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  Feb 28, 2012                  
     

DSM-5: THE PRINCIPLES OF PSYCHIATRIC NEWSPEAK (PSYCHO-SPEAK)

 

   "It is impossible for someone to lie unless he thinks he knows the truth. Producing bullshit requires no such conviction. A person who lies is thereby responding to the truth, and he is to that extent respectful of it. When an honest man speaks, he says only what he believes to be true; and for the liar, it is correspondingly indispensable that he considers his statements to be false. For the bullshitter, however, all these bets are off: he is neither on the side of the true nor on the side of the false. His eye is not on the facts at all, as the eyes of the honest man and of the liar are, except insofar as they may be pertinent to his interest in getting away with what he says. He does not care whether the things he says describe reality correctly. He just picks them out, or makes them up, to suit his purpose."

   -- professor Harry Frankfurt, on Bullshit (<-Wikipedia)
       
My bolding and coloring.


  There’s no sense in simply revising the psychiatrist’s diagnostic bible: it will need to be totally replaced to fit the emerging science…

Nick Craddock, professor of psychiatry at the Institute of Psychological Medicine and Clinical Neurosciences at Cardiff University School of Medicine, quoted on
Dx Revision Watch

And now for something completely different...no, not really: More satire, following on the heels of yesterday's revelation of the One And Only True Trailer for the DSM-5, of which I repeat the link, as it is a most appropriate in the present context, textually, visually and stylistically and very well expresses my feelings when reading APA and DSM-5 prose:

The truth, all the truth, and nothing but the truth about the DSM-5 
      click to become fully enlightenedTM (about DSM-5, and much more)

As today's title suggests, here is my adaptation of Orwell's THE PRINCIPLES OF NEWSPEAK for the present decade, retaining some and changing some, where the changes mostly concern the end of a Newspeak language: It is not so much to brainwash, though Orwell had a good point there as well, as to manipulate and to deceive.

Read on if you want to know more, or click on endnote to skip it and move to the end with links to the original and much more of and about George Orwell:


THE PRINCIPLES OF PSYCHIATRIC NEWSPEAK (^)

Psychiatric Newspeak (PsychoSpeak) is the politically correct language of the APA and has been devised to meet the ideological and financial needs of Postmodern Medicine, or BioPsychoSocial Health-Care. It was created around the year 1988 by the German-English pomo psycho genius Semoney Leibowski Weisel, mostly from the ungrammatical forms and obscure terminologies then used by English and American psychiatrists, but was initially hardly used as the sole means of communication  by health-care workers. The leading articles of the Journal of Psychosomatic Medicine were written in it, but this was a tour de force which could only be carried out by a fully trained professor of psychosomatic health-care.

It was expected that PsychoSpeak - from now on, correct Psychiatric Newspeak terminology is in italics; incorrect speech in quotes - would have finally superseded Oldspeak (or "Standard Medical English" as one might call it) by about the year 2050. Meanwhile it gained ground steadily from 1988 onwards, with all APA members tending to use PsychoSpeak words and grammatical constructions more and more in their everyday speech. The version in use in 1984, and eventually embodied in the IIIth and IVth Editions of the Psychiatric Newspeak Manual (also known as DSM: Deception Speech Manual, and by other names) was a provisional one, and contained many superfluous words and archaic formations which were due to be suppressed later. It is with the final, perfected version, as embodied in the 5th Edition of the Deception Speech Manual, that we are concerned here.

The purpose of PsychoSpeak was not only to provide a medium of expression for the world-view and mental habits deemed proper to and desirable for the users of a state's health-care system, but to make all other modes of meaningful discourse about health-care impossible. It was intended that when PsychoSpeak had been adopted and all old medical uses of the English language were forgotten, that an inappropriate or incorrect thought — that is, a thought diverging from the principles of the APA (the American Psychiatric Association, whose members perfected it)  — should be literally inexpressible, at least so far as thought is dependent on words. Its vocabulary was so constructed as to give impressive and often very subtle expression to every meaning that an APA  member could properly and correctly wish to express or to hear or see expressed by clients of the health-care system, while excluding all other meanings and also the possibility of arriving at them by indirect methods.

