I know Scott Alexander is the psychiatrist with the diploma, but really, who takes diplomas seriously these days.
Psychiatry is not as bad as L. Ron Hubbard would lead you to believe, although it is pretty bad. The study of human behavior at its fringes is interesting and much of psychiatric findings makes sense. But of course, psychiatry is downwards from power, and thus pozzed and blinded in many very obvious and very stupid ways.
Psychiatry deals with the intersection between biology and religion at the fringes. This means it is downwards from the state religion; it follows instructions from the state religion in its dealings with the poor, the lost, the loons. In the absence of an official state religion, psychiatry has become a tool of the unofficial state religion to give meaning to it’s patients, with predictable consequences.
The most important consequence being that psychiatry takes itself too serious, that it imagines it should find a panacea for the bane of human existence, much like how the majority of healthcare imagines it should find a panacea for human sickness, while the truth is that both doctors and psychiatrists are, in the overwhelming majority of cases, pretty limited in their options. We see over and over again that psychiatrists invent disorders and theories that are too clever by half, which in the end turn out to be convoluted reinventions of wheels that have been known long ago.
The majority of psychiatry violates Hippocrates’ rule: it does more harm than good.
What should good psychiatry look like?
The overwhelming majority of psychiatric patients are not responding abnormally to a normal system. They are responding normally to an abnormal system. The cases where a disorder is caused by abnormal brain structure, such as fetal alcoholic syndrome, or, later in life, a very hard hit to the head, are outshone 95 to 100 cases where the disorder is caused by normal brain structure responding to abnormal stimuli.
In these 95 cases, psychiatry has little reason to meddle and stick their fingers in open wounds. Thus the role of a good psychiatrist is much much smaller than it is at present.
As for the remaining 5 cases; used to be so that the village idiot was taken care of by the family and community. Lunatic asylums are a byproduct of delegation (or confiscation) of this responsibility by the state. Much like I’d rather see prisons closed and criminals given public whippings or sentenced to death, I’d also like to see lunatic asylums closed. But since we have big cities, not just small villages, I feel that a compromise need be reached. I support Jim’s proposal of 2 healthcare systems: one private, which law-abiding citizens pay for and receive good healthcare in. The other is state-owned and free, reserved for the poor, the outcasts, the loons. To be patient in the latter system is low-status, works on a revolving door basis. Closed psychiatric institutions should be part of the latter system.
Anyway, let’s get down to brass tax and rectify some names.
I’ll show and tell. My show and tell will be crude, which is not to make things simpler than they are. Sometimes they are simple, sometimes they are complex, but in either case a crude answer suffices. I will not engage in the typical modernist approach of disclaiming lack of expertise beforehand; I find this weak and demonstrating lack of confidence. As far as you may be concerned, I am an ultimate expert on all these matters.
Borderline personality disorder
Is pretty much exclusively a female thing, and if not just normal female behavior, a consequence of bad ownership by the father. A borderline women has never felt securely owned, but feeling the instinctive need to be owned, seeks out abusive relationships that mirror the abusive relationship she had with her father. She sabotages all relations she has, in part because that’s what women do, in part because her father did so to her. The cure for this is good ownership — a man who does not take her shit, who teaches her that being well behaved will give her fulfillment and love. Shakespeare’s ‘the taming of the shrew’, so to say. Which is the opposite of what psychiatry does, namely to teach the woman that she is strong and independent, which she knows in her bones she is not.
Self-mutilation falls into the same category. The cuts are a cry for help: ‘stop me from hurting myself, take proper ownership!’ Self-mutilation is a sign that she is not being owned properly.
Anorexia, bulimia; the same.
Sociopaths and psychopaths
Are among the most mythified creatures of psychiatry. ‘Is YOUR neighbor a sociopath?’ Who knows!
Supposedly there is some academic difference between a sociopath and psychopath, but they are pretty much the same. I’ll stick to the word sociopath.
Sociopath is really just a new word for liar. That’s all there is to it. A sociopath is someone who lies, often and without remorse. An entire mythology is built around sociopaths; it is nonsense. Supposedly, sociopaths lack empathy, but most people lack empathy. Supposedly, sociopaths treat other people like pawns, but most people treat other people like pawns. Supposedly, sociopaths do not care about anything, but I know for a fact sociopaths care about things, just like anyone else. No one does not care about anything, it goes against our survival instinct.
