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establishment psycho-bunk6 —

‘traumatic’ ‘syndromes’
or ‘curing’ P.E.S.Ts

a briefing document

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establishment psycho-bunk empiric reasoning to social and psychological problems

limbaugh [1]offers to cure p.e.s.t.—
‘professionals’ seeking trade are none too pleased

Yes, ‘them’ have invented yet another syndrome: post-election selection trauma or PEST.

It happens selectively to those who did so want boltneck [2] to win and who are now, apparently, having severe difficulties adjusting to their crushed desires.

Very large numbers of studies have shown that:

  • “Any selective advantage the professional has over the non-professional lies in their mastering the basics of a valid technique or two.”
  • “The accuracy of the judgement of professional psychologists and other mental health workers is limited, however, by the accuracy of the techniques they employ.” [p.170, House of cards – see below]

From these two facts follows:

  1. Experience does not improve the ability of workers in the field to improve their ‘diagnoses’.
  2. Any person learning to apply the basic techniques can do as well as ‘qualified professionals’

If you want to read a whole book on this subject, try House of cards by Robyn M. Dawes.

A great deal of what is presented as psycho-science is, in fact, psycho-babble. Ritalin and junk science includes a section with some examples.

Here is a typical list used by shysters, taken from a list for child abuse [pp. 157 – 8 of House of cards]

    1. Withdrawal or excessive day dreaming.
    2. Poor peer relations.
    3. Poor self-esteem.
    4. Frightened or phobic reactions with adults.
    5. A deterioration with body image.
    6. Feelings of guilt or shame.
    7. ‘Pseudomature’ personality development.
    8. Attempted suicide.
    9. Exhibiting a positive relationship towards the suspected offender.
    10. Regressive behaviour …

This list goes on for 48 items. As the author says,

“[...] this list includes, of course, virtually every behaviour about which parents may be concerned, […] and even a few behaviours about which they may not be concerned. […] this list bears a remarkable resemblance to lists from around the end of the 19th century for supposed symptoms of masturbation […].”

You will find a rather similar short list at drugs, smoking and addiction.

marker at abelard.org

Another such list is provided for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), experienced by soldiers during front-line combat, and now ‘adopted’ by ‘victims’ seeking monetary compensation for their life choices or resultant life mistakes. (PTSD is also used by socio- and psycho-‘professionals’ to increase their status and so their income.)

The ‘symptoms’ must have been caused because

“A. The person experiences a traumatic event in which both of the following were present:

“1. the person experienced or witnessed or was confronted with an event or events that involved actual or threatened death or serious injury, or a threat to the physical integrity of self or others;
2. the person's response involved intense fear, helplessness, or horror.”

The symptoms described (note that for collecting evidence of symptoms, much reliance is placed on replies to questions given by the person, often labelled as “the victim”) have to include items from sections B, C and D of listed here:

“B. The traumatic event is persistently re-experienced in any of the following ways:

“1. recurrent and intrusive distressing recollections of the event, including images, thoughts or perceptions;
2. recurrent distressing dreams of the event;
3. acting or feeling as if the traumatic event were recurring (eg reliving the experience, illusions, hallucinations, and dissociative flashback episodes, including those on wakening or when intoxicated);
4. intense psychological distress at exposure to internal or external cues that symbolise or resemble an aspect of the traumatic event;
5. physiological reactivity on exposure to internal or external cues that symbolise or resemble an aspect of the traumatic event.

“C. Persistent avoidance of stimuli associated with the trauma and numbing of general responsiveness (not present before the trauma) as indicated by at least three of:

“1. efforts to avoid thoughts, feelings or conversations associated with the trauma;
2. efforts to avoid activities, places or people that arouse recollections of this trauma;
3. inability to recall an important aspect of the trauma;
4. markedly diminished interest or participation in significant activities;
5. feeling of detachment or estrangement from others;
6. restricted range of affect (eg unable to have loving feelings);
7. sense of a foreshortened future (eg does not expect to have a career, marriage, children or a normal life span).

