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SteelMaiden
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11 Dec 2014, 12:45 pm

I have been told I am of genius level. My officially tested IQ is 160.

Am I top of my uni class? No, I'm in the middle (although tbh my university is the 4th best in the UK and ranks globally).

I am affected by autism, schizophrenia, severe anxiety, severe OCD and neurological conditions. I have daily meltdowns and challenging behaviour. I need support workers to help me with day to day things.

If I didn't have schizophrenia, severe OCD, neurological disorders, severe anxiety, meltdowns and challening behaviour, I would be doing my PhD by now and have attained a First class honours in my degree. Maybe I'd be already finishing my PhD.

I am highly intelligent, perhaps of genius level, but that is not the end of the story. My conditions mask my abilities.

I lost four years in total of my life to schizophrenia. I spent two years doing nothing because I was too ill and I needed to be in 24 hour staffed supported housing.

I am a genius perhaps, but I cannot fill in a direct debit form alone, go to a supermarket, or cook a proper meal.

What I am good at is extremely fast arithmetic, proficient observing and logical reasoning, solving problems, and remembering large amounts of information (although I can only easily remember something if I am interested in it).

I taught myself how to type at 6 years of age. I could read by age 3. I could do 10 years old arithmetic at the age of 5. I taught myself how to program computers in three different programming languages at age 10. I came in the top 250 16-18 year olds in the UK in a nationwide maths competition.

But that doesn't mean that I am highly successful and high performing.

I don't like the uni style of learning anyway.


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Jezebel
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11 Dec 2014, 11:36 pm

LoveNotHate wrote:

True on your points as usual, there may be a solider that throws himself on a grenade and is considered "smart" for killing himself ... and I am no psychology expert However, most suicide experts say that "suicide solves nothing". That is their catch phrase. So, they are saying that it's dumb to terminate your life, because doing so will solve nothing. If you go to any suicide lecture, presumably, this is what they will tell you.

My position has been that we can judge a person's intelligence based on the thinking that led to the suicide. For example, the students killing themselves over bad grades may have falsely believed themselves to be smarter than other people and when that false belief is shattered then they kill themselves.

As I pointed our earlier, and you have never addressed, is that I argue that if they were more intelligence they would of never had those false beliefs from the onset, and consequently they would of never committed suicide for that reason. This is consistent with an IQ test judging someone based on their thinking.


As for the part I bolded, I told you I had a longer post and just decided to respond to what I considered the most important. ;)

I don't think anyone would disagree that "suicide solves nothing" in a certain sense, but at the same time I've never heard any experts say that so I don't know - and as you said, these "experts" would presumably say that. They know that situations vary from person to person and they're not going to use a generic statement to judge someone. There's more to it than it supposedly being "dumb" though. Anyone saying that suicide solves nothing simply means that suicide may seem like a solution to one's problems at the time, but that things may change in the future, so choosing life should be considered. The phrase also references to the fact that friends and family will suffer (and potentially blame themselves), which could eventually lead to them becoming depressed. However, mental health professionals are also aware that suicidal people often feel as though no one cares about them, or perhaps even that their friends and family will benefit positively from the suicide because they will no longer have to deal with the person (that was my father’s reasoning in his suicide note), so that has to be taken into account as well. I've never actually heard any mental health professional call suicide "dumb" though, perhaps because they understand the reasoning and the biochemical processes underlying depression and suicidal behaviors. That just still seems to be more of your opinion. If you'd experienced the turmoil, the guilt, and all the other feelings associated with depression, you'd likely feel differently. This whole thing seems to stem from you not understanding the underlying processes of mental illness very well.

Like I said before, your position is still trying to find a correlation that just isn't there and likely never will be. If a study were done compiling past data on people who had committed suicide (especially if it focused on young adults in school), the correlation coefficient would likely be very, very low (or perhaps even negative). While you're allowed to have your opinion of course, it's still mine (and many other people feel this way actually) that one must have actual experience dealing with a sensitive situation like this to understand it fully. Mental health professionals know this and that's precisely why they won't make an assumption about the reasons for someone wanting to commit suicide. I can give you an example of this (needing personal experience to fully understand suicide), actually. My mother is now a retired psychiatric nurse. She was obviously around plenty of patients with many diagnoses, and of course, depression was among them. And even though she had day-to-day contact with people who were depressed, worked with psychiatrists, and had taken abnormal psychology back in college, that still wasn't enough to really understand something like suicide, because she hadn't felt those feelings before. She would probably agree somewhat that suicide doesn't solve anything, but she'd likely also be leaning toward the fact that grades alone didn't contribute to that depression. That's just a fact of depression - that it can be caused by multiple factors or its cause may be unknown altogether. The same can be said for any disorder outlined in the DSM. We now know that one person's cause for a disorder (for example, let’s say genetics) may be different than another's (theirs could be environmental). We also know that the nature vs nurture debate plays a key role in the development of disorders; while most of the common disorders (including depression and other mood disorders such as bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders, and schizophrenia) may have stress as a factor, there is genetic involvement as well. The consensus seems to be that a person is born with the tendency to develop a disorder (nature), but a person's environment determines the actual development of the disorder (nurture). Hopefully anyone working in a psych field or studying in one would know that (but sadly, even some people working in psych fields can have misconceptions about these types of things). Depression is certainly one of the most common mental disorders though, as it has been said to be the “common cold of psychopathology” (Gerrig, 2012, p. 397). But despite it being so prevalent in society, people still seem to have many misconceptions about it.

