Maggie Gallagher at NRO notes:
A new study in the Archives of General Psychiatry, based on 5000 face to face interviews in 2000 and 2001, finds "Almost half of college-aged individuals had a psychiatric disorder in the past year."
If true, (and of course "diagnostic creep" may be the a major part of this when "binge drinking" and "nicotine dependence" are considered psychiatric disorders among young people), we're in more trouble than we think.
Sensible comment. After all, adolescence is
a disorder by any rational standard. Kids are generally sane and cheerful until age 12, then turn weird and crazy for ten years, then (with luck) resume sanity again.
But I'm also inclined to ask about vested interests. First, what do psychiatrists do? They nominally "provide therapy", but it's been proved over and over that "providing therapy" yields no permanent improvement. For some
clients it may have the same effect as a placebo or prayer cloth ... activating the brain's "healing receiver" ... but you can get those effects much more cheaply. The only way psychiatrists genuinely improve lives is by prescribing anti-psychotic drugs. The right drug can return an insane person to some degree of normality.
So in fact psychiatrists are in the business of selling drugs at a huge profit. And they have the legally defined
ability to declare competing drugs
such as tobacco and alcohol to be "disorders".
Isn't that a monopoly? We complain when Big Oil manages to get a legal advantage over other forms of energy. We complain when Big Media gains a legal advantage over bloggers or low-power FM. So why don't we complain when Big Shrink gains a legal advantage over competing anti-psychotic drugs?