Re: Royce White

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This:
It is not that Royce White thinks he has a unique problem. It's more that Royce White believes society has made everyone slightly insane.

I'm going to have to digest this a little more, I think.


Posted by: Mentioner | Link to this comment | 01-31-13 8:03 AM
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He sounds fairly sensible to me. It's entirely possible that most people could have some sort of mild stress-related mental dysfunction. Most people have stress in their lives! Whether this qualifies as illness is more of a philosophical question - maybe it's more like "unfitness" or "overweightness".

And free mental health care available to all is a great idea. (So is free physical health care available to all.)


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 01-31-13 8:25 AM
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He's clearly right that modern society drives everyone a little insane (particularly American society I think -- we consistently lead the world in metrics of mental disorders). But it sounds like he's also using that true insight as an excuse to be irresponsible in his own life.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 01-31-13 9:27 AM
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Where's ttaM? Isn't this what he worked on in grad school?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-31-13 9:32 AM
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4. He's probably earning an honest crust - it's half past four here.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 01-31-13 9:34 AM
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3
I haven't read much more outside of this Grantland article, but it doesn't seem that he's being irresponsible. If anything, it looks like he's leveraging the power and influence he's achieved against those with more. Workers' rights, and all that.


Posted by: Mentioner | Link to this comment | 01-31-13 9:34 AM
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6: they're paying him millions of dollars and apparently offering him lots of accomodations and until recently he was refusing to practice, travel, or play with the team. From a letter the team released a couple of months ago;

"We have bent over backwards to accommodate your requests and help you meet these goals," the letter read. "At our meeting yesterday, I spent significant time addressing your frustrations. I would like to take this opportunity to further explain how your actions and the changing nature of your explanations for your actions has frustrated our attempts to help you meet your goals. The bottom line is that we remain willing to work with you on issues that arise from legitimate medical need, but you have to come to games, practice and everything else that you are able to do, just like any other player."

Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 01-31-13 9:39 AM
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7
I'm completely willing to admit to being petulant, but good for him. Break more bent backs.

Also, too: ultimately, it's millionaires playing ball games. So I guess I have a hard time getting too attached. I'm guessing Royce didn't grow up with a stack of money, so I'm kind of rooting for him to fleece them for all they're worth. Petulant.


Posted by: Mentioner | Link to this comment | 01-31-13 9:43 AM
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They're not all millionaires!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01-31-13 10:27 AM
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From what I have read, I think the team has done an admirable job in attempting to accommodate all of his requests. There comes a point when one has to conclude that Royce White is unable perform the essential functions of the job, with or without reasonable accommodation, which is the standard under the ADA. If his mental illness prevents him from playing a significant number of games, then it is not discrimination for the team to suspend him without pay or release him from his contract.


Posted by: McGrumps | Link to this comment | 01-31-13 10:34 AM
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Mentioner, sending NBA teams the message "don't sign a player who's a nonconformist, he'll steal the money and refuse to play because of supposed mental health mumbo jumbo" doesn't seem like that great of an intervention on behalf of workers' rights.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 01-31-13 10:42 AM
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One of the remote branches of my family had the surname 'Royce' which at some point transformed into 'Rice'. Just sayin' (in a cross-thread manner of speaking).


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01-31-13 10:48 AM
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The opposite of John Cleese's family nomenclature history.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 01-31-13 11:41 AM
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I've been meaning to read more about him to have a better opinion after seeing the headlines a week or so ago, but I haven't yet. I sent this interview to Lee to see if she had any thoughts, but I suspect they'll mostly be excitement that maybe Mara's hypervigilance will make her an exceptional basketball player someday.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 01-31-13 11:44 AM
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11
I'm trying to find a reasonable way to walk back most of my earlier opinions, but they're just too spitefully tasty. I recognize I'm being unsound, but just for a moment or three, I'm going to hang on to them.


