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Re: What exactly is "normal"?

I think it's only a problem if the guy who isolates himself is not functioning as well as the people who don't isolate themselves, and more tend to be dysfunctional than not. Since humans get off to putting things into categories, we decide "Since it MAY be a sign of a problem, we'll assume it is." Kind of goes against the "innocent til proven guilty" thing. Oh well. Everyone's a god**** hypocrite.

Re: What exactly is "normal"?

Humans are social creatures. Even psychopaths talk to people.

Is their harmony to this world we live in ? I don't see it yet I've read that psychopaths lack the ability to properly be CONFORMED like everyone else because of our stand alone complex and distrusting nature.

Show me this harmony I do not easily adapt to.

Re: What exactly is "normal"?

Hi Hexi,
While I do think psychologists go a little too far in how many mental illnesses they make up with each new DSM book (I think they're bored), what should technically be considered mental illness or handicap in my mind is somebody who cannot reasonably function most days in the society they were born in, which may or may not be fair, (given the time and society of course). Functioning includes all areas of living: socially, financially, etc. The question is, when is the person normal, and the society maladaptive instead? (For example- ADHD is said to have possibly been adaptive during primitive times, when it could have saved people from multiple attacks at once; sociopathy could have enabled a tribe to be safe when the brave men without fear could attack any intruder without having to second-guess themselves; shyness and lack of eye contact is considered polite and respectable in Middle Eastern society, while it is a sign of low self-esteem and even autistic spectrum disorders in the West) What do you do then?

Re: What exactly is "normal"?

I don't like people. I rather spend my days thinking and experiencing things alone. I genuinely enjoy it, then people crucify you for not liking or doing these things:

Everyone who isn't out every weekend getting ****** with "friends" and spending 50€/month on text messages is "anti-social"? What's wrong with simply not liking people?

It takes somebody really interesting or stimulating for me to want to share my time with them. And even still, sometimes I get bored.

Anyway, I agree with Hexi.

Re: What exactly is "normal"?

You both need to stop acting like weak children, suck it up, and accept the FACT that life is not fair. Stop venting your feelings about them being so different and unacceptable. It never gets us anywhere and only shows them the obvious division between us... that they would otherwise never see.

You're both sharing the same stupid ego mentality to think the way you do. All you will ever do is be angry if you don't change your methods of reasoning. Try a more.. realistic view as mine. Expect these people to always let you down and fail. Expect failure and when you receive it.. do nothing as you knew it would happen. But on the few occasions where they do succeed.. enjoy the moments.

Your unrealistic expectations are no fault of theirs. If you are so superior.. than act superior. Look at them as the Heroes of Olympus would see the Greek.

It is better to be their champion than to be seen as their enemy. Many great psychopaths have shaped history and been champions of humanity. Look through histories pages. What do you think the Samurai were, what were the Spartans, what were the Vikings, what were all the Heroes of Olympus, and what are you? Each of these cultures will have their memories echo through eternity.

So don't tell me mankind does not appreciate the mental qualities of a psychopath. As they celebrate the memories or our kind, they strive to have their soldiers achieve the warlike state our mind can instantly achieve. We are, mentally, the perfect soldiers. Once focused on an objective there is no mind on earth more dedicated than that of a psychopath. We do not tire out.. we are naturally recharged by our egos. Mentally speaking there is no other mind that can withstand what we can.

But they do not and will not ever celebrate either of you. You choose to let them see you as an enemy. You accept this label and embrace it as it is your only means of adaptation. You are the weak. Your lives have no meaning nor purpose. You very existence is one you share with the unconscious and in doing so.. you have the potential to become so much and you don't even know it.

Both of you have thus far been potential wasted. There is something nice about living in harmony with them. To watch my own fall where I still rise... thanks for the ego booster losers!

No but really..
Try the more mentally disturbed members of their society who have seemingly imploded on themselves as they failed to adapt. Then remember that mental illness is pretty much a white persons disease that Asia never knew. Then laugh again at how stupid their society is. To think itself functional yet to maintain more damage controlling elements than any other cultures on Earth. Especially America... it shows you how dysfunctional they really are and how they try to hide it from plain view.

Hexi, keeps a sword on his bedroom wall to stimulate his ego because he knows he is a powerless weakling in reality and has boundary issues. I laugh at your ego.. not really you. As a structured mind I respect you but I laugh at your inferior ego.

It appears I'm leaning on you but really they are just taunts. I like taunting you. Often I kick people like you in the butt to try and get them going again... mentally.

Re: What exactly is "normal"?

Blaablaablaablaa. I'm not angry at people nor do i hate them. I don't waste effort on such idiotic things. I was commenting of the stupidity of THEIR notions about certain behaviour. Humanity, as a whole, means nothing to me and if you want to feed your vanity by proving your iamginary superiority every chance you get, good for you. I personally don't give a ****. This thread alltogether has NOTHING to do with me or my somehow apparent anger. Also, i have a sword hanging on the wall because it looks nice there. I don't keep it there because i'm afraid of something or because i need to give the image that i have a sword, it's aestehtically pleasing there, nothing more and nothing less. You suck at analyzing me or my motives, just stop.

Do me a favour and don't reply with more delusional crap and assumptions. I'm not you and i don't think like you.

