Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

I was browsing through the local news and came upon this story. It’s about the costs of four separate recent homicide cases in Clark County. I had one of these mopes on a Google Alert, so when he was sentenced the story came up: Gregory Antonio Wright.

I got to the second murderer, Ricardo Gutierrez. I recalled the case. It’s not every day somebody beats a three-year-old to death. Then I came upon this phrase:

Intermittent Explosive Disorder.

I looked it up. I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised. There it is in the DSM-V, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition.

The original DSM-I, in 1952, was a 132-page booklet that listed 128 mental disorders.

The DSM-II, 1968, was only 119 pages, but had grown to 193 syndromes, conditions, and disorders. (Smaller type, I guess, or a sharper editorial blue pencil.)

DSM-III, 1980, jumped to 494 pages and 228 ways you could be abnormal.

DSM-IV, 1994, 886 pages, 383 conditions.

The DSM-V, published in 2013, is a whopping 947 pages, with 541 diagnoses. That’s like a New York City phone book, if anyone was still publishing phone books.

Some of that inflation is certainly progress, I have no doubt. We have learned a lot about the mind and what can go wrong with it. In 61 years there are many useful descriptions of things we hadn’t thought about as being worrisome, but now we can clearly see that they are. And that they are treatable.

But some of it is dubious, and some of it is pure horseshit. The only question is, how much?

There are 7,000,000,000 people currently alive. I would be amazed if there was a single person who could not be diagnosed with at least 5 of those 541 disorders, probably 10 or more. Thus, there is not a single normal person on the planet! There is something deeply wrong with that idea.

And you can be sure that, once it’s in the DSM, some overreaching lawyer will use it as an excuse for what his client did, just like this Edward LeRoy Dunkerly, Esq., did in defending this motherfucking piece of shit. He pocketed $86,951.22. I’ll bet he didn’t have to look very hard to find the “expert,” who was paid $16,000 to testify that Mr. Gutierrez “suffers from” IED. (Ironic, isn’t it? IED used to mean Improvised Explosive Device.)

I’d sort of like to publish my own book, the VMMD, the Varley Manual of Mental Disorders. And I diagnose Mr. Gutierrez as being a “Sadistic Motherfucker With a Bad Temper.” Which is what he would have been before 1952, in 1952, and forever after.

And shame on that judge for going so easy. The guy will only have to serve 45 years!

July 15, 2018
Vancouver, WA