The definition of a "mental disorder."

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The definition of a "mental disorder."

#1  Postby Keep It Real » Mar 04, 2018 7:39 am

A mental disorder, also called a mental illness[2] or psychiatric disorder, is a behavioral or mental pattern that causes significant distress or impairment of personal functioning.[3] Such features may be persistent, relapsing and remitting, or occur as a single episode. Many disorders have been described, with signs and symptoms that vary widely between specific disorders.[4][5] Such disorders may be diagnosed by a mental health professional.


This is hugely inadequate/inaccurate/problematic by my mind. If somebody commits a crime, and is caught and punished for it, that causes significant distress and impairment of personal functioning. If a spouse is unfaithful and get's away with it, with no feelings of remorse/guilt or projected thoughts of infidelity, then no problem. If they do have such feelings then they do have a mental illness however; likewise if they are busted by their spouse who is livid about it, but only after they've found out. If they're not angry at the infidelity, again, no mental illness. There are about a gazillion other examples I estimate.

Thoughts? Suggestions for a better definition?
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Re: The definition of a "mental disorder."

#2  Postby LucidFlight » Mar 04, 2018 7:56 am

I guess if your behaviour does not adversely affect you, then it is not a disorder. This is my most simplistic interpretation of the term, at an amateurish, linguistic level. Adding morality to the mix complicates things, I would imagine. What should one feel about one's infidelity, for example? Somebody who is indifferent, psychopathic to some degree, but still functional, may not need treatment and may never be diagnosed as having a disorder.

These are just my random thoughts at 7:40 am on a Sunday. So take what you will from them.
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Re: The definition of a "mental disorder."

#3  Postby Cito di Pense » Mar 04, 2018 7:57 am

Keep It Real wrote:
A mental disorder, also called a mental illness[2] or psychiatric disorder, is a behavioral or mental pattern that causes significant distress or impairment of personal functioning.[3] Such features may be persistent, relapsing and remitting, or occur as a single episode. Many disorders have been described, with signs and symptoms that vary widely between specific disorders.[4][5] Such disorders may be diagnosed by a mental health professional.


This is hugely inadequate/inaccurate/problematic by my mind. If somebody commits a crime, and is caught and punished for it, that causes significant distress and impairment of personal functioning. If a spouse is unfaithful and get's away with it, with no feelings of remorse/guilt or projected thoughts of infidelity, then no problem. If they do have such feelings then they do have a mental illness however; likewise if they are busted by their spouse who is livid about it, but only after they've found out. If they're not angry at the infidelity, again, no mental illness. There are about a gazillion other examples I estimate.

Thoughts? Suggestions for a better definition?


Do you think the diagnosis gets you off the hook or puts you on the hook? Or both? In that case, you don't know whether to shit or go blind.

LucidFlight wrote:I guess if your behaviour does not adversely affect you, then it is not a disorder.


Adversely? According to whom? Sredevi Kapoor drowned in a fucking bathtub, and that affected her adversely. In fact, that's about as 'adversely' as it gets, according to some. According to others, being incarcerated affects one adversely.
Last edited by Cito di Pense on Mar 04, 2018 8:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The definition of a "mental disorder."

#4  Postby Keep It Real » Mar 04, 2018 8:00 am

I've got a mental disorder if I don't put on body armour before walking into town today and then get stabbed. :lol:
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Re: The definition of a "mental disorder."

#5  Postby LucidFlight » Mar 04, 2018 8:01 am

Cito di Pense wrote:
LucidFlight wrote:I guess if your behaviour does not adversely affect you, then it is not a disorder.


Adversely? According to whom?


Exactly. According to yourself.
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Re: The definition of a "mental disorder."

#6  Postby Cito di Pense » Mar 04, 2018 8:02 am

Keep It Real wrote:I've got a mental disorder if I don't put on body armour before walking into town today and then get stabbed.


Well, that depends on whether your likelihood of being stabbed is higher or lower than average. Dress appropriately for the occasion. It's in Miss Manners.
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Re: The definition of a "mental disorder."

#7  Postby Keep It Real » Mar 04, 2018 8:04 am

Judging by the number of times I've been assaulted recently I'd say the chances of my being stabbed are much, much higher than average...but I'm still reluctant to deploy the armour plating because that feels mad. :scratch:
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Re: The definition of a "mental disorder."

#8  Postby Cito di Pense » Mar 04, 2018 8:06 am

Keep It Real wrote:Judging by the number of times I've been assaulted recently I'd say the chances of my being stabbed are much, much higher than average...but I'm still reluctant to deploy the armour plating because that feels mad. :scratch:


Well, see? You have it all sorted.
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Re: The definition of a "mental disorder."

#9  Postby LucidFlight » Mar 04, 2018 8:06 am

Cito di Pense wrote:
LucidFlight wrote:I guess if your behaviour does not adversely affect you, then it is not a disorder.


Adversely? According to whom? Sredevi Kapoor drowned in a fucking bathtub, and that affected her adversely. In fact, that's about as 'adversely' as it gets, according to some. According to others, being incarcerated affects one adversely.

I don't know about Sredevi Kapoor's drowning. Was it intentional? If so, then I suppose a disorder with adverse consequences can be talked about. As for incarceration, that might highlight behaviour with adverse consequences. Whether it's a mental disorder that has led to the incarceration is for medical professionals to diagnose, I would assume.
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Re: The definition of a "mental disorder."

