Psychiatry is not rocket science. It’s much much much more difficult. Impossible for little brains like yourself to understand. I myself am obviously much too thick to understand. You see, I read blogs and I’ve read literally hundreds of stories from women who suffered depression and felt awful about their abortion.

But you see we only think these women are suffering. A number of psychiatrists from the American Psychiatric Association have informed us otherwise. The Psychiatric Times reports: that there’s no such thing as women suffering after they’d had an abortion.

Abortion trauma syndrome is a fabricated mental disorder conceived by anti-abortion activists to advance their cause and is not a scientifically based psychiatric disorder. So said two psychiatrists at the American Psychiatric Association’s recent annual meeting in San Francisco.

“Abortion does not cause psychiatric damage, but the claim that it does is a prime strategy of the anti-abortion movement, which has convinced many people in the US,” said former APA president Nada Stotland, MD, MPH…

For instance, the Elliot Institute, founded by David C. Reardon, PhD, claims that women who have abortions are prone to abortion trauma syndrome and are at increased risk for substance abuse, clinical depression, sleep disorders, and suicide and that their children are prone to behavioral problems.

Countering those assertions is the American Psychological Association’s Task Force on Mental Health and Abortion, which recently collected, examined, and summarized the most current scientific research on mental health and abortion. The task force’s 2008 report concluded that “among women who have a single, legal, first-trimester abortion of an unplanned pregnancy for nontherapeutic reasons, the relative risks of mental health problems are no greater than the risks among women who deliver an unplanned pregnancy.”

When bills were introduced in the legislature asserting that abortions cause significant and long-lasting psychological damage, Stotland testified that such allegations are contrary to scientific evidence. In her 2004 testimony before a House Subcommittee on Health, which looked at postpregnancy mental health in women, she told members, “Abortion trauma syndrome does not exist in the psychiatric literature and is not recognized as a psychiatric diagnosis.”

So there’s no trauma related to abortion? OK. Well probably psychiatrists have a very high bar before they call something a disease and it finds placement in the DSM, which is essentially the encyclopedia of mental illness.

So I decided to look at some of the awful illnesses that did make the cut.
Harper’s Magazine reported:

According to the DSM-IV, something called frotteurism (302.89) is the irresistible desire to sexually touch and rub against one’s fellow passengers on mass transit. Something called fugue (300.13) consists of travel in foreign lands, often under an assumed identity…

Are these really mental illnesses? Really? Couldn’t it just be some creep on the bus?

And traveling in foreign lands under an assumed name is really a mental illness? Couldn’t there be a very logical explanation for it…like…you got caught rubbing up against some chick on a bus and she called the cops so you had to skedaddle to Mexico under a different name. It seems to me that traveling to a foreign land under an assumed name is hardly a sign of mental illness but perfectly logical in that case.

But the question remains – do the number of occurrences of fugue really dwarf the number of women depressed over killing their own child?

But it gets even crazier. Harper’s reports:

Current among the many symptoms of the deranged mind are bad writing (315.2, and its associated symptom, poor handwriting); coffee drinking, including coffee nerves (305.90), bad coffee nerves (292.89), inability to sleep after drinking too much coffee (292.89), and something that probably has something to do with coffee, though the therapist can’t put his finger on it (292.9); shyness (299.80), also known as Asperger’s Disorder); sleepwalking (307.46); jet lag (307.45); snobbery (301.7, a subset of Antisocial Personality Disorder); and insomnia (307.42); to say nothing of tobacco smoking, which includes both getting hooked (305.10) and going cold turkey (292.0). You were out of your mind the last time you have a nightmare (307.47). Clumsiness is now a mental illness (315.4). So is playing video games (Malingering, V65.2).

So clumsiness should be treated but a woman who is sorry she had an abortion should be ignored.

Aren’t these guys brilliant? I just thank goodness they’re not using their expansive intellects to politicize psychiatry.