TED Conversations

Student in Languages,

This conversation is closed.

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.


Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Jul 11 2012: Why not? If it would make me more productive, I'd give it a try. But I would be wary--you may lose a gift inside of an illness. For instance, Einstein's dyslexia gave him unique ways of thinking. And Lincoln and Churchill's Depressions gave them a keen, penetrating insight into the world that many an overly optimistic outlook would likely have missed.
    • thumb
      Jul 14 2012: Joel, such an amazing thought and question.

      Leo, you are spot on. Would the world lose out on some of the most incredible minds? I loathe to think of what this world would be like without people who have a spectrum of this, in my opinion a doorway into the mind that most do not have access to. Yes this sometimes comes at a very high price-ones health, suicide, inability to function.
      Thank you to all for sharing your lives and insight.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.