Re: What exactly is "normal"?

You sure have been acting more human lately, Mr Sith.

I'm sorry. I didn't know my influence would have this affect on you. I'll stop now. Lets just move past this.

I'm pretty sure Dragontongue and Toby are the same person. Seriously, I snicker about this to myself when I set him up. He does all the same crap Toby did. You can tell cause I abuse the crap out of him and unlike a normal person, who would get angry, he just takes the abuse.. hoping I'll talk to him. LMAO.. okay okay so maybe I don't 100% believe this but I like to play with the idea of it.

Re: What exactly is "normal"?

It's because i'm bored of your latest approach towards me and feeding your ego is more fun than actually reading your posts. It's mostly garbage anyway.

Re: What exactly is "normal"?

Ahh humans have sated their bloodlust in the name of a deity since forever, that's not really a christian thing, though they were alot more efficient with it. I think that was just killing for the sake of killing because there was a justification for it. The actual cause mattered very little, as long as they got to kill people.

Oh, you put that much better than I did. That was more or less the idea I was trying to get across. 'Get rid of those who are different' seems to be the way most people think. As long as they have a justification for it, some way to soothe their consciences, they'll kill anybody they don't like.

I'm pretty sure Dragontongue and Toby are the same person. Seriously, I snicker about this to myself when I set him up. He does all the same crap Toby did. You can tell cause I abuse the crap out of him and unlike a normal person, who would get angry, he just takes the abuse.. hoping I'll talk to him. LMAO.. okay okay so maybe I don't 100% believe this but I like to play with the idea of it.

Ha! Oh, that's funny. It'd make Toby a more interesting person, anyway. As just plain Toby, he's pretty boring, don't you think? In any case, I never said I was normal. I don't get mad at you because I seriously don't give a hang about you. It's not that I take the abuse... it never even reaches its target.

Re: What exactly is "normal"?

I'm going to call you Shinji from now on because you remind me of him when you cry about your feelings.

"I'm.. I'm not defensive! You.. you man! You stupid stupid man!"

Oh Shinji.. why don't you go suck on a dead dogs nose!


/ma last wordaga!

/Hexnji is hit by 10000 points of reality. The dog pees on his leg, his parrot flies away, he eats the poop.

Re: What exactly is

I've been wondering this for awhile. What exactly is a person with normal mental health? It seems to me that everyone that isn't a drone without a personality is mentally ill and needs to be sedated for the rest of his/her life. It baffles me to see 10 yearolds on meds cause they act up in school? What the hell? At what point did having an opinion and spirit become a mental illness? At what point did not bending over to authority become a mental illness?

Everyone who isn't out every weekend getting ****** with "friends" and spending 50 ¬/month on text messages is "anti-social"? What's wrong with simply not liking people?

At what point did it become a mental illness that needs medication to NOT like your worthless job that you hate because it doesn't stimulate you intellectually?

I understand that those that can't distinguish reality from la-la-land, who sit in a corner and drool are not "ok" but why is having a personality a disorder?

What do you think normality is? If you go to the dictionary you will find a very cold and aseptic definition that simply doesn't feel right, so where will we ever get a notion of what is normal and what is not. Is there a point from where to start our search? This is not only metalinguistic as it is metaphysic and that spells trouble. Let's see this subject from simpler points of view and start with some of the things you said.

Your concern about what is mentally normal or not in a child reminds me of the film "Donnie Darko". It too discusses how the different points of view of a person (in this case, a teenager) can be misinterpreted and discouraged when they are actually healthier than those of all others around him/her. But one must be careful about such things: as always, when it comes to the human mind, things are very far from black and white.

A child needs to be able to have an opinion of his own and express herself freely, even though she must learn, in due time, to respect the fact that other people simply won't accept what she thinks and it is best not to express it to everyone (true friends excluded, most of the time). This isn't hypocrisy, as it might seem at first, but simple and healthy rules of social conduct, the reasons for which I will try to make clear in another post if it becomes the subject of too much controversy.

Even "acting up" as you say, is very normal in a child: I would be more preoccupied with a child of mine if he or she had a perfect behaviour than if he or she kept making trouble at school. However, some forms of misbehaviour in a child can be the sign of mental illness or, at least, emotional distress.

A child that is psychologically (or otherwise) abused at home, or is going through some potentially traumatic experience (like his parent's divorce), will usually either misbehave a lot or completely shut off the outside world in an alexotimic reaction. A child that is hyperactive can seem to be very misbehaved but, in fact, she is only unable to contain his thoughts and is unable to pay attention to any one subject for any relevant period of time.

Another example you gave: is spending too much time exchaging text messages, or comunicating through text using the internet for that matter, a sign of illness, a disfunctional behaviour, or something that is completely normal? If you meet persons who do that, you will see that some use text messages to come closer to the people around them, while others use such messages to keep everyone away and far from direct contact. Whether these positions are good or bad depends on what you believe and how extreme the behaviour is. If someone is not very sociable, it doesn't mean that the person in question has any problem (social behaviour can change dramatically from person to person), but you know as well as I do that humans are a social animal. It isn't just intelligence that has made us flourish as a species and civilization, it is also because we know how to deal with one another and cooperate that we are what we are. I dislike the notion that all human behaviour comes from genetic differences or that it comes only from the environment of the person as she grows up (scientifically neither position has any ground to stand upon nowadays), but we now know that some part of our social behaviour is genetically induced.

