One would be hard pressed to find a two-year-old who is not sometimes irritable, a boy in fifth grade who is not sometimes inattentive, or a girl in middle school who is not anxious. (Imagine what taking a drug that causes obesity would do to such a girl.) Whether such children are labeled as having a mental disorder and treated with prescription drugs depends a lot on who they are and the pressures their parents face. As low-income families experience growing economic hardship, many are finding that applying for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments on the basis of mental disability is the only way to survive. It is more generous than welfare, and it virtually ensures that the family will also qualify for Medicaid. According to MIT economics professor David Autor, “This has become the new welfare.” Hospitals and state welfare agencies also have incentives to encourage uninsured families to apply for SSI payments, since hospitals will get paid and states will save money by shifting welfare costs to the federal government.Where is Freud when you need him? Happy reading.
Enjoyed reading the two part review at The New York Review of Books on psychiatry (Part I, Part II). I particularly enjoyed reading the sections of Part II about the history of the DSM. If you don't have a mental illness, just wait, you might in 2013 when DSM-V shows up.
This video reminded me of Jean Vanier and the work of L'Arche, the work of lovingly accepting/welcoming the people in our lives as they are. At first I felt profoundly saddened by this video given my love of words, but I suppose I love words because I love life and mentally countered with "this too - for all its difficulty - is life":