Mental health not a "real" science?

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pwnedkitten
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Mental health not a "real" science?

Post by pwnedkitten » Wed Jun 15, 2011 12:24 am

Preface: This is a bit of a rant. It's probably a "slanted, Leftist" viewpoint. If that's not your cuppa, I'd suggest you not read it. I'm putting it here, instead of in rants, because it *is* about the sciences/political; if it should go in rants, I won't be offended if someone moves it.

So, I got into an argument the other day on FaceBook with someone. For the most part, that's an event in and of itself, as I don't tend to participate in arguments online (I try to be a bit smarter than that) but this lady simply floored me with what she said, that I "had" to respond.

It all started with a friend talking about something that related to the defunding of Planned Parenthood, and her (the lady I got into an argument with) stating that sex wasn't a need.

Now, maybe I'm a bit too liberal in my view of life and because of that, I tend to know a bit about basic psychology and the "soft" sciences, but I couldn't let that sit. As "everyone" knows, according to Maslow's hierarchy, sex IS, indeed, a need. So, I told her this. Whereupon she replied that Maslow's hierarchy should be renamed to Maslow's hierarchy for porn stars as only "those types" need sex. (Slut shaming much? Grr..) She also said that psychologists and the like were being disproven everyday and that "average citizens" didn't care about what they had to say, because of this. Basically, because some theories were discredited, everything that mental health professionals came up with should be discounted.

I was so completely floored by what she was saying, and had no idea how to respond to her in a way that wouldn't be ...well, bitchy, really, that I asked my friends how they would reply to such a situation. Most of the reactions I got were along the lines of what I was experiencing, which was flat out disbelief that someone could be spouting such nonsense; which, of course, made me satisfied that I'd made the right choices in who I friend. :)

Honestly, I'm STILL floored that this discussion occurred. I mean, obviously there are people out there who decide that "their truth is the only truth" but I'm the kind of person who, when confronted with such an idealism, it astonishes me all over again. I would think that in this day and age, what with science being the de facto religion for the informed person, the "soft" sciences wouldn't be being discredited, simply because some theories are proven faulty. I mean, that's entirely what the scientific process is all about - dis/proving theories until you find what works.

And, in some ways, it scares me that this kind of conversation could occur. That an otherwise intelligent (I'm assuming) American woman, who's presumably gone through the same amount (if not more) education that I have, could have such a frighteningly limited perspective on science and human behavior... well, it's scary. And to think... this lady might just be what's "average" in our society. That this kind of thinking is what's out there, helping to form our policies and laws.

(The reason this kind of thing upsets me so much is that I find the laws that spawn from this kind of thinking to be dangerous to "our" society. Things like defunding Planned Parenthood, and making mental health not something that's easily accessed or credited in government research grants. Things like making mental health issues something to be ashamed of because they're not understood or believed. All of these things are, in my opinion, Very Bad Things.)

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collegestudent22
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Re: Mental health not a "real" science?

Post by collegestudent22 » Wed Jun 15, 2011 10:19 am

pwnedkitten wrote:according to Maslow's hierarchy, sex IS, indeed, a need
Saying Maslow's hierarchy defines "needs" isn't totally true. Yes, it defines needs, but more in the sense of "desires" that build off one another. For instance, nobody is going to die if they aren't being self-actualized, or don't currently have a significant other.
The reason this kind of thing upsets me so much is that I find the laws that spawn from this kind of thinking to be dangerous to "our" society. Things like defunding Planned Parenthood,
I'm not really sure this follows - nor how an argument over defunding Planned Parenthood turned to the "need" for sex. Planned Parenthood certainly isn't necessary for sex, or even safe sex - many organizations and individuals work for education in that arena, many of them schools and parents.

And, of course, we are talking about an organization founded by a profound racist, who wanted to use the tools of sterilization and contraception to eliminate the black race.
Margaret Sanger wrote:Colored people are like human weeds and are to be exterminated.
As for mental health sciences, much of it is opinion masquerading as fact. (not all of it, obviously) As a result, it can easily be dismissed as such. In addition, many of the mental health issues have unknown causes, and are treated by drugs that are "thought to work by doing X". It's all very "guess"-oriented.

It also props up "normal" as something that is desired, and even should be forced through medication, when in fact it has often been the "abnormal" individuals that often contribute the most to society.
Frédéric Bastiat wrote:And now that the legislators and do-gooders have so futilely inflicted so many systems upon society, may they finally end where they should have begun: May they reject all systems, and try liberty; for liberty is an acknowledgment of faith in God and His works.
Count Axel Oxenstierna wrote:Dost thou not know, my son, with how little wisdom the world is governed?

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Andy
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Re: Mental health not a "real" science?

