mental illnesses rant

        Talking with D reminds me that there is another type of totally unempathetic human being. Ah, now I remember why I couldn't stand him and sometimes still can't. Many times I forget that those people even exist. Their unilateral thought processes don't make any sense to me at all. Mental illness is as real a disease as any other. You wouldn't blame someone for having cancer, why would you blame someone for having a mental disorder? This is a very common misconception amongst people, and it really worries me.
        Many mental illnesses, from anorexia to depression to schizophrenia are based on compulsive thoughts or behaviors. Can people with compulsive thoughts and feelings just stop? By definition, if they could just stop, then their symptoms wouldn't be called compulsive. D insists that depression and such are not diseases, but just emotions. The dictionary definition of a "disease" is pretty much any abnormality that causes harm. Beyond that, indexes such as the DSM-IV define specific diseases. When one seeks treatment, the doctor does not simply talk to you for a bit and say, "well it seems like you have such and such disease." There is a checklist and a process for diagnosis. This is not a matter of opinion, there are set definitions.
       Disorders are not a matter of choice. Does it make sense that, given the choice, a person would say, "oh I want to be alcoholic and have OCD"? At the basis of these disorders, it becomes substance above all else. It is a relief of the compulsive thought through compulsive behaviors over all else. Why is it that people think that the brain is invincible and cannot succumb to any diseases, while the rest of our body can? The brain is a complex, fascinating, and phenomenal organ. With its complexity, there are any number of ways that the wirings and neurotransmitters and processes can malfunction. Why downplay its complexity by writing things off as choice or a simple mood, when there is so much more? When we question our world and ourselves, we can truly learn more.
        As for D, his empathetic failure is a complete turn off. It does not make him seem manly, only ignorant and close-minded. It is his greatest flaw, and it clashes with one of my greatest passions. I can only hope that he takes his college psychology class to heart. I really need to think about things.

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