Our brain has specific neurons, called mirror neurons, that interpret what a person we see and hear is doing and saying and make us truly feel what the other person is feeling so we can know how to deal with it, feel for the person herself and do something to help if necessary (or become safe in the knowledge that the other person is well). Even monkeys, wolves and dolphins (among other species) exhibit concern about social ties. Bonobos have frequent sexual contact to keep everything friendly: when they get mad at each other for any reason they tend to make up afterwards and exchange some sort of sexual stimulus to return their relation to "normality". That is why, although not being too friendly might be perfectly normal (in my opinion, of course), extreme situations where someone evades any social contact can be a sign of some mental problem. Liking, disliking, being liked and being disliked are just as part of our "normal" life as anything else you might think of. This isn't the full picture, of course, but that's not for us to decide, and I will speak of this problem in a moment.

About the problem of the job: the idea is not to make someone artificially like their job, nor is it to keep such a person "under control": it is about allowing them to know how to live with what they have, even if they aren't happy about it, without suffering terribly every day. The question about medication, that you have been repeating until now, can be easily answered and, since there is not much to say about the job issue, I will explain it now.

I too am concerned about over-medication in today's society, specially when that person's problem can be solved through psychotherapy instead of drugs, because it is all too easy to just prescribe a "hapiness pill" and leave it at that, but there is another side to the problem. It is true that psychotherapy can truly change the way people relate to things, and to themselves, in their lives whereas drugs alone can only provide a temporary solution. However, there are many cases where psychotherapy alone will not lead anywhere without the help of one drug or another. Imagine that somone has a problem with anxiety. You can call anxiety normal, and it is an important part of our mental processes, but you know that at some point it can become pathological: the point at which you can no longer lead a life with which you can feel comfortable just because you are too anxious at the wrong moments. Anxiety is self-reinforcing: when you are too anxious in a certain situation you will feel a lot of discomfort, this makes you associate the situation with negative feelings, then your own brain starts reacting poorly at the prospect of such events because it knows it will suffer (it's pavlovian), this then leads to more anxiety and the circle will repeat endlessly. At some point, even thinking about the event will make you anxious. I know: I've been there, regretably. This is not constructive for anyone and, thus, is not considered, by most, healthy or normal.

The problem with anxiety is that to cure someone with excessive anxiety, a therapist must make the person separate the event from the suffering the brain imposes on itself. It is just like treating a phobia: it is necessary to let the brain "learn" that there is no real reason to be afraid and to make itself suffer. However, it is not common for a person to be able to be talked into a non-anxious state if they are too far into a circle of anxiety. Sometimes this works and someone can be helped to learn to control their anxiety and eventually make it disappear, but sometimes it is necessary to impose the necessary relaxation on the brain so it starts separating the event from bad feelings. A therapist can go as far as to acompany a patient into a stressful situation in order to talk and deconstruct the wrong lessons the brain has learned (this was done to me), but this is not always enough or it can even be impossible if the person is too anxious to become more calm with just words (again, as it happened to me). This is the objective of medicating someone who "hates" their job. A poor professional may just fill the person with ansiolitics and anti-depressants, but a good professional will only use the drugs to stimulate the cure, not create it magically. It can be as simple as a mild ansiolitic, if the problem is caught early, or it may be necessary to use stronger ansiolitics and some anti-depressant if the person has been suffering for so long that she has fallen into a true depression. I've seen both cases and I myself have been in one of them, although, after a long time of pain, I am finally recuperating, not because of the medication by itself, but because the medication produces the right conditions for me to heal myself.

All processes of mental healing have to be self-induced: a person can be put on the right path but only that person can go through it. No one can be healed if, at least from a certain point onward, he/she doesn't want to be healed. A psychiatrist can stabilize the mental condition of a patient in order for her to be able to reason clearly but, after that, it is the patient herself who has to follow the therapist's guidelines and allow the healing to take place by his own will and not that of the therapist.

How can we tell the difference between normality and abnormality in such cases? Well, this has been studied for more than a hundred years now. It has taken many different forms as it evolved, but we must trust that, after so much time, something must finally be right in the scientific view of our mind. Psychology had humble beginnings and psychiatry as revolved around very nasty concepts, that just spread more misery than anything else, in the past, but today, even knowing we have still too much to learn about ourselves, we must admit that something good as come out of this process. These sciences can, and do, help people in mental distress, or those who simply can't fit into their environment. Not fitting in is not synonymous of mental illness but it usually results in emotional distress: a good professional will never tell someone that their point of view is simply wrong because those around her don't agree with his view, but she might help such a person to live with that fact without suffering any more. It is the same thing as in the job issue.

This is the important difference between what we believe is mentally normal and what is not: the way the person herself feels about it and how far we are willing to let a person hurt herself, before deciding it is too much and we must interfere.

