Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Snake Phobias, Moodiness and a Battle in Psychiatry
NY Times ^ | June 14, 2005 | BENEDICT CAREY

Posted on 06/13/2005 7:11:09 PM PDT by neverdem

A college student becomes so compulsive about cleaning his dorm room that his grades begin to slip. An executive living in New York has a mortal fear of snakes but lives in Manhattan and rarely goes outside the city where he might encounter one. A computer technician, deeply anxious around strangers, avoids social and company gatherings and is passed over for promotion.

Are these people mentally ill?

In a report released last week, researchers estimated that more than half of Americans would develop mental disorders in their lives, raising questions about where mental health ends and illness begins.

In fact, psychiatrists have no good answer, and the boundary between mental illness and normal mental struggle has become a battle line dividing the profession into two viscerally opposed camps.

On one side are doctors who say that the definition of mental illness should be broad enough to include mild conditions, which can make people miserable and often lead to more severe problems later.

On the other are experts who say that the current definitions should be tightened to ensure that limited resources go to those who need them the most and to preserve the profession's credibility with a public that often scoffs at claims that large numbers of Americans have mental disorders.

The question is not just philosophical: where psychiatrists draw the line may determine not only the willingness of insurers to pay for services, but the future of research on moderate and mild mental disorders. Directly and indirectly, it will also shape the decisions of millions of people who agonize over whether they or their loved ones are in need of help, merely eccentric or dealing with ordinary life struggles.

"This argument is heating up right now," said Dr. Darrel Regier, director of research at the American Psychiatric Association, "because..."

(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: depression; disorders; mentaldisorders; mentalhealth; psychiatrists; psychiatry

1 posted on 06/13/2005 7:11:09 PM PDT by neverdem
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: neverdem

This stuff makes me crazy!


2 posted on 06/13/2005 7:13:17 PM PDT by SanDiegoRepublican
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: neverdem

Watching the gradual increase in the number of classifications of mental disease is driving me nuts.


3 posted on 06/13/2005 7:14:52 PM PDT by LibertarianInExile (<-- sick of faux-conservatives who want federal government intervention for 'conservative things.')
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SanDiegoRepublican

Great minds think alike.


4 posted on 06/13/2005 7:15:31 PM PDT by LibertarianInExile (<-- sick of faux-conservatives who want federal government intervention for 'conservative things.')
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: LibertarianInExile

Haa haa haa haa haa!!! Hee hee hee hee heeeee!!! I am Napoleon, and YOU can't do anything about it!!!!


5 posted on 06/13/2005 7:16:53 PM PDT by ReadyNow
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: neverdem

6 posted on 06/13/2005 7:17:33 PM PDT by LibWhacker
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: LibertarianInExile

Yes they do.


7 posted on 06/13/2005 7:20:10 PM PDT by SanDiegoRepublican
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: El Gato; JudyB1938; Ernest_at_the_Beach; Robert A. Cook, PE; lepton; LadyDoc; jb6; tiamat; PGalt; ..

FReepmail me if you want on or off my health and science ping list.


8 posted on 06/13/2005 7:26:00 PM PDT by neverdem (May you be in heaven a half hour before the devil knows that you're dead.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Comment #9 Removed by Moderator

To: ReadyNow

"Haa haa haa haa haa!!! Hee hee hee hee heeeee!!! I am Napoleon, and YOU can't do anything about it!!!!"

Not true. I can try to get a federal grant to study and 'treat' you. That is, after all the point of all this. You declare you're mentally ill, you get some sort of disability determination, and you get free money from the gummint. To quote the learned Sally Brown, "All I want is what I have coming to me. All I want is my fair share."


10 posted on 06/13/2005 7:33:33 PM PDT by LibertarianInExile (<-- sick of faux-conservatives who want federal government intervention for 'conservative things.')
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: LibWhacker

I love Stupid Pet Tricks...


11 posted on 06/13/2005 7:34:32 PM PDT by wizardoz
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: neverdem
Did someone mention mental illness?


12 posted on 06/13/2005 7:36:13 PM PDT by SIDENET ("You knew the job was dangerous when you took it, Fred.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: neverdem

Stochastically® speaking, those look like no substantial changes over the last two decades.


13 posted on 06/13/2005 8:17:15 PM PDT by Doctor Stochastic (Vegetabilisch = chaotisch is der Charakter der Modernen. - Friedrich Schlegel)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SIDENET

I was going to make a joke about this, but how can I top Howard Dean?


