Top 10 Weird Psychiatric Disorders
10. Hysteria was considered for a long time an illness which only the women developed. The symptoms of hysteria were vague, such as nerves, outbursts of emotion, and weakness. The doctors believed that the only treatment for hysteria was the orgasm. As a result the physicians would massage the patient’s genitalia with their hands or with a vibrator. The surprising thing is that they did not find anything peculiar about this. They also told the women to remain in bed and not to work or socialize, which led them to develop depression, anxiety, and other psychological problems. By 1980 hysteria was removed from the DSM.
9. The Penis Envy was based on various theories which were published by Sigmund Freud. The penis envy states that the girls’ sexual development is based on the jealousy that they do not have a penis, and because of that they might have a sexual desire for the father. The American Psychoanalytic Association still practices Freudian-style psychoanalysis and there are many groups that try to combine the neuroscience research with Freud’s theories. Even so, the psychoanalysis is rarely taught in psychology departments nowadays.
8. The DSM introduced the Narcissistic Personality Disorder in the 80s and the decision was quickly contested. The problem was that the doctors could not say who had the illness. The characteristics of these persons were the need for constant praise and lack of empathy for others. Many of the people who had these “qualities” also had the symptoms of other illnesses as well. The doctors did not know how to separate the disorders, and decided that it was time for a change. The American Psychiatric Association decided to make changes in the DSM-5 in 2010, and to include a category which contains personality problems as well.
7. The dissociative identity disorder became famous in 1973 when the book Sybil was published. The book told the story of Shirley Mason, who suffered from dissociative identity disorder, or multiple personality disorder, and as a result she had 16 different personalities. The book was a huge success and so was the movie which was made after the book. The psychologists however stated that Shirley did not have so many personalities, as they believed that her therapist invented many of them. Her therapist believed that Shirley’s emotions were represented by a different personality. The dissociative identity disorder is considered an illness nowadays as well.
6. It is a known fact that many children have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. The children who suffer from it have trouble sitting still or playing with toys, they often move from place to place, they can not control their impulses and they can not remain focused on a subject too long. The ADHD in children was considered to be an over-diagnosis and so did the adult ADHD. Norman Sussman, a New York University psychiatrist believes that the pharmaceutical companies try to keep this disease in the DSM in order to sell their products.
5. The bipolar disorder is an illness which affects the adults, but it has been discovered that children can suffer from it as well. The people who are bipolar have moods which fluctuate a lot: they can be very happy and minutes later they can be depressed, and so on. It is said that the number of children who are suffering from childhood bipolar disorder is on the rise, and the reason for it might be the fact that the doctors diagnose bipolar in kids in a different manner. The experts believe that the number of children who suffer from it has not increased in the last period of time.
4. Asperger’s disorder was introduced in 2004 and it is characterized by normal intelligence and language abilities, but very poor social skills. It is believed that the illness will be removed from the DSM-5 which will be released in 2013. The reason is the fact that the experts were not able to find a difference between Asperger’s disorder and autism. The experts believe that the children, who have Asperger’s disorder, actually have high-functioning autism. There are people who disapprove, stating that the high-functioning autism does not have the same characteristics as the Asperger’s disorder ones.
3. Homosexuality was considered to be a mental disorder in 1973. The decision drew the criticism of the gay and lesbian activists, and as a result the decision was quickly changed. However ego-dystonic homosexuality was included in the DSM-III from 1980, the psychologists stated that they have introduced it in the list because of the high number of people who came to them for help regarding their sexual orientation. When the DSM was updated 6 years later homosexuality was removed from the list, the psychologists stating that it has nothing to do with the mind.
2. The Society for the Advancement of Sexual Health describes sex addiction as a lack of control over one’s sexual behavior. The addicts say that they constantly think about sex and pursue it no matter what. They say that they get no pleasure from sex, only guilt. The addiction has not been included in any DSM, and it is unlikely that it will be introduced in DSM-5.
1. The most controversial DSM disorders is the gender identity. The people who feel that they have the wrong sex are diagnosed with gender identity disorder. The issue is very problematic especially in the case of the children. The experts do not know if they should encourage the children to define themselves, or if they should encourage them to identify with the gender they have. Many believe that the children should be allowed to make a decision, but some say that many of the children are incapable of making such decisions.11