The Medicalization of Rebellion

The long, shameful history of using science to stigmatize dissent

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The parallel with drapetomania is ominous. Children, after all, are in a form of captivity and as they get older may naturally resent having decisions made for them. They may especially dislike being confined most days in stifling government institutions allegedly dedicated to education (“public schools”). Some may rebel, becoming vexatious to the authorities.

Is that really a mental, or brain, disorder? PubMed Health, a website of the National Institutes of Health, discusses treatment and prevention in ways that suggest the answer is no. “The best treatment for the child is to talk with a mental health professional in individual and possibly family therapy. The parents should also learn how to manage the child’s behavior” (emphasis added), it says, adding, “Medications may also be helpful.”

As for prevention, it says, “Be consistent about rules and consequences at home. Don’t make punishments too harsh or inconsistent. Model the right behaviors for your child. Abuse and neglect increase the chances that this condition will occur.”

Strange Illness

It seems strange that an illness can be treated by talk and prevented by good parenting. And how was four arrived at as the minimum number of behaviors before diagnosis? Or six months as the minimum period? Odd, indeed.

While ODD is discussed with reference to children, one suspects it wouldn’t take much to extend it to adults who “have trouble with authority.” Surely one is not cured merely with the passing of adolescence. Adults are increasingly subject to oppressive government decision-making almost as much as children. Soviet psychiatry readily found this disorder in dissidents. Let’s not forget that the alliance of psychiatry and state permits people innocent of any crime to be confined and/or drugged against their will.

So we must ask: Do we have a disease here or rather what Thomas Szasz, the libertarian critic of “the therapeutic state,” calls “the medicalization of everyday life.”  (Szasz’s chief concern is commonly thought to be psychiatry, but in fact it is freedom and self-responsibility. See my “Szasz in One Lesson.” )

It seems that the common denominator of what are called mental (or brain) disorders is behavior that bothers others which those others wish to control. Why assume such behavior is illness? Isn’t this rather a category mistake? Why stigmatize a rebellious child with an ODD “diagnosis”? (Let’s not forget what psychiatry not long ago regarded as illness  and abetted control of.)

Scientism

In our scientific age, many people find scientism, the application of the concepts and techniques of the hard sciences to persons and economic/social phenomena, comforting. In truth it is dehumanization in the name of health.

Szasz, a prolific author who celebrated his 92nd birthday earlier this week, writes,

People do not have to be told that malaria and melanoma are diseases. They know they are. But people have to be told, and are told over and over again, that alcoholism and depression are diseases. Why? Because people know that they are not diseases, that mental illnesses are not “like other illnesses,” that mental hospitals are not like other hospitals, that the business of psychiatry is control and coercion, not care or cure. Accordingly, medicalizers engage in a never-ending task of “educating” people that nondiseases are diseases.

No one believes drapetomania is a disease anymore. Slaves had a good reason to run away. We all have reasons—not diseases—for “running away.”

Sheldon Richman is editor of The Freeman, where this article originally appeared.

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  • SIV||

    In our scientific age, many people find scientism, the application of the concepts and techniques of the hard sciences to persons and economic/social phenomena, comforting.

    Common among both progressives and the adherents of Atheism.

  • Nyarlathotep||

    Note: lowercase "a" for atheism. It's not a religion, despite what you faithists tell yourselves.

  • Jerryskids||

    Q: How do you know if someone is an atheist?

    A: He'll tell you.

    This is also true for vegetarians and people from Texas. It's the proselytizing that annoys me.

    But as someone who has just been diagnosed with drapetomania, dysaethesia aethiopica, and ODD I must say that I am rather concerned that Obamacare has promised to deliver me all the healthcare I need. Everybody is concerned that "all the healthcare you need" means death panels deciding you don't need the healthcare you want, my concern is being given healthcare I don't want.

    You think it's annoying when people tell you libertarians have crazy ideas - just wait until the DSM says they're crazy ideas. They've got a pill for that. And guys who can make sure you take your pills.

  • AlmightyJB||

    I'll tell you if it's pertinent to the conversation, otherwise, I would say that most people I know are not even aware I'm an atheist. As far as proselytizing, I don't see the point, so I don't do it. Other fiends of mine who are atheist are the same way. Maybe your ODD is causing you to deliberately try to annoy me:) jj

  • ||

    Yeah practically no one knows, even most of my family. People like SIV and Jerryskids have this idea in their minds that all atheists are Dawkins and Hitchens, which is just as absurd as assuming all Christians are like Falwell and Dobson. Fact of the matter is that publicly identifying as atheist is much less culturally acceptable than being a Christian especially down here in Texas (that's right I just identified as both, suck my balls). You simply don't know how people are going to react and when it comes to extended family and co-workers it's simply better to keep it to yourself. Of course it's perfectly acceptable to wear a cross around you neck, put a retarded fish on your car or talk about the church activities you did over the weekend. This doesn't bother me but according to the above it's "proselytizing" to simply identify as who you are publicly (who am I kidding, he probably thinks that's only the case when atheist do it).

  • AlmightyJB||

    Couldn't have said it better myself. I'm in the midwest. There is a church within walking distance of everywhere:)

  • Jerryskids||

    Hmmmm... A little sensitive on the topic are we? People tend to get that way when their beliefs are challenged. (Damn, I can see why some people get addicted to trolling. It's so much fun.)

    Actually, I am a devout Jobist. We Jobists believe nobody really wants to hear anybody else's stupid opinions on religion. (But you probably don't want to hear that.)