Posted by: Mentioner | Link to this comment | 01-31-13 12:16 PM
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It sounds like the team is trying to be accommodating, but trying to preserve their right to stop being accommodating if they choose. Whereas what White wants is institutional, contractual guarantees.

This is an important and reasonable distinction. It's why grievance procedures are such a crucial part of union contracts. I don't know anything more about this than what I read in the linked post and on these comments, but I'm skeptical of " pipe down and stop being so difficult, you're ruining it for the rest of us" arguments.


Posted by: X. Trapnel | Link to this comment | 01-31-13 12:24 PM
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15 -- lame. Blog ethos demands that you double down. The best defense is an aggressive offense. And if you're going to die, die with your boots on.

[on preview I see Trapnel is taking up the charge. Nice work.]


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01-31-13 12:30 PM
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16
Thanks for putting a grown-up spin on my Bolshevik temper tantrum.


Posted by: Mentioner | Link to this comment | 01-31-13 12:34 PM
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There was an interview with White on the Slate sports podcast a couple weeks ago. But I don't really have an opinion on him/his behaviour/requests.


Posted by: hydrobatidae | Link to this comment | 01-31-13 12:36 PM
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This is an important and reasonable distinction. It's why grievance procedures are such a crucial part of union contracts.

It's worth keeping in mind here that the NBA does in fact have a union contract and all that comes with it. He's got loads of contractual protections and they've given him a lot of leeway to basically travel however he wants and such just so long actually shows up to practices and games, which isn't happening.

"The majority of people are mentally ill" arguments make me want to kick groins. Can we please not start throwing terms like illness and disability onto the majority of human experiences? What the fuck is the point?


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 01-31-13 1:04 PM
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me want to kick groins

There was a guy with a brain injury who had an irresistible compulsion to do just that. He spent his waking hours in the mental hospital with his hands buckled to his waist.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-31-13 1:07 PM
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He was hitting groins, not kicking them.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-31-13 1:08 PM
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arguments make me want to kick groins

That's in the DSM-IV.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-31-13 1:08 PM
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A lot of these groins belong parents of shitheads. It seems like every other juvenile call I go on one of the parents whips out the "my kid has ADD" and then I have to ask these idiots if they're seriously trying to claim that their kid being twitchy is some kind of license to steal, punch another kid in the face, etc.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 01-31-13 1:19 PM
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one of the parents whips out the "my kid has ADD"

Before my mother retired after 30+ years of teaching high school, that was one of her biggest complaints as well. She says it took enormous restraint not to reply "What your kid has is L-A-Z-Y and a shitty attitude."


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-31-13 1:22 PM
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20
I don't know why you would want to automatically throw out the idea that most people are mentally ill because the environment supports mental illness (or even produces it). It may not be right, but it's certainly plausible. And the flu analogy, I thought, was especially right on, if not elegant.
I will resist setting some sort of standard of normal, in general, but it's an interesting thought experiment at least to consider: what sort of society would insane people create? Is the society we live in that society?


Posted by: Mentioner | Link to this comment | 01-31-13 1:29 PM
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L-A-Z-Y and a shitty attitude.

also an accurate descriptor of many people who are trying to get out of providing accommodations for people who actually do have a learning disability.


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 01-31-13 1:41 PM
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A lot of these groins belong parents of shitheads. It seems like every other juvenile call I go on one of the parents whips out the "my kid has ADD" and then I have to ask these idiots if they're seriously trying to claim that their kid being twitchy is some kind of license to steal, punch another kid in the face, etc.

