Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Blame it on my @#$* IED!

It seems quite paradoxical for a country that values personal responsibility almosr to a fault, to see most deviant behavior as a disease. You have ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) for children who are turbulent and now you also have IED for adults who are jerks.
What most of us called 'bad-temper' has now become a condition according to American doctors . The 'disease' is called "Intermittent Explosive Disorder':
an uncommon disorder of the brain characterized by explosive outbursts of behaviour (throwing, breaking things, inflicting physical harm on others) that is disproportional to the provocation. They say that those who do have unprovoked violence associated with the disorder show loss of cells and abnormalities in the left hemisphere of the brain.
The problem is that if road rage, temper outbursts that involve throwing or breaking objects and even spousal abuse can sometimes be attributed to the disorder, not everyone who does those things is afflicted and there is no way to tell... so what is the point?
Just like with ADD the diagnostic criteria are sufficiently general or vague to allow any one who can't control their temper to be classified as having IED. The authors of the study also acknowledge that "there is no cure to it". So I ask, what's the point?
Well, it is the latest development in a cultural trend towards blaming something else for one's own social problem - I can't help it, "the-devil-made-me-do-it"! It means that it can be (and has been) used as a legal defense successfully. Most of the media have covered the news in a tongue-in-cheek manner - even serious newsanchor like Brian Williams on NBC Monday night.
Apparently, 16 million American either suffer from the condition or... are simply blowing a fuse every so often. As a response, you can either put them on Prozac or teach them civic responsibilities.


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