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Thu Mar 1, 2012, 10:50 PM

Why Anti-Authoritarians are Diagnosed as Mentally Ill

In my career as a psychologist, I have talked with hundreds of people previously diagnosed by other professionals with oppositional defiant disorder, attention deficit hyperactive disorder, anxiety disorder and other psychiatric illnesses, and I am struck by (1) how many of those diagnosed are essentially anti-authoritarians, and (2) how those professionals who have diagnosed them are not.

Anti-authoritarians question whether an authority is a legitimate one before taking that authority seriously. Evaluating the legitimacy of authorities includes assessing whether or not authorities actually know what they are talking about, are honest, and care about those people who are respecting their authority. And when anti-authoritarians assess an authority to be illegitimate, they challenge and resist that authority—sometimes aggressively and sometimes passive-aggressively, sometimes wisely and sometimes not.

Some activists lament how few anti-authoritarians there appear to be in the United States. One reason could be that many natural anti-authoritarians are now psychopathologized and medicated before they achieve political consciousness of society’s most oppressive authorities

-snip-

Many people with severe anxiety and/or depression are also anti-authoritarians. Often a major pain of their lives that fuels their anxiety and/or depression is fear that their contempt for illegitimate authorities will cause them to be financially and socially marginalized; but they fear that compliance with such illegitimate authorities will cause them existential death.

-more-

http://www.madinamerica.com/2012/02/why-anti-authoritarians-are-diagnosed-as-mentally-ill/

14 replies, 2466 views

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Arrow 14 replies Author Time Post
Reply Why Anti-Authoritarians are Diagnosed as Mentally Ill (Original post)
no_hypocrisy Mar 2012 OP
RKP5637 Mar 2012 #1
backscatter712 Mar 2012 #2
Cerridwen Mar 2012 #3
Kalidurga Mar 2012 #4
The Doctor. Mar 2012 #8
DCKit Mar 2012 #5
lonestarnot Mar 2012 #6
The Doctor. Mar 2012 #7
maximusveritas Mar 2012 #9
limpyhobbler Mar 2012 #10
LineNew Reply .
Cerridwen Mar 2012 #11
appal_jack Mar 2012 #12
Sparkly Mar 2012 #13
no_hypocrisy Mar 2012 #14

Response to no_hypocrisy (Original post)

Thu Mar 1, 2012, 10:51 PM

1. K&R !!! Excellent article!!! n/t

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Response to no_hypocrisy (Original post)

Thu Mar 1, 2012, 10:55 PM

2. K&R! Am I the only one who considers Right Wing Authoritarians (RWA)

Last edited Fri Mar 2, 2012, 12:24 AM - Edit history (1)

as defined by Bob Altemeyer to be mentally ill?

We're talking about a set of behaviors that are different from how most people think, that directly result in very destructive effects upon society.

For those who don't know what I'm talking about, here's some reading...

http://home.cc.umanitoba.ca/~altemey/

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Response to no_hypocrisy (Original post)

Thu Mar 1, 2012, 10:57 PM

3. "The strong go crazy....

The weak go along"

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Response to no_hypocrisy (Original post)

Thu Mar 1, 2012, 10:58 PM

4. What a timely thread...

I was just talking to someone studying to go into the field. I told her I don't believe many mental illnesses actually exist. This is one of those illnesses I don't believe exist. But, then again a lot of people say I have a problem with authority which I don't. I don't actually believe in most authority therefore there is no problem with it.

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Response to Kalidurga (Reply #4)

Thu Mar 1, 2012, 11:22 PM

8. It's not that they 'don't exist',

 

It's that there are many forms of intellectual architecture that are either not understood, or are not accommodated by our otherwise narrowly-focused society.

We have people that know all the secrets of the Universe and Harmony warming themselves at pyres in alleys who will likely never be heard. There is a vast resource in people and their very diverse intellectual makeup that we haven't even gathered a clue about how to harvest.

