The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi


with 3 comments

– photo by Mitch Waxman

This is another of those posts where someone will say “so, a train went by, huh? wow”, so let’s just get that right out of the way- Jan 20, Pulaski Bridge. So, tongue firmly in cheek, today’s session of the Newtown Pentacle…

Thankfully- as the site re-presents the reportage found in an AP feed instead of reporting on it themselves – it seems the psychiatric industrial complex is nearing the completion of the latest iteration of their operators manual for “normal” minds, called the DSM-5. All ‘effed up, your humble narrator has in the past detailed the multitudes of phobias, syndromes, and disorders which he falls victim to on a daily basis, and looks forward to the new volume which will offer the promise of even more vaguely defined and loosely described psychological states to hypochondriacally self diagnose and cling to.

from wikipedia

The DSM-IV-TR states, because it is produced for the completion of Federal legislative mandates, its use by people without clinical training can lead to inappropriate application of its contents. Appropriate use of the diagnostic criteria is said to require extensive clinical training, and its contents “cannot simply be applied in a cookbook fashion”. The APA notes diagnostic labels are primarily for use as a “convenient shorthand” among professionals. The DSM advises laypersons should consult the DSM only to obtain information, not to make diagnoses, and people who may have a mental disorder should be referred to psychological counseling or treatment. Further, a shared diagnosis/label may have different etiologies (causes) or require different treatments; the DSM contains no information regarding treatment or cause for this reason. The range of the DSM represents an extensive scope of psychiatric and psychological issues or conditions, and it is not exclusive to what may be considered “illnesses”.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The DSM-4 has provided me with endless hours of enjoyment, allowing me to embrace the fullness of just how crazy I actually am. Regarded as a feckless quisling (I am the #1 and 2 hits at google for this term!) and physical coward, such a collection of “very bad ideas” is a treasure trove of joy to which I can ascribe every quirk of personality or failing of character to, a series of nails to hammer into my flesh. Luckily, the psycho net is broadly cast with a fine mesh- so I’ll have a lot of company in the mad ward. Especially when the enormous number of Newtown Pentacle readers who also suffer from Siderodromophobia reel away from their computers in horror after witnessing this posting.

this gem is from the DSM-4

Personality Disorder Not Otherwise Specified

This category is for disorders of personality functioning that do not meet criteria for any specific Personality Disorder. An example is the presence of features of more than one specific Personality Disorder that do not meet the full criteria for any one Personality Disorder (“mixed personality”), but that together cause clinically significant distress or impairment in one or more important areas of functioning (e.g., social or occupational). This category can also be used when the clinician judges that a specific Personality Disorder that is not included in the Classification is appropriate. Examples include depressive personality disorder and passive-aggressive personality disorder (see Appendix B in DSM-IVTR for suggested research criteria).

– photo by Mitch Waxman

For a while, I’ve been entertaining “Agoraphobia Without a History of Panic Disorder” but I really do enjoy being outside- scuttling in a fugue state along these Newtown streets beneath the burning thermonuclear eye of god itself in my filthy black raincoat while avoiding others and satisfying my suspicious notions which only I can see and reporting my findings here in vague, metaphorical, and overelaborate language. This doesn’t strictly adhere to AGWAHOPD.

I also really like “Avoidant personality disorder” for its self loathing, mistrust, and hypersensitivity to criticism. I do have a thin skin, after all, but lately- I’m leaning “schizotypal personality disorder”, baby. SPD, yo.

Schizotypal personality disorder, from wikipedia

A disorder characterized by eccentric behaviour and anomalies of thinking and affect which resemble those seen in schizophrenia, though no definite and characteristic schizophrenic anomalies have occurred at any stage. There is no dominant or typical disturbance, but any of the following may be present:

  1. inappropriate or constricted affect (the individual appears cold and aloof);
  2. behaviour or appearance that is odd, eccentric, or peculiar;
  3. poor rapport with others and a tendency to social withdrawal;
  4. odd beliefs or magical thinking, influencing behaviour and inconsistent with subcultural norms;
  5. suspiciousness or paranoid ideas;
  6. obsessive ruminations without inner resistance, often with dysmorphophobic, sexual or aggressive contents;
  7. unusual perceptual experiences including somatosensory (bodily) or other illusions, depersonalization or derealization;
  8. vague, circumstantial, metaphorical, overelaborate, or stereotyped thinking, manifested by odd speech or in other ways, without gross incoherence;
  9. occasional transient quasi-psychotic episodes with intense illusions, auditory or other hallucinations, and delusion-like ideas, usually occurring without external provocation.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Man, that’s me! Point by point! Psych!

I don’t know why I’m so happy, though, it sounds like a nightmare.

Nightmare disorder, from wikipedia

Nightmare disorder, or dream anxiety disorder, is a sleep disorder characterized by frequent nightmares. The nightmares, which often portray the individual in a situation that jeopardizes their life or personal safety, usually occur during the second half of the sleeping process, called the REM stage. Though such nightmares occur within many people, those with nightmare disorder experience them with a greater frequency. The disorder’s DSM-IV number is 307.47.

3 Responses

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  1. Well, I guess this will be the opposite comment than you expected…

    1. Those are some nice shots of the Borden Ave. grade crossing. I’m fascinated by grade crossings in the busy city (and by the Newtown Creek itself, but that’s a given since I’m here, eh?).

    2. Look, as long as you can live a life the way you want to and aren’t harming yourself or others, the “psychiatric industrial complex” really don’t care. Their diagnoses and treatment are for those who desire it — who aren’t happy or able to lead a functional life. But if you actually suffer from fainting spells at the sight of children hanging around near a cemetery, maybe you should see someone about that…


    February 10, 2010 at 10:50 am

  2. “Nightmare disorder, or dream anxiety disorder, is a sleep disorder characterized by frequent nightmares.”

    Well, that is certainly too complex for this Hermetic Hungarian to understand without years of medical and psychiatric training.

    The Hermetic Hungarian

    February 12, 2010 at 5:42 pm

  3. […] and fainting which have so afflicted me in the past. Feckless quisling and physical coward both, your humble narrator revels in heroic tales of the past, for the future is a paralysis of logical progressions and dire […]

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