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Mental health

Discussion in 'Dark Tranquillity' started by hyena, Jul 18, 2007.

  1. hyena

    hyena counterclockwise

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    Due to a very original combination of work (on brain imaging), play (sleeping on the beach) and a broken heart, i ended up with a wealth of questions on mental health. Such as how to incorporate depression history in credit scoring mechanisms, but that is for posterity to know, since I am just starting on a background paper.

    But but but. What I want to know from you all is what views you hold on mental health. Like - is depression an illness (people should be helped) or a label for weak character (people should be scolded)? Etc etc. You know, the whole debate. And I don't want any scientologists in the room, thank you. :p
     
  2. afz902k

    afz902k In Currents of Cobalt...

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    Oh, I thought this would contain thousands of links to online tests about a variety of Mental Disorders, and/or a poll! Alright then, I'll get the hamsters running, posttoya latah.
     
  3. InsArtTure

    InsArtTure Agiel

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    Haha, dont post any links of this kind. The topic's author will lose his mental health in despair! :heh:

    On the topic, mental health is a vast thing. Speaking about depression-yes, it as an illnes, determined my Medicine.

    It is different to feel depressed. To feel sad about someone or something that has happened and made you grieve.

    Depression is sure an illnes. Once only I have come across it and it was heavy a burden. It was almost unbearable and smashing. For a period of a week I wanted nothing, I loved nothing and breathed for nothing, my head aching. All in all depression is a psychic distress. When sadness and failure exceed their limits, your psyche falls in a conflict.

    The line between two is thin, no doubt about it, but people are more often sad and rarely suffering depression.

    This is my experience not only observing myself but also evey individual arond me. It's been 2 years already since I began to study psychology( not professionally) and it I am mostly interested in relations.

    Regarding the topic, depression most often comes from failure in human relations - family and friends.
     
  4. Alttu

    Alttu Copropolitic

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    Well, I think that it is so much up to character. Someone can tolerate depression without outside help, when other just can't. It's also up to case, if I see it as a weakness or not. Hard to explain, but it's kinda depends of your issues. If your self esteem gets a small hit by someones words, it's not a reason to go see a doctor. But if your little sister slaughters your family...you propably need to talk with someone.

    Aargh, too early to this kind of conversation.
     
  5. rahvin

    rahvin keeper of the flame

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    I can predict there will form two sides: A, people who say alterations of the functions in the brain are always a medical condition and should be treated with medicine alone; B, people who claim other factors (like force of will or strength of character) play a role and should be called upon to overcome difficulties. Personally, I don't know but I'm convinced everybody ought to make a serious effort to believe in B even if it's actually A.

    I'm hoping Siren will see this topic and reply, she must be more informed than most here.
     
  6. Alttu

    Alttu Copropolitic

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    Well, I'll turn to B option. But InsArtTure had a lot of good points in her or his post, there's different kind of depressions. What I want to know, is where people draw the line? When you're just depressed and when it turns to sickness.

    Of course, it's easy to say that if you can live normally with your feelings, your not sick. So when you're so depressed that you can't go to work, or among other people - it's sickness? It's not that simple in my opinion. I would really like hear opinion from someone who's studied this.
     
  7. Matse

    Matse Customized individuum

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    It is a mixture of A and B. Sadness starts being a depression when you begin to feel depressive even in moments that are not supposed to be sad or are normal and it just "hits" you coming from nowhere regularly.
     
  8. Taliesin

    Taliesin Immaturity Aside

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    InsArtTure makes a few good points. I believe that there is a difference between feeling sad/depressed and a real depression as well, although I believe there is no line, but a successive transition from one to the other.
    I dont know if it's "weaknes of character" that makes you fall into depression, or if nothing could have been done in the first place, even though there seems to be a predisposition for it in some people. If the predisposition is supported by a negative character or stems from it, I dont know. Either way, I dont think people with a "weak" character should be scolded, they are the ones who need help most of all.

    I believe that depression has its roots in medical reasons, like chemical imbalances in the brain and such, but there is no happy pill, nothing that will make depression vanish completely and turn you into a healthy, happy person. You will always need therapy because you will need to restructure your life. You'll need to get out more, make sports, see people.. you'll need help forming new, positive structures in your life, so medication and therapy should always be combined and watched over.