    And since I am the Pope of the Jobist church, I can decree that the First Article of Faith is: I am pretty sure the eternity I am going to spend in the Afterlife is going to be just like the eternity I spent in the Beforelife.

    The Second Article of Faith is: Anybody that roots for the Cowgirls and Saint Tony can go get fucked in the ass with a rusty pitchfork.

  • Jerryskids||

    As the Pope of The First Holy Church of Jobistry, this was my greatest achievement. I told God to do this.

  • wareagle||

    it's not sensitivity, it's not wanting to hear it over and over. There are folks I have walked away from because damn near everything in their lives involves god's will or praying or something other than them taking responsibility for any single action. Same with the atheists who think their worth is increased by diminishing believers. I'm a simple guy to get along with - believe what you want but not insist that I believe likewise, insult me if I don't, or think I give a shit about what should be private matters in your life.

  • AlmightyJB||

    I'm not sensitive at all. That doesn't mean I'm not going to point out a fallacy when I see one.

  • Jerryskids||

    I was addressing my remark to Apatheist. I made a very old joke about atheists and he took it seriously. Anybody that takes jokes about religion seriously should be excommunicated and burned as a heretic, IMNVHO.

  • ||

    Being a Houstonian I have no love for anything related to Dallas.

    The only one getting butthurt around here is you. It's not surprising that you are projecting again though.

  • Jerryskids||

    I don't even know how to respond to that. I think I just suffered a stroke trying to wrap my mind around it.

  • SIV||

    put a retarded fish on your car

    The retarded ones have legs.

  • ||

    They both are retarded.

  • SIV||

    Both fishes are applied to advertise the owner's religion to others.

  • ||

    Accepting evolution =/= atheism. Atheism =/= religion.

  • ||

    "Everybody is concerned that "all the healthcare you need" means death panels deciding you don't need the healthcare you want, my concern is being given healthcare I don't want."

    A gold star to you. I am stealing that.

  • Jerryskids||

    Feel free to polish it up.

    Keep in mind I am deaf, so I have a seeing-eye monkey that does my writing for me. He isn't always reliable in typing what I tell him to type.

    (Actually, the main problem is that he is a vicious little bastard that often siezes control of my browser. It's not that he likes the adult websites so much, it's the fact that he enjoys an alternative lifestyle as well. Do you have any idea what being forced to watch hours of gay monkey porn does to a man?)

  • R||

    You have a seeing eye monkey for deafness

    That's a bit...odd. Also useless.

    But at least you dress him up in a top hat and monocle, right?

  • Jerryskids||

    Top hat and monocle? You obviously have never watched gay monkey porn.

  • R||

    I do try to avoid simian smut.

    But as a Libertarian, you are morally and ethically required to dress any primate you may own in a top hat and a monocle. THE CODE demands it!

  • Jerryskids||

    But I am afraid I have lost my faith, I am no longer a Libertarian but only a lowly libertarian. But a redneck libertarian - while I believe as a general principle that everybody should leave everybody else alone, I have guns and I can make you leave me alone whether or not you believe the same.

  • l0b0t||

    "Common among... the adherents of Atheism."
    Citation needed.

  • SIV||

  • anon||

    Should rename it to Redundantly Redundant Disorder.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    The Department of Redundancy Department should have a pamphlet on that, anon.

  • anon||

    The child must exhibit 4 out of the 8 signs and symptoms listed below in order to meet the DSM-IV-TR diagnostic threshold for ODD

    Actively refuses to comply with majority's requests or consensus supported rules

    Performs deliberate actions to annoy others

    Angry and resentful of others

    Argues often

    Blames others for his or her own mistakes

    Has few or no friends or has lost friends

    Is causing constant trouble at school

    Spiteful or seeks revenge

    Touchy or easily annoyed

    Generally, these patterns of behavior will lead to problems at school and other social venues.

    Yeah, I'm pretty sure you can get everyone in the world to fit 4/8 of those.

    This is why the DSM is fucking useless.

  • anon||

    Sorry, I meant to say every college student. Fuck.

  • Formerly Almanian||

    Nah, close enough with the orig

  • AlmightyJB||

    Every woman with PMS.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Every non-Democrat.

  • Hell's Librarian||

    Certainly every teenager, ever.

  • ||

    They wouldn't be teenagers if they didn't. If they remain that way, then you end up with:

    I AM THE 99%!!!!

    I'm convinced with longer lifespans in Western culture comes an increasing length of adolescent development with more and more failing to matriculate from it.

  • Hell's Librarian||

    Yeah, I kind of expect to act like that. It's when they're in their 20's (and thus NOT kids, even though they seem to want everyone to treat them that way) and still acting like jerks that it's problematic. I cut a 10-18-year-old a lot of slack on their general obnoxiousness. But the I AM THE 99%!!! crowd, not so much.

    I'm convinced with longer lifespans in Western culture comes an increasing length of adolescent development with more and more failing to matriculate from it.

    I wonder if it also has something to do with parents who may have only one or two children having difficulty in letting them go and make their own mistakes so as to develop into adults. (My thought is, maybe it is easier for parents to let go if they have a brood of kids as opposed to only one or two on which to focus all their parental instincts.) Part of growing up is learning to live with consequences, even if those consequences are painful. You can't do that if you are always protected.

  • ||

    I agree with this 100000%. That number seems large, hmm...

    Anyways, whatever issues I may have with my parents, I am so glad they did not raise me like a typical spoiled child.

  • ||

    (My thought is, maybe it is easier for parents to let go if they have a brood of kids as opposed to only one or two on which to focus all their parental instincts.)

