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Theodore Dalrymple on the DSM-5

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This article at the City Journal is titled, "Everyone on the Couch: Today's psychiatry undermines self-reliance and morality."  It is informative, entertaining, and well worth reading in its entirety.  Here is the conclusion:

The DSM is ultimately an instrument for weakening human resilience, self-reliance, fortitude, and resolve. It turns human beings into mechanisms, deprives their conduct of meaning, and makes them prey to entrepreneurs of human misery. The authors, one could say, suffer from PNOD--psychiatric nosology overvaluation disorder--the criteria for which are as follows:
    A: The grandiose belief that all human weakness can and should be divided into valid diagnostic categories.
    B: At least two of the following: a firm and unshakable belief that all human distress arises from malfunctioning serotonin metabolism; a firm and unshakable belief that functional MRI scans will soon teach humans how to live; a firm and unshakable belief that the seven deadly sins have been scientifically superseded by psychiatric diagnoses.

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| "Today's psychiatry undermines self-reliance and morality." |

PATIENT: “Transference it’s called followed by countertransference and when that’s completed I’ll be a whole person, but hasn’t that transference gone a little too far?”
PSYCH: “Here, I will give you something to quiet you.”
PATIENT: “I don’t want any of your shots..I don’t need your fancy, magic medicine with the unpronounceable name.

PATIENT: “The beard like a Messiah, the gentle voice…”
PSYCH: “Anthropomorphism: the last refuge of the ignorant and the immature.”
PATIENT: “… Lawyers have clients, storekeepers have customers, doctors have patients, but you have victims.”

PATIENT: “… You were a god, my god.”
PSYCH: “Do you feel qualified to judge, condemn, and execute another human being?”
PSYCH: “Don’t you think this..a..comedy has gone far enough?”
PATIENT: “It is a comedy, isn’t it? And you’re the comedian. The apostolic descendent of Sigmund Freud.

‘From all our sins dear Freud, Deliver us. Thy will be done. Deliver us not into our Id, and forgive our Ego,
For thine is the power, and the Superego for ever and ever.’ .. ‘And little bearded Werner is thy Vicar on earth.’

PSYCH: “You are becoming hysterical … get a hold of yourself. … You’re insane.”
PATIENT: “Nah uh. Insane is a legal term, not a psychiatric term. Remember, we learned that earlier on the couch. ‘There is no such thing as insanity, only varying degrees of adjustment to reality.'”
PSYCH: “Our number one problem in this country is mental health.”

PATIENT: “… But you didn’t tell me about the one before me; the one who tried to commit suicide after you refused to continue therapy.”
PSYCH: “I can’t be responsible for what a person does once he learns the truth about himself.”
PATIENT: “Of course you can’t. A Surgeon can be held responsible if he leaves a pair of pliers in a patient after an operation. An Obstetrician can be held responsible for a bungled delivery. But you can’t be held responsible for a ruined life. What a great out you have: ‘The patient did it himself.”

PSYCH: “… There is no such thing as happiness; only the absence of angst.”
PATIENT: “Why do you use your Analyst’s couch as a ‘Lonely Hearts Club’? … You’re a sick man."
PSYCH: “I know I am, but what can I do? I sit here all day long, listening to the deepest problems of others, and who can I turn to with my problems?”
PATIENT: “Excuse the bad joke, Werner, but what you need is to be psychoanalysed!”
PSYCH: “I was, you know that.”

-- "Headshrinker" was written, produced and directed by William N. Robson, and aired on Suspense, October 26, 1958, & August 23, 1959.


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