Revision to the Bible of Psychiatry Could Introduce New Mental Disorders
What happens when all the producers in a particular sector team up with all of their retail distributors to ponder new ways to grow the business for the greater good of all? Predictably, they think of all kinds of creative new products and ways to make them available to us. But what happens when the producers are making stuff that we really think we need and the retail channels are people we trust with our lives? A wasteland of silly new products and services designed to scare money out of our wallets. Alas, such is the case with the pharmaceutical industry and the psychological profession and their once-a-decade update to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
Thought you were pretty normal? Well adjusted even? Happy on your good days? Lucid even on your bad? Sorry.
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) is a compilation of the maladies of the mind. It is a controversial tome and gets more so every decade. Every ten years, as drug companies reach saturation on their existing line of prescription medications and doctors realize that insurance companies are further infringing on their margins, both groups team up to grow the market by identifying wacky new crap to fix stuff that we all thought was normal human behavior. What is normal today will undoubtedly be neurotic in ten years and psychotic in twenty.
Toddler a little cranky? Better start worrying about "temper dysregulation with dysphoria." Don't worry, ten years of therapy and a lifetime of costly prescription drugs will put a stop to that.
Teenager behaving strangely? Keep a watchful eye out for "psychosis risk syndrome." I think I've got one of those. Maybe you do to. Actually, I used to BE one. I've been a crazy bastard all my life and I didn't even know it! If only they had a pill for that in 1978.
Are you a man who likes sex? A lot? That's "hypersexual disorder." Too bad the pills they have for that make the problem worse! Sorta ironic for those suckers out there who thought those pills were making things better.
Fortunately there are those in the medical community who are only too happy to declare the emperor sans clothes. This happens every time the DSM gets updated - a large body of practitioners grumbles about how far the professional is overreaching, then settles back and starts collecting the money. Principles are good, to a point.
As I woke up this morning I realized that my whole day was a succession of candidates for the next release of the DSM. We're having a blizzard and I have to shovel my car out and think about getting to work. Instant anxiety. Then I remembered that the Federal government is closed so I'm not going anywhere. Instant satisfaction. Then the power went out. My nerves jangled as the heat went off and the hot water started to cool. An hour later the power came on. I was happier when the power came on then I was before it went off! Went to log into my email at work remotely and instantly got nervous because if you screw up your password more than twice you're locked out. Got it right on the first try! Then it hit me! I suffer from "normal-life-patterns manic depressive disorder!" Good news is that, on balance, I seem to be getting happier every time I face a relapse.
I figured I would try to get in on the action here and document some of the other formerly normal behaviors that I've observed that could now be considered neurotic at least.
Cuddlemania - The manic behavior exhibited by otherwise rational and level-headed people when any type of Hello Kitty merchandise makes an appearance. It is a fascination bordering on fetishism. The pharmaceutical industry is unlikely to invest in a drug for the condition, so I'm hard at work on a new therapy. I thinking about producing a film of Hello Kitty's little-known dark side.
OMG! Stop the madness!!!!
Star Syndrome - The compulsive desire to be in the shadow of South Mountain under the star on the shore of the river with the promise of Billy's grits in the morning and infinite possibility stretching before you both.