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Student in Languages,

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If one's mental illness could be cured by a single pill, would you choose to do so?

In the talk by Elyn Saks, Seeing Mental Illness, she mentioned that, if a complete and permanent cure was offered, she would take it.
I found this sentiment highly interesting for many reasons. I am a high-funtioning autistic person with Obsessive Compulsive disorder. My symptoms are not debilitating, but they have had a profound impact on the way I live my life. I'm no stranger to social rejection and high-anxiety.
That being said, if I were offered an complete and permanent cure for my condition... I can say that for my anxiety issues at least, I might be interested. However, despite the focus on a cure for autism in the public sphere, I would approach a cure for my autism with extreme reluctance. For myself, there is to deep a connection between what are considered to be clinical signs of autism and what I would consider to be my personality, my "self."
I suppose that this difference in opinion is related to our own individual experiences with the unique manifestations of our conditions. My own condition occationally strips me of control, but never in so stark a manner as discribed by Saks in her talk.
I would be interested in hearing others views on this topic.


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    Jul 6 2012: Good Evening Joel,
    It is a pleasure to hear from you at TED Debate. If mental illness has to be cured with a single pill, then there will be a relative decline in hospitals which treat mentally sick people. Every sick person would have a pill and live a happy life. Only if the pill has got a total remedy with appropriate functionality, perfectly tested in laboratories and works efficient, until then I would not choose to do so. I would not want an add-on to mental illness what I am already experiencing. As far as the science has developed till date, different diseases have different cures with various medicines. You must be very aware of this. Science has not yet so much progressed that it can work efficient for one cure for all mental diseases in a person. So, this single pill cure looks a bit dicey.
    • Jul 8 2012: Good evening to you,
      I must admit, I was rather less interested in the feasability of a one-pill cure-all than I was in the reactions of others to the hypothetical situation of a no-strings attacted removal of everything that comes with mental illness, good or bad.
      It would be highly advantageous for everyone if all the people in mental hospitals could be helped to the degree of independence and over-all wellness, but if we are siimply talking about removing all traits associated with mental illness, then the question is somewhat more complex.
      What I am really wondering is whether we regret those traits, as individuals of as a society, that we would do away with them entirely if given the chance.

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