This was done partly by the invention of new words, but chiefly by eliminating undesirable words and by stripping such words as remained of unorthodox meanings, and so far as possible of all secondary meanings whatever.

To give a single example. The word ill still existed in PsychoSpeak, but it could only be used in such statements as ‘This is an ill thought’ or ‘One is "ill" if and only if one thinks ill’, that is, as something bad and undesirable. It could not be used in its old sense of ‘physically ill’ or ‘lacking in bodily health’ since "physical illness" and "physical lack of health" no longer existed even as concepts, and were therefore of necessity nameless: In Psychiatric Newspeak one is healthy or unhealthy, both being terms that are simultaneously descriptive, prescriptive and moral. The only workaround that was permitted was to enclose bad words in scare "quotes", showing clearly they were inappropriate.

Quite apart from the suppression of definitely heretical and inappropriate words, the regimentation of the health-care vocabulary was regarded as the most important end in all health-care, and no word that was used in medicine before 1988 was allowed to survive unregimented. Psychiatric Newspeak - PsychoSpeak being its popular name - was designed not to extend but to diminish the range of thinking oneself "ill", or describing oneself as "ill", and thus to make everybody healthy, and this purpose was indirectly assisted by cutting the choice of words that referred to bodily "health" (wellness) or physical "illness" (disorder) down to a minimum.

PsychoSpeak was founded on the English language as it was used in medicine in the first half of the 20th Century, especially in psychiatry, though many Psychiatric Newspeak sentences, even when not containing newly-created words, would be barely intelligible to any English-speaker of those deplorably unregimented days, before the APA Psychiatric Newspeak was made mandatory for all health-carers, for all their clients, and for all reports in public media, since when everybody in our fine society is healthy, or driven to death, which saves the healthy a lot of money and many worries.

Psychiatric Newspeak words were divided into three distinct classes, known as the A vocabulary, the B vocabulary (also called compound words), and the C vocabulary. It will be simpler to discuss each class separately, but the grammatical peculiarities of the language can be dealt with in the section devoted to the A vocabulary, since the same rules held good for all three categories.

The A vocabulary. The A vocabulary consisted of the words needed for the business of providing ordinary health-care to ordinary proles (*) — for such things as malingering, lying, imagining things, injecting things, and for giving orders to "patients" (PsychoSpeak: clients), and the like. It was composed almost entirely of words that we already possess — words like exercise, treatment, care, medicine — but in comparison with the present-day English vocabulary their number was small, while their meanings were far more rigidly defined and also radically changed. Thus, exercise meant "forced labour", treatment meant "imprisoning", care meant "command", and medicine meant drug. Most ambiguities and shades of meaning had been purged out of these words. So far as it could be achieved, a PsychoSpeak word of this class was simply a staccato sound expressing one concept deemed appropriate for consumption by health-care clients.

It would have been quite impossible to use the A vocabulary for any literary purposes or for discussion. It was intended only to express simple, purposive commands by the doctor or health-care worker to the client, such as You may sit here or If you think yourself "ill", we will prescribe you exercise or treatment. Old English words were still sometimes permitted, but were nearly always used with quotation-marks, as in he says he is "ill" or she "believes" she is "in pain". The reason was that all lack of health was construed by the APA as dysphoria, which the APA taught may always be seen as evidence of a dysfunctional belief systems, since lack of health is clearly opposed to the interests of all those who do not claim health-care benefits, whose democratic interests are closest to the hearts and minds of all proper APA-members.

The grammar of Psychospeak had two outstanding peculiarities. The first of these was an almost complete interchangeability between different parts of speech, while nouns had to be used without quantifying terms.

