7 billion ways to be normal


Yesterday, Oct 31st 2011, the world human population reached 7,000,000,000 or seven billion.

That’s seven billion ways to be human, seven billion different experiences of the world and seven billion expressions of what it means to be human – alive, right now. Since we first walked the earth, there have been about 150 billion human lives.

The DSM-lV TR lists about 400 ways that it considers to be not normal:  faulty, deficient,  disordered or diseased. And it’s not finished-  it`s venerable committees are working on yet more for the next edition.

Is there a single one of the seven billion of us alive now who fits with the DSM-ÌV TR ùnderstanding of `normal`? Do any of us conform to that theoretically “perfect” “definition” of a human being?

We doubt it – likely not even a single, lonely specimen of biomedically perfect psychiatry, surely, not even a psychiatrist.

We say let`s reclaim normal : lets get more in tune with nature`s idea of normal : variation and diversity.

Our challenge is not to seek to define as much of what is the rich diversity of human experience as we can as something that we need to fix-  like a mechanic fixes the faulty component in a car.

Our challenge is learning to accept, to understand and to live with the diversity that nature and living offers  us.

We are all normal – all 7,000,000,000 [and a few more by now] of us.

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  1. Pingback: Open Letter to DSM 5 | recovery network: toronto

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