Mental Illness is Fake News

WheyOfLife's picture
Rank: King Kong | 1,093

For the sake of this discussion, mental illness includes ADHD, OCD, bipolar, anxiety disorder. Open to discussing schizophrenia and other disorders, but I'm not so confident these are fake.

The primary "tells" for ADHD are inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsiveness.

The dawn of phones, gaming, and TV brings the above behaviors in spades. As these behaviors increase, it's only natural that ADHD diagnoses increase (significantly).

So, are ADHD diagnoses on the rise because these behaviors are more common, or because ADHD is more common? To answer that, we need to answer the following: is ADHD a genuine brain disorder, a condition which the patient has no control over? I argue no; ADHD is society's way of explaining the three mentioned behaviors without claiming responsibility. There's no concrete cause of ADHD, and the diagnosis simply tests for the behaviors. ADHD is, by definition, the three behaviors manifest.

Likewise, I'm willing to say that bipolar disorder, anxiety disorder, OCD, are all products of extreme behaviors, not an actual issue with the brain.

I'd love to hear your input.

Comments (54)

Most Helpful
Dec 11, 2018

This post made my brain hurt....I'd love to hear your credentials and any scientific evidence/studies that suggest, "bipolar disorder, anxiety disorder, OCD, are all products of extreme behaviors, not an actual issue with the brain."

I'm not a psychologist so frankly I have no comment because I am not qualified to have a legitimate, factual-based opinion on this....which probably also applies for most of if not all users on this site.

ANYWAY - I am VERY EXCITED to see hear the opinion of a bunch of 20 year old kids on the scientific plausibility of these various mental health issues!

    • 7
Dec 11, 2018

Would you ask your accountant on advice for how to fly a plane? Would you ask your English teacher for help with your algebra homework? Would you ask your therapist for help building your financial model?

What in your right mind thinks that this platform is a worthwhile place to discuss this topic?

    • 3
Dec 11, 2018

I can't talk politics if I'm not a politician? Economics if I'm not an economist? Climate change because I'm not a scientist? I'm not allowed to question the science, or lack thereof, behind an issue?

By your own logic, either you're qualified enough to hold an opinion and inform me, oh mighty one, or you're not qualified enough to hold an opinion, which means your comment is contradictory. So please, inform me (don't just link a bunch of studies). Talk to me about the science behind it, that's what I'm here for.

"This world, it is a tempest sometimes. But remember, the sun always rises again."
-- Brandon Sanderson

Dec 11, 2018

How about you stop being a dumbass and do the research yourself like the rest of us?

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Dec 11, 2018

This is an incredibly nuanced issue that has been studied exhaustively by some of the world's greatest scientists and philosophers. And yet here you claim to have proved an extreme and simplistic view in three paragraphs using dubious logic and misunderstood definitions.

You want to talk about how these conditions are over-diagnosed, or a crutch for our societal problems and lack of individual responsibility? That's one thing. But your uninformed opinion leading you to conclude these aren't "actual issues with the brain" is about as intellectually lazy as it gets.

Funniest
Dec 11, 2018

This post is bad and you should feel bad.

    • 9
Dec 11, 2018

I have severe ADHD and there is a massive, obviously clear difference between by ability to study/take exams/stay focused for hours between when I decide to use medication and when I don't. Even for things that I NEED to do like study for my FINRA exams, I can't do it very well without the medication. To the point I KNOW I will fail if I don't do this, I still cannot concentrate to do it. Studying for my 63 I legitimately just broke down crying because I knew that I was going to fail if I didn't study for X amount of time, but I couldn't focus, I couldn't do it. I passed first try when I finally gave in and re-upped my prescription.

    • 2
Dec 11, 2018

Thanks for sharing, experiences like yours make me consider that it's just overprescribed. Cheers for not putting me on blast, as I'm sure my post came off douchey

"This world, it is a tempest sometimes. But remember, the sun always rises again."
-- Brandon Sanderson

    • 2
Dec 11, 2018

ADHD does seem like its just for people who are lazy or fuckups sometimes. I've had friends that felt that way and only until I tell them that I have it and what its like do they start to understand. It also doesn't help that people abuse the hell out of addy who don't need it.

