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Mental illness = being a mutant (X-Men) - December 12th 2009, 03:15 PM

I was just wondering how many others might think this way. Yesterday I was reading the X-Men and something hit me, maybe you could substitute being a mutant with having a mental illness.

Not a lot of people can truly understand what it's like to go through life living with a mental illness. Once people know, they might try to segregate you in order to try to help you - but, sometimes it can feel like you're just being looked down upon more. It's hard 'coming out' a lot of the times about a problem because you don't know how others might think. It makes you different than the majority around you.

If there was a cure, would you honestly take it or would you be offended?

Personally although I'm different from a lot of people and it sucks a lot sometimes. I have social anxiety disorder. It's allowed me to see and experience the world in a unique and different way than everyone else. Part of me wants to know what it feels like to be normal, but the other part wants to continue being me - the alien social anxiety orphan.
   
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Re: Mental illness = being a mutant (X-Men) - December 12th 2009, 03:47 PM

If I could change my situation, I would. I hate the fact I have borderline personality disorder. I have't had a problem telling people though doctors can be patronising sometimes. However, I would love it if I didn't have it anymore.


What a shame, what a shame
To judge a life that you can't change
The choir sings, the church bells ring
So won't you give this man his wings?
What a shame to have to beg you to
See we're not all the same, what a shame
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Re: Mental illness = being a mutant (X-Men) - December 12th 2009, 04:12 PM

X-Men is a bigger metaphor to being gay I think. People don't hate others for having a mental illness, but I am pretty sure some people flat out hate gays. Not to detract from your idea, but the realization, the concealment, and the 'coming out' part you described just screams comparisons to homosexuality. Also, in my sci-fi class last year, some people compared Xavier to MLK and Magneto to Malcom X.

The themes of uniqueness, isolation, and hate allow the X-Men comics/films to have so many connections to a wide variety of struggles.


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Re: Mental illness = being a mutant (X-Men) - December 12th 2009, 06:05 PM

It can represent a lot of things. People don't necessarily hate people with mental illnesses, but there is a sense that a lot don't understand some people with them. Like I tell a friend I have social anxiety disorder and he just tells me, "get over it." Like it's a light switch. I'd say back when X-Men was first published, it was most likely an issue of race.
   
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Re: Mental illness = being a mutant (X-Men) - December 12th 2009, 07:16 PM

Really, like has been said, it could represent alot of things if you want it to.

The thing about mental illness, at least according to the DSM IV-TR, is that diagnosis must be culturally based and be "out of sync" essentially for the culture that a person comes from, so diagnoses are not completely absolute cross-culturally. Also, for a diagnosis to happen the "illness" in most cases has to cause the person significant distress (there are some exceptions), and mental illnesses (for the most part) can be treated unlike mutations as in the X-Men comics.

Wanting to "remain" the person that you are is, in my opinion, more of a resistance to change than a reflection of a positive change/mutation like is seen in the X-Men. Having gone through a depressive disorder in the past, I can at least say that that was the case with me.
   
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Re: Mental illness = being a mutant (X-Men) - December 13th 2009, 12:06 AM

"Storm" From Xmen 3 said it perfectly There's nothing wrong with being a mutant.


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Re: Mental illness = being a mutant (X-Men) - December 13th 2009, 01:44 AM

Hm, well I guess being a mutant can be related to almost anything: being gay, mental illness, physical illness, everything really. It does make sense though, and although those things are treatable, I know the x-men comics always make me feel less alone, knowing that there is someone, even fictional, who is facing the same controversy that I am.


She whispered to her own reflection "I will be strong."

"I am not what has happened to me.I am what I have chosen to become."- Carl Jung

"If ye harm none, do as ye wish."

Sometimes things just happen.


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Re: Mental illness = being a mutant (X-Men) - December 14th 2009, 03:54 PM

I think there are a lot more parrells with being a mutant, and being gay. Particularly with the coming out thing.

With mental illness, I think there is less comparison. Being a mutant isn't meant to be in and of itself harmful to the individual. The harm comes from others, and society, such as the discrimination. mental illnesses however, although they do bring discrimination, are specifically harmful to the sufferer, and the sufferer's life. It's a mental illness, only because it interfers negatively with your life. Like my OCD, it stops me doing things, it use to stop me going to certain places, for certain amount of times. My depression lives me sad, miserable and unmotivated to get on with life. And these things occur before society even misunderstands me.

Whereas being gay is much more like being a mutant. Being gay in and of itself is not harmful to my well being, but society's view of it is.

Also mutations generally occur during puberty. Your sexuality develops in puberty. And you have a mutant community. Which seems quite similar to the idea of a gay community. There is less of a mental illness community.

Also, as said, mental illnesses are already largely treatable. And it makes sense that treatment is utilized, because as I already said, the mental illness, in and of itself, is harmful, and you aren't just getting treatment 'to fit in'.
   
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