General Question

luigirovatti's avatar

What do you think of the following opinion about people imagining things (like, in the case of an illness)?

Asked by luigirovatti (2253points) June 1st, 2019

I watched “Shutter Island”, who talks about precisely the thing I’m going to describe now, which upset me. The potential for this illness exists in all people and, under the right circumstances, any man or woman would be driven to the other side of madness. Perhaps, “the other side” may not be the best way to phrase it. After all, there is no wall between here and there. It lies on the borders where reality and UNreality intersect. It’s a place both close to him/her and distant to us. Sometimes, I have to ask myself this question. It’s true that to us his/her imaginings are nothing but the inventions of a busy mind. But to him/her, there simply is no other reality. Furthermore, (s)he’s happy there. So, if I were a doctor, why, I ask myself, why in the name of healing him/her must we drag him/her painfully into the world of our own reality?

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18 Answers

zenvelo's avatar

Please rewrite your question. You seem to have imagined it as coherent while all you dd was talk around a mental illness without stating how it presents or how it impairs people.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I don’t know the movie Shutter Island.

Not at all sure what you are asking, but it would be awful to drag anyone any where “painfully.”

stanleybmanly's avatar

@zenvelo the question is the final sentence.

zenvelo's avatar

@stanleybmanly But the OP didn’t tell us what the “alternative reality” is.

Many people with mental illnesses are dealing with their own demons, and relieving them of that is the humane thing to do.

stanleybmanly's avatar

I think the answer would depend on how the “accused” interacts and copes with the “real” world. In other words, the intervention would vary to the degree the subject’s reality affects the residents of “normal” land or threatens his own physical well being. It’s one thing to believe cats divine and thus crowd your house with 60 cats, but quite another if your reality demands an attic full of decapitated heads.

stanleybmanly's avatar

@zenvelo but you do see the question. It amounts to “if they’re happy, why not leave them alone?”

zenvelo's avatar

@stanleybmanly No I don’t because the question doesn’t talk about that except at the very last sentence. And I still don’t know what condition we are supposed to be talking about.

stanleybmanly's avatar

And the answer is generally that they WILL be left alone as long as they can isolate themselves to their own reality. It is the impossibility of this which spells trouble for those with alternate realities, and the degree of that trouble will vary with severity of disruption at the borders where the “realities” intersect.

luigirovatti's avatar

@zenvelo: I asked you what you thought about the following opinion expressed in the details of the question. And the condition was the people who had imaginary friends, heard imaginary voices, etc.

Inspired_2write's avatar

It depends on if it affects others safety etc

Great Painter ( Picasso) thought differently then his peers and thus started a new way or painting style.
Creative people think in terms of visual concepts and how to best express this in there styles.
Just think, the world would had be deprived of a great painter “If” he was forced to submit to conformity.
He was ahead of his time and I wonder how many more are out there struggling to express ( without hurting themselves or others)?
It doesn’t matter if the person believes that he/she is “Superman/Superwomen or whatever as long as he/she does not hurt himself or others.

stanleybmanly's avatar

@luigirovatti My problem with your question is in the obvious answer “it’s how I earn a living”. It’s lucrative, prestigious, considered, noble and “healing” and a benefit to both patient and society. Plus there’s the added bonus that ot is a field wherein the patient’s failure to appreciate such “truths” validates the necessity of the heroic doctor. The doc can’t lose.

Inspired_2write's avatar

As a side note: A sociologist once stated to our class that the Normal , is the conformity of a group consensus of what is normal behavior for that group…actually sheep following sheep.

The Abnormal is the one who follows his/her own intuitions etc and therefore most leaders are made up from this labeled “Abnormal Group” because they go against conformity.

When one comes up with something new usually the crowd ( conformists) condemn there ideas as “crazy’ etc.
A good leader must rise above that push for conformity to instill new ideas and most times it they are well ahead of there times.( Gallilaio,Newton, etc)

zenvelo's avatar

@luigirovatti your question does not talk about that at all, it is all about people being “driven to madness” by their imagination. That is why I asked that you rewrite the question.

@Inspired_2write No one ever ascribed madness to Picasso, no one ever attempted to bring him “back to reality”. Picasso was recognized for inspired insight.

Inspired_2write's avatar

@zenvelo I beg to differ on that .I watched a documentary on his life and he was considered mentally ill.

luigirovatti's avatar

@zenvelo: If anything, driven to the madness OF their imagination.

Inspired_2write's avatar

@zenvelo The first thing that came to my mind was that from what I’ve read of him Picasso was probably a narcissist. The old Diagnostic and Statistics Manual, ed. 4, summarized this disorder thusly:

“Individuals with this Cluster B Personality Disorder have an excessive sense of how important they are. They demand and expect to be admired and praised by others and are limited in their capacity to appreciate others’ perspectives.” Narcissistic Personality Disorder

An old article in The American Journal of Psychiatry suggests that my suspicion may be true:

“The following characteristics were significantly more common among the patients with narcissistic personality disorder: a sense of superiority, a sense of uniqueness, exaggeration of talents, boastful and pretentious behavior, grandiose fantasies, self-centered and self- referential behavior, need for attention and admiration, arrogant and haughty behavior, and high achievement.” Identifying criteria for narcissistic personality disorder

The new DSM V no longer classifies narcissism as a personality disorder; however, as one commentator put it, narcissism and narcissists aren’t going away because of that. By most first-person accounts, Picasso was an extreme example of a narcissist.


Apparently his mental illness was attributed to lead in the paint that he used all of his life and thus affected his expression in painting as it deteriorated in the 90 yrs of age.

stanleybmanly's avatar

The question is the fundamental one wrestled with since the onset of thought. Who can declare one man’s reality more valid than the next? It’s when you come to the bunch of us that aggregate norms must be agreed upon when we interact.

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