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A very interesting side-discussion has developed in the comments over at rachel_swirsky's journal on a post she wrote about some eugenic-a-like stuff that Sheri Tepper once wrote. Would you take a miracle cure / surgery that would cure you of your chronic conditions (ADD, bipolar, asperger's/autism, etc.) even if it might mean totally wiping your personality and starting again?

That which deranges the senses - Deconstructing Sheri Tepper's 2008 Interview with Strange Horizons (this links to the start of that particular comment thread but you can also read the article about Sheri Tepper there).

If you had asked me ten years ago, I would have jumped at the chance to live a "normal" life. Now, however, having done all the work that I have to come to terms with who I am, what I can do and how I do it best, I would find it a very difficult decision. This is who I am, warts and all. If I could have a version of the 'treatment' that would remove or lessen some of the difficult stuff (e.g. my sensitivity to temperature extremes) and leave the creativity and so on then I would consider it.

What do you think? Would you take the cure if it might mean that you were now a totally different person(ality)?


( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 21st, 2011 07:01 pm (UTC)
Of course not. It would be suicide.
Apr. 21st, 2011 07:09 pm (UTC)
Eh, I'm really not comfortable with that as an assertion. For one thing, it's an argument that's used against some psychoactive medications.

I apologize if I'm misreading your statement as general when you meant it to be specific to you.
Apr. 21st, 2011 07:15 pm (UTC)
I agree with haddayr and I think that she was speaking for herself, as my post asked people to; What do you think? Would you take the cure if it might mean that you were now a totally different person(ality)?

It would indeed be the suicide of who I am. Prozac did that to me - stopped me feeling at all, happy or sad. I was functioning but totally numb. At least with an oral medication I could change until I found one that worked for me. Brain surgery, for example, would be much more permanent (and makes me remember things I have watched and read about the lobotomies performed in the past to make people fit better with society).
Apr. 21st, 2011 07:33 pm (UTC)
Actually, I meant it to be specific to this post as saying "totally wiping your personality and starting again"and "Would you take the cure if it might mean that you were now a totally different person(ality)?"

I am at work and in a hurry, so I posted before I could follow up with: but there is no medication that would DO that. While I joke that my anxiety disorder is part of my adorable charm, I do not really believe it. I would still be myself if there was a medication free from side effects I could take to keep me from having panic attacks.

I've also had people tell me that using stimulant medications for my child is 'medicating his personality away,' and that's bullshit.

But based on the premise of this post? Suicide.
Apr. 21st, 2011 07:41 pm (UTC)
OK, I didn't read very carefully. The premise introduced in the comments thread to my post was that there would be trade-offs in exchange for increased social functioning such as reduced creativity. I assumed we were working off of that.

Even if my creativity were reduced in a permanent way by surgery, that would not be suicide. But--different hypothetical.

Sorry about that.
Apr. 21st, 2011 07:43 pm (UTC)
Please don't be sorry for disagreeing with me!

In this particular case, it's really my fault for not being clear: I really shouldn't have posted without finishing; I was really distracted.
Apr. 21st, 2011 07:10 pm (UTC)
Thank you. I was about to link here from that thread for you but you found it anyway ;-p
Apr. 21st, 2011 07:11 pm (UTC)
pingback. ;-)
Apr. 21st, 2011 07:15 pm (UTC)
lol ofc!
Apr. 21st, 2011 11:21 pm (UTC)
In my experience, whenever this sort of thing has come up in asperger related forums the response has always been a resounding "No Way".
Apr. 22nd, 2011 12:12 am (UTC)
Yeah. I do wonder what my father, aunt and grandmother (and your mother) might say about cures for their condition, though…
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )


Nat S Ford
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