mental illness and the person - Social Anxiety Forum
Thread Tools
post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-13-2015, 07:52 AM Thread Starter
SAS Member
Join Date: Jul 2014
Gender: Female
Posts: 43

mental illness and the person

Can people with mental illness be separated from their disorder? In other words, is mental illness something that is a unique entity, or is a fundamental aspect of the individual like personality? I just want to see if there are differences of opinion on this. I will not put forth my own ideas because I am seeing if this could be the basis of my master's thesis.
Hildegard1991 is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-13-2015, 07:59 AM
gopherinferno's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Arkansas
Gender: Female
Age: 30
Posts: 5,612
mental illness shouldn't define you as a whole. it shouldn't put a different twist on your accomplishments or lack thereof.

like any disease, it's something you have to absorb into yourself if you're going to live with it in a healthy way. you can't pretend it's not there, but you can't let it consume you to the point that you are nothing but your illness. and no one else should be able to do that to you, either.

you have to be able to say, "this is who i am, this is what i like, this is what i do, and i'm sick, but i'm still valuable and valid despite my weaknesses"

nobody exists on purpose. nobody belongs anywhere. everybody's gonna die ~~

If you like pina coladas and gettin caught in the rain, follow me on Twitter @audreytheworst . I never talk about pina coladas or rain. But surely you like other stuff. If you don't, get some other interests already, geez.
gopherinferno is offline  
post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-13-2015, 09:15 AM
SplendidBob's Avatar
Join Date: May 2014
Location: UK
Language: English
Gender: Male
Posts: 11,615
This will probably be one of my weirdest posts and not sure whether to post it because it might be complete idiocy, but what the hell.

So taking the ASA definition of personality:

Personality refers to individual differences in characteristic patterns of thinking, feeling and behaving. The study of personality focuses on two broad areas: One is understanding individual differences in particular personality characteristics, such as sociability or irritability. The other is understanding how the various parts of a person come together as a whole.
Evidently if someone has a mental illness it will affect their personality. Removing their mental illness will affect their personality.

Lets just speculate wildly and suggest that a specific individuals anxiety is caused by a structural variation in their brains. This will affect pretty much all aspects of their personality, and we can't really say that their brain physiology isn't 'them'. How their brain is built is the very core of what makes them themselves. If you were to alter the brain and remove the anxiety you have a completely different person. Its like changing someones genes to create the same effect.

So the answer to your question imo, is going to be investigating how much of mental illness is a biological phenomenon. I would look into:

1)Biological evidence for mental illnesses
2)What happens to the brain when therapies are successful (i.e. does a therapeutic improvement correlate with a change in the brain in some way).

So, if you can 'remove' a mental illness without physically altering the brain in any way, then mental illness can be a separate thing to 'who they are'. If you can't then mental illness is core to the individual.

From what I know about mental illness, the latter seems almost certainly true. It would be pretty surprising to me if a mental illness could be removed without the brain being physiologically altered in some way.

(what follows might sound completely insane btw, its just how I try to understand it in my own mind).

So imagine a brain is a mass of connections between various points in three dimensions. An individual thinking is those connections flipping around and joining other connections (this is probably an awful way to try to picture it, but its the best I can come up with). What is a mental illness? is it a variation in the physical properties of the connections (their length, their number, their potential connections, their material), or is it simply a result of which connections connect to which connections? (is it just 'thoughts'?)

What happens when an individual is conditioned by their environment? are we talking about certain connections becoming a preference? or does a structural change force the brain into new connections (and ways of thinking)?

I personally can't believe this to be 'just thoughts'. Something structural must happen during conditioning that makes the thoughts and feelings change, otherwise the person could just immediately alter their thinking. Depression is forced upon the individual, as is anxiety, so whether you have the change brought about by genetics (the structure is different to begin with) or environment (the structure is modified) the result is that a mental illness has to have some corresponding physiological alteration, in some way.

If you make a physical alteration to a brain, you have a different person (imo).
SplendidBob is offline  
post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-13-2015, 02:13 PM
SAS Member
harrison's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 15,086
Just a tip to OP - pay close attention to @splendidbob 's posts - then copy and paste them to form your Masteres thesis. (hi Bob)

I haven't gotten through all of the above post yet, but I think I agree with the first part of it - ie. our personality - and therefore who we actually are as a person, is so closely tied up with our mental illness that it starts to get very difficult to tell the two apart.