Any word in the language (in principle this applied even to very abstract words such as if or when) could be used either as verb, noun, adjective, or adverb. The main grammatical rules of Psychospeak were 1) that terms must sound Latinate or scientific, 2) that longer or more complex terms were strongly preferred over shorter and clearer terms, 3) that modal terms like may and could, especially in conjunction with suggests were obligatory whenever speaking of any facts, 4) that all quantifying terms - "all", "some", "many", "a few", "85%" and so on - should, wherever possible in PsychoSpeak, be wholly avoided (**), and 5) that all statements were to have an upbeat, positive form, while - if possible - insisting on their very own scientific correctness. Thus, what in older far less correct and far more inappropriate days might have been phrased as "if I kick you in the balls, it will hurt" in PsychoSpeak may come out as the Evidence has been found that suggests that if your loving care-giver were to communicate sudden pedal pressure to the approximate vicinity of your testicular areas, what may be seen as dysphoric affects might be perceived by you, which was considered by the APA to be far more appropriate and far more scientific than the far cruder earlier "language" used in old fashioned "medicine". Likewise, old-fashioned "factual" statements like "Two drug-addicts heard voices" must be rephrased on APA-principles as Evidence has been found that suggests that schizophrenics may be substance-abusers, or as Evidence suggests addicts are hallucinating that have the great merit of so much better expressing what the APA teaches and wants people to believe.

The second distinguishing mark of PsychoSpeak grammar was its ambiguity combined with its morality.

Subject to a few exceptions, which are mentioned below, all correct and appropriate PsychoSpeak statements should be composed in accordance with a number of pragmatic principles, that supplemented the above grammatical rules, such as 6) that all references to high-ranking members of the APA must suggest such members never err and always mean well, 7) that members of the APA earn money is never to be mentioned by members of the APA, 8) that all references to old "medicine" (***) (before the DSM-5) or to any alternative "medicine" are to be avoided, especially 9) that all statements by APA-members and health-care workers that are about "facts" or "reality" should be ambiguous, multi-interpretable and vague, while 10) that all PsychoSpeak should be phrased so as to make it seem evident that all health-care workers are omniscient and that all their deeds are always well-intended, correct, appropriate, and always completely free from any self-interest, egoism, incompetence or dishonesty of any kind.

It should be realized here that the overarching principle that was discovered by Semoney Leipowitz Weisel, the initator of Psycho-Speak, which is only taught to APA-members with the rank of professor or better, is that all medical and health-care speech is propaganda and rhetoric, that depends almost totally, for its appropriate correctness, on the overarching end of all correct health-care workers, namely the typically humane ethical ideal and highest moral norm called pecunia, that can only be fully understood by full professors in psychiatry ('primum pecunia non olet').

This has led to a number of Higher Principles of PsychoSpeak, all related to the Principles Of Postmodernism, such as 11) that all health-care and all health-carers incomes are a function of terminology: "truth", "fact" and "reason" are pre-Postmodern illusions that have no appropriate place in Postmodern APA-approved "medicine", and 12) that any graduated health-carer is obviously - ipso facto! - omniscient: what a graduated PC health-carer worker doesn't know, doesn't believe, doesn't understand or has never heard of, henceforth simply cannot exist (and if it did or does exist, should be ignored and denied), and 13) that any explanations to the public of any health-care must consists only of trivia, platitudes, and upbeat prose: "Truth" tends to be painful, and anyway is an illusion, in anyone who is not a graduated health-care worker or a political or religious leader, while a PC health-care workers' second most highest norm is to keep the patient from any dysphoria-inducing information: 'secundum, non nocere'. Also important is: 14) that at least every third APA-approved medical statement must contain the phrase evidence-based, especially if it is evidently not so: This serves again to keep the clients as happy as can be, since it is surely best for them to believe things are evidence-based if they are not.

To end this brief and incomplete list, the two fundamental overarching principle of Psychiatric Newspeak must be stated:

15) That  anything whatsoever can be both explained or explained away by judicious redefinitions of terms, a practice that, of course, always must be presented in statements full of much evidence-based terminology, and by appeal to evidence that may suggest that great good to the health-care clients may result from the innovations, that obviously also are the noble work of the great goodness and wisdom of health-care workers.

16) That whatever non-psychiatric medical science cannot explain at present, psychiatric medical science will and does explain at present, as "madness", but - out of respect for the clients -  wrapped up in APA-approved terms like bodily distress disorder, dysphoric disorder, maladjustment disorder, and defiant disorder, all for better public consumption and deception (and the reader need not worry, especially if she is an official: Sectioning for disorders will also be much easier and will sound much less serious than it did under the old-fashioned schemes). 

