doesn't have disgust with their own body and an inability to live with it may be transgendered but would not have GID. If they don't have disgust over their body, then there's no necessity to change it medically.
    Someone with gender identity disorder does not necessarily have to have any sort of dislike with their body -- merely a dislike of their current gender identity, which, I assume, they were assigned at birth.

    Some people may dislike their body, such that they want to undergo surgery to have their body changed, but this is necessitated for the person to be experiencing GID.

    Some interesting things about gender, that not all people realize:
    (1) Someone can be transgendered without being transsexual
    (2) Someone can be transsexual without being transgendered

    This is due to the fact that, obviously, gender is detached from sex, such that they are two separate entities which share little, if any, connection.
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    (Original post by lightburns)
    It's not just the social stigma. Even if there was total and complete acceptance, a person with GID would still have maladaptive problems with disgust at their own body, making it something 'wrong' with them.
    Disgust is not a maladaptive thought and no, a person with GID doesn't necessarily feel disgust with their body.

    In the United States, the American Psychiatric Association permits a diagnosis of gender identity disorder if the four diagnostic criteria in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4thEdition, Text-Revised (DSM-IV-TR) are met. The criteria are:
    Long-standing and strong identification with another gender
    Long-standing disquiet about the sex assigned or a sense of incongruity in the gender-assigned role of that sex
    The diagnosis is not made if the individual also has physical intersex characteristics.
    Significant clinical discomfort or impairment at work, social situations, or other important life areas.
    No where does it necessitate that they feel disgust with their body.

    I would argue that anyone who doesn't have disgust with their own body and an inability to live with it may be transgendered but would not have GID. If they don't have disgust over their body, then there's no necessity to change it medically.
    GID has nothing to do with changing their body I think you are thinking of transsexualism.
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    (Original post by lightburns)
    I'm really thinking back to what I've said earlier, that it has parallels in my mind to Body Integrity Identity Disorder. In this example, if GID was caused by a similar mechanism as BIID, it would mean that the neural mapping of the brain said "here is your penis" when there isn't one, causing the distress. Even if it's not neural mapping, it would still be something brain based causing the difference. This is why I would label it as a mental disorder.
    But GID doesn't necessitate that it has anything to do with the physical body -- i.e. the brain saying 'here is a penis', when there isn't one.

    (Original post by lightburns)
    On the intersexed stuff, I was meaning that you have sex markers like chromosomes, genitals, hormones, etc. If they don't match, you say that someone is intersexed. Could add the brain to that list.
    Potentially, yes. Transsexual studies indicate sexual dimorphism is found within the brain, such that the brain of at least some transsexuals develops such that it develops away from the biological sex of the person (i.e. they have male genitals, etc. but their brain developed markedly similar to that of a woman)
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    (Original post by ednut)
    such as bipolar etc ones which you can develop when your older and such, im just tying to understand it, we are infact all animal we are a product of our environment and experiences and if this makes a human being behave in a way which society does not accept.

    Do you beleive in it? discuss
    Oh I don't know... have you read any RD Lang? he thought it was a social construction rather than an actual illness per se.

    wth? LAING - this fella http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R._D._Laing
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    This reminds me of the Rosenhan experiment which I found interesting:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosenhan_experiment
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    (Original post by dgeorge)
    I'm not sure about the question really.....

    To me, the real question should be, to what level are mental illnesses based on the environment and to what level are they genetic?

    Which mental illnesses are because of environmental issues (e.g. death in the family, major trauma, or they just "happened") and which ones are because of an actual chemical/physiological issue with the brain?

    It's a very interesting issue, because I have seen many, many people in this forum (and indeed, my gf) who have been treated in one way or another for mental illness.

    Yet where I come from, there is a total of one (that I know of) licensed psychiatrist, and there seems to be a lot less of an issue with mental illnesses. Granted, the "MAJOR" ones (e.g. schizophrenia) are medically treated and addressed, but other "minor" issues such as depression, social anxiety and other phobias aren't really, and to be honest, I find a LOT fewer people who I would think would have such issues.

    I think the thing is, to determine to the EXTENT that one's mental illness is environmentally influenced is a very important thing to determine
    I can see what you're trying to say but I disagree with what your premise is. You seem to be suggesting that the more environmental factors play a role in the cause of a disease, the less of a disease it really is. This is patently false. Virtually all disorders have both an environmental and genetic basis to them. Take the lung disease strongly associated with smoking. Smoking (an environmental cause) is the single biggest cause of this lung disease. Would anyone question whether this is a disease or not? Absolutely not. And interestingly enough, we now know there is a genetic basis too to such disease, which probably go some way to explaining why some people drop dead at the age of 50 from smoking, whilst your chain smoking granny lives past 90.

    I think there is still a massive stigma attached to mental illness even today, and is probably in no small part due to the fact we, both the public and medical community, still don't understand it all that well.
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    (Original post by PsychoHamster)
    Are you suggesting that it is impossible for such a situation to exist where there is a negligible probabilistic chance of the situation getting better?

    Your post actually reminded me of the brains biased updating of belief for new positive and negative information referred to in this episode of horizon - http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode...ut_of_Control/ at roughly 20 mins in, and this article - http://www.nature.com/neuro/journal/...l/nn.2949.html

    Rationality can sometimes be unhealthy it seems.
    I wouldnt know...Would be very defeatist of you or anyone to actually think this don't you think?

    with regard to the video, it looks quite interesting, i will need to watch the whole thing...but if you were referring the the ingrained optimism within us, while the video is surprising, i still dont think rationality would cause a sane minded individual to commit suicide... if by being rational you want it to mean understanding that you are at higher risk of the negative aspects of life (i.e. the negatives of the test in the video) than expected, i dont think information like that would cause one to assume theres no point in life by weighing the pros and cons... this information would make you more concious of your surroundings, perhaps more precautions , but to lead to suicide? would it not be reasonable to then say doctors/medical authorities have one of the highest suicide rates due to having this knowledge? theres more to being rational than offing yourself if the negatives outweigh the positives

    im not sure what you mean by the last bit, unless youre referring to something in the video i havent watched...
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    Yes??? Why wouldn't I?
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    i know im in the minority, but i sort of agree with the OP, why is someone ill because they think differently?

    im bulimic, and i accept thats an illness, but why is it? why cant it just be a state of mind?

    i also have a neuropathic disease which means i have a lot of neuropathic pain which is basically my nerves being retarded, so is that a mental illness, or is it real pain?

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