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Bitterness To Be Classified As a Mental Illness 511

Posted by samzenpus
from the that-should-fix-everything dept.
Some psychiatrists are trying to get excessive bitterness identified as a mental illness named post-traumatic embitterment disorder. Of course this has some people who live perfect little lives, and always get what they want, questioning the new classification. The so called "disorder" is modeled after post-traumatic stress disorder because it too is a response to a trauma that endures. "They feel the world has treated them unfairly. It's one step more complex than anger. They're angry plus helpless," says Dr. Michael Linden, the psychiatrist who put a name to how the world works.

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Bitterness To Be Classified As a Mental Illness

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  • Makes sense (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 27, 2009 @04:37PM (#28114583)
    I'd be bitter too if I had four fingers and no torso.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 27, 2009 @04:42PM (#28114649)

      No, red potato men have smiles on their foreheads, you bigot.

    • by internerdj (1319281) on Wednesday May 27, 2009 @04:44PM (#28114677)
      How can you tell he is bitter? He is missing the proper digit to express it to the world?
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Jurily (900488)

        So, what's next on the list of mental illnesses? Hope? Happiness? Not being a properly brainwashed consumer?

        We already have boredom on there.

        • Re:Makes sense (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Mystra_x64 (1108487) on Wednesday May 27, 2009 @04:59PM (#28114905)

          Having a brain is a sure sign of possible mental illness in the future.

        • Re:Makes sense (Score:5, Interesting)

          by unlametheweak (1102159) on Wednesday May 27, 2009 @05:19PM (#28115319)

          I can't help but feel that this is just a marketing ploy for the profession that will encourage more FDA approved "happy pills" and psychiatrists visits. Putting medical labels on different emotional states is logically dubious. I'd prefer to live with my depressive realism [wikipedia.org] in peace and without the psychological burden and stigma of being labeled "mentally ill".

          I don't want people to think that I am against psychiatry however (I'll leave any antagonisms for the Scientologists to dish out). There is certainly a continuum of emotional and mental states, most of which are totally illogical (i.e. people often "fall in love" with incompatible mates, which is illogical and perhaps should be labeled a mental illness?). Everybody hallucinates, it's just that most people do it when they are asleep and forget about it unless their REM sleep is interrupted. The "mentally ill" merely fall outside of the normal bell curve for such states.

          There is quackery in all professions unfortunately, and all are in the business of making money.

          • Re:Makes sense (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Duradin (1261418) on Wednesday May 27, 2009 @05:32PM (#28115575)

            "There is quackery in all professions unfortunately, and all are in the business of making money."

            As a wise man once said, "Life is pain. Anyone who says differently is selling something."

            • by waterbear (190559) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @06:22AM (#28121163)

              Just think of the 'advantages' of having bitterness classified as a mental illness/disorder:

              All those awkward folk who get themselves wronged and deprived of justice -- they can be reclassified as mentally ill, and maybe compulsorily treated with some happy pill, maybe locked up. And finally, they'll come to realize that there is justice after all, and they'll get to love Big Brother .....

              -wb- :(

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by Sylver Dragon (445237)
            I can't help but feel that this is just a marketing ploy for the profession that will encourage more FDA approved "happy pills" and psychiatrists visits.

            I think I've read this book before...Ah yes, A Brave New World [wikipedia.org].
          • Re:Makes sense (Score:4, Interesting)

            by gmack (197796) <{ten.erifrenni} {ta} {kcamg}> on Wednesday May 27, 2009 @06:54PM (#28116705) Homepage Journal

            The worst part is that the happy pills often don't work as well as other means.

            A friend of mine who went to the doctor years ago complaining of depression. The doctor gave him Zoloft and he went completely delusional. I went with his mother to drag him back to the doctor and had him explain how he was going to get rich by joining one of the groups that rule the world.

            Doctor's answer? "well maybe we should treat this with diet instead of Zoloft" Turns out some forms of depression can be caused by nutrient imbalance and removing him from the pills at least fixed the delusions.

            Guy lost all but two of his friends because some quack decided that the quick fix was better than the non pill version.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSMV) is under review, which is why this has popped up - it's someone lobbying for a disorder to be included. There's criticism, of course. In 1952, it had 66 disorders, by 1994 it had 400, and lordy lordy knows how many this edition will end up with. Which leads to the "we are pathologising everything" debate. I have my own dream. Personally, I research boredom and my chances of getting grant money would be much higher if the chronically & severely bored weren't
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by gr8dude (832945)

            (i.e. people often "fall in love" with incompatible mates, which is illogical and perhaps should be labeled a mental illness?).

            This statement has captured my attention, I'd like to ask you some things about it.

            Can you tell me your definition of "fall in love" and "incompatible mates"? I'm genuinely interested, perhaps you can provide some references to materials that try to formalize this? Or elaborate on your point of view?

