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Bitterness To Be Classified As a Mental Illness 511

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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  • 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?

  • 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.

  • Re:Cynicism (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Ethanol-fueled ( 1125189 ) on Wednesday May 27, 2009 @04:46PM (#28114701) Homepage Journal
    The drug companies are the ones who get the money. The doctors only get free golf trips and paperweights with drug logos on them.
  • Re:Cynicism (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Rycross ( 836649 ) on Wednesday May 27, 2009 @04:47PM (#28114713)
    Bipolar? Schizophrenia? Obsessive-compulsive disorder? There are plenty of real mental illnesses. Depression (as in, real depression, not the normal blues) is a real mental disorder too. You're throwing the baby out with the bathwater here.
  • by nine-times ( 778537 ) <> 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.

  • Re:Makes sense (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Jurily ( 900488 ) <jurily@gmail.COLAcom minus caffeine> on Wednesday May 27, 2009 @04:50PM (#28114769)

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

    We already have boredom on there.

  • by Rycross ( 836649 ) on Wednesday May 27, 2009 @04:52PM (#28114791)

    That seems rather presumptuous of you. Do you know Marxist Hacker? Because you're making a big assumption about him without pretty much any evidence.

    You do realize that a disorder being over-diagnosed doesn't necessarily mean that it doesn't exist, right?

  • Sounds better than chemically-induced passivity, which is what these doctors seem to be advocating.
  • by morgan_greywolf ( 835522 ) on Wednesday May 27, 2009 @04:57PM (#28114887) Homepage Journal

    I play a few too many video games than I probably should, when will that be a diagnosable mental illness?

    It already is [].

    How about my girlfriend who likes TV and Facebook a bit more than the average person?

    Yep []. And yep [].

    Probably easily treatable with a $300 bottle of pills from the big pharma's right?.

    Actually, the answer is no. Addiction disorders are treated primarily with therapy and 12-step programs. There are often other, related and usually contributing disorders, such as depression and anxiety, that are treated with pills from big pharma. But they're not necessarily $300 a bottle.

    (Full disclosure: my wife is a psychologist and addictions counselor)

  • 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:Cynicism (Score:2, Insightful)

    by geekoid ( 135745 ) <`dadinportland' `at' `'> on Wednesday May 27, 2009 @05:00PM (#28114921) Homepage Journal

    What the hell? Do you even think about what you post?
    All medical practice make Doctors money just lke Cars are here to keep mechanic busy.

    Thing break down, mechanics fix them. People ahve medical issue, doctors help them.

    Your ignorance on this matter is astounding and is only dwarfed by the size of the universe.

    Take a logic 101 course.

  • by Rycross ( 836649 ) on Wednesday May 27, 2009 @05:00PM (#28114925)

    You should only diagnose disorders you can treat without drugging them. The rest is just life.

    That's assuming that there are no mental disorders that require chemical treatment. That point of view isn't supported by the medical evidence out there. Someone with schizophrenia isn't going to get better by just dealing with it, and any serious doctor would laugh at the idea that its "just life."

    Meanwhile, marijuana is illegal because it makes you smile.

    So smoking a blunt to feel happy is OK, but taking a pill to help you through a rough patch is a sign of weakness or a shirking of personal responsibility? Give me a break.

  • by Red Flayer ( 890720 ) on Wednesday May 27, 2009 @05:01PM (#28114943) Journal

    I have yet to meet a liberal who was happy or content with their lives.

    That's because, in general, liberals realize that there are tons of real problems out there that should be solved.

    Ignorance is Bliss, it's been said, and I find the corollary, "Understanding is Unhappiness", to be the cause of typical liberal cynicism.

    I'd also note that all the happy conservatives I've met are those who are deliberately ignorant, or just plain without conscience.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 27, 2009 @05:01PM (#28114949)

    Good job finding the humor, smarty.

  • Re:Cynicism (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Rycross ( 836649 ) on Wednesday May 27, 2009 @05:02PM (#28114971)

    I'm not sure how having different names for the same things means its not real. Otherwise I don't know how I manage to go to the bathroom/toilet/water closet/wash room every day. Care to make an intelligent argument?

    P.S. That Wikipedia article cites scientific research/medical information.
    P.P.S Insisting that it isn't real, without supporting your assertions, doesn't make it not real. Sorry.

  • Re:Cynicism (Score:3, Insightful)

    by gishzida ( 591028 ) <> on Wednesday May 27, 2009 @05:03PM (#28114985) Journal
    I'm not cynical... I'm optimistically challenged!
  • Re:Cynicism (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 27, 2009 @05:08PM (#28115091)

    Anything you have four different equivalent scientific terms for is not real. Sorry.

    dihydrogen monoxide, hydric acid, hydrogen hydroxide, oxidane

  • by dcollins117 ( 1267462 ) on Wednesday May 27, 2009 @05:13PM (#28115169)
    Everyone has experienced depression and anxiety at some point in their lives, but not everyone has a clinical depressive or anxiety disorder. I've certainly experienced trauma and bitterness in my life, but don't have PTSD as a result of it. Some people do. If it means they can now get help as a result of this classification (meaning it is more likely to be covered by their medical insurance), well, it's no skin off your back, is it?
  • Re:Cynicism (Score:3, Insightful)

    by twidarkling ( 1537077 ) on Wednesday May 27, 2009 @05:23PM (#28115399)

    So feeling bad is now a medical issue? Then why are all drugs that make you feel really good, illegal?

    The fact that this summary makes it seem ridiculous, the issue isn't "feeling bad." It's feeling "excessively bad to the detriment of your life and well being." Contrary to popular belief, just because you're really sad doesn't make you depressed, and just because you think you deserved that raise instead of that twerp down the hall doesn't mean you have this new one either.

    As for the "feel good drugs" being illegal, most of it's politics, coupled with some actually having pretty fucking nasty side-effects if use isn't monitored by a medical professional, hence so many pharmacologicals being illegal to distribute without being a pharmacist.

  • by castorvx ( 1424163 ) on Wednesday May 27, 2009 @05:27PM (#28115481)
    I've experienced a sense of extreme bitterness in my life. That feeling is very much accompanied by a sense of helplessness. Some recover and some do not recover.

    It is, however, disingenuous to suggest that some people are just being whiny. Don't fool yourself. These people aren't happy being this way. They are miserable. They're probably depressed. Severely depressed. If you have ever been truly depressed you know these feelings well. They can ruin your life if you don't get help.

    Being overly bitter is indicative of something. That person believes beyond a shadow of a doubt that they got screwed on the dice roll in life. If classifying extreme bitterness helps medical professionals make better decisions in how to help people in that situation, I applaud it.
  • 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."

  • Re:Cynicism (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Alexandra Erenhart ( 880036 ) <(saiyanprincess) (at) (> on Wednesday May 27, 2009 @05:38PM (#28115651) Homepage
    The problem with some of the mental "suffering" you can find in people, is that sometimes is provoked by the environment, i.e. shitty society we live in (leaving aside REAL mental problems). Then you have to fix the society, and you'd cure many many people. But that's a much harder task to do, sadly.
  • by ebuck ( 585470 ) on Wednesday May 27, 2009 @05:51PM (#28115889)

    Never hear of shell shock, eh?

    We don't talk about mechanical stress being so unreal that broken bones are just character flaws. Why assume the nervous system is so perfect that no experience could cause it to fail or malfunction? Why assume that the mental system is so perfect that no experience could cause it to fail or malfunction?

    Mechanical stress breaks bones. Nervous system stress can cause arrhythmias and tachycardia. Mental system stress can cause inability to perform.

    I would tell you more, but I'm not the expert. Instead, walk through those doors and talk to someone who knows much more about it than I do, "Cthulhu, next!"

  • by penguinstorm ( 575341 ) on Wednesday May 27, 2009 @05:57PM (#28115993) Homepage

    > but it took failing at being a civil servant to
    > get here.

    Failing as a civil servant is usually as good a sign as any that you're well qualified for private sector work.

