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Who decides if you’re mentally ill? Self-diagnosis is undermining therapy

Is there a mental health crisis? Credit: Dai Sugano/MediaNews Group/The Mercury News/Getty


November 1, 2022   7 mins

Abby walks into my office, sits down, and tells me she has been struggling with “sex addiction”. When I ask about this, she tells me of sleeping with a handful of people in the past few months at college. I try to listen supportively while also inviting her to consider her behaviour in a way that doesn’t pathologise it.

“So you think I may be delusional, or psychotic, for thinking it’s sex addiction?” She doesn’t seem to be trying to pressure me, she really wants to know. “I don’t think you’re delusional at all,” I reply. “I think you’re trying to understand yourself.”

Abby has good grades, some friends, an ex she still talks to, a few hobbies. She is nervous about her career (should she go to grad school?) and sometimes she feels sad or anxious for no reason. She is also fixated on the idea that she has a severe mental illness, possibly any severe mental illness. Having sat with her for many sessions, I am pretty sure she does not. But I also try, bearing clinical ethics in mind, to take her concerns seriously.

Abby is typical. Many young people I work with try to understand themselves (and often others) through the lens of mental illness. Typically they are focused on one diagnosis, but some, like Abby, are open to having several, many, or any. My co-workers notice it too. One colleague recently brought a question to our clinic’s staff meeting: “Has anyone else noticed a large number of students lately claiming to be on the autism spectrum, despite seeming to be… clearly not autistic based on clinical criteria?” Heads nodded. Why is it that so many young people are concerned that they are sick? And what is a mental health professional to do, in a culture where patients come in having already staked out their symptoms?

Several of my colleagues, in that meeting, suggested that teens had learned about the diagnosis they had adopted on social media. I was reminded of writer PE Moskowitz’s lamentation, last year, that mental health has become “Buzzfeed-ified”, resulting in a world where being ADHD versus being Bipolar is like being a Hufflepuff versus a Slytherin, or an Aquarius versus a Gemini. I’m not entirely convinced, though. People hear about all kinds of things on social media. To identify with what you hear requires particular conditions: you have to be searching for a convincing story to tell about yourself.

This story is about more than TikTok. The world of diagnosis is experiencing a crisis of confidence. The tools we use are somewhat reliable — we can throw the dart 20 times and hit the same spot, or 20 clinicians can meet the same person and identify that they may be “clinically depressed”. The question now is whether our tools are valid: is the bullseye actually where we think it is? If I’m debating with a college student about whether or not they have Major Depressive Disorder, I have to confront the fact that depression is not just one thing. My university students show me, over and over, that diagnoses of mental illness aren’t like medical diseases, which one either has or one doesn’t. A cluster of depressive symptoms will, in different people, have very different roots — some contextual, some biological, some behavioural. I may agree with other therapists that the patient meets the criteria for a given diagnosis, but we won’t necessarily be able to agree on what it means to have that diagnosis: where has it come from, how long will it last, what shall we do about it?

Part of the challenge lies in this very postmodern acceptance that there is no singular truth. But we do tend to end up using categories, and the ones we have currently are atavistic, more connected to the early pioneers of psychiatry than to up-to-date neuroscience. The still-common diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder, for instance, was constructed based on a supposed borderline between the neurotic and psychotic, which is now commonly understood as obsolete. There are myriad categories for psychotic disorders: schizophrenia, schizophreniform disorder, schizoaffective disorder, brief psychotic disorder, schizotypal personality disorder — to name just a few. Many date back to the 19th century, some are redundant, several are tough to differentiate. Some have also become politicised: during the US Civil Rights Movement, the label of schizophrenia was used to discredit black men as paranoid and violent (as Jonathan Metzl shows in his searing and meticulous history). This is just one example of how the instability of diagnostic categories stems from something far more complex than mere clinical incompetence; they are a vestige of culture and history, and they blur as times change. Psychologists and psychiatrists are so aware of this problem that it’s common, in academic spaces, to hear Plato’s phrase, “carving nature at its joints”, employed to question just how accurate our diagnostic categories are.

So why should we trust medicine to diagnose mental illness? Increasingly, we don’t. In the past, we assumed that someone would present with the question “what’s wrong with me, doctor”, and wait for a diagnosis to be handed down to them from a clinical authority. Without getting into the debate between gender critical pundits and trans liberation activists, one way in which transgender discourse has changed how we view mental health is the idea that one can self-diagnose. Part of the so-called trans tipping point is a new way of relating to medical authorities whereby patients, trans or not, come to clinics quite sure of what’s going on with them — and what they need.

