Day 50: The Illusion of Normal

The idea of this concept called Normal is one of the grandest illusions of our time.

There is no normal.

Normal doesn’t exist.

All definitions of normal are debatable—as are the definitions of typical, average, and ordinary.

And what’s wrong with atypical, above average, and extraordinary, anyhow?

Normal, apparently, means behaving like most behave. But who are these most? And how do they behave? Show me the model. And PLEASE don’t point to a television program.

The definition of normal is particularly alarming, and highly debatable, when considering the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), a guidebook for mental-health professionals. (Often referred to the mental-health clinician’s Bible.)

All mental-health practitioners in America categorize and diagnose millions of people by referring to the Bible of Abnormal—my word for the DSM.

No surprise that the definitions of normal changes with each publication of the DSM.

The new 5th edition of the DSM comes out in 2013, with newly proposed disorders and changes made to other disorders. It has been rumored that children tantrums will be a new disorder.

What about adult tantrums? Because I feel one coming on!

I’d like to see a Bible of Normal. I mean, if a whole thick book can list non-normalcies than shouldn’t the opposite book be available? Of course there is probably no profit to be made in a book on normal behavior, especially if the book were based on fantasy and trickery and not attached to a drug to cure normalcy.

No big surprise considering the times we live in to discover the DSM is driven by the machinations of the pharmaceutical business.

In fact, more than half of the experts who compile the DSM have ties to the pharmaceutical industry. (Published in the journal of Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics.) And other experts have other financial ties, such as research monies.

Thusly, the current idea of normalcy is a spawn of the introduction of psychoactive drugs in the 1950’s.  Hmmmm? I’m thinking I don’t particularly agree with how this normal came about. How about you?

There is a direct relationship: Psychoactive drugs were introduced to treat the DSM definitions of Mental Disorders and Illness.

A mental illness can be defined as: A psychological pattern reflected in behavior that disrupts a person’s thinking, feeling, mood, ability to relate to others and daily functioning. The illness cannot be overcome by willpower, and is not related to a person’s character or intelligence. In the majority of cases, mental illness usually strikes people in the prime of their life.

Rather ambiguous.

The pharmaceutical companies would like everyone to believe that many people have a mental illness, but that FORTUNATELY the illness is a highly treatable condition; by (buy) their drugs, of course.

Too bad the direct relationship isn’t: The Food Pyramid, Employment Opportunities, Community Support Systems, Herbal Remedies, Acupuncture, Massage, and other healthy alternatives were introduced to treat the DSM definitions of Mental Disorders and Illness.

http://www.wellsphere.com/wellpage/semi-vegetarian-food-pyramid
Image found at above web page.

You do know the powers that be in America do hope we get sick and fat so we will buy more drugs?

Beyond the tantrum I just had over the injustice of the world, I am also a wee-bit confused about the DSM’s definition of Asperger’s Syndrome. The limiting definition is based on only male subjects. I’m a girl last time I checked. The definition is not based on a great degree of research. Yet, these DSM collaborators (insert any word here you want) feel confident and comfortable enough classifying Aspergers.


In considering the definition of Aspergers Syndrome:

People are born with Aspergers.

It doesn’t just appear in the prime of one’s life.

People with Aspergers do have high intelligence.

I’m confused about this reclassification of Aspergers coming out in the new (and improved) DSM-V.  Asperger’s might be classified as a social disorder. Please!??

So the people who act like everyone else are the ones without a disorder, the so-called normal ones?

People who don’t express strong convictions are normal?

People who suppress their quirks?

People who are social conformists?

People who blindly follow the plutocracy? (government lead by the wealthy)

People who blindly follow the presumed authority figures?

If the definition of normal means to function in most areas of life successfully, what are these so-called areas? What is most? What does function mean?

Do I function, if I come across as the norm? Feel like the norm? Believe in the norm?

And please, please tell me what is success.

If we could gather  Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King Jr., Jesus, and other wise people, and ask them to explain their definition of success, I bet their success wouldn’t resemble most of what is portrayed in America’s normal media, advertisements, and entertainment.

I’m done following the DSM’s and pharmaceutical companies’ yellow brick road of normalcy. It leads to the man behind the current stuffing his sacs with money.

I’m happy with my own path. The path that leads to extraordinary!


Armless Piano Player YouTube

The Artist with No Eyes. Esref Armagan


 

Articles Related to The Illusion of Normal Below

Illusions of Psychiatry

What is Normal

A Comparison of DSM-IV and DSM-5 Panel Members’ Financial Associations with Industry: A Pernicious Problem Persists

Undue Pharmaceutical Influence on Psychiatric Practice: Steps That Can Reduce the Ethical Risk

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26 thoughts on “Day 50: The Illusion of Normal

    1. I think a person is born with hypersensitivity that can lead to Aspergers, but it is the environment that brings out the B Cluster personality disorder. Anxiety tends to run in families, and children of mothers whose hormones were impacted by anxiety/mood disorder will often have children with neurological sensibility. The condition begins during prenatal. After years of working with children, I have observed the increasing rise in intellectually gifted children who have regressed social/emotional development. The rigid, boring, regimented school environment that uses fear and intimidation is a MAJOR cause of bringing on personality disorders(which begin about age 5). This school environment ( and understanding my own childhood autism) is what led me to become an activist against “Common Core”. Children need an environment where they can thrive, and not one that keeps them in a chronic state of hyperviglence (survive) – which does actually change their brain chemistry)!0

