Mining for copium in the weirdest places.
- Jan 15, 2022
I'll get into the weeds with you this evening after work.The point I was trying to make is that modern psychiatry has played a huge role in defining what constitutes mental illness. And it's mostly pseudoscience. A lot of behaviors, attitudes, personality traits and thought patterns that were once considered 'disordered', 'unsound' or 'irrational' are now deemed normal (and vice versa)… which shows the arbitrary nature of it all.
I don't agree with the way we tend to pathologize and medicalize almost every human problem, emotion and idiosyncrasy nowadays. Excluding obvious brain diseases (e.g. Alzheimer's, cerebral palsy, etc.), there are just too many grey areas when it comes to mental health.
However, I must admit that I have used the terms 'depression', 'body dysmorphia' and 'eating disorder' to describe my own problems before. Was it from years of conditioning or simply for convenience? Probably both. I'm not sure if I fully believe in those diagnoses anymore, but it was a quick way to let people know I was struggling without having to share my whole life story. What I think I should have said instead: 'I have a pessimistic worldview because (…)' or 'I have low self-esteem related to body image issues because (…)'. No need to put medical labels on those feelings.
Definition of malfunction: 'a failure to function in a normal or satisfactory manner'… by what standards? Who gets to draw the line between what's normal/satisfactory and abnormal/unsatisfactory? It's easy to apply this concept to machinery, but it's a lot harder to apply it to the human psyche.
Also, you said in a previous post that wanting to reproduce is a sign of good health. Rounded Apathy said the same thing in her/his post. Do people who don't want children qualify as mentally ill?