Are you a free-thinking rebel or just mentally ill?
some could say these concepts are one and the same. maybe a blue letter “M” (or “R”) will be sewn into the clothes of any person who disagrees… or maybe this is already done in a clean, practical way by Human Resources Departments; by labeling a LinkedIn profile as “Difficult”. algorithms could even help them with that.
Is nonconformity and freethinking a mental illness? According to the newest addition of the DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders), it certainly is. The manual identifies a new mental illness called “oppositional defiant disorder” or ODD. Defined as an “ongoing pattern of disobedient, hostile and defiant behavior,” symptoms include questioning authority, negativity, defiance, argumentativeness, and being easily annoyed.
New mental illnesses identified by the DSM-IV include arrogance, narcissism, above-average creativity, cynicism, and antisocial behavior. In the past, these were called “personality traits,” but now they’re diseases.
In the last 50 years, the DSM-IV has gone from 130 to 357 mental illnesses. A majority of these illnesses afflict children.
The Soviet Union used new “mental illnesses” for political repression. People who didn’t accept the beliefs of the Communist Party developed a new type of schizophrenia. They suffered from the delusion of believing communism was wrong. They were isolated, forcefully medicated, and put through repressive “therapy” to bring them back to sanity.
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