Just what IS a ‘mental disorder’?

I met a transsexual person (male to female) yesterday. Afterwards, I was talking to a mutual friend and I instinctively referred to ‘her’ as a him. Well, I was informed that if ‘she’ had heard me say this I would have been slapped in the face and the boyfriend would have thumped me. Don’t you love the tolerance around today? Anyway, I thought that I might as well be hung for a sheep as a lamb, so I explained that I consider the desire to change gender to be a mental illness. Apparently this was the most disgusting thing my friend had heard in a long time.

But according to this list of mental disorders as defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders and the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, gender identity disorder is a mental disorder.

Of course, same-sex attraction was considered a mental illness until not so long ago and I expect that gender identity disorder will also disappear from the list in the near future, not because of medical considerations, but political ones.

Gender identity disorder (GID) is the formal diagnosis used by psychologists and physicians to describe persons who experience significant gender dysphoria (discontent with their biological sex and/or the gender they were assigned at birth). It describes the symptoms related to transsexualism, as well as less severe manifestations of gender dysphoria. GID is classified as a medical disorder by the ICD-10 CM [1] and by the DSM-IV TR [2]

So why are major physical changes undertaken because of a mental condition? Surely it would be better for the patient to have the underlying mental issues dealt with?

Some authorities do not classify gender dysphoria as a mental illness, including the NHS which describes it as “a condition for which medical treatment is appropriate in some cases.”[4]

The NHS is, of course, a fully paid-up member of the political correctness agenda. I have noticed lately that ‘transphobia’ is the latest weapon in the PC Brigade’s armoury.

Thousands of people get all sorts of unnecessary operations every year, like nose jobs and breast enlargements, but these are carried out, not to improve physical health, but because, mentally, the patients have problems with the way they look.

Here is one I hadn’t heard of before: Avoidant personality disorder. Basically, if you are a private sort of person who prefers to keep himself to himself, you might be considered to have a mental disorder.

The danger is that today a person can be ‘sectioned’ under the Mental Health Act and thus deprived of their liberty. The Soviet Union’s political abuse of psychiatry is well known,

[Abuse of psychiatry is] a means of ‘neutralizing’ healthy people who are regarded as a threat to the existing political system, by admission to a psychiatric hospital, thus damaging their power and reputation. This abuse has occurred in two large countries, the Soviet Union and China, both under totalitarian rule, where public dissent was disapproved and often punished, though in other respects they are different.

There are people out there who want ‘homophobia’ classed as a mental illness. I suppose that would complete the “Gay Rights” agenda.

It seems that just about anything has the potential of being reclassified as a mental illness to silence opposition, including climate change “denial,”

At the University of the West of England in Bristol this weekend, a conference of “eco-psychologists”, led by a professor, are solemnly exploring the notion that “climate change denial” should be classified as a form of “mental disorder”.

The more that we become absorbed into the EUSSR the bigger the danger these corrupt and intolerant politicians and ‘scientists’ become. The future is clear. Just as preachers have already been getting questioned and even arrested for not being PC, the same will happen with opposition in other areas, so you’d better kuckle down and accept everything that is spoon-fed to you by the government and the BBC.

And a familiar excuse these days for bad behaviour is that the culprit has been diagnosed with some mental disorder. Poor behaviour is now sometimes excused because the person has a disorder, such as ADHD. I see that adolescent antisocial behavior and adult antisocial behavior ar also on the on the list.

I know that mental problems can negatively affect a person’s behaviour, but I am also aware that the more everyday conditions that can be turned into “disorders” means an ever-increasing range of ‘treatments’ from Big Pharma, who now take over in some areas where common sense once prevailed. The loss of proper discipline in recent years (and probably also the increased number of children raised outside of stable families) has clearly increased behavioural problems among the young. Anti-psychotic drugs like Ritalin are now being prescribed to thousands of children. An article in today’s Mail suggests that coffee is just as effective.

When we read that 38% of the people in Europe have mental health problems, is this reliable or based on incorrect diagnoses?

When we further read that,

Some big drug companies are backing away from investment in research on how the brain works and affects behaviour, putting the onus on governments and health charities to stump up funding for neuroscience.

Is it because they know they are onto a good thing? Are they really just modern-day snake-oil salesmen?

Can you answer my question, what IS a mental disorder?

Is it whatever the government decides? Is it whatever society decides? Is it whatever the pharmaceutical corporations decide?

Is psychiatric diagnosis any more reliable than it was in Victorian times?

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31 Responses to Just what IS a ‘mental disorder’?

  1. robbo says:

    It is always an honour when you bless us all with your opinion which, because it is backed up with your years of making flags and reading the bible, trumps the accumulated scientific, medical and social knowledge of the whole of mankind since Galileo.
    We are truly blessed!

  2. Stewart Cowan says:


    It is likewise an honour to read your excuses for not believing my logical arguments. I am unsure as to why you think me being in the flag trade and reading the Bible should invalidate my opinions.

    If you want to be taken seriously, perhaps you could tell me where you think I get it wrong in this post. Who knows, I might even agree with you.

