- Dec 20, 2007
- Launceston, Cornwall, United Kingdom
So asked one of the moderators of me, in a private message.There are many who have leaned to cope with & overcome mental illness. But am I not right in saying that you don't think you have any 'illness'?
There is a class of voice hearers (sparsely represented here, I admit) that denies "mental illness" in the sense of any malaise that is endogenous. Rather these "targeted individuals" allege an exogenous cause of their hearing voices, "electromagnetic harassment", involving the deployment of "Voice-to-skull" (V2K) weapons.
The approach such people seem to adopt successfully, to cope with their affliction, involves the opposite of the "accepting" of their voices that Marius Romme and Sandra Escher advocate. They actively REJECT their voices, as well as all attempts to diagnose them psychiatrically.
Romme and Escher present statistical evidence that those who accept their voices tend to fare better. But perhaps it is not the acceptance of voices that does the good, and the rejection that does the harm. Pehaps it is that those with the sort of voice content it is quite pleasurable to accept tend to fare better than those with the sort of voice content nobody in their right mind would choose to accept. In that case, the statistical support for the advice to accept voices as a coping strategy, is flawed. The type of content (acceptable -v-unacceptable) and the choice between acceptance or rejection are not INDEPENDENT. One causes the other. Voice acceptance and good prognosis could be caused by a common cause, voice content acceptability, and voice rejection and poor prognosis could both be being caused by voice content unacceptability.
If the V2K thesis of the TIs is correct, just in their own cases, even the acceptance of acceptable voice content could be ill-advised. Pehaps the "good cop" has the same sinister agenda as the "bad cop". Insult can demoralise, but flattery can corrupt.
Is there any good evidence that admitting mental illness per se is a good predictor of good coping? If one defines psychosis (as one must) in terms of lack of insight, and uses subject denial of iatric diagnosis as a metric showing lack of insight, then, circularly, one arrives at the conclusion that denial of diagnosis is, by definition, poor coping, because the patient is still psychotic. But, on other metrics of how well one is coping, what a priori reason is there for predicting recovery from the admission of illness? That is no better than the policy of denying parole to those who claim to be wrongly convicted, a policy that leads to those who have died in prison being posthumously pardoned.