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Show ALL Forums  > Off Topic  > If you were mentally disabled, would you want to get      Home login  
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 Super_Eve
Joined: 10/23/2008
Msg: 1
If you were mentally disabled, would you want to get Page 1 of 3    (1, 2, 3)
I just watched a movie, where an autistic girl had a surgery, that "fixed" her, and made her "normal". Normal being subjective, but it enabled her to react, respond, and interact with those around her.

Think about it...she had no idea, that people made a mockery of her...

She had no idea, that she was different...

She could not fully express, or communicate with those around her.

If you were in her place, would you want an operation that would change this?

What would it mean to you, if someone you loved, had a chance to have an operation, and be able to integrate themselves and within themselves, more clearly?

I am thinking about Flowers for Algernon.
 Fartz
Joined: 9/17/2009
Msg: 2
If you were mentally disabled, would you want to get
Posted: 1/5/2010 1:33:09 AM
If the operation was relatively safe, I may very well go for it.

In the case you mentioned, the operation made her more functional, more able. I don't really see the why not.
 Funcuz
Joined: 1/16/2009
Msg: 3
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If you were mentally disabled, would you want to get
Posted: 1/5/2010 3:15:41 AM
What's to lose ? The bliss of ignorance ?
The future wouldn't include mockery and jokes at your expense...that should end once the mental disability does. Unless of course your otherwise natural character is rather ...uh , "challenged" as well.
 Super_Eve
Joined: 10/23/2008
Msg: 4
If you were mentally disabled, would you want to get
Posted: 1/5/2010 4:05:17 AM
You would go back to the way you were, prior to the operation, only with the knowledge, experience, and memory, of you as a "normal" person.

Sorry guys!

I meant to include this, in the original post.
 blindwonder
Joined: 9/16/2008
Msg: 5
If you were mentally disabled, would you want to get
Posted: 1/5/2010 4:23:09 AM
I can't say about being mentallly disabled but can say from a physical perspective. It goes both ways. I myself had some sight in my younger years and wouldn't mind getting some of that back. I've also known those who have never seen their entire life. It's a entire whole life change. To function with a whole new sense of the world would be tremendously stagggering. Even myself now were I to get my original sight back which was only 3% in my right eye. I've become so accustomed to living without vision that there would be an adjustment time for sure.
 w0rk 0f art
Joined: 6/11/2008
Msg: 6
If you were mentally disabled, would you want to get
Posted: 1/5/2010 5:50:57 AM
I would say that anyone who has is "intellectual challenged" and is aware of it, would perhaps consider surgery.

I work with people with different disabilities, but one client of mine is a lady with Downs Syndrome, who is very high functioning and independent. She has worked from a young age and feedback from all employers is very possitive.

Unfortunately because of her physical appearance, she has few friends, if any, due to the fact that "normal" people won't accept that she can sit in their company well capable of keeping up with the conversation. She doesn't mix with "her own type" as she finds conversations very dull and childlike...

On many occasions she has expressed sincere hatred of her features and longs to have a normal loving relationship with a man...

If babies who are born with cleft pallettes / club foot etc. are operated on immediately after birth to save them years of stares, then why shouldn't people with Downs Syndrome, to stop people seeing the disability before the person...
 CallmeKen
Joined: 9/4/2009
Msg: 7
If you were mentally disabled, would you want to get
Posted: 1/5/2010 8:14:41 AM
please if you get a chanse put some flowrs on Algernons grave in the bak yard.
 whowhatme
Joined: 5/28/2008
Msg: 8
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If you were mentally disabled, would you want to get
Posted: 1/5/2010 8:42:52 AM

If you were in her place, would you want an operation that would change this?

If I were in her place, I suppose I wouldn't be capable of rationalizing that decision anyway. As you say, she had no idea of what was going on around her anyway.