In my personal life I have been friends with several men who’d been stamped obvious sociopaths by psychiatrists, and it was always obvious to me that they’re really just like anyone else, the only difference being that they lie with remarkable ease and conviction.
The mythology around sociopaths is mostly build up by females who fantasize about not-giving-a-fuck badboys, and males who pretend to be not-giving-a-fuck-badboys.
Sociopathy is solved in exactly the way the problem with liars is solved: out-group them as liars.
Is a logical response towards a dysfunctional role within a dysfunctional system. Most of the people who pretend to care about you don’t care about you, the people in power don’t care about you. To be depressed about this is not a disorder, it is entirely logical. Depression is your body telling you that something about the way you are living is not right.
Depression is solved by treating it as a functional response towards a dysfunctional system, as opposed to treating it as a dysfunctional response towards a functional system as psychiatry does. The solution for the depressed person is to find a more natural role in society, which of course is easier said than done, although not impossibly so. For men, owning territory, having a nice job, owning a nice woman, being the patriarch of a family, are the easiest fixes psychiatrists will not tell you about. For women, being owned by a man, having children, not working a job you hate, are the easiest fixes psychiatrists will not tell you about.
In the same vein of depression: a functional response to a dysfunctional situation. Women are more prone to anxiety disorders, because women are more dependent upon their surroundings. Since modern surroundings, especially big cities, are hostile, anxiety is a normal, not an abnormal response. When my girl lived by herself in the big city, studying at a university that hated her, she become socially anxious, developed obsessive compulsive ticks and had to force herself to leave the house. Pretty sure that if left to her own devices, a psychiatrist would’ve wrote long reports about her anxieties, prescribed her medicine and endless therapy, and after a few years she’d have internalized that she was an abnormal person.
Luckily she was not left to her own devices — She met me, quit her studies, moved in with me. All her anxieties disappeared. No more social anxiety, no more ticks, no more trouble leaving the house. Like snow before the sun.
Attention-Deficit (Compulsive) Disorder
A particularly nasty one. ADHD, or ADD, is defined as the inability to sit still for 8 hours and listen to boring men talking, or the inability to, for hours on end, read books that are not interesting. To in response become restless and agitated is normal, not abnormal.
ADD medication is the frontline of subduing men, of telling them something is wrong with them as opposed to something being wrong with the education system. Simple truth is not everyone is cut out for sitting still for 8 hours on end, or for reading for hours on end. Different people, different talents.
ADD is like forcing a fish to climb a tree for years on end, and when it inexplicably fails to do so, diagnose it with Tree Climbing Disorder and force-feed it tree climbing pills.
Anti-Social Personality Disorder, Narcissistic personality disorder
Is merely the reinventing the existence of assholes. Assholes have been in this world for a long time, the name asshole has been perfectly adequate. Like with sociopaths, a lot of nonsensical mythology has been built around these disorders. Supposedly, narcissists view themselves as the main protagonist in their own movie. Spoiler: everyone views themselves as the main protagonist in their own movie.
The only distinctive feature of ASPD and NPD is being an asshole. There are many assholes in this world, and the solution for assholes is the same it has always been: let them be, and if they violate law, a few public whippings. That is all.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
PTSD is a funny one, because it is mostly fiction. Men don’t mind killing; we are descended from killer apes, it is in our DNA to kill. In the minor sense that PTSD is real, it is a response not to actual war, but the feeling that it was futile for you to participate in the frontline of said war, that you were being used as a useful idiot by others, and were not allowed by your superiors to win said war. Once again, an entirely logical response.
Of course, most PTSD cases are merely attention seeking cases. Observe studies in the Washington Post suggesting that 25% of college students could develop PTSD because of Trump, as compared to the 2-3% of WWI veterans suffering from shell shock or combat fatigue. Nothing better illustrates the fact that the common conception of PTSD is a convenient fiction.
Schizophrenia is one of the few ‘honest’ disorders. Schizophrenia is, for whatever reason, the inability to cope with reality and a cognitive breakdown in response to it. Since reality can be pretty daunting, often an entirely logical response. In its prolonged state, schizophrenia is what we used to call crazies and loons, and rightly so. The homeless person garbling nonsense is what we label the schizophrenic. Used to be the village idiot, who was taken care of by family and community, now we delegate the responsibility to the state, with all predictable consequences.