“Every man is a damn fool for at least five minutes every day; wisdom consists in not exceeding the limit.” – Elbert Hubbard, The Roycroft Dictionary Concocted By Ali Baba And The Bunch On Rainy Days
Elbert Hubbard rightly said that every man is a fool for at least five minutes every day and wisdom consists in not exceeding the limit. When you hear of depression and other mental illnesses, they are only normal attitudes and/or moods that have stayed far beyond the time normally allotted. You will agree that you have experienced very low moods at some times and high moods at other times. Certain events and experiences can trigger certain emotional reactions that may present as a change in mood, sleep cycle, or thought process. However, mental disorders are diagnosable when they exceed the limits of what is considered normal for an average individual.
It’s very funny when you hear people declare all sorts of mental conditions and including Parkinson’s disease, bipolar disorders, ADHD, etc, for some people just because of their demeanour, actions or attitude. You cannot deny that you have been caught calling some a mental health patient or better still being present when someone is been unofficially diagnosed.
Whenever these diagnoses are pronounced by you or someone around you, there is usually some form of traits that makes it very likely to be very true. Either they are hyperactive, hypoactive, have a depressed mood, does not smile or smile too much, there is something to hold them for. According to mental health studies, mental health conditions are not diagnosable unless they are persistent and non-controllable. That is to say that the same attributes that are used in diagnoses are found in every normal individual in some proportions. But this is not enough to say that they are mentally ill.
Have you ever imagined your actions in the last thirty minutes and wondered why you acted that way? One’s mood can change easily and you would simply call that “mood swings” but at the worse end of the spectrum, you will be talking about some mood disorders. You may just decide to stay confined to one place probably due to a previous event, but if this was spontaneous and persistent for almost the whole day and spanning up to days, you would call that a depressive disorder. However, the layman diagnosis of mental illness is often too abrupt and unprofessional to be true because it is oftentimes due to response to their rage or disappointment.
If everyone is allowed to make a diagnosis of a mental disorder, then we all would be mentally ill. And the funny thing about this is that the disorders that will be diagnosed will not be small disorders that would be pardoned. You would hear extreme cases that are not even commonly diagnosed in the hospital.
But truth be told, when you see some actions of many people and you weigh them with the effect on you, it is easy to attribute them to some mental disorders probably as a way to relieve your anger against them, or to express how disappointed you are.
But let it be known that mental disorders are not so easily diagnosed by laymen and every one of us who may only have heard of the names of the conditions without any other knowledge about them.
Before you label someone as depressed or having Parkinson’s, you may want to know them better. It will amaze you to find out that those attitudes you greatly frowned at and labelled as mental conditions may just be their normal dispositions without any mental anomaly.
However, this does not to strictly rule out the need to do a thorough clinical evaluation to confirm or refute the speculation because some attitudes may actually be red-flag signs for certain mental disorders. Just don’t be too quick to confirm that they have a mental condition even before they actually do.
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