  • Re:Cynicism (Score:5, Insightful)

    by somersault ( 912633 ) on Wednesday May 27, 2009 @06:09PM (#28116157) Homepage Journal

    Wow, so people suffering from post traumatic stress disorder after having to watch people ripped apart by bullets, or those who have phobias from traumatic experiences as kids, or weird chemical issues causing manic/bipolar or just 'regular' depression, OCD, epilepsy etc etc are simply just morons because they need pills to try to live 'normal' lives like you? A lot of people do live in their normal little worlds where they are neither overly happy nor sad all the time and their brains have no significant defects - but as with all things in life, some people lie at the extremes. Some of this will be due to life experience, other parts will be due to genetic factors or perhaps damage in the womb from an accident or a mother who liked to drink, yada yada yada, you get the picture. Yes sometimes people just need to grow the fuck up, and they eventually they usually do, but some people have serious problems. Sometimes it's a mixture of both. I would suggest that you are much more of a moron to pass judgement on things that you apparently have no knowledge of. Yeah, I know we're on slashdot, but even so..

    I had written a huuuuuge rant here about how my life was oh so sad and worthy of pity, but you probably don't care. Just be aware that even people who have nothing to really be upset about can still get depressed simply because western life is so incredibly easy and boring. People aren't built for sitting in an office all day doing nothing. I got depressed for other reasons, but I won't list them unless you would like to hear them so that you can laugh at me for being so pathetic as to let it get to me.

    Anyway, sorry if you weren't referring to stuff like depression*, and congrats if you were trolling.

    * I do agree that doctors hand out pills too easily sometimes, but you do know that it doesn't make them money at all right? It makes the pharmaceutical companies money, but doctors would still be getting paid plenty without hypocondriacs wasting their time. Pawning their patients off onto proper counsellors and/or medication is not making the doctor any more money. Believe it or not a lot of doctors just want to help people (I know some doctors and nurses who regularly go out and do missionary work for free or at least very little pay compared to what they normally get). Of course some people will just be in it for the money, but it is overly cynical to think of all of them that way. You even get some decent lawyers for crying out loud (admittedly NewYorkCountryLawyer is probably the only one, but he still shows that it's possible) :p

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 27, 2009 @06:19PM (#28116275)

    you know? I can relate to the article.

    I *am* bitter. I studied my ass off in college, got good grades, and have two engineering degrees. (and, a minor in CS since this is slashdot). I've worked hard at my jobs, I'm good at what I do, and I'm a good person.

    However, I got fired two years ago because I found one of the executives embezzling from the company. I live in a smaller town (250,000 pop) that's doesn't have many (any?) extra $100k+ jobs. I look around and see the ignorant MBA types driving their new lexuses and getting big bonuses...and, fuck yeah, I'm bitter. I've applied for some $60k jobs, and am rejected by being overqualified. The FEW I could get an interview with said something like, "well, you'd leave us as soon as you got a higher paying job." I can't argue, they're right.

    I'm not fatalistic about it, though. I'm not going to snap. BUT, I am angry. I'm bitter. I have dreams seeking revenge. This experience has challenged one of my basic beliefs that if you do good work and are a good person, karma will help you. I no longer believe that. I don't want to be a back-stabbing, lying asshole, but I sure would like the big house, new car, and plasma TV those folks seem to have.

    So, rather than be smug & smarky that your life is perfect, be aware that some times bad things happen to good people, and those good people can have difficulty dealing with that. Not everyone has hit a big speedbump in life. Yet.

  • Re:Cynicism (Score:3, Insightful)

    by otopico ( 32364 ) on Wednesday May 27, 2009 @07:09PM (#28116835)

    Hey now, that's not safe. My grand dad drank those things his entire life and DIED!

  • by Rob the Bold ( 788862 ) on Wednesday May 27, 2009 @07:29PM (#28117005)
    You might not have meant it this way, but "deal with it like an adult" comes off as condescending, assuming you're talking to an adult, or insensitive, if you're talking to someone with a disabling mental disorder. I would suggest that any grown-up who could "deal with it like an adult", would already be doing so.
  • Re:Cynicism (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Artifakt ( 700173 ) on Wednesday May 27, 2009 @08:51PM (#28117763)

    To paraphrase Krishnamurti - Not fitting in well to a sick society is not a sign of mental illness.

