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mental illness
Today  I started a Facebook page dedicated to Mood Pride.  Mood  Pride is an offshoot of the neurodiversity movement, suggesting that we focus on the ”differences” of people with mood disorders, rather than solely on the ”deficits.”  Mood disorders are terrible afflictions, don’t get me wrong.  My own mood disorder (five episodes of major depression...
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Yesterday in the New York Times an op ed piece appeared entitled ”Successful and Schizophrenic’‘ that affirmed the importance of neurodiversity and the value of strengths in people with mental health labels.  Written by Elyn Saks, who has lived with schizophrenia all her life yet been highly successful in several fields (professor of law, psychoanalyst, MacArthur fellow), the piece...
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The December 14th shootings in Newtown, Connecticut, have opened up a Pandora’s box of issues related to mental health.  One controversy in particular relates to the shooter Adam Lanza’s alleged identification as a person with a mild form of autism spectrum disorder called Asperger’s syndrome.  This hearsay diagnosis in turn has ignited a strong rebuttal from the...
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  Imagine that all of the people in the world have been magically transformed into flowers. Some of us are petunias.  Others are begonias.  Still others are tulips.  Now, let’s say for the sake of argument that the psychiatrists in this culture are the roses. I want you to imagine the rose psychiatrist beginning his work...
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   Over the past sixty years, we’ve witnessed a phenomenal growth in the number of new psychiatric illnesses.  The American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, first published in 1952, originally listed about 100 categories of illness.  By the year 2000, that number had tripled.  We’ve become accustomed to hearing in the news about “learning...
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