I was pointed to this article, and truth be told, I am quite offended. Obviously all of us would say that the answer to this question is a very loud NO, but the "experts" have a different opinion:

❝According to the newest addition of the DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders), it certainly is. The manual identifies a new mental illness called “oppositional defiant disorder” or ODD. Defined as an “ongoing pattern of disobedient, hostile and defiant behavior,” symptoms include questioning authority, negativity, defiance, argumentativeness, and being easily annoyed.

The DSM-IV is the manual used by psychiatrists to diagnose mental illnesses and, with each new edition, there are scores of new mental illnesses. Are we becoming sicker? Is it getting harder to be mentally healthy? Authors of the DSM-IV say that it’s because they’re better able to identify these illnesses today. Critics charge that it’s because they have too much time on their hands.

New mental illnesses identified by the DSM-IV include arrogance, narcissism, above-average creativity, cynicism, and antisocial behavior. In the past, these were called “personality traits,” but now they’re diseases.❞

So, putting aside the fact that this recent inclusion on the DSM-IV, tacitly makes us all free thinkers, by definition, mentally ill, how is this going to affect us legally?

Is it going to be a criteria on a trial? What about kids custody and stuff like that?

I find this really unfair, religious people are downright schizophrenic, but they have god(s), then they are alright?

This is outrageous. Please somebody tell me that this is a joke. *facepalm*

Views: 3055

Comment by Erock68la on July 31, 2014 at 11:46pm
Wow! This is proof that a little knowledge is dangerous. This whole discussion is so full of misconceptions, misunderstandings, and flat-out mistakes I don't even know where to begin.

Oppositional Defiant Disorder is for small children who openly defy grown-ups in authority, e. g. telling a teacher to fuck off, telling a cop I don't have to do what you say. It is intended to identify early warning signs of possible future problem behaviors, discover the cause, and to treat the behaviors before they develop into something worse.

Antisocial is another word for sociopath. It does NOT mean unsociable or outside the normal social behaviors or attitude. It means a complete lack of empathy for other living things. Antisocials torture animals, set fires, rob, and murder, and they represent the vast majority of prison inmates in this country.

A person CANNOT be placed in a mental institution against their will for "free thinking" or unusual thoughts. The criteria for involuntary hospitalization are clear: 1) the person has expressed suicidal thoughts with a PLAN and means and INTENT to follow through, or 2) the person has expressed a plan and intent to cause harm to an identifiable victim, or 3) the person is "gravely disabled". #3 does have some grey area but it is supposed to mean, for example, the person is hallucinating so badly they are in danger of walking into traffic or off a cliff.

Idiots who perpetuate this crap without any idea what the hell they are talking about are the reason a stigma still exists and people are afraid to seek help for very common treatable mental problems like depression, anxiety, complicated grief, etc.
Comment by Unseen on August 1, 2014 at 3:58am

Belle, read Erock68la's post.

Comment by Logicallunatic on August 1, 2014 at 6:01am

Half of psychology is dubious to begin with. It's unscientific by nature. Seems as if they invent new disorders to justify more government money for research etc.

Comment by Strega on August 1, 2014 at 8:51am
Neat! If atheists have a mental disorder, doesn't that mean they can get out of jury service if selected?

In the words of Eric Idle, always look on the bright side of life!
Comment by Erock68la on August 1, 2014 at 10:09pm

Psychology may be considered a soft science by some, but it is science. Psychological studies rigorously follow the scientific method. Unfortunately, studies that hope to increase understanding of the human mind must be done on human beings. The ethical concerns involved make it very difficult to definitively study cause and effect. You can't just put people in a room and do things to them to see what will happen. And it is very difficult to control all the variables, like childhood experiences or how much sleep they got the night before. Add to that the fact that human mental experiences are completely subjective and impossible to objectively quantify, and advances in understanding come slowly. Which means...

They don't "invent" new disorders. They use statistical analyses of commonly reported symptoms. If groups of symptoms occur together with a statistically significant frequency, and if the symptoms cause statistically significant impairment in functuoning, they will call it a disorder. More studies = more data = more statistics to analyze = deeper understanding of what's already there. Physicists don't invent new sub-atomic particles; they just discover them, observe them, categorize them by their behaviors, and name them.

Ignorance about mental illness and treatment perpetuates a stigma that causes real harm to real people. One small example: How many military veterans die by suicide each year? How many veterans who have no qualms about seeing a doctor for physical combat injuries would rather eat a bullet than see a shrink for PTSD?
Comment by Tom Sarbeck on August 1, 2014 at 11:00pm

1. This discussion arose from a read of DSM 4. I understand DSM 5 differs in many ways.

2. I tested negative for paranoia. Are people here refusing to be tested?

Comment by Colleen on August 2, 2014 at 2:56am

Okay...Erock said it well...ODD is not just for those who "go against the grain."  The DSM has very specific criteria and technical definitions, looking for patterns of behavior over time.  You can't just read it and go around diagnosing everyone.  The difficult part is that mental illnesses are just extremes of experiences we all have day in and day out.  It's not the experience itself that is aberrant - it's the intensity and pattern over time, and the consequent impairments in global functioning.

Did you all have the cops called on you several times in elementary school for out of control behavior that resulted in adults feeling like their safety was at risk?  No?  Alright, then maybe just maybe you didn't have ODD as a child.

That being said...I would hardly call circular definitions and AB group studies, "hard science."  There are no physical tests for mental disorders, and the definitions/criteria are constantly changing based on funding, societal pressures, and let's face it personal opinions.  Let's all recall that homosexuality was removed from the DSM just a few decades ago.  I'm not saying it's all bad, but it should be approached with a bit more skepticism than a carefully controlled ABAB study that's been replicated and validated over hundreds of years.

Comment by Erock68la on August 2, 2014 at 1:00pm
They have been able to see which areas of the brain are active during different emotional states using functional MRI, there is still gene-mapping, and always new technologies, so I am hopeful that physical tests for mental disorders are just a matter of time.

True, homosexuality was determined to not be a disorder. It was also determined that drilling holes in the head to let out evil spirits didn't help much, and that orgasms are not a cure for women's "hysteria". Progress is slow but to me it seems to be forward. I look forward to the day the DSM recognizes religiosity as delusional.
Comment by Unseen on August 2, 2014 at 1:11pm

@Strega - Neat! If atheists have a mental disorder, doesn't that mean they can get out of jury service if selected?

I think that, while being examined by the prosecution and defense attorneys, I would let slip or, better, make perfectly clear that I'm an atheist, I'd almost certainly be dismissed by one side or the other.

Comment by Strega on August 2, 2014 at 2:30pm
@Unseen - I forget that the attorneys get to sub-select the jury here. When I did jury service in the UK, I found the court officers bring 20 jurors in, and the attorneys can deselect eight, but they don't get to know any personal details about the potential jurors so they can only make visual judgements. Mostly they just take the first 12 in the line.

The elimination of unacceptable jurors is done by the court office, based on personal information given by those jurors on their forms. By the time you get to be one of the 20, you've already been accepted as jury material.


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