The B vocabulary. The B vocabulary consisted of words which had been deliberately constructed for politico-medical purposes: words, that is to say, which not only had in every case a real political implication, while seeming to be medical terms, but were intended to impose a desirable mental attitude upon the person using, reading or hearing them. Without a full understanding of the epistemological principles of Postmodern Psychiatry it was difficult to use these words correctly. In some cases they could be translated into old-fashioned "English", or even into words taken from the A vocabulary, but this usually demanded a long paraphrase and always involved the loss of certain overtones. The B words were a sort of verbal shorthand, often packing whole ranges of ideas into a few syllables, and at the same time more accurate and forcible than ordinary language.

The B words were in all cases compound words, like psychosomatic. They consisted of two or more words, or portions of words, often welded together in a neologism, that the health-care worker then was free to use in any way with any meaning suggested by any of its parts. The resulting amalgam was then used according to the ordinary rules. To take a single example: the word biopsychosocial, meaning, very roughly, "psychatric". This then could be liberally used e.g. as follows: To prove that APA-psychiatry was true of and applied to anything that had anything to do with either biology, psychology or society, making psychiatrists specialists in three fields with just one term; to show that APA-psychiatry was irrefutable: it covered all eventualities by just one neologism; to argue that APA-psychiatry was radically different from earlier psychiatry: it treated of the body (bio), the soul-mind-brain (psycho), and all the relevant parameters (social), again by dint of just a single terminological neologism; and to demand state-subsidies for research that in any way could be called either biological, or psychological, or social, of course besides neurocognitive, neurological, psychiatric and medical, which already in the old fashioned days were broad avenues through which large state-subsidies went into psychiatric research, contributing much to the wellness of its professors.

The B words were not constructed on any etymological plan. The words of which they were made up could be any parts of speech, and could be placed in any order and mutilated in any way which made them look impressive. The word psychosomatic ("soulbody"), for instance, was created to confuse anybody who insisted thinking and feeling are activities or processes of the brain that are presently not known: Not so, Psychiatric Newspeak insists: It is all psychosomatic and thus all of that body-mind-dualism (another B-word) that puzzled philosophers and scientists for 2500 years, now have been completely resolved by Postmodern Psychiatry.

Sometimes B words were made into acronyms, especially if acronyms could be found that seemed to provide a secondary meaning, e.g. NICE for Necessary Implementation of Cortical Eviction, which meant what was called "prefrontal lobotomy" in the days psychiatrists had not yet understood the importance of terminology: Clearly, much less harm is done to patients' feelings if they are said to deserve a NICE operation.

Another example, is MUS for what used to be named "medically unexplained diseases": A Postmodern Psychiatrist first suggests there may be evidence that these "diseases" are not "diseases" but symptoms; then suggests there is evidence that these symptoms may be correlated to states of the brain; and then concludes that medically explained diseases cannot exist or at least that this suggests there is evidence these medically unexplained states just have been explained by psychiatrists, who anyway know that a patient cannot have any dysphoric disorder (what used to be called "illness", "unhappiness", "fear", "pain", "hunger", "nausea", "misery") without it being psychiatric. (Here is the proof: MUS evidently is biopsychosocial, and what is biopsychosocial is the Postmodern Psychiatrist's field, and fully explained by being called biopsychosocial. QED) 

Some of the B words had highly subtilized meanings, barely intelligible to anyone who had not mastered the language as a whole. Consider, for example, such a typical term from an APA leading article for the DSM-5 as Complex Somatic Symptom Disorder.

