1. JosephMarch
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    JosephMarch Active Member

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    Is this a mental illness?

    Discussion in 'Research' started by JosephMarch, Aug 19, 2016.

    I hope I can describe it right. My MC finds a depression in the sameness of routines. For example, dirtying dishes and cleaning them again. Cooking, eating, repeat. There is something about this cycle that seems to make her despair. Routines of life upset her. Not exactly a rut, so to speak, but an exhaustion over routines.

    Does anyone know what this might be called? I'd like to delve into it a bit but am having a hard time finding results.
     
  2. Cave Troll
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    Cave Troll Bite the bullet, do your own thing. Contributor

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    Well one might say the basic circular way life works is a kin to madness, there has to be at the least a repetition and expectation of a different outcome as a result for it to be considered madness.
    So if you could kindly provide that information, you might have something to work with. :) Other wise following biologic process that sustains life is not a form of madness.
     
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  3. theamorset
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    theamorset Contributing Member

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    What you're describing isn't depression. Depression is a brain disease. It isn't caused by doing dishes or taking out the trash or the shoes one wants, not being found at the mall.

    Depression is a serious thing. The word is chucked around far, far too casually these days. Depression is not a passing mood or reaction to some minor point of life. The normal ups and downs of life are not depression, either.

    What you describe sounds like teenage angst, boredom, impatience, rebelliousness. Meaning, just ordinary feelings of not liking routine, being a teenager who wants some thrills and isn't happy with having responsibilities.

    My own feeling is that feeling bored or annoyed with routine is a normal and common part of life.

    And a character in a story might feel that way as he or she is anticipating something more exciting to come along soon. One of my characters felt very restless and impatient when he came to realize he needed to resolve a major issue in his life.

    Not a sign of any mental illness, and not a mental illness, in and of itself.

    In fact, when a person has a mental illness, routine will very often be their only refuge. Routine can be absolutely crucial to someone whose thought processes are disturbed.

    Depression can involve feeling dull, flat, numb, but it's not related to disliking routine or anything else, it's just a general feeling.

    You're not really describing depression or any other mental illness(of course any such sentence could start that engine up - arguing about what is mental illness, and what isn't. Lord help us if that happens).
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2016
  4. theamorset
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    theamorset Contributing Member

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    That's a joke rather than an actual definition.
     
  5. SethLoki
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    SethLoki Unemployed Autodidact Contributor

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    @JosephMarch I think depression is a vague word and figure that's why it has a modifier to indicate its degrees and causes. Sure I think someone can become situationally depressed. In your character's case; the boredom of being involved in routine (or the prospect of being?). I wouldn't say it was an illness though. Quite natural.

    Would 'dreariness' fit?
     
  6. SethLoki
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    SethLoki Unemployed Autodidact Contributor

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    Harsh.
     
  7. Scot
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    Scot Active Member

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    Sounds a bit like the complete opposite of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Your character hates repetitive routine, so she thinks she is in a rut, stagnating, making no progress with her life/career/relationships. Your character needs to wake up and smell the roses; for a lot of people what you describe is just real life!
    If she is clinically depressed this may manifest itself in the thoughts you describe, but these are symptoms, not the root cause. As mentioned by @theamorset depression is an illness. It can affect anybody, at any stage of their life, regardless of socio-economic class. Those afflicted can be very good at concealing it, and the toughest part of any treatment is to get them to even acknowledge they are ill.
     
  8. Sack-a-Doo!
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    Sack-a-Doo! Contributing Member Contributor

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    Everybody needs a break from household chores from time to time. No big deal, really.

    I think today's society (those in authority, anyway) are far too quick to jump on any little thing and declare it an illness, mental or otherwise so they can start a research foundation for it, figure out which expensive medications mask it best (while also adding the fewest, least sever side effects) and scare everyone into thinking they have it. Everybody's got a syndrome? Well, maybe it's just dissatisfaction and regular old depression.

    What you've described, I'm sure every stay-at-home person has felt at one time or another, especially before 300-channel cable and the Internet.

    I wouldn't bother trying to name it or if you do, call it malaise. Because that's really all it is and there should never be a pill prescribed for it.

    When I'm feeling like that, I whine until my wife steps in and does the housework for a day. Then I feel all better.
     
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  9. theamorset
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    theamorset Contributing Member

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    Not at all. Repeating something expecting a different result is not something one finds in any diagnostic criteria for any illness. It was a joke. It was meant to suggest that if one repeats an action that fails, expecting a different result, one is 'crazy'.

    And 'crazy' and 'insane' have nothing to do with actual mental illness.

    'Crazy' is just a meaningless insult and is used for any behavior one dislikes. 'Insane' is a legal construct that is far divorced from anything to do with mental illness.

    There is no mental illness that is the 'opposite' of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. What the OP described is not a mental illness.

    If someone is not happy with a schedule, then they're not depressed; they're unhappy. Again, 'depressed' and 'depression' are tossed around these days in a meaningless fashion.
     
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  10. theamorset
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    theamorset Contributing Member

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  11. SethLoki
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    SethLoki Unemployed Autodidact Contributor

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    Apologies—thought you considered his opinion worthy of ridicule.
     
  12. MartinWellow
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    MartinWellow Member

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    Just to offer a different side to things:

    When I have had issues of mental health, is has been in the repetitive details of life that they reared their heads the most. Washing up was a classic example. It is such an automatic action, something I can do with my mind turned off, that it was at these points that my mind would start in with the worries and anxieties and depressive thoughts and catastrophising. In fact any kind of routine was a good time for me to go to bad places.

    But even in this case, as others have said, these were symptoms of a bigger problem and nothing to do with washing and routines in themselves.
     