Not a license to do these things, and I'm not suggesting and ADHD diagnosis is relevant information for a police officer responding to a complaint. But ADHD does mean more than just "can't sit still" or "daydreams a lot." Impulsivity/tendency to act without regard to consequences. I've known a few folks with ADHD whose tendency toward general shitheadedness was greatly helped by behavioral and medical treatment of the ADHD and who would have gotten the therapy/meds sooner but for a general "ADHD is just a bullshit excuse" attitude.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 01-31-13 1:58 PM
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I think I would have been diagnosable with ADD (and maybe still could be) but I don't think it's a disease or disability or best understood as such. It's part of the normal spectrum of human personality. I do think that working with someone who understood my learning style would have been helpful to me and taking a more pragmatic approach toward my particular skills / style has been extremely helpful for me as I've gotten older. I also think that a large number of ADD meds are types of amphetamines that could help concentration and focus for anyone, although perhaps especially so for certain personality types, I couldn't say.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 01-31-13 3:22 PM
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what sort of society would insane people create? Is the society we live in that society?

A pluralistic society?

Didn't PKD do this in Clans of the Alphane Moon? Don't wanna lookup, but a schizo community, a depressed community, a multiple personality faction. Point being there are many many kinds and degrees of mental illness and neurosis. Another point being that crazy folk, and I am certified, are not equally crazy at all times and all situations in complete dysfunctional ways. I can buy groceries just fine from the secret Venusians at Krogers, if I remember not to make eye contact.

Dick had to do it. If not one of you should.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-31-13 4:06 PM
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It's part of the normal spectrum of human personality.

Yeah, to the extent I exhibit many of the symptoms and might self-diagnose as ADHD, I might tend to agree with you. Based on the people I've known with actual diagnoses, no, it is actually more disabling than just a quirk of personality.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 01-31-13 5:36 PM
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It's worth keeping in mind here that the NBA does in fact have a union contract and all that comes with it. He's got loads of contractual protections and they've given him a lot of leeway to basically travel however he wants and such just so long actually shows up to practices and games, which isn't happening.

I don't know anything about anything, so maybe I'm not worth responding to. But I think it's reasonable for (1) psychological issues to be seen as a legitimate reason to take off-days or whatever, just as physical injuries are; and (2) for the decision about what counts for this purpose to be made by a psychologist who's not completely beholden to either team or player. In other words, it seems like precisely the sort of thing best handled through an institutionalized mechanism--the player's union and owner's group get together and hash out a list of doctors that they can both live with, and you go to someone on that list. I mean, that's just off the top of my head. But players shouldn't feel that any attempt to bring up their mental health issues will prompt the team to calculate whether it's worth it this time, &c.--just as with physical injuries.

The interviewer does have *something* of a point that basketball is not, in fact, just another job, and that there's something to the idea of "well, you knew what you were getting when you signed up", in a way that would be bullshit in almost any other employment context. Nevertheless, I think White--or at least the imaginary version of White, who's arguing for what I'm saying--is basically right here.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 01-31-13 5:36 PM
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White is not very interesting. However as we have seen from the thread, mental illness/disability as a tool, a weapon, as a site of resistance, as an acceptable place in the discourse, is kinda interesting.

Lindsay Lohan doesn't get cut much slack. Perfessors get fired for politics.

Shifting sites of resistance.

The interviewer does have *something* of a point that basketball is not, in fact, just another job

In our new precariat contractural employment, this is where it gets contested and interesting.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-31-13 6:50 PM
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Impulsivity/tendency to act without regard to consequences.

Sure, but this is also practically a defining characteristic of being a teenager, particularly boys. And it's not that I doubt the existence of legit disabilities but the frequency that this is invoked has gotten absurd.

But players shouldn't feel that any attempt to bring up their mental health issues will prompt the team to calculate whether it's worth it this time, &c.--just as with physical injuries.

But how else are they supposed to react? There's not a plan B for "can't show up and play in the games." That's the entirety of the endeavor. Physical injuries aren't different. It's why Odom isn't getting a check.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 01-31-13 8:38 PM
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Lindsay Lohan doesn't get cut much slack.

Her ratio of arrests to jail time says otherwise.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 01-31-13 8:38 PM
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I'm with x.trapnel here.


Posted by: J, Robot | Link to this comment | 01-31-13 10:10 PM
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But players shouldn't feel that any attempt to bring up their mental health issues will prompt the team to calculate whether it's worth it this time, &c.--just as with physical injuries.

