The Norm in Psychiatry
So, the cornerstone is in the bosom of psychiatry. Tempting as the Holy Grail, wayward and elusive as Schrodinger's cat, controversial as the coordinates of a neighbor's fence. The framework in which the psychiatrist should ideally return the patient, who has left the stationary orbit and rushed either into the dark depths of the subconscious with its monsters, or into the boundless expanses of the transcendental, to the truth that transcends any religion.
The whole point is that the norm as such, with borders, frames and quantitative indicators, does not exist. IQ doesn't count. It is not there for many reasons. First of all-the ephemerality of the object of evaluation. Have you seen the soul? Well, well, even if you did, and even if it wasn't a hallucination, what were its characteristics? Were they the same as most of the souls you usually observe, or were they different in some way?
The moral, ethical and cultural values of society also matter, and they are very, very different in different places and at different times. The same cannibalism, for example — - somewhere and once it was the norm, and in some places it has remained so. Or the witch and vampire hunts of the Middle Ages. Or the games are all in them (plus elves and goblins) in our time. Yes, you never know what else! The same commandments — all of them are easily observed by a person in a state of catatonic stupor, but this phenomenon is somewhat difficult to call normal.
And what kind of selection should I make? Within the same country? One continent? And for what, again, time? The referendum, by the way, also disappears: the collective mind is from the field of monstrumology, it can not invent anything useful, because it is in the process of permanent conflict.
Maybe an ideal (here is an attempt to describe something similar), and from it a step there and a step here, as in the distribution curve? And who will set the ideal parameters? After all, how subjective is the personal assessment of all the same people around you, you can see on Monday morning on the way to work. Especially when driving.
Okay, okay, I won't beat around the bush. For a psychiatrist, there are two criteria for the norm (in fact, if you stretch your imagination, you can scrape together these for a doctoral dissertation and even an Ig Nobel Prize, but let's not be petty).<
The first. That is, for yourself, you can be even an elf of the eightieth level, even a continuation of the Rosicrucian cause, even a pure observer of Kitezh-grad — as long as you are able to live independently and provide for yourself in society, without violating its written and unwritten laws, everything is more or less normal. Remember the postulate of dialectical materialism: practice is the criterion of truth. All of our lives in society — and there is such a practice. Sometimes they even give her grades.
Second. The absence of symptoms of mental disorders, or psychopathological symptoms. General psychopathology deals with its description. That is, the absence of hallucinations, delusions, disorders of consciousness, deficit disorders, and much more.
Does the lack of a clear norm indicate that psychiatry is no good as an academic discipline? I am forced to disappoint the supporters of antipsychiatry and ardent fighters against punitive psychiatry. It's just that this discipline is still quite young (not by age) and is at the stage of collecting facts and phenomena, with the first timid attempts to analyze them. It still has everything ahead of it, as well as all the sciences that try to look beyond the material world.