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On Being Sane in Insane Places

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posted on May, 30 2018 @ 08:45 AM
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On Being Sane in Insane Places

I was going to include this in a thread I’m working on currently, but it kind of deserves one of its own. As most of my friends on here can attest to, I hate the use of labels for people. Always have. They kind of box a person in to a certain “way” you have to be once one is put on you. Eventually you start to believe you are what others label you and you stop exploring other avenues or ways of being and start to conform to that label.

For me, humans aren’t so easily defined. We grow and change every single day. Constantly learning and redefining who we are as individuals. We are way more complex than a one-word adjective. And I truly believe that the only label a person should carry is their name. It is the only one that grows and changes as you do. The only one that can describe you accurately on a day to day basis. Labels are for things…not people. That is, of course, only my personal opinion. Yours may vary and that is ok. But I wanted to explain myself and my reasoning a bit for posting.

So, the thread I’m working on isn’t about labels. But some of the research I’m doing for it led me to this writing and it seemed like a perfect way to explain why I feel the way I do. It actually goes a bit into detail about what happened at a mental institute when a group of perfectly normal individuals did an experiment and purposely got admitted to a few hospitals for psychological care. They never changed their normal habits and the only thing they did was use some key words to get admitted. The rest of their time there was spent…acting normal.

Keep in mind that these people weren’t just anyone. The group included a few psychologists, one being the doctor who wrote the paper himself. All were of sound mind and had no mental or physical abnormalities. They were all admitted to different hospitals that ranged from private to state run facilities.

The eight pseudopatients were a varied group. One was a psychology graduate student in his 20’s. The remaining seven were older and “established.” Among them were three psychologists, a pediatrician, a psychiatrist, a painter, and a housewife. Three pseudopatients were women, five were men. All of them employed pseudonyms, lest their alleged diagnoses embarrass them later. Those who were in mental health professions alleged another occupation in order to avoid the special attentions that might be accorded by staff, as a matter of courtesy or caution, to ailing colleagues.[2] With the exception myself (I was the first pseudopatient and my presence was known to the hospital administration and chief psychologist and, so far as I can tell, to them alone), the presence of pseudopatients and the nature of the research program was not known to the hospital staffs.[3]


The premise of the experiment? To see that if people were admitted into the psychiatric hospital, if the doctors would be able to distinguish a sane person from an insane one. How would we know the difference? The study itself is called On Being Sane in Insane Places. It is an older one, so, this is not new science. But it still is very interesting and I think is still fitting in today's world (the findings). Conducted by David Rosenhan in 1973, many/most of you might be familiar with it or read it before.

The conclusion is that there was no way (for a number of reasons) for someone to recognize a sane person from an insane person once they were labeled or admitted into the hospital:

Despite their public “show” of sanity, the pseudopatients were never detected. Admitted, except in one case, with a diagnosis of schizophrenia,[4] each was discharged with a diagnosis of schizophrenia “in remission.” The label “in remission” should in no way be dismissed as a formality, for at no time during any hospitalization had any question been raised about any pseudopatient’s simulation. Nor are there any indications in the hospital records that the pseudopatient’s status was suspect. Rather, the evidence is strong that, once labeled schizophrenic, the pseudopatient was stuck with that label. If the pseudopatient was to be discharged, he must naturally be “in remission”; but he was not sane, nor, in the institution’s view, had he ever been sane.

The uniform failure to recognize sanity cannot be attributed to the quality of the hospitals, for, although there were considerable variations among them, several are considered excellent. Nor can it be alleged that there was simply not enough time to observe the pseudopatients. Length of hospitalization ranged from 7 to 52 days, with an average of 19 days. The pseudopatients were not, in fact, carefully observed, but this failure speaks more to traditions within psychiatric hospitals than to lack of opportunity.

