How Perceptions of Reality Can be Subjective
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Anybody with even an avid interest in the study of Psychology will note that mental illnesses are all based on abnormal behaviors; at least those that are deemed abnormal with regards to the masses of society. This article will take a look at how the application of personal growth to our daily lives can help us to embrace our differences, even when the rest of society thinks we have lost our minds.
What is reality?
This begs the question as to how reality is defined. The basic definition of reality is what is normal in accordance with the whole of society. Therefore anyone who seems even remotely odd is said to have some sort of a chemical imbalance. It is then highly recommended that we try to help the person get some help to make them more like us. See how odd that sounds right there? What if the oddball is actually living at their own level of normalcy?
For example if someone experiences the normal low moods of depression and mild anxiety and then goes days without sleeping and seems to have a bundle of energy, this is actually deemed abnormal because most people don’t do this. In this case we could assume they have a mental illness such as Bipolar Disorder and need to be treated. Granted more than half of those employed within the field of Psychiatry don’t’ even believe in the whole chemical imbalance theory. It is all usually about the money that they receive from the insurance companies for pushing expensive medicines onto people. There are few doctors who still treat cases of mental illness by suggesting personal growth techniques and recommending a good therapist. You usually have to ask for these first.
From there we can take it a step further into the exciting world of Schizophrenia. This is a serious psychotic disorder that is marked by severe hallucinations and delusions. What are the possibilities that a schizophrenic is actually living out of his own reality than a person at a more “normal” level of normalcy?
A whole different version of reality
As we enter into a new century we are clearly seeing that life goes beyond mere flesh and blood. There is actually a spiritual aspect to life that goes beyond this one. You can see this by all the visions of the afterlife and near death experiences. There are even a few cases where people in hospitals have died and came back to life with stories of such. They were literally pronounced dead.
Many people who experience a psychotic episode really believe that people are out to get them. In their view of reality maybe they are just that much more perceptive than the average person and some people really are out to get them. It can be noted that many mentally ill types are more sensitive as well as quite intelligent. Maybe they are sensitive to another world of spiritual beings that speak to them. Spirituality is not necessarily about being religious per se but there have been cases where a religious person would talk about his/her relationship with God and actually be diagnosed with either Bipolar or Schizophrenia because they felt that they had a special relationship with God. Given that only a small fraction of society are actually spiritual and/or religious this could be deemed abnormal in society as a whole.
Also given the selfish nature of man it is not hard to figure out, if you have any knowledge of Psychology anyway, that since mentally ill types are typically above average intelligence that there are many people with just average to genius level that could easily be intimidated by them. Those who are intimidated by someone don’t usually take too kindly to these types, especially in the business world.
The world doesn’t isn’t too kind to sensitive types so if Joe Average is trying to overcompensate by being super ambitious and he picks up on Mr. Sensitivity over here he may very well do everything in his power to bring him down by goading him until the sensitive guy has a breakdown. The sensitive one in turn has a breakdown, gets taken to a hospital and placed on medication. He is then told that he has paranoid schizophrenia and will need to be on medication for life.
Maybe what he really needs is to apply some personal growth techniques to his life and learn not to take things too personally. In other words by committing to a process of self-development he may develop coping skills so that he doesn’t allow anyone to try and provoke him into snapping and entering a higher phase of reality that tells him the truth that people are really out to get him. This usually invokes the fight or flight response that is prevalent in most anxiety cases, with paranoid delusions being a form of severe anxiety.
So to sum it up maybe the mentally ill really are living out of their own reality. It is not normal but no one is truly normal. As a saying goes the not-so-black sheep of the family are usually not as white as they appear to be. That is why when a person suspected of being mentally ill will kill someone out of perceived self-defense and still be charged with 2nd degree murder. Granted the judge will see the mental health issue and go easy on the individual-the first time maybe. Then he will just grant him a few months in a psychiatric hospital and court-ordered medications until he can be deemed safe again. . .after the sick person has applied some self-development and person growth to their life and general psychology principles in an effort to learn how to control their emotions.
- Erwin Wooten