A person who smokes is clearly destroying his health, but most times it is not because they are mentally ill: they just like smoking. A person who consumes recreational drugs (even nicotine itself, which is truly a drug) without being able to control herself, and cannot lead a life with which she can feel fulfilled in result, needs help, not because she consumes recreational drugs (in countries where many recreational drugs are legal, there are people who consume them and lead an otherwise "normal" life) but because it has come to a point where it is causing true suffering to them. The same is true for alcohol: there is a huge difference between drinking a cup of wine or whisky (for example) when it will give you only pleasure and drinking so much you become depressed, do things you don't really want to do and spiral into oblivion.

Where does the right to be different and the pathological realm seperate from each other? That's where the real problem is... This is why we need professional help to make such decisions. Psychologists and psychiatrists may be wrong many times, they may even be wrong lots of times in certain societies (as it happened before), but psychology and psychiatry are the only points of reference we have to make this kind of decision in a truly rational, and scientifically sound, way. We can use common sense, we can use good sense, but why not use the acumulated knowledge of thousands of dedicated scientists, who studied the subject through many years, to guide us?

Science evolves through mistakes, but it is usually not completely wrong in all respects at any given point. The general theory of relativity is much better at describing our universe than the original theories of Sir Isaac Newton but it makes no sense to use such a theory for most pratical purposes.

The general theory of relativity is only useful for huge speeds, huge distances and huge masses: there is a big difference between the mass of the entire Himalayas and that of the planet Mars. The original theory is still partially correct and is still useful so, although scepticism is advised when it comes to many things, there is a limit to how much we should doubt a particular scientific view. This is also aplicable to what professionals say about mental health although, in the end, you are the one who has to decide what is normal for you and in who to believe.

-- What am I doing here? --

I am currently doing research on several topics for a few books and articles I am writing. I would like to make a positive contribution to fora (plural of "forum") about such topics in order to get constructive views on those matters for a better perspective on them. This is why I came here. I will not indulge myself in flamming and will not respond directly to any clearly non-constructive replies.

I have read some of Dr. Robert's responses to certain questions and I find them lacking and biased. Still, I truly wish to know what people who come here, and even Dr. Robert himself, think about my points of view for three reasons. First: I know I can, very easily, be wrong and I should keep an eye out for other opinions. Second: all points of view are important to have perspective on any matter, specially the ones one doesn't agree with. Third: wisdom can come from very strange places and one should not underestimate anyone as far as knowledge and wisdom are concerned.

Please, give me honest and constructive replies: I will return in kind.

"The slumber of reason creates monsters." - Goya

Re: What exactly is

I don't argue that psychology, as a whole, is somehow bad or redundant. I just think that it needs a reform of a kind to weed out the large potential for bad or outright wrong treatment. Also, children that have trouble home or other emotional problems are immedietly carried to therapy. Isn't it a natural coping mechanism to handle with life at that age? Supressing the mechanism for the brain to cope and adapt seems like a disaster waiting to happen and no drug is without side-effects, which are mostly unneeded. Society coddles our children and holds them in a glass box, it sickens me. Our whole future generations will be a mass of emotionally unstable wussies who are used to getting what they want and winning even when losing.

Re: What exactly is

I don't think there is a response that will be completely satisfactory, for you, to what you propose, but I can try to get close to it.

First of all, I don't know where you are finding the examples that support your view of psychology, but, although you are right in many respects, it sounds like you live in a very paranoid country with a counterproductive view of the human mind. Do you live in the USA?

Even if your country is given to those aflictions, and even if psychology in many places (like the USA) is being slowly changed to converge with the, usually, more balanced view that exists in most of Europe, the reason for such events is not an inherent property of psychology or psychiatry (even in the USA, at least to some degree) but of the therapists themselves (if there is really such a profound problem, as you will see later in this post).

Sciences that study, and propose themselves, to help heal the mind still have a very long way to go, but what is considered correct in them is not what you describe. The behaviour of therapists, that I described in the previous post, is what is commonly viewed as correct by unbiased scientists in the area.

A lot of misguided actions have taken place in the name of psychology and psychiatry, but those disciplines, as a whole, do not defend those same actions. I had to go through several psychologists and psychiatrists to achieve the equilibrium from which I benefit now, after years of depression, low self-esteem, anxiety and poor social realtionships, and not one of them behaved as you described.

If anything, my conclusion was that I should have started therapy earlier: I have a borderline personality disorder and, by the time I started therapy, my personality was already so well established that it was extremely hard to change the misconceptions about life in general that had imprinted themselves in me and created my own disfunctional view of reality.

This is why children and adults that suspect they have, or are suspected of having, mental unbalance should always search help from a therapist. However, there is something extremely important you must remember, and that I have already stated: therapy does not imply medication. If a good professional is consulted, she will try to do a thorough evalution of the possible patient, even if, when in doubt, more than one session is recquired, and then decide if therapy really is needed if medication will be necessary, or less agressive techniques are enough, and if another medical view is necessary (such as that of a neurologist if it appears the problem is truly physical and not psychological only). If all is well, a therapist will sometimes have the pleasure, that all therapists should feel, of being able to confidently say there is no reason for concern and allowing the patient to continue with her normal life unhindered.

