Wake up people! There is no such thing as Aspergers.

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junior1
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09 Mar 2009, 9:12 pm

This post is an attempt at a small blow against the massive naivete that can often be found on this board.

Aspergers is a social construct. It does not exist!

Here's a few quotes from chapter 2 of the "Handbook of Positive Psychology". I believe this chapter can be found for free in its entirety on google books.

Quote:
As with all icons, powerful sociocultural, political,
professional, and economic forces built the
illness ideology and the DSM and continue to
sustain them. Thus, to begin this iconoclasm,
we must realize that our conceptions of psychological
normality and abnormality, along with
our specific diagnostic labels and categories, are
not facts about people but social constructions—
abstract concepts that were developed collaboratively
by the members of society (individuals
and institutions) over time and that represent a
shared view of the world. As Widiger and Trull
(1991) have said, the DSM “is not a scientific
document. . . . It is a social document” (p. 111,
emphasis added). The illness ideology and the
conception of mental disorder that have guided the evolution of the DSM were constructed
through the implicit and explicit collaborations
of theorists, researchers, professionals, their clients,
and the culture in which all are embedded.
For this reason, “mental disorder” and the numerous
diagnostic categories of the DSM were
not “discovered” in the same manner that an
archaeologist discovers a buried artifact or a
medical researcher discovers a virus. Instead,
they were invented. By describing mental disorders
as inventions, however, I do not mean
that they are “myths” (Szasz, 1974) or that the
distress of people who are labeled as mentally
disordered is not real. Instead, I mean that these
disorders do not “exist” and “have properties”
in the same manner that artifacts and viruses
do. For these reasons, a taxonomy of mental
disorders such as the DSM “does not simply
describe and classify characteristics of groups of
individuals, but . . . actively constructs a version
of both normal and abnormal . . . which is then
applied to individuals who end up being classified
as normal or abnormal” (Parker, Georgaca,
Harper, McLaughlin, & Stowell-Smith, 1995,
p. 93).

The illness ideology’s conception of “mental
disorder” and the various specific DSM categories
of mental disorders are not reflections and
mappings of psychological facts about people.
Instead, they are social artifacts that serve the
same sociocultural goals as our constructions of
race, gender, social class, and sexual orientation—
that of maintaining and expanding the
power of certain individuals and institutions and
maintaining social order, as defined by those in
power (Beall, 1993; Parker et al., 1995; Rosenblum
& Travis, 1996).


Another choice quote a little later:

Quote:
Discussions of these new disorders have
turned up at scientific meetings and are likely
to find a home in the DSM-V if the media and
mental health professions continue to collaborate
in their construction, and if treating them
and writing books about them becomes lucrative.
The trend is clear. First we see a pattern of
behaving, thinking, feeling, or desiring that deviates
from some fictional social norm or ideal;
or we identify a common complaint that, as
expected, is displayed with greater frequency
or severity by some people than others; or
we decide that a certain behavior is undesirable,
inconvenient, or disruptive. We then
give the pattern a medical-sounding name, preferably
of Greek or Latin origin. Eventually,
the new term may be reduced to an acronym,
such as OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder),
ADHD (attention-deficit/hyperactive disorder),
and BDD (body dysmorphic disorder). The new
disorder then takes on a life of its own and becomes
a diseaselike entity. As news about “it”
spreads, people begin thinking they have “it”;
medical and mental health professionals begin
diagnosing and treating “it”; and clinicians and
clients begin demanding that health insurance
policies cover the “treatment” of “it.”


By all means, if you need disability accommodation or government money from the people in power get a so called expert to say you have Aspergers. But the idea that you are suffering from an objective, real disease is likely a naive one.



cman_yall
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09 Mar 2009, 9:16 pm

Medicalisation of a personality type? That doesn't mean it's not real, or that people of that personality type don't need help dealing with the consequences.


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buryuntime
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09 Mar 2009, 9:26 pm

so, you're saying autism doesn't exist either? Essentially the same thing...



pensieve
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09 Mar 2009, 9:28 pm

TL/DR.

Nothing anyone says to me will prove it isn't real.



TheMidnightJudge
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09 Mar 2009, 9:41 pm

If Asperger's is a social construct, it still exists.
How you classify it doesn't really change it. I would still be autistic without the social construct, I just wouldn't have a name for it.
Your argument is almost...irrelevant. Reminds me of Xeno for some reason.


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junior1
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09 Mar 2009, 9:41 pm

cman_yall wrote:
Medicalisation of a personality type? That doesn't mean it's not real, or that people of that personality type don't need help dealing with the consequences.


There is no personal type other than what has been invented by society. This is a common fallacy on display on this forum, where you can see people talking about getting "diagnosed" or wondering if they "have aspergers". They cannot be diagnosed, nor can they have "aspergers" because there is no such thing as Aspergers.

