Admit it. You’ve swapped a few insulting psychiatrist jokes in your time. It starts with the dismissive label ‘shrink’ and travels from there into all the ways scared humans try to laugh in the face of what scares them. Lets be honest — mental illness along with obesity remains the last safe refuge for the wise-guy!
The latest punching bag is the publication of the latest edition of the Diagnostic Manual of Mental Disorders. The stand-ups and the bar-flies have a manure-load of material to work with. But here’s my problem with all their cheap shots. Psychiatry — for all its flaws — is the only scientific discipline I can find which truly and boldly lives up to the mantra we live with here in the West: “All human progress is in some sense an effort to transcend biology!”
Look around at our the latest efforts. Call it The Singularity or Transhumanism, science today continues to develop the Bionic Human. Therapeutic devices to cure disease and extend life like artificial limbs, kidneys, lungs, and hearts. Along with exotic bio-genetic engineering of what makes us us. Not to mention artificial birthing and gender changes.
At one time, my fellow humans, we sorta knew what it meant to be ‘human.’ Now I ask you how do we define what is human and/or not about the emerging race of Bionic Men & Women?
Back to our beleauguered psychiatrists.
While most scientific disciplines seem to be building on our biology, psychiatry is still the only one which appears to say there is something vital about us that is NOT biologic. Yes, yes the field has turned more to biological medications in its treatments of patients, however there still seems to remain a conviction that we are more than the sum of our biological parts. Rather, we are that ineffable Whole greater than the sum of those parts.
Psychiatrists don’t necessarily call that Whole spirit or mystery or soul or religion. But this layman does.
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