This self-election is a particular sticking point in and out of the trans community. Do you have to medically transition to be trans? Do you have to have so-called “gender dysphoria” (a category recently renamed “gender incongruence”)? That these questions are even up for debate indicates a massive shift in our attitudes to diagnosis. And, critically, the centre of the debate is not in hospitals or universities but on message boards and in the writing of patients, particularly young patients, rather than clinicians.

The argument over transgender medical care often comes down to the idea that children, especially trans-identifying children, are somehow being victimised by the illegitimate or unethical authority of either pro-trans adults or gender critical adults. While some claim to be worrying about potential detransitioners, my instinct about many people’s underlying concern is the same as the one plaguing the discourse around mental health generally: who can take care of us? Who has our best interests at heart? Can we trust doctors? Does anyone really understand the boundary between sickness and wellness? The uncertainty about the answer to these questions makes almost all of us uneasy, driving us into polarised positions and moral panic.

It is tempting, especially for me as a mental health professional, to be anxious about and critical of the diminution of clinical authority. In the clinic, I frequently find myself confronted with the risks of handing the power of diagnosis to adolescents who are struggling with self-concept and inspired by two-minute confessional videos they’ve seen online. Still, when I consider the rustiness of our diagnostic categories and the ways mental healthcare, at least in the US, has been decimated by insurance companies and for-profit care, I am not sure that giving sole authority to clinicians has worked all that well either. In answering the question about who should be in charge of diagnosis, many people have good reasons for staking their positions. Many people have suffered because of inept psychiatry. But people self-diagnosing or rejecting diagnosis altogether may run into problems, too.

A paradigm shift is overdue — and appears to be beginning, though the exact shape of the future’s more democratic, more evidenced-based psychiatry is still nascent. Our ability to come up with new ideas and experiment with them will be critical. Recently the novelist Tao Lin wrote about autism spectrum disorder (ASD) that presents two radical ideas. The first is that he feels he was able to make himself “less autistic” through treatment, including recreationally using the drug MDMA. He does not describe lessening his symptoms, but rather lessening the disorder itself — flying in the face of clinical consensus that ASD is basically an unchanging brain disease.

Second, he raises serious questions about the pluralistic, inclusive, United-Colours-of-Benetton-esque view of neurodivergence, popular among the same teens filling social media with mental illness content from which my clients self-diagnose. The point is to accept and even celebrate disorders as a unique and valuable “part of you”. But Lin makes the case that there are chemical and industrial by-products that could account for the decades-long uptick in ASD, and that by uncritically embracing neurodivergence, we occlude the possibility of asking corporations and regulators to be responsible for what he believes is effectively poisoning people.

While I don’t agree with Lin word-for-word (I tend to think there are both advantages and disadvantages to pluralism, and I can’t speak to the science about the origins of autism), I did learn from his efforts to reframe these issues. His essay is a strong case for centring the voices of people who actually experience illnesses, rather than allowing the voices of clinicians to them drown out. Without listening to the people we diagnose, clinicians have time and again shown themselves to commit errors at best, and atrocities at worst.

Still, I reluctantly defend my profession’s authority. Despite there being problems within the categories we wield, our knowledge — gained both from abstract research and from simply spending careful, attentive time with hundreds and hundreds of patients — is useful in making sense of the more acutely distressing parts of what we call mental illness. The future of mental health diagnoses will have to be a negotiation between clinicians and the people they seek to treat (as well as the social and cultural context that clinicians and patients co-inhabit, which plays a critical part in how we define and experience psychological variations which then get labelled as disorders).

It won’t be easy to reach a compromise between researchers, clinicians and patients. But possible new paradigms of diagnosis are starting to emerge. There is Nonlinear Dynamical Systems Theory (NDST), for instance, which models psychiatric issues the same way we model incredibly complex ecosystems or financial markets. Within this framework, something like bipolar disorder would have multiple interlocking roots, ranging from better-understood biopsychosocial factors, such as a person’s genetic vulnerabilities, to more postmodern considerations such as the culture of a given psychiatric hospital. The relationship of these factors determines whether the mind holds steady, collapses or glitches under certain kinds of stress; understanding the interplay, in all its complexity, promotes what we might call “dynamic stability”. A skyscraper moving gently in a mild earthquake is a good metaphor for how the mind can weather certain shocks if properly prepared. While NDST is not the sole answer, it is one useful framework for pinning down, or at least functionally describing, what a diagnosis is.

A crisis of authority is not a bad thing, especially if the status quo is dysfunctional. It does, however, create anxiety. A new patient in my office last week asked me if I could capture his distress in a diagnosis. I replied that it sounded like some of his symptoms were anxious, and some were depressive, but that I didn’t have enough information to make a clear categorisation, and that the category itself might leave something to be desired.

We talked about how it felt for him to hear that. He said it was uncomfortable, but he also ventured that, without a category to make meaning for him, he would have to make meaning out of his symptoms himself. That process is what my co-workers and I are trying to enable. The aim is to help young people interpret their experiences with curiosity — even if they come to us longing for the clarity falsely promised by our flawed diagnoses.


Hannah Baer is a writer and therapist based in New York.

malefragility

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Pamplemousse LaCroix
Pamplemousse LaCroix
1 year ago

I have a lot of opinions on this, as I have recently started therapy training myself.
I think this article downplays the role of social media. I am a heavy user of TikTok (almost certainly too heavy), and the sort of content that I might call ‘mental illness is fun!’ is everywhere, particularly relating to disorders like autism and ADHD. You do not have to search for long before you find ‘secret symptoms of autism you didn’t know you had’ which include things like listening to a song on repeat for a while, or lying in bed with your hand curled up under your chin. This stuff is, in short, bollocks, but people are desperate to be seen as special and unique. Let’s not forget that illness = victim and victim = delicious attention.
It’s telling that the disorders people want to have are not easy to gainsay, and as this article points out, the ‘role’ of clinical practitioners has been downplayed such that anyone who wants to be autistic can be. This is not the same with much less ‘sexy’ disorders like schizophrenia or drug addiction which are, if we’re blunt, harder to fake for attention.
And then we get to ‘neurodiversity’ which really rattles my cage. I’m all for destigmatising mental illness. I think that’s something we should try to move towards, because the old ‘mentally ill people are dangerous lunatics’ trope does more harm than it does good. But we shouldn’t ‘normalise’ mental illness either. We don’t ‘normalise’ physical illness, because it’s… not normal.

Last edited 1 year ago by Pamplemousse LaCroix
Warren Trees
Warren Trees
1 year ago

Nothing is considered normal anymore. Normal is relative. Moral relativity is the root of the problem. If anything is allowed to go, anything will go.

Iwan Hughes
Iwan Hughes
1 year ago

I searched the article for the word ‘narcissism’, but in vain.

Benjamin Pauw
Benjamin Pauw
1 year ago

Very strange to see autism described as a “sexy” diagnosis when it is in fact highly stigmatized. Reminds me a lot of people accusing trans people of “faking it for attention”.

I believe the shift we’re seeing play out on social media relates to the increasing acknowledgement that various conditions such as autism have been described by psychiatry based on the observations of others and not based on the internal experience of the individual themselves. So, a shift is happening in terms of how we think about these variations and who has the authority to describe them.

As a therapist, I have found humility to be a skill that I must continuously grow and foster. The authority of a therapist is one to take on with the understanding that there is much we do not know and much that our clients have to tell us. We should listen with care and respect.

Simon S
Simon S
1 year ago

“he also ventured that, without a category to make meaning for him, he would have to make meaning out of his symptoms himself. That process is what my co-workers and I are trying to enable.” Sorry to say this because you clearly mean well, but in pandering to transgenderism’s self-righteous excesses spurred on in vulnerable young people by pharma/surgicall greed it sounds to me as if your profession has also lost its way.

Simon James
Simon James
1 year ago

I’m a psychologist. Part of my work involves assessing people who may or may not have learning disabilities.
I’m all for self-identification if it helps people to have a narrative they feel empowered by and which gives them hope. Where the rubber really hits the road is when you want others to share and validate your analysis of yourself. Say, for example, you would like official recognition that you have a disability and are therefore entitled to material and financial support, as well as respect for and accommodation of your difficulties/differences. That is always going to have to involve some externally-imposed, reasonably stable criteria because, putting it crudely, you are asking the taxpayer to help pick up the bill and your fellow citizens to treat you differently. They may be very happy to do so, but their compliance has to be grounded in a widely-shared understanding of what constitutes ‘evidence’ that you are who you say you are. It’s not sufficient for the client and therapist to construct a shared understanding – although it is enjoyable and exciting – if the client wants the rest of the world to line up behind their narrative. That way (even more) madness lies.