  3. isitfoggy says:

    It would be

    Immature and
    Childish of me to
    Acknowledge a certain person that
    Displays a mental disorder (delusion) so I will do my best to refrain.

    Reason appears to
    Vex this
    Adversary to

  4. robbo says:

    The point is that you seem to equate your opinion with medical opinion.
    There is an enormous gulf between the two. Your opinion is based on what? Making flags and reading the bible. Medical opinion is based on research and knowledge backed up with observation, tests and data. You feel you can dismiss medical opinion but I know which I am going to listen to. There is a good reason why the bible hasn’t changed for thousands of years and you seem to think it a strength.
    I do not claim to know more than you about mental disorders but you make flags and read the bible so what makes you think I should listen to you? It is, after all, you who is expressing an opinion, not me.

  5. robbo says:

    Oh, I beg your pardon. You read the Daily Mail too.

  6. Stewart Cowan says:


    The current general medical opinion seems to be that the desire to change one’s gender is a mental disorder. If you have contrary evidence, by all means produce it, otherwise accusing me of “dismissing medical opinion” doesn’t hold up. You can’t counter my evidence with no evidence.

    “There is a good reason why the bible hasn’t changed for thousands of years and you seem to think it a strength.”

    Not sure what this has to do with the post. Do you think people have fundamentally changed in the past 2,000 years (other than become dumber in the past 20)?

  7. robbo says:

    Reading your post gives the impression that there is a least debate on the issue or perhaps that certain cases but not necessarily all can be treated as mental disorder. Maybe the the professionals have to make a decision about the best treatment, councelling etc or surgery, Maybe it is not a simple decision. You take one side of the argument and say “see here, mental disorder so surgery can never be the right treatment” well I say it doesn’t follow.
    You are all too willing to resort to calling on the scientists when they appear to support your flag making and bible reading opinions but are quite happy to ignore them when they don’t. This looks highly disingenuous to me. If you disagree with the NHS so much, how is it you can use their words to back up your opinions?

  8. English Viking says:


    Oh yes, another good one!

  9. Thanks Stewart for another good post.

    There is no objective definition of mental illness in law. British law basically says a person is mentally ill if that is the opinion a psychiatrist holds of the person. So in answer to your question, a mental disorder is what any psychiatrist says it is.

    Whilst there are formal, published international diagnostic criteria for hundreds of specifically ‘identified’ mental illnesses/disorders, if you examine the diagnostic criteria for many official psychiatric classifications you will find that many of the diagnostic criteria for each classification are extremely subjective.

    In practice, if virtually anybody is presented for consideration to a psychiatrist, the typical psychiatrist is more likely to find something ‘wrong’ with them than not.

    It’s interesting that the same person can often be diagnosed differently by different psychiatrists. For example, the same person may be considered to have a personality disorder by one psychiatrist, a schizophrenic illness by a second psychiatrist and to be in perfect mental health by a third psychiatrist! Psychiatry is a very imprecise medical science – it is really a medical pseudo-science.

    It’s not unreasonable to predict that an increasing proportion of the UK population will be [rightly or wrongly] diagnosed with and treated for mental disorders over the next generation. Mental illness is a manifestation of broken lives and there is no shortage of broken lives in Broken Britain.

    In particular we should recognise the strong link between abortion and mental illness: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/8734378/Abortion-increases-risk-of-mental-health-problems-new-research-finds.html

    In our deteriorating society, psychiatry is increasingly being used as a weapon to attack and silence people with social/political views and cultural practices which dissent from the secular-humanist orthodoxy. Christians are particularly at risk from this emerging threat. The principle of using mental illness classifications as a weapon is easy and obvious – if you don’t like somebody, call them mentally ill… and if you’re with the State, if you don’t like somebody, get them locked up in a psychiatric unit – what better way to hamstring your enemy than that? (And all you need is a couple of bent doctors/nurses/social workers:simple.)

    As a political activist I see and hear a lot of things in the casework I undertake which don’t come to the attention of the public (often because the major media choose not to report). I know of several instances in which psychiatry has been used as a weapon, both here and in other countries. The ordeals of victims I’ve encountered have been horrific. To falsely imprison a sane person in a psychiatric unit and drug them up and otherwise abuse them for a non-existent illness – for no other reason than corrupt political expediency – is an appalling crime of torture.

  10. LJ Rolfe says:

    Talking about me much?!

  11. Stewart Cowan says:


    As far as I know, flag people have all sorts of opinions. Can you explain what relevance this has, please?

    I wasn’t using the NHS to back up my opinions on treatment. I thought it was worth mentioning from a UK point of view. I was being honest. It would have been better for my argument to have ignored it, but this is Real Street!

  12. Stewart Cowan says:

    Good points, Richard. Thank you.

  13. Vee says:


    The DSM invents mental illness and now classifies some 374 disorders.

    1.. Disorders are simply made up.

    2.. So-called mental illnesses do not exist.

    3.. Psychiatrists manufacture disorders.

    4.. Of the 347 disorders, there are no diagnositic reliable markers

    5.. Diagnostice disorders are unscientific.

    6.. There are NO cures in pyschiatry.

    7.. Psychiatrists do not know the causes of mental illnesses.

