The Myth of Mental Illness

2711 Words Oct 18th, 2012 11 Pages
The Myth of Mental Illness

Mental illness has existed since the dawn of humanity, but has since been perceived and understood in various ways. This essay will examine the contemporary現代人definition of mental illness and how the definition is shaped more by the contemporary society that creates it rather than by real experience and understanding of the state itself. Unavoidably, this examination of a largely misunderstood subject leads to an investigation of the societal and philosophical influences causing the misunderstanding. Indeed, since the subject of mental health and illness is inextricably and directly related to the nature of reality, the nature of mental illness must be considered not in isolation but in conjunction with the
…show more content…
is.

Essential to the proper understanding of mental illness, the question is therefore what society?s definition of normal living and normal mental health is. More to the point, what is the nature of society, what is the context within which sanity is defined? Society, after all, is not something natural but something arbitrary and human-made, whereas the workings of one?s mind are fundamentally natural as the end result of natural evolution. In other words, it appears at first glance that a natural function is being defined through contrast with and under a framework of human sociological convention.

What is meant by ?society? is society and its metaphysical context?its stereotypical conceptions and beliefs of reality that have such a great influence over the daily actions of most people. These stereotypes result from human civilization, because as environment changes from natural to artificial, one?s mode of thinking and living must obviously also shift from something natural to something conventional that fits with the environment civilization sets.

Therefore, society?s mainstream understanding is conventional in nature, as is the aspect of the human psyche that society acknowledges and reinforces, namely the ego. The ego reinforced by society and one?s normal natural mode of thinking may therefore constitute ?the

More about The Myth of Mental Illness

Open Document