San Juan Mountains

San Juan Mountains
San Juan Mountains: Grenadier Range

Friday, January 1, 2016

Affluenza and Other Mythical Mental Illnesses

Did you hear the story about the San Antonio teenager who used the "affluenza" defense for his vehicular homicide?  Ethan Couch was sentenced to juvenile probation after driving drunk and plowing into and killing four people with his car.  Under biblical law, which should be the law of this immoral land, Ethan would be executed for his crime.  Under the law of the Socialist Democracy of Amerika Ethan was given a couple of years probation. Apparently even that sentence was deemed too harsh by Ethan and his mother so they have fled to Mexico in defiance of his court orders.  I can't wait to see how all of that turns out.
My focus today is not upon Ethan's flight to Mexico, it is upon his legal defense.  His defense attorney hired a expert in psychology and psychiatry who testified on his behalf at his trial.  According to an Associated Press report, "During the sentencing phase of Couch's trial a defense expert argued that his wealthy parents coddled him into a sense of irresponsibility --  a condition the expert termed 'affluenza.'"  So there you have it.  A new mental illness has been created....almost.  According to that same report, "The condition is not recognized as a medical diagnosis by the American Psychiatric Association, and its invocation drew ridicule."  Did you get that?  Invoking the medical diagnosis of a mental illness called "affluenza" drew "ridicule" from the professional headshrinkers among us.  That got me to pondering.....I wonder how many other "mental illness" are equally ridiculous?
To answer that question I went to the one true source of accurate information....Wikipedia!  According to an article found here, the exhaustive list of officially government approved mental illnesses contains a lot of items I believe most people would consider ridiculous.  If the diagnosis of affluenza is ridiculous then certainly the ones below must be as well.  I started down the list, selecting those mental illnesses that seemed most ridiculous to me.  I did not even get through the letter "C" before I had a list of ten utterly ridiculous mental illnesses recognized by the professional ruling class in the Socialist Democracy of Amerika as medical conditions requiring government approved treatment at the hands of doctors working within a government created medical monopoly.  Let's go through this list and see what you think.  For each of the ten "illnesses" on this list I begin by quoting its description (without editing it for links to other websites), followed by my insightful comments on each one.
  1. "Anorexia nervosa, often referred to simply as anorexia, is an eating disorder characterized by a low weight, fear of gaining weight, a strong desire to be thin, and food restriction. Many people with anorexia see themselves as overweight even though they are underweight. If asked they usually deny they have a problem with low weight. Often they weigh themselves frequently, eat only small amounts, and only eat certain foods. Some will exercise excessively, force themselves to vomit, or use laxatives to produce weight loss."   Anorexia is truly a first-world problem.  Can you imagine any second or third world citizens being pathologically terrified of eating?  Neither can I.  In the Socialist Democracy of Amerika however, fearful and insecure teenage girls attempt to cope with the unreasonable demands put upon them by their Yuppie parents by engaging in obsessive control over what they eat.  By focusing on obsessively controlling their food intake they effectively shut out all other thoughts from their minds, thus giving them the sense of peace they are seeking.  Anorexia is nothing more than selfishness.  It is no more a mental illness than my obsession with cake and whiskey as a means to forget my miserable status in life is a mental illness.  Making girls who practice anorexia the center of attention only makes things worse as it gives them precisely the attention they want.  If a girl wants to starve herself to death, let her do it.  Or let her get over her selfishness and join the adult world.  But by no means is stubbornly and stupidly refusing to eat a mental illness.  That belief is ridiculous.
  2. "Antisocial personality disorder is characterized by a pervasive pattern of disregard for, or violation of, the rights of others. There may be an impoverished moral sense or conscience and a history of crime, legal problems, and impulsive and aggressive behavior."  I love this one.  I am not a jerk, I just have the mental illness known as antisocial personality disorder!  Ha! Ha! Ha! Have you ever heard of anything more ridiculous than that?  And can you imagine the stuffy professional psychiatrists, filled with arrogance, guffawing over the affluenza diagnosis while, at the same time, making this diagnosis?  How ridiculous! Some people are jerks.  They are selfish, stupid and refuse to exercise self control.  When they see something they want they take it.  Hummm....this is beginning to sound like a description of career politicians.  I conclude that all career politicians are mentally ill.
  3. "Anxiety disorders are a category of mental disorders characterized by feelings of anxiety and fear, where anxiety is a worry about future events and fear is a reaction to current events. These feelings may cause physical symptoms, such as a racing heart and shakiness."  If this is a mental illness then it is one every single person in the universe has.  And if every single person in the universe has it I think that is a pretty strong argument that it is not a medical condition treated by drugs and talk therapy with a government approved "therapist."  Who isn't afraid, besides the Welsh, of terrorism, global warming, bird flu, the next worldwide recession, speaking in public and your crazy, lunatic neighbor walking around carrying a handgun?   I am afraid calling fear a mental illness is ridiculous.
  4. "Alcohol abuse is a previous psychiatric diagnosis in which there is recurring harmful use of ethanol despite its negative consequences In 2013 it was reclassified as alcohol use disorder (alcoholism) along with alcohol dependence. There are two types of alcohol abuse, those who have anti-social and pleasure-seeking tendencies, and those who are anxiety-ridden people who are able to go without drinking for long periods of time but are unable to control themselves once they start."  Give me a break.  Some people are heavy drinkers.  Some people get drunk.  People who get drunk are drunks, not mentally ill.  If doing something that causes harm to myself is the definition of mental illness then everyone is mentally ill.  Since everyone cannot be mentally ill and the concept of mental illness still have meaning, then drinking too much is a choice and not an illness.  How ridiculous it is to believe that a drunk is suffering from a medical condition that forces him, against his will to get drunk.  Drunks make the entirely rational decision to anesthetize themselves to life's disappointments by zoning out via alcohol.  That is not evidence of a mental illness.  On the contrary, sometimes it is the best possible option.  "Give strong drink to him who is perishing" is a biblical injunction you know.
