Source: Roy Richard Grinker/Norton Books, 2021 "I am disgustingly sane," Gerald R. Ford declared in his 1973 Senate confirmation hearing when asked if he'd ever seen a psychiatrist. "Under no circumstances have I ever been treated by any person in the medical profession for psychiatry." It was a time when mental illness and suffering were cloaked in shame . An appointment at a prominent New York psychiatrist's office was merely a "social visit," Ford protested. That he was even asked about it tells us volumes. As Roy Richard Grinker notes in his insightful new book, Nobody's Normal: How Culture Created the Stigma of Mental Illness (Norton), 1973 was an especially turbulent year for American psychiatry. While veterans were pressing for recognition of "post-Vietnam syndrome," psychiatrists were reviewing their criteria for "protest psychosis ," supposedly a " paranoia and delusion caused by civil disobedience." After raucous conference panels that in some cases turned into shouting matches between psychiatrists and protesters, the American Psychiatric Association voted later that year to remove homosexuality from its official Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders . "The APA had to figure out a way to protect a post-Vietnam syndrome from the antiwar bias of its… Read full this story
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