1 - “Health is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” - I don’t think I ever read anything as absurd as this definition of health, which comes courtesy of the World Health Organization
2 - A diagnosis should be understood as an instruction (or help, aid, sign, pointing toward a certain treatment) on how to treat a patient. A diagnosis should be understood as a labeling of the kind “proceed with caution” rather than a name tag for some homogeneous process.
3 - Medical Science, such as any science, does not provide unequivocal truth. Science is no truth machine, it’s a world-view, a Weltanschauung. In fact, it’s more of a technique. Its motto: Whatever Works.
4 - Illness (especially mental illness) cannot and should not be identified with the person who suffers from said illness. A friend of mine once told me, during a discussion on whether euthanasia should be legal, that one would have to exclude people suffering from depression, since they would undergo the decision process as depressed persons. I don’t think this way of thinking is correct. If euthanasia is legalized, then it should be legalized for everyone (I do think it should be legalized and I really don’t think there should be restrictions [except, of course, that you can’t force anyone to do it, in both senses: patient or doctor cannot be forced by other people to be in this situation. To bring other “powers” which could influence a decision into the discussion is, I think, senseless])
5 - Disease is not defined through statistical deviation. Meaning, weird people aren’t sick. Sometimes they’re just weird. Being weird is okay. Not every quirky behavioral pattern is a sign of neurosis. Sometimes people just prefer to have their pens lying parallel to each other.
6 - Nietzsche was not crazy. He suffered from the consequences of syphilis at the of his life. But he was not crazy. His works aren’t the product of a diseased mind, they are the genial product of a genius. Genius does not equal Madman. Even if he was, the works of madman are to be viewed through the same prism as the works of a sane person.
7 - Psychiatry’s purpose is to defend the patient, not the society in which he lives. Patients aren’t prisoners, people with mental disorders are just as much part of the society as others. A diagnosis cannot equal a punishment. A free society should let its madmen run free just as it lets its sane people roam free. It also shouldn’t use psychiatry to get rid of unwanted elements.
8 - There was a religious order, I don’t remember its name, which spoke of “our masters, the sick”. This is motto number 2.
9 - “The solution has nothing to do with the problem”.