The poll: http://www.polljunkie.com/poll/ajsycn/mnemotechnics-mental-health (I created the poll outside of this forum for the benefits of full anonymousness, as such a personal question requires.)
Results can be seen here (http://www.polljunkie.com/poll/mjtfpc/mnemotechnics-mental-health/view), if you’ve already voted/don’t want to vote.
Why I created the poll?
Today I realized that 3 out of 6 people from this forum who happen to be my Facebook/Skype friends, have or have had some kind of condition that affects their mental health (insomnia, pesticide poisoning, undiagnosed), and of the remaining three have 2 people mentioned some mental symptoms (severe difficulty concentrating on studies, brain fog). In total 5 out of 6!
Inside the forum I know people who have autism spectrum disorder, bipolar disorder, attention deficit disorder, and many with age related cognitive impairment. Indeed, what drove me into mnemotechnics was my deep brain fog, and I hoped that better learning techniques would compensate that. Multi-time US champion Nelson Dellis started practicing due to witnessing his grandmother slowly losing all her memory due to Alzheimer’s disease.
So, I’m curious how strong is the correlation between having mental health issues and ending up on this site.
You probably need to refine your definition of mental illness. Doctors handout prescriptions for aderall and Ritalin like candy. Just about anyone who says they are unhappy at work can find a general practicianer that will be willing to write up a diagnosis of depression. People who aren’t particularly social are deemed as having Asberger’s syndrome.
A poll that asked how many people here believe they are perfectly sane because; God, the Aliens, the voices in their heads told them so might be a better place to start.
Things in the self improvement genre tend to attract full blown wack jobs who while they may be quite intelligent have in some areas jumped off the cookie wagon.
You will regularly see posts here that will seem very lucid and then suddenly Aliens, Illuminati, … insert favorite deviant idea here…
Schizophrenia, manic depression, and other full blown Neurological disorders get lumped together with behavioral abberations. Schizophrenics can be fascinating before the disease overwhelms them and mania can be equally appealing until it becomes confusion.
We seem to be pretty clear that pedaephilia, psychopathy, and homosexuality are not “curable” despite the best efforts of a different set of wingnuts.
Being obsessive compulsive is likely to be a benefit to someone who has decided that they want to be able to use mnemonics to memorize more decks of cards faster than anyone else in the world. It would also help to be highly antisocial and have an extremely rich imagination. The need to be able to differentiate reality from fantasy might even be a detriment.
To become really really good at using these techniques in real life it would be helpful if you could disassociate yourself from those you were interacting with, memorize their behaviors and use them to your benefit.
It would be nice if mnemonics only attracted students, academics and hobbyists but the edge cases definitely stroll through this park at night.
On a serious note, recent estimated statistics in my country already say that 50% to 55% of people will experience mental health problems in their life that require a psychologist and/or psychiatrist to solve. Note that those are just the cases that get diagnosed, there are many people who live with any form of mental illnesses that go undiagnosed.
Also, I think it might be interesting to really look at the difference of mental health problems and just casual problems. I too have concentration problems occasionally, especially when I eat less healthy of don’t sleep to well (sleep quality, not quantity). Especially with the rise of the internet, a lot of people identify themselves with disorders while they don’t actually have it. Then again, I think that the results among active internet users and general population are very different too.
I am worried, because two of those friends’ condition was/is very serious. The pesticide poisoning case had to cancel the scheduled Skype conversation due to emergency hospital visit (he’d been slowly unknowingly poisoned for months). The undiagnosed case experiences constant physical tiredness, mental fatigue and general feeling of unwell, and by far doctors have no idea what it might be. If the problem continues unresolved, he’ll be undiagnosable self-conscious disabled, a state tending to end in the worst ways.
Laws of probability say that I shouldn’t have two such Facebook friends (who searched me up via this site for non-medical purposes), unless the average state of this forum is something comparable to attention deficit disorder. I am rather worried that people turn too less attention to themselves. Too few people read this health section, they might be afraid of the big words “neuroscience” and “psychology”.
This is just a simple test poll, a better one would need more participants and willingness to answer 1-10 rating scales for proper self evaluation.
Not aiming to give a diagnosis or anything close to it, after all I never met the person, but I do want to give you an alternative that psychologist do accept as a valid “diagnosis”: the mind making itself sick.
It is called the nocebo effect, and it works the same as the placebo effect, but it is making you sick rather than better. Many people dismiss it for the simple reason that they think it can’t have big effects. Though I once heard a story about a school where a teacher said she smelled something like gasoline, soon after that she started showing symptomes of intoxication by the gas. Right after that, a lot of others started getting sick, many to a level where they had to be hospitalized. However, there never was any form of harmful gas in the school. Everyone made themselves sick by believing they would get sick.
A similar thing I know of around mental illness is something a teacher of mine called the “after diagnosis effect”, I am not sure of it has an official name by now. What it means is that when someone recieves a diagnosis, their symptomes become worse. Say you get diagnosed with autism, soon after the diagnosis you become more autistic, simply because an authority figure (the psychiatrist, or psychologist if he/she does the diagnosises in your country) says you are autistic.
It depends which law of probability you use, or rather, how advanced.
I am just making this up, but say this is real. Globally, 20% of the population has a diagnosis of any form of mental illness. Those statistics include third world countries and countries with less of a focus on mental healthcare, so in places like maybe the USA, it could be 50% easily. Statistically, half of the people you know are diagnosed with something, rather than one in five.
But you can go more advanced, as you already did in your hypothesis ^^ The places where you meet people can have a larger percentage of people with mental illness. Following just that line, you could create more and more variables. Mnemonists, mnemonists on this forum, mnemonists on this forum, etc.
Though you can go further, by looking at psychology. People you like interacting with tend to have similar minds as you do. Maybe you know many people with mental illness, because you are in that area yourself or border it. Just throwing it out there ^^ not saying you have a mental illness or so.
The thing with stuff like that is that there are so many possible answers, so many unknown variables, it is hard to pinpoint the culprit