Monday, June 05, 2006

This tops the cake!

Okay....I am udderly flabbergasted at the newest and latest "disorder" that one can order up to justify and explain away ones uncomely behavior. This literally is the icing on the cake....
intermittent explosive disorder (IED)
in laymens terms "road rage disorder".
Check out these headlines...
Road rage is a medical condition, finds study


Margi said...

Market the "kick in the pants" cure cleverly and you could become a rich woman.

I have been through the psychiatric system and I have noticed an increasing trend towards indulging disorders rather than helping them. It started with kids, to excuse parents from raising them properly, and now it's in the adult mainstream. I know a girl diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder by her psychologist. The stress? being admitted to hospital by her psychiatrist! It would be almost funny but for the lives ruined and the crimes committed all in the name of this alphabet soup we have cooked up to excuse ourselves from decent behaviour and standards.

Anonymous said...

Brain science is an exploding (no pun intended) field. What I took from this article is that there is a biological/chemical basis behind the tendency towards this behavior. The responsibility for this behavior lies (as always) with the person behaving (or not, in this case). Diagnosing brain/mental disorders provides a roadmap for treatment, not a get-out-of-jail-free card. But love, care, and understanding sure help in these situations.

Off my soapbox :-)


JamesoftheNorthwest said...

What's ultimately odd about all of the identification of these disorders is the missing fact that we are ALL disordered - sometimes in different ways and in different degrees.

Sadly in the popular culture, once a disorder label is slapped onto a behavior, it does tend to ascribe a biologically deterministic factor to the person who suffers from it. More and more, we as a society tend to believe that we are the sum total of our biology and our environment and that by looking therein and SOLELY therein we may find the key to every behavior.

Even evangelicals have fallen into this trap from the flip side of the coin. Homosexuality being a great example - clearly a disorder (albeit unrecognized as such) that probably arises from both/either genes and/or environment, evangelicals - believing in biological determinism MUSt believe that is is solely environmental and the chosice of an unhealthy soul.

I believe we must suffer our biology as well as our environment. But a healed soul can overcome anything that biology and environment hands us...I hope to taste a bit of that at some point...maybe.

I expect soon we Christians will be diagnosed with a disorder like "Chronic Resurrection belief syndrome." Like all sciences - mine especially included - they can all go a bit off the deep end from time to time.

JamesoftheNorthwest said...


I've always thought that AA has had great balance in that while labelling their alcoholism as a disease, they none-the-less recognize that unlike most (but by no means all) "traditional" diseases, treatment primarily involves WORK - spiritual, physical, and relational work on their part.

Is alcoholism truly a disease? Who knows, there is certainly a good deal of evidence to suggest that some people have a genetic predispostion toward addictive behavior and even specifically alcoholism. However, the steps are the same for even those who may perhaps lack the gene.

There has also been some evidence to suggest that some people have a genetic predispostion toward violence - perhaps they could also be diagnosed with "intermittent explosive disorder" (which by the way I believe I have, though it has nothing to do with road rage and usually happens after eating mexican food).

All of this to say: if some drug helps somebody to not go into a road rage, then that is wonderful! I'd certainly prefer they be medicated (assuming it is safe for them to drive) than for them to shoot me. And of course, if it aids in the overall treatment - thank God.

But I have a sneaky suspiscion that chemistry isn't the only thing at work when, for instance, I lose my temper with the kids. And this is where the rubber hits the road - it almost seems these days that people can find someone to give them a diagnosis and a pill for just about ANY bad behavior. Which of course isn't to say that mental illnesses are not real and treatable - as some oddball Christian sects (and non-Christian like Tom Cruise's magical mystery tour) will sometimes claim.

I have no pipe dreams that deification will happen to me anytime soon...and until it does I will take whatever meds/treatments/therpay I need to go on seeking it.

Christ is ultimately the healer of all disorders - whether categorized or not by the world's psychiatrists.

Radoje S. said...

While admitting they are effect in many cases, the philospohical problem I have with medicating for mental/psychological issues is that medication is non-selective. There are times when anger, anxiety, or depression are appropriate responses to what is happening in one's life, and medicating them away may cause harm in the long run.
I say this having never had to struggle with such things, so I speak from ignorance.

Anonymous said...

Judicious use of medication for mental illness does NOT remove feelings of anger, depression, etc. What it does is move the range or mediate the extremes. So for example, a person who suffers from depression might (if you think of a number line) fluctuate between -12 and -2, where as a statistically normal person would fluctuate between -5 and +5. The meds would simply boost the person to a reasonable level. Another example (bipolar) would have a person fluctuating between -10 and +10, and a med might take the edge off both extremes. For a person with schizophrenia, the meds would damp the symptoms so that the person's true personality, moods, etc. could appear.

It's tricky business, but it can be a Godsend when done correctly. But a lot of it is treating a physical illness; when the illness is treated, one can more easily treat the psychological mess that may have resulted from the psychiatric.


Susan Sophia said...

I believe there is a great difference between a mental illness such as schizophrenia and bipolar that ought not to be confused with all the latest and newest "disorders" that appear out of the woodwork to justify all and every manner of weird and inappropriate behavior. As James said earlier we are ALL disordered in one way, shape or form and we ALL have a responsibility to deal with those disorders and work on them. We are all sinners! We all give into our passions. I know that there IS mental illness and it needs to be treated! But a mental illness for every action and decision that we make? A disorder for every passion? I found this quote from St. John Climacus: 'If you seek understanding in wicked men, you will not find it.' And from St Peter of Damaskos elaborating on that quote, 'For all that the demons produce is disorderly. In common with the godless and the unjust, the demons have but one purpose: to destroy the souls of those who accept their evil counsel.'

Anonymous said...

Again, talk w/your eldest's godmother or I regarding new developments in brain science. I am in complete agreement with you WRT culpability for behavior. But if we could find a way to work around the tendency toward that behavior, that'd be great.

I'll give you an example. A certain child (whom you know) has a tendency to crash and bump into others at school. He was diagnosed with sensory integration disorder, a relatively new field. This child needs to be held responsible for his actions (and has been, on numerous occasions). But is there a reason why he crashes and bumps? In this case, yes. He needs a great deal of sensory input, to find where he is in space. So he has been given alternative ways to do that (unobtrusive things like squeeze balls). Will this reduce the crashing? Time will tell, but probably so. But he will still be held accountable for crashing into others.

AFA passions go, the enemy gets us where we're weakest, whether that be gluttony, despair, pride, or whatever. Even if we're being treated for something, it's still a weak spot.

AFA Luz's comment goes, sometimes societally decent behaviour and standards are not yet possible for a person, no matter how hard they try. Sometimes kindness on our parts goes a long way.


Belladonna said...

my all time favorite diagnosis is still "dysfunctional eustachian tube". what will they think of next?