50 Shades of Normal:Diagnosing “Disorders”

By  | February 4, 2014 | 2 Comments | Filed under: Health and Wellness

dsmHas the psychological community gone one wave length too far? In the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) they have added, over time, some less than sensible new “disorders” to the list. The DSM has been around for years and it seems as though they have run out of rational diagnoses for mental disorders. It is becoming more of a mockery than an aid to the psychological community, in my very humble opinion. With all the advancements in other scientific fields, such as “The Wheel” and “Gravity” it seems as though psychologists are stumbling around, blindfolded and backwards, trying to make anything and everything sound like a serious mental disability. We get it, and it’s cute that you are trying, but Gravity is a hard act to follow.

New disorders such as Sibling Rivalry Disorder, Mathematics Disorder, and Phase of Life Problems have been haphazardly thrown into the diagnostic criteria of mental disorders. I would like to speak with the psychologist that deemed sibling rivalry a concern that needs to be treated! It seems, now, that EVERY child with a sibling should be in therapy. I could open up a center for Sibling Rivalry, call it something catchy, and have people pay me to parent their children for them! But it’s okay, this project is 100% legitimate, it’s in the DSM! I would have thousands, no, millions of clients from all over the world because I would be the only clinic specializing in this fast-growing community issue. Parents, here’s the deal: If Johnny is pulling Amanda’s hair to show her that he is the big, bad, overpowering brother and Amanda is screaming bloody murder, you do not need a therapist, you need two separate rooms and an Advil. I am a nanny and when my kids fight I separate them, and threaten the Harry Potter book with fire (BUT WHO OPENED THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS?!). Does this make me a psychological genius? No, it makes me the ruler of the tiny human beings that I have been assigned.

I would also like to know at what point someone decided that being “mathematically challenged” was a disorder. When I was in school and I didn’t understand math I got a tutor, not a therapist.

I have actually heard talk of something called “teachers”. You see, they show up to school every day and are paid to teach certain subjects. Now, I have been informed, by a fairly reliable source by the name of Micaela (an odd coincidence), that math is one of these subjects, but what do I…I mean what does this Micaela person know? She is a Sibling Rivalry Disorder expert, not a Mathematics Disorder specialist. What is a therapist going to do about the fact that I can’t grasp a mathematical concept, send me in for rigorous testing to find out why? Why don’t I understand algebra? Because when numbers and the alphabet first started seeing each other, SOMEONE should have put a stop to it. Now they are married, living together, and making little mathematical bundles of joy to boggle my brain even further (I prefer my pie in the Apple variety to 3.14159265). I blame it on the number symbols. The ampersand really should have stood up when the number sign asked if anyone disagreed with the joining of these two souls. Needless to say, I never needed anyone to diagnose my mathematical “disorder”, I needed a calculator.

I do not even want to get started on the redundancy of “phase of life problems”. How can you, Mr. Manual, tell me that, say, going through puberty is a disorder? Is that not a “phase of life”? I should probably have been catapulted into therapy the moment I noticed that my chest was ballooning into something my mother called “breasts”. I’m totally scarred for having been sat down in a comfy chair to discuss how I felt about the acne and the reason that boys didn’t want to be “just my friend” anymore.

Conclusion? It’s not every day you see siblings fighting, people with difficulty in math and teenagers going through puberty and trying to figure out who they are in this world…oh wait…yes it is. Do the math people, even I know this doesn’t add up (and I didn’t even use my calculator the first time)!


Micaela is currently studying Psychology at Conestoga College.

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2 Responses to 50 Shades of Normal:Diagnosing “Disorders”

  1. mary-lou patey February 4, 2014 at 5:29 pm

    Sadly they are diagnosing everyone with some form of mental illness and forgetting that we all have some issues. This is normal. Very few people actually have a serious mental disorder that requires medications and therapy. It is normal to go through depression once in a while, just as being happy does not happen every minute. The ones that really need help, don;t get it or cant find it.. Every other person is on some form of anti depressant drug which will most likely do more harm than good. It is far too easy to throw pills at people especially since big pharma gives perks. This reminds me of the new reality shows. Just a ridiculous.

  2. Stacy Sheasby February 5, 2014 at 10:50 am

    Excellent article with a great sense of humour.

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