Interesting perspective. Basically, what the author has done is equated the development of a mental disorder with characteristics of which people are born, e.g., I was born this way, don’t condemn me!. The difference is that people aren’t typically born autistic, nor do symptoms of mental illness, such as psychosis, typically appear until late teens, early 20’s. I understand the appropriateness of valuing every individual for their unique qualities. I would like to pose this question for the author and all those that endorse her perspective: “Should this have been the same perspective when all the children in the first half of the 1900s were struck with Polio? Should we have said, “This is not something to eradicate, it is what makes them unique and should be treated as such.” Should we embrace those with diabetes, epilepsy, children with learning disabilities, allergies, dyslexia, and say that it is disrespectful to their personhood to want to eliminate the conditions from which they suffer? I have never met a person who has remitted from their psychotic symptoms tell me “Can I have them back? That’s who I am.” They may struggle with potential side effects from the medication, they may want to be “like” others, but it is rare to find an individual in a non-psychotic state who wants it back. Rather, I have people lament over the incidents that happened while they were psychotic or manic. You may say, “Well, what about autism?” “Why aren’t there autistic people out there speaking on behalf of their disorder (or themselves identified as ‘autistic’). Well, first of all, one of the hallmarks of the diagnosis is significant deficiencies in communication, or no communication at all. As with many disorders, the severity of symptoms is on a “spectrum.” There are those who identify themselves as “autistic” or “I was autistic” who speak about the disorder. From them we can learn much. We think it’s great that they can speak, unlike most of the others who suffer from autism. How do those who can’t speak identify themselves? Why do we think we can speak for them? Do you know if they would choose to remain the same if given the option? Would they be offended if someone presented them with a vaccine or cure that would allow them to: understand that other people have viewpoints, productively participate in a social event, to have a romantic relationship, to have a career in which they excel? Yes, there are many on the spectrum working for Microsoft. They are not autistic if they are productively working. There are far more many sitting on floors, flapping their hands, hitting themselves, refusing to be touched, smearing feces on the wall, shouting at the top of their lungs. Is this who they are? Is this what you want to endorse as their person hood? The next time you visit your physician and hear that you have a condition (diabetes, epilepsy, allergies, lupus, leukemia, dyslexia, sensory processing disorder) tell him “This is who I am” and refuse. The next time you’re at the eye doctor, tell him you don’t want glasses because these are the eyes you were born with and find it insulting to think that the vision they provide can be improved. If you were born with scoliosis, tell the doctors that you’d rather have a twisted spine, and all the limitations this brings with it, rather than to have treatment. Absurd isn’t it? Is there a way that we can advocate personhood without glorifying a debilitating disease? If you’ve never suffered from such conditions, or loved someone who has, you will get on your soap box and berate me. Go ahead. You just show your ignorance. Sometimes, people, life is not black and white. I can advocate for an individual, while fighting the debilitating condition of which they suffer. It is authors like this that contribute significantly more divisiveness in the community than unity, ignorance rather than education. We can do better people. We can think beyond the black and white. Most of us can handle complexity and don’t need it broken down to the level of mind-numbing simplicity. Right? or is this the society in which we live?