Dr. Dawg

The madness of psychiatrization

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The DSM-5 is out, and it’s a 1000-page whopper. Shrinks have discovered a plethora of new mental illnesses—such as grieving the death of a loved one—and no doubt they have a pill and other “therapies” ready and waiting for anyone who falls into their ever-widening net.

Are we all nuts? Or is it the psychiatric industry?

A kid has a temper tantrum? Someone over-dramatizes? Overeats only once a week? Forgets where he parked the car? Worries about the inevitable pain of his terminal cancer? Refuses to accept a choice between two rigid genders?

Welcome to “disruptive mood dysregulation disorder,” “histrionic personality disorder,” “binge eating disorder,” “mild neurocognitive disorder,” “somatic symptom disorder,” and “gender identity disorder dysphoria,” respectively.

There’s a pill for that. Or confinement.


Pychiatrists tend to be well-paid. Big Pharma does all right, too. Of course, correlation is not causation, but…

This is a keeper, no pun intended:

Dr. Jeffrey Lieberman, the psychiatry association’s incoming president, said challenging the handbook’s credibility “is completely unwarranted.” The book establishes diagnoses “so patients can receive the best care,” he said, adding that it takes into account the most up-to-date scientific knowledge.

Wait a sec. How do people suddenly become “patients?”

Well, here’s one way. In the US, the state (police), school authorities and psychiatrists have proven to be a lethal institutional folie à trois. Kids as young as 5 have been arrested and hauled off, either to jail or a mental institution. The US is a carceral society: by fetishizing liberty, it inevitably fetishizes its opposite as well. But this appalling tome is regarded as authoritative around the world. It is an alibi for confining almost anyone.

Anyone remember the bad old days of the USSR, when dissent was diagnosed as “slow schizophrenia?” Well, they’re still doing it in Mother Russia:

On March 23, [2006,] police and emergency medical personnel stormed Marina Trutko’s home, breaking down her apartment door and quickly subduing her with an injection of haloperidol, a powerful tranquilizer. One policeman put her 78-year-old mother, Valentina, in a storage closet while Trutko, 42, was carried out to a waiting ambulance. It took her to the nearby Psychiatric Hospital No. 14.

The former nuclear scientist, a vocal activist and public defender for several years in this city 70 miles north of Moscow, spent the next six weeks undergoing a daily regimen of injections and drugs to treat what was diagnosed as a “paranoid personality disorder.”

“She is also very rude,” psychiatrists noted in her case file.

The uses of psychiatry may not be as overtly political in North America, but as the US experience shows, they are just as crass. The aim in both cases is to cultivate a sterile conformity, and to enforce a passive obeisance to authority. A docile population is so much more convenient for the rulers.

By the way, questioning authority with any degree of angry passion has a name, too: “Oppositional Defiant Disorder.” I’m amazed the likes of our Minister of Torture and Surveillance, Vic Toews, hasn’t latched onto this dodge. Please don’t alert him, or a lot of us could be in big trouble.

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This page contains a single entry by Dr. Dawg published on May 16, 2013 5:48 PM.

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