14 posted on 06/13/2005 8:18:17 PM PDT by noiseman (The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: neverdem
Speaking of fear of snakes, we have some awfully big timber rattlesnakes in these parts. Fortunately, I have some strong medicine that I take whenever I wander out into their habitat. No more fear!
15 posted on 06/13/2005 8:27:21 PM PDT by TXnMA (ATTN, ACLU & NAACP: There's no constitutionally protected right to NOT be offended -- Shove It!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: neverdem

I trust shrinks less then I trust lawyers.

If you see a shrink at one end of the hall and a lawyer at the other end of the hall, run toward the lawyer.

On the other hand, if the lawyer and shrink have teemed up on you and there is an iron maiden nearby, run into the iron maiden and shut the door firmly.

If there is no iron maiden around, act as crazy as possible. Shrinks and lawyers working together can only really victimize sane people, if they think you're actually crazy, there's a chance they'll leave you be.


16 posted on 06/13/2005 8:50:29 PM PDT by Duke Nukum (Fiery the Angels rose & as they rose deep thunder roll'd around their shores)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: neverdem; All
They're Coming To Take Me Away! Ha Ha J

17 posted on 06/13/2005 9:19:08 PM PDT by Fiddlstix (This Tagline for sale. (Presented by TagLines R US))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ReadyNow
Haa haa haa haa haa!!! Hee hee hee hee heeeee!!! I am Napoleon, and YOU can't do anything about it!!!!

Oh yeah? Well my dog just told me that my real name is Xorq and I am the supreme ruler of the Andromeda galaxy! So take that, little earthling. Now where is my medicine? Oops, the dog ate it.

18 posted on 06/13/2005 10:22:53 PM PDT by Wilhelm Tell
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: neverdem
Everyone's crazy but thee and me...and occasionally I wonder about thee...

"Mental illness" is largely a matter of who's doing the defining. During the heyday of Communism anyone who didn't toe the Party line could easily find himself in a "mental health hospital." The dominant group usually has the power of confinement over any anti-establishment figure who crosses normative boundaries.

Certainly there are genuine psychotics and neurotics who pose hazards to themselves and others. That's real mental illness. But outfits like the American Pyschological Association have entered the field of politics and pose a huge danger, redefining mental illness along politically correct lines; as do the type of social workers who brought us terrifying travesties such as the McMartin Preschool disaster. This is very scary stuff.

19 posted on 06/13/2005 10:33:32 PM PDT by Bernard Marx (Don't make the mistake of interpreting my Civility as Servility)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: neverdem

Thanks for the ping. Interesting topic.


20 posted on 06/14/2005 5:22:02 AM PDT by PGalt
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Wilhelm Tell
Ah Hah ! The evil Xorq...

I have been trying to track you through the interstellar galaxies for the past millenia. I have gone forward and back in time for ages and now you are here !

You gave me the slip near Titan back in the Year 1814 BLRH (Before L.Ron Hubbard to you silly earthlings out there...), but I knew I'd track you down some millenia. Who would have thought I would have found you on the world famous Free Republic in it's first years of it's centuries-long lifespan ?

Ah well. LRH works in mysterious ways doesn't he ?

P.S. I picked up one of these vintage Ipods things these earthlings listen to and downlaoded that Midnight Oil Track..."L.Ron Hubbard's going to save your life. Superboy takes a plutonium wife." Not bad lyrics for a bald earthling songwriter.

21 posted on 06/14/2005 5:37:02 AM PDT by Red Sea Swimmer (Tisha5765Bav)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: Bernard Marx
Read "Toxic Psychiatry" by Peter Breggin. Very interesting and informative.
22 posted on 06/14/2005 5:39:06 AM PDT by Red Sea Swimmer (Tisha5765Bav)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: Red Sea Swimmer
Thanks for the suggestion. I'll add it to my very long list of essential reading. The title alone tells me the author's on the right track.

I also want to read Christina Hoff Sommers's new book (with Sally Satel): "One Nation Under Therapy: How the Helping Culture is Eroding Self-Reliance."

23 posted on 06/14/2005 7:40:55 AM PDT by Bernard Marx (Don't make the mistake of interpreting my Civility as Servility)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: neverdem
raising questions about where mental health ends and illness begins.

Does the fact that I try to "ping" and "zot" people in real life mean that I've crossed that line?

24 posted on 06/14/2005 7:43:03 AM PDT by hispanarepublicana (I was Lucy Ramirez when being Lucy Ramirez wasn't cool.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson