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What is considered a very serious mental illness?


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oiram
New Member


Joined: 02 Sep 2008
Posts: 11

Post Tue Sep 02, 2008 3:16 am

What is considered a very serious mental illness?    Reply with quote  

I know of many mental illnesses but what constitutes as a severe mental illness? other than one that prevents a person from day to day fuctioning in life.
  
Triarius
Senior Member


Joined: 06 May 2008
Posts: 4780

Post Tue Sep 02, 2008 4:08 am

   Reply with quote  

Well, I'd consider a sociopath to be "severely" ill, but that doesn't mean they can't function:

http://www.mcafee.cc/Bin/sb.html

I have known two such people.
oiram
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Joined: 02 Sep 2008
Posts: 11

Post Tue Sep 02, 2008 5:16 am

   Reply with quote  

Yea I know a psychopath who has wreaked havoc on many people's lives and still is, scary guy,

What about a person that is into something very abnormal, like super self degradation
Triarius
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Joined: 06 May 2008
Posts: 4780

Post Tue Sep 02, 2008 6:16 am

   Reply with quote  

Psychology might draw the line strictly at the behavior, and say "oh, well that's a serious disease!"

I, however, disagree with that stand point, because that has led us into the ADD/ADHD pandemic.

Now, more than ever, looking at the WHY is incredibly important, and that terrifies psychologists because it takes power away from them and gives it to the neurologists, geneticists, and nutritionists.

I was horrified when my psychology professor almost literally glazed over when a student asked "Why would that happen?"
You know what words then came from my professor's mouth?
"It doesn't matter!"

Psychology is little more than glorified philosophers over-analyzing symptoms at this point. That does not mean that I think it is insignificant; only that it is limiting itself.

*exhale*
Okay, the point of that rant is to say that I believe that it depends on WHY your subject feels compelled to degrade himself, in order to determine if it's a "severe mental illness".

For example; if you deprive monkeys of cholesterol, they become loners and/or antisocial. While the behavior alone would indicate severe mental illness... that is NOT a complete diagnosis. It should also be noted that many human criminals have naturally low cholesterol. This is because cholesterol is key in the pathology of seratonin (or melatonin, or dopamine, I can't remember which one...)

So someone may be exhibiting such behavior simply because of some malfunctioning gene or other permanent and internal disorder. Classical psychology will have missed this ENTIRELY without supporting sciences.
PsyChris
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Joined: 23 Dec 2007
Posts: 1452
Location: Brooklyn, NY

Post Tue Sep 02, 2008 6:25 am

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Hrm. Level of functioning is usually a very key point in abnormal psychology. It is the basis of an Axis VI diagnosis..

Mental illness is too intertwined to say that diseases in their entirety are not severe. Disorders ("disease") have their own broad spectrum.

If I had to choose I would say Psychotic Disorders and Mental Retardation are among the most severe mental illness. At the same time disorders in other categories can have psychotic features and I am sure there are plenty of mentally retarded people who lead wonderful lives.
SuperInfinity
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Joined: 31 Aug 2008
Posts: 5

Post Tue Sep 02, 2008 10:47 am

   Reply with quote  

Mental retardation is NOT a mental illness.

.
Triarius
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Joined: 06 May 2008
Posts: 4780

Post Tue Sep 02, 2008 2:39 pm

   Reply with quote  


quote:
Mental retardation is NOT a mental illness.


EXACTLY

Psychology only looks at the outward behavior and understand VERY LITTLE ELSE!

That is very useless when it comes to modern medicine.

I'll say it again; psychology is little more than glorified philosophy in behavioral studies.

There are various genetic diseases that cause various types of retardation, and were it up to psychology alone, it would all be lumped into one category; you've got Fragile X, Downs, Autism, and a few others that I can't remember at the moment. They all have different causes, and therefore have different treatments and different ways of preventing (not always possible)
oiram
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Posts: 11

Post Tue Sep 02, 2008 2:56 pm

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What about extreme masochism or degradation even if the person enjoys it and wants it?

Is it a mental illness or does it become classified as a mental illness when that person wants it bad enough or feels they need it bad enough that they are willing to pay someone to do things to them that are not only gross but way out in far left field.

When I think of masochism I always think or S&M and sex but what I am referring to above doesn't take place during sex, say the person only wants this extremely gross behavior to occur but not during any sort of sex.
Triarius
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Joined: 06 May 2008
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Post Tue Sep 02, 2008 7:40 pm

   Reply with quote  


quote:
What about extreme masochism or degradation even if the person enjoys it and wants it?


Well if he/she really wants it, or believes that he/she wants it, then I'd say it is probably some sort of "deviance" but I don't think I'd go so far to say it's an "illness" unless it interferes with normal every-day life.

But also, like I said, I think that whatever the cause is very important as well. I am not aware of any physiological or genetic conditions which would produce such a behavior or impulse. However, I do know that feeling guilty about something (whether it's real or imagined) can inspired masochistic behavior.

If that is the case, then I would say that it was more of an emotional problem rather than a "mental illness".
Improvements
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Joined: 19 Jul 2005
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Post Wed Sep 03, 2008 1:57 am

   Reply with quote  

In my experience of psychosis, you don't know your'e psychotic. It can come on stealth like. It can be rageful, even for mild mannered and timid me.

It could be deadly.

Depression could too, if not addressed.

Anxiety and stress are also major contributors to physical ailments, like psychosomatic originated illnesses. Think of all the unnecessary work the organs have to do, and all that wasted adrenalin, it does do damage.

