Are non-compliance and free-thinking a mental illness? According to the latest edition of DSM-IV (Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders)
yes. This manual identifies a new mental illness called “oppositional defiant disorder” or TOP. This disease is defined as a “continuous pattern of disobedience, hostility and provocation” and symptoms include questioning of authority, negativity, distrust, contradiction, and being easily annoyed.
The DSM-IV is the manual used by psychiatrists to diagnose mental illnesses, and with each new edition, there are dozens of these new illnesses. Are we getting more and more sick? Is it becoming more difficult to be mentally healthy? The DSM-IV authors state that this is because they are better able to identify these diseases today.
The new mental illnesses identified by DSM-IV include arrogance, narcissism, above-average creativity, cynicism, and anti-social behavior. What we used to call personality traits are now mental illnesses. And there are treatments.
Over the past 50 years, DSM-IV has grown from 130 to 357 of these diseases. The majority of these diseases strike children. Although this manual is an important diagnostic tool for the psychiatric industry, it has also been responsible for social change. The increase in TOP, bipolar disorder and depression in children has been largely due to the manual which identifies certain behaviors as symptoms. A Washington Post article noted that, if Mozart was born today, he would be diagnosed with a TOP and he would be medicated until he returned to normal.
According to the DSM-IV, adults can suffer from the same illnesses as children. This should give reason for concern to free thinkers. The Soviet Union used new mental illnesses for political repression. People who did not accept the Communist Party convictions developed a new form of schizophrenia. They suffered from the delirium of believing that communism was not a good thing. They were isolated, forcibly medicated, and underwent repressive therapy to bring them to their senses.
When the latest edition of DSM-IV was published, the identification of symptoms of various mental illnesses in children resulted in a significant increase in children’s medication. Some states even have laws that allow protection agencies to force treat, and have even made refusal to take medication punishable by fines or imprisonment. This gives a frightening image to all those who are non-conformists. Although the authors of this manual claim to have no ulterior motives, calling free thought and non-compliance a mental illness is a time bomb of all kinds. This can easily become a weapon in the arsenal of a repressive state.