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Originally posted by NGC2736
There is/was widespread belief by Native Americans that certain people who displayed the symptoms now called mental illness, were in connection with another realm, or world.
While our scientists use trial and error to unlock the secrets of the brain/mind, there is still a great deal more that we don't know, than what we do. The ability of humans to do some amazing things, from autism related gifts to the fact that there was once a man from France who had almost no brain at all and yet was fairly normal, means that what the mind/brain may be doing is really uncharted territory.
The habit of western medicine to label as an illness everything that is outside of set parameters is misleading. Ask the parents of many children with Downs Syndrome, and they will tell you that these are the most angelic offspring in the world. Western religion strives to impress on followers to act as most of these people do naturally.
The point I am making is that what may be voices or visions that some describe as a mental disorder, can be also viewed as nothing more or less than individuality. Some people have excellent sense of taste, and may exploit that by becoming a perfume buyer. Some people hear perfect pitch, and go on to play in an orchestra.
A great deal of how these things, these differences in abilities, matter in our lives is in some ways related directly to how society tells us, orally or in social clues, too react. Someone who hears voices can become spiritual and find great comfort in these voices. Visions of horror can lead others to becoming another Stephen King. Much of this can be in how we learn to view these things.
While I would not advise anyone to ignore the need for medication to control such behavior, namely because without it a person is at great risk in our society when they are not completely in touch with the shared reality, neither would I advise a person to rely completely on drugs. I fail to see long term benefit by distorting with drugs the view of reality that you are already having a problem with.
We all have thoughts, ideas, songs-we-can't-get-out-of-our-heads,memories, mental pictures, that we deal with. Perhaps some more than others. And to tell someone they are mentally ill based on what the OP has stated is far from being helpful. Mental illness, whatever else the term may mean, is a catch all that is used when science doesn't have an answer and yet refuses to admit the fact.
Could the OP actually be reporting just what is occurring? Because we have so little information on how the mind works, even exactly which part of the brain is the seat of the mind, it would be extremely presumptuous to declare that person a liar, or mentally unfit.
We say Disability too often, when we should celebrate man's range of Ability.