Psychosis can be dealt with, as depression and anxiety can though, so there is a silver lining.
oiram
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Post Wed Sep 03, 2008 4:01 am

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So deviance is more likely what it is huh? Wouldn't this stem from mental illness or is it a factor if the person already has a mental illness?
I am referring to a person I know personally (Almost embarrassed to mention if it is a family member or not but I am sure you have figured this out) and trying to find out more information regarding his mental illness so I can better handle situations when around him and be more informed when trying to understand him and his illness) He has been diagnosed with major depression with psychotic features and a borderline personality disorder. I have tried to look these up so if anyone has good links then let me know or explain what major depression with psychotic features really means.

This person has tried to kill himself several times and two attempts were almost successful and considered a miracle he survived (they were not fake attempts for attention). He has been hospitalized several times and one was almost for four years in length. He was on medication for several years but now is off medications (by his own decision) and actually seems more lucid and stable. He no longer has suicidal thoughts of feelings but other manifestations have arisen that are very disturbing.

The one thing that is disturbing that we learned (from a family member who secretly reads his journal in order to keep up with his thoughts) is that he wants to pay someone to rub a soiled (dirty) baby diapers in his face and then have that person slap him a few times before this (if it's a guy then he also wants that person to spit on him and/or urinate on him). He wants either a man or a woman. We figure this is some sort of manifestation or deviance of degradation of low self esteem and what makes it weird is it is not connected to any sexual behavior or activity such as S&M. He described being fully dressed on his hands and knees while this was happening and then when it was finished he had to make sure he paid the person and quietly left for home as not to be caught or found out by anyone. (Conflicting statement here on his part and not wanting anyone to know but he has to pay someone to do it)

We also know he has no interest in anything involving children other than wanting to pay someone to rub baby diapers in his face he dislikes kids and has never shown interest in them or even wanted them around him, even family member that are children he keeps at a distance. (Go figure one redeeming quality huh)

What to does one do in this situation because his actions are not illegal (it cannot be considered a form of prostitution since there is no sex involved) and the one doctor the family did call simply said that those types of behaviors were not serious enough to warrant confinement or help as they were not life threatening to him or others, just a manifestation of mental illness. Thanks Dr. for being so vague I thought. Any suggestions or comments on this?
oiram
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Joined: 02 Sep 2008
Posts: 11

Post Wed Sep 03, 2008 6:38 pm

   Reply with quote  

Another question I have is why does the time stamp indicate my post was at 4:01 am when I was long in bed here in my time zone, where or what city or time zone is this thread or forum posted?
Triarius
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Joined: 06 May 2008
Posts: 4780

Post Wed Sep 03, 2008 8:32 pm

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Well, you mentioned "pscyhotic" which basically means that "reality and reason don't apply" (in my experience) so maybe he is just nuts with a sexual fixation... maybe if he were "normal" he would still have some sexual deviance, but being psychotic has just taken it too far.

Then again, I'm sure it may have started innocently enough, through fantasy and/or imagination. If you vividly play something out in your head it can almost become a real experience, and after time, the real thing might be almost the same, and so you get escalation, trying to get the original "thrill". Is this person "normal" otherwise?
jjj
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Joined: 15 Aug 2008
Posts: 40

Post Thu Sep 04, 2008 12:10 pm

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Most mental illnesses have varying degrees of 'seriousness' dependent upon many different variables (in genetics, in environment, in psychological make-up, in coping tools and skills, etc...) Since it's fairly impossible to jump inside someone's head to see exactly what's going on; judgments based upon reports from them and their family, and behavioral observations are used. It really does boil down to how much the 'disease' effects their ability to function in society.
spiritual_emergency
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Post Thu Sep 04, 2008 5:28 pm

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oiram: The one thing that is disturbing that we learned (from a family member who secretly reads his journal in order to keep up with his thoughts)...

A good reason for why you should not necessarily post your innermost thoughts on the internet.

I'm going to assume that you're a family member and you're concerned however I suspect that you're looking for answers in the wrong place. As far as I know, with rare exception, few people here have a background in psychology or psychiatry and you're probably going to find more insight there. Many people have unusual fantasies that they may either think about or act upon -- S&M behavior is a good example. I don't know why your family member would have that particular kind of fantasy or desire, I suspect there's some buried shame or a desire for punishment that could possibly be traced back to experiencing both pleasure and pain as an infant in diapers. Maybe this even explains his later depression and suicide attempts. But I'm not a psychologist or a psychiatrist so my opinion really shouldn't be worth much.

Meantime, I realize this is a "delicate" issue but there's something a bit disturbing about the invasion of privacy that's also going on in this situation. Not only is this individual reading these accounts on the sly, they're also sharing these details with the rest of the family members! It would not surprise me in the least if your affected family member shared that he's paranoid and feels like people are spying on him -- they are!

You note that this individual has a history of serious illness but that he's doing better now. His chances of making a full recovery will likely be enhanced by his family's love and support. If he was to ever discover that his private journals were being read and distributed among the people he has invested with his trust, I imagine he would feel humiliated and betrayed. I have doubts that would assist his recovery.

Unless you believe there is a risk that he is going to harm himself or another, this issue is probably best left between him and his therapist to explore on his own terms. It might also be more helpful to develop some direct lines of communication between his family members and him so they're not snooping around reading his journals as a means of trying to establish where his head is at. Unfortunately, as is often the case, there's more than one "unhealthy" behavior taking place.


.
  

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