But I'm working on it. The sad part is that I'm one of them and being that way makes bringing what I can do for the world very difficult.

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Response to no_hypocrisy (Original post)

Thu Mar 1, 2012, 11:06 PM

5. I'm obviously one sick S.O.B.. nt

 

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Response to no_hypocrisy (Original post)

Thu Mar 1, 2012, 11:07 PM

6. So the discussion is as to why, and the word misdiagnose is not to be found in the discussion.

So I will add it and call it intentional misdiagnosis in many cases for the pure purpose of social control through medication. Anti-authoritarian folks in many cases are managed because they are bright bulbs that are recognized as threats because they shine brighter than the authority that schemes to manage them.

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Response to no_hypocrisy (Original post)

Thu Mar 1, 2012, 11:13 PM

7. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAA!

 



This nail has a traumatic cranial contusion.

Thanks for posting this. I've known it for a while but never got around to posting about it.

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Response to no_hypocrisy (Original post)

Thu Mar 1, 2012, 11:22 PM

9. I'm not buying what this guy is selling. If you have anxiety or depression

as a result of being anti-authoritarian, then that is a problem that needs to be treated or you will suffer emotionally. So what's the point? I do think sometimes kids who are anti-authoritarian may be misdiagnosed with ADHD, but not if they're seeing a competent child psychiatrist.

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Response to no_hypocrisy (Original post)

Thu Mar 1, 2012, 11:31 PM

10. it's true.

Often a major pain of their lives that fuels their anxiety and/or depression is fear that their contempt for illegitimate authorities will cause them to be financially and socially marginalized
Contempt for authority can ruin a person financially for real. It's not an unfounded fear at all. Being able to tolerate a horrible boss is a survival skill. Standing up to authority at the wrong place and time can ruin things pretty quick. I should know. There's a time to keep to your mouth shut.

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Response to no_hypocrisy (Original post)

Fri Mar 2, 2012, 12:08 AM

11. .


Krishnamurti: “It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.”

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Response to no_hypocrisy (Original post)

Fri Mar 2, 2012, 10:05 AM

12. K&R n/t

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Response to no_hypocrisy (Original post)

Fri Mar 2, 2012, 10:12 AM

13. Well...

I think when it shows up as kids being defiant toward parents and teachers -- or later, police and laws -- it's a problem... and possibly relates to an underlying mental or emotional issue.

However, I sure relate to not "kissing up" to people in work situations who throw their weight around and have no idea what they're talking about. That can be a problem too, I suppose, but I don't think it makes me mentally ill.

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Response to Sparkly (Reply #13)

Fri Mar 2, 2012, 11:09 AM

14. It truly depends on the teachers and parents.

My father was exceedingly authoritarian especially when I wasn't going to mindlessly obey him. At times he really had bad ideas that weren't thought out or thought at all. I found out that I couldn't trust his judgment at age 3 and now he's 89, it's much worse. I caught heat from my siblings as my "defiance" was interpreted "You've made Dad mad again," and he'd take it out on all of us. I once was bold enough to call him a tsar to his face when I was 18. And he thought I need "extensive psychotherapy" to "cure" me of my anti-authoritarian tendencies. I had therapy but it only reinforced he had the problem, not me. That's why this article leaped up at me.

My kindergarten teacher was a first year hire right out of college. She called my mother in for conferences on a regular basis because of "red flags" she noticed in me: I was/am ambidextrous. I couldn't skip. I couldn't use scissors. And she wanted to hold me back a year for those reasons alone. I was frequently sent up to the principal who was much more kindly to me. I remember asking him at age 5 whether my teacher knew what she was doing. (BTW, a compromise was made on my situation. My parents took me to a premiere psychiatrist in NYC, I was given an IQ test. I was found to be highly intelligent and that was that.)

I've always questioned unreliable and unstable authority because I am not a lemming who will run off a cliff and I'll call them on it.

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