The fact is, your whole position still stands on the basis of you trying to assume why these students committed suicide, which I've pointed out now on multiple occasions, that you cannot do. So there really is no position if you can't back it up, especially when there’s evidence to the contrary of the position. At that point a position, opinion, or argument simply becomes a false assumption. Your position actually completely goes against what is known about the biochemical processes of mental illness. Saying you can judge intelligence based on the thinking that lead to the suicide or the attempt goes back to the point I made earlier about the person thinking abnormally. When a person is clinically depressed, there is an actual imbalance of the chemical neurotransmitters in the brain, which is causing that irrationally. It’s not the other way around, as false beliefs are a symptom of depression and being suicidal, not the cause of it. That's precisely why antidepressants, including SSRIs and SNRIs, reduce the reuptake of the neurotransmitters norepinephrine and serotonin, ultimately leading to the relief of some (or even all) of the symptoms of depression. See, you're still forgetting that. It's not that someone gets their first C and suddenly commits suicide... suicide (and mass murders as well) almost always involve more to the story than that. That's why you'll hear about a student committing suicide or murdering classmates, and then later also hear of how they were bullied or mistreated by those same classmates. These people weren't bullied once - which is what your reasoning somewhat implies - they were bullied over a time-span of weeks, months, or even years. Their emotional state deteriorated over time. Suicide is not an impulsive act; in fact, it's quite the opposite, because students have often brought the subject up with someone. As one of my textbooks noted, "...typically, it occurs as the final stage of a period of inner-turmoil and outer distress" (Gerrig, 2012, p. 402).

When professionals want to try to examine what could lead to someone doing something disastrous - including suicide and homicide - they may do a case study. They'll combine previous mental health records, interviews from people who knew the person very well, and they'll also look at the person's "private items", say a laptop. If you know who Adam Lanza is, a report on him and the Sandy Hook murders was actually published a couple weeks ago. The important thing to note, however, is that even though these researchers may find conclusions (in Adam's case, it seems as if his mother ignored some of his signs of mental illness), they state that there really is no possible way to know for sure and that this is all speculation. It's only what could've been if the person had gotten the help they needed and deserved. And no, your point is not consistent with any previous data because as I've said, there is no correlation between the two. I don't know if you've heard the phrase "correlation does not imply causation", but that's basically what you've been trying to imply this whole debate. Not only are you trying to prove said correlation without data to back it up, but you're also trying to prove the cause of the alleged correlation. Scientifically and statistically speaking, you cannot do that - that's not how research (and stating and defending hypotheses or ideas) works.

One thing I had in my longer post was also that your point is only backed up by alleged data in one country (or continent if you include all Asian students) specifically. (Your link didn't work - I forgot to include that in the short post.) Sociocultural psychologists are the ones who study how behaviors differ in different societies or countries. They attempt to find the universal (and cultural) aspects of human experience, which is somewhat similar to what you're trying to do. As I noted in my first post, and I believe the OP may have mentioned it as well, one reason some people oppose IQ testing or propose newer theories about it is because they're attempting to create a universal definition of intelligence - they want to be able to apply it to different cultures. (I also noted how this is unlikely to happen, due to different cultures valuing different types of intelligence.) But even if you wanted to apply your reasoning to only Asian students committing suicide (that's not what you're doing though, you're trying to apply it to other countries without the supported data), it still wouldn't hold any water. Yet again, you're dismissing the personal turmoil depression can bring to someone. For many people in that situation, relief is all that matters. And in the case of Asian students, you mentioned the alleged connection between grades and suicide, but you did not mention how it's a well known fact that their educational system is much more difficult than other countries' educational systems. You mentioned something that's irrelevant, intelligence level, yet left out an extremely important chunk of information relating to students committing suicide. Not only are these students expected to attend school full-time, but they have structured after school activities as well as homework, along with difficult exams that allow them to pass onto the next grade. China's college entrance exam is nine hours long. These students are under pressure to succeed from their parents, teachers, and possibly even their friends. We all know how peer pressure can work; we also know how difficult pressure can be from parents and teachers. (I'm sure you've heard of or can think of someone who became intimidated by someone who was more intelligent than them, did better in school, or even had a "better" - perhaps more popular - boyfriend or girlfriend. This could be seen as a form of peer pressure. Many students naturally compare themselves to others on a variety of dimensions including, but not limited to, intelligence and grades, appearance, family status, popularity status, etc... This is a part of the growth and maturation during adolescent experience. Some researchers wanted to assess the risk of youth suicide, so they reviewed 128 studies which involved about 500,000 adolescents 12-20, and found that 29.9% percent of the adolescents had thought about suicide, and 9.7% had actually attempted suicide (Evans et al., 2005). Girls were more likely to have made a suicide attempt. And of course, sexual minority youth are at an even more risk for suicide. And when you add raging hormones along with peer pressure, including pressure about doing well in school, of course students may feel overwhelmed or depressed.) It's a known fact that enough stress can get to anyone. It's unlikely that these students' perceptions of their intelligence is so much the cause of this extreme pressure they may be experiencing as it is the overwhelming pressure that leads to depression. However, once the depression has developed, the person's perception of their intelligence could change, as they may develop negative self-concepts and feelings of hopelessness or isolation. All of these feelings are associated with a suicide risk (Rutter & Behrendt, 2004). Sometimes children often need a "mental health day." Perhaps this is what any student that's feeling overwhelmed needs. Actually, some adults may make use of them as well if their work environment is highly stressful or fast paced. Enough stress and pressure, especially when someone doesn't have an outlet for emotional expression and/or also fun, can most certainly help lead to the development of depression, which, obviously, in turn, creates feelings of guilt and worthlessness, among others, some of which I've already mentioned. The downward spiral continues on from there. You may want to read up on China's educational system. Here's an article showing how the pressure of the school system is affecting students. It does mention two students committing suicide, but as you can see, it's thought to have been because of the pressure being applied to them and doesn't even mention their intelligence level. Obviously we'll never now everything that was going through those two students' minds though, so it's still somewhat speculation. Even so, it's not like the number of students committing suicide seems to be as high as you seemed to have thought or implied it to be. The number is even less in other countries, so thankfully this isn't a huge problem and hopefully it can be stopped before it becomes one.

