You Don’t Have To Be Crazy…

It being election time here in the UK, the TV is full of party-political broadcasts. The latest fashion is for celebrity endorsements. David Cameron has apparently being hitting the campaign trail with a pop star in tow (or possibly the other way around). Meanwhile Labour has put out a broadcast staring Eddie Izzard.

Why, out of all the other things going on in the election, do I find this worthy of mention? Well, because Mr. Izzard is a well-known transvestite. It is quite remarkable that Labour should choose him as a front man. But in America, if the American Psychiatric Association gets its way, Eddie would be of much less use to politicians, because he’d be certifiably crazy. That’s because the APA wants to stigmatize every man who occasionally wears what they deem to be gender-inappropriate clothing as a lunatic. It doesn’t matter how otherwise sane and stable the man is, the mere fact that he sometimes wears “women’s clothes” is, in the APA’s eyes, enough to mark him out as suffering from a mental illness that will require treatment.

The idiocy of the proposal becomes even more obvious when you note that the reverse does not apply. According to the APA, a man who tries to look like a woman is mad, but a woman who tries to look like a man is perfectly sane. This tells you everything you need to know about the motivation behind the new “diagnosis”.

So, US readers, pop over here, read a bit more, and then sign the petition. You don’t have to be crazy to do so.

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11 Responses to You Don’t Have To Be Crazy…

  1. Brewster says:

    Signed. I thought psychiatrists would’ve had more sense than to let that one get in.

  2. Arnold Akien says:

    The Craziness of It all in the UK Elections can be both amusing and stimulating .. unless you are trying to make sense of this ‘ Medical ‘ diagnosis by Atos Healthcare which is a private multi national Health Care Huckster that evidently we UK taxpayers are paying Big Bucks/currency of your choice for …

    ” A spokeswoman for Atos Healthcare, which carried out the two assessments, said the two tests had different criteria.

    She said: “We have a contract with the Department for Work and Pensions to conduct the medical assessments for people applying for the employment support allowance.

    “The assessment was carried out in line with Government policy to assess whether a person is fit for work at all.

    “The other assessment was a completely separate contract with West Sussex County Council for occupational health.

    “It was done in line with protocol laid down by the council for that specific job.

    “The two tests have different criteria.” ”

    I’m sure that this makes perfect sense to someone or other.–but-woman-too-healthy-for-benefits-1946947.html

    Never mind ‘ American Psychiatric Association’ One of these days our Government is likely to be employing Atos Healthcare to determine whether or not ‘ a man who tries to look like a woman is mad, but a woman who tries to look like a man is perfectly sane. ‘ and thus entitled, or not, to make these unreasonable demands on the NHS.

    Oh, POOT !! .. I’ll just vote for Lib Dem and hope for the best.

  3. George Berger says:

    Hallo Cheryl–I enjoy posting on blogs, as long as I have something relevant to say. They APA has a lot to answer for. First of all, I realised what the “punchline” would be as soon as I started reading this post. That’s at least what you call “idiocy.” I have no idea what blinkered fools came up with the idea. Second, there was a big so-called debate in the APA that resulted in its splitting into two organisations (I don’t know the relations between them). One was for scientific academic psychology and the second was for therapeutic people. This watered down the APA’s intellectual content and effectiveness. It also let clinical psychologists go their own way. They lose touch with a lot of scientific literature.
    The third aspect though is from where I stand far worse. Some psychologists helped develope and supervise torture, in the pay of the CIA (starting in the 50s). This went on until Abu Ghraib made it impossible to neglect the complicity. One psychologist whom I know argued that as scientists the academic APA must be “objective” and not concern itself with the ethics. That is, I’ll keep helping out with torturing until some ethics commission suggests ( it cannot stop me) otherwise. This ended with some sort of statement permitting participation under certain conditions. I neither know nor care what they are. The bottom line is that the APA was afraid of offending the US government. For if they did so their members might not get funding for some project. BTW, the person I mentioned is no longer my friend.
    This ought to put the problem you brought up in a wider context. But I don’t know what the latter is. Each aspect is objectionable.

    • George Berger says:

      My remark about the APA might be in error. Cheryl refers to the American Psychiatric Association, I refer to the American Psychological Association. I am not sure of the relations, if any, between the two. My excuses for the confusion. View my remark as a note about the behaviour of some mental-healthcarers. My comment about the DSM books is ok,

      • Cheryl says:

        Ah, I was wondering. Having two organizations with similar activities both called the APA is very confusing.

        FYI, the Psychologists appear considerably less hung up about gender than the Psychiatrists.

  4. Joe says:

    Mind you Eddie is crazy – but in the good way 🙂 It’s the so-called normals that worry the hell out of me…

  5. George Berger says:

    I just went to the site and signed. I was not surprised to see that the issue arose in the context of the DSM-5 debate. The DSM-4 is the current (fourth) edition of the standard Diagnostic and Statistical Manual used by shrinks of all sorts. Although designed following American preconceptions of psychiatric problems, it is used throughout Europe. With each edition the number of pages increases, as more and more “problems” are classed as needing psychiatriv attention. The 4th edition was subjected to intense criticism, as to turning various prejudices and foibles into treatable conditions and “disorders.” from what I’ve seen, much of the criticism is just. But the present proposal is so silly, prejudiced, and dangerous, that it beggars belief.

  6. martha says:

    ‘MORNING Cheryl,

    After reading this and some of your other US related posts, I wonder why you or any sane person, not already stuck in that bastion of narrow-minded bigotry would want to go or be there.

    • Cheryl says:

      I could rant for hours on this, but I’ll try to be brief and not get too angry.

      1. The debate over DSM-V is, in part, an open process. People have been given access to the draft document and they can and have been commenting on it. That’s why the petition exists. In the UK such decisions are often taken behind closed doors in secret meetings and there’s nothing the public can do about it.

      2. The psychiatrist who is leading the campaign to pathologise gendered behavior that he doesn’t approve of is based in Toronto.

      3. If you seriously think that Europe treats immigrants better than the US does try reading this.

      4. My boyfriend lives in California.

      5. In California I would have a far better chance of employment, better access to medical care (albeit at a price), and a much bigger support network. Also the cost of living is much lower and the weather is much better.

      So yes, the USA has its share of narrow-minded, bigoted people. So does every other country. Assuming that everyone in a country is defined by its least-pleasant inhabitants is also narrow-minded and bigoted.

      • George Berger says:

        Thanks Cheryl. Your telling me about the openness of the DSM-V process makes me proud to have signed the petition.

  7. George Berger says:

    @Arnold–The two Atos judgements might be jointly coherent. They might operate to relieve the claimant of incapacity benefits, force her onto a less generous unemployment or welfare scheme, and compel her to look for another job. For the “Independent” article states that one division of Atos assessed her as fit to work, period; the other division found her to be unfit for her previous job, or perhaps (the article is not clear on this) for her previous type of work.
    I am not claiming collusion or the existence of a general policy, but I cannot rule it out. I have seen similar tricks at work in America. At least one US state outsourced some psychiatric assessments years ago, to an ex-friend’s firm. He told me that his personal assessments often overruled those of disability claimants’ private psychiatrists, since he reported in fancy language that the latter physicians were “lying” (his word) to protect their patients. I know nothing about the behaviour of the doctors he employed, but I assume that the firm was hired on the basis of my acquaintence’s past successes (he set it up after ten years of private practice). Now that the NHS and/or DWP has outsourced at least some of the assessment work, I must suspect similar intent and methods.
    I hope that this is not too far off-topic.

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