What is depression? The answer you usually get from professionals in the mental health business is that depression is what you have if you meet the criteria for major depressive episode (MD) in the fourth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV). These criteria include, among others, depressed mood, diminished interest or pleasure, fatigue, and so on. There are nine main criteria, and with some additional criteria over 70 combinations of symptoms yelds a depressive diagnose.
Strange things pass as ›psychological research‹ these days. According to the Times of India, Irit Akirav and Eti Ganon-Elazar conducted an experiment with rats, where some of the rats were given synthetic cannabinoids (that is, marijuana) after being exposed to extreme stress (unfortunately, I have no access to the original article). A week after, some of the rats ›did indeed display symptoms resembling PTSD in humans‹—but not the ones that were administered marijuana a short while after the traumatic event. After repeating the experiment, where they injected marijuana directly into the amygdala, they could ›conclude that the effect of the marijuana is mediated by a CB1 receptor in the amygdala‹.
The one rule that anyone with moral stamina actually can follow is the one that commands us to avoid the comforts of the ›mainstream‹. (Robinson, 2000, p. 43)
Within the field of theoretical psychology, and particularly critical psychology, there are frequent references to ›mainstream psychology‹, usually in a context that implies that it is something problematic, bad, or even dangerous. Although this is a topic for debate and disagreement, it might be helpful to elaborate on what this ›mainstream psychology‹ refers to.
After the Oslo bomb and Utøya massacre there is a strong demand of declaring the perpetrator, Anders Behring Breivik, mentally disturbed. Yesterday, the swedish psychiatrist and profiler Ulf Åsgård claimed that Breivik suffers from several personality disorders, among them psychopathy, narcissism, borderline and, notably, obsessive–compulsive personality disorders. This was his judgement after having read a few pages in Breivik’s ideological manifesto ›2083: a european declaration of indepencence‹.