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  1. #91
    IncGamers Member Quietus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dondrei
    Is it? Or is it just not socially acceptable? What about wanting to murder people who have wronged you? How much do they have to wrong you before your desire to kill them becomes unreasonable? I don't think it's that simple.
    That's getting into semantics, Dondrei, and I think you know it.

    And that still doesn't answer my above mention of the serotonin level problem my ex had. Do you not consider that to be a mental disorder?




  2. #92
    IncGamers Member Dondrei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anyee
    But the brain is an organ, just like a liver or lung. What happens when IT is not working the way it supposed to.
    How do you know it isn't working the way it is supposed to? A heart pumps blood, a lung circulates air, but what does the brain do? It's immensely complicated. What part of the brain makes a mentally ill person think he's a stalk of asparagus? Is that a chemical imbalance? What makes a belief ill or well anyway? Lots of people believe pretty ridiculous things. Are they mentally ill?

    Quote Originally Posted by Anyee
    You've been reading Szaz, haven't you? It's a pretty theory, that there is no distinction between sane and insane. Chat up a few people with mental illnesses and you might come away with a different opinion. I find that those who disbelieve the reality of mental illnesses have never lived with or cared for someone who had one.
    I don't know who that is, I came to this conclusion all on my own. I've known people with mental illnesses - even violent ones (my father for one), but I still don't see a reason to believe that just because a person thinks or acts in a way that is bizarre or socially unacceptable that they have an "illness" that can be "treated". Is a manic depressive really "ill" in some indefinable way or is that just their personality? Your personality doesn't have to make sense or be "normal". Are we "curing" them when we put them on medication, or just causing a chemical imbalance in their brain to control their natural state of being, like a chemical lobotomy?

    I'm not saying that mentally ill people shouldn't be medicated, or that just because it isn't an illness that it's acceptable - serial killers for instance may not be "ill" to my mind (in fact some serial killers aren't even considered mentally ill by professionals, they're just arseholes who like killing) but that doesn't mean I think they should be allowed to roam the streets. All I'm doing is challenging the simplistic classification of certain ways of thinking and acting as an "illness".




  3. #93
    IncGamers Member Dondrei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by quietus
    That's getting into semantics, Dondrei, and I think you know it.
    I don't think it's semantics. "Illness" gives the impression that we're talking about an unnatural, deviant state of being that can be "cured" and carries strong medical overtones, and I think that's misleading and very much out of context when talking about the mind rather than the body.

    Quote Originally Posted by quietus
    And that still doesn't answer my above mention of the serotonin level problem my ex had. Do you not consider that to be a mental disorder?
    Hey, be patient. I only have two hands.

    Quote Originally Posted by quietus
    To put this in another light...

    My ex had two or three things classified as mental illnesses. One in particular, she had been diagnosed as manic depressive. As best I can understand, this was caused by an inbalance in the serotonin levels her brain produced - sometimes too much, and she'd be extremely happy and jumpy, or sometimes too little, which is presumably when she would cut.

    Manic depressiveness is considered a mental illness. There is a physiological reason behind it. I wouldn't necessarily classify her as insane, but I would classify her mentally ill. Is this not the case?
    Well, did she always have this "imbalance" in her seratonin levels? In which case, isn't that actually her natural state of being and the altered seratonin levels under medication are the artificial state? She has to keep taking medication forever to remain mentally "well", right? When they say "imbalance", don't they actually mean she has more seratonin than a "normal" person? We call one particular set of brain chemical levels "normal" and another "mentally ill", but what does that mean? I imagine my brain chemicals are different from yours. It's not like there's a little LED inside your brain that goes green if you're mentally "healthy" and red if you're mentally "ill".

    Your brain isn't designed to make a fully functional, socially adapted human being, that's an oversimplification. It's not an organ with a simple task like a muscle or a liver.




  4. #94
    IncGamers Member buttershug's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dondrei
    Well, did she always have this "imbalance" in her seratonin levels? In which case, isn't that actually her natural state of being and the altered seratonin levels under medication are the artificial state? She has to keep taking medication forever to remain mentally "well", right? When they say "imbalance", don't they actually mean she has more seratonin than a "normal" person? We call one particular set of brain chemical levels "normal" and another "mentally ill", but what does that mean? I imagine my brain chemicals are different from yours. It's not like there's a little LED inside your brain that goes green if you're mentally "healthy" and red if you're mentally "ill".