Finally, it cannot be said that the failure to recognize the pseudopatients' sanity was due to the fact that they were not behaving sanely. While there was clearly some tension present in all of them, their daily visitors could detect no serious behavioral consequences—nor, indeed, could other patients. It was quite common for the patients to “detect” the pseudopatient’s sanity. During the first three hospitalizations, when accurate counts were kept, 35 of a total of 118 patients on the admissions ward voiced their suspicions, some vigorously. “You’re not crazy. You’re a journalist, or a professor (referring to the continual note-taking). You’re checking up on the hospital.” While most of the patients were reassured by the pseudopatient’s insistence that he had been sick before he came in but was fine now, some continued to believe that the pseudopatient was sane throughout his hospitalization. The fact that the patients often recognized normality when staff did not raises important questions.


Continued...


edit on 30-5-2018 by blend57 because: Always an edit : /




posted on May, 30 2018 @ 08:45 AM
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The fact that the “insane” patients recognized that the pseudo-patient was sane instead of the doctors was interesting for me. But that could be attributed to time spent with one another. The doctors and care givers spending less time with each patient than the patients did with each other. Or, I guess maybe the patients just recognized insanity themselves and knew that each pseudo-patient wasn’t. Or, that patients hadn’t pre-labeled the pseudo-patients. They didn’t have any preconceived notions regarding the fake patient one way or another and so they could recognize normal from abnormal easier than the staff that already had preassigned a label to each one of them.

There are a few other points that are worthy of mention/quoting. The fact that the doctor’s notes took very normal activities and transcribed them to fit the diagnoses instead of just writing them normally was interesting. We see that they tried to fit the history of the patient to the disorder instead of actually taking the information given at face value. Similar to fitting a square peg in a round hole. If it didn’t fit the diagnosis, they changed it so it would:


As far as I can determine, diagnoses were in no way affected by the relative health of the circumstances of a pseudopatient’s life. Rather, the reverse occurred: the perception of his circumstances was shaped entirely by the diagnosis. A clear example of such translation is found in the case of a pseudopatient who had had a close relationship with his mother but was rather remote from his father during his early childhood. During adolescence and beyond, however, his father became a close friend, while his relationship with his mother cooled. His present relationship with his wife was characteristically close and warm. Apart from occasional angry exchanges, friction was minimal. The children had rarely been spanked. Surely there is nothing especially pathological about such a history. Indeed, many readers may see a similar pattern in their own experiences, with no markedly deleterious consequences. Observe, however, how such a history was translated in the psychopathological context, this from the case summary prepared after the patient was discharged.

“This white 39-year-old male . . . manifests a long history of considerable ambivalence in close relationships, which begins in early childhood. A warm relationship with his mother cools during his adolescence. A distant relationship with his father is described as becoming very intense. Affective stability is absent. His attempts to control emotionality with his wife and children are punctuated by angry outbursts and, in the case of the children, spankings. And while he says that he has several good friends, one senses considerable ambivalence embedded in those relationships also . . .”

The facts of the case were unintentionally distorted by the staff to achieve consistency with a popular theory of the dynamics of a schizophrenic reaction. Nothing of an ambivalent nature had been described in relations with parents, spouse, or friends. To the extent that ambivalence could be inferred, it was probably not greater than is found in all human’s relationships. It is true the pseudopatient’s relationships with his parents changed over time, but in the ordinary context that would hardly be remarkable – indeed, it might very well be expected. Clearly, the meaning ascribed to his verbalizations (that is, ambivalence, affective instability) was determined by the diagnosis: schizophrenia. An entirely different meaning would have been ascribed if it were known that the man was “normal.”

And finally, the last area that I wanted to point out was that, under certain social conditions or environments, anyone can seem insane, even if they are sane in different settings/environments. That maybe where we are affects who we are and how we are accepted/viewed in the world.


Whenever the ratio of what is known to what needs to be known approaches zero, we tend to invent “knowledge” and assume that we understand more than we actually do. We seem unable to acknowledge that we simply don’t know. The needs for diagnosis and remediation of behavioral and emotional problems are enormous. But rather than acknowledge that we are just embarking on understanding, we continue to label patients “schizophrenic,” “manic-depressive,” and “insane,” as if in those words we captured the essence of understanding. The facts of the matter are that we have known for a long time that diagnoses are often not useful or reliable, but we have nevertheless continued to use them. We now know that we cannot distinguish sanity from insanity. It is depressing to consider how that information will be used.