The shortest rendering that one could make of this in old fashioned English would be: "The patient is insane because we can't find an explanation for his suffering in current handbooks, so we conclude he must be malingering or hallucinating". Those whose ideas were formed before the PsychoSpeak Revolution cannot have a full emotional understanding of the principles of Postmodern Psychiatry. To begin with, in order to grasp the full meaning of the Psychiatric Newspeak term quoted above, one would have to have a clear idea of what is meant by Disorder, which in Psychiatric Newspeak means simultaneously and dialectically that it concerns misfits and/or useless members of society, that one should treat them as if they are, and also that one should never say so clearly. And in addition, only a person thoroughly grounded in PsychoSpeak could appreciate the full force of the word Complex, which implied that, since the "illness" was not in the handbooks, the person claiming to be "ill" must have cognitive distortions: An ordinary person, without much money, simply cannot be a normal i.e. good human being while claiming to feel "ill" with an unknown "illness", so Complex, modulating Disorder, meant a kind of lying and malingering quite  inextricably mixed up with the idea of wickedness and decadence, that the Postmodern Psychiatrists of the APA had the great goodness only to wish to insinuate, but never to discuss in old fashioned terms (for this would only upset the poor patients, with their distorted, complex, disordered, dysfunctional belief systems that pretended to be "ill" with a disease that simply cannot possibly exist because it isn't in the APA-approved medical handbooks, as the ever omniscient APA-members were always glad to defend themselves, also as proof their deep humanity and saintly morality).

But the special function of certain Psychiatric Newspeak words, of which psychomatic was one, was not so much to express meanings as to destroy them. These words, necessarily few in number, had had their meanings extended until they contained within themselves whole batteries of words for and explanations of human suffering which, as they were sufficiently covered by a single comprehensive term, could now be scrapped and forgotten. The greatest difficulty facing the compilers of PsychoSpeak was not to invent new words, but, having invented them, to make sure what they meant: to make sure, that is to say, what ranges of words they cancelled by their existence. And this was precisely the purpose of manuals like the DSM: To redefine terminology in APA-approved ways, and to serve the interests of the APA and its members in the best possible ways.

As we have already seen in the case of the word ill, words which had once borne a heretical meaning were sometimes retained for the sake of convenience, but only with the undesirable meanings purged out of them. Countless other words such as honour, justice, morality, illness, honesty, rights, science, and patients had simply ceased to exist in PsychoSpeak and medical biopsychosocial discourse. A few blanket words covered them, and, in covering them, abolished them. All words grouping themselves round the concepts of "illness" and "rights", for instance, were contained in the Psychiatric Newspeak term defiant disorder, while all words grouping themselves round the concepts of "objectivity" and "rationalism" were contained in the term cognitive disorder. (****)

Greater precision would have been dangerous. What was required in a health-care worker was an outlook similar to that of the ancient Hebrew who knew, without knowing much else, that all nations other than his own worshipped ‘false gods’. He did not need to know that these gods were called Baal, Osiris, Moloch, Ashtaroth, and the like: probably the less he knew about them the better for his orthodoxy. He knew Jehovah and the commandments of Jehovah: he knew, therefore, that all gods with other names or other attributes were false gods. In somewhat the same way, the APA member knew what constituted right behaviour, and in exceedingly vague, generalized terms he knew what kinds of departure from it were possible. In the C vocabulary, which consisted of scientific and technical words, it might be necessary to give specialized names to certain disorders, but the ordinary citizen had no need of them. He knew what was meant by adjusted and that was all he needed to know: Not to be normal was disorder, and disorder was humanly and morally deeply reprehensible. In Psychiatric Newspeak - happily for its purveyors - it was seldom possible to follow a heretical thought further than the perception that it was heretical: beyond that point the necessary words were abolished or forbidden.

No word in the B vocabulary was ideologically neutral. A great many were euphemisms. Such words, for instance, as Graduated Exercise Therapy ("forced labour") or Somatoform ("of bodily shape" i.e. "mentally ill") meant almost the exact opposite of what they appeared to mean. In addition, there were great numbers of words which at first sight appeared to be mere abbreviations and which derived their ideological colour not from their meaning, but from their structure.

This was another branch of doing Postmodern Psychiatry, supplementing the grammatical, pragmatic and terminological principles outlined already: Any term whatsoever that, if written out, might induce hearers or readers to think about its meaning, was reduced to an acronym or abbreviation that, depending on the need, was either bland and tasteless, while usually masquerading a host of epistemological ambiguities, trickery or hidden assumptions, such as the above MUS for "medically unexplained symptoms" that in a single article of a Postmodern Psychiatrist could be magicked - with evidence-based science! - from being short for an unknown disease to being a treatable condition hardly distinguishable from "malingering" or "hallucinating" - but always without even mentioning any term that patients might find objectionable. (Such patients with MUS also were not "sent to forced-labour camps": They were invited to Graduated Exercise Therapy, and denied dole if they declined. Of the genuinely ill, it was expected many would suicide, but then this was not explicitly said, not to displease or upset the patients' feelings, nor needed this saying.)

