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Thread: Disease?

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    Disease?

    If a person is being poisoned slowly or poisoning themselves with say arsenic slowly, would we call that a disease or say that the internal organs that the poison is affecting are diseased?

    Or might we say that, since the skin is now recognized as an organ, that a skin burn is a disease?

    If the answer to either or both of those question is no, why then do we say that drugs or alcohol or smoking is the cause of organ disease or the behavior is itself a disease?
    “Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities,”
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    Re: Disease?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ahso! View Post
    If a person is being poisoned slowly or poisoning themselves with say arsenic slowly, would we call that a disease or say that the internal organs that the poison is affecting are diseased?

    Or might we say that, since the skin is now recognized as an organ, that a skin burn is a disease?

    If the answer to either or both of those question is no, why then do we say that drugs or alcohol or smoking is the cause of organ disease or the behavior is itself a disease?
    Definition - according to Webster - of disease excludes a result of an injury. So it does get a bit fuzzy.
    If disease includes then mental aspect, then the drive for a person to do something that harms their own body, should count as a disease. Yes?

    More simply, When I smoked Cigarettes, the addiction that convinced me I needed the things could qualify as a disease, but the Bronchitis and other organ failures could be considered the result of injury.

    Of course, the whole addiction thing was a result of purposeful behavior, and the ingestion of addictive substances.

    There are philosophical entities who believe that all diseases are a result of a lack of mental well-being, which then suggests that the real disease is completely a psychological one, making nearly all illnesses a result of self-inflicted injury.

    Wait. I need coffee to work through all of this.
    It may not be so much that I've conceded your point as that you just can't hear me rolling my eyes.

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    Re: Disease?

    Quote Originally Posted by LarsMac View Post
    Wait. I need coffee to work through all of this.
    Not a whisky and a cigarette ?
    I thought I knew more than this until I opened my mouth

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    Re: Disease?

    Quote Originally Posted by LarsMac View Post
    Definition - according to Webster - of disease excludes a result of an injury. So it does get a bit fuzzy.
    If disease includes then mental aspect, then the drive for a person to do something that harms their own body, should count as a disease. Yes?
    Perhaps the only way to avoid putting the body in danger would be to never have a body, or, never be born. Everything about existence is potentially harmful. That makes suicide seem rational.

    Quote Originally Posted by LarsMac View Post
    More simply, When I smoked Cigarettes, the addiction that convinced me I needed the things could qualify as a disease, but the Bronchitis and other organ failures could be considered the result of injury.
    I don't know about addiction either.

    Quote Originally Posted by LarsMac View Post
    Of course, the whole addiction thing was a result of purposeful behavior, and the ingestion of addictive substances.
    This is where the 'choice' vs 'disease' argument comes in. That argument seems to be a false dilemma to me.

    Quote Originally Posted by LarsMac View Post
    There are philosophical entities who believe that all diseases are a result of a lack of mental well-being, which then suggests that the real disease is completely a psychological one, making nearly all illnesses a result of self-inflicted injury.

    Wait. I need coffee to work through all of this.
    Really gets murky.

    What about a different approach to the conditions we label as 'disease' or 'addiction'?

    Using smoking as an example; at first, smoking is uncomfortable, it's even downright hostile to the senses but we fight through that until the body learns to adapt to what is its new environment...or ceases to function. Natural Selection? Environmental Selection?

    Some people can smoke their entire life and survive while others will experience organ failure rather early on.

    Once the body does adapt to this new environment it does so to the point that it learns to crave the environment because the affected organs have changed themselves to a condition that allows for survival. We call this addiction, however, when viewed this way, is merely survival mode, or adaptation. When a person smokes the lungs begin to change their appearance and mode of function. They become calloused as they begin to adapt. If the organ is successful in adapting the person shows little outward effect of the smoking if any effect at all.

    Every organ is made up of cells and cells want to do one thing, and that is to survive in order to thrive. Adapting to their current environment on the fly is what I'd expect to happen.
    “Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities,”
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    Re: Disease?

    I have a difficult time buying into mental illness because I don't believe there is a perfect example to aspire to (perhaps this is what drives us to want to create artificial intelligence). That is a religious concept that I call the Jesus dilemma that the medical community perhaps hasn't grown out of yet. We're variants of a species. Not only are no two fingerprints exactly the same, but no two like organs are exactly the same. It seems that when the distance between what we view as normal goes too far (however far that is) we begin to label those people as ill and we've come to a point where we can usurp Natural Selection. Nobody dies on our watch. Survival to the extreme. But then what should we expect?
    “Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities,”
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    Re: Disease?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ahso! View Post
    I have a difficult time buying into mental illness because I don't believe there is a perfect example to aspire to (perhaps this is what drives us to want to create artificial intelligence). That is a religious concept that I call the Jesus dilemma that the medical community perhaps hasn't grown out of yet. We're variants of a species. Not only are no two fingerprints exactly the same, but no two like organs are exactly the same. It seems that when the distance between what we view as normal goes too far (however far that is) we begin to label those people as ill and we've come to a point where we can usurp Natural Selection. Nobody dies on our watch. Survival to the extreme. But then what should we expect?
    I would say that the best definition of mental illness is a mental condition of state of mind that inhibits a person from functioning within his/her environment comfortably.

