Why is it that we tag a person with extreme pessimism as having mental illness (borderline personality disorder, depression etc) but extreme optimism is seen as healthy?
There are very few instances where “being up” is examined at all, except perhaps where it is the “manic” part of manic depressive. An interesting alternative view comes from Lauren Alloy and Lyn Yvonne Abramson, who examined Depressive Realism and found:
“Depressive realism is the hypothesis … that depressed individuals make more realistic inferences than do non-depressed individuals. Although depressed individuals are thought to have a negative cognitive bias that results in recurrent, negative automatic thoughts, maladaptive behaviors, and dysfunctional world beliefs, depressive realism argues not only that this negativity may reflect a more accurate appraisal of the world but also that non-depressed individuals’ appraisals are positively biased.”
If you take borderline personality disorder, which I identify as having, I disagree that it is a form of disorder. There is an underlying problem in judging a person who uses a very different lens to view the world. You may come from a lovely family, and your vision of human society is full of dreams and hopes. But for me, i may come from a very different background, and my vision of human society might reflect this and be more pessimistic. Why is it that, because of a different lens, i am labeled as having a “disorder” while your sunny vision isn’t?
i am someone who doesn’t believe that mental health is biologically structured. i think every mental illness is due to some sort of unresolved past experiences that have accumulated, like being fed a mild poison for a long time, and finally trip off a reaction (“instability”) that deviates from the norm.
Some may argue that the reality of the world is people dying everyday, or abuse happening somewhere in the world every minute of every day. Look it up, of course its true. Or, some may argue that an individual dealing with depression is just adopting a realistic point of view.
Simply by labeling someone as having a “disorder” is already adding weight to the shoulders of the individual. i understand the need for psychology to characterise and catogorise in order to study, but the name they have given to borderline personality disorder is, in my opinion, not suitable and needs to be modified.
i believe that panic attacks are also a sign of an unresolved past, that one wasn’t ready to dealt at the time and is triggered again later. As a simple illustration, perhaps you got burnt from a wall, and everytime you see the wall you are afraid of it. The unresolved business is not “the present wall” but the burn you received in the past.
When panic happens, let your soul process it and try to resolve it. Try to find out what is is triggering it. It is a difficult process to understand your mental state objectively when you are in the throes of an intense storm of emotion, but it’s important (when you can) to take your time, sit down, and think about what is going on. i believe it has to do with an “unresolved segment of the past” that has affected one’s response to the present.
my personal perspective is that, i appreciate the advancement of psychology, but in some instances clinical psychology neglects the soul and jumps straight into medication. But i think it is important to focus on the mental being, and i think many of the answers are inside us if we look.