In the beginning the practice of acronyms and abbreviations in psychiatry had been adopted as it were instinctively, but in Psychiatric Newspeak it was used with a conscious purpose. It was perceived that in thus abbreviating a name one narrowed and subtly altered its meaning, by cutting out most of the associations that would otherwise cling to it. The words "Myalgic Encephalomyelitis",  for instance, call up a composite picture of pain, infection, misery and ill health. The words Chronic Fatigue, on the other hand, suggests there is no "illness" at all, but only an egoistic wimp, a tricky malingerer or a contemptible hypochondriac, and that's why the latter term is the PsychoSpeak term for the former, since when there happily are far fewer of them, since these wimps got the message and cowardly committed suicide to avoid being worked to death in a camp for Graduated Exercise Therapy.

In the same way, the associations called up by a word like Somatoformer are fewer and more controllable than those called up by Malingerer. This accounted not only for the habit of abbreviating whenever possible, but also for the almost exaggerated care that was taken to make every word sound either medical or quite bland and ordinary.

In PsychoSpeak, impression management - See: Goffman and Rosenhan - outweighed every consideration. Regularity of grammar was always sacrificed to it when it seemed necessary. And rightly so, since what was required, above all for political purposes, was obeisance, belief and approval, rather than "truth", "help" or "honesty". The words of the B vocabulary even gained in force from the fact that nearly all of them were either ambiguous Latinate compositions of several words that were very hard to understand even for those trained in Psychiatric Newspeak (because they generally were designed to mean something else than one thought from the meaning of the component terms), or were equally hard to understand but innocuous sounding acronyms, or finally were what sounded like ordinary terms, such as "disorder", that hid a whole battery of implied diagnoses. The intention was to make medical language, and especially medical language on any subject not ideologically neutral, that is to say: such language as touched on the interests of the psychiatrists or of the state that opposed or were other than the interests of the clients ("patients"), as nearly as possible incapable of being comprehended by ordinary persons and impossible to refute by anyone.

For the purposes of everyday medical practice it was no doubt sometimes necessary to reflect before speaking, but a doctor of psychiatry who was called upon to make a judgment about a client should be able to spray forth the correct opinions as automatically as a machine gun spraying forth bullets. His training fitted him to do this, the language introduced by the APA from the DSM-5 onwards gave him an almost foolproof instrument, and the texture of the words, with their medical sounds or with their reassuring apparent everyday meanings, was in accord with the spirit of psychobabble, beloved by most members of the public and by all psychiatrists, and assisted the process still further.

Psychiatric Newspeak differed from most all other languages and professional dialects in that its vocabulary was designed with the explicit purpose to mislead rather than to communicate.

Each of its terms had been carefully introduced to suggest the thing that was not, so as to better mislead the patient, and so as to more obscure the real intentions of the psychiatrist, whose real solidarity was with his own brotherhood of ten thousands of born leaders in mental health, as they liked to style themselves,

and with the powers in the state or in religion, whose black work, as Stalin called it, they did, for good money:

Section the deviant, the disorderly, the defiant, the maladjusted, and the useless, and force everybody else to be a healthy member of our fine society, or to get extreme trouble and punishment for failing to be so - but all always wrapped up in caring terms of health-care, help, science, and morality. (These PsychoSpeak terms meant in old fashioned "English" respectively: "medical income", "negligence", "pseudoscience" and "sales talk", from which it will be evident that the DSM-5 was really necessary.) 

The C vocabulary. The C vocabulary was supplementary to the others and consisted entirely of scientific and technical terms, or such as were designed to be misunderstood as such. These resembled the scientific terms in use today, and were constructed from the same roots, but the usual care was taken to define them ambiguously and with several possible interpretations, so that the APA could never be found out or faulted.

