FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Diagnostic Conclusions

All of us draw conclusions based upon our prior experiences. In fact, this is essential in order to bring some predictability to our lives. We say that if it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck and walks like a duck it is a duck. Seems logical.

The ethics involved in the field of psychiatry precludes psychiatrists from diagnosing any particular individual without having completed a direct thorough evaluation.

By and large I agree that this is a fine policy, although I have read, for example, many statements about Lincoln’s clinical depression rendered by individuals who never had any sort of personal contact with him. Even psychiatry, a profession in which I have been a member for many years, is capable of making extremely stupid and even dangerous conclusions.

I believe that most of these have been based, at least in the most egregious examples, by accepting societal norms rather than by attempting to accumulate bias free scientific data.

If you think that this is wrong, explore the history of the euthanasia movement and its acceptance in the psychiatric field. Think also of the children with Downs Syndrome. Do we forget that children with this syndrome were once clinically diagnosed as “Mongolian Idiots?”  Parents who were presented with an infant with this diagnosis at birth were most frequently advised to immediately institutionalize them, usually in grossly inadequate circumstances with almost no stimulation. This treatment precluded intellectual development. In fact, we now know that many of these children are capable of being employed and living satisfactory lives in society.  The two examples, euthanasia and Downs Syndrome, are good reasons to be cautious in diagnosis.

I apologize for the digression but now we get to the meat of the subject.  There have been a number of recent conversations in which the diagnosis “Narcissistic Personality Disorder” has been bandied about, particularly in relation to a specific individual.  All psychiatric disorders are named, along with the diagnostic criteria, in the so-called DSM (i.e. the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association).

If one simply Googles the DSM Criteria For Narcissistic Personality Disorder, a series of statements will appear. This list provides the entire criteria for Narcissistic Personality Disorder; there are no laboratory, genetic or other tests for this disorder.  In making any diagnosis a psychiatrist will gather as much information from available sources, interview the patient a variable number of times, and may request psychological testing. All of these are then compared with the DSM statements and a judgment tendered as to whether the diagnosis is correct or whether some other resolution is appropriate.  I urge you to Google the list.

My personal ethics preclude my coming to a diagnostic conclusion regarding a person I have not personally evaluated. However, I do believe, in my heart of hearts, without doubt, that there is a person who is extremely well known and appears to fit this diagnosis in exquisite detail. My ethics preclude naming a name.

More articles by:

December 13, 2018
John Davis
What World Do We Seek?
Subhankar Banerjee
Biological Annihilation: a Planet in Loss Mode
Lawrence Davidson
What the Attack on Marc Lamont Hill Tells Us
James McEnteer
Breathless
Ramzy Baroud
The Real Face of Justin Trudeau: Are Palestinians Canada’s new Jews?
Dean Baker
Pelosi Would Sabotage the Progressive Agenda With a Pay-Go Rule
Elliot Sperber
Understanding the Yellow Vests Movement Through Basic Color Theory 
Rivera Sun
The End of the NRA? Business Magazines Tell Activists: The Strategy is Working
Kevin Zeese - Margaret Flowers
Historic Opportunity to Transform Trade
December 12, 2018
Arshad Khan
War, Anniversaries and Lessons Never Learned
Paul Street
Blacking Out the Yellow Vests on Cable News: Corporate Media Doing its Job
Kenneth Surin
The Brexit Shambles Rambles On
David Schultz
Stacking the Deck Against Democracy in Wisconsin
Steve Early
The Housing Affordability Crisis and What Millennials Can do About It
George Ochenski
Collaboration Failure: Trump Trashes Sage Grouse Protections
Rob Seimetz
Bringing a Life Into a Dying World: A Letter From a Father to His Unborn Son
Michael Howard
PETA and the ‘S’-Word
John Kendall Hawkins
Good Panopt, Bad Panopt: Does It Make A Difference?
Kim C. Domenico
Redeeming Utopia: a Meditation On An Essay by Ursula LeGuin
Binoy Kampmark
Exhuming Franco: Spain’s Immemorial Divisions
ADRIAN KUZMINSKI
Democratizing Money
Laura Finley
Congress Must Reauthorize VAWA
December 11, 2018
Eric Draitser
AFRICOM: A Neocolonial Occupation Force?
Sheldon Richman
War Over Ukraine?
Louis Proyect
Why World War II, Not the New Deal, Ended the Great Depression
Howard Lisnoff
Police Violence and Mass Policing in the U.S.
Mark Ashwill
A “Patriotic” Education Study Abroad Program in Viet Nam: God Bless America, Right or Wrong!
Laura Flanders
HUD Official to Move into Public Housing?
Nino Pagliccia
Resistance is Not Terrorism
Matthew Johnson
See No Evil, See No Good: The Truth Is Not Black and White
Maria Paez Victor
How Reuters Slandered Venezuela’s Social Benefits Card
December 10, 2018
Jacques R. Pauwels
Foreign Interventions in Revolutionary Russia
Richard Klin
The Disasters of War
Katie Fite
Rebranding Bundy
Gary Olson
A Few Thoughts on Politics and Personal Identity
Patrick Cockburn
Brexit Britain’s Crisis of Self-Confidence Will Only End in Tears and Rising Nationalism
Andrew Moss
Undocumented Citizen
Dean Baker
Trump and China: Going With Patent Holders Against Workers
Lawrence Wittner
Reviving the Nuclear Disarmament Movement: a Practical Proposal
Dan Siegel
Thoughts on the 2018 Elections and Beyond
Thomas Knapp
Election 2020: I Can Smell the Dumpster Fires Already
Weekend Edition
December 07, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Steve Hendricks
What If We Just Buy Off Big Fossil Fuel? A Novel Plan to Mitigate the Climate Calamity
Jeffrey St. Clair
Cancer as Weapon: Poppy Bush’s Radioactive War on Iraq
Paul Street
The McCain and Bush Death Tours: Establishment Rituals in How to be a Proper Ruler
Jason Hirthler
Laws of the Jungle: The Free Market and the Continuity of Change
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail