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Thu Mar 1, 2012, 11:50 PM

Why Anti-Authoritarians are Diagnosed as Mentally Ill [View all]

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


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.



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Reply Why Anti-Authoritarians are Diagnosed as Mentally Ill [View all]
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
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Cerridwen Mar 2012 #11
appal_jack Mar 2012 #12
Sparkly Mar 2012 #13
no_hypocrisy Mar 2012 #14