  13. newjerseyrunner
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    newjerseyrunner Contributing Member

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    If your character is actually still doing the routine, they sound bummed out. If they were depressed, they probably would feel like the routine is not worth doing and lay in bed all day. Been there. I wouldn't describe depression as a feeling of sadness or exhaustion, I'd describe it more as a feeling of listlessness.

    Change the person's routine. Do they get better long term? Then it wasn't neurological. I thought a vacation would help me, ended up just laying in a different bed doing nothing. Needed actual help to get over it.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2016
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  14. theamorset
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    theamorset Contributing Member

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    Whose opinion am I supposed to consider worthy of ridicule? And when did disagreeing become ridicule?
     
  15. Francis de Aguilar
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    Francis de Aguilar Active Member

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    So little to go on. On that snippet, no. I would call it boredom.
     
  16. SethLoki
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    SethLoki Unemployed Autodidact Contributor

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    You quoted Cavetroll and said what he'd written was a 'joke'. I took your meaning in the sense that a joke is something worthy of ridicule. His words in this particular case. I thought the comment harsh. My apology was sincere; I believed I genuinely misunderstood you.
     
  17. matwoolf
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    matwoolf Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm still searching.

    My wife, she says when I croak she'll chuck my ashes over Beachy Head,

    'It's what he would have wanted,' she will say to the crowd of support cliff volunteers wearing their luminous day-glo pantaloons.#

    Death to the Olympics.
     
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  18. SethLoki
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    SethLoki Unemployed Autodidact Contributor

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    Now that's a joke! I've got a frogman suit—my wife has me croak in it often. It's her thing.
     
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  19. matwoolf
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    matwoolf Contributing Member Contributor

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    Friday :))
     
  20. theamorset
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    theamorset Contributing Member

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    A joke is worthy of ridicule? Only if it's a very bad joke.

    The statement he quoted was originally a joke in the same sense of 'gravity, it's a rule. if you don't believe it, jump out of a plane' being a joke and not directions on how to exit a plane. In the sense of 'if you ain't Dutch, you ain't much' was never meant to indicate it's good to be prejudice against others. It's a joke by exaggeration and meant to be funny.

    The statement "if you do the same thing over and over expecting different results, that's the definition of crazy": that was originally a joking way of saying, ''don't do the same thing over and over and expect different results''. It was never, ever meant to be a formal definition of mental illness. It isn't and couldn't ever be. Mental illness is a very complex phenomenon and any attempt to describe it easily or generalize about it, fails.
     
  21. SethLoki
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    SethLoki Unemployed Autodidact Contributor

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    I'm not enjoying the over-analysis—a waste of my resources—and I'm not learning anything new with too narrow a subject as that of the definition of a word being under discussion. 09hg\'l;;;;;;;;;6[]u]]]]]][ < Sorry the cat got on the keyboard—genuinely did but hey you introduced gravity so I'll allow the serendipity. Back to the off topic topic. Yes, if it's a very bad joke—a laughing stock. It's common round these parts to talk about a situation or person (not to their face) as 'a joke'. Again in the sense of worthy of ridicule, to discreetly point and laugh at (if one's cynically inclined). I didn't know you were pointing out a supposedly little known saying and informing us it was a joke. I thought you were pointing at the opinion of cavetroll and declaring his statement a joke in the sense I've described above. I can't be any clearer about why I thought you harsh. Apology 3.

    Back to the real topic @JosephMarch please answer quickly I'm out of a plane without a chute*. Does 'dreariness' fit?

    *joke
     
  22. theamorset
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    theamorset Contributing Member

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    I don't understand the above or need for multiple apology. I will go plant a shrub.
     
  23. JosephMarch
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    JosephMarch Active Member

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    Wow, didn't mean to start a debate. Sorry.

    She has other issues outside of this one also, but this isn't just boredom. Life is viewed as an endless process in simplest terms: dirty something, clean it, and repeat. It is almost paralyzing to her. I suppose there are lots of nuances in there. What might be a source of comfort for some is crippling to others.
     
  24. theamorset
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    theamorset Contributing Member

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    Uh, debate is bad? To me, there's no debate really, just some miscommunication.

    Is this idea about routine being unpleasant, something you're very familiar with from your own first hand experience, or are you trying to describe something that's very foreign to you?

    My own feeling is that routine is something people rebel against, for different reasons.

    1.) They see themselves as above doing routine tasks. For example, we had a precious little girl at our stable who did not clean her horse's feet for a year because, 'that's disgusting, I don't do that. The stable hand should do that for me'. She wanted to just ride. But she fell apart when given a challenging horse to ride, too. And that's fairly typical.

    2.) Feel that they are just 'marking time' until they get to do what they really were meant to do. Example, my friend's son who worked in a sporting goods store, but really wanted to wander the world and surf at the big surfing locations. He finally got his wish when his dad passed away and left him some money and a note that said, 'go surf'. He was miserable and bored at the sporting goods store. He did a lousy job at the store. Didn't apply himself. Spent most of his time staring out the window. He was a different person when he finally got to follow his dream.

    3.) Feeling like something is missing, not sure what it is, not sure how to get to the right place. Many people are in that situation. They're not sure why they feel unfulfilled, or what they need to do instead.

    4.) Know what they need, but afraid to go out and get it. I know a lot of people who hate their marriage and hate their life, or hate their job, but when it comes to making a change...just...no. They're too comfortable where they are to make a change.
     
  25. Francis de Aguilar
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    Francis de Aguilar Active Member

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    Is it crippling to her? What impact does this difficulty have on her life and relationships?
     
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