Not merely depressing, but frightening. How many people, one wonders, are sane but not recognized as such in our psychiatric institutions? How many have been needlessly stripped of their privileges of citizenship, from the right to vote and drive to that of handling their own accounts? How many have feigned insanity in order to avoid the criminal consequences of their behavior, and, conversely, how many would rather stand trial than live interminably in a psychiatric hospital – but are wrongly thought to be mentally ill? How many have been stigmatized by well-intentioned, but nevertheless erroneous, diagnoses? On the last point, recall again that a “Type 2 error” in psychiatric diagnosis does not have the same consequences it does in medical diagnosis. A diagnosis of cancer that has been found to be in error is cause for celebration. But psychiatric diagnoses are rarely found to be in error. The label sticks, a mark of inadequacy forever.


Continued...

edit on 30-5-2018 by blend57 because: Always an edit : /



posted on May, 30 2018 @ 08:45 AM
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Finally, how many patients might be “sane” outside the psychiatric hospital but seem insane in it – not because craziness resides in them, as it were, but because they are responding to a bizarre setting, one that may be unique to institutions which harbor nether people? Goffman [8] calls the process of socialization to such institutions “mortification” – an apt metaphor that includes the processes of depersonalization that have been described here. And while it is impossible to know whether the pseudopatients’ responses to these processes are characteristic of all inmates – they were, after all, not real patients – it is difficult to believe that these processes of socialization to a psychiatric hospital provide useful attitudes or habits of response for living in the “real world.”

Of course, these are only a tiny part of the findings. In order to understand the full scope of what’s being said you would have to read the whole thing. And, for me, it was worth the read. But, overall, my interpretation of what it is saying is that there is a fine line between sane and insane and once the label is given there is really no way to distinguish between the two.

And the label sticks. Once you are labeled as insane, you have that stigma with you all your life. You start to believe it yourself after a time. And, as is stated in the paper, you start to attune your personality to those behaviors, instead of being who you are normally. You become what you are labeled.

So then, how do we determine what is sane and what is insanity? How would you know which is which? A serial killer often isn’t thought or known as an insane person until he is captured. He lives a normal life, most of the time his neighbors say they had no idea and thought he was a great guy. Some would argue that he isn’t insane at all, yet we allow them to plead insanity in the court system.

And what of labels? Do they really matter as much as I think they do when we use them on people? Can they cause someone to become the very thing they have been labeled? A strong person might not be affected, but what if you were labeled something from childhood and that is what you knew all your life? Would that cause you to become what the label says you are or would you still become your own person?

Anyhow, just wanted to throw this up for anyone interested. It was a quick thread so I apologize for any grammar errors and the sloppy format.

As always, I hope you found something of value within it though and thanks for reading it through!

blend

edit on 30-5-2018 by blend57 because: Always an edit : /



posted on May, 30 2018 @ 09:46 AM
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a reply to: blend57

Sources for your quoted info? I can't see where you did as required?



posted on May, 30 2018 @ 09:53 AM
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posted on May, 30 2018 @ 10:52 AM
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a reply to: blend57

I've always wondered if "insane" people were really the ones that knew things. Maybe we are all crazy and they are the ones that can see through all the crap. I do believe that crazy rubs off on people over time too.



posted on May, 30 2018 @ 11:18 AM
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a reply to: JAGStorm

Nope. My ex wife was bat sh!t crazy. Nothing she said was sane.

"Pigeons have microphones attached to their necks so they can record everything that we say"

Yeah.
edit on 30-5-2018 by galaga because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 30 2018 @ 11:23 AM
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I kind of like being a little nuts. Out of the box nuts, not believing what predominant people with degrees say till I research the evidence myself to see if their interpretation they are using is correct. I think that qualifies as Skitzo.

