Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Chapters 10 and 11

In chapter 10, The Avoidable Death of Rebecca Riley, in Jon Ronson's book The Psychopath Test, Ronson talks to the creators of the evolving DSM checklists and discusses the views that psychiatrists and the rest of the population has on the checklists. Ronson first sits down and talks with Robert Spitzer. Spitzer was fascinated with classifying people because he saw his mom see different psychoanalysis to try to figure out what was wrong with her, but they never could. So he created the first DSM that was just 65 pages and could classify people to different disorders. Spitzer started to take different ideas from numerous other psychiatrists and they kept adding to the DSM collection to the point that pretty much every person with a little behavioral problem was classified to some disorder. The effects of the new DSM was that much more medications were selling because people thought they needed drugs to treat their problems, therefore the drug industry was booming. Some people, like Gary Maier, believe that we are diagnosing too many people with disorders and medicating people too quickly. Spitzer has started to realize toward the end of the chapter that maybe the DSM suggests too many people have disorders when they are really reflecting normal behavior.

These chapters made me very upset! I think it might have been because I just got done taking a sociology test that sort of relates to this chapter. The book is talking about diagnosing people with mental illness, which is basically all guessing, and our whole sociology test was based on people's theories, that aren't even true for everyone. People everywhere are trying to understand how the brain works and if the beetle is really in the box. Well i don't think anyone will every really know what is going on so why don't they stop trying? Maybe it is all a way to create more jobs and get more money circulating in the economy. If people think they have a mental illness, they will think they need to see a psychiatrist, and the psychiatrist is getting paid, and probably going to refer them to get drugs. The drugs will be purchased from the pharmacist generating more money in the economy. Before the psychopath tests or DSM tests were around people were just fine, granted some people really do have cognitive disabilities. But people are making up the strangest disorders, like picking your nose. So overall I guess I just don't understand what a psychopath really is and I think there should somehow be a level of madness they need to surpass before they can be incarcerated or put on medication.

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