29-Jul-2010

Is Anyone Normal?

That's the question that pops into the mind while going through this article from Reuters: 
Leading mental health experts gave a briefing on Tuesday to warn that a new edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), which is being revised now for publication in 2013, could devalue the seriousness of mental illness and label almost everyone as having some kind of disorder.

Citing examples of new additions like "mild anxiety depression," "psychosis risk syndrome," and "temper dysregulation disorder," they said many people previously seen as perfectly healthy could in future be told they are ill.

"It's leaking into normality. It is shrinking the pool of what is normal to a puddle," said Til Wykes of the Institute of Psychiatry at Kings College London.

The new DSM has it right.  Who on earth is normal?  No one I know is.  I have so many neuroses, it is pointless to list them all.  Road rage, extreme holier-than-thou attitude, a deep dislike for TV anchors and TV programs, allergy to Times of India, fetish for fitness, the list can go on and on.  And these are just the mild ones.  

I would say, give the puddle a name - say, So Normal that It Looks Fishy Syndrome - and be done with it. 

But should all the disorders have medicines prescribed for them?  I don't think so.

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