But, most of the people I know that are in psychology are a little weird themselves. I suppose it takes one to know one. When you believe you are normal when you are not then that means you have a mental illness. When you accept you have one, you are in remission. I always knew I was a little nuts, so evidently I am not crazy because I know I am a little nuts.

Now that sounds very weird, but that is how it is evaluated. Everyone is nuts about something, what fun would life be if you were not nuts about anything. I am super fussy, OCD about my work and my interpretations of evidence. Most people I personally know know that. Most times I try not to get BSed into wrong beliefs but sometimes things accepted by society are completely BS, I have now corrected some of my beliefs on these. So now since I do not believe as consensus of the time in society believes, I am now considered abnormal even though the beliefs of society are wrong or misapplied or ill conceived. We live in a fad society run by people who profit by us, teachers are supposed to condition the young but are messing up presently. Teachers are becoming polarized.

Oh well, what the hell. I just try to make sure to stay a non threat to society and watch my tongue about some things that are not socially acceptable. So far the psychyatrists say I am not crazy, I want to keep it that way. There is not much difference between genius and crazy, you have to make sure you do not flip over the fence.



posted on May, 30 2018 @ 11:27 AM
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originally posted by: galaga
a reply to: JAGStorm

Nope. My ex wife was bat sh!t crazy. Nothing she said was sane.

"Pigeons have microphones attached to their necks so they can record everything that we say"

Yeah.


I actually thought my ex might be a demon....turns out she is just strongly bipolar and is on meds for that and her psychosis now. Hey, I didn't put her over the edge, her other three ex-husbands will back up my innocence in that, I warned two of them. She was a neat wife, she took all of her ex-husbands to the cleaners



posted on May, 30 2018 @ 11:45 AM
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originally posted by: mysterioustranger
Sources for your quoted info? I can't see where you did as required?


Blend does it very cleverly, they're the green dots at the end of the quoted portions.



posted on May, 30 2018 @ 12:20 PM
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a reply to: DAVID64

Thanks!



posted on May, 30 2018 @ 12:22 PM
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a reply to: AugustusMasonicus

I see them now! Thank you! Best.. MS



posted on May, 30 2018 @ 12:58 PM
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Very insightful thread and accurate too. A lot of psych problems are to do with the behavioural model and sometime environments with lack of empathy can create such individuals. Ego also can create a host of other psychological problems. And stuffing these people with mess is the wrong way to go about things.

Pleading sanity and not being believed makes things worse and shifts the blame from the individual to external causes when talking would achieve much better results.

I believe that psychoses can sometimes be useful and provide a paradigm shift on the individuals view of reality. Things can be seen in a different light. In reality these individuals experienceing these phenomena are drugged, labelled and judged and there is no point arguing your case.

I subscribe to the theory of positive disintegration by Dabrowski where neuroses and psychosis are useful in achieving self realisation. I realise I'm using labels here however this is what mainstream psychology has given us, these symptoms always being portrayed in a negative light.

For me psychology/psychiatry still remain in the dark ages and does not actually help individuals with whatever problems they are going through. Doing a degree in these fields (psychiatry/psychology) gives these figures a ill equipped authority on these matter, and there is no new insight being developed as to the true nature of mental illness. To some of these professionals it's just a job, a career move. It's indeed a sad state of affairs. Anyone can pass these qualifications and be a certified mental health professional, who ultimately decide the fate of their fellow man because they have a degree and a job that provides this level of authority.

A question, is evil a mental illness?



posted on May, 30 2018 @ 02:29 PM
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a reply to: blend57

Thank you for creating a thread about this study, it makes a lot of sense.

I wrote a rather edgy and contentious thread about this topic last year :
Mental Illness is a Myth

I had planned to do 3 other follow up threads over a few months but the extremely aggressive and hostile behavior exhibited by people that disagreed, and their behind the scenes begging to have my thread closed, ended up in the locking of the thread before I could share even half of my information.

People, I believe, wish to believe in these "labels" as solid realities because they use it as a crutch, an excuse for their out-of-control behaviors and bad attitudes, and a method to escape responsibility for their actions.