    Your brain isn't designed to make a fully functional, socially adapted human being, that's an oversimplification. It's not an organ with a simple task like a muscle or a liver.
    What about physical problems that are analogous? What about people who have levels of a chemical that are different from most people and cause disabilities?
    For lack of a better example, what about when my uric acid levels go way up and my big toe starts to practically glow? And I only know it when it reaches a certain level.Is that an illness? I think most people would say so. I know uric acid levels is a simple situation. But not everything about the brain is complicated. For ex, when you drink you get drunk. That is an artificcally induced imbalance, but who says that imbalances can't occur naturally.
    Mental illness may not always be the answer but it is also not always not the answer.

    You are not saying that the brain does not influence the brain are you?

    Oh and "It's not an organ with a simple task like a muscle or a liver"? hmm too bad the good doctor to be hasn't chimed in for a few days. AFAIk it's the second most complex organ and not at all simple.



    I think I'm going to look for my copy of Why Intelligent People Believe Stupid Things. I know I have it aroudn somewhere. I wish I had bought; The Man Who mistook His Wife For a Hat.




  5. #95
    IncGamers Member Quietus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dondrei
    I don't think it's semantics. "Illness" gives the impression that we're talking about an unnatural, deviant state of being that can be "cured" and carries strong medical overtones, and I think that's misleading and very much out of context when talking about the mind rather than the body.



    Hey, be patient. I only have two hands.



    Well, did she always have this "imbalance" in her seratonin levels? In which case, isn't that actually her natural state of being and the altered seratonin levels under medication are the artificial state? She has to keep taking medication forever to remain mentally "well", right? When they say "imbalance", don't they actually mean she has more seratonin than a "normal" person? We call one particular set of brain chemical levels "normal" and another "mentally ill", but what does that mean? I imagine my brain chemicals are different from yours. It's not like there's a little LED inside your brain that goes green if you're mentally "healthy" and red if you're mentally "ill".

    Your brain isn't designed to make a fully functional, socially adapted human being, that's an oversimplification. It's not an organ with a simple task like a muscle or a liver.

    An interesting view, and yes, it was something she was born with to my knowledge. I don't know precisely how it works, I got the impression that it swings from high above what most people have, to far below, assumedly based on outside stimulus.

    However, it got so bad that without medication she was unable to function for any length of time in normal society. One moment she'd be jumping up and down, squealing like a little girl, then someone would tell her to stop acting silly, and she'd get depressed and not want to talk to anyone. With the snap of my fingers, she would go from one end to the other, it was ... difficult. Are you going to say that nature made her that way, that nature intended for her to be entirely incapable of reasonable human interaction? To me, that constitutes an illness. She was able to correct the imbalance by taking medication, and once she was producing a normal amount of serotonin, was entirely capable of functioning as any human being would.




  6. #96
    IncGamers Member Dondrei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by quietus
    An interesting view, and yes, it was something she was born with to my knowledge. I don't know precisely how it works, I got the impression that it swings from high above what most people have, to far below, assumedly based on outside stimulus.

    However, it got so bad that without medication she was unable to function for any length of time in normal society. One moment she'd be jumping up and down, squealing like a little girl, then someone would tell her to stop acting silly, and she'd get depressed and not want to talk to anyone. With the snap of my fingers, she would go from one end to the other, it was ... difficult. Are you going to say that nature made her that way, that nature intended for her to be entirely incapable of reasonable human interaction? To me, that constitutes an illness. She was able to correct the imbalance by taking medication, and once she was producing a normal amount of serotonin, was entirely capable of functioning as any human being would.
    Well, I'm not saying it's a good thing, but is it an "illness"? Nature didn't "intend" anything, we are the way we are because of a complicated series of evolutionary steps which occur due to selective pressures (which in a sense are random), we weren't engineered for a purpose with an ideal organism in mind. We are what we are. To characterise one person who isn't "normal" as ill I think betrays a misconception that people are "supposed" to think and act a certain way. Socially normative doesn't equal biologically "healthy", that's my whole point.




  7. #97
    IncGamers Member Dondrei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by buttershug
    What about physical problems that are analogous? What about people who have levels of a chemical that are different from most people and cause disabilities?
    For lack of a better example, what about when my uric acid levels go way up and my big toe starts to practically glow? And I only know it when it reaches a certain level.Is that an illness? I think most people would say so. I know uric acid levels is a simple situation.
    I think that's indeed too simple to be analogous.

    Quote Originally Posted by buttershug
    But not everything about the brain is complicated. For ex, when you drink you get drunk. That is an artificcally induced imbalance, but who says that imbalances can't occur naturally.
    So abnormal brain chemical levels (in this case "abnormal" even makes sense because it is measured against chemical levels before alcohol ingestation) do not necessarily imply mental illness. I don't see the relevance.