    One more thing:
    There are a few anti-psychiatry films on youtube and such, stating that psychiatry is nothing but a lie and that it takes one person to be ill, but two people to be mentally ill, the patient and the psychiatrist. Of course, that is complete bullshit.
    Whether you should undergo therapy or not is only a question of how much you feel you suffer. A psychiatrist could diagnose you with ten different mental illnesses and you could still never undergo therapy and live a fulfilling and sufficiently happy life. Of course a responsible person should tend towards therapy, but it's really a personal matter.
     
  9. Kovenant84

    Kovenant84 T-369 days

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    I'm not certain I can formulate an informed response this early in the day, but as someone who sees the effects of depression every day, it is most definitely a disease, and not just strength of character. However, it also has a good deal to do with nurture, on that side of the "Nature vs." fight.

    ~kov.
     
  10. hyena

    hyena counterclockwise

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    Yeah, I hope Siren will give input on this, too.

    And you know, you hit the nail on the head with the point above - what I am wondering is whether there can be a solid conceptual structure in B once one believes A. I cannot formulate an argument. I keep on thinking along these lines: if you think that, say, cyclothymia really exists and you are affected by it, the best you can do is surf on the wave of ups, which are going to benefit work, relationships etc, and keep your head down when the other phase strikes, but it seems that everything is exogenous, that there is no exact placement for willpower. In other words, once you embrace A then there is no possibility of arguing coherently for B. I know that I am entirely new to this field so my reasoning is going to be very imprecise, but at the moment I am wondering exactly how you reconcile the two.

    edit: @Taliesin - well, that's why I said no scientologists :p Scientology is lobbying against psychiatry since the 60s and I am sure most of these videos on YouTube are either made by scientologists or sponsored by them. In their case, the point is obviously competition: they cannot afford having a doctor prescribe you lithium when you could be spending about 100,000 dollars on Dianetics.
     
  11. rahvin

    rahvin keeper of the flame

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    I don't think they can be reconciled, but I believe one should try to defend oneself from A, regardless. It's ultimately a matter of responsibility and how it relates to what in certain fields is considered to be innateness and in other merely a consequence of factors you can't control. Side A threatens to engulf the universe with its attitude towards what's out of the subject's hands, and I'm much more scared of scenarios where it's implied nobody ever has a choice than of scolding someone who's weak of character.

    Incidentally, I agree with Taliesin that punishment or reprimand is not necessarily the best response even if we decide someone is merely a sad sack of cowardice instead of a bona-fide depressed individual with a badge.
    This - however - is not really about how you define a certain behavior, as it were, scientifically and for the sake of speculation. This concerns the reaction and what to do with those who are either guilty or completely innocent of panic attacks, fits of rage and whatnot. There, A and B can finally reconcile in that, much like you might not want to punish the culprit of something that damages mostly the self, you probably don't want to reward the innocent.
     
  12. La Rocque

    La Rocque I am that I am

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    Everyone gets down, has the blues, gets depressed. If it lasts a few days, a week or so I can see no problem.
    But if things have not improved months later, its time to see a professional, preferably one with a medical degree, as it could be something like blood/oxygen flow to the brain? Maybe its diet? Could it be the All American breakfast of coffee and cigarettes to start the day and alcohol at bedtime?
    At one time I needed a psychiatrist to repair my thinking. What worked for me, most likely would not be helpful for You as every problem is different in some way. So I don't see anyone saying anything here that would be helpful other than getting the professional help. I did find out one thing when I was being helped with my problem,
    friends/people are not very understanding of mental issues, if I had a broken arm and had it taken care of no one would have second thoughts about it but my confused state of mind all I got from them 'its all in your head'. Like I could stop it if I wanted it to stop??? My only reply was my mind has a mind of its own.
    One final thing are You getting enough Vitamin D in Your life? It can be had in a supplement form(less easily absorbed) but exposure to the Sun produces it naturally which is a 100x better than some pill. Vitamin D malnutrition is linked to chronic pain, depression, schizophrenia, seasonal affective disorder.
    I recommended You spend more time at the beach.

    O/T, so a spaceship is not going to land on Earth with L. Ron Hubbard stepping out of it to save us all -

    edit ... actually I went from a therapist to a psychiatrist to a psychologist(who cured my problem)
     
  13. Villain

    Villain Doctor BenQuillity

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    Of those two options, I certainly stand closer to B, but your examples don't really fit my perception. I'd say the outer factors (environment, stress, relationships, bullying, etc) are of extreme importance and should be the primary "targets", especially for pre-emptive work. It is amazing how much a simple change of environment can "heal" the kids I work with.

