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Arjuna Nagendran

Doctor,

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What experiences have made you more comfortable with mental health disorders?

What things make you fearful of mental health disorders? And what experiences have made you more comfortable with it?

In the quest to dispell stigma, how can we help our society grow out of its fear?

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    Oct 13 2012: OK. So if I am a serial killer (anti-social behavior) and I am comfortable with the people I hang around with because they are serial killers too, that means we are all normal?

    Or if I am not a serial killer, but I am hanging around with somebody who is who doesn't make me uncomfortable because I just don't realize they are a serial killer, does that make the serial killer normal?

    We all may be "different" or "unique", but I think it's a stretch to say there is no such thing as "normal" when it comes to mental health. The definitions of "normal" exist in the same things you described in a previous reply to an earlier post of mine. The DSM looks at how a person relates or copes to the rest of society, based on rules, laws, accepted types of behavior, etc. To me, that is what establishes the "norm". Anyone acting outside of those "norms" is considered "not normal", and the diagnosis of the mental illness is based on that criteria.

    And yet, the rules and laws can't be the only determination in whether someone "acted mentally normal" in commiting a crime, or else we wouldn't have extenuating circumstances like "temporary insanity" in use in our legal system.

    http://www.bu.edu/law/central/jd/organizations/journals/bulr/documents/COVEY.pdf



    There appears to be a wider scope to the use of "norms" when considering mental illness.
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      Oct 14 2012: I guess Rick you're talking to me.

      "Rules, laws, accepted types of behavior": did you think what this meant in Nazi Germany or Fascist Italy, in the Russia of Stalin and many countries today that are ruled top down by corruption?

      There's only one rule to decide what is normal and what not, look into your heart to see what feels good and what not. If people listened that way no army would ever have marched. Collective madness is dangerous and ruled by fear.
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        Oct 14 2012: Well, I wasn't specifically talking to you, but your reply above describes the problem about "norms".

        On one hand you say, "There's ony one rule to decide what is normal and what is not, look into your heart to see what feels good and what not".

        But you use the example of Nazi Germany, Facist Italy, Stalin, etc. I'm fairly certain that in the hearts of those people, they "felt good" about what they were doing. Until somebody else said, "Uh, wait a minute. What you are doing seems a bit ABnormal to the rest of us."

        Maybe everybody is misunderstanding what I am saying about "norms".

        If "anybody" is going to say that "anything" is ABnormal...like a mental illness...there has to be a "normal" to compare it to. And somebody has had to define what that "normal" is. Or at least the society has to somewhat agree on what it is.

        So, who makes the decision? You certainly can't leave it up to each individual to decide for themselves. If we used that method to make laws making some actions criminal and some not, there would be total chaos.

        I can't agree with the concept that EVERYBODY is mentally ill, ALL the time (ABnormal, as some here seem to want to say). Everybody may experience PERIODS of depression, mood disorders, or any other of the disorders included in the DSM (or any other countries diagnostic criteria). But I doubt seriously that any expert in the field would say that the entire population of the world at any given time is mentally ill (ABnormal) all at the same time. If that is the case, there is no need to worry about trying to solve any problems at all. Nobody would be "normal" enough to make any good decisions to begin with.

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