A Whopper from the AP

The claim: 1 in 5 young Americans has personality disorder.

This is absolute bullshit, of course. When it comes to national media attention, stories like this one usually miss. But, for the adults who will read this, it will add to the entrenched notion that "kids these days are fucked up". It's the vaccine preservatives, the air pollution, the cellphones, etc.

They'll be all the more dumb for reading it. The article mentions everything you would expect: percentages, faint praise from experts, a bit about the methodology, and the obligatory outrage. This obligatory outrage is super:
Imagine if more than 75 percent of diabetic college students didn't get treatment, Hirsch said. "Just think about what would be happening on our college campuses."
At least one untreated diabetic dies everyday. As it is, people who experience anxiety, sadness, low self-esteem, confusion, lethargy, fright, etc. and do not seek treatment are not dying everyday. In fact, these conditions are a natural part of living.

The fact that they do not seek treatment can be wonderful thing. Through out the words "sad," "tired," and "lonely" and your doctor is going to give you a pill. He doesn't have time to talk and you can't afford psychotherapy. Little do you know though that the pill is going to kill your sex drive and turn you into a neurotic mess.

Anyway, back to the AP article. Where's the mention of existing rates? Are these newer numbers significantly different than older numbers? Also, why latch onto the terms "personality disorder"? This 20% do not have a diagnosable personality disorder. You know that one person in your life whom you despise or who leaves you feeling confused and abused? If they're not an addict, they can probably be diagnosed with a personality disorder.

All in all, these young adults may have some eccentric traits, delusional thoughts, and ritualistic behaviors. Remember, they're young adults. They're humans trying cope with change. They must balance responsibility with impulses of an incomplete brain. This, from the abstract of the research article, should help clarify my point:
Almost half of college-aged individuals had a psychiatric disorder in the past year.
Almost half. Someday, psychiatry will eventually render itself obsolete. An article will claim that 100% of everyone has a psychiatric disorder. And if everyone's insane, there will be no sane person left to remind everyone to take their pills.


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