  • Re:Cynicism (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 27, 2009 @09:13PM (#28117949)

    What the fuck is this? Slashdot or a congregation?

    Dude, if you believe in all-knowing, all-powerful wizards who control everything then you have bigger problems than anything you face in reality.

  • by Artifakt ( 700173 ) on Wednesday May 27, 2009 @10:31PM (#28118503)

    Here's the real problem with telling sick people to just "Deal with it like an adult".
          I'm a Diabetic. Right now, I take only small amounts of oral meds, even though I occasionally have some processed sugar in my diet. That's because over about three years, I lost 20 pounds and built 25 back into muscle, starting at age 50 to get off insulin and lead a more normal life. I'm currently healthy as a horse (2 mile runs at least 3 times a week, LONG runs on weekends, bench 255, takes about 45 minutes continuously on a stairmaster just to get my heart up to what is technically it's calculated training rate, and five minutes later it will be back down to 68 BPM).
          When I was typical slashdot poster age, I was in the Army. I went from being a sedentary oscilloscope jockey on entry to scoring over 400 on the Army Physical Fitness Test extended scale in, again, about 3 years. In training, I ran against and frequently matched a soldier who had been awarded the Silver in Barcelona the year before. So, I can actually claim to have been in near Olympic condition. (please note the near). At some points I did long range recon, with 55 pound standard load, plus because I was the biggest guy in my squad I also carried an M-60, spare barrel assembly and four or so belts of ammo on what sometimes turned into 70-80 mile hikes in rough country (average altitude was over 11 thousand feet for some of these little expeditions).
          'Beating' Diabetes fifteen years after that was harder. Until I got to the point where I could come off the insulin itself, the pain from exercise was constant, at a level that would have broken me back in my twenties. The zone between not enough exercise to improve and too much to heal up from becomes incredibly narrow when your sugar is that high. it's a target you just can't hit consistently. It took weeks to heal from some little training slips that would typically be ignored the next day in a young healthy person, and there were stages where the inflammation effects from exercising under the medications triggered (fortunately temporary) symptoms resembling advanced MS. After six months, I came off the insulin, and soon after it got to be just as rough as it is for any 50 year old man to build 25 pounds of muscle.
            I had a lot of people tell me it was just a matter of willpower, of manning up and being an adult. Yes it is. Any average person, who has merely approximately the will normally needed to become an Olympic level athlete, can do it.
            That's why it comes off as condescending. If you're a highly decorated combat infantryman, or an Olympian... If you made it through the original Mercury program... If you are one of the ten greatest living concert pianists or even just an Iron Chef, or merely use your Pulitzers to hold up the shelf for your Nobel, by all means, tell me it just took a little willpower or doing what a typical adult would and should do. From that exalted viewpoint, you may mean it well. If you don't have credentials such as those, anything you say about maturity, willpower, or dedication is hypocritical at best.
            Now maybe some of these people with the mental disorders really do have no real idea how much they just have to reach down into themselves and find the energy to continue, over and over, but maybe they've fought a battle every single damned day that makes my whole life look like a lazy river ride.

  • Re:Cynicism (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 27, 2009 @10:35PM (#28118533)
    It appears the mods lack a sense of humor.
  • Re:Cynicism (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 27, 2009 @10:37PM (#28118545)

    Having been through something similar (false allegations of rape), I gotta say... sometimes you just have to realize there's nothing you can do. Yeah, I tried, but I realized that the best I could do was thank the authority figures involved for not trying to fuck over my future, accept that life had fucked me over, and move on. Short of producing videotape, there are some charges you just can't fight; and even with videotape you wouldn't get away clean!

    No, I didn't escape without some lingering emotional issues and a really bad reputation. But as unlucky as I was to have this happen to me, I realize I'm just as lucky it didn't end far, far worse. I did the only thing I could: I figured out what parts of my personality made it easy for some people to believe the charges, and worked on them. I didn't try to prove to anyone that I was innocent: I knew that would just make them believe the opposite. If anyone asked about the visible changes in my life that happened after the incident, I didn't even try to explain what happened. Instead, I did my best to deflect the question with a (true) answer, like "I was having with some major personal issues".