What would it mean to you, if someone you loved, had a chance to have an operation and be able to integrate themselves and within themselves, more clearly

Tough question, I don't have an answer for that one.
 itechman63
Joined: 7/7/2005
Msg: 9
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If you were mentally disabled, would you want to get
Posted: 1/5/2010 9:01:55 AM
This reminds me of an old movie starring Cliff Robertson... I believe it was titled "Charly" or something like that... where he was a mentally handicapped individual that was cured. It was fairly similar to your question.

I'd hate to say much more about it just in case someone stumbles across the movie and decides to watch it. If you did, it'd be worth watching in my recollection as a great film. Of course, I hadn't seen it in around 25-30 years or so.

But it ponders the same questions.
 Lint Spotter
Joined: 8/27/2009
Msg: 10
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If you were mentally disabled, would you want to get
Posted: 1/5/2010 10:13:40 AM
Ignorance is bliss...

I haven't seen the movie in question, but I can say with a high degree of certainty that if I was mentally handicapped, that I would be perfectly happy at not knowing any other life. A good friend of mine was studying anthropology a long time ago and on one of her trips to a site study, she was careful to not pack anything that would introduce technology or luxury to the aboriginal people... bottom line is that one does not miss what one has never experienced or heard of...
 somephxguy
Joined: 12/16/2009
Msg: 11
If you were mentally disabled, would you want to get
Posted: 1/5/2010 10:20:30 AM

If you were in her place, would you want an operation that would change this?

If I was mentally disabled then I wouldn't be able to make very good decisions or be responsible for them would I?
Wouldn't I see the scalpels or machinery, get scared, poop my pants, and just want to go home?
If I were in the position to make decisions for someone to get the operation I would.


What would it mean to you, if someone you loved, had a chance to have an operation, and be able to integrate themselves and within themselves, more clearly?

It would mean less stress and responsibility.
 acuddler
Joined: 10/30/2009
Msg: 12
If you were mentally disabled, would you want to get
Posted: 1/5/2010 12:19:44 PM
Been there; done that...lived it, rather than seeing any such movie. As a child I was normal, and then became severely brain damaged. I became little more than a vegetable...unable to: sit up unassisted, talk, hold things, etc. A small part of the real 'me' was still there-deep inside-but it could not communicate. It was not miracle operation, but many grueling years of physical, and drug, therapy which brought me back to normal, and then above normal. Today, I have a genius IQ of 154...just six points bnelow that of Albert Einstein. I still have some slight seizures problems when I get cold, and a little dyslexia when I am tired. Apart from that, you would never guess- from seeing me today-what I used to be like. I much prefer being the way I am now to being the veggie I once was.

You have no idea what an autistic, or anyone but youreself, thinks, or feel;s. I DID realize people were mocking me.

I wouild want my loved one to have/be all he/she could have/be. I would NOT condemn a loved one to a life of retardation just because some neighbors, or movie scriptwriters, thought he/she may be happier as a retard.
 BigDaddyJinx
Joined: 11/4/2006
Msg: 13
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If you were mentally disabled, would you want to get
Posted: 1/5/2010 12:51:17 PM

I am thinking about Flowers for Algernon.

[snip]
This reminds me of an old movie starring Cliff Robertson... I believe it was titled "Charly" or something like that... where he was a mentally handicapped individual that was cured. It was fairly similar to your question.

The movie was called "Charly", done in 1968 and yes, with Cliff Robertson. The movie was a direct derivative of Flowers For Algernon. So no wonder they appear similar lol

I remember reading that book, FFA back in middle school. I cried. Yes I did. That book was so well written, and so powerful I could hardly stand it. I haven't touched it since, and can't bring myself to read it again or watch any similar (or based upon) movies of it. For the longest time though, "pull a Charlie Gordon" was part of our school's lexicon it seemed...ugh. Sadly this book has been pulled from many curriculums since I was in middle school.

Anyways...

