The Real Debate Is Raging In The Peanut Gallery

Sometimes comments can be more informative than the articles producing such responses. Take, for instance, the comments on this article on the controversy concerning a few of the more dubious diagnoses projected for the upcoming (2013) DSM-V, Mental health experts ask: Will anyone be normal?

The first comment, from itzajob, goes straight to the point.

More diagnoses equals more customers, er, patients

Mental health treatment is a business. The primary mental health treatment utilized today is drug maintenance. The mental health treatment business then is connected to the drug manufacturing business. Both of these businesses require more and more patient consumers for employment, profit, and prestige, not to mention, growth. Were the pool of potential patients to dwindle (something it is in no danger of doing at present), these businesses would lose in employment, profit, and prestige.

Mental health goals as a business run counter to the more health conscious and fiscially sound goals of preventing psychiatric disability and recovering people from psychiatric disability.

I am a college student. I have just finished my 3rd psychiatry course. This is NO JOKE! My last instructor is a Dr. She Warned the class that because of the insurance, she has to assign a mental disorder to everybody she treats; other-wise the insurance will not pay her for the therapy session.

Thus begins the comment offered by Busterboy.

I spoke too soon apparently. We’re talking mental health treatment business, drug manufacturing business, and health insurance company business. If you think these companies are interested in maintaining a person’s well being, I think you need to delve much deeper into the facts of the matter. These companies profit on “sickness”, and therefore, complete recovery for patients on a large scale would spell financial ruin for them.

Most people just need to grow up. Everybody wants to have an excuse these days. Our society is a lame one. Most ‘mentally’ ill people I’ve met or dealt with are just insecure people who need reassurance and a pat on the back. Try to figure out who you are and deal with it.

Habakak’s sentiments parallel my own.

scary-scary stuff.
if you ask people who have used drugs for a period of time and are still on them they will tend to say they needed them..then talk to the people who got off the drugs and they’ll advise you not to start in the first place. don’t people get sad, lonely, angry anymore? i wonder if people really achieve 24/7 happiness. drugs are dangerous and we have yet to see the LONG TERM effects

So says theonlywashup.

Right. Now that sadness, lonliness, and anger are diseases, you better watch yourself, and don’t get paranoid either.

The simple act of getting assistance to get over a rough patch in life could make one uninsurable and unemployable.

From the commentary made by CalGal this nugget comes.

You get the picture, but that’s Okay. The psychiatric disability field is growing by leaps and bounds. Now if only our government can manage to buy out a few more of these “psychiatrically disabled” people to speak for all those other psychiatrically disabled peoples out there, real improvements are being made, are they not!?

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4 Responses

  1. I think that you noticed something very true here.

    However, I think in the long run (50+ years), this will just mean that mental illness will be less stigmatized. It’ll be just like saying, I’m messy, or I don’t eat chicken. It won’t mean much.

    In the short term, I think it can/will have very negative effects.

    • I’m not out to make “illness” acceptable. Nor am I out to excuse the semantic absurdity of the use of the term “mental illness”. Everybody faces difficulties in living at some time or another, and to call the more troubling of these difficulties diseases doesn’t make them diseases. Let someone else sell you “mental illness”. I refuse to contribute to the illusion.

      It would be nice if human achievement over time was a matter of continual progress, and as such a matter of perpetual advancement from a lower state to a higher state. I just don’t think that always happens, if it happens at all. Take the mental health field, for instance, there have been what can be considered advances, lobotomies are no longer being performed, and hospitals no longer hold patients for the entire length of their lifetimes so much. On the other hand, you have more people in treatment than ever before, the numbers of people in treatment is growing, mainly, it seems, as a result of drug manufacturers efforts to sell drugs. This growth of people in mental health treatment has meant more and more people permanently supported on disability payments curtesy of Joe Taxpayer. The drugs people are taking for these conditions rather than “curing” them are credited with distorting their thinking, destroying their health, and taking their lives. Nondrug and less drug approaches to emotional distress are still very much the minority approach at this point in time. Polypharmacy, a proven destructive and unproductive approach to mental health is hardly on the wane, if anything it is rising. Just think, these debilitating drugs have only been around for 60 years or so max. In a nutshell, there are more people in treatment than ever before, and the system is broken, it just doesn’t work. You have all these people in treatment, and they are not expected to recover. Well, if you want people to recover, for starters, you promote recovery rather than sickness, and that just isn’t happening to an extent that would make a real difference. I’m talking recovery that is actually recovery rather than recovery that is simply pretending to be recovery. On top of this situation, given deinstitutionalization, you have your institution without walls. Community “care” can be as harsh, primitive, crude and cruel as any “care” received in the state hospital system. Now we have involuntary outpatient commitment laws, assisted living facilities, and group homes. No, I don’t think things are necessarily getting better at all. If anything, they’re getting worse.

      • I agree that “mental illness” is not a good term. I also agree that things are going to get much worse before they get better.

        However I have always and will always favor a preventitive or non-drug approach. Drugs really should be a last option. I will disclose that I do have 1 perscription, and while it helps, it does not “cure” and I would not want it to. The reason I take it is so that I am stable enough to recover. I do not intend to stay on drugs, and I actively work so that they will no longer be useful to me.

        In situations where more than two drugs are actively used, I call foul however. Drugs should be a stepping stone when they are used, not a crutch or a prison.

        Of course, we could just have very different opinions on the subject. Regardless, you put together very good posts! :)

  2. My favorite is from pocketdare:

    How would the DSM diagnose my cynical inability to take the psychological community seriously?

    That’s easy. Obviously pocketdare is a paranoid schizophrenic.

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