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View Diary: Was Bowe Bergdahl "going Galt"? (Cue Teapublican heads exploding.) (188 comments)

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  •  As the writer of the other diary, (2+ / 0-)

    I want to address your complaint about my use of the term "sick" in the title.

    My first imperative while writing that diary was to avoid trying to diagnose Bergdahl as mentally ill. I am not a medical professional in the first place, let alone one who would be able to diagnose someone from afar (I have grave suspicions about anyone who does that based on secondhand sources).

    So I tried to hedge throughout. The title is a hedge: note it says Bergdahl may have been sick. I stand by the hedge. The article makes clear to me that he was troubled, but it is not at all clear whether he was mentally ill.

    On the other hand, you are probably right that I should have chosen a different word, such as "troubled", instead of "sick" - it's both more precise and more accurate. In retrospect, perhaps "may have been" was not enough of a hedge?

    I'm honestly curious to hear your thoughts on how such things should be written. What would you have done differently if you had written my diary?

    •  It's nitpicking, really. (3+ / 0-)

      You obviously understand my drift, and as a professional I'm more sensitive to these kind of fine points. I don't have any other problem with your diary, besides the fact that you had time to diary it before I could. :-) I just feel compelled to advance a more nuanced and necessarily ambiguous perspective on psychiatric disorders--because from my experience, the medical model is simplistic, unscientific, and professionally self-serving.

      Battling psychiatric myths with sensible skepticism at

      by candid psychiatrist on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 12:12:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Fair enough. (2+ / 0-)

        I did want to make it clear that, when he walked off, he may have been in a position of diminished responsibility due to no fault of his own - as you know, mental illness is often stigmatized. I used the medical terminology at least in part because I did not want to play into that stigma and have people start blaming Bergdahl for his own instability; I wanted to emphasize that it was potentially a serious condition and not just a "bad mood".

        Of course, you'd probably argue "just because a condition is non-medical doesn't mean it's not serious" - and you'd be completely correct. I'll try to find better language next time.

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