the daily doyle

Think You Have a Mental Illness? You’re Crazy
May 11, 2011, 7:16 pm
Filed under: Human rights stuff

I would like to hereby announce that I have a mental illness. It’s called UPBD. I have been afflicted with it most of my adulthood. There is no known cure but I have found ways to cope with the symptoms and live something that vaguely resembles a normal life.

Please don’t feel sorry for me. I get along in life by associating with others similarly afflicted. And I’m certainly not alone.

UPBD, in case you don’t know, is Unacceptance of Psychiatric Bullshit Disorder. And what kind of psych BS do I “unaccept”? First off, there is the list of the 374 mental disorders defined in the DSM IV (psychiatry’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fourth edition). You may not think this is BS, but it is. How can there be that many disorders, diseases or whatever you’d like to call them, and not one of them can be detected by objective medical tests. I’ll repeat that. Not ONE of the 374 disorders defined can be determined by any objective medical tests. All are diagnosed through subjective observation of the patient.

If you think that sounds a little unscientific, you’re right.

As Samuel Goldwyn said, “Anyone who would go to a psychiatrist ought to have his head examined!”

What does this mean for someone diagnosed today with one of these disorders?

It means that, frankly, your diagnosis is meaningless.

For example, if you have trouble sleeping, or sleep too much, or have thoughts of suicide plus feel that life is hopeless, you may be diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder. The “disorder” is regarded to be a permanent physical abnormality, a disorder, a disease, any way you want to express it. But it’s only “regarded” or “considered” to be a physical condition of the brain, never proven, never detected.

So if you are this person, what do you know? You know that you have a serious situation. You have symptoms that make your life difficult. And that’s it. You don’t know that you have an illness. You don’t know that there is anything permanently wrong at all.

So what is the point then of calling this list of symptoms a disorder? I’d like to have your comments on this as well because maybe I’m not looking at all the angles. It’s a certainty that no disease is known to exist. Yet somebody somewhere obviously benefits by calling it a disorder.

Does the patient benefit? Maybe. Certainly the system is set up so that the patient can only get services if they get a label. Services can mean a lot of things, like drugs or counseling. In my humble opinion, nobody needs the drugs for depression but I guess I’d like your comments on that as well. And counseling, well, that’s often quite questionable.

What’s the benefit then of labels? I hate to sound like a conspiracy theorist but I really think it’s a covert plan between the American Psychiatric Association and the drug companies to line up more customers. It’s easier to get someone to take a pill if they think, even falsely, that they have an illness for which medication is indicated. In this way, psychiatry has sort of “borrowed” the trust we have in medical science and used it to legitimize psychiatry, which is anything but medical or scientific.

I’m glad I don’t have a label for real. I wish nobody had a false label.

If a person has the symptoms listed above, there is a reason for it, always. There may be multiple reasons – environmental, social or genuinely medical. What I mean by “genuinely medical” is that there are genuine physical illnesses, like hypothyroidism, which is known to cause:

  • Sensitivity to cold
  • Depression
  • Fatigue or feeling slowed down
  • Joint or muscle pain
  • Weakness
  • Weight gain (unintentional)
  • Decreased taste and smell
  • Slow speech

If you can get a proper diagnosis for hypothyroidism, you can get actual medical treatment for that condition. Trouble is, if your doctor believes that there is a disease called “depression”, he will not diligently look for the real cause.

I met a lady once whose husband had recently died. He had been a mental patient, in and out of mental institutions and on and off drugs for 10 years. Conservatively he probably was a $250,000 cash cow for the mental health industry. Then one day he was admitted to the psych ward of Helen Ellis Memorial Hospital in Tarpon Springs, Florida, again, for being psychotic. He was diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic. He was there for three days. Then he suddenly just… died, graveyard dead. The autopsy revealed that he had a brain tumor. He’s probably had the brain tumor growing undetected for 10 years and the pressure on his brain had caused the symptoms of his “mental illness”. His many doctors didn’t search for any other cause because they had a cause, his disorder.

So I ask you, who do the labels serve? Let’s see some comments please.



6 Comments so far
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The title is one of the greatest title I have ever seen. I started laughing, and could not stop after reading the title.

It is a very, very well written article, Doyle. It tells the truth, and yet started out as funny.
At the end its not funny, but real and needs to be read.

I think this piece is supurb.

Mary Collins

Comment by Mary Collins

Thank you Mary! Your opinion means a lot to me. You are a top-caliber writer and just in case anybody reading this doesn’t already know your work, they can check it out here:

Comment by doylemills

Well, my partner is diagnosed as a PTSD / bi-polar depressive, and I can tell you for certain that, with all my time with him, and the PTSD clinic I volunteer with at the V.A. Hospital, there is certainly SOMETHING wrong. So I definitely don’t agree with you 100% on this situation.

However, I do agree with you in a lot of areas here. I think that many of these disorders are bullshit. I think that almost all of them are over diagnosed.

ADD/ ADHD, for one/two… whatever. I was “diagnosed” with this back in the ritalin heyday. The meds made me worse. Would you like to know what the actual problem and solution was? I was bored shitless in class because I already knew all of the material. Solution: Move me forward 2 years. Guess what! Problem solved and my ADD just suddenly disappeared like magic. MAGIC, I says!

Does/could this exist? Sure. I believe that there are truly valid cases of ADD/ADHD out there, just as with any other mental illness. But I also believe that they are probably correct diagnoses in maybe (and I’m being very generous with this number) about 5% of the cases.

I also think that the reason for this is simply drug sales (well, in a nutshell. I’m not going to go into a complete diatribe about lazy physicians, money grubbing politicians and health care workers, and lack of proper training in some cases)

Back to my partner… he was put on medication. A LOT of it. Many kinds, which changed over time, and were working about as well as throwing a stick at a forest fire to make it go out. Enter a different treatment. Rec. Therapy, therapist visits once a week and group meetings up at the V.A. That’s right. No meds for about 3 years now.

Lo and behold! His disorder is now manageable and “under control”, as much as it can be. Is he cured? No. Not at all. And I don’t believe he ever will be. But the difference is night and day. All because of a couple dedicated health care workers who get paid the same thing whether they go through a prescription pad every day or not. Health care providers who are doing their job because they genuinely want to make people well again, or at least as close to well as possible.

Comment by James E.

Thanks Big Katt for that long and thoughtful comment.
I’m very glad that your partner has been able to shed the drugs and is doing ok. Stories like that give me hope for all the millions out there who still down a pill every day.
In your first paragraph you point out that there is “SOMETHING wrong”. Well, I didn’t mean to say there wasn’t. There are hundreds or thousands of things that could be wrong, categorized into undetected physical ailments and mental travails. PTSD usually, but not always, means someone who served their country in the military. Those guys have gone through a harrowing experience, even if only the training! And they’ve usually been given various kinds of drugs as well.
So I agree there is something wrong. But the problem is the label, a label that is meaningless really, except that it helps to sell the drugs. Children diagnosed as ADD/ADHD have SOMETHING wrong for sure. But if you took each one and sought out competent medical care, better education, somebody to talk with, or a kick in the butt, you’d find some percentage have an intolerance for sugar or corn or soy, some percentage were just bored, some percentage had hyper- or hypo-thyroid, some percentage were… you get the idea. So maybe sooner or later you’d get down to the 5% (your number, probably a little high) that nobody could quite figure out why they wouldn’t sit still. Does that mean they have a brain disorder just because nobody has yet figured out what is wrong with them? The problem with those 5% may never be solved because there is no money in curing them. There is big money in drugging them so that’s what we get. It’s a dollars and sense problem in a way. If we could take the billions that drug companies spend on convincing the public that behavior problems equal brain disorders and the billions they spend buying off parents in lawsuits where children have died or been permanently damaged, we could have a cure. But there is no incentive to cure. The incentive is to find more people who can be convinced they are sick, who will then take the drugs. It’s a terrible situation.

Comment by doylemills

This is exactly where we agree. It’s all about the drug companies and profiteering. Sure, we can try to suppress and hide the symptoms, but that doesn’t do anything to FIND the underlying problems and cure the actual illness. God, think of all of the actual HEALTH care we could provide and the hungry we could feed and all of the other good we could do with that extra money that wasn’t being pumped into the drug companies to subsidize forced addiction.

The big problem, I think, is the, as I like to call it, “Illness of the week”. You know, the ones you see one day on television, something really obscure, that is suddenly the talk of the country for the next 4 months, and out of nowhere EVERYONE has it. Example: Gluten Allergy. Sorry, as a chef, and someone with half a brain, I call bullshit on this one. Sure, I would bet that there are a few people out there that are genuinely allergic to it. But I see probably about 10 people every day, literally, who are “allergic to gluten”. You know what? If that many people were allergic to it, we wouldn’t have had bread around in society for the last, what? 30,000 years or so? Oh, it gives you a goofy tummy? Poor baby. Beans give me a goofy tummy too. I’m not fucking ALLERGIC to them, and I still eat them. (What? I like mexican food) What’s most likely giving them the “belly music” from the bread isn’t gluten, but rather, I would wager, yeast. Oh, wow, yeast loves it to be moist and around 98 deg. farenheit. Just like in your stomach! Great! I could be rich! I just invented “Yeast Allergy”! I need to get on this a.s.a.p.

Again, don’t misunderstand, I know there are true allergies out there like that. I’ve seen people almost die from eating peanuts. I’ve almost died from eating squid and octopus. But one person out of 3 million or more does not mean you are allergic to something too. It certainly doesn’t equate to 10 people out of every 500. If that many people (going back to the recent skyrocketing of gluten allergies) are allergic to gluten all of a sudden, it may just be evolutions way of saying “You! Out of the gene pool. You’re done.”

Or, more likely than not, it’s just sheep people (sheeple, for future reference) buying into the “illness of the week”, to pump more money into major drug companies and such.

Comment by James E.

Amen brother

Comment by doylemills

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