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Unread 09-24-2011, 11:35 AM   #1
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Wink Social Sensitivity: Mental Illness and the Perception of Social Rules

Actually, the questions I'd like to find answers to are different from the name of this thread. They're too long to fit as the name of a thread.

Here's the deal: I think that at least some mental conditions impair, to some degree, the perception and understanding of social or group rules (for example, schizophrenia and psychopathy). So, three questions:

Question 1. Assuming that not all do so, which mental conditions do inhibit or interfere with the perception of social or group rules? Which do not?

Question 2. Are there any mental conditions that improve an individual's perception and understanding of social or group rules? Or are all mental condition deviations from average sensitivity solely in the direction of defects in such sensitivity?

Question 3. Do all or some or no mental conditions involve greater than normal self-absorption on the part of the sufferers and less attention paid to the outer world? Do any mental conditions result in greater attention being paid to the outer world than normal and less thought devoted to the self?

I just wonder about these kinds of things and would like to know what you folks think. All responses much appreciated, particularly from you T's out there. Take care!
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Unread 09-24-2011, 01:05 PM   #2
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Default Re: Social Sensitivity: Mental Illness and the Perception of Social Rules

i think you might have it backwards, Ygrec. people who do NOT grasp the social rules and behaviors are labelled Mentally defective,, perhaps that's just, and perhaps it's mob rule,, not sure, but good topic, thanks
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Unread 09-24-2011, 01:18 PM   #3
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Default Re: Social Sensitivity: Mental Illness and the Perception of Social Rules

Personally, I would ascribe struggles with social group rules to faults in upbringing and consequent difficulties in relationship. That is one side of it, the quieter side, the louder side is where those in the depth of suffering lose their previous social inhibitions due to frantic desperation and internal torment.
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Unread 09-24-2011, 01:42 PM   #4
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Wink Re: Social Sensitivity: Mental Illness and the Perception of Social Rules

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Originally Posted by sorrel View Post
Personally, I would ascribe struggles with social group rules to faults in upbringing and consequent difficulties in relationship. That is one side of it, the quieter side, the louder side is where those in the depth of suffering lose their previous social inhibitions due to frantic desperation and internal torment.
Would it then be fair to say, sorrel, that, in your words, the "quieter side" of knowledge of social group rules depends on education by more experienced people and not on any kind of intuition or particular sensitivity on the part of a specific individual? Are all the effects (if there are any) of mental condition on perception of (not obedience to) such rules to be attributed to "frantic desperation and internal torment?" Take care.
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Unread 09-24-2011, 01:48 PM   #5
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Default Re: Social Sensitivity: Mental Illness and the Perception of Social Rules

Nurture, for sure. In my experience, anyway. I was brought up to be polite and would never say boo to a goose as a child and teen and young adult. Then, as I had to take more forays into the adult world, the cracks started to show.
Bottom line, I experienced emotional neglect and social isolation, was brought up by immature parents, and my own self suppressed. I was also rejected and ridiculed by my peers and never had much chance of learning peer relationship. My only real experience of close friendship was at uni - 20 years ago. I basically don't know how to cope in a social situation and am learning now.
I also have the 'louder side' of losing inhibitions due to mental and emotional distress. All the more so because I never learned socially appropriate ways of reaching out when I felt distressed as a child, because all my attempts at connection were thwarted and squashed. Overcoming this is a major part of my therapeutic work.
Excuse the personal ramble.
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Unread 09-24-2011, 02:14 PM   #6
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Default Re: Social Sensitivity: Mental Illness and the Perception of Social Rules

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Originally Posted by Ygrec23 View Post
Question 1. Assuming that not all do so, which mental conditions do inhibit or interfere with the perception of social or group rules? Which do not?
Perception defined as to become aware of something? In that case, I'd say only Asperger Syndrome (and other Autism Spectrum Disorders) and Psychotic Disorders such as Schizophrenia would have significant detrimental effects on perceiving social rules. Although, many other mental disorders would affect the ability to conform to social rules. Those with Asperger's have difficulty understanding nonverbal communication and empathy, which would definitely impair their ability to recognise social cues and norms. And psychotics, of course, perceive the world... differently... and have trouble with abstract concepts and social cues, which can affect their interpersonal skills.

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Question 2. Are there any mental conditions that improve an individual's perception and understanding of social or group rules? Or are all mental condition deviations from average sensitivity solely in the direction of defects in such sensitivity?
If any, I'd say Psychopathy. As noted by many experts, we're astute studiers of human behaviour and oft use our knowledge to appear normal. Most, anyway. The rest get thrown in prison and studied by Hare and his minions.

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Question 3. Do all or some or no mental conditions involve greater than normal self-absorption on the part of the sufferers and less attention paid to the outer world? Do any mental conditions result in greater attention being paid to the outer world than normal and less thought devoted to the self?
Most people with severe mental illnesses, before therapy, tend to lack insight. Unless you're asking about introversion vs. extroversion. In which case, I'm not sure...
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Unread 09-24-2011, 02:33 PM   #7
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Wink Re: Social Sensitivity: Mental Illness and the Perception of Social Rules

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Bottom line, I experienced emotional neglect and social isolation, was brought up by immature parents, and my own self suppressed. I was also rejected and ridiculed by my peers and never had much chance of learning peer relationship. My only real experience of close friendship was at uni - 20 years ago. I basically don't know how to cope in a social situation and am learning now. Excuse the personal ramble.
No, no! I think we're here on PC for each other's personal rambles! No need to excuse yourself.