I'm not sure what exactly this means, but White has been quite forthcoming about his mental health issues and the team drafted him anyway and seemed to welcome the idea of working with him on them. Look at the letter I quoted in 7. The question is how much work he's willing to put in on his end.

31: well, I came close enough to having an 'actual diagnosis' or was told flat out by a professional that she would be willing to diagnose me. I'm not sure given the willingness of people to diagnose stuff an 'actual diagnosis' is the key distinction.

I have no doubt that more extreme forms of an ADD-type personality could be disabling. But it also seems to me that there are places on the personality spectrum that are disabling without necessarily being a 'disease'. E.g. a really bad temper combined with problems with authority can be extremely dangerous and disabling, but I'm not sure it's a disease. Of course, the concept of personality disorder can be a flexible way of handling this as the way I understand it personality disorders are diagnosable and medicalized (through the DSM) but psychology/psychiatry profession does not claim that they are a physical disease. But I guess I'm wondering whether the relationship between personality disorders and the normal personality spectrum can be more subtle than is easily handled through this frame, which is still based on medicalization. This goes back to issues we discussed in the disability thread -- as I said there, I think one thing that is going on is that the main ways we have to channel help and assistance to each other rely on medical classifications. And (as Bob very acutely said in 33) the classification of disability is a major tool of resistance as well.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 02- 1-13 1:03 AM
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So exactly how are you distinguishing between "disease"/disability and personality?


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 02- 1-13 4:56 AM
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38: SCID-The Home Game.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 1-13 6:33 AM
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But it also seems to me that there are places on the personality spectrum that are disabling without necessarily being a 'disease'.

Yes, this is what I am getting at. You can say (were it not for the analogy ban) that modern society has bad effects on most people's health - not enough exercise, too much sugar and salt, that kind of thing. You don't have to say that almost everyone is "clinically hypersugared" or whatever. It seems entirely plausible that the same's true for mental health (shorter attention spans, frex) even if it doesn't rise to the level of an actual disease.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 02- 1-13 6:40 AM
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39: I'd nominate you for party planning if you were coming to DC!


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 02- 1-13 6:41 AM
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I'm still not sure about that.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 1-13 6:47 AM
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You don't have to say that almost everyone is "clinically hypersugared

Yeah, when it rises to the level of disease, we just call it Type 2 diabetes.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 02- 1-13 7:03 AM
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A doctor will diagnose insulin resistance or IFG before you get to actual diabetes. I don't know if those are technically diseases, but they have ICD codes.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 1-13 7:09 AM
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I see why the analogy ban happened now.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 02- 1-13 7:11 AM
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The analogy ban is a protective intervention, like regular exercise is for high blood sugar.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 1-13 7:16 AM
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I think that's the problem with trying to say "everyone is mentally ill." You get people who are a little twitchy or easily bored saying "I'm so ADD." No, you have some traits similar to, some might say analogous or on a spectrum with, traits experienced by people with ADD. Yes, you are sad 30 Rock is over. But depression as a mental illness isn't the same thing.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 02- 1-13 7:20 AM
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42: Fine, Drambuie DSM Drinking Game it is, then!


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 02- 1-13 7:28 AM
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re: 43

And what makes it count as a disease? How are you drawing the line between disease and not-disease in the case of Type 2 diabetes?


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02- 1-13 7:34 AM
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There is Type 3 diabetes, but you can only get it at a certain shop in Williamsburg.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 1-13 7:40 AM
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Not a license to do these things, and I'm not suggesting and ADHD diagnosis is relevant information for a police officer responding to a complaint. But ADHD does mean more than just "can't sit still" or "daydreams a lot." Impulsivity/tendency to act without regard to consequences. I've known a few folks with ADHD whose tendency toward general shitheadedness was greatly helped by behavioral and medical treatment of the ADHD and who would have gotten the therapy/meds sooner but for a general "ADHD is just a bullshit excuse" attitude

Agreed.

