Tuesday, August 17, 2010

There is a pill for everything, including grief and hoarding

I have covered other crazy ideas from lunatics backed by big pharma who decide what dis-eases are "psychiatric disorders" and require medication.

As mandated in the bible of disorders requiring pharmacological intervention, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders — perhaps better known as the D.S.M.

Here are two of the latest proposed changes that will require you to be medicated.

This first one contained in an op-ed here

If this suggestion is adopted, many people who experience completely normal grief could be mislabeled as having a psychiatric problem.

Suppose your spouse or child died two weeks ago and now you feel sad, take less interest and pleasure in things, have little appetite or energy, can’t sleep well and don’t feel like going to work. In the proposal for the D.S.M. 5, your condition would be diagnosed as a major depressive disorder.

This would be a wholesale medicalization of normal emotion, and it would result in the overdiagnosis and overtreatment of people who would do just fine if left alone to grieve with family and friends, as people always have. It is also a safe bet that the drug companies would quickly and greedily pounce on the opportunity to mount a marketing blitz targeted to the bereaved and a campaign to “teach” physicians how to treat mourning with a magic pill.

What is proposed for the D.S.M. 5 is a radical expansion of the boundary for mental illness that would cause psychiatry to intrude in the realm of normal grief.

Why is this such a bad idea?

First: it would give mentally healthy people the ominous-sounding diagnosis of a major depressive disorder, which in turn could make it harder for them to get a job or health insurance.

Second: there would be the expense and the potentially harmful side effects of unnecessary medical treatment. Because almost everyone recovers from grief, given time and support, this treatment would undoubtedly have the highest placebo response rate in medical history. After recovering while taking a useless pill, people would assume it was the drug that made them better and would be reluctant to stop taking it. Consequently, many normal grievers would stay on a useless medication for the long haul, even though it would likely cause them more harm than good.

Third: The bereaved would also lose the benefits that accrue from letting grief take its natural course. What might these be? No one can say exactly. But grieving is an unavoidable part of life — the necessary price we all pay for having the ability to love other people. Our lives consist of a series of attachments and inevitable losses, and evolution has given us the emotional tools to handle both

In other words, the process of grieving those we have lost is a human process, a survival process, an emotional process, that humans have developed because we love and care for people and when we lose them, it hurts. But, this is normal, this is natural.

Some people of course see us, humanity, to use Malthusian terms as "useless eaters"
As inconsequential or problematic. Keeping in mind that we are often referred to as consumers, rather then humans. Or in the corporate world we are resources, right, as in human resources. In other words we have been stripped of our humanity by persons with other agendas, other goals.

This is the case here with the inclusion of grief as a disorder. A psychiatric disorder.
Can't have the human resource distracted by grief when 'it' should be out consuming. Why experience a human emotion, and process it, reconcile it, come to terms with it. Just medicate yourself and further reduce your humanity, as so many already have, to the popping of a pill and simply drugging your grief away?

Good god, where does this nonsense end?

The next one I want to cover is Hoarding. Hoarding is something that all living creatures do. Usually in the form of food storage. Humans store food, and everyone should have a store of food for emergencies. People should also save money, for a rainy day. In other words they should hoard money for their own benefit. (Not the banks)

But now hoarding is being debated as a mental illness, requiring medication. Of course the most extreme case is being touted to demonstrate and justify the need for the classification of hoarding as a mental illness.

"Hoarding disorder" is being recommended for inclusion in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or DSM, an enormously influential catalogue used daily by doctors worldwide that is undergoing its first major revision in nearly 20 years.

Should hoarding make it into the manual, two to five per cent of the Canadian population could be labelled as having a mental illness, according to studies being used to justify creating the new diagnosis. (think of the profits for big pharma)

But critics are uneasy, and question who decides when collecting and saving crosses the line from normal human behaviour to pathological.

"The DSM-5 drafters are having a lot of trouble separating eccentricity from illness," says Edward Shorter, a social historian of medicine at the University of Toronto and author of A History of Psychiatry: From the Era of the Asylum to the Age of Prozac.

"The real problem is psychiatry's inability to tell us what really does constitute illness - what is disease in psychiatry? - because there are so few objective standards, unlike any other field of medicine," Shorter says.

That is a real problem, and this problem is what allows a bunch of quacks, with an agenda, to get together and make decisions based on very little objective standards. What influences them? Who influences them?

"And if anything should go wrong, there's soma. Which you go and chuck out of the window in the name of liberty, Mr. Savage. Liberty!"
- Aldous Huxley,Brave New World, Ch. 16

Don't become an automaton. Don't march in lockstep.
Relish that which makes you human.
Your grief, your quirks, your loves and your hurts.
These are part and parcel of your human experience.


  1. as some of you know, I have lost someone very recently, whom I loved dearly.

    I have weepy moments. Or I think about happy stuff.
    But whichever it is, I do not want to be drugged out of this.

    I have my memories and I wish to keep them, wether they make me sad or happy, they are mine.

    I can talk about them with others, or quietly comtemplate them myself.
    Whichever I chose, they are mine.

  2. Life moves on, so very fast Pen . . . I cherish every day of it. If you can remember what was, while accepting it can never be again, and still feel joy at the memory . . . . well, that's the place you want to be at.

    Something to aim for, at least.

    ps. - all pills suck

  3. thanks slozo, though I am not quite there yet, most thoughts just make me cry at this point in time, but, there will come a time, I know...

    something to aim for :)