Funny stuff here:
…If you have any pull with the American Psychiatric Association, could you please recommend to them that the psychological state formerly known as “paranoia” should be no longer defined as a mental illness? Asylums all across the country are filled with people whose only neurosis is the vague feeling that they are being spied on or followed by unseen powerful enemies. But now we know that everyone is being spied on every time they pick up the phone, buy something, use the Internet, or walk around in public — so it turns out that these “paranoid” patients aren’t delusional after all…
PS — Tell the IRS that the best times for for my upcoming audit are Tuesdays and Thursdays, but unannounced visits from the EPA, FBI, OSHA or ATF would be more convenient on Monday afternoons or Wednesday mornings. And, needless to say, you can eavesdrop any ol’ time.
Read the whole thing.
Lately I, too, have been thinking about the need to redefine paranoia. The old joke—”You’re not paranoid if they really ARE out to get you” applies.
However, it turns out that the American Psychiatric Association is way ahead of zombie and me, because it seems that the drafters of the DSM-V (the diagnostic manual that represents the very latest in mental health classifications), which just came out on May 18, 2013 and superceded the DMS IV-TR (2000), had already made a valiant attempt to eliminate the relevant category, known as “paranoid personality disorder.” The draft version of the DSM-V (unveiled in 2010) that eliminated the disorder created such a hue and cry among practitioners that when the DSM-V was finally published in 2013 the APA reinstated the diagnosis along with various other character disorders that had been slated for removal along with it.
One of them was narcissistic personality disorder, sometimes suggested as the proper label for our president and many other politicians. But lo and behold, it’s back too.
It was a mystery to many 2010 reviewers as to why the APA was trying to throw out these diagnostic categories that had stood the test of time. For example:
“[The DSM-V drafters] have little appreciation for the damage they could be doing,” [Dr. John Gunderson told the New York Times. ...]
“It’s draconian,” he said of the decision, “and the first of its kind, I think, that half of a group of disorders are eliminated by committee.”
So, is the mystery now solved? Could it be—could it be?—that the APA has got a few thumb drives and spies of its own, and already knew what was going to come down with the IRS and NSA scandals? Were they merely planning ahead? And while they were at it, did they decide to try eliminating a major slur on the president by taking away NPD as well?
Inquiring minds want to know.
[NOTE: By the way, I wonder whether any of you have ever read Operators and Things: The inner life of a schizophrenic? It's a wonderful book first published in 1958. It made a deep impression on me when I read it some years later at the age of twelve, and has been recently re-released (there's also a free online version here).
No one seems to know who author Barbara O'Brien was. It's a pseudonym, and she claims it's a true story. Whether it is, or whether she's a brilliant but little-known fiction writer, the book was described thusly in a review in the LA Times quoted on Amazon, ""O'Brien has produced a work of brilliance and power, evoking a combination of Kafka and Joyce, with a touch of Orwell."
It doesn't remind me of Joyce. But Kafka and Orwell? Definitely. And if you read it you might agree that it has some relevance to the subject matter of this post.]