All in Your Head
“It’s all in your head,” isn’t as false a statement as some people make it out to be. Mental illness is made out to be an actual sickness in this world and is taking away real medical help from people who actually need it. Anyone in the world can say they are depressed, anxious, or moody without a prognosis thus denying it the label of “illness.” In Thomas Szasz’ writing, “The Myth of Mental Illness 101” he says that “illness refers to a bodily lesion, that is, to a material – structural or functional – abnormality of the body, as a machine,” which contributes to a mental illness, not being a real “illness.” The brain is an organ sure, but since it is not in the body it cannot be medically diseased, therefore confirming that mental illness is all in one’s head.
Mentalism. Otherwise known as sanism, is a form of discrimination because of a mental condition a person has. How can there be something to discriminate if mental illness is all in one’s head? Discrimination is not even applicable when it comes to a mental “illness” because the definition of discrimination is “the unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people or things, especially on the grounds of race, age, or sex.” Mental disorders have nothing to do with race, age, or sex, so why would the word “discrimination” need to be used in proximity to it?
Mental Illness is merely just madness. In an article named, “I Don’t Believe in Mental Illness, Do You?” Michael Cornwall argues that mental illness is not an illness, but it is madness. Cornwall says he sees people with “mental illness” as “a person who may have various experiences of human emotional suffering which sometimes takes the form of madness.” He makes a strong argument about how “our culture and world is rife with polarizing beliefs,” and goes into detail about how a leader of a peer recovery group had said that full recovery was achievable, so another peer called him a Nazi. He then feared that if a mad person were to hear this, they would believe another holocaust is in the works, and that they would contribute to that. He’s basically saying that a mad person would be triggered by a small event such as that above, and their madness would spiral. This is true. A mad person can spiral to a deep, dark space all because of something said as a joke. We are simply humans suffering from madness and intense feelings. There’s nothing ill about that, considering everyone has dealt with it.
Society has created this so-called stigma against mental illness. There cannot be a stigma for something that merely does not exist. Even for those who do believe mental illness is a real thing and/or issue, they have no room to argue there is any stigma towards it. People who claim to have depression or bipolar disorder or anything else have jobs, they live lives, they are not deprived of anything more than any other abled person would be. Their madness is even medicated. This medication is costing the country millions of dollars to “treat” something that has no proof of existence other than someone opening up their mouth to say, “I’m sad.” And bipolar disorder? Mood swings. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder? Neat freaks. Schizophrenics? Wild imagination. All of these symptoms exist in every human being, so calling those who have it a little tougher sounds like a stigma against the people who don’t, doesn’t it?
At the end of the day everyone has their problems and everyone has their different ways to cope with them. Calling the entire population mentally ill would be absurd. There’s no need to give a label to the weaker amount of the human population with a term that should not have to exist, because the reasoning behind the term does not exist. There is no proof to back up the “stigma” on mental “illness” because there is no such thing as mental illness. Just some people who don’t want to deal with what’s in front of them and call it a name to get out of life. It’s that simple. And the world needs to stop giving into it.
Cornwall, PhD Michael. “I Don’t Believe in Mental Illness, Do You?” Mad In America. N.p., 30 Sept. 2015. Web. 05 Apr. 2017.
“Mentalism (discrimination).” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 25 Feb. 2017. Web. 05 Apr. 2017.
Wyatt, Randall C. “Thomas Szasz on Freedom and Psychotherapy.” Thomas Szasz Interview. N.p., 2001. Web. 04 Apr. 2017.
NoBinary, you’ve avoided the two most common problems this assignment has caused your classmates. Unlike them, you have included actual citations in your essay. Also unlike them, you have identified specific source materials to represent the “opposition” position you wish to refute.
That leaves you one last challenge. Don’t argue FOR this position you’ve identified. Argue AGAINST it. Refute it. Rebut it. Clearly state the position, as you have, but then adopt the unmistakable stance: “My Worthy Opponent is Wrong.”