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schizophrenia and freewill

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  • schizophrenia and freewill

    hi. i know i already made a post about psychiatry but the subject has been dominating my internal thinking for a long time and have decided to bring it up again.

    most of a diagnosis of schizophrenia is based upon behaviors. for example a delusion is a false belief ( behavior). some have argued that hearing voices are people "talking to themselves(internally i guess)". as being diagnosed with schizophrenia and having experience with psychotic episodes it seems possible there is some truth to this assessment of the hallucinations. when i was hospitalized and was hearing voices, eventually i started realing the voices were a part of my self, and that they were in reality my own thoughts that i was "hearing." now if mental illness and schizophrenia exist as diseases and are diagnosed based on behavior, how does this relate to freewill? would the existence of mental illness imply that freewill doesnt really exist? or would our freewill imply that mental illness doesnt exist at all?
    Last edited by gabe911; September 13th, 2011, 07:34 PM.

  • #2
    Originally posted by gabe911 View Post
    hi. i know i already made a post about psychiatry but the subject has been dominating my internal thinking for a long time and have decided to bring it up again.

    most of a diagnosis of schizophrenia is based upon behaviors. for example a delusion is a false belief ( behavior). some have argued that hearing voices are people "talking to themselves(internally i guess)". as being diagnosed with schizophrenia and having experience with psychotic episodes it seems possible there is some truth to this assessment of the hallucinations. when i was hospitalized and was hearing voices, eventually i started realing the voices were a part of my self, and that they were in reality my own thoughts that i was "hearing." now if mental illness and schizophrenia exist as diseases and are diagnosed based on behavior, how does this relate to freewill? would the existence of mental illness imply that freewill doesnt really exist? or would our freewill imply that mental illness doesnt exist at all?
    Very interesting question dear one Gabe, I believe free will has some connection to Quantum Processes in the brain ( i hope so). You might like this interview with this European Physicist, this was done before the standard of Jimes blog dropped, i find it annoying that currently the only argument Jime has is objective moral values, and Jime is also defending William Lane Craig, and Religious philosophy, anyway this interview was before the Subversive Thinking blog dropped its standard and became boring. Subversive Thinking: Interview with German physicist Ulrich Mohrhoff about materialism, consciousness and quantum physics

    [IHowever, I am in full agreement with those – not only neuropsychologists but also phenomenologists, mystics, and yogis – who reject the folk psychology of free will. The mystic or yogi discovers behind our ordinary consciousness a subliminal consciousness, whose initial attitude is that of a detached witness. It experiences thoughts, feelings, intentions, actions impersonally and undistorted by any sense of ownership, authorship, or responsibility. Those who go further become increasingly aware of the true origins and determinants of their thoughts, feelings, intentions, and actions. And once they are sufficiently aware of these subliminal controlling influences, they are in a position to accept or reject them, to choose, and for the first time to exercise a genuine free will.][/I]

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    • #3
      interesting article for the most part

      i found this article. its interesting for the most part. they conclude that mental illness compromises freewill.
      Free will and mental disorder: Exploring the relationship

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      • #4
        Originally posted by gabe911 View Post
        i found this article. its interesting for the most part. they conclude that mental illness compromises freewill.
        Free will and mental disorder: Exploring the relationship
        Interesting thread questions and article (I just skimmed it but I'll read it again tomorrow).

        Have you come across Thomas Szas ( "The myth of mental illness') His basic argument is that there's no such thing as mental illness and psychiatry has evolved as a way to control socially undesirable behaviours. It's a fairly extreme take, but there may be something to be gleaned from him. In his later years he was ostracized by psychiatry and academia in general. I found this article about him. It's not specific to the questions you ask, but it is interesting nonetheless.

