Sunday, December 21, 2008

Taking Over The Asylum

The American Psychiatric Association is preparing to publish the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders and the inconvenient truth rears its ugly head:

“In psychiatry no one knows the causes of anything, so classification can be driven by all sorts of factors” — political, social and financial.
The New York Times article continues:

The debate over gender identity, characterized in the manual as “strong and persistent cross-gender identification,” is already burning hot among transgender people. Soon after the psychiatric association named the group of researchers working on sexual and gender identity, advocates circulated online petitions objecting to two members whose work they considered demeaning...

“The language needs to be reformed, at a minimum,” said Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equity. “Right now, the manual implies that you cannot be a happy transgender person, that you have to be a social wreck.”

Dr. Jack Drescher, a New York psychoanalyst and member of the sexual disorders work group, said that, in some ways, the gender identity debate echoed efforts to remove homosexuality from the manual in the 1970s.

After protests by gay activists provoked a scientific review, the “homosexuality” diagnosis was dropped in 1973. It was replaced by “sexual orientation disturbance” and then “ego-dystonic homosexuality” before being dropped in 1987.

“You had, in my opinion, what was a social issue, not a medical one...”
Or, still in the opinion of many psychiatrists today, and made shockingly clear in Madsen and Kirk's homosexual activists' manual, After The Ball, a medical issue that the APA allowed itself to be bullied into making a social one in 1973's DSM-III.

Now, for DSM-V, the APA looks set to cave in to pressure from a group for whom self-mutilation is not only considered acceptable but which requires - and receives - support in achieving this from the surgical medical community.

The truth-baring irony of the issue of transgender disorders being omitted from DSM-V is exposed in that:

Transgender people are themselves divided about their place in the manual. Some transgender men and women want nothing to do with psychiatry and demand that the diagnosis be dropped. Others prefer that it remain, in some form, because a doctor’s written diagnosis is needed to obtain insurance coverage for treatment or surgery.
So, on the one hand, some of the people affected by this disorder would like the rest of society to pretend they aren't mentally ill while others don't mind being considered mentally ill if it means they can bilk their insurance companies into paying for expensive body-altering drugs and 'surgery' for 'gender reassignment'.

One suspects after this admission that the insurance companies might welcome the APA dropping 'transgender' as a disorder. A preferred option would be to stop pandering to the delusions of the mentally ill by offering mutilation as a treatment - a treatment which does not work - and to encourage psychiatrists to cure this disorder where it actually exists - between the patient's ears rather than between their legs.

-- Nick

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