N Forster
N Forster
1 year ago
Reply to  Simon James

“I’m all for self-identification if it helps people to have a narrative they feel empowered by and which gives them hope.”
Hope for what?

Simon James
Simon James
1 year ago
Reply to  N Forster

that the next few years might be different to the last few years

N Forster
N Forster
1 year ago
Reply to  Simon James

Is it ever more appropriate, useful or even possible for a client to learn tools and techniques to improve their life rather than expect everyone else to line up behind their narrative?

Simon James
Simon James
1 year ago
Reply to  N Forster

Good question, but a political one, so the answer has to ultimately come through the ballot box, not from psych professionals

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
1 year ago
Reply to  Simon James

With due respect, I’m not sure how this is a political question. All N Forster is asking is which is better, learning how to cope or insisting you are validated by others. Perhaps there is no straightforward answer, but, as a complete layman, I would have thought that tools to cope would be better, as one can never rely on others doing what you want.

N Forster
N Forster
1 year ago
Reply to  Simon James

A very political answer to a non political question.

Simon James
Simon James
1 year ago
Reply to  N Forster

An article in the Telegraph today describes your question above as one of “the questions that dominate – or underpin – every important political argument of our time.”
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2022/11/05/adversarial-politics-dead-what-left-managerialist-wrangle/

Laurence Siegel
Laurence Siegel
1 year ago
Reply to  Simon James

If you have skin cancer, or a broken elbow, do you seek answers at the ballot box? I hope not. Please rethink your thinking on this topic.

Simon James
Simon James
1 year ago

If you have skin cancer or a broken elbow, the likelihood of getting treatment, and the type and quality of treatment, depends on the political priorities of the place where you live.
N Forster is asking Should individuals be encouraged to become more resilient and self sufficient or should society take collective responsibility for removing any obstacles they might encounter? That’s Politics 101. Do we expect people to carry out their own risk assessments or do we mandate masks, social distancing and vaccines? Your politicians will decide. If you don’t want them to, or if you want different decisions, you have to get out and vote. Or overthrow/undermine the system.

Persephone
Persephone
1 year ago
Reply to  N Forster

Yes. That is always the first option. Asking society to make accommodations for you is always either a temporary option, or the option that you’re left with when therapy fails to resolve the issues and tools and techniques to accommodate fail. Or at least that was the case during my 20 plus years of psychiatric nursing and psychotherapy practice (but I haven’t practiced for the last 5 years, so I really don’t know what mad things people are doing with their clients these days).

N Forster
N Forster
1 year ago
Reply to  Persephone

Well, that approach certainly doesn’t seem to have been adopted in regards to people with gender dysphoria of late…

Colin K
Colin K
1 year ago
Reply to  Simon James

Can I self identify as having tourettes and start calling everyone c**ts?

Simon James
Simon James
1 year ago
Reply to  Colin K

You absolutely can Colin. If you decide to give it a go please do report back here with the results.

Andrew Horsman
Andrew Horsman
1 year ago

Not being able to categorise or generalise an individual’s experience with the use of of some clinical label or other does not mean that you have to accept the postmodernist bunkum that there is no such thing as objective truth. That way madness, and atrocities, lie.

Zak Orn
Zak Orn
1 year ago

It’s unfortunate because there’s two serious problems running parallel. Problem one being increasing amounts of people, especially young people, labelling themselves with what are very likely incorrect diagnoses, this is bad but a trusted and credible psychology sector could alleviate the problem. Unfortunately this leads to the second issue… social media has massively undermined the credibility of most professions, and the psych sector definitely isn’t an exception. When you can look up a therapist (or even psychiatrist) on twitter and 9 times out of 10 they appear more mentally unstable than you are, why would you trust their opinions on anything?
I don’t think it’s self-diagnosis that’s undermining therapy, it’s therapists, not all of them of course, but the majority of the ones on social media. 

Last edited 1 year ago by Zak Orn
Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
1 year ago

I know it sounds old fashioned, but it’s true nevertheless: too much screen time, not enough outdoor activity.

Katja Sipple
Katja Sipple
1 year ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

I am inclined to agree, Hugh. I had a wholesome upbringing with plenty of fresh air, lots of exposure to animal excrements thanks to my grandparents’ farm, and vigorous physical activity including climbing trees, riding, mucking out stables, running, etc. I was in my late teens and at uni in the 1990s before I ever encountered a person with a diagnosed mental illness. Children who had difficulty sitting still at primary school were called lively or rambunctious and teachers found ways to interact with them. They were not given medication, and I don’t recall a single case where the child did not turn out well. Granted, it’s a small sample, but it has led me to believe that as a society we over-diagnose and over-medicate even (especially?) our young.

