Are Readers Crazy?
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June 03, 2009, 05:58 PM
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Guatemelan immigrant Constantino Diaz-Duran has an article in the Daily Beast about new diagnoses available in the latest Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, [DSM-V] 8 New Ways You Might Be Insane. The new ways of going officially crazy are based on various modern obsessions:(1. Binge-Eating Disorder 2. Night-Eating Syndrome 3. Internet Addiction 4. Sex Addiction 5. Compulsive Shopping 6. Embitterment Disorder 7. Pathological Hoarding) but the one that`s worrisome is this one:
8. Pathological Bias In layman’s terms, this is nothing more than an extreme form of racism, homophobia, or other prejudices. Dr. Makari [Dr. George Makari, Director of the Institute for the History of Psychiatry at Cornell University] warns that �the idea of making a social ill a pathological mental illness is very dangerous. It misdirects us by biologizing something that is social.� Still, if bigotry makes the cut for the new DSM, it could have profound implications for our justice system, sparking more defense-attorney tactics that begin with, "Your Honor, my client suffers from..."
It`s interesting that he thinks that this diagnosis is likely to be used by "racists" and "homophobes" as a defense, but it`s more likely to be used against anyone with heterodox opinions about race or orthodox opinions about homosexuality in all sorts of court proceedings.

As for the homophobia thing, it`s worth noting that in the first edition of DSM, published in 1952, homosexuality was listed as a mental illness, which was what most people thought at the time. The various changes in the DSM over the years have been the result of activism, not science.