Wednesday 27 March 2013


So today we learn that one in twenty children has a "Conduct Disorder" - a newly-coined "mental health problem" which, we are invited to believe, is altogether distinct from serious naughtiness and bad behaviour. See the story here.

Reading this I glance down at the corner of my computer screen to see if it is 1 April - must be close? - but no it isn't. I am almost lost for words. Is there no area of eccentricity or other unusual behaviour into which mental health services will not insinuate their suspect diagnostic labelling (behind which follow the drug-peddlers and quack counsellors)?

In the old Soviet Union of infamous memory psychiatric diagnosis was used routinely to oppress people whose conduct didn't conform to the expectations of the state. Is it so different to diagnose and treat children because their conduct is inconvenient to their parents, educators, or the police?