    The bad reputation was (fortunately!) limited to a fairly small community and even there it's mostly gone away by now. Many of the people who originally heard/spread rumors have since left. The rest have gotten to know me better or seen that-- based on what I've done in the intervening years-- I'm not that bad as the vague rumors suggested.

    Life is random, sometimes you get lucky, sometimes you get fucked. But the thing about it being random is that it will average itself out eventually, if you let it.

  • Re:Cynicism (Score:3, Insightful)

    by CAIMLAS ( 41445 ) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @02:02AM (#28119777) Homepage

    Society - all of them - is inherently sick. It's composed of people, who are all imperfect, fucked in the head, retarded, etc. etc.

    What, do you think some sort of Utopian society can actually exist? Name for me one society which has not been "sick". Failing that, can you present a logical argument as to why one might even be possible?

    Honestly, if you think it's possible, you've been reading too much fiction. Our society (western society) is notably less fucked than most throughout history, and the majority of the other ones on this planet, at this time. Can it improve? Yes. But not fitting in isn't a "bad" thing. And not fitting in -does- mean you're unsociable.

    (Said the unsociable person who's willing to face reality.)

  • Re:Makes sense (Score:3, Insightful)

    by gr8dude ( 832945 ) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @02:47AM (#28119967) Homepage

    (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:Cynicism (Score:2, Insightful)

    by maxume ( 22995 ) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @08:34AM (#28122067)

    "The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it."

    --George Bernard Shaw

  • by evol262 ( 721773 ) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @11:28AM (#28124251) Homepage
    Hellhole is relative. By your definition, probably. Yes, they had secret police and a fairly oppressive government. They also had sanitation facilities, power, and other infrastructure which we bombed out upon invasion. They had competent public servants with decades of experience who we promptly declared criminals when we outlawed The B'aath party. Employment rates were higher before the invasion []. While this may turn out for them in the end, it's far from decided, and as it stands, they're worse off by every measurable economic metric. GDP is rather an unfair comparison unless you compare it to pre-sanction levels, and using numbers from 2003 (brutal sanctions, Iraq couldn't sell oil, just starting to recover from the global recession in 2001-ish) is utterly disingenuous, not that you probably care.

    Please explain how Hannibal handled a nonexistent entity (the Roman Empire). It was the Roman Republic. He spent 15 years in Italy, and was unable to come to a decisive finish due to Carthaginian authorities diverting resources to Iberia and Roman control of the sea (preventing Hannibal from getting siege equipment that would let him take major cities), combined with trouble at home (Numidia specifically). Initial success (including what is possibly the most crushing defeat in military history for the Romans), left to languish with limited manpower, dwindling public support in Italy, and multiple fronts from the home government. The Romans (Fabius Maximus) took to a strategy of harassment and delay without any open engagements. Sound familiar? It's an oft-repeated story, yet somehow people convince themselves that "quick, decisive" wars will automatically "shock and awe" the native populace like life is a video game.

    As an aside, the Punic wars had fuck-all to do with "tyranny and oppression." They were purely power struggles, with neither side being particularly virtuous. Unless I'm mistaken, "tyranny and oppression" can also be dealt with through other means (British India being a notable example, though there are others historically). Most of the time, dealing with "tyranny and oppression" through force leads to another radical in power when the "force" isn't pressing anymore.
  • Re:Cynicism (Score:2, Insightful)

    by toppings ( 1298207 ) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @12:13PM (#28124933) Homepage

    You seem to really relish belittling your "friend's" accomplishments. Hmmm, why does this sound familiar? Oh, right, that's just what they did to you, and it was wrong for them to do it then, but now, it's justified for you to do it now?

    So I guess hate fuels the Porsche of your own insecurity. Your hate wagon now tailgates the 3-day-old Mustang of pure love. Listen, guy, you need to let love win.

    You can learn to find joy in others' joy, even people you don't like. You will find yourself a happier person.

To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing. -- Elbert Hubbard