Hello. My name is chehaw. And I have a mental disorder.
At least, that’s how the American Psychiatric Association Association wants to see it.
Via here and here, the APA wants to revise how it defines introversion and call it a mental disorder. Read the proposal here. As I read it, they seem to be equating shyness with introversion, a skirmish I had with a commenter earlier.
We introverts have fought (quietly, of course) to make people recognize that who we are is not the result of some insanity. We continually have to do battle with stereotypes and boxes people what to put us in. The APA does itself, and anywhere from 25%-50% of the American population, no done favors by taking such a terrible step backwards.
The writer of this post lists a bill of charges against introverts that blew me away: socially withdrawn (no–I’m looking forward to that steak dinner with friends this weekend); avoids sexual relationships (I’m a guy–enough said); shallow (this one leaves me seething); unemotional (I’m not a damn robot–I smile, I cry, I laugh) and deficit in the capacity to feel pleasure or take interest in things (my hearty endorsement of the DJ dela or watching the NCAA tournament at the office or feeling the spring breeze in my face apparently doesn’t count for anything.)
From reading all this, the APA believes I’m nothing more than a goddamned lumpen mass.
I’ve written about this many times before, and apparently I’m going to have to keep doing it, because the message isn’t sinking in in some quarters.
The APA seems to think I have less value as a human being if I don’t have fireworks shooting out of my ass 24/7, and scream about it so the rest of world knows it.
In making such a terrible revision to its definition of introversion, the APA calls into question my capacity to be human. To be decent. To be compassionate. To be loving. This is what makes me angry about this. Their half-assed definition attempts to strip my humanity, my capacity to feel joy and pain from me.
But only if I allow it to happen.
Which I won’t.