I get angered when I hear people say "Back in my day, we used to spank kids and they behaved!" Or "we didn't used to give kids all kinds of special treatment just bc they are lazy."

No. We used to warehouse kids or we would tell them that they were not smart enough for college simply bc we were too lazy to care that they might learn in a different way.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 02- 1-13 7:47 AM
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And what makes it count as a disease? How are you drawing the line between disease and not-disease in the case of Type 2 diabetes?

Well, IANAD, but the case of Type 2 diabetes vs. Ajay's "clinically oversugared" seems easy. The latter is just a set of ongoing choices to eat crappy food. The former, which may well result from those choices, is (in my laypersos's understanding...) a physical dysfunction in the body's ability to process/regulate blood sugar, which left untreated can progress to blindness and amputations and the like. Mental illness is not as straightforward, certainly, as the physical/brain dysfunctions associated with the sets of symptoms which are considered diagnostic of illness are not (in many cases) as well understood. But I would nevertheless argue there is a real and important distinction between personality (which I would loosely define as a function of attitudes and beliefs) and mental illness (which I would define as a dysfunction in cognitive and emotional processing).


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 02- 1-13 8:21 AM
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Yes, but what makes a particular type of physical function dysfunctional?

I'm being slightly disingenuous here, this is the topic of my doctorate. You'd be surprised how quickly you tie yourself in knots once you start disambiguating terms like dysfunction. It's also surprising how often formal definitions for these terms are either circular, or end up with something like 'has bad consequences'.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02- 1-13 8:25 AM
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I mean, if someone ate a bunch of candy and announced, "Man, I am so diabetic" or something, I would be annoyed on behalf of people actually diagnosed diabetic.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 02- 1-13 8:28 AM
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this is the topic of my doctorate

So help me out here! How does someone smart define it? I was going to say something along the lines of "producing significant impairment," but then how do you define significant? Or impairment?


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 02- 1-13 9:15 AM
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It'd take a long time to explain my answer. I don't mean that in a facetious way. It's complicated, precisely because you then end up getting into things like significant and impairment, and significant for who and impaired relative to who, or what, or where or when? To be honest, the fact that I can't give a quick answer makes me worry that my answer must be wrong, or least conceptually ugly.

Common answers other people give:

i) it's relative to a statistical norm (of functioning, which in turn then requires some account of functioning)
ii) there's some physiological marker of disease, like cellular necrosis or apoptosis -- maybe combined with i) so that diseases are just things that lead to a statistically abnormal level of necrosis/apoptosis/whatever
iii) it's relative to some account of bodily function grounded in the evolutionary history of our species
iv) it's all relative to our personal well-being, so diseases are things of a particular type (often there's a bit hand-waving goes on here) that impact negatively on our well-being
v) It's relative to well-being in some non-subjective/non-personal type; so life expectancy, or ability to reproduce, say
vi) It has something to do with capabilities (to act, to pursue our well-being, objective or subjective).
vii) diseases are just social constructions

My answer has something of iv) and vi) about it. With epicycles upon epicycles. I'm pretty sure that i), ii), iii) and vii) are wrong.

The main thing I always push back against is the idea that it's an easy problem. It's precisely because it's surprisingly hard to define that battles over the medicalisation of particular putative diseases get so heated.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02- 1-13 9:32 AM
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Thanks.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 02- 1-13 9:40 AM
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I would nevertheless argue there is a real and important distinction between personality (which I would loosely define as a function of attitudes and beliefs) and mental illness (which I would define as a dysfunction in cognitive and emotional processing).

See, this is my problem. There *is* a real-world distinction between functional and dysfunctional, I would never deny that, nor the benefits of getting help to address dysfunction. But it seems to me that trying to draw a line through the personality and put 'dysfunction/illness' on one side and 'attitudes/beliefs' on the other is potentially very reductionist and could hamper getting toward deeper psychological issues.

