Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Pagans and mental illnesses

First week in October is also the "mental illness awareness week"

I read this: Mental Illness in the Pagan Community
Pagans in Recovery by Isaac Bonewits

I have some conditions that are classified "mental illnesses". I don't think they are that.
1) Asperger's Syndrome. This is a neurological difference from the "neuronormal" society. I don't think it's a mental illness.
2) Depression. This is more of a long-term emotional condition, not mental illness. I am sure that all adults are or have been or are going to be, more or less depressed, for a short or long time.
3) PTSD, Social Phobia, Panic Anxiety. These are consequences of me having been bullied by the "neuro-normal" people. I don't think they are "mental illnesses" either.
4) PMS. I agree mine is extra severe, but it's still "normal"...

So, what do I think ARE mental illnesses? For me the term "mental illness" means "mad for real". Like... I don't know, people who are depicted inhabiting mental asylums. People who believe to be someone or something else than they are, talking with themselves or imaginary things, who react on things that no-one else can see or hear, who hallucinate, live in their own worlds... and the more I write, the more I feel uncomfortable... I am a witch. I believe in magic. I believe in fairies. I have seen them. I do hear, see and sense things no-one else seem to sense... I MUST be mad. For real.

Mental illness is "any of various conditions characterized by impairment of an individual's normal cognitive, emotional, or behavioral functioning, and caused by social, psychological, biochemical, genetic, or other factors, such as infection or head trauma."
That I have to agree. I do not function as well as I have been functioning, or as well as most people do, in certain situations, due to "social factors", "psychological factors" and "neurological factors". But... who does?
Aren't we all, at least occasionally, "impaired" by some factors? In state of trauma, stress, deep emotions?
Most women have at least some sort of biochemical factors impairing their "normal" functioning during the menstruation cycle. Are women to be classified as "mentally ill"?

This scrapbook layout seems pretty insane right now...

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