[extropy-chat] autism

Stathis Papaioannou stathisp at gmail.com
Wed Apr 25 03:25:49 UTC 2007

On 4/25/07, Anne Corwin <sparkle_robot at yahoo.com> wrote:
> Damien said:
> > Is the situation different with people wired for endogenous
> > depression or schizophrenia?
> It depends, I think...I don't know how deeply those traits run, or how
> many aspects of a person's being (whatever they perceive that as) are
> attached to them.  I am generally against forcing treatment on anyone, but I
> realize that sometimes people honestly *don't* know what is good for them (
> e.g., as in the case of alcoholism), so I'm not 100% sorted on what I
> think the ethics of treatment ought to be.  I don't think anyone really is
> at this point in history.

It's interesting that involuntary treatment of endogenous mental illness is
allowed in some form in most jurisdictions, but not involuntary treatment of
substance addiction, except perhaps in a punitive setting. Similarly in
court if you do something illegal because you are intoxicated it usually
doesn't help your case much, whereas if you do something illegal due to a
psychotic illness, it does. The underlying idea is that people choose to use
drugs, whereas they don't choose to become mentally ill. However, people
don't generally choose to become or remain addicts; while on the other hand,
many people with mental illnesses choose not to have treatment, due to
side-effects, lack of insight, or even because they enjoy the symptoms of
their illness (especially mania). And then there are those who experience
clear drug-induced psychosis, indistinguishable from endogenous psychosis.
It's a difficult area.

Stathis Papaioannou
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