Friday, 27 February 2015

So what does mental illness really mean?

In a recent post I mentioned that some theists are mentally ill and I thought I should clarify here what I mean by mental illness or crazy. For me these two terms are interchangeable and in reality they are by definition. Crazy is a synonym for mad, and mad is defined as mentally ill. But lets leave the dictionary and look at a standard definition.  According to the CDC it can be defined as follows.

Mental illnesses refer to disorders generally characterized by dysregulation of mood, thought, and/or behavior, as recognized by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, 4th edition, of the American Psychiatric Association (DSM-IV). 

But what is dysregulation of mood, thought and/or behavior? Now get ready to swim as this is where you have start drifting into murky and uncomfortable territory. Basically, this dysregulation  means any mood, thought or behavior that is not considered normal by the vast majority of society. So then the question arises, what is normal?

There are two ways to look at normality, either subjectively (personal opinion) or objectively (a professional bodies opinion, which is following their subjective opinions). So either way, normality is subjective. For example, There are many things that I do not consider normal, and so I will call these things insane, crazy, mental illness, etc. But, this is my opinion and my definition of normal probably is very different to that of the American Psychiatric Association. But their definitions I am sure are different to the Swiss Psychiatric Association and so forth.

So do I still stand by my comments from the previous post?
"if a theist or an anti-vaccer is using discredited science or facts over and over again when the truth has been pointed out, then why should we not call them idiots or mentally ill."

Belief in a god, when you have been pointed out the flaws to me is crazy, it really is either a mental illness or a lack of brain power (idiocy). While, this can be considered painting with broad brush strokes, honestly I don't care much.