    There probably is some truth to this. Perhaps larger families instill a certain amount of independence in kids earlier since there are more kiddos to compete for the parent's attention and the older siblings are more likely to take on a surrogate parental role. I still think it goes back to the parent proper, whether they downloaded one baby or spawned a football team.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    I wonder if it also has something to do with parents who may have only one or two children having difficulty in letting them go and make their own mistakes so as to develop into adults. (My thought is, maybe it is easier for parents to let go if they have a brood of kids as opposed to only one or two on which to focus all their parental instincts.)

    Thus, in modern-day China we see the rise of "Little Emperor Syndrome". I teach a lot of those 'Little Emperors and Empresses,' and some of them are insufferable.

    Anecdotally, my wife is 11th out of 12 children. Her parents got to the point where their kids were basically disposable, unpaid farmhands.

  • wareagle||

    it's not letting kids go so much, it's wanting to be their kids' buddy and refusing to understand that the young 'uns have to grow into adulthood much as the parents did. Can you imagine the helicopter parent existing in the 70s or 80?

    Too many parents today try to raise their kids in a cocoon that blocks out life and all of its noise and messiness and problems. Previous generations understood that decisions had consequences; this one, of parents that is, seeks to inoculate kids from consequences. I blame the parents of the OWS folks more than the slackers themselves.

  • edcoast||

    Interesting. We only have one, but we are also much older than normal (adopted our girl at nearly 50). Two things give us an advantage there: 1) Our experience and perspective is very different than 20- and 30-something parents ("No, you don't need a Smartphone"); and 2) we're too old and tired to helicopter much.

  • ||

    Yeah, I'm pretty sure you can get everyone in the world to fit 4/8 of those.

    This is pretty much spot on. I really disliked psych clerkship; one of the things I see moreso now in modern psychiatry, as opposed to earlier case studies, is the penchant for psychiatry to assume every deviation from the norm to be a disease process, as per the disease model. (FTR I'm not a psychiatrist)

    Personally, I never really bought into Sigmund Fraud's arrested psychosexual development theories being the root cause of deviant behavior, and this later influenced a wave of pop psychologists encouraging instant gratification behaviour in children, most notably Benjamin Spock (and scores of others). I really believe that man did more damage to parental styles than probably any other quack peddler, and led to the polypharmacia so prevalent in children's psychological and psychiatric TX today. I think this led to a great many of parents having children when they are grossly ill-prepared for parenthood, and the manifestation of helicopter parents, trophy kids, and OWS'ers.

    This is why the DSM is fucking useless.

    The DSM isn't entirely useless, but I do think it's been way expanded into too many areas and diluting the understanding of the age old argument of Nature v. Nurture, the question that will never be answered and continually confounded by exception.

  • Anacreon||

    In the olden days (I'm talking > 15 years ago) there were far too many "psychodynamic" and "analytical" people in psychiatry. With the great advances in technology and medications most psychiatrists these days are pretty medically grounded and don't know anything about Freud, Jung etc, because there really isn't any psychology used in the profession. Most modern psychiatrists are probably more comparable to neurologists than psychologists. The ones I know best do neurotransmitter research and PET scans of brain function in serious illnesses such as schizophrenia.

    Unfortunately, the psychodynamic still have too much influence in the DSM. Most of the well-grounded psychiatrists I know think the DSM is a joke, and could easily be replaced by a handful of established and verifiable diagnoses rather than the constantly evolving popularity contest of diagnoses that it is.

    There are tons of psychologists, social workers, old-time psychodynamic psychiatrists and other therapists that drive the DSM diagnoses that are psychotherapy-derived. It would be nice to have a diagnostic manual for actual illnesses and perhaps a "guidebook" for the talk therapy world. But since reimbursement is often based on DSM codes that work their way into the ICDs, etc, DSM is powerful and serves as a lightning rod for all that is controversial in mental health.

  • ||

    Unfortunately, the psychodynamic still have too much influence in the DSM.

    Hence this ODD DX, and expanding the Autism Spectrum from discrete disease processes to an all purpose DX. One of my attendings in med school was fond of the DX he jokingly referred to as "Miscellaneous". My main critique of polypharmcia in children is not that it's being done, but being done imprecisely and unnecessarily at the request of parents and school officials.

    Most of the well-grounded psychiatrists I know think the DSM is a joke, and could easily be replaced by a handful of established and verifiable diagnoses rather than the constantly evolving popularity contest of diagnoses that it is.

    Precisely. Pop medicine at its finest with an over-reliance on talk therapy.

  • Barack||

    Psychiatry is useless until you have a child with a true neurological disorder. Then they're your saviors. It's easy to vent when you and yours are perfect. Try sitting on the other side of the fence, where the grass is burnt out and the the windows are broken.
    Whatever the label, we know when a kid is Fucked Up, as in Not Right, as in In Need of More Help Than a Parent or Teacher can Ever Possibly Give. Call it what you will, some kids need meds and thank GOD (or whoever) for outside intervention.
    Sometimes it takes a hell of alot more than a village.

  • Paul.||

    The DSM isn't entirely useless, but I do think it's been way expanded into too many areas and diluting the understanding [...]

    It's living document.

  • fried wylie||

    The DSM isn't entirely useless, but I do think it's been way expanded into too many areas

    Just like government. That the two are intertwining.....no, no, I'm sure it'll turn out fine (I don't wanna sound oppositional, now do I?)

