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Nonconformity a mental disorder?

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Nonconformity a mental disorder?
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11/9/15 10:55 PM
What are your opinions on this article? Is it really skilful to box every small quirk or difference which makes us human into a disorder? Have we come to the point that we fail to discipline our own children and we got to outsource this job to the psychiatrist?

The article itself seems a bit biased; which is fine. We all have them. The symptoms they quote are a bit different from what the title suggests.

http://themindunleashed.org/2013/11/nonconformity-and-freethinking-now.html

RE: Nonconformity a mental disorder?
Answer
11/10/15 4:16 AM as a reply to Mettafore.
hey mettafore,
thanks for bringing this up.  its really important.  i am a non-conformist from my genes up.  one could say this is mental illness or one could say that it is a highly developed survival mechanism. take your pick.  i try to take the investigation that we do here into every aspect of my experience on this planet and find it to be very effective in breaking down concepts by questioning basic assumptions.  this has put me solidly into the camp of being a conspiracy theorist. just another perjorative label.

perhaps that is a mental illness but i don't think so.  it can definitely be uncomfortable and even unhealthy by some measures, especially if those measures go against social norms or accepted political narratives.

jon rappaport, who studied tibetan spirituality for many years, writes extensively on the DSM-IV among many other topics.  one of his points is that, of the over 300 different mental illness classifications forwarded by that tome, there is no objective, diagnostic test which can be administrered to determine the presence or absence of even one of them.  this can seem to be a persnikety parsing of words but it points to the non-scientific basis for the pushing of the pharmacopia based paradigm that bible rests upon.

in the same way that "physical" medicine takes a reductionist, mechanistic view of health and illness the "mental" doctors reduce all to the chemistry which they alone can patent, manufacture and sell.  there is no cure in thier paradigm nor room for non-sanctioned therapies.

so if non-conformity is a mental disorder, what are we to do about it?  stalin, mao and others sent them to camps or just killed them.  would we, as wise enlightened westerners "help" them with medication or maybe a nice stay in a re-education facility?

in  my well considered opinion, it is the conformists who are to be feared.

RE: Nonconformity a mental disorder?
Answer
11/10/15 5:00 AM as a reply to tom moylan.
Hey Tom, if you believe you are not conforming and able to question everything then I think that perversely could be a sign of conformity. As I see it the socially constructed nature of mind means that conformity is always part of experience. Even writing in English is conforming to a social norm - and our vocabulary (defined by other people) limits the thoughts that we can even have.

One thing democratic societies seem very good at doing is giving "non-conformists" a safe space to play around in as long as they don't actually challenge anything fundamental. I think a sign of "unsanctioned" non-conformity is when the state uses violence against the non-conformists. So for example posting conspiracy videos onto YouTube is fine but a few hundred people camping in the financial district brings in the riot police.

RE: Nonconformity a mental disorder?
Answer
11/10/15 5:32 AM as a reply to Mark.
howdy mark,
i am a nonconformist in four different languages.

i think your suggestion that nonconformity is conformity is stretched and unserious.  we do conform on lots of levels out of practical necessity and to avoid the insanity which would follow an absolutely contrarian position on everything as a world view.  if we had to rationalize the fact that the floor is solid instead of taking it for granted every morning we would never get out of bed and would quickly starve.

that said, there are constructs which are less fundamental and usually built upon more complicated social and or political bases.  most of us choose sides in particular political or social justice questions.  some of these can be based on groupthink (like i belong to political party "A" and we think "this" or 'Well, none of the other kids like Suzi so I won't either' ) and some are based on more fundamental assumptions and follow some argumentative pathway to a conclusion.  In both cases a rational chain of argumentation begins from a premis which is not necessarily fundamental and is often unquestioned.  its easier though.

what you wrote about the limits of discourse in democratic societies is a serious flaw and contrary to the principles of free speech and true democratic ideals obviously.  youtube censors every day as does facebook and the 6 corporations which own the US media landscape allow nothing like free speech.

posting conspiracy videos should be allowed.  we should all be allowed to be offended.

what do you think of the origina posted question?  is nonconformity a mental disorder?

RE: Nonconformity a mental disorder?
Answer
11/10/15 6:02 AM as a reply to tom moylan.
tom moylan:
howdy mark,

i am a nonconformist in four different languages.

i think your suggestion that nonconformity is conformity is stretched and unserious. 

I hope you don't think that four languages would somehow change the fundamentals of the situation.

It is stretched and serious. A lot of "non-conformity" is part of the way the system works it is another label that some people wear with pride. Consider teenagers.



if we had to rationalize the fact that the floor is solid instead of taking it for granted every morning


Slightly different issue I think - assumptions vs conformity.



