The Universal Stigmatisation Personality Disorder

We are all comfortable with saying, “I have a pain in my foot”, because everyone thinks of “I” as something separate from, and possessing, a foot. Having become accustomed to speaking of disease and malfunction of the body as something separate from the “I”, however, we proceed to talk of someone “having” a mental illness or a personality disorder. But then who is this “I” who has a “personality disorder”? Surely the “I” is a personality, and it is therefore the “I” that is disordered. Which is, equally surely, another way of saying that the “I” is Bad. There must then be such a thing as an undisordered or correct personality, which this “I” regrettably fails to be.

Or perhaps not. Mental-health diagnostic tools have now proliferated to such a degree, the descriptions of personality-disorder traits have become so inclusive, and the emphasis has so shifted from “illness” to “personality disorder”, that it is simply no longer possible to be a human being in the world without meeting the criteria for half a dozen mental-health conditions at once.

Try out the diagnostic tools on yourself and everyone you know, and endeavour to imagine how drab and tedious you and they would need to be in order to avoid a diagnosis. They now cover every possible permutation of human nature, so that if you don’t have one disorder, you must necessarily have the opposite one. Indeed, it has been reported that the sum of mental health sufferers as defined by these devices exceeds the actual population.

What is truly pathological is the behaviour of the mental-health diagnosticians; they must either have omitted to try the diagnostic tool out on themselves, in which case they are incompetent, or else they cannot see themselves in their own descriptions, in which case they are conceited and delusional. They clearly suffer from a Universal Stigmatisation Personality Disorder.

One criterion for mental illness is “lack of insight” into one’s condition. That means that anyone who agrees he’s nuts, is nuts, while anyone who denies that he’s nuts, is nuts. If this principle were to be applied to the people who create the diagnostic tools, then their failure to recognise that they suffer from UPSD ought to be evidence that they suffer from UPSD. Similarly, when people are stigmatised and confined, they may exhibit “hostility” towards those responsible. This incomprehensible and wicked attitude then becomes proof that it was correct to stigmatise and confine them in the first place. By the same token, if clinical psychologists object to my description of them, this objection must be entered in evidence of their morbid condition.

Now, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is quite clear that it describes absolutely everybody and that this fact is not an indication that everybody has mental disorders. There are clear thresholds below which the behavioural indications are not considered problems but merely descriptive. It is only when such behaviours cross a line and begin to interfere with such aspects of daily living as being able to hold a job and form strong friendships that the diagnosis kicks in. How many practitioners have read the introduction is another matter, and in any case the manual represents a resource that can be used against any given individual when socially or politically desirable.

In the last analysis, a personality disorder is a tautology; for to have a personality at all is to be disordered, relative to being a perfectly efficient survival and reproductive machine.

Posted on January 1, 2010 at 11:56 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink
In: MONKEY BUSINESS, Therapists And Other Health Hazards

2 Responses

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  1. Written by Urban Djin
    on January 1, 2010 at 19:19
    Permalink

    The problem I have with this post is that the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is quite clear that it describes absolutely everybody and that this fact is not an indication that everybody has mental disorders. There are clear thresholds below which the behavioral indications are not considered problems but merely descriptive. It is only when such behaviors cross a line and begin to interfere with such aspects of daily living as being able to hold a job and form strong friendships that the diagnosis kicks in.

    That there are people within the mental health profession who never read the introduction to the manual or weren’t paying attention in class is a different issue, one of lax professional standards. That problem is not intrinsic to the very concept of mental or personality disorders as you imply.

  2. Written by Hugo Grinebiter
    on January 2, 2010 at 11:08
    Permalink

    Wasn’t aware of that caveat. I’ve stolen your first paragraph for my original work in Word, I know you won’t mind. I shan’t alter the post here because people can read your comment.

    I am not sure, however, that I agree with your second paragraph. I think there’s more to it than over-enthusiastic use of the tests. Suppose we said that N% of the population could be classified as “racially-inferior social parasites”, as was done not so very long ago, but that we shouldn’t actually do anything about them, unless their parasitism crosses a line. Nu? This might make the Jews rather nervous. You and I are a bit strange, but indeed quite functional — in our own opinion, but then all the nutters can say that. We are functional until someone decides to classify our particular prejudices, like not watching TV, as “interfering with daily living”. For when watching reality shows is considered, by “professionals” (as if clinical psychologists are divinely inspired philosophers), to be part of the definition of daily functionality, then we can continue the discussion in the funny farm. Pre-emptive stigmatisation of the entire population is a weapon, and weapons are always used, at least those held by the State. The intellectual structure of the UPSD makes it possible to swing into action against any desired social and political dissident, by making minor modifications to the thresholds, far away from the glare of the media.

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