There is nothing wrong with going to a therapist under these conditions. Every healthy person is advised by the medical community to do regular examinations, with variable intervals depending on factors that may increase or decrease the probability of disease (such as family members with genetic diseases, agressive working enviroments, stressful way of life, too many sexaul partners, etc), so why not talk to a therapist once in a while? Psychiatrists are the “big guns” against mental illness and there doesn't seem to be anything to gain by going directly to one in case of some minor problem. Neither does it make sense to go to a psychiatrist to have a casual conversation with a therapist, just to get a good picture of how your life is going from an unbiased third person point of view, firmly based in knowledge and experience. I would only go directly to a psychiatrist if no psychologist were avalable and I had reasons for concern. However, even taking this into consideration, what is the problem of talking to a psychologist in a very comfortable way if you feel you or your children could benefit from it? Psychology is not only for those who suffer from mental disorders, it is also a way of helping a person cope with the, sometimes agressive, events of their daily life. The purpose of therapy should not be to cure alone but, as with all other medical disciplines, also to prevent the problems before they appear or at least catch them in time to heal them successfully. A person who has just lost a dearly loved family member may or may not become truly depressed, but such a person can always benefit from discussing his or her feelings with someone who can understand them and guide that person through the many stages of mourning.

At least in my country, psychologists are taught, and must know, all about the relation between the different forms of psychology (usually they only specialize in one branch) and the relation between psychology and psychiatry, as well as having to learn how to identify problems that can be psychiatric or neurological in nature.

I started the resolution of my problems by going to a sleep therapist because one of the main quantitative signs of the problems I had was a terrible sleep pattern. The psychologists who saw me, quickly realised there was need of psicotherapy because my sleep disorder was not a primary disfunction, but a secondary problem derived from a deeper unbalance. My new therapist took only a couple of sessions to have a clear idea of what I truly needed and concluded that the branch of psychotherapy she used was probably the most effective one against the problem I had. I was lucky to have her since, although not too old, she is an excellent and experienced professional and she is a teacher at my city's Faculty of Psychology, as well as being one of the few experts that lead the interns at the hospital. After this she recommended I start seeing a psychiatrist to complement the therapy and, at first, that doctor only perscribed a light ansiolitic.

As my therapy progressed, external stress made me fall into deeper depression and my anxiety went through the roof. Another, more experient, psychiatrist took over my case and noticed I had multiple “gaps” in my mental structure and medicated me accordingly. It took a few trials and errors, and a lot of time, to get to the precise combination of medication that would truly help me but, as soon as we found the right one (this kind of therapy is only possible with the aid of the patient's own view of the problems) I totally overcame my depression, my social life became completely reversed (for the better), I finally began a normal romantic life and my work rocketed into space with the new found confidence I now have.

The medication did not cure me, it controlled the simptoms, but in this position, after a lot of psychotherapy, I am able to heal myself and, if all goes well, at some point my medication will be slowly reduced and my mental state will stabilize by itself without the need for any further medication.

(to be continued)

Re: What exactly is

This is what good therapists atempt to do (at least in my country): provide the means for a person to heal, if possible. The case is different in chronic cases where a cure is impossible, or nearly so, and therapy is of little, or no help, alone. This can happen with any numver of disorders like with severe schizophrenia, which scientists believe may be more of a neurological disorder than a purely psychological one, or bipolar disorder, which can benefit from psychotherapy but requires constant medication. Only then do psychiatrists recomend perpetual consumption of the appropriate medication to keep the patient's mental health.

If anyone suspects the behaviour of a child is strange for that age, and if such a person is truly concerned, that person doesn't need to rush the child to a psychiatrist: unless the symptoms are truly severe, a concerned parent, for exemple, should go to a psychologist and explain why he or she believes their child's behaviour is not normal. The psychologist can assure the person that there is nothing wrong, if that is the case, or ask that she be allowed to observe the child if there is any doubt in the therapist's mind about the well-being of the possible patient. Even if the child needs to be seen by a psychologist because of some doubt, they can still be sent her back to her normal life, without ever noticing anything unusual happened: it is just another doctor, right? Only if the therapist finds genuine reasons for concern will it be necessary to start therapy.

Even overdependancy on therapy and/or medication is something a good therapist can detect and solve! Unless a therapist is completely unethical and is trying to make a lot of money out of other people's misery, there is no reason a therapist would tell someone to keep coming to therapy, to keep taking medication or that a person still has a problem that has already been solved (or, extremely worse, feed a patient's illness to keep her constantly dependent on the therapist).

That's the process that psychology and psychiatry recomend as far as therapy is concerned. If a therapist does otherwise or sujests anything other than this, she should be viewed as a potentially problematic therapist. And this includes therapists who believe they can evaluate and solve complex problems, such as a deep distress about sexual identity, through short replies to very confined requests for help, under public scrutiny over the radio, in talk shows or on the internet.

Most of the problems you have justly raised can sometimes be related to problems in these sciences themselves but that is rare nowadays and, with time, it will keep getting even rarer. The true source of the problem may lie with the poor education of the therapists, or their lack of vocation and basic capabilities, and sometimes even because of the parents of the children and the adults who seek help. It is not strictly a problem of what psychology and psychiatry defend: it is a problem about how, less than enlightened, professionals interpret what they are taught.

