Sunday, June 11, 2006

This Post Is Unrated

While cruising around the blogosphere and generally surfing the net, I came across a web page that advertised testing for just about everything: IQ, personality, depression, anxiety, psychosis (do many people with psychotic disorders search for online tests for it?) as well as a few for medical issues such as obesity (see last post) and heart disease. That got me thinking: What do you get if you invent a rating scale? Aaron Beck has his famous scale as well as the Beck Institute for Cognitive Therapy and Research. Robert Hare has the ubiquitous Hare Psychopathy Checklist with its national training circuit as well as books and manuals. It seems to me that mental health has become something akin to the Tai Bo of medicine. Invent the right angle, sell it and you're pretty much set for life. The pharmaceutical industry gets a lot of heat for its profit margins and marketing efforts, and as a result drug companies have limited patents for their products. After twenty years, drugs go off-patent and generic forms are introduced. Perhaps therapeutic monitoring tools like psychological tests should also have time-limited copyrights.