The latest incarnation can be found here in this thread. It’s bullshit and it’s way over the top. It’s just a weasely way to insult someone without drawing a warning. There is nothing to suggest that person has a medical mental condition.
There are plenty of ‘sane’ people who believe that 9-11 was an inside job or that the government killed Kennedy or that astrology and aliens are real. The history channel has shows on all of this stuff and more. There are people who go into great detail about their abduction or how they are Elvis’ love child and they lead perfectly normal lives otherwise. Nostradamus, dowsing, fairies - the list goes on and the majority of these people go about their daily lives just fine.
Suggesting that challenging a poster who has ‘unique’ world views is “taunting an obviously mentally ill person” is ridiculous. If you disagree challenge them with facts, but the “mentally ill” charge is simple name calling.
[sup](FTR, I have no problem with the closing of that thread and I don’t think she’s a love child)[/sup]
ETA: I note that Colibri has addressed this somewhat after the thread was closed and while I was composing the OP.
If thinking you were abducted by an alien is not evidence of mental illness, then what is? Same with thinking you are Elvis’ love child unless there is a least some actual evidence that your mother and Elvis were in the same place at some time 9 months before you were born. As for 9/11 truthers? The idea is so utterly without merit that the only two possibilities are that you are stupid or crazy.
Let’s walk though this:
The planes that millions of people saw crash into the WTC are not really planes, or
The govt planted bombs in the WTC, but thought that simply blowing them up and killing thousands of people was not sufficient so they convinced a bunch of foreign nationals to hijack planes as well.
Yeah, this is what I was going to say. The fact that people can get through life doesn’t mean they’re not mentally ill. I’ve met plenty of people who hold down jobs and pay their bills who are still batshit fucking crazy.
I tried not to insult the lady in that thread, but seriously though, how can you address someone who makes a post which indicates mental illness? I’m not talking about accusing someone of being mentally ill for supporting Obama, or the GOP, or any mainstream, or even a less than mainstream idea. Insults serve only to cut off debate.
However, if I come on here and seriously claim that I fucked a watermelon and it spawned our lovechild which tastes like a mix between watermelon and white chocolate, then how are you going to respond to that other than telling me that when the authorities come, I should put down any weapons I may be holding?
That thread wasn’t just a simple case of someone believing in a conspiracy theory. They believed that news and world events were directly related to, or even directed at them.
Meaningless occurrences of dates and numbers randomly in life had a direct relationship to dates and and numbers that are significant to them. Line by line they were demonstrating textbook symptoms of schizophrenia.
It’s a message board though so there’s no way to know. They are also trying to sell a book - so maybe starting up debates on message boards is just good advertising.
It is even possible that they ARE who they say they are, and are still schizophrenic making it almost impossible for them to prove. (there was some movie like that once… .Mel Gibson… name eludes me now).
Second, you think saying someone is mentally ill (when they clearly are) is insulting, but it’s OK to call God a “sky fairy”?
Sometimes I do wonder how sane people can believe in God, but the difference between religion and trutherism is that the feasibility of the latter can be directly tested. We have evidence from radar, surveillance videos, plane ticket records, eye witnesses, physical plane parts, radio transmission recordings, cell phone records, etc., etc., etc.
A fair point, but in that case I would ask to see a photo of your child. In the thread in question she presented (cough) “facts” that led her to the conclusions she drew. Something tangible (in her mind) that supported her claim.
Again, I’m not justifying her craziness. My beef is with posters who are circumventing the ‘no insults outside of the pit’ rule. sannemoore’s comments were in the extreme but charges of “mental illness” are quite common around here.
It’s not an insult if it’s true. If a poster shows clear evidence of delusion or schizophrenia, then it’s no insult to point that out (and no, I don’t have to be a doctor to able to tell that somebody is either delusional or trolling).
Seriously? I expected to see an unjustified sneer in some debate, and instead you linked to one of the most kind and merciful posts in a thread where the term looks totally justified.
It’s been years since I was in grad school for psychology, and I know you can’t diagnose people without having real sessions with them, but I would be willing to bet a serious amount of money that poster was schizophrenic or bipolar with schizoaffective elements.
I have a friend who one day, believing there was a conspiracy against her from the government, her husband, and various others, got in her car and drove for hours until she finally broke down and called her husband in the hope that he actually wasn’t in on the plot to monitor her via drive-in boxes and other equipment. Until that point she had been holding down a job and interacting with people more or less fine, other than having a rather benignly “wacky” reputation. She’s fine now on meds, too.
Not long ago, a lost patient at the medical center I work in wandered into my office looking for the office of a counselor. (Due to my location, I get tons of lost patients in my office.) While I was looking it up, she listened to a song that was playing, and told me all about how she was the actual writer, but it had been stolen from her, and went on to tell me about the other songs and movie scripts she had written in her life, and the plots that took her work and gave others credit. I smiled and asked her about the book she said she was writing, and sent her on her way to the office she was going to.
That poster was mentally ill, or was doing the best goddamned imitation of it that I’ve seen. That wasn’t used as an insult, especially not in the post that you pointed out as an example. People can carry on with more or less decent lives and still have severe mental illness, if they’re lucky. The relative of mine who believes Big Pharma is suppressing The Cure For Cancer? Wacky, but not schizophrenic. That poster displayed classic hallmarks of the disease.
Truthers and Birthers are often crazy and their beliefs are evidence of severe irrationality - but not proof they are insane. I agree that accusations that someone is crazy can be insulting. The woman in that thread was clearly schizophrenic, though. Nobody was saying that to insult her. She needs medical help.
I think it’s possible that someone can believe in Kennedy conspiracy theories without being mentally ill in the strict sense of the word. However the person in the linked thread is clearly delusional and needs help. I thought the people who were engaging her were far more annoying than the people who merely pointed out that we were dealing with a seriously delusional person.