So they will fight very hard to maintain the mythology of these labels and will assume their absolute validity because that justifies their behavior and allows them to never bother changing it or working on personal development. It justifies their excuses that they give to everyone in daily life, whether it be to get a check from the govt for this "disability" or whether it be to excuse their bad attitudes and rude comments or unacceptable behaviors in daily life.

Please take your time to read the 9 sections of my OP in that thread, and I would like you to think it over some.
I would really like to establish some correspondence with you in relation to this topic.

Perhaps I ought to salvage my discarded follow up threads and morph them into something and post it this summer? I'll need to meditate on it awhile...



posted on May, 30 2018 @ 02:33 PM
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a reply to: blend57

Although I had let it go and forgotten about it, I am actually very disappointed and pissed about that thread getting locked - because in my view, the trolls and antagonists shut down a perfectly good discussion especially considering the high quality of my OP.

In fact this topic is the wound I need to pick more at and reopen because if people are this adamant than I simply need to fight harder and develop new strategies. I should just declare war on this BS, lol.



posted on May, 30 2018 @ 03:19 PM
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a reply to: blend57

Although I've said it like 5 times on here in exquisite detail, I'll repeat my story here for you or anyone else just in case you don't remember reading it in various threads.

3 years ago I got locked up in a mental health institute for a 30 day evaluation because my nemesis accused me publicly of about 10 labels of mental illness and cited that I was a danger (which was never true).

While I was imprisoned and trapped in that madhouse I learned a lot of things and get this - I overcame the labels.

It requires constant awareness of my situation, critical thinking, patience, perseverance, strength, will power, and a strategy.

I took all of their tests, and the psychologist told me I "cheated" on them. I asked him "why did you tell me there was no wrong answers than?", which worked.

While under observation I would do generally 5 things :
1) Talk to everyone and be friends, make myself helpful, and be myself.
2) Read nonfiction literature from their small collection (a book listing hundreds of trees and info on them, a Tennessee state history book, 2 dictionaries, a dated almanac, etc)
3) Exercise and work out (push-ups, pull-ups, jogging, throw football or other balls with someone)
4) Remain peaceful, calm, meditative, contemplative, and moderately cheerful and positive minded at all times.
5) Write down scientific information, my legal arguments, and rough drafts for good thread ideas I had. (They would probably read this stack of papers when I was asleep or eating or outside exercising).

The psychologists would try to pin diagnosis on me since I have none, which was the goal of the mandatory evaluation process which I had no ability to not participate in.

I would always give clever responses (generally in the form of good questions) in order to 'debunk' their suspicions and claims. Thankfully I learned these skills here at ATS in spades.

(Very close paraphrasing)
He would say "Well, we are concerned that you might be obsessive compulsive", and I'd respond:
"There's no such thing as obsessive compulsive, instead that is a lack of self-control and a need for discipline. I personally can be a focused and determined individual when I set my mind to a goal, but if I see any good reasons to change my mind and forget about that goal I will quickly dismiss it and move on in my life, it's simple. In reality I'm usually pretty lazy and uncommitted to anything particularly, to my own detriment even."

He'd then say "perhaps it's manic depressive due to your quickly changing emotional states? You could also be suffering from classic depression". And I of course would retort contrarily:
"Everyone should theoretically experience the power of joy and elation as well as the sorrows of sadness and disappointment. These are perfectly normal human conditions and it would seem that a healthy individual would hold a balance between those feelings and experiences, able to express them constructively and with varying degrees of dramatic display while also maintaining a margin of self-control, reservation, and common decency. We all get angry or upset, but we also need to learn how to cope with and handle those emotions effectively."

I would then ask him about himself:
"If you were trapped in here against your will like I am, and they thought you were a sociopath or similar due to your cold and seemingly callous interactions with people, do you believe they would still diagnose you as such based on limited information and the mere desire to label you without doing a proper investigation or conducting in depth interviews and medical exams? Is the goal here to help people or is it to collect more customers regardless of the truth?"

