Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Oppositional Defiant Disorder

This probably comes as a surprise to no one, but when I was growing up in the 1950s and 1960s, I tended to exhibit what some would now call "troubling" symptoms: A pattern of "negativistic, defiant, disobedient and hostile behavior toward authority figures" including losing one's temper, annoying people and being "touchy".

Jeez, who knew? All this time I thought I was normal. Now I find that it's not true and I was actually laboring under something called "oppositional defiant disorder".

At least according to the proposed additions to the new Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), which is the bible of the wackjob-doc crowd, aka psychiatrists and those of their ilk.

Jesus, had my parents only known (instead of just suspecting) that they were dealing with an out-and-out crazy person instead of a resistant, recalcitrant and unrepentant teenager, imagine how much better things could have been.

For them. Not for me. The shrinks could have cranked up their volume-dampening chemical headphones with that whole litany of krazy-kid drugs like Ritalin, Valium, and -- hell, it was the 50s -- even Miltown, and I could have blissfully zoned my way through adolescence. And young adulthood. And fuck, who knows, even middle age and now, my dotage...

Except I could never have written A Bad Attitude: A Novel from the Vietnam War. After all, I wouldn't have actually been able to have that "bad attitude", now would I?

I also wouldn't be writing this blog. And I'd probably be voting Republican...

Which is probably what the Medical-Industrial Complex is after: Maximize their profits while at the same time doping up the rambunctiously annoying little fuckers so much that they can't even see the oppression, let alone fight against it.