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Old January 18th, 2013, 03:43 AM   #1

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Too many things classified as mental illnesses


I'm not sure where this should go, but I found this article very interesting:
BBC News - 'Grief and anxiety are not mental illnesses'

The author is Professor of Clinical Psychology at Liverpool University and argues that too many things that are simply part and parcel of normal human behaviour are being called "mental illnesses" or conditions, and being prescribed medication for. He lists, as examples:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Kinderman
  • The new diagnosis of "disruptive mood dysregulation disorder" will turn childhood temper tantrums into symptoms of a mental illness
  • Normal grief will become "major depressive disorder", meaning people will turn to diagnosis and prescription as a response to bereavement
  • The criteria for "generalised anxiety disorder" will be significantly relaxed, making the worries of everyday life into targets for medical treatment
  • Lower diagnostic thresholds will see more diagnoses of "adult attention deficit disorder", which could lead to widespread prescription of stimulant drugs
  • A wide range of unfortunate human behaviours, the subject of many new year's resolutions, will become mental illnesses - excessive eating will become "binge eating disorder", and the category of "behavioural addictions" will widen significantly to include such "disorders" as "internet addiction" and "sex addiction"
I would agree with this. The most common illness in the UK today is "depression". But is that really an illness? We all get sad, grieve, and we get disheartened from time to time. But surely these aren't "illnesses" that need medication.

To call them illnesses give people an excuse for their behaviour, and look to external support mechanisms - therapists, medication, whatever, and become reliant on them, and I believe that prolongs depressive state because it isn't being allowed to heal naturally.

I can't agree with the idea of taking a happy pill because I've had a bad day at work. I ingest enough crap through my modern diet without adding more that I don't need. Whatever happened to doing something to cheer yourself up, like shopping, eating chocolate or kicking puppies?
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Old January 18th, 2013, 04:51 AM   #2

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There is a huge difference between negative emotion (grief, sadness etc.) and true depression. There should be more help for people who do suffer from depression, but I don't agree with labelling every little thing as a mental disorder.
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Old January 18th, 2013, 05:02 AM   #3

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When I was in High School, I had high pressure on our yearly school testing. So, I had to do all examinations and tests in hospital. One of the tests was to visit psychologist. Since I was never with psychologist before, I didn't know what should I speak or do. So I came there, and she(indeed very hot brunette) gave me some pictures, and I had to put them together, and while I was doing that, she asked me many questions, and in one moment I said to her, that her last question was stupid enough that I'll not even bother to answer. She then asked why, and I said that if we're about to waste time in that room, we should at least speak about something useful, and not about those stupid things(she asked me why I am so bad at painting, and why I'm not trying to improve in maths). And, she gave me paper, in which I red later; The patient has serious problems with anxiety. Of course, I realized that I'm going to have some big issues, since with that paper I had to visit another psychologist, so I was more polite, and eventually became "normal", according to his paper.

The thing is, that if we'd all believe in all those "expert's" opinions, I think half of the world would be in "insane" category.
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Old January 18th, 2013, 05:34 AM   #4

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Naomasa298 View Post
I'm not sure where this should go, but I found this article very interesting:
BBC News - 'Grief and anxiety are not mental illnesses'

The author is Professor of Clinical Psychology at Liverpool University and argues that too many things that are simply part and parcel of normal human behaviour are being called "mental illnesses" or conditions, and being prescribed medication for. He lists, as examples:

[/LIST]I would agree with this. The most common illness in the UK today is "depression". But is that really an illness? We all get sad, grieve, and we get disheartened from time to time. But surely these aren't "illnesses" that need medication.

To call them illnesses give people an excuse for their behaviour, and look to external support mechanisms - therapists, medication, whatever, and become reliant on them, and I believe that prolongs depressive state because it isn't being allowed to heal naturally.

I can't agree with the idea of taking a happy pill because I've had a bad day at work. I ingest enough crap through my modern diet without adding more that I don't need. Whatever happened to doing something to cheer yourself up, like shopping, eating chocolate or kicking puppies?
I don't think we're talking about having a bad day at work. I went through a period of my life where I was seriously depressed. I was fresh out of high school, which had been difficult for me - I almost didn't graduate and I was having panic attacks some mornings before school. I thought graduating would be the end of all that but it only got worse. A member of my family died and then another member of my family was fatally diagnosed. University felt like a continuation of high school so I dropped out. I didn't have a job and didn't have the confidence to get one. My boyfriend dropped off the face of the planet right when I needed him the most. There's more that I won't go into but suffice to say I'd hit the bottle of the barrel. I was sleeping most of the day because I wished I could just fall asleep and never wake up. I hardly ate anything and dropped down to 82lbs (which, even at only 5ft tall, is ridiculously underweight). I contemplated suicide but never made any attempts - honestly, the only thing that kept me from it was my parents and their constant love and concern. I had watched my grandparents lose their daughter (my aunt) to cancer, I wasn't about to put my own parents through that if I could help it. But my misery was so extreme that most days I actually just felt numb, which I guess was a copping mechanism.

I am passed that part of my life but it took me years to get back on my feet and it was a slow process. I did not get medication for my depression, I think because I was just so overwhelmed and so lost, I didn't know what to do. But I often wonder if I had, would I have recovered faster? Would it have been easier? Maybe it would have, maybe not. I don't have chronic depression, I don't have an "illness" that will effect me the rest of my life. But I realize now that I needed HELP back then and why shouldn't I have received all the help I could get, including but not limited to medication? This isn't something that I could just "cheer myself up" by shopping or whatever.

