So? Are you still normal? Or are you now sick, in a world in which every variation on marching to a different drummer is labeled as a sickness, just to be on the safe side. The new diagnostic manual of the American Psychiatric Society, The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 5, has just raised more mood irregularities to the status of disease, such as strong childhood temper tantrums. Assigned the menacing title “Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder,” it becomes a syndrome. It does not ask the question of whether childhood is overregulated today and whether children react to this with “mood dysregulation.” Also new is the pathology of mourning: Whoever mourns a closely related person for more than two weeks is classified as sick. The same goes for those who exhibit “PMS” — premenstrual syndrome — or “Messy Syndrome” — hoarding.

The lesson is clear: Anyone who is not “normal” must be sick and should be adjusted as soon as possible. That sounds as if it is not the individual, but rather society which is sick.