I don’t know if any of you have heard (or read) about Time Magazine’s new article focusing on some of the changes to the DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders). I hadn’t planned on writing about it but I just can’t keep my feelings to myself on this one.
My issue isn’t so much with the article itself but with the title of it, which is; “Redefining Crazy: Changes to the Bible of Psychiatric Disorders”. First of all: redefining crazy? Really Time Magazine, are you serious? That is an unbelievably irresponsible and insulting title. Not only are you contributing to the already often debilitating stigma of mental health and psychiatric issues, you’re also insulting the millions of people who deal and struggle with those issues on a daily basis. This kind of damaging thinking is exactly why it took me so long to seek out help for my own issues in the first place and also a central reason that I have such a hard time writing about said issues and being honest about the areas I struggle with; fear of judgement, fear of being perceived as crazy, when I know that I’m not.
To make matters even worse and more infuriating, one of the first things discussed in the article is the changes made to the areas of the DSM-5 dealing with Autism. So essentially Time would have you believe that Autism = crazy? Wow. Also in the line of fire are those who suffer from eating disorders, depression and anxiety.
My first reaction to the article’s title was sadness and disappointment. It reminded me of the ignorance that is still so widespread when it comes to mental health problems and how easily encountered unfair judgement is, passed down by those who have absolutely no idea what it is to live with any of these things.
Why choose to slap such an awful title on an otherwise alright article? What was the point? I don’t understand why those with the power to reach and influence the thinking of so many readers would use that power so irresponsibly. Are they purposefully looking for controversy in order to increase their traffic? If so, that’s a pretty pathetic and deplorable trade off.