The Gross National Debt

Monday, December 3, 2012

Who you calling crazy?

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If you have a cold, a quick check can reveal the specific virus attempting to take over your body. This is empirical science. The rhinovirus can be seen, observed etc etc etc.

Rhinovirus is from the ancient Latin rhino meaning to jab the middle of your face into places it does not belong and virus meaning to feel downright icky. And so the word rhinovirus describes the sensation of reviewing a member of Congress' expense account or your body being invaded by a virus that makes your eyes water, nose run and stomach rebel. Not much difference in the two.

This is empirical. The budget and the virus can both be studied under lab conditions with plenty of safeguards to prevent contamination to prevent getting infected and turning into an extra on The Walking Dead.

Empirical. It can be studied, duplicated, seen, manipulated. It exists in a hard form and has been proven over and over and over again.
D&D or DSM...

Enter now the DSM, and no, I don't mean something that involves geeks sitting around a table rolling dice and pretending. Except I do. DSM is the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, a publication of the American Psychiatric Association. Shrinks, in other words.

DSM first came out in 1952. DSM-V (five) has just come out. If thought I was kidding about geeks sitting around a table and rolling dice, think again. While I admit to not being a psychiatrist, I know more about the field than the average lay person. I also know a WHOLE lot more about what goes on at the conferences than pretty much 99 percent of the world. The fraction who does know more are the shrinks, their assistants and medical field reporters.

DSM-V has some changes. According to some in the shrink field, DSM-V went too far. Others say not far enough.
Psychiatry comes to the masses.

According to one member of the APA’s Board of Trustees, “the evidence just wasn’t there" reports John Cloud in the abovelinked article. Evidence? EVIDENCE?

If you call suppositions and votes in which a majority rules to be "evidence," then DSM is as full of evidence as a constipated elephant is full of fecal material. Yes. That's how DSM is modified. Get enough votes, it's changed. Bugger reality. Grab some rose-colored glasses and look again.

I give you this example: from Cloud's story: Continuing the expansion of diagnostic criteria, the new DSM will also include a controversial new diagnosis called “disruptive mood dysregulation disorder (DMDD),” a label that can be attached to “children who exhibit persistent irritability and frequent episodes of behavior outbursts three or more times a week for more than a year.”

ahem.

Shrinkatry cuts the three middle steps
Anyone other than me have experience raising a 2-year-old? Teenagers? Apparently none of the shrinks do.

Thanks to this kind of pseudo-science we have a huge number of kids in school today on Ritalin, which is a whole 'nother blog.

Anyway, I am in favor of science that can change and as new information comes about, updates to meet the available facts. I am not in favor of science which operates like Congress with majority rule. Majority rule is what gave the world the idea the earth is the center of the universe, a flat earth,and whole bunch of other "approved science" which flies directly in the face of provable facts. While there is probably some good in DSM, the parts which are nothing more than bad witch doctors forcing emetics on their rational colleagues.

DSM ain't a tater. You can't cut the bad part out and cook the rest for supper. If part of the DSM is questionable, that puts the entire book into question as far as I'm concerned

I also believe there are some good psychiatrists out there, albeit I have never met one.

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