Psychology student interested in working at Wilderness Therapy program. Are they all bad?

Wrong. Consider "transvestic fetishism." APA bureaucrats voting on which behaviors are morally good or bad does not make those behaviors/feelings/etc "act like an illness." The most important criteria for diagnosing a paraphilic disorder is distress. If the party involved does not feel emotional distress from their paraphilic condition, a diagnosis is not made, regardless of how "amoral" the behavior, even for transvestic fetishism. Under such "reasoning" jogging could be called an illness. "Jogging Health Disorder." That is not reasonable. Under this "reasoning," there is no difference between nausea caused by the stomach flu and nausea caused by eating an entire Crave Case. Self-induced symptoms are (obviously) different than symptoms caused by an illness or disorder. You're using circular reasoning. Sating that some drug is "medication" to backup the claim that the condition is an illness is circular. ("It's an illness because it's an illness.") Saying something is an illness because talking about it can help could make almost anything an illness. That's not reasonable. You're right. Mental illness is not like a typical illness, and can't be used to justify its own existence. But people have been experiencing mental disturbances for a long time. We have recently begun pathologizing them. It it dangerous to call these things "illnesses" like other illnesses such as lupus? You are correct, it probably is. But naming these disorders provides a framework for treatment of the individual, and helps scientists to study similarities between cases. The word "illness" does not change how people are treated, nor does it change how the patient is experiencing the illness. The illness is in the pattern of thinking (for some mental illnesses). Talking about pancreatic cancer isn't going to get rid of the cancer, but therapeutically talking about things distressing the patient do change the patient's pattern of thinking, thereby combating the illness. Wrong again. That's 100% pseudo-science. Really there is no such thing as a mental infection/illness & none of such has been proven to heritability. Linking behaviors/feelings (which you pretend are a "mental illness") to people & pretending that proves it's heritable is not science, but just more quackery. "Linked to depression" is not some scientific physical measurement of depression. It's just people pretending they can know what they do not know. I don't know where you are getting this information but there are studies that have shown a link (ie. Mental illnesses are not infection, they develop as a cause of environmental stimuli (nurture), and it has been pretty agreed-upon that they are biopsychosocial in nature (meaning the development is a combination of biological, psychological, and social factors). Mental illnesses are more than just behaviors and feelings, they are incredibly severe and debilitating and often take years of therapy and medication to manage. They can be extreme patterns of thought that often cannot be broken on their own. Mania can cause people to not sleep for days, without a stimulus. Emotions do not just appear out of nowhere and cause that. Scientists and doctors didn't make up these diagnoses out of nowhere and say, "Hey you! You obviously have schizoaffective disorder!" It started with observations of human behaviors, when people gradually began to notice patterns of symptoms and thinking. These patterns were then given names, and it was found that the treatment for one person with ___ could be used to the same effect as another person with ___, and that's how we get these diagnoses. Scientists are learning more and more about mental health all the time, the field is constantly expanding. Again, mental illnesses cannot be "picked up" by traditional objective tests. If you'll read my above paragraph, I explain why that is the case. Just because it does not function like other pathologies does not mean it isn't scientifically valid. Scientists are working on figuring out the genetics of mental illness. While they do not have everything quite figured out (this is still science, after all), there are many peer-reviewed studies linking genetics with likelihood of mental illness, and you cannot argue with data such as that. This is not homeopathy. There is a large amount of research on the effectiveness of psychological treatment. I'm not going to read the rest of this- all you're doing is repeated uses of circular reasoning where you pretend "mental illness" exists because you have asserted it. If you're going to discredit an entire system of medicine with a few paragraphs and some links, it would be courteous to at least read what I have written. Please read this, it talks about a lot of the points you have brought up. I agree with the article, how focusing on the individual instead of diagnoses is paramount, and how "labeling" people with disorders has benefits and drawbacks. If I may ask, what is your problem with the field of psychiatry? Is it simply the labeling of people as "sick"? Just because the word "illness" is misused does not mean the whole system is flawed. The system works. There are individual therapists and doctors who are shitty and see diagnoses and medication as "the answer," but the system itself is not bad, it has brought many people immense emotional and psychological relief. That's the "what's popular is true" logical fallacy...To be frank, your beliefs are religious. The whole concept is "mental illness" is a religious belief. No, that is using scientific theory. Everything is theory. There are no scientific "facts." Things are tested and peer reviewed and researched as theory, because that's the best we have. My beliefs are not religious, they are based on science.

/r/troubledteens Thread Parent