This becomes even more apparent with disorders like bipolar disorder. If, for example, you were to spend some time with me when I'm manic - you would get a very different picture of "who" I am as compared to when I wasn't. My variations in mood are incredible - and they have a massive impact on my ability to be able to interact with the world etc.

It's an interesting topic and something I think about sometimes. Will be interested to see what others have to say.
harrison is offline  
post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-14-2015, 03:14 PM
SAS Member
Search's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 120
My Mood: Buzzed

Ofcourse they can - DISCONNECT TODAY!!! Just play the game but live your life.

Hi Hildegard1991,
Can people with mental illness be separated from their disorder?

Absolutely! Although those individuals that find themselves reliant on medications and therapists rarely break away from the mold. Of course there of the exception of those few, who actually use the meds as an aid by seeking out further recovery on thier own efforts. Those the have therapists that listen, more than they tell, will have far better chance to see themselves other than the label professionals and victims use often us to define themselves.

My advice lacks any technical terminology, nor do I have any clinical certifications. I can only talk from a life long experience at having been on varoius of meds, labeled a dozen times and seen many therapists of all kinds.

It's a great question, because more and more kids are falling by the way side as more and more labels are being made up. These labels fall into various categories that fit the bill for various meds. Doctors and Therapists Define To Confine like a mechanic or computer tech keep's his clients coming back.

Bit like Doctors that know nothing about nutrition. It pays not to know! So too, does psychology define the labels with the same intent. It's rife in Universities and is the way such BS it taught. It's how the wheels spin.

UNLEARNING all the BS is how I have been able to break free. You learn what it is that they want to hear and feed them their "&^%$" Psychology is so predictable these days. Some of us just keep up with it to spin what others want to hear. It's really our outbursts that make us stable or not. All the rest is hogwash for a more acceptable and appropriate term.

The system is designed to make people believe they are this or that box. It's the insane ones that choose not to be part of such labels that can never seem to get it right.

I'm proud to be mall adjusted, jump through the hoops and pretend I'm busted - The only true healing that takes place in me, is when I disconnect from said community! Until it wakes the **** up - I'll sun bathe on welfare payments for the rest of my life. It's only through dissociation from not just the labels, but also others who live like sheep. I am non functional in society - require police intervention (when forced to live a certain way) and know very well how to play the ****ing game called life.

Disassociation from labels is the only way. Leave the WORK for the so called puppeteers who go to uni and think they are going to control it all. Embrace the labels and learn them well. Be be sure to dump that **** in the bin on the way out their office and live life well!!!!!!!!

Fresh Air - little food as possible and believing in yourself. Is all you need! The pills, the labels and the DXing - It's all BS that feeds an ever growing industry. Once you see the truth, you can do prison time so much more easily. It's a bit like refusing to go to war and being thrown in prison. No ****ing big deal.

Do not let them imprison you with labels ... DO NOT IMPRISON YOURSELF!!! Be a prisoner - but do it on your own grounds.

Yea yea - whatever ya reckon. Fair dinkum buudy ... Here - take my hand while I disconnect - I'' see you when I get back from the beach.

Dissociation is so threatening to these clinical ****ers, that they love making a DX of that as well. LMFAO Fancy words to fence with.

Don't mind me - I've got certifications to say I am unwell. hahahahahahahahahaahahahahahahahaha ...

Happy fencing. Your world sucks - Mine is what it is ... lables devoid of meds. I am doing well, in a world I have come to cultivate that's far far from the evidence in which your manifest for your own gains. I manifest my own delusions ... sunshine and rain ... Less is best ... .Live in want of nothing so that one can not be hooked by all that hogwash of must take this and do that in order to be considered whatever the **** you think and feel.

Can clinical people even talk from experience? Be sure you find yourself on that can. They make that best listeners. The rest are just self invested fencers.

DISCONNECT TODAY!!! Just play the game but live your life.

The only J-O-B you need, is the one were you work on yourself. You are your own evidence, not someone's definition of a product that were taught back in school.


