Week Three: Defintions

In our Monday lecture this week, October 19, 2015, as you all know, we were given the time to watch the TedTalk given by Amy Purdy. An athlete, model, actress, writer, etc. that was born with no ability of function in either of her legs, followed by the choice of two prosthetic legs.

She was extremley into overcoming the stereotypes and proving everyone who doubted her and put her into categories wrong. She personifies the highest desire any human being can have — the desire to evolve.

As you all know, she is very passionate about the idea of our society wrongfully defining “disabled.”

So, I decided to relate that common idea with how our society wrongfully defines mental illnesses.

The definiton of mental illness, as given by Mayo Clinic, refers to a wide range of mental health conditions — disorders that affect your mood, thinking and behavior. Examples of mental illness include depression, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, eating disorders and addictive behaviors.

Now, although of all of this statement is true, it’s not the situation for everyones case.

Mental disorders are usually associated with significant distress in social, occupational, or other important activities. An expectable or culturally approved response to a common stressor or loss, such as the death of a loved one, is not a mental disorder. Socially deviant behavior (e.g., political, religious, or sexual) and conflicts that are primarily between the individual and society are not mental disorders unless the deviance or conflict results from a dysfunction in the individual, as described above.

The very idea that you can radically change the definition of something without anything in the real world changing and with no new increases in knowledge or understanding is remarkable, remarkable until you realize that the thing being defined does not exist.

The question is not, “What is the best definition of a mental disorder?”

The first and only question is, “Do mental disorders exist?”

The phenomena certainly exists. But, I find that even though the question is not asking what is the best definition, I do have the best definiton.

A mental illness is in fact a disorder that affects those of a persons thinking, feeling, and/or moods. But, it is a disorder that can be cured, a disorder that can be lived with, a disorder that more than half of our worlds society deals with today and everyday. A mental illness is not a joke, but a highly viewed choice of strength of those who can overcome the challenge and prove to the worlds phenomena that, well, were all still normal.