DoubleThink Disorder — a new pathology

An update is appar­ently due of the 1994 edi­tion of the “Dia­gnost­ic and Stat­ist­ic­al Manu­al of Men­tal Dis­orders”, the psy­chi­at­rists’ bible that allows them to tick-box their patients into a dis­order, and then, no doubt, pre­scribe Big Pharma industry drugs or an expens­ive form of ther­apy.  Any­one who has ever watched Adam Curtis’s excel­lent “Cen­tury of Self” will be aware of the patho­lo­gising of soci­ety to the bene­fit of the psy­chi­at­ric pro­fes­sions and far bey­ond.

I am not mak­ing light of ser­i­ous men­tal ill­nesses requir­ing spe­cial­ised and long term treat­ment such as bipolar, schizo­phrenia or chron­ic depres­sion.  These are crip­pling and soul-des­troy­ing con­di­tions and many fam­il­ies, includ­ing my own, have been touched by them.

RitalinBut I am con­cerned by the appalling Pharma-creep that has been going on over the last few dec­ades where, for example, increas­ing num­bers of chil­dren are labeled with ADHD and ladled full of Rital­in (which can also lead to a thriv­ing black mar­ket in the onward sale of said drug). And we are appar­ently about to see ever more divar­ic­at­ing dis­orders added to the shrinks’ bible.  

Kevin_and_PerryAs this recent art­icle in The Inde­pend­ent states, stroppy teens will now have “oppos­i­tion­al defi­ance dis­order”, and adults who think of sex more than every 20 minutes are suf­fer­ing from “hyper­sexu­al dis­order”. (How on earth will this be dia­gnosed — will poten­tial suf­fer­ers have to keep a thought crime diary as they go about their daily lives? Man­age­ment meet­ings could be so much more divert­ing as people break off to write an update every so often — although they might have to pre­tend they’re play­ing buzzword bingo.)   And those suf­fer­ing from shy­ness or loneli­ness will suf­fer from “dys­thy­mia”.  Well, as a clas­si­cist, I’m glad to see that ancient Greek still has a role to play in today’s lex­icon.

I know that such beha­vi­our­al traits can be debil­it­at­ing, but to patho­lo­gise them seems rather extreme — enough to give a per­son a com­plex.….

Ivory_tower2On anoth­er some­what facetious note I was intrigued to see this doing the inter­net rounds recently.  It appeared to sug­gest that hav­ing a robust dis­trust of your gov­ern­ment was also about to be patho­lo­gised as Anti-Gov­ern­ment Pho­bia, which I pre­sume would mean that vast swathes of the world’s pop­u­la­tion were men­tally ill.  How­ever, I think the clue to the legit­im­acy of the piece was in the name of the sup­posed author: Ivor E. Tower MD.….

How­ever, back to the point of this art­icle. This was the para­graph in the Indie report that really got my goat:

More wor­ry­ing, accord­ing to some experts, are attempts to redefine crimes as ill­nesses, such as “para­ph­il­ic coer­cive dis­order”, applied to men engaged in sexu­al rela­tion­ships involving the use of force. They are more com­monly known as rap­ists.”

So it appears that crime will now be explained away as a dis­order.  

LEAP_logoBut, but, but.… the key point LEAP­ing out at me, if you’ll for­give the clumsy link, is that this seems to be in dir­ect, sharp con­trast to how we deal with an immense and ongo­ing prob­lem in the world today: namely the 50 year old failed “war on drugs”.  In this phoney war mil­lions of people across the world have been, and against all expert advice, con­tin­ue to be treated as crim­in­als rather than as patients.

Rather than rehash (sorry) all the well-known art­icles about why this war is such a fail­ure on every con­ceiv­able front, let me just make three key points: pro­hib­i­tion will always fail (as this clas­sic “Yes Min­is­ter” scene depicts), and the reg­u­la­tion and tax­a­tion of recre­ation­al drugs (in the same way as alco­hol and tobacco) would be good for soci­ety and for the eco­nomy; it would decap­it­ate organ­ised crime and, in some cases, the fund­ing of ter­ror­ism; and, most per­tin­ently for the pur­poses of this art­icle, it would make the use and pos­sible abuse of recre­ation­al drugs a health issue rather than a crim­in­al mat­ter.

