Tuesday, May 1, 2007

May 2007 MCS America News: Sal's Place - Psychiatric Diagnoses are Not Based on Science

I recently read a news article entitled "Prominent Psychiatrist Forced to Finally Concede that Psychiatric Diagnoses are Not Based on Science". My first thought was AMEN to that!

Then the topic began to bug me. I began to think that we can't call MCS "science" because there is no clinical test and it's diagnosed based on subjective observation and patient reported symptoms. However, psychiatric disorders (or otherwise "normal behavior" in most cases) are called "science" yet there are no clinical tests and diagnosis is based on subjective observation and patient reported symptoms.

This reminds me of an eye opening observation when I was at the beach park yesterday. I had returned to my van where I saw a bird and it was following me around the van, no more than 2 feet away from me, as I moved about drying off and fixing my hair. I figured it was a brave bird and probably very hungry so I dug up some quick oats from the van and scattered them around the ground and soil for the bird to eat. Soon, dozens were there partaking in the "feast".

I watched with apt curiosity as they moved around each other, never touching, pecking as fast as they could at each oat without any fighting. One bird with a red cap of another species pecked much faster than the others and I soon realized it was not eating the oats, but holding them in it's mouth to carry away and feed it's hatchlings housed in a nest in the tree I parked next to.

I had not realized I was standing so still, motionless, until I moved and all the birds instantly retreated several feet farther from me and stopped eating. I again stood still and they slowly, nervously returned to eat as fast as they could with an ever watchful eye on me. Each time I moved, they scattered again, so I eventually moved to the other side of the van and allowed them to enjoy their feast in peace.

I bring this up because it struck me as a "normal" instinctual behavior to protect the species from predators, that psychiatry would label as a "phobia" of humans or motion.

It also struck me that, like the birds shared, I shared. The birds did not know when their next feast would be or when they might happen upon food again. Yet they did not fight over the food. Like them, I did not think twice about giving them a whole serving of oats that should have been my breakfast one morning even though I'm very low on food and have no errand runner or prospects for one in the near future. I, like them, do not know if there will be food in a few days. Yet I shared it with a hungry bird.

Isn't humanity fascinating when we stop trying to label others and appreciate how human nature is normal and has an inherent biological purpose? We need each other to survive in community, so we feed each other. Birds need to be wary of predators in the wild so they scatter and run when there is motion near them or another species approaches. These are normal, instinctual behaviors, not psychiatric disorders. The birds don't have general anxiety disorder or people phobia any more than I have "feel sorry for hungry birds syndrome". We're just normal creatures feeling, operating, and doing as our creator made us. Emotions are normal occurrences. To say otherwise would say the whole flock of birds was mentally ill... a far fetch. Yet, that is exactly what psychiatry has done to humans with a push to sell expensive and dangerous psychopharmaceuticals. We are taught our emotions are wrong and that we should be numb. How and why have things gone so wrong?

Copyrighted © 2007 MCS America

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