Monday, December 03, 2012

1104 It's In the Book

1104  It’s In the Book

Okay, all you foul tempered, tantrum throwing maniacs, you’re about to go legit.  Your loutish destructive behavior and lack of self control are about to be labeled a “condition” and now you can throw fits and blame it all on your mental disorder.   Your health insurance will pay for your treatment, and your friends will look at you with sympathy and understanding, instead of branding you a body part that handles excreta and running and hiding or cowering in fear whenever they encounter you.

It’s in the book.

“The Book” is “The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.” It is the bible of psychiatry.  Many shrinks and all health insurance companies are fundamentalists.

That means if it’s in the book, it’s legit. If it’s not, it’s not.

A new revision is due out soon and there are two Big Things that have changed.  First, and least:  Asperger’s Syndrome will be incorporated into the ever expanding universe of Autism.  Okay.  Fine.

The second is the emergence of a new disorder, DMDD, which stands for Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder.  In ordinary terms, “you have a hot temper and you can’t control it.”

This won’t be official until the Big Revision lands on the desks of the shrinks and the executives to whom you and the rest of society have ceded your medical decisions.  That’ll happen in May.

And you can bet it will happen simultaneously with the introduction of some drug to fix the problem.

“Have DMDD?  Ask your doctor whether Affabillify is right for you.”  Then wait for the list of side effects, which ends: “... some cases resulting in death,” followed by the picture of a huge slob in a tattered pullover sweater with a toothless smile and a three-day beard and who is holding a pipe wrench in one hand and a daisy in the other who says  “Affabillify fixed me up good.  Now I’m a regular human being again.”

All of a sudden it will be cool to be an infant throwing a fit on an airplane or a young kid throwing a tantrum in class or a parent throwing a tantrum on the little league field or a road rager pointing a 9mm Glock at a little old lady because she was going 55 in a 55 zone but in the fast lane.

Or the commuter who takes a swing at the conductor of a train that’s 15 minutes late.  Or the boss who yells all the time.  Or the worker who brings a pickax or an AK-47 to work one day and destroys the office or mows down a dozen colleagues.

They’re not evil.  They’re just sick.

Think of how different history might be if only we had known about all those murderers who just had Mood Dysregulation.  Hitler.  Stalin.  Leona Helmsley.  

Shrapnel:

--Shrink encyclopedias have nicknames and this one’s no exception.  It will be called DSM-5.  Most of us will wait for the paperback or Kindle edition.

I’m Wes Richards My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
Please address comments to wesrichards@gmail.com
© WJR 2012

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