Steve Elliott
Steve Elliott
1 year ago

I don’t know how many times I’ve heard people say things like “I’m a little bit bipolar” or “I’m on the spectrum”, all self diagnosed.

Mark McKee
Mark McKee
1 year ago

If you think you are mentally ill or mad then it’s a fairly safe bet you aren’t! It’s the people wrecking the West who think they are sane and enlightened who are the problem…

Jonathan Nash
Jonathan Nash
1 year ago
Reply to  Mark McKee

Catch 22!

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
1 year ago
Reply to  Mark McKee

amen

Aaron James
Aaron James
1 year ago

psychobabble

sÄ«â€Čkƍ-băb″əl
noun

  1. Language characterized by the often inaccurate use of jargon from psychiatry and psychotherapy.
  2. using language loaded with psychological terminology

The American HeritageÂź Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
1 year ago

I think that, just maybe, one problem is that there is an expectation that everyone conforms to a very narrow set of behaviours. Having worked in science for my entire carrer, I have met many, usually men, who would probably be considered to be on “the spectrum”, but they just got on with there jobs and their lives. If you are capable of operating reasonably happily within the society in which you live then you don’t need to concern yourself, or other, about your mental state. If you want attention then do something worthwhile that generates the attention you want, or maybe get a dog.

Philip Stott
Philip Stott
1 year ago

Agreed.
I’ve been a professional software developer for the last 30 odd years and would consider myself and all my colleagues (at least the good ones) to be mildly ‘on the spectrum’.
By which I mean little things like forcing myself make a bit of small talk before diving into the matter at hand or making an effort to understand other people’s opinions.
But as you say, we just get on with it.

Brendan O'Leary
Brendan O'Leary
1 year ago

*diagnoses of mental illness aren’t like medical diseases, which one either has or one doesn’t*

Therein lies the problem, and of course unlimited opportunity for frauds and fantasists on both sides of the couch/cash register.

And if I hear one more person claiming that they’re “aspy” , like it’s some cute in-group …

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
1 year ago

“Nonlinear Dynamical Systems Theory”. Any “profession” that perpetrates meaningless names like this is a racket pretending to be legit. Much like “studies” academe.

Michael Daniele
Michael Daniele
1 year ago

It’s stolen from STEM, in which it is specific and meaningful.
In psychiatry it strikes me as just more psycho-babble. But my background is engineering so most everything strikes me that way.

Aphrodite Rises
Aphrodite Rises
1 year ago

Probably just want to confound the layperson. Apparently, when the group of psychiatrists responsible for creating the DSM 3 or 4 ( the one with all the newly discovered or created mental illnesses) were deciding on symptoms for diagnoses of mental illnesses, a female who was somehow involved (apologies for being vague, I don’t have time to check the details) objected to a behaviour being listed as symptomatic on the grounds it was one of her behaviours and consequently must be normal; The obliging psychiatrists left it out. How times have changed.

Last edited 1 year ago by Aphrodite Rises
Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
1 year ago

Me too, and I’m in the arts!

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
1 year ago

I thought I recognised the theory, but taken out of my usual context it confounded me.

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
1 year ago

It’s almost as bad as “The Inflation Reduction Act”. No basis in reality.

Alice Bondi
Alice Bondi
1 year ago

It seems to me a serious error to attempt to ‘diagnose’ psychological difficulty. It gives people the notion that such diagnoses have the same material reality as physical illness diagnoses and therefore have similarly clear treatment options. People have always wanted a definitive notion to explain their suffering, and those in their teens and twenties are in a process of maturation, of discovering how their individual self fits with the society in which they live, which is by its nature uncomfortable. Grabbing onto a diagnosis, or a religion, or an identity, becomes the way of managing. As a retired psychotherapist, I felt in my work (and still) that what needs to be addressed, the help the patient needs, relates to what is actually causing the distress, not trying to label it and pretend that there is therefore an off-the-peg solution.
Oh, and Viktor Frankl’s ‘Man’s Search for Meaning’ is one of the best books ever written, and talks (from his experience in a Nazi concentration camp) of the key importance, for mental health, of discovering a meaning of one’s own for one’s life.

