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Mental Illness is caused by overwhelming complexity

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#1 Findmywayhome


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Posted 15 November 2020 - 09:32 PM

"What you learn if you're going to become a psychologist is that; people come to you with mental illnesses... and that's almost never true. People come to you because their lives are so damn complicated they cannot stay on top of them in any way that doesn't make it look like their just gonna get more complicated." - JBP


I was watching this lecture by Jordan Peterson, and he said something that rang so true to me. The cause of practically all mental illness, including and especially DPDR, is the result of intolerable complexity in ones life. All humans have inherit genetic weaknesses to one extent to the other. It is the external events that occur in ones life that can lead to these weaknesses becoming fully exploited and manifested; in some cases as a mental illness.


In some ways this is common knowledge... Of course adversity can cause a mental illness, so I don't know why when I heard him say this I was taken aback about how amazingly truthful his statement was. If you take a balloon and blow up to where its passed its capacity it will blow out at the weakest point. This is analogous to the genetic predispositions we all have. Everyone here has DPDR because our genetics are in such a way that we are susceptible to experience it, all it takes is a bad experience with weed, years of accumulating stress, a breakup, or childhood trauma to wrought the mental disorder into our minds. 


So, in almost all cases of mental illness, they have manifested as a result of complexity in ones life that has become so uncontrollable that the structure of their sanity blows out at the weakest point; causing the mental pathology. So mental illnesses really are -for the most part- purely psychological. Of course, this doesn't negate the existence of mental illnesses that are present regardless of any external occurrences, these all involve a neurological component; it is intrinsic to their DNA. There is an even rarer instance in which one can acquire a neurological illness from external events, rather than a psychological one. This happens when an experience is so profound, severe, or long lasting, it actually modifies the code inside ones DNA, thus new neural structures become built. This doesn't always manifest as a neurological disease, in fact I suspect the vast majority of the time it is benign, but it could definitely be the cause of certain disorders. Of course, within the conscious experience, all three of these variations of illness manifest in the same way; they are all eminently psychological, but this doesn't negate the fact that the root causes are very, importantly different. 


I feel like this knowledge can be of benefit to many people. Firstly, the difference between a neurological disorder and a psychological one can mean radically different treatment options. I find it is arguably mandatory that everyone on here go through the process of ruling out known neurological disorders; go for EEG's, PET scans, etc. I want one myself, as while this is most likely nonsensical, I feel I experience neurological-like symptoms, but they are very hard to differentiate. Secondly, and I feel this is likely the case for most people, it IS psychological, and thus, I urge all of you to spend time reflecting on what could have caused all this, and what you can do to prevent it in the future. This disorder has made me realize something important; I pressure myself way too much, I criticize myself way too much, I ruminate way too much, I spend too much time thinking, rather than living. If one day I make it out of this, I know for a fact what I need to change about myself. I'm sure everyone on here can make changes too, that can aid in their future. 

#2 Saschasascha


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Posted 16 November 2020 - 12:43 AM

Findmywayhome, really liked this post and you mention some good points!

Its fundamental to always see mental illness in its entirety and to not be reductionistic in one way (for example depression is a neurobiological illness or on the opposite spectrum depression is solely caused by innter conflicts). I also like the comparison with  the ballon getting "overloaded" and the genetic presdisposition that gets sort of triggered by too many external factors (if I get that right).

My only criticism is that the neurobiological aspect is missing out a little bit. You said that genetic predisposition / vulnerability is often times a premise and I agree! but afterwards you said "mental illnesses  really are -for the most part- purely psychological." Here's where I disagree. Mental illness is so variable and often times it is said to be a 50/50 agglomeration of nature vs nurture. There are even mental illnessed that are said to be mostly "neurobiologically-determind" - bipolar, Schizophrenia, endogenous depression and perhaps even OCD. 

Even your tendencies to "criticize yourself too much", "ruminate too much" and so on are to an extent "pre-wired". Im aware that you said that there has to be predispositon but that fundamental point didnt get too much weight when you say those illnesses are mostly psychological. 

Anyways, I really appreciate your thoughts and dont want to come off as condescending or anything. Its just the fact that when you have had OCD since an early age despite any influences that could explain such severity, if you have seen people with severe Bipolar or OCD getting their life totally back on track solely by medication- then you realize lots of time the "nature" aspect is as important as the "nurture" aspect. 

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