Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘psychiatry

Your irascible kid will be ordered to get psychiatric treatments; (Mar. 9, 2010)

            Any single behavior of yours has now a psychological label attached to it.  An irascible kid is diagnosed “humor deregulation with dysphory”; an eccentric adolescent is treated for “syndrome of psychotic risk”; and if you are into much sex activities then you are labeled “hypersexual troubled person”

            A few expert psychiatrists of the American Psychiatry Association (APA) have been efficaciously working for a decade on categorizing and revisiting the “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).  The proposed revisions are published on the APA site are opened for comments till April 20, 2010.  The definitive version DSM-V is due on May 2013. Comments, validation studies, complementary evaluations, and the vote of the administration council of APA will deliver the final acceptance decision of this version.

            Mental illnesses are intrinsically related to family and community supports, health structures, and mental customs in treatments; all these factors are irrelevant to multinational pharmaceutical companies with interest to globalize definitions of psychiatric syndromes and treatments.

            Based on globalize diagnostics and criteria, individuals will be considered suffering from mental troubles, prescribed standardized psychotrops, and health insurance coverage encouraged.  The president of APA, Alan Schatzberg, said “The DSM may have incidences on the way individuals perceive others and perceive themselves. It influences the nature of research and their methodologies.  There are repercussions in justices, industries, and public health.”

            There is no doubt that millions of people will be taking pills that were not necessary in many societies in the first place; they will suffer secondary effects that are more dangerous and harmful than the original ailments. Worse, the revised DSM-V will be imposed globally to include all societies as the definitive Psychiatric Bible. APA will enjoy hegemony in that troubled field.

            For example, a “depressed” Nigerian would say he has burning in the head; a Chinese would say he has pain in the shoulders or stomach; a Salvadorian would claim to have sensation of intense corporal heat.  Ethan Watters published “Crazy like Us: The globalization of the American Psyche”. There is a terrifying global tendency to de-humanizing people by imposing unified cultural outlooks.

            Western, more specifically US, repertory of mental symptoms and treatments is trying to homogenize it globally, as if there are no specificities to various societies differing vastly from Western concepts of mental illness.  Since it is Western States that are contributing mostly to natural disasters and catastrophes, then the US medical teams have disseminated their diagnostics related to post-traumatic ailments.

            Multinational pharmaceutical industries are heavily lobbying to redefining mental symptoms so that they sell medical pills that DSM might be recommending, especially allowing public health institutions and health insurance to cover the mental disorders expenses.

Fragile is being normal; (August 19, 2009)


            In general, scientists (including psychologists) consider what is normal the sample of items or group of people within a restricted community who share a particular attribute or characteristic 68% of the total studied, which means one standard deviation from the means (which has no meaning whatsoever, except that it is amenable to mathematical formulations of other mathematical derivatives). 

            Now if we want to study the same group who share two characteristics then the percentage deteriorates rapidly.  If you need to investigate people who share three characteristics then you tend to scrap your project as leading nowhere.  When we walk the street we are amazed to discover that there are more “normal” people than we imagined. There are mainly two reasons for our imagination:


First, the “abnormal” people (for example, the Mongolians, the smart idiots, the clinically found psychologically disturbed) are sheltered off the street, voluntarily or involuntarily.  Most of them are secluded in rooms at homes, or in the basement, or in the attic.


Second, the majority of “abnormal” people that look normal on the street are labeled normal in contrast to our perceived over valuation to our personality.  They are normal in a bad connotation; they are not as good as us in many ways.  There are a few instances when we observe people of being in a category of “better than normal” but we never declare ourselves defeated.  In the depth of our psychic we know that if we get to “know” them deeper than the superficial aspects, let’s say sort of skin deep, then these super normal must have vices and diseases that instantly drag them way below “normalcy”.


            Being normal is pretty fragile. Maybe if you read “The man who substituted his wife for her hat” by the physician Oliver Sacks you might realize how barely tenable the concept of normalcy is. You have got people who lost the functions of language, memory or part of it, identity recognition, time, and space.  You have got people who lost the feeling of their body, of imagination, of who consider one of their limbs are stranger to their bodies, people stuck in one moment in their life, people who cannot see what is on one side (right or left), super talented people in one restricted domain of music, numbers, chess, poetry, or drawing. 

            People who would describe a glove in much detail until they wear it and then would exclaim “My God! This is a glove!” People who would describe a rose in detail and after smelling it shout “But this is a rose!”

            We are subjected at any instant to flipping from normal to the other side of the category and we will have no idea that we have flipped; even psychiatrists will never tell us how we have been categorized: we are no longer normal people to communicate intelligibly with; as if our folks or relatives should fair better than us to be told the whole truth.




June 2022

Blog Stats

  • 1,496,240 hits

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by

Join 821 other followers

%d bloggers like this: