Monday, May 17, 2010

Now Independent Thinkers Are Considered Diseased by Psychiatry

Ethan Huff reports:

Psychiatrists have been working on the fourth revision of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) and, in it, they hope to add a whole slew of new psychiatric disorders. Unfortunately, many of these disorders are merely differences in personality and behavior among people.

The new edition may include "disorders" like "oppositional defiant disorder", which includes people who have a pattern of "negativistic, defiant, disobedient and hostile behavior toward authority figures."


  1. Welcome to Obamacare's Brave New World. As Huff summarizes: "Pharmaceutical companies stand to gain a lot for having virtually every person categorized as mentally ill and in need of drugs." The alliance of government and business to de-throne the consumer is king concept of free markets and loot the consumer citizen mercilessly. Thomas Szasz has warned of this problem for decades.

  2. You are obviously breaking a bunch of rules by posting this in such questionable tone. Not to worry though; a vaccine will soon be available - which will cure you from such defiant behavior!

    On a more serious note - this has been going on for years. The more "usual" behavior they can classify as disorders, the more business they can have. Isn't it great the Obamacare covers "mental health" issues too?

    I have yet to see Psychology or Psychiatry define what the "optimal" behavior looks like. Without that - they can keep finding faults, against a hidden standard, until everyone is nice and quiet...

  3. If you have any time for light reading I recommend you take a look at "Screwtape proposes a Toast" by C.S. Lewis. This is a subsequent essay published in the Saturday Evening Post which Lewis wrote after the release of "The Screwtape Letters."

    The comments about individual thought are very enlightening, even when taken out of their religious and public education contexts.

  4. Oppositional Defiant Disorder is not new as it's already in the existing DSM. Its ICD9 code number is 313.81. That said, I agree that often such patterns are over diagnosed when, in fact, it has more to do with poor parenting and/or a normal variant.

    As with any service, I feel that if someone finds it of value and seeks it out themselves voluntarily, then it's their right to pay for it. Regardless of how ignorant I may find that decision. If one values nicotine and purchases a pack of cigarettes, as long as that act doesn't infringe upon my rights, and no one is coercing that person into purchasing, then so be it.

    I think the real problem is the modern mentality of seeing everything that is outside of two standard deviations from mean as abnormal (that's roughly 5% of everything). Add to that an expectation of a pill to fix it all rather than having to modify one's lifestyle to adjust or to, possibly, see the positives of such a different perspective, and you get modern, state enforced mental health. It's gone from a voluntary association to a form of law enforcement.

  5. @Anonymous 5:09

    So would you diagnose someone who wanted to "end the Fed" as suffering from 313.81?

  6. Oh I have that one! Do they have any drugs for it yet? I'd like to get started before all the other drugs kill me.

  7. Libertarian Thomas Szazs had done some really great work exposing the faulty foundations of psychiatry.

    It's always convenient for the state to be able to diagnose you with a disorder and lock you up as a dangerous person, even if you've never harmed anyone. Really scary stuff. The DSM is just a tool in their arsenal.