In both cases a rational chain of argumentation begins from a premis which is not necessarily fundamental and is often unquestioned.  its easier though.


Conspiracy theories often being a good example of this ;) I don't think you can get to a fundamental premis just a premis that makes sense in a certain context.



what you wrote about the limits of discourse in democratic societies is a serious flaw and contrary to the principles of free speech and true democratic ideals obviously. 


Many argue that "true communism" works well too.



youtube censors every day as does facebook and the 6 corporations which own the US media landscape allow nothing like free speech.

posting conspiracy videos should be allowed.  we should all be allowed to be offended.



Not that I watch a lot of conspiracy videos but I think YouTube has many of these. There is censorship but not in regards to conspiracy as far as I've seen. There is plenty of censorship for offensive content but I imagine there is plenty of room to present a conspiracy theory without being offensive. 


what do you think of the origina posted question?  is nonconformity a mental disorder?

If the person is suffering because of their non-conformity and is seeking help to adapt to society's norms then I can see some sense for society to help that person. Providing the help often requires some sort of diagnosis given how health care is accessed.

I would be doubtful of the accuracy of the diagnosis and effectiveness of the treatments. So I'd hope it is only people that can't function who end up taking the risk of diagnosis and/or treatment.

If you don't have a life threatening problem it is probably wiser to steer clear of the medical profession!

RE: Nonconformity a mental disorder?
Answer
11/10/15 6:13 AM as a reply to Mark.
It is stretched and serious. A lot of "non-conformity" is part of the way the system works it is another label that some people wear with pride. Consider teenagers.

ok, got ja.  good point but that is just conforming to a different group, the peer group but i get what you mean. an extension could be nonconformists who affiliate with "all" of the conspiracy theories instead of being selective.

with the language point i was trying to draw the distiction between practical differences, like languages, and mindsets, which is more of a standpoint having to do with personal psychological makeup.

some things one needs on just about all levels and there are other constructions that one could sail through life without ever having needed to address them.

cheers

RE: Nonconformity a mental disorder?
Answer
11/10/15 10:57 AM as a reply to Mark.
[quote=
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If you don't have a life threatening problem it is probably wiser to steer clear of the medical profession!
You nailed it! But, I'm afraid most people aren't educated enough to know this. 

RE: Nonconformity a mental disorder?
Answer
11/19/15 12:36 PM as a reply to Mettafore.
That's pretty much was my doctor told me last month. She said "If you act in opposition of what people around you tell you, maybe it's you the problem". I indeed made life choice in recent years that were against the grain, some wise, many unwise. I was raised in a Catholic environment which put a lot of emphasis on conformism. It seems that many of actions had as (unconscious) purpose of breaking the mould. It's a bit like a teenage crisis which keep going on.

RE: Nonconformity a mental disorder?
Answer
11/19/15 12:55 PM as a reply to Simon T..
Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Simon.

Can kind of relate with that. I never used to stay with a friend's group as I never wanted to settle into some type of predictable character. Also, when Id graduated grad school I'd no idea how to bag a job as I hardly had any peer group to discuss or take advice from. I realized a bit later in life that there are a lot of sensible things ordinary people do which one doesn't need to impulsively reject. Also, book smarts doesn't count that much in life. However, the high processing power that comes with book smarts can be effectively transmuted into experiential wisdom.

Just my Rs. 0.02

RE: Nonconformity a mental disorder?
Answer
11/19/15 2:10 PM as a reply to Mettafore.
Mettafore:
Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Simon.

Can kind of relate with that. I never used to stay with a friend's group as I never wanted to settle into some type of predictable character. Also, when Id graduated grad school I'd no idea how to bag a job as I hardly had any peer group to discuss or take advice from. I realized a bit later in life that there are a lot of sensible things ordinary people do which one doesn't need to impulsively reject. Also, book smarts doesn't count that much in life. However, the high processing power that comes with book smarts can be effectively transmuted into experiential wisdom.

Just my Rs. 0.02


I relate with that too. There is only a handful of people who I manage to remain in touch with. Either people become too predictable after I have known them for a while, or they develop a certain idea of my personality, which eventually change, witch lead to them experiencing deception (assuming that aspect of my personality which I lost) or me feeling the need to act like the "old me". 

I think it's one of the reason why I enjoy meeting people from other cultures, as they are less predictable and they have less expections of specifics behavior on my side.

In the talk "at the Hurricane ranch" (available on Daniel website), Kenneth Folk says something along "Enlightenment is the pleasure of not knowing what's coming next". I guess he meant "to not care what is coming next". At least, that make more sense to me said that way, but it pretty much mean the same thing. For instance, I can know that my boss with react a certain way to something I'm saying. It can cause stress. The absense from the mind from the concern is pretty much the same as "not knowing".