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Joel Pigeau

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 16 2012: I was going to say "ABSOLUTELY!" but you make an excellent point that my mental illness (bipolar disorder) is an intimate and intricate part of who I am. I control it effectively with medications, but I would love a complete cure, however my illness has led me to life experiences that I otherwise would have never had--experiences that have shaped my character and helped me to become the strong and independent woman that I am. I DO NOT WISH IT UPON ANYONE ELSE, however! (except maybe my ex-husband...he needs to be knocked down a notch or two from his high-horse...)
    • Jul 16 2012: Agreed, it is one thing to desire a release from difficulty, but it is another to regret the difficulties that have helped to form the people that we are today. Not very healthy on an emotional level. As much as I dislike being an anxious person, it kept me out of a lot of trouble as a teenager.
      :)
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      Jul 17 2012: I believe this world would be boring if everyone’s mental well-being was about the same, I find the diversity in how our brains work, make for a more interesting experience in life. It may be fair to say that a large sum of great thinkers in history as mentally-ill, because they were outside the norm in how their minds functioned, and perceived life. What if mental-illness is responsible for a lot of things that wouldn't otherwise be possible? With the above mentioned thoughts, I would have to reject a cure myself

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