The premise is a powerful one. Given the opportunity to be smarter/"normal" after a lifetime being sub-par, or below "standard". This book made me think of how easy we could transpose this into so many aspects of our lives, and to me, it spoke of two themes in particular. One being, if we had the ability to become more self aware of those things around us and we had the blinders lifted...would we like it, or be able to handle it? And of course, cherish those things in your life that may not be "forever" because simply having it doesn't mean it'll always be there. Make the most of it.

Ack. I feel like I'm doing a book report lol.

If I was mentally challenged, I'm not even sure I'd have the capacity to make the informed decision to undertake such a procedure. If I was "in care", would my custodian or guardian submit me to these experiments just for the sake of "normalcy"? Hard to say. Assuming that I had the capacity enough to make the informed choice to try and be "normal"...I'm not sure if I'd want to. Especially after reading the book and seeing how Charlie slowly started getting more "normal" but then he was no longer Charlie Gordon...he was someone else. Same physical source, but completely new material. In a sense, he lost his identity. I'm not sure I'd want to lose that. Compounded with a new sense of reality around him with experiences that we, as "normal" folk take for granted that he is experiencing for the first time so late in life...added to the fact that he was now being rejected MORE as "normal" than he was as sub-par...makes for an interesting decision to make.

Then we got the whole "giveth and taketh away" principle. He was given a new lease on life, but holy Hell was that lease a short one. Given the ability to be "normal" only to have it slip away as slowly as it was gained, and ending up right back at square one. Could I handle that? Being smart for the first time in my life...being "normal" one day but then sub-par all over again the next? Would it be worth it? This is like asking someone if they'd be willing to live exactly half their life ONLY, if it meant that they'd be rich, or famous, or smart or whatever. None of us live the same length of time, but let's say YOU, reading this now, was given this opportunity...you were told by Fate that your full life is to be 78 years...so you'd only be able to live 37 years and then die immediately...would you give up half your life for these things? Would we? Who would? Same with this temporary smart thing...give it all up just to enjoy it for a short time?

I could argue that it might be worth it just to see how the other half lives...the idea that at least I got a bit of it at least once, and some is better than none. But is it a rational argument?

I can't say I would or wouldn't undergo what Charlie went through. One would ideally have to be aware that this procedure actually existed for real, and grew up living a life like Charlie did to make a decision that profound. Seeing as how most of us here qualify as "normal" already, I don't think we're in a position to make a decision like that.

Even in theory. We're already too aware. We're pretty much disqualified.

JMO.
 daynadaze
Joined: 2/11/2008
Msg: 14
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If you were mentally disabled, would you want to get
Posted: 1/5/2010 1:57:54 PM
You are talking about the 1999 version called Molly starring Elisabeth Shue, but in all the versions and the book I seem to remember that as they were sliding back to their state of retardation they knew it and it bothered them very much. I would say, except for the profoundly mentally handicapped, they do know they are different and slower and it does cause many emotional pain.

Personally I would not want to be alive if I was profoundly mentally handicapped and I would imagine I would feel quite frustrated if I were slow and knew it, I base that on already being often frustrated and being average. I think part of how you would feel would depend on how you were treated by your family/friends/and the public. The public can be cruel and ignorant of those who are slower, even though the person being cruel is much more mentally deficient for acting in such a nasty way to someone who has a condition they cannot help.
 Super_Eve
Joined: 10/23/2008
Msg: 15
If you were mentally disabled, would you want to get
Posted: 1/5/2010 4:41:37 PM

I remember reading that book, FFA back in middle school. I cried. Yes I did. That book was so well written, and so powerful I could hardly stand it


I cried too, and yeah, it was in middle school when we read it.


One being, if we had the ability to become more self aware of those things around us and we had the blinders lifted...would we like it, or be able to handle it? And of course, cherish those things in your life that may not be "forever" because simply having it doesn't mean it'll always be there. Make the most of it.


Beautifully put...


Ack. I feel like I'm doing a book report lol.


And you are doing, a lovely job...


You are talking about the 1999 version called Molly starring Elisabeth Shue, but in all the versions and the book I seem to remember that as they were sliding back to their state of retardation they knew it and it bothered them very much.


I am...and you are correct, once both Charly and Molly had achieved that "awareness", when they did slide back down into their previous state, they knew full well what was happening...

I ask myself, would I have undergone such a procedure, knowing that I might return to my previous state, and then be fully aware when I did so?

As Lintspotter mentioned...sometimes ignorance is bliss, only I am not always sure what that means...

Food, for thought, at least for me...thank you...
 SaharaM
Joined: 4/9/2009
Msg: 16
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If you were mentally disabled, would you want to get
Posted: 1/5/2010 7:28:26 PM

I haven't seen the movie in question, but I can say with a high degree of certainty that if I was mentally handicapped, that I would be perfectly happy at not knowing any other life. A good friend of mine was studying anthropology a long time ago and on one of her trips to a site study, she was careful to not pack anything that would introduce technology or luxury to the aboriginal people... bottom line is that one does not miss what one has never experienced or heard of...
Except for the fact that the person in the OP's example lives in our society. Autistic children (and adults) can recognize the differences between themselves and others. They've "heard of" those differences, to use your words.
 89*4L
Joined: 8/7/2009
Msg: 17
If you were mentally disabled, would you want to get
Posted: 1/5/2010 9:33:59 PM
differences exist thankfully. Would you want to get an operation for being mentally disabled? for being different? You are different from me. You have breasts and a vagina. So do you want to get a penis/testicles and have your breasts removed so you can become more like me?
 quietjohn2
Joined: 12/6/2004
Msg: 18
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If you were mentally disabled, would you want to get
Posted: 1/5/2010 10:29:39 PM
I'm sure there are degrees of severity of autism, but autistic people with the ability to communicate with those likely to try surgery would probably argue strenuously against it. There is a great video on YouTube by Amanda Baggs who is autistic - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JnylM1hI2jc.
In it she states....
I find it very interesting by the way that failure to learn your language is seen as a deficit but failure to learn my language is seen as so natural that people like me are officially described as mysterious and puzzling rather than anyone admitting that it is themselves who are confused, not autistic or other cognitively disabled people who are inherently confusing.

This seems to be a view shared by other accomplished autistics - Dawn Prince-Hughes, Temple Grandin, Jim Sinclair, Martijn Dekker. Temple Grandin is quoted as saying that she often felt like an anthropologist on Mars amongst typically developing people.

It makes me think of some other stories I have read - about human mutants who are hunted down and murdered for fear that they will become the rulers of the world. You have to wonder if we're being given a wonderful opportunity to welcome new creatures into our midst and responding by rejecting them - or at least converting them into versions of ourselves.

Anthropologist believe that one critical step in the evolution of hominids may have been the loss of muscle strength in the jaw. A pathetic creature, unable to bite and chew normal foods to the primate popuation of the time. Yet that sad, unfortunate creature came to thrive and populate much of the planets terrain to the extent that it may now determine the future (or not) of those other primates. Is there a lesson here?
 Selima
Joined: 3/28/2009
Msg: 19
If you were mentally disabled, would you want to get
Posted: 1/5/2010 11:42:06 PM

I am thinking about Flowers for Algernon.
Flowers for Algernon was a bit idealistic, coming from the Romantic Idealism period of the 1960's. He didn't have time to adapt to being intelligent. And, he didn't have normal or average intelligence. He lived at both extremes. I think I would want to be normally intelligent, not autistic or mentally handicapped. If I had a choice, I'd want the operation. I think, in time, a person would adapt to it and be comfortable and integrated into society with all us other average folk. Algernon didn't have that option.
 barbee1970
Joined: 12/29/2008
Msg: 20
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If you were mentally disabled, would you want to get
Posted: 1/6/2010 7:09:31 AM
I wonder if that was fiction or she had Autism or ADHD.

People with Downs Syndrome cannot really make those decisions. Mentally (not making fun) they are at the capacity of a small child.