There is too much paranoia today: that is a cancer that can yet undo a lot of our social evolution in the last decades (like it is happening in a couple of countries in Europe, as it has been happening continually in the USA and as it happened completely and unfortunately in many places around the globe). Freedom, the right to self-determination, even some basic human rights or rights agreed upon many decades ago (like the Geneva Conventions that the USA is breaking almost every day with impunity) are being slowly eroded. Fear is what is driving the masses today and fear is a very powerful, unethical and dangerous tool in the hands of politicians, other influential people and some specific communities (like the mental therapy community). It was fear and frustration that led the people of the former USSR to follow a vicious despot, that seduced part of Europe to subject itself to the ideals of a megalomaniac madman many decades ago and that led to the cold war and related disgraces just a little later (and the, so called, Mutual Assured Destruction policy, MAD for short, which could have taken mankind to the brink of extinction or even succeed in annihilating us all).

I hope this will help you understand what I believe is truly wrong in our modern view of normality. We spent decades learning some of the difference (not all, not by a long shot) between normal and abnormal behaviour, although the line between them is extremely delicate and always shifting a bit. The problem today is not that we don't have the right tools to know, within the obvious limitations imposed by subjectivity and, of course, only to a certain degree, what is normal and what is not. The problem today is that, at least in some places, many have unlearned how to use those tools.

Just keep in mind one thing: as far as biologists and neurologists can tell, the human brain adapted to allow us to live in small comunities with no overwhelming source of information. For the past few millenia, specially since the industrial revolution and even more so in the last few decades, humans have constructed ever more complex social structures and exposed themselves to increasing amounts of information. A couple of millenia is simply not enough for a species to adapt to all of this, specially one that is no longer under the complete influence of natural selection as we are. The weakest among us are, wherever there is any sort of social responsibility, protected and allowed to procreate endlessly. This is a sign that we have evolved positively as a society, but it is a double edge sword: it is the right and ethical thing to do (in my opinion) but can be the source of problems later on.

There have always been problems with the minds of many, but today we have every reason to believe we are getting more prone to mental illness: stress alone could justify almost all of this, now combine that with all the other factors of agression upon the human mind. In earlier days, any different behaviour would be considered madness and yet, as we learn that many things that are unusual are also natural, the number of persons with true mental illness is rising for two reasons: the agressive environment in which we live and the increased awareness about more subtle conditions that lead to a miserable life but were once disregarded. This may also be one of the things that makes you see more problems than solutions. Although there are bad therapists, part of the problem may be a cognitive illusion. How can we truly know what is happening in our world today if we are immersed in it and it seems to have become more complex than ever before?

Think about it...

"You're only given a little spark of madness. You mustn't lose it." - Robin Williams

Re: What exactly is

I'm actually from Finland. I've just seen, first hand, the impact bad pshychologists have had on people that I know. It's not just an isolated incident either. It's just that the effects of overlooking something and giving the wrong treatment can have devsatating effects and has the potential to ruin a person for the rest of their lives. Especially when the person in question is still a child and their brain is still developing.

Also, i'm totally against coddling children to believe they are somehow special. It's already evident in the new 15-20 generation, they are just pathetic beyong belief for the most part. They can't handle losing, emotions or relationships that go south. I think it's a totally wrong direction. Mind you, i'm not advocating eugenics or "cleansings" because even though that would solve alot of problems, we are too compassionate as a society, not as a race, to do such things.

Re: What exactly is

As for the first reply to my post:

My personal experience is insignificant compared to the message I am trying to convey. "I" only exist when it benefits the explanation of whatever I feel is important to transmit in this forum.

If you think you may learn something important from my, less than agreeable, experiences with mental disorders, I will subject myself to the exposition of my personal life once more, but I will not do it because someone is "interested" in it.

As for Hexi's contribution:

I may have understood at least part of your position. Don't misinterpret what I wrote, please. Something can be, and probably is, wrong.

There were only two points I wanted to make. The first one is that the obvious sign you mentioned, the increased number of persons described as having mental disorders, isn't the best argument because it can be explained by other means. The second point is that the problem is not in psychology or psychiatry itself but in the community that is supposed to act in those areas with good sense, based on knowledge of the science they use and practical experience (like any kind of doctor).

I think you understood both points and I now I believe I finaly understand all that led you to express this concern. As far as you can tell, there are entire generations being poorly raised in such a way that their members do not know how to live with reality or deal with the obstacles of every day life. Instead of addressing the cause of the problem (poor upbringing of children and teenagers into adulthood) you believe your country is hiding the true nature of the consequences and puting the responsibility on mental disorders or, if the consequences truly are a drastic increase in cases of mental disorder, people are only dealing with the end result and not the root of the problem itself.

This is what I understood from your reply. If there is anything I misinterpreted (or if I got it all wrong), please, let me know.

About what you said as far as new generations are concerned, what you say may be true in your country, I am not there to see for myself and I will obvisouly trust your insight, but it is not necessarily true everywhere. In my country strange things have happened with some generations but the one that might be more similar to the one you describe has already passed. I have been in close contact with freshmen at my university two times with an interval of 12 years: I didn't notice much difference. Twelve years is a very short time, granted, but you must admit it means the two generations should already show signs of what you say is happening, and they don't.

