Is Mental Suffering Really 'Just Like Any Other Illness'?

Thought this was a balanced & interesting article -

Thank you, was good to read although maybe a bit one-sided. Mental illness is a spectre of disturbances of the mind. Some illnesses are more biological, some are more psychological, but all are a mix. As for Schizophrenia, I don’t think you can compare it to depression. Depression is a normal reaction in many circumstances, sz is not.


Agreed. i am however questioning of what the actual etiology of schizophrenia really is?

My last psychiatrist was a consultant, intelligent & defined causes as falling into one of 3 main groups - trauma/abuse - biological - illicit drug use - & framed within the diathesis–stress model.

i think there is a mystery to these conditions/madness - i’m at a loss for a more categorical answer. i have personally leaned towards some of the more in depth psychogenic/transpersonal areas - which seems very unpopular with most people - i don’t know how much that opposition to such areas has to do with consensus/current ‘popular’ medical/public opinion, or how much in truth these conditions are primarily organic brain disorders? The whole area i find very confusing.

If people with serious mental illness ever receive real help, I don’t care why it happens…

I believe it is [these are] just like any other illness[es] in that there are environmental factors, some of which happen to be social and familial.

I believe my family has a genetic thing going on due to how many of us have had debilitating, serious mental illness. I spent the past thirty years trying for psychological resolution and everything has mostly gotten worse, though I enjoy the pastime. Only recently, since my family member developed sz, have I looked into the illness model.

At this point, I truly believe these are illnesses like any other in that they require long-term treatment, lowered stress, and rest. I also believe in the genetic cause combined with environmental factors. Not everyone with the genetic predisposition becomes ill (just like with other illnesses including cancer, heart disease, diabetes…). The etiology remains unknown; the above are my opinions.

At the same time, I believe so deeply in the mysteries of existence and the human psyche in everything from a personal to a transpersonal, universal sense. Perhaps this is a major realm in which healing can occur whether or not we become functional members of society again.

It seems to me that my brain and body are physiologically different from those that function day to day. And I would really like it if I at least had the choice of whether or not to function in socially prescribed ways.

All that said, of course we are trying to figure out why and of course we don’t know. We’re human. It is confusing.

Every day, I wake up in a difficult situation that I cannot figure out how to get through. Because of my lack of function along with the way my family member and I are treated by people close to us (not to mention the fact that we’re social failures), I think about this stuff all the time. Thank you for posting articles and videos. It’s comforting to know I’m not alone in these questions.

I am going to look up “diathesis-stress model” and “psychogenic” since I’m unfamiliar with the terms.

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