  • Lemmiwinks||

    For as vague and shitty as ODD is to diagnose, those kids I've met with true ODD are real assholes for no reason.

  • anon||

    It's not a "Disorder;" those kids are just fuckwads.

  • SIV||

    YOU'RE THE ASSHOLE fuckhead!

  • Number 2||

    No he isn't. Asshole Fuckhead Disorder (AFD) requires four such posts in the space of six months.

  • Ice Nine||

    Then there's the shouting and name-calling criterion...

  • Lemmiwinks||

    Actually I am an asshole, at least that's what all my clients with ODD call me.

  • ||

    Yeah, I had to raise a stepson who had a good bit of that behavior when he was young. My god, what a tough row to hoe that was. Being consistent, even handed, patient as hell, and attentive finally paid off. He grew out of it and turned out to be a first rate young man.
    Disorder my ass, he was simply reacting to the circumstances he was in.

  • AlmightyJB||

    I think that's true of a lot of kids. My family moved moved when I was ten which is a pretty tough time to do that. I did not adjust well and the other kids certainly didn't help in that regards. I'm quite sure I displayed many of those behaviors. Junp to High Scool where a number of schools converge and everyone has an opportunity to make new freinds. No longer a problem. Oh, I was still rebellious, just not pissed off all the time. So as you say it's more the circimstances than some stupid disorder.

  • Barack||

    You're right. I've met some of these kids, and we aren't talking garden variety assholes.
    We're talking scary little maniacs. Keep the other kids away. Johnny doesn't need a time out, something deep and dark is going on.

  • ||

    "the negro is spell-bound, and cannot run away. . . ."

    AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA what an incredibly condescending asshole!!!

  • ||

    I predict that if Captain Zero is re-elected, before his second term is over ,progressives will be moving to have political dissent treated as a mental disorder in the same way that it was in the old Soviet Union. Re-education cam....sorry, I mean mental hospitals will be required to treat these unfortunate souls.
    It will probably start with second amendment advocates. Gun ownership is, after all, a serious public health issue. People cant be sent to camps....I mean hospitals if they have guns, so that is the logical place to start. Gun ownership is political dissent...geez I mean deviant behavior requiring treatment.

    After this notion moves from academia to the political arena, I can easily see elijah cummings as the principal driver behind the meme.

    My prediction is that the left will push the idea, but that it will ultimately fail.

  • AlmightyJB||

  • wareagle||

    the posts are interesting - to the leftist mindset, authoritarianism only occurs on the right wing of the spectrum. Apparently no such thing as a liberal statist. Who knew.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    It's For Our Own Good, wareagle. Didn't you get the memo?

  • Brutus||

    You have to wonder how they explain guys like Castro, Kim, Mao, Stalin, Hoxha, Pol Pot, Mugabe, etc.

  • AlmightyJB||

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Only those who dissent in unapproved ways, Suthenboy. Occutards will be given a pass, of course.

  • juris imprudent||

    Occutards will be given a pass, of course.

    Leftie Authoritard: For a while anyway.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Well, maybe eventually... but for a while, the police state would tolerate the continued Occutard existence.

  • fried wylie||

    Leftie Authoritard: Until their usefulness has been expended

  • o3||

    well boy, do you freedumb fighters smuggle guns n bibles into the [FEMA KAMPS] before the [DEATH PANELS] soylent green the inmates???

  • AlmightyJB||

    I'm so glad you changed your name.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    He's no less stOOOpid, though. "Freedumb", for instance.

  • o3||

    i know, nuance is weak sauce for wingnutz ODS.

  • ||

    Indeed. Let us know when you have a rudimentary grasp of it. Then you can toss rocks in more intellectual and less euphemistic way.

  • o3||

    dont need rocks max since [THEY] havent confiscated my guns...or roses

  • ||

    WOOOOSH!

    swing n a miss

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Fuck, how stOOOpid can one man be?

    o3 makes Schumer look like a learned man.

  • PapayaSF||

    Another possibility: "homophobia" will be considered a mental disorder, diagnosed by opposition to same-sex marriage, etc.

  • Jerryskids||

    Homophobia I think already is since phobias are an irrational fear. It's that "if you don't like gays, you must be a homophobe and a closeted gay" thing I don't like. What, I can't bitch about gays having Gay Pride parades and point out that it seems kind of silly to be "proud" of something you had nothing to do with, like being proud of liking pizza or proud of having opposable thumbs, not to mention which you're screwing up weekend traffic, ya morons?

    I hate the Dallas Cowboys, does that make me a Romophobe? No, it just makes me normal.

  • fried wylie||

    What, I can't bitch about gays having Gay Pride parades

    Ugh, this. Hell, parades in general. STFU and enjoy your stuff on your own property ("not to mention which you're screwing up weekend traffic").

    Or else, I'm going to start Heterosexual Pride Parades. Scantily clad male and female porn actors/actresses smacking each other with enormous, aubergine-colored dildos, blasting moaning and screams of "Give it to me, HARDER!!!" over PA speakers.

    Or are you saying that it's only OK for gays to advertise their sexuality in public?

  • fried wylie||

    "Or are you saying...", was not directed at Jerryskids, but rather lefty-Equality-retards.

  • Head shaker||

    Gun ownership is, after all, a serious public health issue.
    Is is a serious public health issue, you fkn short-dicked idiot.

  • Cloudbuster||

    Yes, depriving citizens of their right to keep and bear arms is very detrimental to public health. Honest research confirms this.

