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RedDeerGuy1's avatar

Why does not believing that one is mentally ill a sign of illness?

Asked by RedDeerGuy1 (24351points) August 9th, 2017

It sounds like a catch 22. What do you think?

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15 Answers

PullMyFinger's avatar

Why do so many people think they are great drivers, when in reality they suck beyond belief ?

Why don’t more people know who Joseph Heller is ?

Why would so many people still “like to have a beer with” George W Bush ??

(so many questions….)

elbanditoroso's avatar

Primary because the term “mentally ill” is meaningless. It is too amorphous and general to man anything. There is no definition that says “you are mentally ill”.

There are zillions of conditions and syndromes that are listed in DSM5 (sort of the handbook/guidebook of mental disorders) seelink

I read somewhere that if one were to take the DSM5 as gospel, something like 97% of all adults have one defined mental disorder or another.

So to answer your question: If someone calls you “mentally ill” it doesn’t mean anything and I would deny it too. Once the specific disorder is identified, that’s another story.

MrGrimm888's avatar

I wouldn’t consider it a “sign” of mental illness. Denial maybe…

Jeruba's avatar

Not a sign, I think, though maybe a symptom.

Consider drugs that have among their effects “delusions of sobriety” (there are such). A person who takes them is apt to think his behavior seems normal, even though to others it does not. He may claim he hasn’t taken anything—may even think it’s true because his short-term memory has lapsed. But anyone can see he’s loaded. His behavior is erratic and possibly bizarre, and he doesn’t realize how far out of phase he is with consensual reality. His distorted self-perception is a symptom.

In contrast, I think I’m sober, and I am. I haven’t drunk or used anything to make me otherwise. The fact that I can claim to be sober doesn’t mean that I’m actually on something. It’s not a sign of intoxication.

rojo's avatar

Side note: I reread Catch 22 last month. I had forgotten what a great read it was. Now I am thinking of reading Closing Time.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

It’s not, by itself. Mental illness is a set of symptoms that together indicate a pathology.

kritiper's avatar

I have known this for years. Ask a person who definitely has a few screws loose if they are nutzoid and they’ll say no. Ask anyone who is obviously in their right mind the same question and they may answer “I don’t know, but I wonder.”
It’s not a catch 22 because it may not apply in every circumstance.

Everybody is nutzoid in many different varying degrees so who is to say who is nutzoid??

Sneki2's avatar

A drunk man will never admit he’s drunk, even though everybody else sees he’s obviously drunk.

That is why your personal opinion does not matter. Go to the doc and let him decide whether you’re ill or not.

snowberry's avatar

And the flip side is that if you have symptoms that your doctor can’t see such as pain, and you keep going back insisting something’s wrong, sooner or later they’ll conclude you’re mentally ill. It will continue that way, telling you to get medication for your mental illness and to go to psychiatrists and so on, until you are actually diagnosed with the cause of your discomfort.

At that point you’ve been miraculously cured of mental illness! It’s a blast!

Stinley's avatar

I think that if you have signs of mental illness plus you do not realise that you do, this is another sign of mental illness. But if someone asked me if they thought I had a mental illness, I would say no, I don’t believe I do have a mental illness. Nothing Catch 22 about this – there has got to be more than just a denial.

LostInParadise's avatar

I read heard a story on the radio about someone who faked mental illness to avoid being placed in prison. He was classified as criminally insane and placed in a hospital. When he tried to get out by saying he was not insane, it was just taken as a symptom of his disease.

Nearly all sane people and some insane people claim not to be insane. Probabilistically, if a person claims to be sane, it is more likely that the person is sane, so claiming to be sane is not a good diagnostic tool for mental illness. However, mental illness alters a person’s perception of reality. If a person is mentally ill, it will improve his chances of recovery if he can recognize that he is ill.


Mariah's avatar

^ Ah, I’m reading a book about that guy right now! The Psychopath Test. The situation is a bit more nuanced than it appears at first.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Certain tests for mental illness like MMPI (test for different psychological disorders) can be faked if you understand and know how to answer the test.

So you are not mentally ill but you have a test result that says you are ill.

PullMyFinger's avatar

…............Shhhhh…......Did anyone else hear that…..??

stanleybmanly's avatar

Are you asking if there are people diagnosed as mentally ill who disagree with the diagnosis?

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