Saturday, August 13, 2005

Psychiatry, psychology and the definition of sick

As I attend graduate school, working my way toward becoming a counseling psychologist, I feel I have learned a few things. I have also gained a little cynicism for how people are diagnosed with mental illnesses. The definition of what is mentally ill is not absolute, nor is it always reasonable. We claim to be a reasonable society, and those that are deemed "ill" are considered a "threat" to society in some way. Well, the history of psychology (and even worse, psychiatry) is such that many decisions were made for political reasons. As the winds blow, there goes the choices of the mental health professional.

It is especially interesting being a non-liberal in a currently very liberal field. I break a few expectations and get into some interesting discussions. The wind is blowing in a liberal way, right now. In the 80's, it was conservative. I am neither. So it was interesting to read this article on how the definition of mental illness has changed and is currently changing. Just remember, nothing is as cut and dried as it seems. Enjoy the article, originally appearing in the New York Times.


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