These are all subjective, pejorative labels that attempt to describe in medical terms various states of acting or being, visible emotional turmoil or ways of perceiving the world that do not fit into the arbitrary mold of 'normalcy'.Most often what people are seeing here is extreme pain in response to being damaged by abuse, injustice, or perhaps from simply being devalued constantly for seeing the world through different eyes. This is not the result of a 'disease'. It is a perfectly natural response to some intolerable, very real situation.We're not talking about diseases like diabetes or HIV here. Both these disorders can be detected concretely through examination of the blood. Both have been changed from invariably fatal maladies to manageable chronic disorders through advances in medical science.OTOH, a psychiatric 'examination' consists entirely of a series of convoluted questions to which all possible answers are inherently self-incriminating (and you won't be spared by remaining silent, believe me!) with no physical examination or lab study involved. It begins and ends with the subjective interview.And let's also be clear about another thing - pacifying unwanted behaviors or painful emotional/mental phenomena by administering drugs isn't an 'advance in medical science' - it is pacifying unwanted behaviors or painful emotional/mental phenomena by administering drugs. Period. This practice also creates a whole host of damaging physical and mental complications in its own right.The social construct we have collectively made is not gentle to the human soul. Medicalizing these inevitable consequences is only one more way of ensuring that our society once more wriggles off the hook for the harm it causes to so many. Attributing someone's distress to some nebulous and medically unprovable 'mental illness' only serves to obfuscate the reality of injustice and abuse.Words have power. In the case of the (unsubstantiated) term 'mental illness', it gives shrinks the real power to deprive the innocent of their liberty and administer 'treatments' even over their clear objections that in themselves far more often than not prove to be more destructive than helpful.They also can (and often do) use this as a pretext to call on the police and the courts to assist them in this agenda - which also has sometimes tragic consequences.What other area of healthcare does anyone know of that calls on the judiciary or law enforcement in this manner? What other area of healthcare can anyone cite that consistently violates peoples’ civil liberties in the name of a set of alleged medical conditions that haven't even been proved to exist?All this results from the false medicalizing of peoples' experiences and the pejorative, unsubstantiated, bigoted 'diagnoses' that have been concocted to describe these experiences. People fall for this con-job simply because the people speaking these words wear a white smock and have the letters 'MD' after their names.Well, let's be perfectly clear about one thing - no amount of book learning will overcome ignorance about the human condition. 'Only words'? Yeah, right.Most people have never experienced firsthand the sheer hatred and fear these words engender in others. In the old days pejoratives such as 'mad', lunatic' 'deranged' served the same purpose. The words have changed but the negative impact they have on far too many innocent, vulnerable lives is no less.There are many words whose use were once commonplace that are now considered unacceptable in our society because they are blatantly racist, homophobic or misogynist. I long for the day when all words or phrases that describe certain states of mind in similar prejudicial terms have likewise disappeared from our language - this including the entire contents of the DSM.
Submitted by Graeme on