        The New Atlantis » The Myth of Thomas Szasz

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        • #5
          yes over the past couple months i have read a lot about thomas szasz and his theories. i also read that article u just posted. after reading about his theories it made me doubt whether im really ill, but now i am more certain that my illness is real. it appears to me that his view is a quite an extreme one. he wants to put blame/responsibility on the sufferers of mental illness(by saying mental illness doesnt exist). i raelly would not like to think that. if i deserve blame for having delusions and hallucinations etc. then that wouldn't make me feel good. it really doesnt seem that i was to blame for them. for example, i really thought that all my delusions were true 100%. it seemed natural. i didnt have any sense that i was doing anything wrong or that it resulted from a defect in character. it wasn't the same thing as denial (of reality), because what felt to me was that if i abandoned my delusional beliefs then i would be denying my own reality that developed in my head. i had no doubt about the things i believed. all my family tells me that it was not my fault and to me it doesnt seem to be my fault. so if its not my fault then an apparently logical explanation is that i developed an illness. during my last psychotic episode i was so delusional and paranoid that it effected me physically. my heart raced and my blood pressure was high. i was constantly in a state of ineffable anxiety, simply because of persecutory bizarre beliefs that have no basis in reason. was i to blame for this? i really dont think so and would not like to think so.
          Last edited by gabe911; September 16th, 2011, 01:01 AM.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by gabe911 View Post
            yes over the past couple months i have read a lot about thomas szasz and his theories. i also read that article u just posted. after reading about his theories it made me doubt whether im really ill, but now i am more certain that my illness is real. it appears to me that his view is a quite an extreme one. he wants to put blame/responsibility on the sufferers of mental illness(by saying mental illness doesnt exist). i raelly would not like to think that. if i deserve blame for having delusions and hallucinations etc. then that wouldn't make me feel good. it really doesnt seem that i was to blame for them. for example, i really thought that all my delusions were true 100%. it seemed natural. i didnt have any sense that i was doing anything wrong or that it resulted from a defect in character. it wasn't the same thing as denial (of reality), because what felt to me was that if i abandoned my delusional beliefs then i would be denying my own reality that developed in my head. i had no doubt about the things i believed. all my family tells me that it was not my fault and to me it doesnt seem to be my fault. so if its not my fault then an apparently logical explanation is that i developed an illness. during my last psychotic episode i was so delusional and paranoid that it effected me physically. my heart raced and my blood pressure was high. i was constantly in a state of ineffable anxiety, simply because of persecutory bizarre beliefs that have no basis in reason. was i to blame for this? i really dont think so and would not like to think so.
            I completely agree with you Gabe that mental illness is real, and has a profound effect on peoples lives. And, that the individual sufferer is not to 'blame.'

            I don't think Szasz was trying to lay 'blame' with the patient, I think he was more interested in going after the psychiatry profession for removing patients from the decision making process affecting their lives; i.e., being medicated or institutionalized (or as he sees it, incarcerated). I think you have brought attention to the 'scarier' implications of his work. Sociologically though, Szasz brings attention to the inherent ambiguities of what constitutes mental illness. For example, a US president can speak directly to god and be told "go start a war" and that's fine?

            George Bush: 'God told me to end the tyranny in Iraq' | World news | The Guardian

            After this lesson however, I think Szaz should be dropped like a hot brick. In his later writing he says:

            "We cannot make progress in mental health care policy until we agree on what we mean by progress. Psychiatrists and politicians mean making more and better mental health services available to more and more people. I consider this not progress, but a plan to turn more people into "consumers of mental heath services." There can be only one humane goal for mental health care policy, namely, reducing and ultimately eliminating the number of persons in the population treated as mentally ill. This goal will remain unattainable as long as we cling to the notion that "mental illness" is a disease that the patient "has." (from The Freeman)

            I completely disagree with this. With the high numbers of inmates, and the homeless being so obviously unable to function in society, I'd say more services should be available, and more preventative measures should be taken. Not just medication and counselling, but education, nutrition and a kinder, more compassionate approach within society in general.

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            • #7
              I think the real point is to question what mental illness is - not to deny it exists!

              If you accept a dualist approach to the mind, it becomes far more reasonable to propose that certain phenomena are caused by the brain picking up 'signals' from other mental entities/spirits.

              If you know someone who has mental problems, you can't help but feel that the medical understanding of these diseases is rudimentary at best.

              David

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