For example, take someone who has a very bad temper and problems with authority, to the point of violence, defiance, inability to hold down a job, etc. This is clearly dysfunctional behavior (and I understand there's a personality disorder diagnosis for it now, oppositional/defiant disorder). But it could also be connected to attitudes and beliefs coming from, say an abusive childhood, and also be connected to real personality *strengths* like courage, energy, and independence. In other words, various attitudes and beliefs that were perhaps valid responses to an abusive environment could have led the individual to use their potential strengths in dysfunctional ways. It just seems to me that it's not uncommon for even pretty dysfunctional behaviors to be connected to what could be personality strengths if the person was able to sufficiently modify their attitudes and beliefs (which granted is not easy). I'm not sure how a rigid line between 'illness' and the rest of personality handles this.

This article on the overuse of drug-only cures for ADHD and the lack of attention to the obvious environmental and social factors that are important in the condition, gets at some of the dangers of reductionist thinking I am talking about. A quote:

What we found was that the environment of the child predicted development of A.D.D. problems. In stark contrast, measures of neurological anomalies at birth, I.Q. and infant temperament -- including infant activity level -- did not predict A.D.D.... Putting children on drugs does nothing to change the conditions that derail their development in the first place. Yet those conditions are receiving scant attention. Policy makers are so convinced that children with attention deficits have an organic disease that they have all but called off the search for a comprehensive understanding of the condition. The National Institute of Mental Health finances research aimed largely at physiological and brain components of A.D.D. While there is some research on other treatment approaches, very little is studied regarding the role of experience. Scientists, aware of this orientation, tend to submit only grants aimed at elucidating the biochemistry.

Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 02- 1-13 9:52 AM
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What's wrong with iii) ?


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 02- 1-13 9:53 AM
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By the way, this is also one reason why the diabetes/mental dysfunction analogy is poorly placed. The connections between function and dysfunction, strengths and weaknesses, is far more subtle and significant in mental/emotional functioning than in physical functioning.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 02- 1-13 9:55 AM
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What's wrong with iii)?

Too paleo?


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 02- 1-13 9:56 AM
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Not much of an answer. Animal models of disease are a very productive avenue of research. Doesn't really address why some disorders that only affect the elderly are considered to be diseases, but it's a self-consistent perspective.

I would be happy to accept iii) as incomplete or limited, but wrong seems too strong.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 02- 1-13 10:06 AM
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58: See, I don't think distinguishing between illness and issues arising from, to use your framing, personality should imply that people shouldn't have help working with the latter. And I think your example suggests maybe there is a further distinction to be made (as is the case for physical health) between illness and injury. I agree that a change in attitudes/beliefs can often have a significant impact on dysfunctional behaviors, I just don't think the behaviors are themselves the disease. So, in the ADD example, the kid who doesn't pay attention because he thinks the teacher is stupid and boring may exhibit the same behavior as the kid with ADD who doesn't pay attention because he is unable to focus. It might look the same from the outside, but it isn't and I don't think lumping the two together as having an inattentive personality is likely to help either.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 02- 1-13 10:11 AM
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It might look the same from the outside, but it isn't

Although, particularly for mental illness, most of how you diagnose that sort of thing is how it looks from the outside, which can make it hard to make a principled distinction.

Right now I'm obsessively hitting refresh on Unfogged (and a couple of other sites) rather than doing necessary and time-pressured work. Poor character, or mental illness? Given that I usually manage to fake my way through my obligations without anything too noticeably bad happening, I figure that takes me out of the realm of the medically diagnosable and leaves me as simply badly behaved, but it's clearly not a bright-line distinction.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 1-13 10:19 AM
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Poor character, or mental illness?

Or, alternately, normal.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 1-13 10:23 AM
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Given that I usually manage to fake my way through my obligations without anything too noticeably bad happening

You know the line, "everybody's a little bit racist"? Personally I assume that everybody's a little bit crazy (i.e., deeply irrational in certain predictable ways) and that's just part of being human.