Search is offline  
post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-14-2015, 09:15 PM
SplendidBob's Avatar
Join Date: May 2014
Location: UK
Language: English
Gender: Male
Posts: 11,615
Originally Posted by don View Post
(hi Bob)
Hi Don
SplendidBob is offline  
post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-14-2015, 09:27 PM
SAS Member
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 138
My Mood: Sneaky
I don't personally consider mental illness a part of my personality, but having to deal with it has definitely had an impact on who I am / how I deal with stuff. But, no usually I like to consider mental illness like any other ailment, I wouldn't say that asthma is a huge defining factor on who I am.
footnote is offline  
post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-14-2015, 09:51 PM
Dogra Magra
bad baby's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: an accidental wilderness
Language: 中国語
Posts: 2,860
@splendidbob wr/t to your point about the brain connections - i assume you're talking about neuron synapses here - imo personality would be both, the pattern in which connections are formed, and the frequency and strength of firing... well actually now that i think about it, those two may very well be the same thing. i.e., a "weak" connection would just be very low frequency or perhaps no firing at all, and a "strong" one would be a pattern of rapid firing, and that can definitely be affected by environmental conditioning/input.

and anyway i think there's evidence that long-term depression leads to grey matter loss in certain parts of the brain and neuron shrinkages and such, so it's not such a stretch to envision that mental illness can alter the structure of the brain in a significant way, which in turn affects our thoughts and personality.

mental illness also affects our experiences and to some extent our environment by way of which behaviours we choose to avoid/reinforce, how we react to our surroundings and the chain reaction of external feedback that gets relayed back to us, leading to more of that environmental conditioning-brain imprinting stuff discussed earlier. so really i feel like mental illness affects our brains in a double whammy kind of way. which is a lottt.

but in terms of me personally, i would say it feels more like mental illness is a roadblock that's preventing certain aspects of my personality from being expressed (at least in a public setting). it's also led me to consider a lot of things in different ways - kind of a priming effect, like i tend to see a lot of situations through a psychologically-minded filter, arguably much more so than the average person - and come to different conclusions, self-development goals, etc than i would have if i weren't exposed to this paradigm of thought.

so yea, i would say mental illness has infiltrated my core personality through a series of reiteration/butterfly effect-type occurrences (i'm probably using these terms all wrong, but ugh whatever it's late and ya'll get my meaning anyway) that's taken place over the course of many years. if i were to be cured today, certain aspects of my personality would probably change/return to normal, but other aspects that's been shaped/influenced by the illness would remain.

...not sure if the above rambly crap made any sense, but oh well i'm posting it anyway.

my otome tumblr blog

realisation: the act or process of becoming real. óWebster
bad baby is online now  
post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-21-2015, 12:41 AM
SAS Member
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 4
There lot of people with mental illnesses and the thing is you may not no if they have it. Their are lot of people with mental illnesses and still live normal lives.
Silvermars is offline  
post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-23-2015, 02:41 AM
SAS Member
Search's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 120
My Mood: Buzzed
Originally Posted by Silvermars View Post
There lot of people with mental illnesses and the thing is you may not no if they have it. Their are lot of people with mental illnesses and still live normal lives.
There are a lot of people with mental illness not living normal lives yet more content than those living normally.

Search is offline  
post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-03-2019, 02:47 PM
SAS Member
Livvyh16's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2019
Posts: 1
I don’t know if it’s anything to do with mental health, but recently I’ve been scared to go sleep. This is because when I close my eyes, I see images of demons and demonic figures. Last night I kept seeing that Momo person even though I’ve had nothing to do with it. Previous times I’ve had images of a girl (kinda like the grudge) in blood and just unpleasant images. I try to replace them good image but j just can’t. No this is not for attention or self- diagnosis but I just want anyone who has had/ have mental health disorders to tell me if they have had anything like this or what them may think it correlates to💕
Livvyh16 is offline  
post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-12-2019, 06:02 AM
experimental sincerity
rabidfoxes's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 938
This is what I think / don't know. What the hell is pure self? Don't think it exists. Just more and deeper layers. We are onions.

Leonard Cohen (Bird on a Wire): I have tried in my own way to be free
Mrs Hudson (BBC Sherlock): Sherlock! The mess you've made!
rabidfoxes is offline  
post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-12-2019, 07:35 AM
Ad astra per aspera.
SparklingWater's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 3,388
I resonate with the idea of the self presented in the Internal Family Systems model. It was already how I understood it before and the model just further solidified my view on it.

By the by, feel free to look into IFS, but it's not something I use generally other than the distinction between true self and my defenses. The rest doesn't resonate (though it does for many with trauma.) I'm very much a take what works for me and leave the rest person.

Eta- didn't read the entire thread, just the post ahead of me lol so this may not fit.

Miles to go before I sleep. Vale.

Know your ACE (adverse childhood experiences) score?
Sometimes, SA is a symptom of significant developmental, attachment or interpersonal trauma (emotional neglect counts). If you're still stuck after you've tried SA treatments such as CBT and exposure, research C-PTSD and see if it resonates. Here's an awesome resource. Complex PTSD: From Surviving to Thriving
SparklingWater is offline  

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome