19 jul. 2011
The problem with seeing things along a "continuum" or "spectrum" is that it blurs distinctions. For example, we could see depression along a continuum of suicidal despair and normal everyday sadness, or "eating disorders' along a spectrum from suicidal self-starvation to minor neuroses surrounding eating. People who want to argue that phenomena exist along a broad continuum want you to think that the milder manifestations are examples of the more extreme, never vice-versa. Statistics about the number of people suffering from mental illness are particularly slippery, if they include considerable numbers of people from the less severe end of the "continuum." I understand all the good intentions behind these arguments, but I am having none of them.