Notebook Entries, September 1997

Notebook entry, September 10th, 1997

In my spare time I have begun to analyze the DSM-IV, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition.  The reason for my inquires is that it is my belief that the manual only covers the disorders of individuals while making constant references to a group mind that the individual must adapt to.  There are many members within the Human Behavior and Evolution Society that believe that there is a "group mind" at work, and that it affects our society in many ways.  It is my strong belief that there is too much emphasis placed on the individual not being able to adjust to society -- hence the origin of their mental disorders -- while there is too little effort to find fault with society's group mind.  Perfect examples of dysfunctional group mind or behavior would be group attitudes of shunning people with major bodily disabilities or the act of shouting racial prejudice at those of a minority race.  Shouldn't crimes against humanity be considered mental disorders?

This is not an attempt to derogate the fine work that the American Psychiatric Association has done with the manual, but to illuminate to my colleagues the existence of the group mind behavior in even the most conservative of areas.  Completion time should take till spring of 1998.