Be me studying --> Learning about 529 College Savings Plans tax wise --> See the average that people have saved for their kid for college --> Start researching how much people have per state --> Look up the average per state income --> Look up correlations between incomes and career success of the child --> Look up breakdowns based on specific demographics --> and on and on and on but for EVERYTHING and you don't even realize you're doing it. You cannot focus on the task at hand because your brain wants other things. It's the reason I can't listen to music while studying, not even the "studying" music that is just sounds and things because my brain will create something out of it to wander off.

    • 3
Dec 12, 2018

You got a lot of positive responses from that post and I'm going to take the other side of this. You explicitly say that you believe you're going to fail, and I think that's the main issue.

It sounds like more of a mind set problem than and ADHD problem. Adderall is pretty close to meth, so could also be dependence. Seems more like you're justifying it to yourself than you really need it.

Dec 12, 2018

Not really. As someone whose spent 85% of their life with it (20+years) I can tell you its not that simple. I've gone on and off throughout the years . Hadn't taken it in two years before I used it for my exam and there was a distinct, clear difference. I don't really know what you're implying that I need to justify to myself? People with ADHD don't get "high" or something with addy. It actually just blows and I can't eat and lose track of time because I'm too narrowed in on something. I would MUCH rather be able to just focus for a little bit than ruin my entire day/night having no appetite and not a great personality.

Dec 11, 2018

this is so stupid, I can't even go down this completely brain dead rabbit hole

literally go do anything else, it would be more productive

    • 1
Dec 11, 2018

It's like when someone told me, "Isn't that just all in your head?"

Yes, mental health is all in your head as that is where the brain is located.
I learned a lot from reading Dr. Amen's books on brain health.

Array

Dec 11, 2018

Sit with/train an intern with ADHD and tell me it's not a real thing.

Dec 12, 2018
lilkingdarbo:

Sit with/train an intern with ADHD and tell me it's not a real thing.

No, dude, I got a better one - get a job with a PM that has a bipolar disorder :E

    • 1
Dec 12, 2018

That sounds like a huge "oof" :(

Dec 11, 2018

Pretty sure everyone that's posted so far missed the OP's point entirely. The question isn't whether there are manifestations of mental illness such as ADHD, the question is whether the causes are related to society's new-found fascination with digital media. IMO OP might have a point.

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Dec 11, 2018

How do you get THAT from THIS:

"WheyOfLife: Likewise, I'm willing to say that bipolar disorder, anxiety disorder, OCD, are all products of extreme behaviors, not an actual issue with the brain."

    • 1
Dec 11, 2018
FinancelsWacc:

How do you get THAT from THIS:

"WheyOfLife: Likewise, I'm willing to say that bipolar disorder, anxiety disorder, OCD, are all products of extreme behaviors, not an actual issue with the brain."

Are you being intentionally dense?

Dec 11, 2018

Yours is the more interesting question, but not what OP wrote.

Dec 11, 2018
WheyOfLife:

Likewise, I'm willing to say that bipolar disorder, anxiety disorder, OCD, are all products of extreme behaviors, not an actual issue with the brain.

I'd love to hear your input.

You're an absolute dumbass

    • 3
Dec 12, 2018
CRE:
WheyOfLife:

Likewise, I'm willing to say that bipolar disorder, anxiety disorder, OCD, are all products of extreme behaviors, not an actual issue with the brain.

I'd love to hear your input.

You're an absolute dumbass

https://media.giphy.com/media/iX3pquZn0R9Wo/giphy.gif

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

Dec 11, 2018

I was diagnosed with ADD at age 30.

Do I think many kids are misdiagnosed? Yes, probably.
But I absolutely think ADHD is real.

ADHD has kind of been pigeon-holed into this one stereotype of impossible kids that can't sit still, but it's a very complex illness IMO.

Dec 11, 2018
WheyOfLife:

There's no concrete cause of ADHD

The dawn of phones, gaming, and TV brings the above behaviors in spades. As these behaviors increase, it's only natural that ADHD diagnoses increase (significantly).

ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neurodevelopmental_d...
"The development of the nervous system including the brain is orchestrated, tightly regulated, and genetically encoded process with clear influence from the environment. This suggests that any deviation from this program early in life can result in neurodevelopmental disorders and, depending on specific timing, might lead to distinct pathology later in life.[5] Because of that, there are many causes of neurodevelopmental disorders, which can range from deprivation, genetic and metabolic diseases, immune disorders, infectious diseases, nutritional factors, physical trauma, and toxic and environmental factors."

As for cell phones and what not, attributes of this disorder (naming it) have been traced back to Alexander Crichton in 1798. I think you are confusing the current state of society in having many distractions versus the brain's ability to focus.

This disorder has likely existed without notice since the hunter gatherer days. We are only now at the point where we can objectively and scientifically name and tame this disorder. We seem to be doing a pretty good job, especially with Vivanse (I've heard good things). Yes, these medications are abused, but in general there has been much support to the ADHD community through modern pharma.

To think that cell phones caused society to have a massive change in brain chemistry is ludicrous. It might change our habits, but the facts are that some people have a lot of distractions and need to make a conscious choice to focus and others are neurologically unable to focus. Distractions are only distractions until we put them down mentally and make a decision to focus in our mind, which is the normal cognitive process. Some people can't and to belittle this without research is not only insensitive, but poor form in general.

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

    • 3
Dec 12, 2018
Isaiah_53_5:
WheyOfLife:

There's no concrete cause of ADHD

The dawn of phones, gaming, and TV brings the above behaviors in spades. As these behaviors increase, it's only natural that ADHD diagnoses increase (significantly).

ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neurodevelopmental_d...
"The development of the nervous system including the brain is orchestrated, tightly regulated, and genetically encoded process with clear influence from the environment. This suggests that any deviation from this program early in life can result in neurodevelopmental disorders and, depending on specific timing, might lead to distinct pathology later in life.[5] Because of that, there are many causes of neurodevelopmental disorders, which can range from deprivation, genetic and metabolic diseases, immune disorders, infectious diseases, nutritional factors, physical trauma, and toxic and environmental factors."

As for cell phones and what not, attributes of this disorder (naming it) have been traced back to Alexander Crichton in 1798. I think you are confusing the current state of society in having many distractions versus the brain's ability to focus.

This disorder has likely existed without notice since the hunter gatherer days. We are only now at the point where we can objectively and scientifically name and tame this disorder. We seem to be doing a pretty good job, especially with Vivanse (I've heard good things). Yes, these medications are abused, but in general there has been much support to the ADHD community through modern pharma.

To think that cell phones caused society to have a massive change in brain chemistry is ludicrous. It might change our habits, but the facts are that some people have a lot of distractions and need to make a conscious choice to focus and others are neurologically unable to focus. Distractions are only distractions until we put them down mentally and make a decision to focus in our mind, which is the normal cognitive process. Some people can't and to belittle this without research is not only insensitive, but poor form in general.

So you acknowledge that the environment plays a role in the development of disorders, acknowledge that cell phones change our habits (read: our behaviors), and refuse to believe that cell phones are capable of changing our neurology? Just look at all of the teenage girls experiencing depression and anxiety b/c of social media.

"This world, it is a tempest sometimes. But remember, the sun always rises again."
-- Brandon Sanderson

Dec 12, 2018

I actually read some research a while back that studied brain chemistry of people in nomadic hunter gatherer tribes. In most cases they found that people with 'ADHD' were the tribe leaders and the most well respected. While in more 'civilized' tribes, the opposite was true.

To me its always seemed like just a different brain chemistry that has a lot of positives and a few negatives. I've never understood the labeling of a 'disorder' on it, it just means people with ADHD react to their environment differently. Maybe this is a semantic argument, but I just don't believe there is anything inherently bad about ADHD, which the label 'disorder' obviously implies.

