About a decade ago, at the age of 10, I found a copy of the DSM-IV at my house. This is unsuprising, as both of my parents have degrees in social work, and my father practices. Being a bit strange, I picked it up to see what it was about. I started reading through it, and in about an hour, had diagnosed myself with most existing mental disorders. In addition to this, I realized that almost everyone I knew had at least a couple of symptoms for one of the disorders in the book. It was kind of freaky, and when my dad got back, over the next couple hours, I asked him what people who had (insert name of disorder here) did, or what medicine they needed to take, etc.

After a while, I kind of forgot about the incident, while having this notion in the back of my head that everybody was alot more screwed up than anyone thought. I didn't really think about it much, but several years later, I heard a story.

Someone else I know, who received a degree in Social Work, said that the DSM-IV was a kind of funny book, not really so reliable as a reference unless you were basically fully trained already. He said that in the first class that he had relating to diagnostics in social work, they had a little introduction to what they should and shouldn't do. The professor explained to them that they would be dealing with different mental diseases, and that many students diagnose themselves and friends. The professor pointed out that distance from the person diagnosed is one of the prerequisites for any diagnosis. Therefore firstly, none of the students should do any diagnostics at all until significantly more knowledgeable, secondly, it is practically impossible for a person to diagnose themself or someone they know well. Thirdly, even if they are not related or close to the person, diagnosing someone as being co-dependant at a party will get you slapped.

And that is all I have to say about that (until next time.)