The Thursday Thesis - 04/05/2017
“Beware of The Men in White Coats”
It’s a funny thing about psychopaths – they all think that they are completely normal and totally sane.
They would think that, though, wouldn’t they?
Oddly, doctors seem to think that they are completely normal and totally sane, too.
The American Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) currently lists over 450 mental illnesses or conditions.
Back in its first edition (DSM-1, published in 1952) there were only 106 listed disorders.
Unbelievably, one of the mental disorders listed was male homosexuality – which seems shocking these days. More surprising is that it took the American Mental Health industry until 1974 to remove that particular listing.
The Land of the Free?
Our American friends have been busy inventing labels and diagnoses for everything and everybody, so there’s no need for anyone to feel left out.
If you can’t sleep or you get jumpy after drinking too much coffee, there are serious-sounding syndromes and disorders available for you (Caffeine-induced anxiety disorder and Caffeine-induced sleep disorder, respectively).
If – like me – you prefer to sleep at a time of your own choosing, rather than what is considered “normal”, you can be given a diagnosis of a mental illness known as Circadian Rhythm Sleep Disorder.
Congratulations - here, have a badge!
The thing is that mental health is highly subjective and diagnosis is often unreliable because there are no hard, clinical tests for mental illness.
So, if it’s not clinical testing and hard data, what’s driving the invention of these new conditions – other than the egos of “mental health professionals” handing out spurious diagnoses to anyone foolish enough to pass through their doors?
Are we getting more and more mentally ill, or are our doctors?
From my point of view I see a business model building a market.
Yes, I’m cynical about the global mental health business, its quack practitioners, and the massive pharmaceutical industry whose interests alone are served by making everybody eligible for their products.
Furthermore, I believe that we are being conned into powerlessness: gulled and deceived into believing that the answer lies in handing over responsibility for how we think and how we live to The Men (and Women) in White Coats.
I don’t believe that we need to be “treated”, medicated, cured, homogenised and normalised.
This is the same profession that has “treated” schizophrenia in countless thousands of people by imprisonment, which they call “sectioning”, since it sounds so much nicer.
This is the same profession that forcibly administers drugs to non-consenting patients – though “victims” seems more a accurate name for those unfortunate enough to be in their care.
This is the same profession that applied powerful electric shocks to the brains of their terrified victims.
It sounds exactly like torture, because it is torture.
And that’s what those bastards did to my mother.
And this is the same profession that thinks giving Ritalin to your kid is a good idea.
Perhaps I should tone-down my optimism a notch or two, just in case there’s a new syndrome that’s been invented for unacceptably happy people?
© Neil Cowmeadow 2017
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The Thursday Thesis is a fun way to share ideas and experiences from life as a Guitar Teacher, Certified NLP Practitioner and Life-Coach, Retailer, Composer, Player, Technician, Accountant, Scientist and Writer... and as the father of a wonderful son.
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