Or, what Tweety said.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 02- 1-13 10:31 AM
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So, in the ADD example, the kid who doesn't pay attention because he thinks the teacher is stupid and boring may exhibit the same behavior as the kid with ADD who doesn't pay attention because he is unable to focus.

But even some inherent 'inability to focus' could easily more complicated than just a dysfunction. For example, if someone is tempermentally (say biologically) energetic, restless, easily bored, and intuitive and quick on the uptake in ways that lead them to jump to conclusions, this would probably be quite associated with an inability to focus in a typical classroom setting. But it could well be a strength in another kind of setting, say one that required making decisions quickly. Mental/intellectual/emotional life is really complicated that way. Personality traits can show up as strengths or weaknesses depending on how we manage them. Managing personality to maximize strengths is definitely hard to do though, and something that people often need help with. But is that help best given by defining many things as disease/dysfunctions or keeping that list pretty focused on more extreme conditions?


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 02- 1-13 10:35 AM
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Although, particularly for mental illness, most of how you diagnose that sort of thing is how it looks from the outside, which can make it hard to make a principled distinction.

But the diagnostician is (or should be) looking beyond "doesn't pay attention in class." They do have tools, cognitive tests, etc. to try to sort things out. It's not as clear-cut as a blood test, to be sure, but there is a bit more to it than "Well, he either has ADD or he has an attitude problem, hell if I know."

Poor character, or mental illness?

Depends. Do you fear that something terrible will happen if you don't refresh at least 12 times an hour? Have you tried to quit? Is it significantly interfering with your job or relationships? How tedious is the legal research in question?


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 02- 1-13 10:36 AM
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re: 59

At least in part, because we lack the relevant historical information. In practice, whenever people do it in the literature, it often collapses back into i), ii), or v).

Also, because if you do take it seriously, and you ignore (for the moment) the epistemological issues (the evolutionary history largely being a blank), you end up with disease boundaries that don't look much like where we've actually drawn them.

[Very short answer, there's a big literature on this sort of thing. My own view isn't the consensus, fwiw.]


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02- 1-13 10:39 AM
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But is that help best given by defining many things as disease/dysfunctions or keeping that list pretty focused on more extreme conditions?

See, I think we agree on the end conclusion you seem to be driving at here. My resistance is to the urge to lump "more extreme conditions" in with personality traits.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 02- 1-13 10:40 AM
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you end up with disease boundaries that don't look much like where we've actually drawn them.

There was an interesting thing I saw somewhere in the last week or so -- apparently the slight overbite most people have, where the top teeth overlap the bottom teeth, is a function of modern diets where the teeth aren't used to tear bits of food free. Remains from periods where the teeth were still used more for tearing show the top and bottom front teeth meeting squarely. So, our 'healthy' norm, dentally, is different from the evolved norm.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 1-13 10:47 AM
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69.2 OK, but we have shared traits in species from many lineages. I have been meaning for some time to read about hypertension and heart disease in large mammals.

But sure, looked at this way, Alzheimers is not really a disease, while a harelip is a serious condition.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 02- 1-13 10:49 AM
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harelip

I had thought this term was deprecated? (Cleft lip being the preferred nomenclature...)


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 02- 1-13 10:51 AM
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68: as I understand it most psychiatric diagnosis is checklist-based (along the lines of your 68.2, well done by the way :-). In terms of physical tests, I can't imagine the complexity of using a physical examination of the brain to determine whether someone who does 95 percent of brain-related things well (perceiving, walking, talking, etc.) but who regularly throws tantrums in third period has an inborn abnormality or has been under environmental stress that is interacting with their personality in dysfunctional ways.

70: yes, agreed, but there's a lot of action in the question of whether the 'more extreme' line is drawn correctly and how to draw it.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 02- 1-13 11:33 AM
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Anecdata: My siblings and I were a bit concerned when my brother decided to start medicating his son for ADD. Without the drugs, he didn't seem behaviorally unusual, and the drugs made him into something of a zombie.

