- Mental Health
American Psychiatric Association Warns Therapists Not to Treat Homosexuals
Politicizing a Mental Disorder
In 1973, the American Psychiatric Association removed homosexuality from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), the primary diagnostic tool used by psychiatrists and psychologists to identify mental disorders. With a stroke of the eraser, the mental health establishment made it okay to be gay. There was dancing in the streets of San Francisco.
There was strong opposition to this measure from some in the psychological community, but these scientists were shouted down. With that action APA instantly "healed" millions of troubled individuals by simply saying "Never mind, go ahead with what you're doing, just learn to live with it."
The APA tried to reach a compromise with objectors in 1980 by including a new diagnosis - ego-dystonic homosexuality which simply stated was a persistent lack of normal arousal, that interferes with heterosexual relationships the person wants and emotional distress caused by unwanted homosexual arousal. Apparently, even this recognition that some people didn't want to be gay was too much for the activists. There were riots by gay activists at scientific conventions.
In response to the ensuing uproar, the APA, always a tower of Jello, in 1986, removed the diagnosis entirely from the DSM, leaving only a faint vestige of it under "Sexual Disorders Not Otherwise Specified". At the time, psychologists working on homosexual treatment programs wondered if preventive therapy for homosexuality would be prohibited. They were reading the future correctly.
The campaign to legitimize homosexuality continued with a recent two year APA task force that examined the issue. They released their report this year with a stern warning to therapists not to suggest that homosexuality was a mental disorder or to recommend "reparative" therapies aimed at changing sexual orientation. APA further states that in dealing with gay clients from conservative faiths, therapists should be "very cautious" about suggesting treatments aimed at altering their same-sex attractions." The report goes on to say, "Practitioners can assist clients through therapies that do not attempt to change sexual orientation, but rather involve acceptance, support and identity exploration and development without imposing a specific identity outcome."
The task force that issued this report included not one psychiatrist that believed homosexuality is not a normal adaptation. Further, the APA task force took as STARTING POINT, the belief that homosexuality is a normal variant of human sexuality, not a disorder, and that it nonetheless remains stigmatized in ways that can have negative consequences. Big surprise the outcome of that "scientific" study. This issue makes less and less sense the longer it is debated.
The Rolling Stones once sang, "Satan, Satan is my name. Confusion is my game." So it seems to be with this issue. Both sides grow increasingly muddled in their thinking. The gay community wants you to believe that homosexuality is not a choice. They also get mad every time someone tries to find out whether there is a genetic or physical problem with the brains of gay men and women. A study that indicated a shrinkage of the pineal gland in homosexual men was hooted down by the gay community. If it's not a choice, then there ought to be a physical basis for it not being a choice. For a long time the gay community has maintained that being gay is not a choice, but also has no physical basis. This confuses me. Heterosexuality has a definite physical basis. I am aroused because physical things happen in my body. How is that not so with homosexual arousal? Recently the gay community has embraced the muddled idea that there is a so-called normal "gay gene" and claims that proves that gayness is 'normal'.
Unfortunately, the APA says there is no gay gene and with this recent ruling, the APA's version of 'don't ask, don't tell' for scientific research, the APA has effectively shut down any legitimate research into what does cause homosexuality and whether it can be treated. They have, in effect, told gay people who don't want to be gay to "Get used to it!" They've opened the doors of derision on such researchers in the same fashion that the global warming people have done with scientists who are skeptical about global warming in the Al Gore era.
The Christian community's resistance to such research hasn't helped. The mystical nonsense about the human brain that many Christians accept as gospel, does not allow either mental illness or genetic factors to be causative for homosexuality. Homosexuals some vocal leaders argue, are just bad people who want to be bad and therefore must go to hell. This too is obvious balderdash. God places us in a physical body that, in a sinful world, is not always perfect. If you can get cancer, lung disease or have birth defects that cause asthma, digestive problems or a physical disability, is it any less likely that the delicate mechanism of the human brain might also, on occasion, have something wrong with it?
When Christ healed people with mental illness, did he not also repair the shattered brains of those people as well? When he drove out the "demons" did he not also repair the damage that allowed those demons to lodge there in the first place. It is God's purpose to bring us in this life to healing and health so that we are free to choose whether to follow Him or not. The Psalms say, "He knows that we are dust." That is a comfort to me because I have worked for years with people whose minds, through no fault of their own, have been damaged to the point that they could not make good decisions. Does God abandon them because they were born with fetal alcohol syndrome and cannot reason cause to effect properly? God, whose eye is on the sparrow, surely sees these folks and finds a way to save them. The Apostle Paul says that some of us will be saved as a "man escaping through the flames". I have to wonder whether he was talking about some of the truly damaged among us, the aborted babies, the severely mentally ill or those who die under tremendous abuse. I believe God can bring each and every one of us to a point of decision. Who will you serve? He knows what is truly in our heart. The evidence of the thief on the cross shows that salvation isn't about what we do, but about simply embracing the salvation that is offered to us. To those who die not fully formed as humans, I believe God is powerful to save. In heaven, God could place in my arms any child that never had a chance at life and I will with unspeakable joy, raise that child as my own. I will befriend any soul that had Downs Syndrome in this life and comes to heaven as a childlike soul and I will gladly mentor him or her to adulthood. The APA has said we must not offer healing to those who suffer with unnatural desires of homosexuality and wish that they did not.
Well, civil disobedience works for Christians too and I believe that every Christian therapist, psychologist, counselor and psychiatrist should fearlessly disobey the APA. We should continue research into the physical causes of this disorder and work tirelessly on treatments. We should treat our brothers and sisters who choose to remain gay with the same love and tenderness we would treat anyone. We must love our enemies as well as our friends and that duty extends to the lesbian couple next door, the gay men down the street and even to the misguided protestors at the APA conventions.
They are our fellow travelers and we are commanded to love them as we love ourselves. It's that simple.
Just one man's opinion.