    On a rough estimate, some 75% of my kids suffer from problems with their mental health, some properly diagnosed, some not. Even though a rather large part of these problems can be blamed on drugs, I still claim the majority of them are caused by bad parenting. Some of the kids have suffered horrible abuse for years, while others have been practically abandoned - it is really no wonder their mental health has been damaged. In some cases permanently, I'm afraid.

    Back when I was studying, I attended a lecture by a Finnish child-psychiatrist (Kivekäs or something, can't be sure of the name no longer), who said that the vast majority of cases of a certain kind of mental disorder ("rajatilahäiriö" in Finnish, I'm not sure of the English equivalent, perhaps "borderline-disorder") are caused in the first few weeks of a child's life, simply by how its mother treats it.

    -Villain
     
  14. salient

    salient Moment of solace

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    If discussing about illness nature of mediocre feelings, first we must look inside the particle soul, through tranquillity of course. :Smug:
     
  15. Volve

    Volve Member

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    It could be both A and B for different people. Some people has had an accident or used extacy, while others have suffer some sort of abuse or neglect as a child.
    A strong caracter might react differently to this kind of experiences that a sensitiv person, but I think the reaction is still there.
     
  16. t.a.j.

    t.a.j. :.::

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    If someone suffers phenomenologically, we usually try to corelate that to some physical event. E.g. if my leg hurts, my doctor looks for what could be wrong with it. In that way, there is a practice of corelating phenomenology of the patient with medical treatment in standart medicine.
    I think the same approach could be extended to psychiatry, if people overcame their dualistic intuitions, that they have even when they try very hard to be physicalists.
     
  17. marduk1507

    marduk1507 Member

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    Depression is definitely a mental illness. I have not studied these phenomena in depth, but I think most of those seemingly uncurable or better undiagnosable issues are simply symptoms of a mental illness. I have had depression only once in my life and I know there is nothing one can do about it on his/her own.
     
  18. QRV

    QRV historyphobic

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    Neurosis:

    Definition #1 (Freud): A conflict between two instintive impulses, Eros (of life) and Thanatos (of death). Both are in eternal conflict inside the human psyche, and Freud used to see Eros as an essentially sexual instinct. However, later in life, he came up with a contradiction when he defined Eros in a more platonic sense, seeing it as love in all of its wider aspects (such thing happened after Hitler's rise in power).

    Definition #2 (Jung): For C.G. Jung, a neurosis is a deviation in the process of individuation. He understood individuation as a dinamic and unstoppable archetypal process in which the psyche develops the particular individual aspects of each person, thus helping him find his own sense in life. He used to tell people "become what you've always been". An impediment to this process (which can be either personal or social, conscious or unconscious) leads to a deformation which causes anguish, because the process of individuation will try to force itself through archetypal means. Such twisting is called a neurosis, a conflict between two opposing forces (individuation impulse and deforming impulse) which can only be resoved when a third function (called trascendental function) constellates itself and integrates the opposites in the psyche.

    Definition #3 (Frankl): Viktor Frankl came up with the concept of "noogenic neurosis" (I hope it is written correctly), which appears not because of conflicts between impulses and instincts, but because of existencial problems. It is esentially a spiritual problem, as opposed to a instinctual one. He said that suffering is not always a pathological phenomenon; it can also be a means of achievement, especially when it is born from existencial frustration. His method consisted in the search for a sense in suffering, for a meaning to it that can help to make it bearable and thus redirect the energies that were put into it, transforming them into a productive and creative thing.

    Definition #4 (Horney): Karen Horney's definition of neurosis was more technical and descriptive. She gave a list of criteria to distinguish neurotic behaviour: rigidity in the reactions; a discrepancy between the habilities of an individual and its realizations; a feeling of anguish and a series of defenses raised against it; a feeling of hostility. Those are the sympthoms, and the causes are the deformations of personality in all of its levels.


    So yeah, I guess you can talk of being "mentally healthy" or "unhealthy". Wether you want to give a neurosis the tag of an "illness" depends on your views of it (I personally wouldn't). However, a truly pathological unstability in the human psyche is a whole different matter that goes by the name of psychosis, and there you can really talk of illness and medical treatment.
     
  19. ishkur

    ishkur Bloody android from Hell

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    depression is certainly more active in egocentric people, who think in their problems only.
    so i think its a mix of character and illness.
     
  20. hyena

    hyena counterclockwise

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    thanks for all your input. i'm supposed to give a preliminary presentation on mental health and problem debt next tuesday, and although i am still very far from having any kind of seriously structured thought on the matter i think that i can string two or three things together. will try to do my best over the weekend and then if someone's interested i can share a part of the work (the part that makes sense).
     

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