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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
A lot of people have posted in the "What disorders have you been diagnosed with" thread, and it made me wonder.

If you do have a mental illness, how many of you feel that it is seriously debilitating? Also, where do you think we should draw the line regarding what is classified as a "Mental illness", rather than a character trait or quirk... personal preference etc. I've seen a lot of discussion on the web about how the DSM V is possibly going to devalue the seriousness of some mental illnesses, by making it seem like almost everyone has some sort of illness or other.

SO yes. Where should we draw the line? Do you personally find your mental illness to be very bothersome, or something that makes things a little hard but doesn't actually hinder you from functioning on an acceptable level?... something that's actually completely out of your control like hearing voices or becoming manic.

Sorry I'm rambly. I can't concentrate... I hope that makes sense..
 

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MOTM Feb 2010
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All I can say is that reading in orange makes me feel like I have a mental illness. :confused:


Edit: Whew!
 
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Much depends on the kind of illness or disorder or what have you. For some, like ADD, impairment is very explicitly part of the DSM description.
But for others, having had a single episode in your life may in some cases technically be enough for diagnosis.
 

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I think doctors are too quick to medicate people for personality traits or quirks, yes. I also think that people are too quick to use their disorders as an excuse for poor behavior.

That being said, I do suffer from mental illness, and I have been in the place with it where it was debilitating. I am diagnosed with bipolar II, borderline personality disorder, and opioid dependence. IMO though, the diagnoses matters less than if the meds I am put on help me. For example, I used to think about suicide so often that I thought it was a normal thing to do. I was convinced everyone thought about killing themselves when something as simple as a friend not calling me back when they said they would happened. When I was unmedicated, it wasn't so much a question of if I would kill myself, it was a question of how long could I hold out before I did. It's really scary looking back on it. On medication though, and so long as I stay away from illicit substances and alcohol, I stay in a pretty good place mentally.
 

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I think the line could be drawn where the person in question is harmfull to others and/or having personal problems because of the illness. So if a person is hallucinating, seeing butterflies near the ceiling that aren't there, that isn't a problem. So I don't think it's fair to diagnose the person as mentally ill, even if he/she believes that they're actually there despite others' countless attempts to establish that they're not there.

However, if the hallucinations were zombies who're constantly trying to kill him/her or if it's voices in his/her head telling him/her to harm other people it might be fair to consider it a mental illness. I mean, it's definitely a problem that the person would be better off without.

But well, for some people it's probably enough to not trust the establishment to be considered as a paranoid schizophrenic looney with toys in the attic.. I mean, there are those people who consider anything that's different from themselves as wrong and some of those people work hard, it seems, to categorize the different kinds of "wrongness"..
 

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Hallucinations of ANY kind ARE a problem. You are not supposed to be hallucinating, and therefore, there are issues in your brain with your neurotransmitters. You need to be medicated because you never know when butterflies will turn into zombies.

Also, just because butterflies are fun, I'm sure it could be disturbing and distressing to the person that they are hallucinating at all!
 

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I have so far agreed with everything said on this thread. It seems to me that something should be classified as a mental illness if it negatively affects your ability to function on an everyday basis.
(ding) Agreed! As the DSM loves to say...

The symptoms cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.
 
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