Post by Andy » Wed Jun 15, 2011 1:01 pm

But "need" can be a very relative word. Each person has their own ideas of what is indispensable and it isn't.

Is sex a need? Some people will say no, because you can keep on living without having sex. Others will say yes, because sex is needed in order to reproduce, therefore, sex keeps the human race going. (Although science, with their test-tube babies and artificial insemination, could take care of that, couldn't it?)
On the other hand, sex is one of the things that the body does by instinct. Breathe, eat, sleep, reproduce. So it isn't something you can shrug off easily. You may not need it to "be alive" but your body will ask for it and make you feel deprived when you don't have it, that's why many people feel it like a need.

My personal opinion on this: it's not a subject you can make a fact about. Each person has a different level of sexual drive. Some can live without it, others can't. Different strokes, blahblahblah. (Besides, agreeing or not with that woman can be difficult without having more context on what made her said that. The sentence before/after the statement can change everything, you know.)

On mental health: I think the subject doesn't get the attention it deserves, but I also admit that it can be full of trash. It's that trash that makes people stay way from it and gave it such a bad reputation. Until the stereotype of "LOL SHRINKS ARE FOR CRAZY PEOPLE" is gone, I don't think there will be many advances in that area.
Honestly, I'm STILL floored that this discussion occurred.
Really? Well, I'm suprised you're floored. Times have changed, yes, but that many "new lines of thinking" are more accepted now doesn't mean they've become the norm yet. Sex is still a taboo subject.
That an otherwise intelligent (I'm assuming) American woman, who's presumably gone through the same amount (if not more) education that I have, could have such a frighteningly limited perspective on science and human behavior...
You're assuming a lot, and that can be bad for your argument, because maybe she doesn't have that education. Or even if she did have a good education, there are schools/families/etc that don't get into subjects like this one, not related to the "hard sciences". She gave you her opinion - calling it "limited" without knowing what she based that opinion on, I think it's inappropriate.
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Re: Mental health not a "real" science?

Post by spikegirl7 » Thu Jun 16, 2011 12:07 am

It all started with a friend talking about something that related to the defunding of Planned Parenthood, and her (the lady I got into an argument with) stating that sex wasn't a need.

Now, maybe I'm a bit too liberal in my view of life and because of that, I tend to know a bit about basic psychology and the "soft" sciences, but I couldn't let that sit. As "everyone" knows, according to Maslow's hierarchy, sex IS, indeed, a need. So, I told her this. Whereupon she replied that Maslow's hierarchy should be renamed to Maslow's hierarchy for porn stars as only "those types" need sex.
This has been stated, is sex a need? Well, sorta. You won't die from not having sex, but try having a romantic long term relationship without it and tell me it's not a need.
She also said that psychologists and the like were being disproven everyday and that "average citizens" didn't care about what they had to say, because of this. Basically, because some theories were discredited, everything that mental health professionals came up with should be discounted.
I get the impression that this woman is one of those "My opinion is the ONLY opinion" people. These people are insufferable sometimes (I happen to have a few in my family, uck). They refuse to see any validity to other views and if they believe or want something then EVERYONE must believe/want it, or at least the majority of people must.
Honestly, I'm STILL floored that this discussion occurred.
I'm not. The internet is full of trolls. I want you to look up many of the radical feminists, and see about their views on men and relationships and sex between men and women. Many people who make wild claims like this woman did have NO notion of reality outside of their own viewpoint, which they are convinced are infallible.
'What is morality?'
'Judgment to distinguish right and wrong, vision to see the truth, courage to act upon it, dedication to that which is good, integrity to stand by the good at any price.'

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Deacon
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Re: Mental health not a "real" science?

Post by Deacon » Thu Jun 16, 2011 5:47 pm

pwnedkitten wrote:If that's not your cuppa
Just for reference, if you weren't actually born and raised in a London ghetto, that kind of thing will make me want to harm you physically. It won't actually happen, of course, but that's still the kind of reaction you're going to get.


It's healthy to approach anything to do with hard and fast rules for human psychology with a very large bucket of skepticism. There's a tremendous amount of idiocy out there in that realm, and people have a hard time with that because a) it's very personal and b) it's hard to reconcile that when compared to the hard sciences like physics or chemistry which don't really vary in our day to day life. We're still barely scratching the surface on our understanding of the physiological and chemical operation of the brain itself, much less being able to make solid pronouncements about people's mental or emotional health (beyond the obvious) and more importantly why it's so and how it can be addressed. And when you take into account the extreme variety of inputs that shape that mind and those emotions, it's like trying to work out the initial values from a mandelbrot set based on the fractal that results, but if you could only use an abacus and there were no truly hard and fast rules for what 2+2 actually equaled.
The follies which a man regrets the most in his life are those which he didn't commit when he had the opportunity. - Helen Rowland, A Guide to Men, 1922

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