  • AlmightyJB||

    OT: Like you need another reason to hate BOA.

    http://hotair.com/archives/201.....-business/

  • wareagle||

    why hate BOA? This is an opportunity for another bank, one that is less concerned with its customers' ideology and more concerned with providing them a service they need.

  • Anacreon||

    BofA is legendary for their disdain for their customers. I still am angry at them 26 years later, when I applied for a used-car loan. I had just graduated medical school and started residency. I was "too risky" for the loan because their policy was I had to have been stable in a job for 18 months. So to them, I would have been a good risk if I had been at a minimum-wage job for the past year, instead of dedicating the previous 8 years (and next four)to be established in a profession. No appeal possible, that was their hard and fast rule. When I tried to protest I was told the bank didn't think "career students" were a good risk.

    Fuck them. I do everything I can to avoid them ever making a cent off me. I will not use their ATMs if they are right in front of me, I'll walk a mile instead.

  • ||

    Question: Did you have a down payment and were you in a position to increase it?

    So to them, I would have been a good risk if I had been at a minimum-wage job for the past year, instead of dedicating the previous 8 years (and next four)to be established in a profession.

    This is instructive WRT student loans. Your return on future investment in medicine is quite high (I should know) and you should be awarded, based on the reasonable expectation of future potential income, a loan. If your major was Underwater Neo-Sexual Gender & Womyn's Studies with a minor in Armpit Macrame, I'd tell you to go fly a kite, as the future potential income is pretty low.

    I do think that the type of occupation should be factored into loan applications and the approval process. Some are going to be, statistically speaking, a better risk than others.

  • Anacreon||

    Yes, I was only after a loan for 50% of the purchase price. They couldn't have been ruder. I recall the loan officer even ridiculing my PGY-1 salary, saying that he "made more than that and didn't even go to college."

    I went to another bank and they gave me a check the next day. I ended up opening a checking and savings account with them as result, and ended up getting mortgages and many other bank products through them over the years. I think they realized that good customer service would actually pay off for their business, something BofA never has seemed to understand.

    Screw BofA. They above all others should have been allowed to fail instead of getting their enormous TARP bailout.

  • fried wylie||

    saying that he "made more than that and didn't even go to college."

    "Yeah, but your a dickbag loan officer, not a productive member of society."

  • Cloudbuster||

    Progressives are hostile to the science of the actuary -- it reveals too many "inconvenient truths."

  • Mike M.||

    "NSA Whistleblower Speaks Live: 'The Government Is Lying To You'"

    Former NSA technical directory William Binney: "We are this far from a turnkey totalitarian state."

  • AlmightyJB||

    Think about how much worse it must be over ten years later.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    And how much worse it will get within the next ten years.

    Hell, make it four. Barry, or Mitt, it won't make a difference.

  • AlmightyJB||

    I was actually talking about now. He left the NSA over ten years ago. So if it was that bad then, what is it like today?

  • Mr. FIFY||

    I know you were, AJB, and shit's pretty bad now... so I'm not sure we'll make it four more years without going into police-state mode, let alone ten.

  • AlmightyJB||

    It's defiantely not headed the right direction,that's for sure. There is such a love affair with law enforcement. It's insane.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    It's the love affair with all authority, especially at the highest levels.

    I know, that kinda talk will make Tony cry. I'm all for that.

  • fried wylie||

    "going into"?

  • Paul.||

    It's actually refreshing to see liberals frowning upon government surveilance, instead of bitching about William Sonoma knowing that you bought a waffle iron in the last 18 months.

  • Number 2||

    In fairness, let's not forget that those diagnosed with such conditions benefit as well: health insurance coverage, being considered "disabled" under disability discrimination laws, having the right to "reasonable accommodation," and having a built-in excuse for taking no personal responsibility for their failures. We thus become willing participants in our own enslavement.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Problem is that the kid doesn't always know better.

  • Barack||

    You're being an ass.
    Right. Every parent dreams of having their child labeled as disabled. Of having them "accommodated" and "medicated." Not healthy and well liked, invited to parties, and happy.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Soooo....Tom Cruise is right?

  • o3||

    if by right u mean maud'dib.

  • AlmightyJB||

    I never saw Dune

  • ||

    I see what you did there.

  • Sean Mack||

    We don't have to wait and see what the state might do with the DSM, there's already a vast catalog of horrors produced by the psychologizing of non-state actors.

    Since the therapy boom of the 1980s, most people have learned that they can salvage a losing argument by suggesting their opponent is crazy. Not everyone uses the weapon, but just about everyone keeps a supply. When you're talking politics with a stranger, that's merely one nuisance among many. But when friends and family members start using the language of therapy on each other, the results are often disgusting and tragic.

    Consider just one category: how many parents in the past thirty years were told that it was medically necessary to abandon their kids, because those kids suffered from a "hopelessly progressive illness called drug addiction"?

  • Ice Nine||

    Richman says Cartwright, I dare say was a quack ever ready to ascribe to disease behavior he found disturbing. A far more informative discussion of the conduct of slaves can be found in Thaddeus Russells fascinating book, A Renegade History of the United States.

    Cartwright might or might not have been a quack. At minimum he was a product of the thinking of his era. I hate the maladization of every character flaw and every eccentricity as much as the next guy but to deride Cartwright because he looked on Negro slaves like millions of other people did and who like those millions accepted those views as natural fact is disingenuous. He not only believed that recalcitrant slaves had psychological problems he also thought that their medical problems were best treated with leeches and their infected extremities with amputations. What a quack! And to contrast him to someone who published a century and a half later with the benefit of all the scientific elucidation and cultural and social refinement that occurred in the interim is sophistry. I'm perfectly willing to accept that among many other possible reasons for his views Cartwright might have been a dick but come on.