    2. I think a person is born with hypersensitivity that can lead to Aspergers, but it is the environment that brings out the B Cluster personality disorder. Anxiety tends to run in families, and children of mothers whose hormones were impacted by anxiety/mood disorder will often have children with neurological sensitivity. The condition begins during prenatal. After years of working with children, I have observed the increasing rise in intellectually gifted children who have regressed social/emotional development. The rigid, boring, regimented school environment that uses fear and intimidation is a MAJOR cause of bringing on personality disorders(which begin about age 5). This school environment ( and understanding my own childhood autism) is what led me to become an activist against “Common Core”. Children need an environment where they can thrive, and not one that keeps them in a chronic state of hyperviglence (survive) – which does actually change their brain chemistry)!0

  1. I used to be a psychiatric rehabilitation specialist. My job was to work with the seriously mentally ill, everyday and to help them have a “normal” life.

    As I pursued this career, I also had a best friend with undifferentiated, treatment resistant schizophrenia. She is a brilliant artist and highly gifted individual. I worked straight out of the DSM-IV for seven years. I have changed my opinion greatly over the past year on many things, but I do support medications to help people lead a more balanced life.

    My friend, “Lorraine” tried the usual meds for schizophrenia and had terrible results. They wiped out her personality, her sparkle. But they kept her off of her parents roof and out of mental institutions. She still struggles with medication issues, but the drug companies have created drugs that allow her to live an independent life, she has her sparkle back. There are no alternate treatments for schizophrenia. With four other close family members with schizophrenia, I think about this a gret deal.

    Yet, when I look at my anxiety, my dad’s anxiety and the anxiety of every spectrumite I know, there are few meds that relieve anxiety without being highly addictive. You must try other interventions. You brain is hardwired that way. You can find selective drugs to cope with some co-morbids like OCD/Tourettes, but anxiety require more than meds.

    I am trying to say that I view the brain as a chemical organ and for some, it’s balance is greatly compromised and medication is necessary. The brain is also a physical structure and variations in this structure are permanent–thus the autism spectrum.

    Sorry to ramble on!

    I agree very much with this:

    “And what’s wrong with atypical, above average, and extraordinary, anyhow?”

    1. I agree with everything you said. I have a close relative with schizophrenia. Medications are important in some cases. The drug companies have gone way overboard; it’s not about the person at all with them. Great information. Loved to read your thoughts. 😉 Sam

  2. Now I’m going to fret that I came off harsh. I guess because of the mental illness in the family and how much some of them need it I fly my “meds are okay flag” in an instant.

    I know that you are 100% for meds when they are needed. And I agree that society needs to be cautious to medicate, especially to normalize others.

    Whew. I think i will be able to sleep now! 🙂

    Cheers!
    Lori

    1. I knew where you were coming from. But thank you for clarifying. I was hoping I didn’t offend you. And now I see I did not. So your note is good. However, you are very much entitled to voice your opinion, and your voicing your opinion doesn’t change the way I feel about you. 🙂 You are a kind person. Sleep well. ~ Sam

  3. Hi Sam;
    You are a gifted writer who writes of subjects dear to my heart. On this post I could not agree with you more. I have seen firsthand what can happen when you mix greedy people and drugs with side effects.
    You have said here what I would have liked to write but you have done it better than I could. I think you are a kind person too. 🙂

  4. The first image got me..seriously what is normal…i am yet to seee an individual normal..for every one has their own demons,things they are extremely good at and things they can’t do at all….
    loved this post 🙂

  5. Here’s wishing that you’ll never be normal, Sam!

    It’s probably extremely boring to be baseline, mediocre, run-of-the-mill, average, just-the-same-as-ten-bazillion-other-people-normal anyway! You don’t want that!

    1. 🙂 Thanks! Love your response. Hey, something just came up. Don’t know if you’re around at the moment, but someone is stealing my articles and making a blog out of it? Not sure what to do?

      1. Seriously!!! I would try to report this to WordPress if I were you. As I understand it, even without a formal copyright in place (which I believe you have), whoever has posted material first—time-wise—holds the copyright to it.

        Is this other person on WordPress or another platform? I would start by contacting WordPress first. If they’re using Blogger or something else, then I’d contact that service.

        Please keep me up to date—I’ll support you anyway I can!

  6. Thanks for this blog, Sam…I find it very informative…witty and funny…lol…yeah, I wanna know the answer to that question, too — “And what’s wrong with atypical, above average, and extraordinary, anyhow?” Now that I am coming to terms with my “newly discovered old self” and slowly easing into my “old skin” like a reptile (only I never shed off my old skin really), I don’t think that I want a cure for my ‘aspie-ness’ or try to act like a neurotypical…lol…
    You are really a prolific writer, Sam…thanks for sharing…thanks for being a friend 🙂 🙂

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