After an absence of some months, I saw my nephew, who seemed to be adjusting to his medication quite well. I remarked on this to my mother - hey, looks like those ADD drugs aren't so bad after all - and my mother informed me he had been taken off the drugs for the summer.

He remained on the drugs for the rest of his childhood, and his younger sister and brother were also medicated for extended periods. One can never know, but I have to admit to a suspicion that the medicalization of their childhoods led directly to their growing up to be assholes.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 02- 1-13 11:43 AM
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For example, if someone is tempermentally (say biologically) energetic, restless, easily bored, and intuitive and quick on the uptake in ways that lead them to jump to conclusions, this would probably be quite associated with an inability to focus in a typical classroom setting. But it could well be a strength in another kind of setting, say one that required making decisions quickly.

There's a lot of this in my brother (also a cop) and I. I always tested well but go bored in classes and got out of high school with a C average from never doing homework and blowing off subjects that I didn't deem sufficiently interesting. But I can assess and manage something like a crime scene very well. I would have been much better off going into the military when I was 18 instead college.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 02- 1-13 3:03 PM
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||

Thread dead yet?

Kim Toffoletti:

Rather, simulation transforms how we understand reality, representations and bodies, so that we see them not as fixed terms, but as contested sites. This is because in simulation culture there is no referent for the image in the real. The inability to locate the markers of difference at the site of the body suggests a mutation of form that extends beyond traditional conceptions of bodies, gender and subjectivity. Emerging instead is a proliferation of recombinant and hybrid states of being, instigated by the collapse of differentials between the subject and the media.

Gretchen I. Jones, Bad Girls of Japan, on "ladies comics" explicit s/m (rape, bondage) by and for women

Inquiries into pornography and its consumption also indicate that reading or viewing these kinds of texts is not a passive activity. As Jennifer Wicke writes, "When the pornographic text or image is acquired, the work of pornographic con- sumption has just begun." By "work," Wicke means "the shuffling and collating and transcription of images or works so that they have affectivity within one's own fantasy universe--an act of accommodation, as it were. This will often entail wholesale elimination of elements of the representation, or changing salient features within it."

Thus, although a ladies' comics story may show a male taking the initiative in sexual acts (as Sakamoto claims) or images of passive women, the act of consuming these images itself is by no means passive. The reader of a ladies' comic may skip scenes or entire stories, read faster or slower, or focus on particular scenes or images, depending on how each element or story affects her "own fantasy universe." The reader responses I surveyed back this up: some readers like certain images and scenes, while others reject them; the same applies to readers' reactions to particular ladies' comics authors and their narratives or drawings.

The "work" Wicke describes of "reshuffling" images and ideas to fit one's personal requirements also indicates that a story or image does not necessarily have a universal meaning for each consumer. Though one might expect that a woman reading a ladies' comic would identify with the heroine, Judith Butler has argued that fantasy" does not entail an identification with a single position within a fantasy; the identification is distributed among various elements in the scene." Elizabeth Cowie notes that whereas in reality gender roles are relatively inflexible, in fantasy gender boundaries can be transgressed with impunity.Thus a reader can play with assuming or identifying with a number of different subjectivities within the fantasy regardless of his or her gender or sexual orientation, and might enjoy this flexibility.

tl;but could have been more, but I think Jones goes on in an attempt to "redeem" these fantasies for feminism

Also, Lamarre on interactive otaku culture, dis-assembling and reassembling parts of images and narratives.

PS:Part of what I felt from White was a deliberate incoherence, taking bits and pieces of what he could find useful, intentionally stepping out of DSM formulas.

|>


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 02- 1-13 4:19 PM
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64

Right now I'm obsessively hitting refresh on Unfogged (and a couple of other sites) ...

So what are the other sites?


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 02- 1-13 11:23 PM
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