Last but not least, another reason that your argument is faulty is because you're applying it only to one situation. However, that's not how it works when it comes to mental illness. Using the logic behind your last two sentences, and combining it with your original post in this thread, mental illness and psychological/psychiatric disorders would cease to exist in general. Because your reasoning is that a more intelligent person would be smart enough to know not to commit suicide due to a "false belief", the same reasoning has to be applied to the wide variety of disorders seen in psychopathology. For example, someone could say that a person is bipolar simply because they refuse to control their emotions or that a smart person would have that ability; thus they could conclude that people diagnosed with bipolar disorder aren't intelligent. This could also be applied to schizophrenia as well. Someone could say that a highly intelligent person would be smart enough to know a delusion or hallucination from reality, correct? Ironically though, those diagnosed with schizophrenia are thought to be some of the most intelligent people you will ever meet. (People diagnosed with bipolar disorder are generally thought to be highly intelligent as well. Actually, contrary to your belief, mental illness is thought by some to be linked directly to intelligence. Some studies have shown the potential link. Many highly intelligent and knowledgeable artists and writers alone committed suicide due to their suffering of mental illness. I don't generally link to sites like Psychology Today, but here's an article that you may want to read if you're interested in learning more about the topic.) Your reasoning implies - because yet again, you have to apply it in a more general sense as scientists do - that intelligent people don't do negative (or what you would call "dumb") things. It's also saying that people who suffer from mental illnesses aren't intelligent, because as you've implied, if they were more intelligent, they wouldn't be suffering, right? It also implies that a person's thinking directly relates to any mental disorders they're diagnosed with. So, for example, a person could say that autism doesn't exist because its existence is based on the false belief of someone having developmental delays and social communication issues. They could use that to go on and say, therefore, any person diagnosed as autistic must not be intelligent because of them holding this false belief - they're "autistic" because they choose to go along with a false belief. They could also use the fact that autism tends to be comorbid with other disorders, like depression and anxiety, to prove their point of intelligence even further. As explained in the sentences before this, I hope you now understand why that belief is so faulty and is a misconception that really doesn't need to be spread.

Now that I think of it, in a sense, I actually responded to that part of your post many times before. I probably should have elaborated though.

@SteelMaiden: Sorry to hear that you've suffered with those conditions. You're right, though, that IQ alone does not determine one's success in life, however, it is a factor involved in success and even health and wellness. For example, people with higher IQs have been found to have longer lives (Deary et al., 2010). Many explanations have been proposed as to why this is, but for now, we don't really know. I'm glad you posted about your issues though! It's very true that intelligent people can suffer and that people of any intelligence level can suffer from mental illness. Anyway, I hope you're receiving all the help you need. Everyone deserves that chance. I hope you feel better. :)


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FedUpAsp
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12 Dec 2014, 3:42 am

@SteelMaiden - I sympathize and empathize with you. Though I am not schizophrenic I suffer from various different medical conditions (some of which I share with you) including ASD that impact my daily life and prevent me from living independently. ASD, ADHD, visual impairment/legal blindness, cerebral palsy, severe OCD, severe social anxiety and other medical conditions. I lost many years of my life to clinical major depression.

I'm glad you're going to university and I completely understand how ASD and other conditions can mask and affect ability. Been there. My IQ is very highly gifted which is, apparently, between 148-160. But I was the fool who turned to google to find out what very highly gifted meant in numbers. I too had early accomplishments--not quite as many as yours! :) I also too hope you're doing well and are receiving the help you need.



SteelMaiden
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12 Dec 2014, 11:09 am

Thanks.


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I am a partially verbal classic autistic. I am a pharmacology student with full time support.