Dec 12, 2018
Hanes Jameson:

I actually read some research a while back that studied brain chemistry of people in nomadic hunter gatherer tribes. In most cases they found that people with 'ADHD' were the tribe leaders and the most well respected. While in more 'civilized' tribes, the opposite was true.

To me its always seemed like just a different brain chemistry that has a lot of positives and a few negatives. I've never understood the labeling of a 'disorder' on it, it just means people with ADHD react to their environment differently. Maybe this is a semantic argument, but I just don't believe there is anything inherently bad about ADHD, which the label 'disorder' obviously implies.

Yeah completely agree. Diversity is key. We are probably stronger because of it (generation after generation).

The label of the word 'disorder' I think stems from the fact that to flourish in modern day society, you need some modicum of focus. Even if you play professional sports or something, you have to listen to the coach and learn the plays. Its pretty hard to function in many facets of society with severe ADHD if your goal is to achieve something that requires you to focus along the way.

I was also unaware about some very severe cases of ADHD until I dated a girl who had it really bad. She was on Vivanse most of the time at a dosage 150% higher than the max monthly allowance by regulations and her doctor would just re-up her prescription early or something in these 17min meetings, which were apparently the minimum required to prescribe medicine. All of this was a big WTF to me. I sat in one of those meetings with her psych and determined that he was a money hungry asshole that really provided no theraputic value to her other than refilling the prescriptions. Also, he drove a badass 911 (I think it was a GT3). But anyway, fuck that guy. I didn't like him.

Sometimes she would miss her prescriptions because she didn't have $150 bucks to pay the guy for 17 minutes for a refill (not to mention her insurance didn't always cover it), so there were certain times when she was completely off the medicine and couldn't do jack shit.

I mean nothing. I was at her place one morning and she didn't have a refill and literally couldn't move. She sat on the edge of her bed and I was like "what the fuck are you doing? you can't be late for work again or they will fire you." She was stuck in this frozen state, unable to form together the thoughts to find work clothes and get her shit together in the morning and then go to work. It was like every thought that seemed productive for her day was unable to grasp, unable to put together the way to get ready, get in the car, go to work.

It was fucking mind boggling. One day, she ran into the same issues and didn't have meds and I just happened to have an 8 ball of cocaine at my place (I don't really use coke but traded it for something). I didn't even touch the stuff and it was sitting in my place for a week. I told her about it and it was like the thought immediately registered - she was like - lets go get that coke. She had the entire 8 ball and was barely even 'normal'. It helped her to get through the day, but I think this shed some light on how jacked up some brains need to be on certain types of psychostimulants to function in a way acceptable to society, or for the goals/needs of the person in modern day.

Part of the issue as well though, is developing a high tolerance for these drugs. I'm not sure how people with ADHD handle the dosage over time, but it seems like a very tough road. I have met some people with a consistent dosage of Vivanse that seem fine, forever, but also that one ex-girlfriend basically needed a fucking kilo of cocaine like Tony Montana just to get up to get the morning paper.

https://media.giphy.com/media/K81aJhTT0AQ3S/giphy.gif

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

    • 3
Dec 11, 2018

Anecdotal evidence is not evidence, but a co-worker of mine's wife a little while back killed her kids and herself. For many years, she had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

My mother's first husband was also diagnosed with the 1980s version of bipolar ("manic depression") and he ended up committing suicide.

My guess is that bipolar is, in fact, a mental illness.

Dec 11, 2018

Can't wait for OP to be diagnosed with early onset dementia

Dec 12, 2018
AllBurnedUp:

Can't wait for OP to be diagnosed with early onset dementia

You're an asshole. Don't say things like that.

Let's watch Jennifer Anniston say it ... oh yeah shes great....

https://media.giphy.com/media/4u1Q0ZjL8IxkA/giphy.gif

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

Dec 12, 2018

ADD/ADHD are probably very over-diagnosed, but mental illness/conditions are very real.

Dec 12, 2018

This thread does not make much sense and is very insulting to people who have mental illness.

Dec 12, 2018

For someone with such a clever username, you are disappointingly stupid.

Dec 12, 2018
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Dec 12, 2018