    For example. My father drank regularly. sometimes, he drank to the point of losing self control, and became hung up on some rather insignificant situation that had recently occurred. He would obsess over whatever it was, and it would keep him awake and drinking for the whole night.

    Other nights, he had a glass or two, and would drift off to sleep some time around midnight, get up in the morning and go to work.
    Mom wanted him to talk about his alcoholism. He denied having a problem.
    When something extremely important took place, he would forgo his glass of Whiskey until the situation resolved.
    There were times he did without, but they were few.

    Was he addicted? did it actually interfere with his dealing with his environment?
    My Psych professor told me that Dad was an alcoholic. But then he said anyone who ever drank themselves into a stupor was an alcoholic, and had a mental illness.

    I fell into that category. I remember a few times waking up and having little memory of some period of the night before, which involved some rather heavy, un-managed consumption. But when I realized I had been overindulging, and that it was problematic, I quit drinking completely for a while. Now I allow myself an occasional beer, or wine, or even a Bourbon or Cognac, with the understanding that if I ever get out of hand, again, I can never have any more.
    That policy has served me well for nearly 30 years.

    I do know many people who cannot control the stuff. one sip, and they are off on an adventure. I never will drink with them, or around them.
    they have an addiction, or some mental condition which causes them to fail to function normally.
    I would call that a mental illness.

    I don't think my father, or I suffered that mental illness.
    It may not be so much that I've conceded your point as that you just can't hear me rolling my eyes.

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    Re: Disease?

    If I accept a job that I enjoy doing but pays less than another job that I'd been offered and can perform well and thus causes more financial pressure or hardship to me and my loved ones, would that qualify as mental illness?

    I get and agree that alcohol or drug consumption or even smoking is self-indulgent and can be seen in that regard as reckless - self-indulgence being an immature behavior, but accepting that immaturity as a mental illness?

    One might have the capacity to function and behave a certain way, but I don't see it being a mental illness when they don't. Though as I'm typing this it occurs to me that societal pressure to cause favorable behavior within the community thus labeling the illicit behavior as mental illness could favor the community, but the question then becomes a moral one of inclusion to the tribe.
    “Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities,”
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    Re: Disease?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ahso! View Post
    If I accept a job that I enjoy doing but pays less than another job that I'd been offered and can perform well and thus causes more financial pressure or hardship to me and my loved ones, would that qualify as mental illness?
    I kind of miss the relevance of that. Doing the work you enjoy more, even for less pay is simple a personal preference, and you have to figure out the money part on your own.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ahso! View Post
    I get and agree that alcohol or drug consumption or even smoking is self-indulgent and can be seen in that regard as reckless - self-indulgence being an immature behavior, but accepting that immaturity as a mental illness?
    Some people have either a physical, or psychologic dependence on such things, and haven't the capacity to deal with the dependence, and fight their way out of it.
    That is when it becomes a mental illness.
    Humans have a knack for justifying their behavior to protect their failings. THAT can be part of the illness. The disease.
    Smoking Tobacco, for example, has physiological addiction process, as well as the mental/Psychological one. And of course there are some significant behavioral aspects to the thing. It is really quite complex. And one of the most difficult of the common substance addictions to get away from. I've known a number of Junkies who quit Heroin, yet can't find it in themselves to get away from Cigarettes.
    When I quit ciggies, I was a bastard for months. Almost psychopathic, at times, getting the stuff out of my system, and mentally, it was years before I could hang around other smokers without feeling a craving. Even now, near forty years on, I feel a crave, now and again.
    Addiction may be a result of bad choices, but it becomes a disease. And people find themselves unable to get on with their lives without the thing. That qualifies as "mental Illness, I believe.
    I've seen similar problems with people who became addicted to Opiates. The addiction takes over your reasoning. People go batsht crazy, and will do anything to feed the craving.
    It is no longer the person you knew doing those things.
    Human mind is pretty bizarre.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ahso! View Post
    One might have the capacity to function and behave a certain way, but I don't see it being a mental illness when they don't. Though as I'm typing this it occurs to me that societal pressure to cause favorable behavior within the community thus labeling the illicit behavior as mental illness could favor the community, but the question then becomes a moral one of inclusion to the tribe.
    That strikes me as almost a whole different conversation.
    What society considers sane is very different. Have you read the stories of what was done to woman in the Suffrage movement in the early 20th Century US?
    It may not be so much that I've conceded your point as that you just can't hear me rolling my eyes.

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    Re: Disease?

    Quote Originally Posted by LarsMac View Post
    I would say that the best definition of mental illness is a mental condition of state of mind that inhibits a person from functioning within his/her environment comfortably.
    Quote Originally Posted by ahso!
    If I accept a job that I enjoy doing but pays less than another job that I'd been offered and can perform well and thus causes more financial pressure or hardship to me and my loved ones, would that qualify as mental illness?
    Quote Originally Posted by LM
    I kind of miss the relevance of that. Doing the work you enjoy more, even for less pay is simply a personal preference, and you have to figure out the money part on your own.
    Why not apply the same logic to consumption of drugs or alcohol?
    “Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities,”
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    Re: Disease?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ahso! View Post
    Why not apply the same logic to consumption of drugs or alcohol?
    We are back to the difference between consuming drugs or alcohol vs being consumed by the addiction.

    Having a few beers with friends is a far cry from straining Sterno through a T-shirt.
    It may not be so much that I've conceded your point as that you just can't hear me rolling my eyes.

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