Thumbs down to Time Magazine

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.

Title screenshot

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.

4 thoughts on “Thumbs down to Time Magazine

  1. that’s exactly what they’re doing! no one talks about a regular old article, or not many people. slap on a pithy, controversial and EVERYONE talks about it. did you see the one about siblings that i posted on my FB page tonight? disgusting.

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    • I did! I had thought about not clicking the link so that they wouldn’t get the page views but I was curious.
      Again, a very poor choice of title. I didn’t much care for the article itself either, it just seemed to make everything sound over-dramatic, like the siblings are only either devoted (they made it sound more like obligated) or resenting and that there’s no normal family bond possible or that those with autism are simply autistic instead of being human beings.
      The thought can be applied to all siblings of someone with a chronic illness etc but I wouldn’t for a second think that my brother felt victimized growing up with a chronically ill sister. I don’t doubt for a second that it was often very hard to deal with but victim makes it sound so melodramatic. Besides, like you say, it’s for no one to say whether someone else is a victim of something, only that individual has the right to label themselves in such a way.

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