They followed the same grammatical rules as the words in the other two vocabularies. There was one complication: Because psychiatry is not a "real" science, many of the terms the APA redefined in its DSM-5 were, prior to their redefinition, "real" scientific terms - but then the whole point of the new terminology of the DSM-5 was to make the APA's teachings and practices seem what they were not: scientific and moral, besides irrefutable in terms of the principles at its foundation.

From the foregoing account it will be seen that in Psychiatric Newspeak proper, the expression of unorthodox opinions, above a very low level, was well-nigh impossible. This was not because it was in this respect like Orwell's Newspeak, for it was not, but because it was designed to be misunderstood, misleading and ambiguous, and to hide the real judgments made about real human beings and their chances, lives, and living conditions. It was an esoteric language of which the full factual import was meant to be clear only to professors, leading politicians, and leaders of the churches: To enforce the normalcy desired by politicians and religious leaders upon everyone, in the names of science and medical morality, with a terminology designed to deceive, to mislead, and to be very hard to be understood by anyone without special education.

It was of course possible to utter heresies in it, but precisely because most of the main terms in one's heretical statement had multiple meanings, often intentionally selected to be opposites, and because the remaining terms had very unclear meanings, that what was said really was a heresy, and indeed what it conceivably might mean, could only be decided by a specialist. Indeed, to speak heretically about it, it was virtually necessary to give it up as an instrument designed to deceive, and to use old fashioned "English" instead - which made one almost fit for sectioning, since it made one appear disordered. One could, in fact, only use Psychiatric Newspeak for unorthodox purposes by illegitimately translating some of the words back into English. For example, The majority of men are disordered  was a valid PsychoSpeak sentence, but to bring out what it said one had to translate at least disordered to "insane", and that was deemed in PsychoSpeak a most reprehensible term, since it was very bad for the self-respect of patients.

The concept of "mental health" no longer existed, for it had been replaced by terms like adjusted, conforming, healthy, which also by implication made anyone not adjusted, not conforming, or not healthy, a maladjusted criminal or scrounging abuser of the healthy workers in our fine society.

Until the first decade of the 21st Century, when English was still the normal means of communication, even in psychiatry, the danger theoretically existed that in using PsychoSpeak words one might remember their original "English" meanings. But few did and within a couple of generations even the possibility of such a lapse would have vanished: The only ones desiring to do so were those who disagreed with Postmodern Psychiatry, but these were generally treated with Graduated Exercise Therapy, that effectively shut them up if it didn't kill them.

And this was all to the good, for there are far more "healthy" (good) than "ill" (bad) people and there is no reason why the good should support the bad, as some of the great precursors of the great Weisel saw even before He was born:


Click picture for source and background

1949 / 2012


(*) For the leaders of religion, politics and health-care, and for selected media-celebs and media-owners, a secret system was kept in use, based on medicine as practised before PsychoSpeak, because it was deemed inappropriate to let these die from the same "diseases" that in ordinary proles were treated by Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (mental lavatory) and Graduated Exercise Therapy (obligatory labour)). But very few knew this or had access to it, to preserve the mental health and happiness of the ordinary proles, who might have felt very envious had they known.

(**) One should write "Evidence has been found that may suggest that blond women may be more perverse than blackhaired women, but more research is needed" much rather than "So and so says on page 13 of such and such peer-reviewed scientific work that of 10 blond women 3 were in some sense perverse while of 10 black haired women 2 were. All women were first years students of pedagogy, at the Catholic Loyola University". Similarly, one would say "Patients' communities applaud APA plans", rather than "One patient was paid to write a brief article in which he praises -in what may have been a fit of irony or sarcasm - the orthography of some APA prose he had read". Etc. (The general rule is provided above: Avoid all clear and precise language that allows that what you write may be refuted like the plague itself!)

(***) "Medicine" tends to be avoided in PsychoSpeak, standing by itself, for it might suggest "cures" or "healing", whereas the end of Psychiatric Newspeak is precisely - as on of its designers said - to enforce that healing and cures are functions of income, and beyond the capacities of most who are not Leaders or Celebs, since it would be most immoral to

(****) For the compilers of PsychoSpeak all were of the Postmodern persuasion, and found silly notions like "truth", "reason", "rationality", "objectivity" and "honesty" major obstacles to do the good work that psychiatrists are meant to do (primum, pecunia non olet), and therefore, with the Postmodernists, they were proud to exclude them from the science of psychiatry, for the best of human reasons. For more on this deeply human decision, see Scientific Realism versus Postmodernism.