  • Ken Shultz||

    But to deride Cartwright because he looked on Negro slaves like millions of other people did and who like those millions accepted those views as natural fact is disingenuous.

    It's not disingenuous--it's the point of the article.

    Just as Cartwright's diagnoses were a function of his times, so is the pathological categorization of perfectly normal responses to abuses of authority a function of our times.

    The people who think of these unruly kids as having some kind of disease will probably look just as silly 150 years from now as Cartwright did 150 years ago.

    Right, Cartwright was a function of his times. We're a function of our times, too. See how silly some of us look? That's not disingenuous. That's as honest as can be.

  • ||

    Ken, I think the point of Ice's missive is that the article is making a false equivalency b'twixt Cartwright's flawed conclusions and modern psychological/psychiatric dogma (Cartwright didn't have the benefit of MRI and other DX appliances). It is an apples to oranges comparison, and a bit of stretch to compare adult slaves with children, who by definition are dependent upon parents or a parental surrogate.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I didn't need an MRI to know that my own unruliness in school had nothing to do with anything pathological.

    It had everything to do with being steeped in a fundamentalist boarding school, where the authority and rules were predicated on something a woman in the mid 19th century wrote after she'd been hit in the head with a rock.

    If some kids today are more likely than others to bristle at authority in public schools, then maybe we shouldn't be giving the rebellious ones MRIs. Maybe we should be trying to figure out what's wrong with the rest of them.

  • ||

    If some kids today are more likely than others to bristle at authority in public schools, then maybe we shouldn't be giving the rebellious ones MRIs. Maybe we should be trying to figure out what's wrong with the rest of them.

    Or taking a look at the learning environment and seeing what's wrong with that is moreso the wiser route to tread. "The password is...public schools"

    Nature v. Nurture.

    It had everything to do with being steeped in a fundamentalist boarding school, where the authority and rules were predicated on something a woman in the mid 19th century wrote after she'd been hit in the head with a rock.

    Everything?

  • Ken Shultz||

    Maybe not everything.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Maybe not everything.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    No Shit.

    The public school system in this country is fucking crazy. The whole thing is some bizarre combination of operant conditioning and a make work program. And educating that actually happens is a happy coincidence.

    Not to mention the giant conspiracy to molest kids, embedded in the system, that makes the Catholic church look like rank amateurs in comparison.

  • Sean Mack||

    In the general case it can be quite silly when people hold characters from the past to modern moral standards. But I think you're mistaken to see that here.

    Cartwright wasn't simply following his times, he was constructing a new and pseudo-scientific defense of slavery, by begging the question that slavery was a normal state of affairs in the first place.

    That's not the same thing that slavery's mainstream apologists were saying then.

  • Ice Nine||

    He describes Cartwright as a quack for functioning under the norms of his day. Quackery and abiding by the norms of the era are mutually exclusive. To suggest otherwise is indeed disingenuous.

    That is superfluous to the point of the article - a point which I understand.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    But was Cartwright really functioning under the norms of his day? There were plenty of anthropologists and medical doctors, in both the U.S. and Great Britain, who used findings from their disciplines to argue for abolition in that there were no great physical or mental differences between Whites and Blacks.

    Cartwright stood at the beginning of a mostly Southern movement to use pseudo-science to support slavery, and later, segregation and Jim Crow. Indeed, today, The Pioneer Fund is Cartwright's intellectual heir

  • Sean Mack||

    Apply this to a different example.

    In the Soviet Union in the 1930s, it was totally standard to say that anyone who opposed the regime was either a class enemy or a victim of false consciousness. Anyone who said that could be described as "a product of his times".

    But the first guy who came along and said, "Hey, I know. Instead of calling them class enemies let's lock people up in hospitals on the grounds that God is just another schizophrenic hallucination". He was not just a product of his times, he was actively a producer of them.

  • ||

    By the way, Ice, does your HTML work? Or are you having problems with quotation marks? I'm asking earnestly and not being a wise apple. It's a little challenging to know what is your writing v. your quoting.

  • Ice Nine||

    I had to butcher that first one in order to beat that 50-character bullshit by taking out all quotes and commas. I knew it was near-incomprehensible and that my eighth grade grammar teacher is rolling in her grave but it was the only way I could get it to post.

    I don't know much about computers, programming etc and don't really know what it means "does your HTML work?". I just know that I'm having great difficulty posting like I used to and that I have to forego posting many of the comments I try to make.

  • ||

    This may help you. It's how I learned to hyperlink and some of the basic HTML commands, such as emboldening and italicizing text. Are you having problems copying and pasting from the Reason article proper?

  • Ice Nine||

    Thank you. I have learned a couple of those; I just don't know what HTML is all about.
    Yeah copying and pasting quotes from the article seems to be part of the problem. However this time, it seemed to be commas in my original comment.
    The first thing I did was remove the html italic code from around the quote from the article. Still got kicked. Tried the following things, in vain effort to beat the 50-character reject:
    - Put the quote in quotation marks
    - Removed those quotation marks and wrote "Richman says" followed by a comma before the quote
    - Removed the quotation marks I had put around "maladization" in my comment
    NO JOY
    I finally removed all quotation marks and all commas and my post was finally accepted.

  • PapayaSF||

    I haven't encountered the issue or tried any solutions, but using two single quotes instead of one double quote might work around the problem.

