The Red Sox won the World Series, amid an emotional connection to the year's Marathon bombings in Boston. Life and sports sometimes intersect, as I learned from an old friend after the 2004 World Series.
Critics make fun of psychiatry for making diagnoses when symptoms are "obviously" due to life events, to stresses in life. This obviousness is based on common sense, which is always wrong as soon as a person crosses the threshold of a mental health clinician's office. The biggest fallacy of psychology/psychiatry is the psychological fallacy.
The NIMH has asserted clearly that DSM is scientifically invalid. Finally, the "pragmatic" cynics about science who have led DSM editions are being challenged, as are the anti-biology critics of psychiatry. It is the beginning of the end of two generations of futility in psychiatric progress.
The Connecticut attacks have produced apparent consensus on gun control and more attention to mental illnesses. Some are beginning to realize that a broken mental health system needs fixing, not just money, and part of fixing that system is changing the laws to allow for involuntary community treatment of cases of severe, dangerous mental illnesses.
How can we prevent such tragedies? Besides gun control, let's start taking mental illness seriously, not denying it as social fiction, and institute more outpatient involuntary treatment laws. Civil libertarians and radical critics of psychiatry will hate it. But innocent lives matter more.
In America, a psychiatric diagnosis is a fad. In Australia, it's true. That's what we are told in these posts. But cultural claims about the causes for diagnoses are doubtful. Let's look at the science instead.