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Neurodiversity is the idea that some mental health conditions are natural genetic variation. Should it be adopted as the mainstream view in psychiatry?

Neurodiversity is the idea that some mental health conditions are natural genetic variation. Should it be adopted as the mainstream view in psychiatry?
  • Yes, Because of Stigma and Other Reasons

    This is an extremely controversial issue, And that's why I ask this question. I believe that neurodiversity should be accepted as the mainstream perspective in psychiatry for three reasons.

    First of all, I believe that stigma is implicit to a mental health condition being pathologized. The medical model compares mental health conditions to physical health conditions, But it neglects the fact that people with mental health conditions are often seen as having something "wrong with them" or being "crazy" whereas people with physical health conditions are, For the most part, Seen as not. This influences how people treat patients, How the patients feel about themselves, How likely patients are to seek help, And the life outcomes of the patients.

    In one study, A correlation was established between people with autism feeling like their condition wasn't necessarily bad and high educational performance. This correlation could indicate that there's a confounding factor, Such as self-esteem, At play, That the idea motivated autistic people to believe in themselves, Or that autistic people who achieve more are less likely to see their condition as a bad thing. For the first two scenarios, Increasing neurodiversity in psychiatry would directly benefit educational achievement. Fr the third, Autistic people could still believe in themselves and thus be more motivated to achieve more if they didn't believe their condition was inherently bad. This could apply to other mental health conditions as well.

    A second reason I would support neurodiversity is that it has mounting scientific evidence. To touch on autism again, A myriad of alleles that seem to exist more in autistic people. This means that there is no one gene that causes autism but that it's influenced by a variety of genes, Just like height, Intelligence, And pigment are influenced by a variety of genes and can be described by a Gaussian distribution. Neurodiversity would, Thus, Lead to better understanding of and treatment of mental health conditions for those who need/want it.

    Thirdly, There's social model of disability. According to the Mental Health Foundation, "The social model of disability proposes that what makes someone disabled is not their medical condition, But the attitudes and structures of society. " Think of left-handedness, For example, Not being innately bad, Yet most things are built for right-handed people and people once tried to find a cure for left-handedness. Another example is homosexuality. One could argue that it led to "impairment and distress" because they couldn't feel romantic attraction to people of the opposite gender and couldn't raise a heteronormative family. And a cure for homosexuality was searched for in the United States, Resulting in boys and men having their testicles shocked to "shock the gay out of them. " Now homosexuality is just accepted as a natural part of human genetic variation.

    In summary, Because of the effects and moral wrongness of stigma, Scientific evidence, And the social model of disability, I think that the neurodiversity should be accepted as the mainstream perspective in psychiatry, Even blended into the medical model.

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