Friday, March 29, 2013

Have a Psychiatric Illness? You May Soon, Thanks to the new DSM-V

   After getting behind schedule, the DSM-V has hurried on to its original May 2013 publication date, deciding to skip a quality control review that many critics say it badly needs.  Allen Francis, who chaired the DSM-IV committee, is one of the book's most vocal opponents.  Francis argues that it contains many new diagnoses that have no scientific foundation, and which will increase the number of people facing ordinary challenges who are already massively over-diagnosed with psychiatric illnesses.  "Many millions of people with normal grief, gluttony, distractibility, worries, reactions to stress, the temper tantrums of childhood, the forgetting of old age, and 'behavioral addictions' will soon be mislabeled as psychiatrically sick and given inappropriate treatment," he says. Grieving over the loss of a loved one?  There's Major Depressive Disorder, a designation just for the grieving.  Have a hyper child?  No longer are you limited to ADHD; there's the all-new Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder.  Most of us could probably be diagnosed with Internet Addiction, according to this version, and overeating 12 times in 3 months qualifies us for Binge Eating Disorder.  If you're getting older and starting to forget things, you can be slapped with the diagnosis of Minor Neurocognitive Disorder, despite the fact that this forgetting is normal and despite the fact that dementia is untreatable.  Francis blames the APA for the book's rush, saying that the publication is an important source of expected income for the organization.  Many professionals in the field of psychology are protesting the new revisions, but it is uncertain whether these protests will make a difference in the situation's outcome.  Regardless, Francis identifies this as a low point for the field of psychiatry. "This is the saddest moment in my 45 year career of studying, practicing, and teaching psychiatry."

Learn More

DSM-5 Is a Guide, Not a Bible: Simply Ignore Its 10 Worst Changes by Francis Allen, at Huffington Post

The DSM-5 Controversy by Eric Maisel, at Psychology Today

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