PREMISE ON “MENTAL ILLNESS”
by Joanna Gilman Hyde
There is no such “thing” as “mental illness.” There is no true illness which can be said to be entirely “mental” unless it is derived from an organic source such as a brain tumour. There are no physical attributes in the human body which can point to this description. There is no pre-determining test for “mental illness.” The psychiatric diagnosis used to determine the supposed state of “mental illness” is opinion-based at best, and most often this opinion is not shared by the individual in question. At worst this opinion is often shared by family members, friends, and society as a whole, creating a kind of trap or “Catch 22” for the individual.
What we see when we attempt to use this stigmatizing and false description of “mental illness” is an array of human self expression which may be affected by, or resulting from, changes in environment, sleep patterns, physical activity, thought, perception, interaction with others, or any conglomeration of naturally occurring factors which can and do affect all of us as human beings.
We are variable and complex. To lump any of us into “categories” of “mental illness” is a grave disservice to humanity.
Written by Joanna Gilman Hyde Blair