It is sad that what you say is happening in a country like Finland, which I always thought had a more advanced mentality than the usual first-world countries. I have a limited knowledge about your country but I always had the impression that it was one of the last places on earth where I should suspect such a thing would happen.

Perhaps your society has achieved a state where it has some characteristics of an utopia but those same things, because they are too perfect and dificult to mantain, have resulted in distopian effects. Perhaps your country functions so well people are loosing contact with harsh realities and don't learn, during their childhood, how to deal with the normal problems of every day life.

These are just wild guesses... I'm talking completely out of the void on this one. I would like to say there is a very logical explanation to what is happening, tell you what that explanation is and be able to reassure you that things will get better, but I cannot.

Look to sociologists and people in related areas: only they have any chance of understanding, with the help of psychology, the true nature of whatever aflicts your homeland. Anything else is as unwise as trying to understand the changing of the tides by explaining the behaviour of every molecule of water in the oceans.

I will be waiting for your reply.

"There exists no politician in India daring enough to attempt to explain to the masses that cows can be eaten." - Indira Ghandi

Re: What exactly is

No, you got my point quite well. I'm not a verbose person so i tend to keep my posts short and to the point which, at times, leaves room for misunderstanding but that is fine with me as i care very little about the subjects i write about. This is just stimuli for me.

As to the subject at hand. In Finland, we are slipping towards a total nanny state. When i got to 7th grade, there was an initiation of sorts for getting out of elementary school which included some humiliation and picking on the new kids, to welcome them to a new chapter of their lives. It was all in good fun. As an example, i wore one my mothers dresses for the day, it was required, and some lipstick. Then we were guided, 1 class at a time, to the gym hall and taken through a course with our eyes blindfolded to stick our hands into all sorts of nastyness. This was a fun day for everyone. Now, it's banned and any such activities which "pick" on the new kids is punishable by severe detention. In sports, they no longer keep score in PE classes as everyone wins. This is the kind of pampering idiocy that goes on in our younger kids at school. These are just 2 examples but i can list more if you insist, it's just to illustrate how ridiculous it's gotten.

Also, i don't think Finland has ever been a "stable" country mentally, i don't get where you got that impression. Our suicide rates are quite high and violence is common. Especially at home. Kids are dragged into school counselors at the first signs of trouble (i was a regular there) and you are labeled as "crazy" or atleast "odd" after that. This in itself is not such a problem but how on earth can they expect 1 person to have any meaningful relationships with a hundred children, or more. This one person decides if you need professional help and at that point, you are labelled for the rest of your academic life and in some cases, makes one unable to even apply to certain jobs. I just find the whole system so... ****.

Re: What exactly is

You know the position I am in at the moment, because of another thread, and, since I have already learned much in this forum, even in the few days I have been here, my contributions may soon end, as I continue my work as an alexanthropogist in other, more ethically sound, fora. However, this is a very important discussion, about a problem that is deeply troubling for me, and I will try to see it through to the end.

The method you described, for aiding the mental evolution of children and their social integration, does not seem completely sound but, if it was based in your culture's tradition and it was a natural part of a child's life, there is no reason to believe it was damaging and may, in fact, have been positive for the edification of children in your country.

I cannot be sure because public humiliation can be detrimental and I do not know exactly how it was done, but this is my honest opinion. I have little or no knowledge about the effect of that exact kind behaviour on children but, it seems within the reach of my own good sense to meditate upon the subject.

As for what happens today, using your accounts as a base its analysis, it is very clearly an extreme position in the other direction: it is just as paranoid as what is happening elsewhere about pedophilia. A ten year-old child was forced to apologise to a friend for hugging that child and it is no longer permitted for children to sit on the lap of Santa Claus impersonators in at least one place where it was traditional to do so.

As a rule, no extreme position is healthy for anything pertaining to the social and psychological life of an individual, and the way your country seems to be functioning borders on utter insanity. There is little a single person can do in your position with the exception of publicly debating the subject, searching for like minded persons who can spread the word and try to change the status quo.

If you were more, as you say, "verbose", I would encourage you to write articles explaning your point of view, in a clear and fundamented way, and send them to every mass media entity you thought might be open to consider publishing your point of view. Even if your opinion isn't popular, there may still be some smaller or more controversial newspapers and magazines that would accept you contribution and start a possible cascade effect that could eventually result in a country wide open discussion of what you find is wrong.

The only problem you might encounter is persecution by those who adamantly defend the current state of the country and those who, out of fear or ignorance, follow them.

If there is nothing you can do, trust the human society's hability to heal itself and return from extreme positions to a natural balance. It is common for many cultures to fluctuate between extremes continually, over decades or centuries, or to take some time to reach an equilibrium. Your country may have suffered some negative influence from other cultures, specially the USA culture, that have turned to fear and paranoia because of certain events and facts that, although they should be viewed with care, have been exploited by fearmongers to the extent where there is little or no rationality left in what people think about the related subjects.

Let us hope this doesn't lead to the birth of yet another, very negative, mass revolution as it happened in the early decades of the twentieth century in places around Europe, at the hands of another megalomanic insane manipulator of the masses. I do not wish to live through what can become something of the magnitude of the "holy" inquisition or, much less, something even remotely similar to the holocaust.

