50 shades of normality: Rethinking psychiatry

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What mental disorder do you have? With the danger of offending you already, I ask you to not hate me yet. I`m asking this provoking question because I want to philosophize for a bit. So let me continue asking blood-pressure elevating questions: Have you ever done something wrong? Then you might have a antisocial personality disorder! Do you have mood swings? Well, that must mean you`r suffering from an affective disorder. Do you sometimes see things that aren`t there? Poor you, you must be schizophrenic. I could go on, but I know my readers are smart enough to get my point. But to clarify: No matter which questions I`d ask, I could interpret the result and make them fit neatly into a psychiatric box handmade for you.

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Off course, I`m exaggerating wildly. We have extremes, and we have normality. But no matter what problems you have or don`t have, isn`t the most important thing that you figure our for yourself what you need to do, to change your life? Some mental issues are more important to get the correct label on, than others. If you are bipolar, medication might be a life or death prerequisite. If you are psychotic and think that you can fly if you jump from a building, medication might again be useful. Serious depression also must be addressed with medication and therapy. I don`t mean that we should forget about mental health and do nothing, I just want us to think about how we think about it. We must never forget to look for the normal in the abnormal. 50 % of us will have some mental health issues during our lives, and that means that 50 % of us will benefit from care and love from someone else. Actually, a 100 % of us needs this, more than anything else.

We have a whole manual for categorizing mental health issues, but unlike somatic disorders, our DSM-IV bible don`t give us exact answers. A patient might have five different diagnosis’s because symptoms overlap. Some doctors scratch their heads when this happens, and try one medication after another. When a patient is readmitted to a psychiatric unit, they frustrate as him/her must have gone off their medication. They might try another cocktail. My questions when this happens is: If someone is readmitted 10-50 times, might it not be an idea to try something different, too? Aren`t we obliged to do everything we can for our patients and our society?

We are all unique. There are 50 shades of normality and abnormalities. This isn`t a bad thing, it is what makes life and people fascinating. Considering this, we need tailor-made treatments addressing all these differences.


Rethinking psychiatry documentary

The journal of wild culture

2 thoughts on “50 shades of normality: Rethinking psychiatry

    Noel said:
    September 6, 2015 at 00:14

    Sometimes I wish there is also a DSM about treatment approaches and solutions for every diagnosis.

      mirrorgirl responded:
      September 6, 2015 at 07:41

      That would be a brilliant thing to do! When we study psychology, there is far too little about treatment, and what we learn is somewhat haphazardly. But, we luckily have a lot of chances to take classes when we work, but what is missing is a way for doctors and other health professions to have a way to know how to work with different problems!

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