Neurodiversity Paradigm

Posted on August 16, 2018

Over the past few years, some mental health specialists have concluded that mental disorders are not an illness, and neither is it abnormal. Instead, they are basic differences in human cognition. Some common disorders such as Hyperactivity/Attention-deficit disorder, Autism and Schizophrenia, are deemed to be normal differences that do not need treatment but rather patience, sense of belonging and acceptance from people around them.

It is no surprise that some believe in Neurodiversity since there is no logical prove of the legitimacy regarding various biological tests created to test for mental disorders. Also, not only will humans naturally deny themselves of being diagnosed any illnesses, the reliability of recent mental illness treatments have also been questioned.

While Neurodiversity might seem logical for milder mental illnesses, the same cannot be said for more serious mental disorders such as Schizophrenia. It is unreasonable to justify people’s hallucinations as mentally ‘normal’ and merely because of stigma and lack of social acceptance.

Challenging negative stereotypes of mental illness and helping those diagnosed with mental disorder overcome social barriers can be done without denying the real problems present in one’s mental cognitive system. In fact, we should encourage stronger sense of inclusion and social tolerance towards the mentally ill and accept the truth in the existence of mental illness.

Although Neurodiversity supposedly eradicates stigma and creates a more welcoming social environment for the mentally ill, it might do the opposite. When mental illnesses are seen as normal human variations, there will not be any investment in treatments anymore. Funds for treatment will gradually drop, completely casting away the mentally ill without the provision of professional care.

Categorizing mental illness as a form of normal variation and not treating it would mean putting the mentally ill in danger. Therefore, we should not be delusional about the reality of mental disorders, but understand the urgency of these problems and fight for better treatments.


Category(s):Health Psychology

Source material from Psychology Today


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