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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: Its more complicated than a physical injury were you have got an impairment or a wound that's got u disabled. this is where your mind, your way of thinking is being influenced in a certain way by whichever illness or disorder u might be suffering from. I have a relative who has an extreme case of an Obsessive Compulsive Disorder where shes in some manner forced to do things in a certain way. Like for here it has to be that way otherwise she simple cannot accept it, and its grown on her now. Like it is what defines her. Over the years and through her experiences shes adapted to it, learn to live with it and digest the adverse effects that it has on her. additionally the wealth of medication that we get served these days dusnt really help cure it. As Janet Karasz said
    , it does more to saturate it resulting in as " flat personalities". So a pill to actually eliminate any certain disorder or mental illness could possible lead to to self rejection. What i mean to say is that the life you have lived up till now would be like the life of a different person. You would not know it. Yesterday you did sumthing because you just had to do it in a certain way, having taken such a pill, wouldnt you ask yourself, why am I doing this, or perhaps why have i been doing this. as a trade for the illness we might just end up with a negative look at we have done in our lives leading up to this point The people around you might not know how to handle the new you. So do we really need such a pill?
    Additionally, people effected by such special scenarios are more driven to make it their strength. As Rob has pointed out, there are many examples of people spread throughout history with great success stories despite their illness. I have a friend, recently graduated with a degree in fine arts. He has several illnesses and impairments, but the amount of success he has raked in, in a year and half is insane. With what little knowledge I have on this, id say youve got an edge over the rest

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