  • Jerryskids||

    It's got something to do with the punctuation marks and the difference between punctuation marks within copy-and-paste quotes and outside of them. I had a problem earlier with a quote where I think it was the squirrels looking for an ending punctuation mark outside of the quote - the ending punctuation mark within the quote itself was not recognized as such.

    And I use that same website as my copy-and-paste HTML.

  • Ice Nine||

    I'd like to make use of that but that page is Greek to me.

  • fried wylie||

    - Put the quote in quotation marks

    That seems obviously doomed to failure, doesn't it?

  • Ice Nine||

    I don't know why it should seem so. It certainly isn't obvious to someone who knows nothing about HTML, etc.

  • Sean Mack||

    Again, I think your missing the author's point: He is not saying Cartwright was a quack because he tolerated slavery. Like you, he assumes that as a characteristic common to many people in that age.

    He is calling Cartwright a quack because he paved a path for slavery apologists, using the language of emerging medical science, in a new and novel way.

    Can you see the difference?

  • ||

    He is calling Cartwright a quack because he paved a path for slavery apologists, using the language of emerging medical science, in a new and novel way.

    Like say, eugenecists?

  • Ice Nine||

    Of course a physician was more likely to look at it through medical lenses and to try to explain it from a medical standpoint while BillyBob on the farm was more likely to think it was from not enough snake-handling by those primitive Negroes or something. But they were both applying to their particular purviews the prevailing normative notion of natural deficiencies of Negroes.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Yeah, I usually like to point it out when I see writers judging the ancients through the lens of modern day moors with a certain degree of smugness. I'm not sure this is necessarily one of those cases though. Being a "quack" to me is just someone pretending to know things they don't have any clue about under the veil of their profession. Hell, we have a lot of them around today and they're listened to. Just because it was a different time doesn't make him immune from such an accusation.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I usually like to point it out when I see writers judging the ancients through the lens of modern day moors with a certain degree of smugness.

    I saw the emphasis going the other way.

    I don't think he was judging the ancients through the lens of modern mores so much as he was judging contemporaries through the lens of ancient mores.

    We may get more tools with which to make the same old mistakes, but there is nothing new under the sun.

  • Ice Nine||

    I usually like to point it out when I see writers judging the ancients through the lens of modern day moors with a certain degree of smugness.

    It is something that vexes me mightily. I call it out every time and when I do people often have trouble understanding what weird idea I'm trying to convey. Lefties universally are non-comprehending.

    I watched Reba Mcentire tracing her ancestors on "Who Do You Think You Are?" last night (a very interesting program, BTW). She was agonizing over her discovery that her 4X great grandfather in North Carolina had been a slave owner and had actually bought and sold slaves; thought it was terrible. I told my wife that next Reba will be thinking he was a dumbass because he didn't use an iPhone.

  • AlmightyJB||

    What's even worse is that people will try and discount whatever else they did no matter how great. The founding fathers are a good example of this. Like saying George Washington could not have been a great man because he owned slaves.

  • o3||

    course the collary is judging moderns using ancient theist mores.

  • Ice Nine||

    Yep. Don't even get me started.

  • Jerryskids||

    I always like to hit people with the "what would you have done if you had been alive during the Civil War"? Very few think they would have been other than Radical Republicans. But the average person was not a Radical Republican, the average person was a little pro or a little anti on slavery but not many actually thought Negroes should have the exact same rights as everybody else. So the average person now for some strange reason believes he wouldn't have been an average person 150 years ago.

    I remember arguing years ago with a girl who firmly believed her opinions were facts. When we asked her if she thought she would believe the same thing if she had born, say, an untouchable Hindu rather than a middle-class American, she said yes. She thought it was rather silly to suppose her opinions were in any way shaped by her culture or upbringing.

  • wef||

    For immediate release:

    The growing social problem of clinically-disordered obsequiousness combined with thug-state opportunism has raised concern among experts and calls for urgent action to combat organized apologists of coercion. The current consensus finds that the editors, writers and adherents of the anti-social and falsely-titled tract "Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders" are suffering from Fascistic Servile Groupthink Disorder. They should be isolated from each other and kept on a strict regimen that prevents them from coming in contact with the power-worshiping lewinksy press.

    Independent Order of Odd Fellows

  • AlmightyJB||

    :)

  • ||

    Speaking of mental illness, Rectal Stack pathetically still reads our comments.

    She just sent me an email in which she claims that I said I denied going to Brandeis and denied that the email I've been using for years is mine.

    What?

    She finished off her delightful, CAPS LOCK rant with the words "I WIN."

    Derp.

    If anyone would like to read the email, email me. It's far too long and pathetic to put up on Reason.

  • ||

    Well, shit, dude. If she won, she won.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Sometimes a bitch has gotta win.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Mail her a participation ribbon.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Let her "WIN".

    She'd be a whole lot happier if she forgot all about us.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Dude, that's crazy. If you suddenly disappear should we let someone know who to be looking at?

  • ||

    Aw, how cute! You have a mentally unbalanced stalker!

  • AlmightyJB||

    I usually have to sleep with a woman before she starts acting crazy like that.

  • ||

    Why do they call it "sleep"? If you're doing it right, there's no sleep involved.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Probably has to do with not wanting to give up trade secrets:) You say sleep instead of doing the "oriental cobra watusi" or whatever?

  • ||

    "oriental cobra watusi"

    Amateur.

  • AlmightyJB||

    You didn't think I was gonna give up my "A" material did you:)

  • juris imprudent||

    If you're doing it right, exhaustion follows and then a nice, deep sleep. Then there's the wake-up...

