Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Quit Helping Tom Cruise

I think psychology has had many successes. Psychology has given us reliable IQ tests, can really help with very real psychological disorders like OCD, PTSD, depression and others. But I really don't the profession very much. Why? Well, this is may explain why I have such a problem with modern psychology.

LOS ANGELES — A new study by Harvard University and the National Institute of Mental Health (search) claims that 46 percent of all Americans will, at some point in their lives, develop a mental disorder.

But this new statistic has experts arguing over exactly what constitutes a true mental illness.

Look, I'm no Tom Cruise. I don't think this is about the history of psychology, and I don't subscribe to an anti-psychology cult. Still, I think there is a real problem with present psychology.

The non-surpising details of this report is of course that psychiatrists have sensitized their diagnostic tests and defined every quirk and odd behavior as a disorder.

And what drives this distortion of so called medical science? Without ever putting on a tin foil hat, I will say, what else: money.
According to experts, severe mental illnesses like schizophrenia, dementia and manic depression are relatively uncommon. But the updated Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or DSM — the standard survey for mental illness — lists conditions like adjustment disorder, passive-aggressive disorder and female sexual arousal disorder as mental illness, reflecting what are claimed to be advances in the mental health profession.
Advances in the mental health profession mean defining and diagnosing disorders such that every one can be included. Try looking up ADD/ADHD in that book. It might as well say - all 8 year old boys.

How does the money come into play? Insurance and government coverage, of course.
Others say the DSM should be considered the mental health bible, because if it says that a person is mentally ill, then that person can get the treatment they need — and insurance companies will foot the bill.
This is at its basest two things: psychiatrists trying to expand the patient base by expanding the insurance coverage to more and more trivial things; and of course there is a drug ready for each of these trivial new disorders.

They will turn us all into wusses who can't handle any minor setback without therapy or an office visit and drugs. All of us -- wussies. Of course, if you must see a therapist . . . .


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