There is only a social construction by a bunch of people who make a lot of money from labeling people. Here's another choice quote:


Quote:
Research
on children’s reading problems indicates
that “dyslexia” is not an all-or-none condition
that children either have or do not have but occurs
in degrees without a natural break between
“dyslexic” and “nondyslexic” children (Shawitz,
Escobar, Shaywitz, Fletcher, & Makuch,
1992). Research on attention deficit/hyperactivity
disorder (Barkley, 1997) and post-traumatic
stress disorder (Anthony, Lonigan, & Hecht,
1999) demonstrates this same dimensionality.
Research on depression and schizophrenia indicates
that these “disorders” are best viewed as
loosely related clusters of dimensions of individual
differences, not as diseaselike syndromes
(Claridge, 1995; Costello, 1993a, 1993b; Persons,
1986). Finally, biological researchers
continue to discover continuities between so called
normal and abnormal (or pathological)
psychological conditions (Claridge, 1995; Livesley,
Jang, & Vernon, 1998).


Incidently, the article referrs to a very disturbing study which implies that psychologists know less about people than those who do not have advanced degrees in psychology:

Quote:

One of
the biggest myths about clinical psychology
training is that professionals with graduate educations
are more accurate, less error-prone,
and less biased in gathering information about
and forming impressions of other people than
are persons without such training. Research
suggests otherwise (Garb, 1998). Especially pernicious
is a bias toward confirmatory hypothesis
testing in which the professional seeks information
supportive of the assumption that the
client has a clinically significant dysfunction or
mental disorder. The use of this strategy increases
the probability of error and bias in perception
and judgment. Furthermore, the criteria
for normality and abnormality (or health and
pathology) and for specific mental disorders are
so vague that they almost guarantee the commission
of the errors and biases in perception
and judgment that have been demonstrated by
research on decision making under uncertainty
(Dawes, 1998). ....

Next, these errors and biases lead the professional
to gather information about and form
impressions of the client that, although not
highly accurate, are consistent with the professional’s
hypotheses. Accordingly, the professional
gains a false sense of confidence in her
social perception and judgment abilities. In turn,
she comes to believe that she knows pathology
when she sees it and that people indeed do fit
the categories described by the DSM. Because
clients readily agree with the professional’s assessments
and pronouncements (Snyder, Shenkel,
& Lowery, 1977), the professional’s confidence
is bolstered by this “evidence” that she is
correct. Thus, together they construct a “collaborative
illusion.”


Aspergers is therefore a "collaborative illusion."

the forum members here are participating in a "collaborative illusion" that originates with Hans Aspergers. (And what a lame name for a collaborative illusion at that. Can't you get a PR firm to come up with a cooler, , more PC sounding name?)



Liresse
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09 Mar 2009, 9:42 pm

i am sorry.

but am not "suffering" any more than the next average person. i just have my specific difficulties some of which they share, some of which they may not share.

believe it or not, everyone has difficulties. and that is why i am not "mistaken" when i say i have problems - merely honest about it.

i would not be so quick to judge whether something exists or not. i think every person in the world (nt or not) would be a good deal wiser if they got an official diagnosis for their problems. at least then they'd face up to it. that is what we are doing on wrongplanet: facing up to the truth.


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junior1
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09 Mar 2009, 9:45 pm

buryuntime wrote:
so, you're saying autism doesn't exist either? Essentially the same thing...


How many people here had their cells examined under a microscope by a scientist who spotted the "autism"?



garyww
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09 Mar 2009, 9:46 pm

This reply is in reply to the OP who is perhaps unsure of his (or her) condition and came here seeking some type of confirmation and found that, sure enough he (or she) doesn't have it!


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Liresse
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09 Mar 2009, 9:47 pm

please note that i, personally, do not care what you call it. if you think "aspergers" is a dumb name, you can battle it out with the taxonomists.

kindly look deeper than merely obsessing over the label. sounds like you think you are revealing "A DEEPER TRUTH", but actually i doubt you have any desire to actually improve anyone else's situation/quality of life at all.

if all you want to do is disturb other people into radical changes of mind, i suggest there are other people in far more delusional states about their own superiority than those here on wrongplanet.

you are not being kind by posting so aggressively.


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Last edited by Liresse on 09 Mar 2009, 9:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

sbcmetroguy
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09 Mar 2009, 9:49 pm

lol @ this thread. :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:



mitharatowen
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09 Mar 2009, 9:50 pm

sbcmetroguy wrote:
lol @ this thread. :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

QFT



buryuntime
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09 Mar 2009, 9:51 pm

junior1 wrote:
buryuntime wrote:
so, you're saying autism doesn't exist either? Essentially the same thing...


How many people here had their cells examined under a microscope by a scientist who spotted the "autism"?

:roll:



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09 Mar 2009, 9:53 pm

junior1 wrote:
buryuntime wrote:
so, you're saying autism doesn't exist either? Essentially the same thing...


How many people here had their cells examined under a microscope by a scientist who spotted the "autism"?


Which cells are you referring to?


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junior1
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09 Mar 2009, 9:53 pm

Liresse wrote:
i am sorry.

.
Quote:
i would not be so quick to judge whether something exists or not. i think every person in the world (nt or not) would be a good deal wiser if they got an official diagnosis for their problems. at least then they'd face up to it. that is what we are doing on wrongplanet: facing up to the truth.


I suspect that getting someone to label you can be very harmful. Now granted, i think some people who hang out around here want a label, so in their case maybe its ok, but its a strong assumption that most people would benefit from being labeled by a social construct.