Many people at some point in their lives exper­i­ment with drugs such as dope, E, coke, or whatever and have fun doing so, just as many like to have a drink to unwind after work.  A small per­cent­age will go on to devel­op med­ic­al prob­lems.  

That is the crux of the argu­ment here. Excess­ive abuse of drugs, both licit and illi­cit, is mani­festly a health issue and yet some people are crim­in­al­ised.  Com­pare and con­trast the pro­posed new shrinks’ bible, where what were formerly deemed to be crimes will now be seen as med­ic­al dis­orders.

Tony_BlairI would call this rank hypo­crisy, but per­haps the shrinks can come up with a more high-brow name?  I pro­pose Soci­et­al Double­Think Dis­order.  

The Bankers’ Bonus being that it would con­veni­ently (psycho)pathologise all our “peace-speak­ing” war-mon­ger­ing politi­cians, “free mar­ket” mono­pol­ist­ic big busi­nesses, and “pub­licly owned but private profit” banks.

Praise the Gov­ern­ment and pass the Rital­in.…

TrebleThink: the new American hypocrisy

George Orwell is just so old-world, retro and quaintly Brit­ish.  Gone are the days of simple Double­Think.  The Amer­ic­ans inev­it­ably had to super­size the concept.

Sec­ret­ary of State Hil­lary Clin­ton was last week speak­ing at the George Wash­ing­ton Uni­ver­sity about polit­ic­al act­iv­ism and free­dom of expres­sion:


 

Now we appear to have entered the realm of Treb­le­Think.

McGovern_injuries1 McGovern_injuries2At the meet­ing Ray McGov­ern, army vet­er­an, long-term CIA ana­lyst, and now inter­na­tion­ally-renowned peace act­iv­ist chose to exer­cise his right to free­dom of expres­sion by stand­ing up and silently turn­ing his back on Clin­ton dur­ing her speech.

For his pains 71-year-old McGov­ern sus­tained pain­fully injur­ies while being for­cibly removed by name­less “secur­ity per­son­nel”, before end­ing up in a tiny police cell.  On his even­tu­al release he had to take a taxi to hos­pit­al for treat­ment.

Hil­lary Clin­ton did not even stumble over her words dur­ing McGovern’s arrest.

The start­ling hypo­crisy of Clinton’s speech is clear on three dif­fer­ent fronts:

1) She is defend­ing the rights of act­iv­ists in the Middle East to speak out against cor­rupt gov­ern­ments, while ignor­ing the bru­tal­isa­tion of a fel­low cit­izen for silently using those very rights in Amer­ica.

2) She’s doing so while speak­ing out about the vital role of inter­net freedoms — indeed stand­ing behind a podi­um with the words “Inter­net Free­dom” writ­ten on it — in inform­ing cit­izens and spread­ing demo­cracy.  Yet at the same time a secretly-con­vened US Grand Jury is frantic­ally scrab­bling around for any pre­text what­so­ever to pro­sec­ute Juli­an Assange, the founder of Wikileaks.  And yet anoth­er is invest­ig­at­ing attacks against the col­lab­or­at­ing US cor­por­a­tions that pulled the plug on Wikileaks sup­port last year.  Iron­ic­ally, on the same day as Clinton’s speech, Twit­ter was in court fight­ing US gov­ern­ment attempts to obtain per­son­al inform­a­tion of alleged Wikileaks sup­port­ers.  No doubt Clin­ton would con­demn the former Egyp­tian gov­ern­ment if it had done the same thing.

3) And let’s not for­get that the USA is host­ing the UNESCO World Press Free­dom Day this year too.  This was announced on the very day Juli­an Assange was arres­ted in the UK.

The hypo­crisy is flag­rant. As I said, wel­come to the world of Treb­le­Think.  You read it here first.…