Last edited 1 year ago by Alice Bondi
Persephone
Persephone
1 year ago
Reply to  Alice Bondi

I agree with you to an extent, but sometimes there is a real value to the patient in having a diagnosis (though in my experience that is still always a double-edged sword). For example, in my country (New Zealand) when work and income (the government department that gives out and withholds benefits) see a Schizophrenia diagnosis, they stop hassling a patient to “get back to employment”, because they realize that it’s not a realistic expectation to have of that population. This releaves a person who is very vulnerable to stress of the overwhelming pressure to do something they are not capable of doing without disintegrating (hold down a paid job) and fear of losing their benefit. But on the other hand, you absolutely do not want to make having Schizophrenia a part of your identity, because that way lies feeling defeated and extremely negative about yourself and lowering your expectations of yourself way too far. When I worked as a community mental health nurse with patients with Schizophrenia, I spent a lot of time with my patients exploring how make sense of that particular diagnosis so that it could be a constructive and not destructive force in their life ie to use the diagnosis for what they could get out of it, but not let their self-esteem and sense of agency be destroyed by it.

Johnathan Galt
Johnathan Galt
1 year ago

“Who decides if you’re mentally ill?”
I do!
Ok, here’s the deal. Wishing you were another gender is no different than wishing you were a bee, a butterfly, a tree, or Elvis. Fantasy is ok. Militantly demanding that others participate in your fantasy is NOT ok. Wanting to chemically castrate or mutilate yourself is mental illness for which neither action will act as a “cure” for anything, but WILL destroy your health.
First do no harm. Such a simple rule used for thousands of years. Now today’s Progressives think they know better. Lock them up, along with ANYONE who panders to a minor’s feelings of depression about not having been born “something else.” Treat the depression. When they are adults, they can mutilate themselves to their hearts desires.

Last edited 1 year ago by Johnathan Galt
Robert Kaye
Robert Kaye
1 year ago

“Part of the challenge lies in this very postmodern acceptance that there is no singular truth. ”

Then don’t accept it.

AC Harper
AC Harper
1 year ago

The premise of The Mind is Flat (by Nick Chater) is that there is no ‘inner life’ that holds the secret of understanding ourselves, we make stuff up on the fly to explain our behaviour to others, and ourselves.
At one time we could could blame nature spirits, gods, or devils, for causing our unacceptable behaviour. Then we realised that that excuse of external causes probably wouldn’t work any longer. So we tried introspection, meditation, contemplation, palmistry, astrology, and divination etc., to uncover our hidden causes. That’s pretty much a bust too.
So now we have people who are genuinely mentally ill with a physical cause and an awful lot of people trying to find explanations for uncommon behaviour they think they have. And therapists that believe there is an ‘inner life’ and they can help expose it.

John Tangney
John Tangney
1 year ago
Reply to  AC Harper

The inner life was always a metaphor for what happens when we reflect on our own mental-emotional processes. Changing the metaphor so that we’re less integral and more dispersed into our current relationships and experiences might be of some therapeutic use – I don’t know – but sounds to me without having read the book as if it’s likely to exacerbate the anomie the article describes.

Vici C
Vici C
1 year ago

The thing I have noticed over the last several decades is the growing plethora of labels. The brainwashing brigade well understand the power of words

Aphrodite Rises
Aphrodite Rises
1 year ago
Reply to  Vici C

More words but less meaning.

Vici C
Vici C
1 year ago

Words can be used to change mindsets. Giving something a label creates it. Imagine if there were not word for Father Christmas.

Aphrodite Rises
Aphrodite Rises
1 year ago
Reply to  Vici C

Father Christmas is a proper noun. The meaning is not the name. Santa Claus is another name for the same . imaginary man. I was thinking of unnecessary terminology designed to obfuscate. Also of those who adopt or use words and phrases which when asked to define they cannot.

Last edited 1 year ago by Aphrodite Rises
Pat Rowles
Pat Rowles
1 year ago

Anyone else curious as to why the author’s Twitter handle (shown beneath her byline) is @malefragility?

Colin K
Colin K
1 year ago

Victimhood has become a currency is the eyes of the left.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago

clearly not Boris Johnson, and Donald Trump’s looking glass…Though the current President would not understand his diagnosis…

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago

Ahhhh… I have a simple test
” Do you believe in zero carbon and the eradication of all fossil fuels” if you answer ” Yes” it’s the padded cell , strait jacket and big needle for you”…