Sunday, August 31, 2008

Science gone mad?

Science gone mad?

In order to know what to expect from each other and even from themselves people invent patterns and categories as practical ways of understanding. Earlier patterns were esoteric, spiritual: 7 chakras, 12 astrological signs, 7 deadly sins, the 8 fold path; later patterns became more psychological and: Freud’s ego and id, Jung/Myers-Briggs 4 dimensions, 9 enneagram points, 7 ray studies.

Today science has extended personality groups from the mystical and logical to minute pragmatic detail, providing 18 major categories*, more than double the number prior organizers have needed.

Is this doubling or tripling of types increasing clarity or creating an opportunity for wrong guidance?

*From a listing on the internet of the table of contents of the current DSM:

Disorders Usually First Diagnosed in Infancy, Childhood, or Adolescence ... 39
Delirium, Dementia, and Amnestic and Other Cognitive Disorders ... 135
Mental Disorders Due to a General Medical Condition ... 181
Substance-Related Disorders ... 191
Schizophrenia andOther Psychotic Disorders ... 297
Mood Disorders ... 345
Anxiety Disorders ... 429
Somatoform Disorders ... 485
Factitious Disorders ... 513
Dissociative Disorders ... 519
Sexual and Gender Identity Disorders ... 5A
Eating Disorders ... 583
Sleep Disorders ... 597
Impulse-Control Disorders Not Elsewhere Classified ... 663
Adjustment Disorders ... 679
Personality Disorders ... 685
Other Conditions That May Be a Focus of Clinical Attention ... 731
Additional Codes ... 743