History of Eugenics
States of ‘defectiveness’ are socially constructed, not biological, states of being.
For the purpose of this assignment I will be using specifically the idea of mental ‘defectiveness’ using research done on schizophrenia and depression, seeing as there is a lot of debate as to weather these mental disorders are biological or psychosocial. I will be using APA format.
There are two main tests done on patients with depression, the dexamethasone-suppression test or DST and lower MHPG levels in urine. DST measures the cortisol levels in the body, if you have elevated levels you are supposed to be depressed, the problem is that this is very inconstant, some ...view middle of the document...
Psychiatrists have also tried to blame hypoglycemia for depression, however it could be an effect of being sad, since when your sad you eat bad food causing blood sugar to drop. Hypothyroidism has also been blamed for depression, stating that the thyroid produces hormones that cause a person to be depressed; other symptoms include weight-gain, hair loss, and muscle weakness, things that would make someone upset and therefore unhappy.
The problem with schizophrenia starts with the definition, there seams to be no one definition and when there is, it’s so broad that it leaves room for almost every and any thing to fall under its umbrella. According to The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders “Schizophrenia (in Greek, “split mind") is a severe mental illness characterized by a variety of symptoms including but not limited to:
Loss of contact with reality, bizarre behavior, disorganized thinking, disorganized speech, decreased emotional expressiveness, diminished or loss of contact with reality, diminished to total social withdrawal.” (DSM-IV) all of these ‘symptoms’ seam to be things that almost everyone I know has exhibited at one point or another, this definition is also looking strangely similar to one early eugenicists used for ‘defectiveness’. Susan Lien Whigham states that the definition of schizophrenia should be changed because “Schizophrenia is commonly mistaken for a mental disorder because those who lead healthy schizophrenic lives …By "healthy" I mean that they feel generally satisfied with their own ability to care for themselves autonomously and independently, even though their way of experiencing the world differs from the norm. Healthy schizophrenics can be recognized by their profound sense of spirituality and constant faith in their own multi-faceted perceptions.” (Whigham, 2006) this introduces the idea that schizophrenics are being labeled as so just because they do not meet the social ‘norms’ and because of this psychiatrists are hurting people by giving them brain damaging drugs to ‘cure’ them.
Since the 1950’s psychiatrists have been using drugs to ‘cure’ schizophrenia the problem is that they have no idea what causes it, “As psychiatrist William Glasser, M.D., says in his book Positive Addiction, published in 1976: "Schizophrenia sounds so much like a disease that prominent scientists delude themselves into searching for its cure" (Harper & Row, p. 18). This is a silly endeavor, because these supposedly prominent scientists can't define "schizophrenia" and accordingly don't know what they are looking for.” (Stevens, 2005) the idea of a cure turned into a pharmaceutical rage, with psychiatrists handing out diazepam and fluoxetine and in some cases thorazine like candy to the supposed “50 million Americans with mental illnesses” and “By the time Prozac (fluoxetine) swept onto the stage in 1988, the new drugs had wrought a revolution in psychiatry. Long-drawn-out talking cures were shortened or...