All through my studies i have always thought Dr. Szasz was completely wrong in say that there is no such thing as mental illness, that it is just a label put on people that are different from ourselves.  But, studying developmental psychology i am beginning to wonder if there could be some truth to it.

The background: psychologists are finding that the brain is not fully developed by the age of 21 (on the average for most).  And most mental illnesses are not showing until the age of 22 (again thats the average, illnesses like schizophrenia, bi-polar, borderline personality disorder and so on).

The Theory: Knowing that the brain is not fully developed until the age of 21 could it be that what a mental illness is is just different brain development, or abnormal brain development?

If this theory is tested and proved this would show that Dr. Thomas Szasz was accurate in his assumption that mental illness is just merely a label, and that there is really no such thing, it would really be just different brain development.

What say the court? ideas and opinions? Im trying to contact Dr. Szasz himself to find if he has conducted research about this and his theory.

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I already stated that I understood you were using an average, I was just sharing my experience with it and the information I had researched and spoken of with numerous psychiatrists. And I was not attempting to get into any nature vs nurture debate over it but if you're going to discuss possibilities then you can't really throw the baby out with the bathwater, ie: genetics and abuse etc. from which mental illness can occur.

they have shown a significant correlation between genetics and mental illness. Im not saying that it isnt possible (i personally think that mental illness can/is passed from parent to child, i would be a great example of that having ADHD and Bi-Polar disorder myself and so does my mother and her mother), im saying that maybe that is due to a problem in brain development, or ill go so far to say that a genetic development problem that is passed down?  This is all just something i ponder and decided to share with you lovely folks.

Yeah, I've seen many cases of mental illness appearing to be genetically linked.

i would be a great example of that having ADHD and Bi-Polar disorder myself

Are you still in the Army after being diagnosed with Bi-polar disorder? The reason I ask is because I looked into my son (with diagnosed bi-polar disorder) going into the military and I was told that was a dis-qualifier for the military.

I am still in.  Things like that are touchy with the military. A lot of things if they are found After enlistment, they wont really give the time to kick you out.  But they have stepped up that standards to get into the military since ive been in.  The US military is in the middle of a draw down.  They are even paying people to get out early.  Is he still interested in joining?

That's good that they didn't discharge you for it.

He's my youngest son, he just turned 19 in Feb. and since he's already been diagnosed bipolar I, and he has to take a high mg dose of medication daily (anti-psychotics/mood stabilizer, which really does help him tremendously) he gave up on the idea of joining the military but now we're looking into culinary school, because he's actually an amazingly talented cook (he so did not get that ability from me...lol) and it's something he really enjoys so we're gathering information on that and hoping to move into that direction this year.

Thread on "What is Schizophrenia"

Thread on "Mental Illness, as perceived by the Pagan community

Thread on "Mental Illness and Empathy"

Thread on "Schizophrenia: Is it an illness..."

Thread on "Mental Disorders or Puberty"

Thread on "Schizophrenia vs Real Foresight"

Thread on "Magickal ability vs Mental Illness: The same only controlled"  (<-- this is the one I mentioned)

Hope you enjoy the extra reading.... took me a bit to find the one I was looking for but I came across a few more that you might find interesting for your studies :)

Must admit I haven't read all comments (time constraints and the smarter-than-me phone keeps ringing, interrupting my internet session!), but wouldn't this same theory apply to all illnesses? "Oh he doesn't have ADHD, he's just DIFFERENT!" or "She doesn't have diabetes...she's just different.". Whatever er the answer, the difference/illness causes problems for the individual, partner, spouse, family, caregiver and society and desert es treatment for all concerned. Not judging...just sayin!

no. that is very different.  The body can be plagued by virus and bacteria.  And medical illnesses such as the ones you are talking about we can cure (the ones we know how to cure excluding things like HIV or Cancer). Mental illness is strictly referring to the brain.

When did they find a fire for ADHD? Or diabetes? You would've thought I would've heard that! And BTW...ADHD is a physical pro lee involving the brain. But wait, so are many other differences...depression for example...chemical imbalance. I'm sure the same can be said for schizophrenia, bipolar, etc. As I said earlier...illness vs. difference...who cares. They all need treatment. Who cares what you call it.

no, you are overgeneralizing my theory into other illnesses. and what do you mean "find a fire for ADHD"? That statement makes no sense to me.

the brain fires off certain chemicals to trigger certain reactions from the body (least that is how it reads to me)

I know that, how she worded it didnt make sense to me.

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