Posted by prideinmadness
I am a part of the psychiatrized generation of children and youth. It wasn’t too long ago when children and youth were just being “weird”. You had to be pretty messed up to be diagnosed. Now, you just need to be sad one day too long, a little to loud when you’re angry, say something “outlandish”. We’re expected to bounce back from challenges but no one has ever taught us how so we do the best we can and generally adults do not like what we discover, so they label us.
I know some “weird” adults; I’m dating one. I firmly believe, and many have agreed, that if they were born now they most likely would have been psychiatrized. If I had been born earlier then I was possibly I wouldn’t have been labelled the way I have.
Posted by prideinmadness
It is a very observable fact that the DSM is growing, not shrinking BUT “disorders” have been removed or never added. It’s by looking at these “disorders” that I feel is key to seeing the role social expectations, morals and beliefs play in psychiatric disorders (not for all but for a good chunk probably).
The following used to be “disorders” before the DSM was even an idea. They are based on race and slavery.
Drapetomania (“Runaway Slave Syndrome”), 1851: Something must be wrong with a slave to want to runaway from their amazing white master right? This illness was believed to be caused when a master became too familiar with his slaves, maybe treating them as equals. American doctor, Samuel Cartwright, suggested that whipping be used as a preventative measure. He of course used the Bible to provide his rational for this “illness” saying that slaves had to follow their master.
Dysaethesia Aethiopica, 1851: Another brilliantly racist diagnosis by Samuel Cartwright. This “illness” was the theory for what caused “laziness” in black slaves but more prominent among freed Negros. Cartwright believed a cure for this “illness” was to have a white person care for them and also whipping which would make the black individual grateful for the power the white man has over him.
The most famous to be removed!
Homosexuality, 1973: Before we had an understanding and acceptance of human sexuality to be romantically and sexually attracted to someone of the same-sex had to be a brain disease!? After an amazing fight by gay rights activists homosexuality was removed from the DSM and is not considered a mental disorder here in the Western World but apart of the human experience. Unfortunately in other countries this is not the case and LGBT individuals are facing severe sometimes deadly form of discrimination and oppression.
For the most part we live in a world where people are accepted for their race and sexual orientation. Before we had this understanding these individuals were seen as ill because they were behaving in a way that made no sense and didn’t fit with the norms society had to uphold. Once we drop these made up norms then maybe more diagnoses can be seen as legitimate human behaviour and not as an illness.
Here’s the most recent controversial illness that is most likely going to be removed from the DSM 5.
Asperger’s Syndrome: Once a distinct form of autism the new DSM is going to remove it as its own stand-alone diagnosis and shove it in an umbrella diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder. This is of course horribly upsetting to all of those individuals with aspergers! Advocates are saying that a single diagnosis will not capture the differences between the spectrum disorders and that removing it may result in misdiagnosis.
Clearly sometimes removing an “illness” isn’t always the best thing because at times it might just need to be there. It is important that we, as the people who have these labels put on us, be critical about what is involved in the DSM. The DSM 5 is already taking a beating and these books should continue to be ripped apart so we can make sure that regular human behaviour and emotion is not being condemned and that those who need the help can get it by receiving the correct diagnosis .