The Eagle

We Cannot Distinguish the Sane from the Insane

Image from https://8230aaa.wordpress.com/2013/07/10/sane-vs-insane-verifications-in-v-a-i-n/

Image from https://8230aaa.wordpress.com/2013/07/10/sane-vs-insane-verifications-in-v-a-i-n/

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Mental health; such a controversial subject. Is it still a taboo? Does it affect people now more than before? Are we doing everything we can to address such issues? Can we fake it?

There is no real answer to these questions, as we have no way of answering them. Yes, in certain social circles and cultures, mental health is a taboo – for some, it doesn’t exist at all. Therefore if mental health is a taboo, then how do we know how many people really are affected? And surely, there’s always something else we can try that we haven’t tried before. But can we fake it? That’s what we’re going to discuss…

Image from: http://www.quickmeme.com/p/3vnpuj/page/2/

It is possible to read on mental illnesses online, to learn about something that may affect you or the ones surrounding you. It is also possible to self-diagnose or even try to diagnose someone else with a mental health condition. But it’s not official until a psychiatrist has analysed and categorised the issue.

Image from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=moQz6AO8nYg

The difficulty begins here. A part of a psychiatrist’s job is to be able to tell the difference between an individual who suffers from a mental illness and someone who does not. However, an experiment was performed where a sample of subjects (some of whom were considered ‘sane’ and others ‘insane’) claimed to be insane, and were diagnosed by psychiatrists. Some of the sane candidates were judged insane by the psychiatrists. Another experiment was conducted with the reverse results – some insane subjects were judged ‘to be faking’ symptoms.

It can therefore be deduced that we cannot distinguish the sane from the insane. If even the medical experts have difficulty, it can be said that diagnosing mental illnesses is a challenge, and may even produce unreliable results. What does this mean? That there may be people left undiagnosed or people receiving medication they do not need. On a more general level, it means we are far from understanding our true nature and how we work innately. So just remember that scientific experiments can prove the inefficiency of the mental health system – which, itself, is the best possible system that can be provided. Right?

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Ethan H., Journalist

I’m Ethan H, and I’m currently a grade 11 student doing the IB. I come from England, but have also lived in France and Switzerland. I’ve been a journalist...

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