He responded "I don't believe I have any diagnosis and I believe our institution would not be inclined to wrongly diagnose me as if this were a factory collecting customers". And I of course laughed and said "Of course you have no diagnosis, but I could easily diagnose you so long as I ignored all contrary evidence and focused only on what bolstered my case and I could be creative with language and paint any picture I wanted, and you couldn't do anything because you're essentially a prisoner here."

Essentially I'd end it with really good jokes like this:
"Look if you really wanna feed me a pill to "fix me", than I require a pill that fills my bank account with tons of $$$, a pill that makes everyone be thoughtful and nice, a pill that makes everything perfect, and a pill that makes everyone love me." Of course they'd laugh and say they need those pills too!

Anyways, not only was I discharged after 30 days with NO DIAGNOSIS at all, they went above and beyond with gushing reviews. I had two panels of 12 experts each (24 total) evaluate me in this experience and every single one said awesome things about me - they said I was helpful to everyone, kindhearted and friendly, very understanding and articulate, exhibiting no signs of any hostility or mental illness, etc.

They said I was the 'model patient' and was the first person in over a decade to go through the evaluation process at their institute without being labeled with a diagnosis and that I reaffirmed that the 'system works' and bla bla bla.

I broke down and cried because I was praying every night for Mercy to help me escape this horrible situation. I was so terrified and frightened of being abused and drugged up on dangerous brain damaging chemicals (which they never gave me any psych-meds not once the entire time). I saw them gang up on other patients and tackle them and stick huge needles in them turning them into drooling zombies, they'd tie people down on tables, I saw some crazy #!!!!

I am so lucky I made it through all of that without a scratch.
It took extreme skill and calculation and patience and self-control to evade the punishments.
I had to outwit everyone at every step - even when I was alone I knew they'd occasionally watch me.
It took everything I had in me to slip through that crack and avoid having their system destroy my life, reputation, freedom, and physical health.

I fully expect that 98%+ of the population would lack the awareness or ability to escape receiving multiple diagnosis after like day 2 or 3 in there. If you cuss or get an attitude they will tackle you and inject the poisons, I saw their medical literature those sedatives are extremely dangerous to various organs and can result in brain damage, comas, allergic reactions, even death.

I got super lucky, I fully realize anyone else would probably get eaten alive because they don't realize how this system works.
edit on 5/30/2018 by muzzleflash because: (no reason given)

edit on 5/30/2018 by muzzleflash because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 30 2018 @ 08:29 PM
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I used to think I was batschitz crazy. I had my ex going into my dreams, and other assorted fun crap. 2 things happened:

a) the way people are now make *me* look so sane, I should be selling insurance and doing accounting. No- *really*.
b) the ex has been experienced by 3 other people, besides me. Damn creepy.



posted on May, 30 2018 @ 08:32 PM
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originally posted by: mysterioustranger
a reply to: blend57

Sources for your quoted info? I can't see where you did as required?

Oh, I'm soo sorry! I do use the green dots at the end of the quotes, just as Augustus said. I had just enough time to finish the thread then get to work so that is why I didn't respond right away and I appreciate those who pointed out the link. I've just been doing that for awhile because for me it looks cleaner...I never thought about the link being hard to find. Again, I apologize.

a reply to: DAVID64, a reply to: AugustusMasonicus

Thank you both for providing the link and directing mysterioustranger on how to find it. It was very nice of you to help both him and me out!!!


originally posted by: JAGStorm

I've always wondered if "insane" people were really the ones that knew things. Maybe we are all crazy and they are the ones that can see through all the crap. I do believe that crazy rubs off on people over time too.


I'm not sure if crazy rubs off on people or not. They did say in the report that the insane people were the ones who accused the pseudo-patients of being sane..not the doctors. Maybe they do know a bit something more than we do about it. It is interesting to at least think about for a few minutes if nothing else... thanks for the response!


originally posted by: rickymouse
I kind of like being a little nuts. Out of the box nuts, not believing what predominant people with degrees say till I research the evidence myself to see if their interpretation they are using is correct. I think that qualifies as Skitzo.


