Thursday, November 17, 2011

Chapter 10 "The Avoidable Death of Rebecca Riley" & Chapter 11 "Good Luck" (Ronson (2011))


The chapter “The Avoidable Death of Rebecca Riley,” Ronson explores how the DSM developed their “diseases.” He interviewed Robert Spitzer. Spitzer was inducted into the DSM committee after Rosenhan found evidence that the psychiatric institutes were corrupt. Spitzer wanted to take human judgment out of psychiatry, which he eventually did. However, this created problems for humanity and an increase of popularity for the drug market. People were diagnosed with “diseases” because they were a little strange; parents were diagnosing their children if they didn’t seem to fit it. A big “disease” labeled to odd children was being bipolar. Bryna Hebert was convinced all her children were bipolar, who acted the same as she did as a child; she, however, didn’t have the DSM III, which was full of labels. Herbert was convinced that people could grow out of mental disorders like people grow out of allergies. Ronson did not agree.  Rebecca Riley was a victim of the DSM III. She died due to an overdose of bipolar medicine, which was not needed for her body. Rebecca was only one of the children who were lost due to this phenomenon.
I found this book to be extremely intriguing. I never truly understood was a psychopath was until reading this. It was interesting at the end when Tony stated that everyone is somewhat of a psychopath; I’d have to agree. Everyone has characteristics that make him or her a little bit “off” or unique. I look the psychopath test and then gave it to my neighbor. We both scored seven out of twenty, that’s 35% psychopath. What is the cut off for being institutionalized? Murder? Like the book fully described, physiology is a hard area to set limits. One could be more psychopathic than another, but who’s to say where the cut off is. I liked how Ronson made a “full circle” with his book as well. It was interesting to start with “Being or Nothingness” and then finally learning the last information about it at then end (although I’m still slightly confused as to what it meant.) The release of Tony was a surprise for the ending as well. I liked the book and am going to make my mother read it when I go home. Thank you for showing to me.

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