#10  Postby Cito di Pense » Mar 04, 2018 8:07 am

LucidFlight wrote:
Cito di Pense wrote:
LucidFlight wrote:I guess if your behaviour does not adversely affect you, then it is not a disorder.


Adversely? According to whom?


Exactly. According to yourself.


Hoyle drink to that.

LucidFlight wrote:As for incarceration, that might highlight behaviour with adverse consequences.


To whom?
Last edited by Cito di Pense on Mar 04, 2018 8:09 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The definition of a "mental disorder."

#11  Postby LucidFlight » Mar 04, 2018 8:08 am

Well, that's enough blurry-eyed chit-chat for one morning. It's been real. I'll pop back later after some breakfast and such.
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Re: The definition of a "mental disorder."

#12  Postby Keep It Real » Mar 04, 2018 8:18 am

Cito di Pense wrote:
Keep It Real wrote:Judging by the number of times I've been assaulted recently I'd say the chances of my being stabbed are much, much higher than average...but I'm still reluctant to deploy the armour plating because that feels mad. :scratch:


Well, see? You have it all sorted.


This must be some strange new use of the word "sorted" I wasn't previously aware of. Oh well at least we're in the right subforum :lol:
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Re: The definition of a "mental disorder."

#13  Postby LucidFlight » Mar 04, 2018 8:49 am

Cito di Pense wrote:
LucidFlight wrote:As for incarceration, that might highlight behaviour with adverse consequences.


To whom?


To anyone who's concerned about the adverse consequences, I guess. One has to admire the circularity of this conjecture, of course.
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Re: The definition of a "mental disorder."

#14  Postby Keep It Real » Mar 04, 2018 8:52 am

Keep It Real wrote:Suggestions for a better definition?


How about this - any thought or behaviour which the majority of local society considers to be maladaptive.
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Re: The definition of a "mental disorder."

#15  Postby LucidFlight » Mar 04, 2018 8:53 am

Keep It Real wrote:
Keep It Real wrote:Suggestions for a better definition?


How about this - any thought or behaviour which the majority of local society considers to be maladaptive.


Hmm, I think Machiavelli has that one covered already.

ETA: Oh, maladaptive. I read that as manipulative. Need more coffee.
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Re: The definition of a "mental disorder."

#16  Postby Keep It Real » Mar 04, 2018 8:56 am

That's weird, because I had to edit my post because when I first posted it it said manipulative...mysteries.....
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Re: The definition of a "mental disorder."

#17  Postby Keep It Real » Mar 04, 2018 8:58 am

Surely I edited it too fast for you to have read the inaccurate version....but no; that's Occam's solution to that mystery. Call me Scooby.
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Re: The definition of a "mental disorder."

#18  Postby Fallible » Mar 04, 2018 9:02 am

Keep It Real wrote:
A mental disorder, also called a mental illness[2] or psychiatric disorder, is a behavioral or mental pattern that causes significant distress or impairment of personal functioning.[3] Such features may be persistent, relapsing and remitting, or occur as a single episode. Many disorders have been described, with signs and symptoms that vary widely between specific disorders.[4][5] Such disorders may be diagnosed by a mental health professional.


This is hugely inadequate/inaccurate/problematic by my mind. If somebody commits a crime, and is caught and punished for it, that causes significant distress and impairment of personal functioning. If a spouse is unfaithful and get's away with it, with no feelings of remorse/guilt or projected thoughts of infidelity, then no problem. If they do have such feelings then they do have a mental illness however; likewise if they are busted by their spouse who is livid about it, but only after they've found out. If they're not angry at the infidelity, again, no mental illness. There are about a gazillion other examples I estimate.

Thoughts? Suggestions for a better definition?


Thoughts are that it's an inadequate definition but a) it's the best we can do with our current limited understanding and b) you
haven't chosen a very good example to highlight the problem.

Take OCD as an example. Sufferers find themselves compelled to perform rituals to an extent that it disrupts normal life and causes them distress - not because what they are compelled to do is deemed 'wrong' by some arbitrary moral code, but because it impairs their ability to live life in the simplest of ways. They fail to turn up for work because it's taken them an hour to get over the threshold, and they get the sack. They miss out on enjoyable things with their kids because they're so obsessed with them getting ill that they spend all their time endeavouring to create a sterile environment for them. They stock pile useless paperwork and their own shit and piss because they are terrified of parting with anything, and get evicted as a consequence. They're distressed by the knowledge that their disorder is controlling their existence and they seemingly can't do anything about it.

Guilt and anger about infidelity are emotions which some experience due to the morality we apparently have adopted. Perhaps if one feels compelled to keep having sex with people, that's a mental disorder. Infidelity however is a pretty normal behaviour in many places. Ask the French. It does seem to be a bit of a hot button issue for you though.

You'd have been better off exploring what is considered 'normal' and why. If someone goes about shouting at invisible sprites and kicking their trilby down the high street and gets his head kicked in as a consequence, is that a mental disorder, or is he just a person not adhering to some of the rules of society?
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Re: The definition of a "mental disorder."

#19  Postby Fallible » Mar 04, 2018 9:03 am

Keep It Real wrote:
Keep It Real wrote:Suggestions for a better definition?


How about this - any thought or behaviour which the majority of local society considers to be maladaptive.


Ah, there you go.
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Re: The definition of a "mental disorder."

#20  Postby LucidFlight » Mar 04, 2018 9:05 am

Keep It Real wrote:That's weird, because I had to edit my post because when I first posted it it said manipulative...mysteries.....


So, I did see manipulative. Hold off on the coffee, I say. Bring on the Scooby Snacks.
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