We are all a little nuts..lol. You're right, it makes life a bit more interesting. Some day I'll tell you about my crazy. A little nuts is ok and needed. From what I can gather by your posts, you seem just fine. Thanks for the reply!

a reply to: Invision123

For me psychology/psychiatry still remain in the dark ages and does not actually help individuals with whatever problems they are going through.

A question, is evil a mental illness?


I dunno...I think both of those fields can be helpful if practiced properly. I have a few friends that actually care about their patients and will be careful with their evaluations. I think maybe it is like with everything else...you need to find the right one who is passionate about their work and not in it for only the money. The labels, yep, I get it. It is hard not to label someone when they are used so much.

As for the question...I'm not sure if evil is a mental illness. I guess in some instances it would be. Maybe it depends on what type/the severity level?? I'll have to read on that. Thanks for the research project!! And also the reply!

a reply to: muzzleflash


I wrote a rather edgy and contentious thread about this topic last year :
Mental Illness is a Myth


I will check that thread out in a few minutes and give it some thought. Thank you for the link! As for what you endured..if I may ask..has that label (being in a mental institution) followed you around in your normal life? I am thinking with regards to career, relationship, family, etc.. have you had some challenges to overcome in your normal everyday life because of it?

Of course if you would prefer not to answer, that is just fine. I am curious, but would understand either way. Thanks for the thoughtful posts and the thread link!

Again, sorry I was absent today and thanks to those of you who read through and/or responded to the thread. I may have authored it but it really isn't of any quality without quality responses. Kind of a team effort. Thanks for added some value to it!!

blend



posted on May, 31 2018 @ 06:11 AM
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Being labeled by the people in your life has a powerful effect to be sure.

My cousin, my mother's sister's daughter, had grown up believing that she has African blood. From what's she has told me, that whole side of the family had believed that was true. My aunt, her mother, had remarried a man (her father) that the family believed was a half blood African American. I never knew him or knew what he looked like, but that part of the family believed he was half black.

I can't say personally one way or the other if there was any deep seeded prejudice against blacks in that part of the family, but I know that they came from the south and many of them owned slaves up to the Civil War. I know my mother had an attitude with my cousin when she came to live with us for a short while, likely because she believed her to be part black because of her father. She was literally the black sheep of her family.

From what my cousin told me, she was basically labeled as black form day one. She has some features that could indicate she had some black blood, dark eyes, kinky dark hair, ticker lips, etc., but I saw those traits in my mother and grandmother as well. Growing up with that label and being teased and bullied in school from that, she gravitated to the black culture and ended up preferring black men as she got older. As far as I know she always had black boy friends.

Anyway, she just took the Ancestry DNA test lately and guess what? Not a drop of African blood to be found, obviously her father, whether it was her legal father or some unknown guy her mother had sex with, wasn't the least bit black. But with her looks and adopting the black culture and accent, she passes as part black and is accepted in the black community as such.

I suspect that if the family and her school mates didn't label her as part African American, she would have grown up to act as white as anyone else in the family. Lucky when she found out she wasn't part black, it didn't seem to cause her any personal conflicts. Although I can believe it probably pissed her off more at the family for believing her to be part black and treating her like an outcast. I never asked her about that, but will when I talk with her next.



posted on May, 31 2018 @ 08:16 AM
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a reply to: blend57

To add to this discussion: a simple quote I never forgot from the musical production "Man of La Mancha".

I was in 2 different productions in 1970 and following the 1St... again in 1971. It is about a lunatic old man who thought he was a great Knight and would fight windmills.

"Madmen... are the children of God"-Miguel de Cervantes...

Meaning? Those demented, disturbed and confused live in a world that to them? It's completely normal... and those are special in God's eyes: he looks out for those who are that way.

Who's to say what defines insanity? Ask anyone who is!!!

Best to you, MS
edit on 31-5-2018 by mysterioustranger because: (no reason given)







 
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