If you want, since I am devoting many ours to reading and writting, you can send me very thorough e-mails about what you feel is happening in your country, and why you think it is happening or why it is wrong, and, if you find my writing style agreeable, I can help you create a reasonable text for you to express your opinion in public.

Other than this, I can only advise caution and patience.

Good luck.

"In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act." - George Orwell

Re: What exactly is

Adam, you are an idiot. On another thread you asked me to stop flaming. The person who started that other thread said he needs help and asked me to take my comment over here so that my argument with you would not interfere with the help he needs. OK.

Adam, why have you not yet apologized to Dr. Robert for your failure to respond properly to his answer to your first post, for your rudeness and disrespect to him and to his excellent work on his website and in providing this forum, and for the misinformation which you keep putting out here?

Now, listen, you jerk: You are an idiot. This is not flaming. It is a simple fact. You criticized the doctor in a rude and disrespectful manner. He answered you politely, and pointed out that your ideas about sexuality were mistaken. He demonstrated your mistake with a number of references (which I doubt you ever even checked). You did not even have the courtesy to acknowledge that he had replied to you with new information, much less the intelligence to respond to the new information.

You are on some kind of vendetta here, and that is obvious to many of us, not just me. You don't make the rules here, so stop trying. I suggest you leave this forum where you really are just a useless pain in the ass. If you want to parade your absurd ideas about sexuality, or if you want to slander Dr. Robert, why not get your own website to do it, or start your own forum.

This forum is not about slandering Dr. Robert, it is about open minded discussions of serious topics among people of good will. You obviously are not interested in that kind of discussion since you lack even the common decency to have replied to the doctor properly or to acknowledge that he presented you with new ideas which required serious consideration.

You talk about flaming--my god, man--your entire communication with Dr. Robert has consisted of you flaming him. No wonder he cut you off just like he cut Zenemy off. You are just like Zenemy, and I suspect you are him in disguise. Why should the doctor have anything to do with you? Why should any of us, for that matter?

As I say, you are an idiot. And it is even worse than that, Adam. You are an idiot who thinks he is smart (you aren't). You are the kind of puffed up idiot, who uses the word "fora," and then feels obliged to explain it to us inferiors out here just in case we aren't brilliant and educated idiots like you.

Adam, you are a raging narcissist, and that's not flaming but pure fact. Not only that, you are a liar, and those of us who have followed the doctor's website know it. In a pig's ass he changed that reply to the boy to evade your scrutiny as you keep implying. I read that piece months ago, and I know better. It hasn't changed a bit.

You really are lost. Get a life.

Re: What exactly is

I would be interested in hearing greater detail about your sleep problem. Please go on about that matter.

Re: What exactly is "normal"?

Thank you Hexi, for a very interesting debate. I may wish to reply to one post or another, specially if it is about something very relevant like the question you proposed, but it would be foolish of me to keep contributing to this forum on a regular basis if there has been such an upheaval against me. I will leave this forum almost completely out of my regular routine for the time being. If you ever wish to further discuss this or another subject please, feel free to send me an e-mail.

Even if I won't advise you to ask something directly to Dr. Robert, I wish others continue debating important matters with you and that your experience here will be a positive one.

Enjoy the summer! =)

Re: What exactly is "normal"?

The "upheaval" was entirely self-inflicted. You said that Dr. Robert's website was "lacking and biased." He asked you to specify. You did. He demonstrated that your objections were based on an incorrect understanding of human sexuality. You claimed that sexual orientation is culturally created so that the doctor was wrong in telling that boy to accept his sexuality. The doctor proved you entirely wrong by giving you a number of references to the contrary. Instead of admitting your error, you began a long series of attacks against him, including accusations of mal-practice, accusations that he had changed his posts in order to somehow fool you, you accused him of being "underhanded," you threated to harass him and hound him even though you have no grounds for doing so and worst of all you said that he is not an authority on human psychology and so should not be giving his opinions. That is ridiculous. If a doctor of psychology and psychotherapist of many years experience is not an authority, who is? It is YOU who have been pretending to be an authority when you are not. Your misunderstanding of sexuality ("Heterosexuality, bisexuality and homosexuality are constructs of society, every psychologist and psychiatrist knows this almost since the 70's: that's thirty years ago!") which the doctor tried to correct shows that not only are you not an authority, but you are simply so full of shit that it is leaking out your mouth. How do you have the nerve to come on here giving all kinds of advice as if you really know anything, claiming to be an expert because you have met experts, claiming to be some kind of savior of humanity, and basically stinking up the joint, and then say that the DOCTOR is not an expert? This is his forum, Anthropussy, not yours. He IS an expert. YOU aren't.

You brought this "upheaval" on yourself. If you had the ordinary decency to apologize for your mistakes, everyone here would have accepted you even though you do come off unbearably pedantic and superior. But when you launch a dishonest attack against the founder of this forum who is a person many of us admire for his open mindedness and willingness to accept everyone without judging, you should expect to meet resistance. The worst anyone called you is idiot, and that seems fair enough to me.

If you had any real integrity you would apologize to the doctor for your insults and your lack of respect for his learning. At least you would say that you were mistaken about what "every psychologist and psychiatrist knows." But if can't manage that kind of intellectual honesty then you, Anthropussy, are a fake and a fraud, and you will not be missed here at all.