    Look – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=atsCp2SErog


  14. Vee says:


    Question: Just who benefits from psychiatry?

    Answer: Well, psychiatrists, of course.

    Problem: Psychiatry is a mental disorder,

    Look:- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bPOrD6xfDNo&feature=related


  15. robbo says:

    I have a hunch those videos are from the Church of Scientology. Can you confirm that?

  16. robbo says:

    So then, are transexuals suffering from mental illness or not? That was the original question wasn’t it?

  17. bjedwards says:

    One can learn a lot about Stewart, why he falls for conspiracy theories, and why he is a denialist here:

    “Where Did 9/11 Conspiracies Come From?
    The fringe.”

    By Jeremy StahlUpdated Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2011, at 7:00 AM ET


  18. Thinker says:

    Stewart was saying that:The current general medical opinion seems to be that the desire to change one’s gender is a mental disorder. And gay people say when straight people disagree with
    their way of life that they are homophobic, could it not be said that people who want to change their gender and also gays could be normaphobic, it works both ways. I know there are those out there that will say there is no such word as normaphobic, but then at one time there was no such word as homophobic, just a thought

  19. LJ Rolfe says:

    love it how you are blocking my posts by the way Stewart!

  20. LJ Rolfe says:

    BJ, my uncle says you are a ‘pranny’ what do you have to say in your defence? I one the other hand would like to know, on what ground you stand with regards to the 9/11 insedent. (Please excuse my spelling – it has never been my strength)

  21. Stewart Cowan says:

    I’m doing no such thing, LJ. The post in question (on another thread BTW) was so gigantic and had so many links that it was held for moderation – then approved.

  22. Stewart Cowan says:

    …and a 9/11 post is imminent(ish).

  23. Isitfoggy says:

    Richard, you start off your post above claiming that psychiatry is subjective and can’t be trusted. Then you refer to a report that says there is increased mental illness. You can’t have it both ways.

    One could also argue that religion puts enormous pressure on individuals to conform and makes them feel inadequate or a bad person if they do not. Does that contribute to problems we have in society?

    How do we treat the victims of abuse by the church? Are they allowed to have mental illness?

  24. Isitfoggy, I’d like to suggest to you – in a genuine spirit of concern for your welfare – that your obsession with me is unhealthy. You are running a wacky blog devoted to me; clearly you are fanatical about me. Your most recent post on your blog is deeply ironic given your obsessive anonymous following of me all around the internet and the fact that your blog is all about me.

    On the basis of what I’ve seen so far, I doubt that you are dangerous, or that your obsession with me amounts to a serious mental illness – and I can see that your efforts are intellectually on the level of an adolescent – however, as I said, your obsession with me is unhealthy.

    Without wishing to hurt your feelings – and thankfully (for your sake) you are anonymous – I must point out to you that you are simply no where near the standard of somebody I might reasonably engage with in serious debate or discussion – you would be a complete waste of my time. I’m not trying to ‘have a go’ at you in saying this, I’m simply trying to say “Wake up! Get real!”

    I must point out to you that your time and effort spent writing a very juvenile and anonymous blog about me, and following me around the internet, is sadly your time and effort WASTED. Your efforts have no impact or influence upon me, and would have zero credibility with any intelligent impartial observer.

    I strongly advise you to stop wasting your life on trying to harass me and find something worthwhile to do with yourself. Your obsession with me is futile and unhealthy and you are only harming yourself if you persist in it.

  25. bjedwards says:

    LJ Rolfe,

    In regards to 9/11.

    One can never underestimate the intelligence of 9/11 “Truthers” like Stewart Cowan.

    You’ll note that 9/11 Deniers are covered here along with every other denialist movement in history:

    “What is Denialism?”


  26. bjedwards says:

    Stewart Cowan wrote,

    “…and a 9/11 post is imminent(ish).”

    You keep saying that and we keep waiting.

    Just like we’ve waited the last 10 years for you bumpkins to either put up or shut up.

  27. Ian says:

    I think Stewart’s just putting up a pre-emptive defence for when he does grace us with his 9/11 revelations (which I suspect will be reheated leftovers from other people’s proven false claims). When we tell him he’s deluded he’ll accuse us of saying he has mental problems.

  28. Isitfoggy says:

    Richard, firstly you know who I am – I emailed you while back using the address you publish on your blog.

    Secondly, you have no debating skills so I agree debating is pointless. However, it is interesting to note that you consider yourself a master debater.

    Thirdly “zero credibility with any intelligent impartial observer” – 3 words to this pot, kettle and black.

    Finally, thanks for blog fodder. If you promote yourself as the moral guardian of Salford then I think it likely you will get some response – not all of it positive.

  29. Isitfoggy says:

    Now that the boy is bathed and in bed I shall continue.

    Richard, my blog is not all about you. There is a dig at Stewart, a rant about the church and a nice poem. Don’t let it all go to your head.

    “and thankfully (for your sake) you are anonymous”

    Richard, I take that as clear threat to my personal safety. You’ve made countless threats on your blog and I’m really scared. I’ll stop now. Please don’t hunt me down with your Uzi and truncheon.

  30. English Viking says:


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