Empty Days

Saturday, July 24, 2004



The world of the deranged.

It seems that if you are looking for a mental illness to suit your shortcomings, you can always find one - the margin of the clinically "normal" has grown so narrow everything slightly unusual will qualify you for a diagnosis.

I looked at some descriptions involving the term "schizo-" and found that I would fit very well the so-called "schizoid personality disorder": which is simply a description of somebody asocial and having a hard time integrating into the world as we know it etc. If I ever had to submit to an evaluation with a purpose to label my abnormalities, I could not defend against a diagnosis. I suspect not many people would in any case - because it's simply all-encompassing.

The truly absurd characteristic of psychiatry these days is that it is intent on finding "disorders" pretty much everywhere, with the result that most of life finds itself categorized as a mental "condition".

This is both ugly and frightening - especially the idea of life that it betrays: so narrow, so utterly paranoid as a matter of fact (paranoid of everything unusual, of every difficulty, every little pain).

***

Schizoid Personality Disorder:

A pervasive pattern of detachment from social relationships and a restricted range of expression of emotions in interpersonal settings, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by four (or more) of the following:

1. neither desires nor enjoys close relationships, including being part of a family
2. almost always chooses solitary activities
3. has little, if any, interest in having sexual experiences with another person
4. takes pleasure in few, if any, activities
5. lacks close friends or confidants other than first-degree relatives
6. appears indifferent to the praise or criticism of others
7. shows emotional coldness, detachment, or flattened affectivity

Does not occur exclusively during the course of Schizophrenia, a Mood Disorder With Psychotic Features, another Psychotic Disorder, or a Pervasive Developmental Disorder and is not due to the direct physiological effects of a general medical condition.
Note: If criteria are met prior to the onset of Schizophrenia, add "Premorbid," e.g., "Schizoid Personality Disorder (Premorbid)."

***

Of the seven symptoms stated, I have everything except perhaps no. 7 because I am far from detached and no. 6 is doubtful because it really corresponds to my idea of self-sufficiency but I hate being criticized as much as over-praised so I can't say I remain "indifferent".

I mean, what is this if not a fitting description of an asocial type? In the end it would seem that everything causing social difficulties would qualify as a form of some psychiatric "disorder". I don't think psychiatry was always that bad - it really got over its head roughly after Dr.Spock and all that "live a happy life" crap.

The worst part is that this restrictive outlook is relentlessly popularized and people will tend to treat you as some sort of "crazy" if you don't fit the right profile. Either you look like your came right out of the miniseries "Friends" or something is wrong with ya - that's the practical result of all this organized madness.





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