All through my studies i have always thought Dr. Szasz was completely wrong in say that there is no such thing as mental illness, that it is just a label put on people that are different from ourselves. But, studying developmental psychology i am beginning to wonder if there could be some truth to it.
The background: psychologists are finding that the brain is not fully developed by the age of 21 (on the average for most). And most mental illnesses are not showing until the age of 22 (again thats the average, illnesses like schizophrenia, bi-polar, borderline personality disorder and so on).
The Theory: Knowing that the brain is not fully developed until the age of 21 could it be that what a mental illness is is just different brain development, or abnormal brain development?
If this theory is tested and proved this would show that Dr. Thomas Szasz was accurate in his assumption that mental illness is just merely a label, and that there is really no such thing, it would really be just different brain development.
What say the court? ideas and opinions? Im trying to contact Dr. Szasz himself to find if he has conducted research about this and his theory.
Maybe you are on to something. People who fall on the autism spectrum are not considered mentally ill but their brains have developed differently than others. It makes sense that what we call mental illness in adults is just another developmental disorder of sorts.
I am glad that one person understands and thinks that this is a perfectly logical idea in itself.
Yes there are real mental illnesses, however, the illness can be triggered/created by factors of abuse in all forms of abuse. Taking into account that if a child is not raised in a healthy, stable, caring, educated group of adults and is subject to all sorts of different combinations of abuse (verbal, physical, and mental 'manipulation') a mental disorder or mental illness may arise in the young developing brain.
However, on the flip side, all of humanity is crazy, insane, mental, demented, wild, unpredictable, manipulative, deceiving, coniving, and lazy creatures by nature.
The bigger question is this - what creature is man? If you or anyone could truly figure that out you'd have all the answers to how the human brain works. The human creature is a work in progress and will continue to do so cause that's how evolution does it's job. The brain is always forming new pathways and to do so it must learn from experinces rather those experinces be harmful or pleasant in the process.
In that learning process of the brain as it goes through evolution, there is bound to be some mis-firings of incorrectly connected nerons in the brain. Hence why doctors and scientists are so quick to call out - 'this kid or adult has a mental illness'.
Again, we are all a little crazy. If not, we wouldn't be able to live on this Earth for very long. Crazy, or mental illness is what keeps us alive in all the learning curves of evolution interesting.
You have to be a little crazy to live on Earth. Simple as that.
So you would subscribe to the idea that mental illness could be an evolutionary process?
Yes, while at the same time humanity itself doesn't know everything yet about it self. So, mental illness and human consciousness go side by side when being developed and changed by environmental factors playing a large part of our evolution. May it be human created by introducing unnatural (non-nature created herbs/chemicals) or it's nature changing itself so we change with it. This in turn changes our chemical makeup of how our brain works.
As long as humanity evolves there will always be a 'runt' in the gene pool. May that 'runt' be noticed by brain changes or physical body changes. Either way, as long as humanity sees itself evolving, it will always have 'mental illness' because inherently we are all mentally unstable because humanity is by nature a wild animal. We will never truly leave the forest. That's just how nature works. Currently though, we are changing our environment to suit us, but we will never be removed from nature's whims of evolutionary changes. It's how the Universe works.
while i may not agree completely i can see what you are saying and agree to the theory that mental illness could be an evolutionary process. Only time will tell if this is true obviously. If only we knew exactly what people went through with mental illness hundreds of years ago, and we could have an accurate diagnosis of it back then. That would give us a fairly accurate idea of mental illness and evolution.
My mom noticed that around the age of 3-4 years, my brother was acting strange for his age. He had a pet gold fish and one day he told my mom that Goldie asked him if he could play with him outside, so my brother put Goldie in his pants pocket , took him outside and played with him. I remember a time when he told me that he had a deer that came to his window in the middle of the night and pleaded with him to run away and play. He never grew out of it and still to this day has his episodes of being manic or depressive. At first he was misdiagnosed as being Schizophrenic, but at the age of nine was finally diagnosed as having bi-polar/manic-depressive. Now I would have to ask, what about newborns/infants/toddlers that are born with/diagnosed at an early age with a mental illness/disease? Obiviously they aren't over 22 years and their brains aren't developed. So how would one catorgorize/label them? Do they have special requirements surrounding them? If they do then what are they?
well, as i said it that age is the norm. I believe there was a case where doctors believe that this little girl was born schizophrenic. Ill see if i can find the case and get you the link if your interested. That would fall into that it can happen any time in my theory.