THE END



(^) Note on the source and background:

Source: The above has been adapted by me from:

George Orwell: ‘Nineteen Eighty-Four’

Appendix

THE PRINCIPLES OF NEWSPEAK

The link in the title is to a Russian site with the full original text, and very much more materials by Orwell (not copyrighted in Russia) and about him.

Background: The experiences I have had with ME/CFS the last 33 years,
with doctors and bureaucrats of many kinds and qualities, mostly bad (but there are some good or intelligent people in any large enough human group), also as a philosopher and psychologist, and my reading of APA-prose for the DSM-5 and of psychiatrists' prose about my disease (which of all groups of medical doctors only psychiatrists consider a psychiatric illness, in possible majority, and indeed against the rulings of the World Health Organization, but who also are the only group of medical doctors whose opinions are popular with bureaucrats and politicians, because psychiatric judgments tend to strongly favour the interest of the state and its bureaucrats, and indeed also yo have been for more than hundred years very often been false and harmful).

Finally, as to Orwell's text and what I made of it: I tried to follow it in style and outline, and would guess around 50% has been retained, in some form or shape. But then I did give it another twist than Orwell did: It do not present Psychiatric Newspeak aka Psychospeak as designed to make people not think undesirable thoughts, but as a tool of deception and obfuscation, that is essentially propaganda of a very sick and dishonest kind, that seems to exist mostly because it serves the financial and status interests of psychiatrists and the financial concerns of health-insurance companies and state bureaucracies, both institutions that seek to limit their spending on people who say they are ill.

And I am mostly serious, and do articulate quite a few principles, that I have mostly derived in fact from my reading in texts that are meant to be made part of or to inform the editors of the DSM-5. (The link is to Suzy Chapman's site about it: Highly recommended. You also find more about it and related matters in Nederlog of this year and the previous two years.)
 


P.S.
Corrections, if any are necessary, have to be made later.

-- Feb 29, 2012: I have put in the introduction that was meant to be there but that I failed to put in, being yesterday too wasted after writing the first version of the above to be able to do so; undid some typos; mixed in some "Psychiatric Newspeak" for "PsychoSpeak"; and added quite a few links, because the links I added, especially to
Scientific Realism versus Postmodernism and to the Russell  Tribunal on Psychiatry should clarify rather a lot.
 

 

As to ME/CFS (that I prefer to call ME):
1.  Anthony Komaroff Ten discoveries about the biology of CFS (pdf)
2.  Malcolm Hooper THE MENTAL HEALTH MOVEMENT: 
PERSECUTION OF PATIENTS?
3.  Hillary Johnson The Why
4.  Consensus of M.D.s Canadian Consensus Government Report on ME (pdf)
5.  Eleanor Stein Clinical Guidelines for Psychiatrists (pdf)
6.  William Clifford The Ethics of Belief
7.  Paul Lutus

Is Psychology a Science?

8.  Malcolm Hooper Magical Medicine (pdf)
9.
 Maarten Maartensz
ME in Amsterdam - surviving in Amsterdam with ME (Dutch)
10.
 Maarten Maartensz Myalgic Encephalomyelitis

Short descriptions of the above:                

1. Ten reasons why ME/CFS is a real disease by a professor of medicine of Harvard.
2. Long essay by a professor emeritus of medical chemistry about maltreatment of ME.
3. Explanation of what's happening around ME by an investigative journalist.
4. Report to Canadian Government on ME, by many medical experts.
5. Advice to psychiatrist by a psychiatrist who understa, but nds ME is an organic disease
6. English mathematical genius on one's responsibilities in the matter of one's beliefs:

7. A space- and computer-scientist takes a look at psychology.
8. Malcolm Hooper puts things together status 2010.
9. I tell my story of surviving (so far) in Amsterdam/ with ME.
10. The directory on my site about ME.



See also: ME -Documentation and ME - Resources
The last has many files, all on my site to keep them accessible.
 


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