Posted by mindevolution on January 16, 2007, at 3:56:12
In reply to Does Mental Illness Exist? Feedback Requested!, posted by pullmarine on October 29, 2000, at 21:18:59
well interesting question, and although I have read the "it doesn't exist perspective", it is difficult when a person presents saying that the voices are stopping them from working and enjoying themselves to deny they are not suffering from some sort of affliction. likewise it is difficult to believe the diagnosis of a temperamental teenager as psychotic/schizophrenic when they are just going through an antiauthoritarian stage, or maybe just doesn't get on with his/her parents, indeed nobody gets on with everybody, and one can't choose one's parents. finally anyone who has had a nervous breakdown due to series of stressful events such as a partner dying or losing a job suffers greatly from their predicament.
so I propose that it may well exist in three forms, 1. as yet undiagnosible biological diseases e.g. in the early 1900s encephalitus lethargica produced symptoms that was diagnosed as schizophrenia until the virus causing it was identified, 2. illnes from a psychological cause, 3. illness from drug abuse be it illegal or prescription.
however once you apply the concept of mental illness within the context of society, the establishment, the medical fraternity, government, and the law the question takes on a whole new dimension. which is why some people prefer, taking into account the operation of these competeting perspectives power and influence, to deny the existence of it in the first place. although i myself find it limiting to deny not the illnesses which are invented by psychiatrist and voted on every year, but the suffering of an individual, not to be confused with diagnosing suffering in an individual for alterior reasons.