Wednesday, May 27, 2009

What's Holden Got?


There's a copy of the DSM-IV sitting on my coffee table. Not the usual, not even at a Shrink Rapper's house, but I'm trying to write the Shrink Rap book and, in theory, I may need to look something up.

So, kid looks at the DSM and informs me, "We read that in English class today." They read the DSM in English class? Hey in the good old days, we read Macbeth in English class. We didn't need psychiatric diagnostic manuals. "Oh, why?" So they're reading Catcher in the Rye and they decided to diagnose Holden Caufield. Interesting. What's he got? Oh, we shrinks don't do that. Until I personally examine Holden, I'm not venturing a guess as to his psychiatric diagnosis. The APA and the medblogging community would have me de-shrunked.

So what did the English class say? (They're kids, they can venture guesses if they like). One thought he had Borderline Personality Disorder, some thought he had Bipolar Disorder, and a few thought he had Schizophrenia.

Funny, I was writing today about how hard it is to diffentiate developmental issues, family complexities, and psychiatric illness in adolescence. Seems like a funny coincidence.
Well, what's Holden got?