  • Banjos||

    The crazy bitch has been forced to troll sloopy and my blog. She was nice enough to give us a poll suggestion.

  • Banjos||

    And by "forced" I mean "reduced to".

  • Mr. FIFY||

    That poor woman. How do you live with yourself, Banjos... giving her room to post on your blog?

    /snark

  • ||

    The next poll should be what the impending bundle of joy's middle name should be.

    And congratulations you krazy kids! Mazel Tov!

  • Banjos||

    Ah, thanks Groovus! I'm not entirely sure how it happened as I do not remember ever having sex with a stork, but am incredibly excited nonetheless.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Filthy breeders.

    /Tony

  • ||

    I'm not entirely sure how it happened as I do not remember ever having sex with a stork

    Does any of this ring a bell?

  • Banjos||

    Stupid seductive birds.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Birds are assholes

  • Killazontherun||

    As an aside, how did you get Kathleen Parker to ghost the rant at the linked page? Must have cost a small fortune.

  • SIV||

    I thought it was Cathy Young!

  • Dan||

    This article is idiotic. Other than the fact that both disorders are bogus there is no parallel.

    One was crafted by someone that was clearly in favor of slavery and designed specifically to justify slavery.

    The other one is just idiot psychologists wanting to have a diagnosis for any behavior. As long as they have a diagnosis they can bill your insurance for treatment, and you've got a convenient excuse that you're not responsible for your behavior. The recent one, in today's politically correct "I was just born that way" society, actually encourages the behavior.

    This is what the quack medical community does these days as standard operating procedure. ADD, ADHD, ODD, Fibromyalgia, etc.

  • Killazontherun||

    Another deferred conscience.

    dollbaby
    Spice...."The Toughest Fighter."
    1341 Fans
    23 minutes ago ( 2:24 PM)
    I did it and it said I'm not infected. Then I read all the posts about the government using this as a way to spy on us all. I say fine......I have done nothing wrong and all they will fine is family pictures,, my dissertation for my doctorate, papers I wrote in grad school. 11th grade homework assignments and my son's current chemistry science fair project. Oh wait? they might be after his science fair project.......do plants grow better with or with out fertilizer!

    I'm sure your son hasn't hid any files of his classmates underage tits on your system at all. Go ahead, try that gov website the FBI recommends. What's the risk?

  • Killazontherun||

    WTF? Should have posted at the bottom. That was the only comment box I had open.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Where did you find that example of "if you're not guilty, you have nothing to worry about", Killaz? The writer sounds like a libtard.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Ahh... must be HuffPo. There's a wealth o' stoopid there.

  • Killazontherun||

    If the squirrels didn't muss things the context would have been obvious. Stupid squirrels.

  • Killazontherun||

    Encountered the mentality in another thread on huffypost just a moment ago:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/.....41260.html

    Where someone in the comments pooped this gem:

    jrpiquer
    32 Fans
    36 minutes ago ( 1:53 PM)
    They weren't kidding when they said mental illness is more prevalent than most people know. The level of paranoia running amuck in these comments is truly frightening. As if each one of you is important enough for the FBI to care so much about. It's already easy enough for them to track you if you're looking up certain keywords.

    I'm willing to bet almost every single software/computer security expert and hacker in this country has already been to this site and analyzed every bit of data being sent and received.

    I attempted to make this reply, but my old ID is no longer valid there and I'm not wasting my time registering again for a one off.

    Skepticism is not a mental illness.

    Deference to authority, to the contrary, can get you killed .

  • Killazontherun||

    The level of paranoia running amuck in these comments is truly frightening. As if each one of you is important enough for the FBI to care so much about.

    What kind of naive person is unaware of the millions of lives ruined by our law enforcement complex? Like a German who didn't know that the nasty smelling smoke hanging in the air was human particulate.

  • The Derider||

    Powerfully stupid article. Who knew libertarians and scientologists had so much in common?

    PS-- If you've never met a kid with an ODD diagnosis, you don't have any idea what you're talking about. They're different.

  • Killazontherun||

    STFU

  • ||

    The Derider |4.10.12 @ 8:31PM|#
    Every country is "prosperous" compared to Czarist Russia, you moron. And the USSR did provide education, health care, infrastructure, and the rule of law, so your nonsense isn't even internally consistent.
    Stop posting.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Sounds like The Derprider is a Soviet-lover.

  • Head shaker||

    Who knew libertarians and scientologists had so much in common?
    If you're referring to a healthy disregard for the invented bullsh!t of psychiatry, then I'd be proud to stand next to the Scientologists.

  • Brian from Texas||

    Let's not forget the Soviet Union's decades-long practise of using the loony bin against political dissidents. I guess they thought it wasn't as cruel as old Stalin's gulag.

  • cheap e cigarettes||

    yeah your article is great !!

  • hgsmells||

    Very disappointing article. I was expecting an analysis of the LONG, shameful history of humbug psychiatry, not a brief mention of it followed by the usual lazy, scientologisty anti-psychiatry arguments.

    "It seems strange that an illness can be treated by talk and prevented by good parenting."

    Who cares if you think it seems strange? There is a mountain of scientific evidence on the effectiveness of talk therapy. Do you have any arguments against it other than your feelings?

    "And how was four arrived at as the minimum number of behaviors before diagnosis? Or six months as the minimum period? Odd, indeed."

    Not odd at all, try doing research for articles. Psychiatrists are pretty open about the process for standardizing a diagnosis and how the seemingly arbitrary cut offs are decided.

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