Psychologists define a psychological disorder broadly as psychological dysfunction in an individual that is associated with distress or impairment and a reaction that is not culturally expected. When considering if something is a symptom of a disorder, consider the three Ds: Is it psychologically dysfunctional? Is it distressing or handicapping to the individual or others? Is it associated with a response that is atypical or deviant?
Psychological dysfunction refers to the cessation of purposeful functioning of cognition, emotions or behavior.
Source: Psychology Today
The other day I was in a “discussion” with a friend who is a bit conservative in her views. By a bit conservative I mean she would suck Donald Trump’s balls while somehow standing for the National Anthem at the ribbon cutting of a wall between us and Canada, if oral sex was not expressly forbidden in the one True Word of God – The Book of Mormon. All of that would occur during the Fourth of July, of course, after any sort of national health care system was made unconstitutional through amendment and Ronald Reagan was given the Nobel Peace Prize, the Pulitzer, the Oscar for Best President, and the 1984 NFL MVP Award posthumously.
Yep. Just a tad bit conservative. And that is okay. She is a friend and will continue being a friend even when we disagree on specific topics. I am a true apathetic moderate when it comes to social and political issues. I prefer government and society to keep their giant judgmental noses out of people’s personal choices, but do not really think either will do so or that any intervention by government or society will substantially change anything. I am also friends with people who are a teeny bit liberal in the sense that they would lick Hillary Clinton’s hairy tuna can, but only if it was a unionized job that had an affirmative action program run by an endangered species of dolphin – who they would consider smarter than any conservatives.
Okay, I am getting a bit far afield with the rant. Back to my tad bit conservative friend, whom I will refer to as “Glow Stick” to protect her anonymity. Why Glow Stick? Because she is fun to shake up and stare at for a few minutes, but you will eventually get bored or she will run out of steam and the moment will end up in the garbage next to the sandwich bag which used to hold the Ecstasy.
Glow Stick, quite out of the blue, took it upon herself to inform me that transgender individuals are suffering from a psychological disorder and that trying to force people to accept the disorder is a form of sociopathy. Her logic was fairly straightforward, and taken directly from an Internet meme (obviously a reputable source of logical thought):
- Humans have two distinct sexes, defined by genetics.
- Thinking you are not the sex that your genetics say you are is a denial of reality.
- A denial of reality is a psychological disorder.
The syllogism is sound, as far as the structure goes. I found the definition of a “psychological disorder,” as I am sure you noticed. I have to say, I think Glow Stick and her Internet inspiration may have a point. Looking at the definition, a transgendered person could be designated as having a psychological disorder. From a conservative point of view it does:
- denote a cessation of purposeful emotional functioning, because the person is not following the genetic, natural functioning of his/her body
- causes distress to others (people who do not approve of the “choice”)
- is definitely atypical or deviant
The key phrase I inserted is “from a conservative point of view.” Our society as a whole does a lot of things which cease purposeful functioning: watching television, alcohol, prescription mood enhancers, etc. My apathetic moderate position is more like, “Meh,” than distressed when it comes the effect of transgender people on me, and I am sure a transgendered individual would claim there is more distress in trying to remain as the genetic sex he/she was born. And do not get me started on the idea of atypical or deviant behaviors. Classic logic reasoning understands that appeals to majority, as in the majority of people behave this way or believe this thing, are fallacies to be disregarded.
Yet I allowed Glow Stick her logic. I agreed wholeheartedly. She was instantly suspicious and wanted to know what the catch was. But there was no “catch,” just a list of other people and behaviors that I thought could be classified as psychological disorders. And since accepting any of these examples as anything except a disorder would be a type of sociopathy, I knew she would join me in helping legislate them out of our fair country.
- Women who insist a house heated to 60-65 degrees in the winter is “freezing.”
a. Cessation of cognition (unaware of science)
b. Distressing to spouse
c. Atypical in the sense that most people would say 60-65 degrees is comfortable
- People against universal health care coverage, but also insist that emergency rooms should take care of anyone who enters.
a. Cessation of cognition (unaware of hypocrisy)
b. Distressing to society as a whole, trying to meet conflicting desires
c. Atypical in the sense that health is a “commodity” to be bought
a. Cessation of emotion (denial of genetic impulses)
b. Handicaps individuals and others (49% divorce rate?)
c. Deviant (found rarely in nature)
Now once I reached those three examples, all of which applied to Glow Stick, she accused me of simply manipulating her logic to attack her personally. This was my response, pretty much verbatim:
“Well aren’t you manipulating logic and the definition of a psychological disorder to attack a group of people with whom you don’t agree? Exactly what harm does it do to you if I decide to wear women’s clothing, or decide to have surgery to alter my anatomy? Outside of your personal religious beliefs, what harm does it do to the individual himself? It is amazing to me that so many Americans, both conservative and liberal alike, demand social change based on supposed “logic” but immediately throw up their hands when that logic is used against their personal beliefs or choices. If you don’t want me trying to have you committed for psychological care because you choose monogamy and always wearing a dress and setting the thermostat to 75 degrees every night… maybe you should not try to have Ms. Mary over there committed for wanting to become Mr. Mark. Live and let live, Glow Stick – unless there is a legitimate threat of harm. Such a crazy concept, uh?”
I do not think I changed her mind. She huffed and walked away. But I think I won the argument. On the other hand… I do not really care. Apathetic moderate, remember? Government demanding a transgendered person use the bathroom of their birth gender did not really work. Government and churches demanding monogamy is the only relationship model acceptable does not really stop me (or millions of others) from pursuing non-traditional relationship connections. Jewish teachers arguing for thousands of years that Jesus was not the Messiah has not stopped the Christian masses. Christian churches arguing that Jesus was the Messiah has not converted all the Jews.
All people have a psychological disorder. All of us ignore society and the government as much as we can, and only really conform when something we care about is threatened. All of us should just leave everyone else alone to be whatever form of crazy they want to be… so long as it does not threaten our physical health. It really is that simple.
So of course we will fuck it up some more.