Will MalsonPage 2 of 4entirely different; a complete other animal species. It's not necessarily because we see them as lesser-humans. We may not look at them like that. It's not necessarily a conscious decision or a consciousreaction. Our sub-conscious is fickle that way. We want to treat everybody the same, but at the sametime, we can't help but treat them differently.In your day-to-day life, how many people do you think you come in contact with that have somesort of mental problem? If you had to guess, what would you say? Who is it? Maybe it's that odd co-worker who talks to himself sometimes when nobody's around, or maybe the boss that gets there at 9,leaves at 5, and keeps his or her desk spotless. Or as a kid, if you were public-schooled, maybe thatlunch-lady with the lazy eye who was always in a bad mood. But there's always at least one person youknow who doesn't have any sort of mental problem. The one you can be sure of, the one who willalways keep you sane. Would it come as a shock to you if every evaluation of the mental health of someone you know that you just mentally conducted was wrong? Not just wrong, but exactly theopposite, or almost the reverse. On a scale of 1-10, how astonished would you be? This is another reasonwe should treat people the same without assuming anything. Even highly qualified psychiatrists and psychologists are unable to make any sort of judgment on the mental health of a subject or subjects.A couple weeks ago, I watched a documentary called "How Mad Are You?" conducted by theBBC News.
In it, 10 people were chosen to spend a week at a resort. 5 had been diagnosed withmental disorders; 5 were judged mentally healthy for purposes of this test. Throughout the week,they were given tests to complete and activities to test their mental capacities. During all theseactivities and tests, a panel of 3 famous psychologists, experts in their field, were observing andmaking judgment calls as to who had what disorder, or if the subject had a disorder at all. On the2nd day of testing, this panel had to choose two people - one that they thought had a mentaldisorder, and what that disorder was, and one person who they thought was least likely to haveany kind of mental problem. The first was correct - they successfully identified an individual whosuffered from OCD. The second was another story. The individual they chose that was least likelyto have a mental disorder laughed at their diagnosis - and left the room. They were completelywrong. At the end of the week, the panel had to pick out all 5 people with mental issues. Theyknew one, the member with OCD. Their second diagnosis was also correct, a member sufferedfrom bulimia. The next three guesses were completely wrong. Out of these 5 people that theythought had mental disorders, only 2 actually had a mental problem. They correctly guessed OCDand bulimia, but passed over depression, bipolar disorder, and social anxiety with schizophrenia.
“How Mad Are You?" BBC Headroom, No author (BBC), November 5 2008,http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/tvandradioblog/2008/nov/05/horizon-how-mad-are-you,http://documentaryheaven.com/pt-12-how-mad-are-you/, http://documentaryheaven.com/pt-22-how-mad-are-you/]Isn't that amazing? When it comes down to it, it's nearly impossible to tell if any given individualhas a significant mental handicap or difference from yourself. If I listen several famous people with amental problem, would you nod your head and say "yes, I know they had that"? Let's try it.