          • Re:Makes sense (Score:4, Interesting)

            by thesandtiger (819476) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @09:14AM (#28122501)

            In this case, I would say that one of the differential diagnostic issues would be significant subjective distress before it would be diagnosed. What this means is that you'd have to be bothered enough by it to go and seek help.

            An example of another diagnosis with that same kind of differential would be sexual dysfunction. Some people can't get it up and they don't care. No diagnosable condition. Some people can't get it up and it upsets them greatly. Voila, diagnosable condition.

            Part of the reason for trying to turn certain things into diagnosable conditions is insurance issues. Insurance refuses to pay for therapy for people who aren't "sick" - even though talking about problems with a professional can help stop problems from becoming severe enough to justify a diagnosis (and cost a LOT more money down the road). People saying it's just about making money are generally not correct - while there are some clinicians who make their living basically having chats with the worried well, most would rather spend their time working with clients who actually can benefit from help. For the most part, the bullshit diagnoses are there to help people who would benefit from preventative treatment, before something becomes severe. We treat people for elevated (but not really high) blood pressure, pre-emptively, why not also help save someone years of misery by helping them develop better coping skills before relatively tame problems they face balloon into huge ones?

            Finally, when talking about this, remember, we're not just talking about people who are kind of cynical and sour - we're talking about people who are finding that they are experiencing substantial distress and impaired functioning in many areas of their lives. If you experienced significant pain in your knees that was preventing you from walking without excruciating pain, which was in turn causing you not to exercise, making you miss days at work (or even losing your job), forcing you to stay at home because getting up to go out hurt too much, would anyone say that you going to see a doctor is unreasonable? Same thing here - it's just that because we cannot see the actual cause of the problem people are much more willing to dismiss it.

    • by rubycodez (864176)

      I thought it was all torso, pot belly with legs and an attitude. we have lots of middle aged farts at work like that.

    • by SimonInOz (579741) on Wednesday May 27, 2009 @06:37PM (#28116451)

      So what will they do about Scotland? It seems to be full of bitter, sad people. I didn't know it was a mental condition, I thought it was just how Scottish people were.

      Mind you if I lived somewhere where it was cold wet and windy and they made me wear a skirt with nothing under it, I'd be bitter too.

      And then there's the beer. Oh, and haggis ... and bagpipes ...

  • Cynicism (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Broken scope (973885) on Wednesday May 27, 2009 @04:38PM (#28114593) Homepage

    So when is Cynicism getting added to an ever expanding list of mental disorders that one more pill can set right?

    • Re:Cynicism (Score:5, Funny)

      by node 3 (115640) on Wednesday May 27, 2009 @04:46PM (#28114697)

      So when is Cynicism getting added to an ever expanding list of mental disorders that one more pill can set right?

      While they surely have a pill ready, all you need is an irony supplement.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by creimer (824291)
        Ironically, I don't think my Cynicism balance is that far out of whack to require a supplement. :P
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by gishzida (591028)
      I'm not cynical... I'm optimistically challenged!
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Hatta (162192)

      I'd just love to see Conformity declared a mental illness.

  • It also appears to have no avenue of sexual expression. That too, can be embittering.... All kidding aside, wtf??? I better not be paying into some disability fund for all the cantankerous bastards I know out there...
  • by Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) * <seebert42@gmail.com> on Wednesday May 27, 2009 @04:41PM (#28114639) Homepage Journal

    I have Asperger's. Diagnosed, not self-diagnosed like so many on slashdot.

    Bitterness as a symptom of my Asperger's. This would explain a lot of the "delusions of inadequacy" side of my personality. I work so hard at some stuff that I'm just incapable of, like having a real career where I'm not exploited.

    A lot of my paranoia is related to this as well.

    I'm so lucky to be in a company now that respects my talents, and allows me time to deal with my mental illnesses; but not everybody is that lucky.

  • by Daimanta (1140543) on Wednesday May 27, 2009 @04:41PM (#28114643) Journal

    I have fought for the classification of bitterness into the mental illnesses several decades ago but people laughed at me. Still bitter about it.

  • by cptnapalm (120276) on Wednesday May 27, 2009 @04:45PM (#28114689)

    These people who seem to need to classify every single possible emotional state as an illness have some serious mental issues.

  • by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Wednesday May 27, 2009 @04:48PM (#28114721) Homepage
    I'm wondering about this:

    Of course this has some people who live perfect little lives, and always get what they want, questioning the new classification. The so called "disorder"...

    Is this supposed to be funny, or is the submitter suffering from some embitterment himself?

    I know some people love having their personality labelled as a "disorder" because they believe it then excuses their actions. But also having a label like this can help people cope. Having a label can help you wrap your head around your own thoughts and behaviors, make you feel like you're not uniquely screwed up and alone, and figure out what steps might help you improve.

    • I'm wondering about this:

      Is this supposed to be funny, or is the submitter suffering from some embitterment himself?

      I know some people love having their personality labelled as a "disorder" because they believe it then excuses their actions.

      You know, that's a philosophical question that's been plaguing us for eons. When we get down to it, physics determines all of our actions. Our decisions and actions are all a result of physical phenomena.

  • bah (Score:5, Funny)

    by grub (11606) <slashdot@grub.net> on Wednesday May 27, 2009 @04:48PM (#28114723) Homepage Journal

    "They feel the world has treated them unfairly.

    I don't think the world has treated me unfairly, I just happen to share it with 6 billion fucking cunts I can't stand.
    What's wrong with that?

    .
  • by taustin (171655) on Wednesday May 27, 2009 @04:49PM (#28114743) Homepage Journal

    And psychiatrists have boat payments to make, dammit!

    At the rate things are going, this will soon become so serious that it can only be treated with a brand new, expensive drug just invented. It's a derivative of the drug they use for Restless Leg Syndrome, only it costs a lot more.

  • All ex-wives and ex-husbands really are mentally ill!
  • It just makes it easier, and more convenient to have people locked up in the rubber room. Hate the IRS? You're just bitter. We have "treatment" for that now. A little "reeducation" oughta fix you right up. Gettin' close to that Twilight Zone where everybody had to think happy thoughts, or the kid would turn you into a jack-in-the-box.

  • I submit (Score:3, Funny)

    by ArsonSmith (13997) on Wednesday May 27, 2009 @04:53PM (#28114815) Journal

    I submit "Compulsive Classification" as a mental disorder, but everybody thinks I'm paranoid. I have proof.

  • As I understand it (though I'm not a psychologist) a mental disorder is classified as such when it detrimentally affects the life of the person who suffers from it. So not all people who seem to be bitter a lot would necessarily have this, but if it causes them to start losing or cutting off friends, or impacts their decision making in a negative way, it would be classified as a disorder.

    So it's no surprise that excessive bitterness can be a disorder. So can excessive happiness - ever heard of manics?
  • Who would like to bet that some big pharmaceutical company has a patented medication just for 'Bitterness'.

    Of course they can't get the health insurance companies to pay for expensive prescriptions unless it is a mental disorder. Otherwise taking the medication would be an 'elective' treatment, not a medical requirement.

  • "They feel the world has treated them unfairly. It's one step more complex than anger. They're angry plus helpless," says Dr. Michael Linden, the psychiatrist who put a name to how the world works.

    Yep. I'm angry because I'm now classified as mentally ill, and I'm apparently helpless to prevent this expansion of mental illness diagnoses.

    Ha ha, just kidding about the "now" part.

  • by erroneus (253617) on Wednesday May 27, 2009 @05:01PM (#28114935) Homepage

    I would just like to convey my sympathies to all those who have become embittered due to the traumatic stress of a world fraught with unfair competition, divisiveness, and discrimination. If you were born ugly and attractive people have more opportunities in life, that is no reason to be bitter. If you have been informed that you are somehow not good enough but not explained in what way, that is no reason to be bitter. If you are black in a predominantly white-controlled area and can't seem to get a fair chance in life, that is no reason to be bitter. If you are white and in a predominantly black-controlled area and can't seem to get a fair chance in life, that is no reason to be bitter.

    There are many acceptable ways to respond to adversity in life so long as it is not angry or bitter in any way. If you happen to respond to such circumstances with anger and bitterness, fear not! We will not hold it against you, nor will we hold you responsible for it. We have declared that this is a mental illness and soon there will be treatments available for it. While the treatments will not elevate your social status in any way, you will be more accepting of "your place in life" so that your inner spirit will be more peaceful and docile. You will be better suited to serving those you had once resented for so long.

  • I think the difference is that this disorder speaks to an individual who remains bitter after a particular "traumatic" (at least to them) incident they can't get over, where there is a known cause, that can be treated, versus a generally bitter disposition.

    This is a case where the diagnosis could lead a psychiatrist to apply methods to help the person cope with the traumatic event versus treating bitterness as an inherent personality trait. If an event alters the baseline, rather than just having a high-b
  • Remember folks: once it's a mental disorder, your therapist can charge your insurance to "fix" it to the tune of 1-2 hours per week, every week.

    If it's a personality flaw, people have to pay for the therapy themselves.

    This kind of stuff (bitterness, generic meanness, "depression" to the tune of "I'm not enthralled with life every moment") is a mental illness because insurance has to pay.

  • In 1992, I saw this abstract in the Journal of Medical Ethics [bmj.com], now on-line for your delectation.

    "In a review of the relevant literature it is shown that happiness is statistically abnormal, consists of a discrete cluster of symptoms, is associated with a range of cognitive abnormalities"

    Hoo yah.

  • It sounds like an attempt to diagnose these guys and what is left of the Republican party.
  • by spidercoz (947220) on Wednesday May 27, 2009 @05:21PM (#28115357) Journal
    the world is full of bastards and now I'M the mentally ill one

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