I believe that if you're experiencing something that is regularly effecting your ability to function in everyday life then you should get help and if your doctor or therapist recommends medication as a part of that help, there is NOTHING wrong with trying all options available to you. If you've never experienced anything like this, I'm not sure you can understand and if you can't understand then please, don't judge.

Last edited by History Chick; January 18th, 2013 at 05:40 AM.
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Old January 18th, 2013, 06:55 AM   #5

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Quote:
Originally Posted by History Chick View Post
I don't think we're talking about having a bad day at work. I went through a period of my life where I was seriously depressed. I was fresh out of high school, which had been difficult for me - I almost didn't graduate and I was having panic attacks some mornings before school. I thought graduating would be the end of all that but it only got worse. A member of my family died and then another member of my family was fatally diagnosed. University felt like a continuation of high school so I dropped out. I didn't have a job and didn't have the confidence to get one. My boyfriend dropped off the face of the planet right when I needed him the most. There's more that I won't go into but suffice to say I'd hit the bottle of the barrel. I was sleeping most of the day because I wished I could just fall asleep and never wake up. I hardly ate anything and dropped down to 82lbs (which, even at only 5ft tall, is ridiculously underweight). I contemplated suicide but never made any attempts - honestly, the only thing that kept me from it was my parents and their constant love and concern. I had watched my grandparents lose their daughter (my aunt) to cancer, I wasn't about to put my own parents through that if I could help it. But my misery was so extreme that most days I actually just felt numb, which I guess was a copping mechanism.

I am passed that part of my life but it took me years to get back on my feet and it was a slow process. I did not get medication for my depression, I think because I was just so overwhelmed and so lost, I didn't know what to do. But I often wonder if I had, would I have recovered faster? Would it have been easier? Maybe it would have, maybe not. I don't have chronic depression, I don't have an "illness" that will effect me the rest of my life. But I realize now that I needed HELP back then and why shouldn't I have received all the help I could get, including but not limited to medication? This isn't something that I could just "cheer myself up" by shopping or whatever.

I believe that if you're experiencing something that is regularly effecting your ability to function in everyday life then you should get help and if your doctor or therapist recommends medication as a part of that help, there is NOTHING wrong with trying all options available to you. If you've never experienced anything like this, I'm not sure you can understand and if you can't understand then please, don't judge.
Did you read the article in the OP?

I have been through something similar, so I think I am in a position to comment on it.
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Old January 18th, 2013, 07:21 AM   #6

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A broken leg is not an illness, it's an effect of an external cause [external with reference to the leg, not to the person: someone can be mindless or simply enough stupid, or more simply ... unlucky ... to break a leg].

The leg is sane, but broken. And it generates pain.

Mind suffering can be caused by our own behaviors and attitudes, but they are not "illness" of the neural network of the brain. Neurons are sane, but the brain is in an dysfunction condition and this generates suffering.

In psychology there is a wide tradition of therapy [cognitive and behavioral] to solve [or at least to make the patient get better] similar situations of suffering.

A comparison with a computer can help:

a illness is when the hardware of the computer presents a failure or a malfunctioning. A dysfunctional thought is when in the running software there is a bug, or when during a multitasking section of work too many running programs make the memory "suffer" or the CPU generates odd results [this may carry the computer to show "odd" behaviors]. But the computer is "sane", it's the kind of usage to generate "dysfunctional thoughts" [in this case the result of several heavy running software]. Switch the PC off and switch it on again and you will have it totally "sane" again.
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Old January 18th, 2013, 08:04 AM   #7

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What's your point? It is not currently possible to switch the human brain off and back on again, certainly not with any degree of reliability.
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Old January 18th, 2013, 08:07 AM   #8

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I totally agree.

Too many people have "ADD" or "autism" because they did a quick google search and discovered the worst possible answer. How you can easily tell is if they tell you within the first new minutes of talking to you.

"By the way, I have ADD."

Sure you do, buddy. Tell me your weaknesses instead of your strengths. Any sane person would do that.

Some people do it for attention others to blame something else but themselves. It doesn't help the pill industry supports everyone being diagnosed with something so they can sell more. Either way, it annoys the hell out of me when people hide behind these self-diagnosed illnesses to cover their own faults and/or stupidity.
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Old January 18th, 2013, 08:16 AM   #9

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I had someone work for me who claimed he had Aspergers. That was his excuse for being an a** to people, as far as I'm concerned. Some people ARE just anti-social, and slapping a label of an ASD on it just gives an excuse to do nothing about the behaviour.

Both of my siblings are autistic, and genuine autism can cause real problems.

It annoys me when court cases (such as in the case of Garry McKinnon) use Aspergers as a defence. Aspergers doesn't mean you can't distinguish right from wrong, and doesn't mean you don't know when you're breaking the law.
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Old January 18th, 2013, 08:18 AM   #10

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there is a growing trend to give people a mental illness diagnosis. bi-polar or borderline personality seem to be the most popular along with ADD. and of course there is a pill to fix it. idk if the doctors are getting incentives from drug reps but i have heard that is true.
SSRI's are prescribed for all kinds of things, not just depression. i think the drug reps really play down the side effects and doctors think they are safe. for the most part they are but they can trigger psychotic episodes in some, especially in teenagers. doctors know this but prescribe them for kids all the time.

i have taken care of the real mentally ill for most of my life and there is a big difference between them and someone who is feeling blue or going thru some other emotion that we all feel sometimes.
i think it's easier for a doctor to just give you a script and send you on your way rather than really talking to their patient to see what is causing the problem. idk what the solution to the problem is but people need to do their research before taking any drug.
find out the side effects, because your doctor may not even know what they are and then decide if they really want to take that drug. don't just blindly do whatever your doctor says because they make mistakes too..
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