[lit-ideas] Re: Who's Crazy? We Are

  • From: JimKandJulieB@xxxxxxx
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 8 Jun 2005 11:47:06 EDT

Not only that, but you can access the DSM-IV clinical test  on-line.   If you 
take a look at the questions that answering "yes" to  qualifies you for 
insanity, it's scary.  For example, if you believe there  are beings you cannot 
or touch, or something like that (it's been a long  time).  The upshot is if 
you, for example, believe in God, you can be  technically diagnosed as having 
a mental disorder.  I'll try to look for  the link later, but I found it 
highly troubling what was required for  "normalcy".
Julie Krueger
========Original  Message========     Subj: [lit-ideas] Re: Who's Crazy? We 
Are  Date: 6/8/05 2:52:59 A.M. Central Daylight Time  From: _carolkir@xxxxxxxxx 
(mailto:carolkir@xxxxxxxx)   To: _lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx 
(mailto:lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx)   Sent on:    

> Do ask yourself, however, if this study  is valid,

ck: Is the study valid across cultures in different parts of  the world? Of 
course not. It can't be. The study's definitions of mental  illness comes 
from the DSM-IV, which is a (mostly) white US cultural product  of this past 
decade. Those presenting themselves for treatment are included  in such a 
study. The study is skewed towards more women having a mental  illness, for 
instance, simply because women show up at doctors' offices more  than men 
(pregnancy alone accounts for regular MD visits among women).  Moreover, the 
DSM-IV takes a preventative approach by defining, for  instance, "major 
clinical depression" as lasting at least two weeks. Two  weeks? Loads of 
people qualify who wouldn't ordinarily think themselves  candidates for, say, 

What we've got here in the US is a case  of psychiatric jitters, imo. And Big 
Pharma pushing drugs, with antsy  doctors prescribing more of them more often 
than they do in places where  malpractice suits aren't so prevalent.

Now, in other countries and  cultures, if you're depressed you're sad, and 
it's all right. People are  allowed to be sad. But not in the US. Here, at 
this point in history, even a  death in the family isn't supposed to prompt 
more than a day or two of  feeling out of sorts and teary. And do people in 
other countries and  cultures develop OCD, panic disorder, and various forms 
of affective  disorders? Yes, according to other studies done on specific 
ethnic and  national groups in the US, but symptoms won't necessarily meet 
strict DSM-IV  criteria, and therefore can't be "counted." (How does a 
psychiatrist treat  compulsive praying? My guess is that this is one of the 
most prevalent  disorders in the world, only few would admit to it.)

The genehunters  traced mental illnesses to brain chemistry--and yes, 
genes--a while back.  Supposedly, schizophrenia has a "genetic component" 
(twin studies again), as  do panic disorder, OCD, and bipolar disorder. 
Brain-based diseases, not  "emotional." There's no separation. Mental illness 
is biological illness  today. If this is true, why wouldn't we expect to find 
psychiatric disorders  worldwide?

It seems that certain cultures tend towards specific types of  psychiatric 
disorders, however, based on studies within the US. Proportions  may change, 
but people are loony all over--except in Mississippi. There,  insanity is 
properly known as "eccentricity," and is tolerated quite well.  But then, so 
is racism.

No, I don't know what I meant by that crack,  either. Better go back into 
deep lurk  mode.

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