So from what you say, you were taught basic "manners" by your family, but not really "how to cope in a social situation." Would you say that dissociating had a negative effect on learning what to do in social situations? How are you going about learning social situations now? Thanks for your input! Take care.
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Unread 09-24-2011, 02:37 PM   #8
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Default Re: Social Sensitivity: Mental Illness and the Perception of Social Rules

Oks.
Oh yes, I was taught please and thank you and eat with a knife and fork and ....be not seen and not heard.. oooppppps.
The dissociating? hmm. I guess that didn't help anything - except softened all the hard edges.
I have a Befriender who I see through my local branch of Mind.
I work things through in therapy.
I 'practice' at work and on my flatmate - and take it all to therapy...
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Unread 09-24-2011, 02:50 PM   #9
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Wink Re: Social Sensitivity: Mental Illness and the Perception of Social Rules

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Originally Posted by Michael the Great View Post
Perception defined as to become aware of something? In that case, I'd say only Asperger Syndrome (and other Autism Spectrum Disorders) and Psychotic Disorders such as Schizophrenia would have significant detrimental effects on perceiving social rules. Although, many other mental disorders would affect the ability to conform to social rules. Those with Asperger's have difficulty understanding nonverbal communication and empathy, which would definitely impair their ability to recognise social cues and norms. And psychotics, of course, perceive the world... differently... and have trouble with abstract concepts and social cues, which can affect their interpersonal skills.
Which mental disorders do you think would affect the ability to conform to social rules?

In response to my question about those with mental conditions who have better than usual perception of social norms, MTG said:
Quote:
If any, I'd say Psychopathy. As noted by many experts, we're astute studiers of human behaviour and oft use our knowledge to appear normal. Most, anyway. The rest get thrown in prison and studied by Hare and his minions.
Why would psychopathy improve such perception? It's almost as if you're saying that a lack of empathy results in improved perception of social norms. Why would that be so? Is there a cause and effect relationship there?

In response to my question about self-absorption, MTG said:
Quote:
Most people with severe mental illnesses, before therapy, tend to lack insight. Unless you're asking about introversion vs. extroversion. In which case, I'm not sure...
No, not really about introversion and extroversion. I guess my basic assumption is that at any particular time any individual is either thinking about himself, some aspect of his or her life, OR thinking about another or others and their lives, whether within themselves or as the relate to the individual of whom we're talking, OR that individual is dissociating, lost in some kind of dream. I'm just wondering whether any interesting generalizations might be made about people (with or without mental conditions) and how they split their time among these three possibilities. I'm thinking about me, or I'm thinking about you, or I'm thinking about the man in the moon. Take care!
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Unread 09-25-2011, 02:48 PM   #10
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Default Re: Social Sensitivity: Mental Illness and the Perception of Social Rules

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Originally Posted by Ygrec23 View Post
Which mental disorders do you think would affect the ability to conform to social rules?
All of them. Of course, that all depends on the severity of the disorder. And there are some individuals who would qualify for some disorders but are functional in everyday life, most of whom are exceptionally good at compartmentalising unusual thoughts, behaviours, etc.

A mental disorder is basically any cognitive processes, psychological symptoms, and/or patterns of behaviour which negatively affect certain or several areas of life. And the vast majority of the time, those areas of life include social circles and relationships, romantic or otherwise. Of course, someone with a mental disorder may be fine in certain social settings but not in others.

Quote:
Why would psychopathy improve such perception? It's almost as if you're saying that a lack of empathy results in improved perception of social norms. Why would that be so? Is there a cause and effect relationship there?
The disorder itself doesn't improve perceptions of social norms, nor does lack of empathy. Well, I haven't heard of any such notion, anyway... If I had to take a guess, I'd say the ability to read people and situations is a necessity for survival, learned in a manner somewhat similar to normal children - through observation of others and television. If you hadn't noticed, the more intelligent psychopaths are exceptionally better at socialisation and much less likely to end up in prison. Furthermore, physically larger psychopaths are less socialised because they tend to rely on their brute strength to get what they want rather than charisma.

Quote:
No, not really about introversion and extroversion. I guess my basic assumption is that at any particular time any individual is either thinking about himself, some aspect of his or her life, OR thinking about another or others and their lives, whether within themselves or as the relate to the individual of whom we're talking, OR that individual is dissociating, lost in some kind of dream. I'm just wondering whether any interesting generalizations might be made about people (with or without mental conditions) and how they split their time among these three possibilities. I'm thinking about me, or I'm thinking about you, or I'm thinking about the man in the moon. Take care!
That's a good question. I don't know. If you ask me, I'm going to say everyone, normal or otherwise, is inherently selfish. But I'm a psychopath. What do I know about altruism?
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