If someone made that decision for me, then yes, anything to where I could live well enough to take care of myself. If I was a vegetable I would look for Jack Kavorkian. I really wouldn't want to live incapacitated. Yes, people take advantage of the weak and disabled.

Bad enough mechanics, salesmen and such take advantage of women!!
 Ezzee
Joined: 7/26/2004
Msg: 21
If you were mentally disabled, would you want to get
Posted: 1/6/2010 7:33:46 AM
As other people have stated, I suffer with a disability of a physical kind, not a mental one. However, I would never consider any sort of surgery that would change who I am unless it was 100% certain, and even then, there is only a 5% chance I would even consider it.

I think of it this way. I'm disabled. I was born with it. My disability is part of who I am, and will always be part of who I am. To me, having a disability is no different than someone being born male or female, black or white, tall or short, blonde, bruntte, or redhead. I am who I am, and if you don't like it, well, then you can bite me. But the minute someone believes they can start telling me what I should do about my disability is the day I get to make decisions on the above mentioned factors.

Trust me, the world would be a much better place if everyone except me was a short big breasted female.
 Kayara
Joined: 12/18/2009
Msg: 22
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If you were mentally disabled, would you want to get
Posted: 1/6/2010 8:44:27 AM
If the science of 'correcting' mental disability was perfected, I think I would still only want to undergo it or have my child undergo it in early infancy, before they come to know anything besides 'normality'. Even then it would be a hard decision. There would have to be clear, obvious evidence that quality of life would be significantly improved by the procedure.
 scorpiomover
Joined: 4/19/2007
Msg: 23
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If you were mentally disabled, would you want to get
Posted: 1/7/2010 7:18:22 AM

I just watched a movie, where an autistic girl had a surgery, that "fixed" her, and made her "normal". Normal being subjective, but it enabled her to react, respond, and interact with those around her.
Right now, it's believed that autism is something that affects the entire brain, not something that can be surgically altered. What you likely watched was a girl who had fetal brain damage that resulted in behaviour similar to autism, but could gain from a surgical operation to mediate the brain damage.

If you were in her place, would you want an operation that would change this?
Back when I was 5? Maybe. It would have made life a hell of a lot easier.

Now? I don't know. I've been through so much already, that I've learned to cope with a lot. So there is much less gain to be had.
Also, a lot of my behaviour is now down to my personality and my memories. It's not like being Even if I had an op, my personality and memories could easily keep me in many of the same patterns, making it far less effective.

Plus, I'm 40. When I was in my teens, I wanted the ability to be sociable, to date. At 40, I'm expecting that only mature women would want to date me, and mature women would be a bit more understanding.

Plus, there are a lot of advantages that come from such problems. So I might be giving all that up.

What would it mean to you, if someone you loved, had a chance to have an operation, and be able to integrate themselves and within themselves, more clearly?
It would mean the same as if you had a chance to turn a Mozart or an Einstein into an ordinary person. They would fit in much better. They would find it much easier to find friends and get a date. But they would be making themselves "normal". They would no longer have that beauty that the Mozarts and Einsteins of this world live in. Would you trade eternal beauty for the chance to date your average guy? How would you feel if your daughter got to lose that beautiful view of life, and in return got the usual treatment that most girls get in dating, a continual string of disappointing men?
 Gwendolyn2010
Joined: 1/22/2006
Msg: 24
If you were mentally disabled, would you want to get
Posted: 1/7/2010 7:49:36 AM
How disabled am I? Able to make an informed decision about the process or do my caregivers decide for me?

The tragedy in Flowers for Algernon wasn't that the character was made smart, but that he subsequently lost the smarts.

I would go for the "normalization."
 guernsey_donkey
Joined: 1/31/2006
Msg: 25
If you were mentally disabled, would you want to get
Posted: 1/7/2010 5:49:29 PM
As long as a person is enjoying this life, that's more than some have, I think.
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