    Quote Originally Posted by buttershug
    Mental illness may not always be the answer but it is also not always not the answer.
    Possibly. We don't understand the interaction between the mind and brain, and may never. But I think the terminology used forces us to think about the mind in an undeservedly simple way.

    Quote Originally Posted by buttershug
    You are not saying that the brain does not influence the brain are you?
    You've lost me.

    Quote Originally Posted by buttershug
    Oh and "It's not an organ with a simple task like a muscle or a liver"? hmm too bad the good doctor to be hasn't chimed in for a few days. AFAIk it's the second most complex organ and not at all simple.
    Depends on your definition of complexity, I suppose. What exactly does the brain do? It controls hormone levels and makes your body move and so on, sure. But it's also the seat of your thoughts, emotions and will. Don't tell me that's not different from any other part of the body.

    Quote Originally Posted by buttershug
    I think I'm going to look for my copy of Why Intelligent People Believe Stupid Things. I know I have it aroudn somewhere. I wish I had bought; The Man Who mistook His Wife For a Hat.
    If you say so.




  8. #98
    IncGamers Member Quietus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dondrei
    Well, I'm not saying it's a good thing, but is it an "illness"? Nature didn't "intend" anything, we are the way we are because of a complicated series of evolutionary steps which occur due to selective pressures (which in a sense are random), we weren't engineered for a purpose with an ideal organism in mind. We are what we are. To characterise one person who isn't "normal" as ill I think betrays a misconception that people are "supposed" to think and act a certain way. Socially normative doesn't equal biologically "healthy", that's my whole point.

    Hm. According to dictionary.com, nearly every definition of illness involves an 'unhealthy condition' or a 'disease' of the 'body or mind'.

    Here's the only one that doesn't list that :

    Quote Originally Posted by Dictionary.com
    illness

    n : impairment of normal physiological function affecting part or all of an organism
    I'd say, all things considered, that an imbalance of serotonin levels constitutes an impairment of normal physiological function, assuming that we understand 'normal' as being the majority of humans in this case. And, as described above, it does indeed affect her - she can't function properly so long as this problem exists.




  9. #99
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    Finally, an argument topic that is about what I do for a living...and I just don't care enough to counter opinions with fact. I am betting that anything I say will be shot back in the name of subjectivity, anyway. Nature does operate on the law of averages; you're just quibbling about where to set the standard deviations. By your logic, everything is permissable, and nothing is out of the ordinary. Do you have any absolutes?

    It does disappoint me that you're trying to pretend that the mind is something other than the brain. The two are one and the same; a few hundred years of neuropathology will win over Szazian psychology any day. Or do you believe in the soul, in which point we're no longer talking biology...




  10. #100
    IncGamers Member Dondrei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anyee
    Finally, an argument topic that is about what I do for a living...and I just don't care enough to counter opinions with fact. I am betting that anything I say will be shot back in the name of subjectivity, anyway.
    Not at all. I don't think I've taken such a cheap position so far.

    Quote Originally Posted by Anyee
    Nature does operate on the law of averages; you're just quibbling about where to set the standard deviations.
    I don't understand this comment. Can you make it less abstract?

    Quote Originally Posted by Anyee
    By your logic, everything is permissable, and nothing is out of the ordinary.
    I haven't said that in this thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by Anyee
    Do you have any absolutes?
    That is argument-dependant. As a mathematician I state my axioms before I use them, or else they don't exist. In this argument for instance I'm trying to illustrate that the terminology of medicine applied to psychology ("mental illness" in particular) creates false impressions. As such I'm taking on board the usual scientific axioms - all physical phenomena must have a physical explanation. For the purposes of the argument I'll also assume that people's mental state constitutes a physical phenomena. Satisfied?

    Quote Originally Posted by Anyee
    It does disappoint me that you're trying to pretend that the mind is something other than the brain. The two are one and the same; a few hundred years of neuropathology will win over Szazian psychology any day. Or do you believe in the soul, in which point we're no longer talking biology...
    I still don't know who Szaz is.

    But until we understand the operation of the brain an awful lot better than we do now - and in particular how the brain determines human consciousness - it still makes perfect sense to distinguish between the mind and the brain. No-one can tell me why I think or feel the way I do by looking at my brain, so we're still a long way from being able to reconcile the two.

    Note by distinguishing the two I am not precluding that they are identical. It is merely convenient to do so. Although really I think my argument holds irrelevant of this point.




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