Or maybe I have ODD. Either way, it appears I am clinically insane. A lot of people have made this claim and now they have expert opinion on their side.

Is nonconformity and freethinking a mental illness? According to the newest addition of the DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders), it certainly is. The manual identifies a new mental illness called “oppositional defiant disorder” or ODD. Defined as an “ongoing pattern of disobedient, hostile and defiant behavior,” symptoms include questioning authority, negativity, defiance, argumentativeness, and being easily annoyed.

The DSM-IV is the manual used by psychiatrists to diagnose mental illnesses and, with each new edition, there are scores of new mental illnesses. Are we becoming sicker? Is it getting harder to be mentally healthy? Authors of the DSM-IV say that it’s because they’re better able to identify these illnesses today. Critics charge that it’s because they have too much time on their hands.

New mental illnesses identified by the DSM-IV include arrogance, narcissism, above-average creativity, cynicism, and antisocial behavior. In the past, these were called “personality traits,” but now they’re diseases. And there are treatments available.

Psychiatry is quackery for the most part. Not all of it, of course. Categorizing types of mental illness is a legitimate science. Studying the links between genetics, brain chemistry and mental illness is very serious science. Working with a patient in order to figure out the proper medication to administer is sound medicine. Talking someone out of being crazy is just voodoo. Talk therapy is exactly that, when you think about it. Would anyone try to talk someone out of a broken leg?

All of this is a symptom of our over-diagnosing and overmedicating culture. In the last 50 years, the DSM-IV has gone from 130 to 357 mental illnesses. A majority of these illnesses afflict children. Although the manual is an important diagnostic tool for the psychiatric industry, it has also been responsible for social changes. The rise in ADD, bipolar disorder, and depression in children has been largely because of the manual’s identifying certain behaviors as symptoms. A Washington Post article observed that, if Mozart were born today, he would be diagnosed with ADD and “medicated into barren normality.”

I suspect chemistry is the blame for some of this. Psychiatry lost a lot of its utility once the pill makers began to produce useful medications for things like depression. Spending an hour a week talking to a guy with a beard and turtle-neck became pointless once you could just take a pill. So, the shrinks went looking for new forms of crazy that did not have a pill.

According to the DSM-IV, the diagnosis guidelines for identifying oppositional defiant disorder are for children, but adults can just as easily suffer from the disease. This should give any freethinking American reason for worry. The Soviet Union used new “mental illnesses” for political repression.  People who didn’t accept the beliefs of the Communist Party developed a new type of schizophrenia. They suffered from the delusion of believing communism was wrong.  They were isolated, forcefully medicated, and put through repressive “therapy” to bring them back to sanity.

When the last edition of the DSM-IV was published, identifying the symptoms of various mental illnesses in children, there was a jump in the diagnosis and medication of children. Some states have laws that allow protective agencies to forcibly medicate, and even make it a punishable crime to withhold medication.  This paints a chilling picture for those of us who are nonconformists. Although the authors of the manual claim no ulterior motives but simply better diagnostic practices, the labeling of freethinking and nonconformity as mental illnesses has a lot of potential for abuse. It can easily become a weapon in the arsenal of a repressive state.

I’d add that targeting children is deliberate. Telling a hate-thinker like me that I have a mental disorder gets you nowhere. I don’t care and if you push it, I’ll punch you in the nose. Getting some half-wit school counselor to tell an unsuspecting parent that their little boy has “oppositional defiant disorder” is a money maker. The busy-bodies at the school get to push around the parents and the psychiatry rackets get another customer.

Psychology has been a favorite tool of authoritarians for a reason. There’s a loads of ambiguity that can be used to torment those who annoy the tyrant. Dragging the heckler off to the lunatic asylum is a less obvious way of handling the problem than having him thrown from the nearest cliff. Once the trouble maker is in the asylum, then the guys in lab coats can finish the job. Given the trajectory of our ruling classes, the shrinks are just getting prepared for the inevitable.

In the meantime, I’ll enjoy being ODD.

8 thoughts on “I Am ODD

  1. So if I think Obama is a cheap little grifter, Lena Dunham is a repulsive tub of goo and sodomy is depraved does that mean I have ODD?

  2. The side “benefit” for drugging school children for these alleged disorders is that they become compliant, perfect vessels for Leftist indoctrination under the guise of education.

  3. “Symptoms include questioning authority, negativity, defiance, argumentativeness, and being easily annoyed.” Isn’t that the description of being a MAN. But they removed homosexuality as an illness. Go figure.

  4. My understanding is that the real motivation for the classification of these syndromes is for medicare/medicaid. You have to be able to fill in the blank. This leads to all kinds of scam artists working the system. the other problem with much of the terminology in Psychiatry uses common words (anxiety, depression, manic) rather than the latin/scientfic terms found in surgery or biology. A clinically depressed person had some serious brain chemistry/neural programming problems, while lots of people have regular normal bad days. Classic talk therapy is out of favor but newer functional techniques like Cognitive behavioral therapy work with and without drugs to reset defective brain programming.

    It might not be a bad idea to rename all these serious mental illness problems by latin-technical names to distinguish them from regular emotions.

Comments are closed.