SomehowGeekyPolyglot wrote:Just would like to ask if you are doing _yourself_ a favor when writing about that I possibly would have a mental illness. Because you mentioned that you experienced something similar to what I experienced, too.
Personally I think the current definition of mental illness is just fine, mainly because not being able to fit in creates suffering for a lot of people for a lot of different reasons. My own inability to fit in is definitely largely caused by my social anxiety, depression, etc. and as a "legacy" of delusions that, even though they're in the past, I haven't come to accept 100% as delusions. For people who don't experience any suffering at all as a result of their mental health-related differences, it may be wrong to call it "mental illness", but AFAIK there's always some
suffering caused directly or indirectly by the differences.
That doesn't mean everything that causes people to be unable to fit in is mental illness, obviously, since there are physical illnesses and whatnot as well and cultural differences that lead to discrimination and whatnot, but if the main difference is in the way people perceive the world or think... well, it's officially labelled mental illness and that makes sense to me.
Like, it's kinda personal to me because if my own problems weren't considered "mental illness" and were embraced by society as just "a way of being different" or something, I'd almost certainly be dead already. I mean, if I couldn't have gotten officially declared "unable to work" because of my mental health problems, I'd have found a way to kill myself no matter how hard it would've been (even if I still kind of believe I'm physically unable to kill myself), because I wouldn't
be able to work or socialise with people normally in any case. So, I believe the only reason (or at least one of the few reasons) I'm still alive is that I live in a society that recognises certain differences from the norm as mental illness; as recently as my parents' youth, attitudes were much harsher and people were less understanding, and depression for example was kind of considered a part of Finnish culture, and suicide rates were like ten times higher than they are now.
Naturally some Finns have nostalgia for times when everyone was killing themselves, since it feels like yet another part of our culture gone as a result of westernisation, but... like... if recognising mental illness counts as westernisation, then the entire world should be westernised. Russia and Kazakhstan for example still have some of the highest suicide rates in the world because they haven't been "westernised" in this regard, even if they have in some other ways. Just like Finland until mental health came to be taken seriously, and presumably the entire world. Mental health is
a serious issue, and that includes accepting that some people will never be mentally healthy and/or "normal" and that it is a problem
for them(/us), not merely something like rebelliousness against social norms or whatever as it used to be seen and is still seen as too often.
Maybe I'm being overly melodramatic or whatever, maybe society could function perfectly without the concept of mental illness... arguably a lot of societies throughout history did function just fine even though they didn't have a concept of mental illness, but every society ever has
had a concept of what's "normal" and what isn't and what's "acceptable" and what isn't. They've often been seen as one and the same, and personally I consider it a positive change that nowadays it's no longer as strict as that.
Still, mental illness is stigmatised for a reason; there are many mental illnesses that have been proven to increase people's likelihood to engage in violent behaviour (either towards others or themselves). Misconceptions like "all mentally ill people are violent" are harmful and should be reduced through better education (as has already been done in much of the western world), but it shouldn't be replaced with lies like "mentally ill people are just like mentally healthy people" because that'd only create more suffering for mentally ill people since it'd make the entire concept obsolete once again.
SomehowGeekyPolyglot wrote:What if those with neurodiversity were the majority, would they/we call those with "neurotypicalness" mentally ill just because of differing from the majority?
A lot of people whose identity revolves around a specific exclusive religious community often do just that, calling the majority "insane" or other such things while thinking of themselves as the "normal" ones, while their own beliefs would often qualify as delusional and unacceptable by current standards in the societies they live in.
For example: not long ago I was chatting with some American Christian dude who thought that in the near future (when people "return to God's light") it would be not only acceptable but necessary
for Christians to kill homosexuals. That used to be the majority view around the world among Christians, and still is among some (mostly small radical sects but also apparently the majority in certain countries, like Uganda), but I'm pretty sure it's diagnosable as some kind of mental illness to think that an invisible dude in the sky wants you to wait for his signal to start killing gays.
And no, I'm not saying the people who say that kind of stuff are likely to ever start actually killing gays. I know they're statistically not likely to do that, and that belief in God or whatever isn't considered a mental illness by itself (even if for some people it is a symptom of a mental illness; I may fit into that group of people), nor is it right to declare all people who believe that gays should be killed as mentally ill because it'd diminish their responsibility for their medieval views, which they may have for any number of reasons ranging from plain ignorance to pure hatred... but that's one of the reasons why it's good that there are experts who diagnose mental illnesses and assess the risks involved on a case-by-case basis, rather than it being up to the masses to just go on witch hunts.
More importantly, there is no unifying trait that is shared by all mentally ill (or "neurodiverse" or whatever) people. What that means is that it is theoretically possible to define a universal human "normal", even if it's not practically possible or worth it because it'd only reveal that even more people are "abnormal" in some way than was previously thought. That's already happening in Finland to some extent, as in things that are just individual variation being suddenly categorised as symptoms of a mental illness. So, logically it'd be best to leave "normal" undefined but define every "abnormality" that causes suffering on a case-by-case basis so that people could get the best quality of help they need.
SomehowGeekyPolyglot wrote:To me, it is simply another way of being.
Sure, but that's what some psychopathic serial killers think think too. The differences between the different "ways of being" are important. If all mentally ill (or "neurodiverse" or whatever) people were lumped together under one category of "neurodiverse" or whatever instead of individual diagnoses based on what the differences from the "norm" are, that could be disastrous for those of us that are not psychopathic serial killers because society could well start associating us with them... just like it used to be in the past, I guess.
SomehowGeekyPolyglot wrote:And by the way, the diagnosis of my neurodiversity (made by a doctor who is an expert in neurology) also does state in a clear, direct and non-ambiguous verbatim way: there is no illness that would even reduce intelligence.
Nobody questioned your intelligence AFAICT. Intelligence is a whole another issue altogether and has no relation to mental health. You know, like, how some of the most ruthless tyrants in history were likely also some of the most intelligent people in history, or at least master manipulators, which demonstrates practical intellect rather than some abstract number like IQ and would today be likely diagnosed as something like narcissistic personality disorder or whatever.