  5.  "Bereavement is a multifaceted response to loss, particularly to the loss of someone or something that has died, to which a bond or affection was formed. Although conventionally focused on the emotional response to loss, it also has physical, cognitive, behavioral, social, and philosophical dimensions."  Uncle Joe dies and I get sad.  Watch out!  I have a mental illness.  I was unaware that being sad at the loss of a loved one is an official mental illness.  When the time comes, and it will, when people who are diagnosed as being mentally ill are forbidden from purchasing guns, this particular mental illness is going to exclude a lot of people.  "Have you ever grieved at the death of a loved on?" the gun dealer will ask.  "Rejected" will be his response to your application for government permission to buy and hold a gun.  This mental illness creates another interesting problem.  I watch a lot of Dateline and one of the key characteristics of a husband who has murdered his wife is insufficient bereavement.  So now what is a murderous husband to do?  If he grieves he is mentally ill and subject to incarceration in a government approved prison known as a mental health hospital.  If he does not grieve he is a murderer.  I don't know which is worse
  6. "Binge eating disorder (BED) is characterized by binge eating without subsequent purging episodes. The disorder was first described in 1959 by psychiatrist and researcher Albert Stunkard as "night eating syndrome", and the term "binge eating " was coined to describe the same binging-type eating behavior without the exclusive nocturnal component."  This mental illness pretty much describes daily life in Welsh households.  The Welsh never knew where their next meal was going to come from.  As a result of that fear (anxiety disorder), the Welsh take every opportunity to load up on food that presents itself.  That is why you might want to think twice about inviting a Welshman to dinner, unless it is to an "all you can eat" restaurant.  The fact that some folks like to load up their plates at the dinner table is deemed to be a mental illness is ridiculous.  The fact that some Dagwoods like to get up in the middle of the night and make themselves a huge sandwich is not a mental illness, it is a fun way to spend the evening.  The only people mentally ill about BED are those who call it a mental illness.
  7.  "Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD), also termed body dysmorphia or dysmorphic syndrome, but originally termed dysmorphophobia, is a mental disorder characterized by an obsessive preoccupation that some aspect of one's own appearance is severely flawed and warrants exceptional measures to hide or fix it."  Have you ever been to the gym?  If you have you know that just about everyone in the gym suffers from this mental illness.  Watch the Yuppie woman obsessively use the weight machine as she desperately attempts to get rid of her sagging triceps muscles and tell me that she is not mentally ill.  Watch the Yuppie man pound the bench press as he desperately seeks to develop enormous pectoral muscles and tell me he is not mentally ill.  Watch all of the Yuppies pound out endless hours on the cardio machines in vain attempts to lose weight and tell me they are not all mentally ill.  And if everyone is mentally ill then no one is mentally ill.  How ridiculous it all is.  Is everyone who gets a face lift mentally ill?  There is no doubt they are all extremely vain but it is hard for me to call them sick.  As a Welshman I do not understand this problem since all Welsh people are perfectly content with their bodies.  That is not because we have perfect bodies.  It is because we just don't care about stupid things. 
  8. "Borderline personality disorder (BPD), also known as emotionally unstable personality disorder – impulsive or borderline type or emotional intensity disorder, is a personality disorder. The essential features include a pattern of impulsivity and instability of behaviors, interpersonal relationships, and self-image. There may be uncontrollable anger and depression."  Have you ever observed  a teenager?  They all suffer from BPD.  They are all either angry or depressed, all of the time.  They are also impulsive, especially teenage males.  Just watch how they drive.  Teenage driving skills, if we can call them that, are an object lesson in impulsivity.  I guess all teenagers are mentally ill.   In fact I believe all people, both male and female, suffer from BPD the moment they slide behind the wheel of an automobile.  How else do you account for the enormous amount of road rage on display every day in this hate-filled country?  Lots of people are impulsive.  Lots of people are angry.  Lots of people are depressed.  But to believe that all these people are mentally ill is ridiculous.
  9. "Caffeine-induced sleep disorder is a psychiatric disorder that results from overconsumption of the stimulant caffeine. "When caffeine is consumed immediately before bedtime or continuously throughout the day, sleep onset may be delayed, total sleep time reduced, normal stages of sleep altered, and the quality of sleep decreased."  So I had a cup of coffee in the evening and I am having a hard time falling asleep. What should I do?  Quick, call a government approved shrink!  I am suffering from a mental illness.  I have written about this absurd and ridiculous mental illness previously.  Go here if you are interested.
  10. "Factitious disorder is a condition in which a person acts as if he or she has an illness by deliberately producing, feigning, or exaggerating symptoms. Factitious disorder imposed on another is a condition in which a person deliberately produces, feigns, or exaggerates the symptoms of someone in his or her care."  Okay, so I jumped down to the "F" category to find this mental illness.  I had a reason for doing so.  Every woman reading this blog post knows for an absolute fact that her husband suffers from the mental illness of Factitious disorder.  No matter how slight the cold her husband might have, it forces him to be bedridden and utterly helpless until she comes along to nurse him back to health.  The wife can have a combination of diphtheria, polio, influenza and several broken bones and her husband will tell her to man up and get over it.  But give the man a bit of the sniffles and he collapses into a quivering heap of helplessness on the floor, begging his wife for succor.  If FD Is a mental illness I am the King of the SDA.  By the way, I am not the King of the SDA.  
Enough of this ridiculousness.  Let's get on with the new year, shall we?

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