“D. Persistent symptoms of increased arousal (not present before the trauma) as indicated by at least two of the following:

1. difficulty falling or staying asleep;
2. irritability or outbursts of anger;
3. difficulty concentrating;
4. hypervigilance;
5. exaggerated startle response.

Now there is also appearing Complex PTSD, because

“[...] there is growing awareness that PTSD can also result from an accumulation of many small, individually non-life-threatening incidents. To differentiate the cause, the term "Complex PTSD" is used. The reason that Complex PTSD is not in DSM-IV is that the definition of PTSD in DSM-IV was derived using only people who had suffered a single major life-threatening incident such as Vietnam veterans and survivors of disasters.

“It seems that Complex PTSD can potentially arise from any prolonged period of negative stress in which certain factors are present, which may include any of captivity, lack of means of escape, entrapment, repeated violation of boundaries, betrayal, rejection, bewilderment, confusion, and - crucially - lack of control, loss of control and disempowerment.”

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What is particularly notable about such lists is that almost all items on such lists are not empirically testable and not clearly objectively definable.
You try it; pick items from the lists and work out how you would test, to see whether the supposed symptom was genuine or faked, or was present at a ‘suitable’ level. Levels, I hear you cry, how am I going to measure them? Well, you just sort of know, don’t you know; well, don’t you?

People are imprisoned, then kept in prison or nut houses, or alternatively awarded large windfalls by courts, on the basis of such lists, often after boning up, even with the help of lawyers, before the ‘cases’ come to court.

A major problem is with people fooling themselves they can do things they cannot. Another problem is that human memory is extremely unreliable.

There is an ongoing saga in the Wall Street Journal [part-way down the page] on Boca Raton. Here is an episode:

We're almost beginning to suspect this is a put-on, but the Boca Raton (Fla.) News has yet another follow-up on the story of Kerry supporters suffering from "post-election selection trauma," or PEST.

Mental health officials in South Florida blasted Rush Limbaugh on Monday, saying the conservative talk show host's offer of "free therapy" for traumatized John Kerry voters has made a mockery of a valid psychological problem.

"Rush Limbaugh has a way of back-handedly slamming people," said Sheila Cooperman, a licensed clinician with the American Health Association (AHA) who listened Friday as Limbaugh offered to personally treat her patients. "He's trying to ridicule the emotional state this presidential election produced in many of us here in Palm Beach County. Who is he to offer therapy?" . . .

"Rush Limbaugh has no clinical qualifications to counsel anyone," Cooperman said. "He's not only minimizing PEST, but he's bastardizing the entire psychological field and our clinical expertise." . . .

"So if anybody on the left wants some serious therapy here and counselling, I'm more than willing to offer my assistance as well," Limbaugh said on Nov. 9.

On Nov. 12, accused by Gordon of picking up the story to rub it in the faces of Democrats, Limbaugh said, "Now, my friends, I didn't do that. I reached out. I offered a hand of friendship. I offered my own counselling services."

AHA officials, listening to the taped broadcasts, described Limbaugh's tone of voice as sarcastic.

It's wonderfully refreshing to read something like this, given that the Onion has lapsed into dreary, didactic leftism. And if the Boca piece is true, it is quite possibly the most hilarious thing ever."

What is particularly interesting to those who are aware of the snake oil sales ‘persons’ of the ‘professional psycho-babblers’ is that there is little doubt that Rush Limbaugh could indeed do quite as well as most of the ‘professional’ shysters.

Back to House of cards , p.106:

The empirical data indicate that mental health professionals’ accuracy of judgement does not increase with clinical experience, just as their success as psychotherapists does not. there are good logical and empirical reasons why experience does not help in this context, even though we may all “learn from experience” in other contexts. Moreover, there are good psychological reasons why the professionals incorrectly believe that experience does enhance their purported experience, when it doesn’t. The major reasons involve selective recall, selective interpretation, and assumptions about what is likely to be true even though it is not observed.

 

end notes

  1. Rush Limbaugh is a American conservative chat-show host.

    John bolt-neck Kerry.
  2. Boltneck, otherwise known as John Kerry, Democrat candidate at the 2004 US presidential elections.

 


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