Re: PHIL: Freedom of Choice and Mental Illness (and pot, carnitine & DHEA)

den Otter (
Thu, 26 Feb 1998 13:02:32 +0100

David A Musick <> wrote:

> den Otter wrote:
> "Freedom of choice does not apply to the mentally ill, IMO, just like it
> doesn't apply to small children."
> I have bipolar disorder (a medical disease of the brain, which can
> drastically affect moods, induce cycles of mania, depression and
> psychosis, and is very treatable with medication), and am technically
> considered mentally ill. I still have freedom of choice, just like
> everyone else. Although, when I'm psychotically manic (which doesn't
> happen very often), my personality(ies) gets extremely warped, and the
> result chooses to do things I would not and often wish I did not when I
> return to "normal". I have no problem with the idea of someone
> restraining me when I am psychotic and ignoring "my" desire to make my
> own choices. But I do have a problem with the idea of others
> constraining my choices when I am capable of choosing rationally (which
> is most of the time), simply because I am labeled "mentally ill". Just
> because one is "mentally ill" doesn't mean they should be treated like
> children are. Sometimes they should be, but each case is different and
> must be evaluated separately.
I couldn't agree more. By mentally ill I meant those who are permanently
deranged/those in the midst of a fit, not people who are otherwise perfectly
sane but are classified as "mentally ill" by bureaucrats. I suffer from mild
depressions myself every now and then, but this can (sometimes) be alleviated
by smoking cannabis; the worse I feel, the better the effect. Usually, a single
hit does the trick, maybe because if replenishes an acute shortage of
the body's "natural" THC variant. Also it allows you to look at problems in
an emotionally detached fashion (or more precisely: you can think about
a traumatic event while feeling quite happy & lighthearted, an interesting
experience). It's a primitive way of hedonistic engineering (but probably not
recommendable if you suffer from a serious mental disorder, which it could
make worse, although one can never know for sure).

Btw, carnitine also has some anti-depressant-like effects, probably because
it boosts your energy levels (more testosterone). I'll be doing a carnitine-DHEA
combination therapy soon, this might have some interesting results. Has
anyone else tried this?