May 23, 2013
The 5th addition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) has been published . This book is used by mental healthcare workers, researchers, the psychiatric community and insurance corporations to better classify more individuals with mental disorders.
The expansion of the DSM-5 has resulted in diagnostic inflation with more individuals at risk of being labeled with one kind of disorder or another.
New disorders that could warrant pharmacological or psychological interference include:
• Bereavement – which assists the community “prevent major depression from being overlooked and facilitates the possibility of appropriate treatment including therapy or other interventions.”
• Binge eating – which is now defined as “recurring episodes of eating significantly more food in a short period of time than most people would eat under similar circumstances, with episodes marked by feelings of lack of control.”
• Asperger’s syndrome – as part of the autism spectrum with the revised diagnosis that “represents a new, more accurate, and medically and scientifically useful way of diagnosing individuals with autism-related disorders.”
In 1987, pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS) was defined as an expression of conflicting societal expectations imposed on women. The “disorder” has been redefined as being a cognitive reframing of symptoms that is indicative of menstrual distress.
Gender Identity Disorder (GID) is no longer an issue of psychiatric focus; but rather the problem now appears to be “gender dysphoria” or the attention toward those who feel distressed about their gender identity. Effectively, the mental issue has been redirected to those perceiving the transgender person.
Children who were once considered as having childhood bipolar disorder (CBD) for having regular temper tantrums will now be classified as having disruptive mood dysregulation disorder (DMDD).
Because the language in the definition is so vague and the diagnosis has no scientific support, this opens up the door for psychiatrist to prescribe psychotropic drugs to toddlers who throw tantrums and condition parents to believe their child is mentally ill because of a natural stage in their mental development.
Professor Christopher Dowrick said that depression is becoming a western culture-bound syndrome more than a universal disorder. While the genetic cause of depression has not been located, it seems to be a catch all for a wide range of mental disorders that warrants pharmaceutical drugs for treatment.
Dorwick asserts: “In western anglophone societies we have developed an ethic of happiness, in which aberrations … are assumed to indicate illness.”
Dr. Keith Ablow denounced the DSM-5 as a “manual [that] fails to accurately describe and classify psychiatric illness.”
Ablow explains that the “160 or so supposedly distinct disorders don’t hold up as truly separate illnesses that can be studied scientifically. The American Psychiatric Association (APA) is inventing names for conditions that don’t exist.”
The problem with the DSM-5 is that those involved in its development have ties to the pharmaceutical industry which means that the reclassification of natural emotional responses in life as being psychiatric disorders that necessitate pharmacological therapies has increased.
This places the general public at risk for misdiagnosis and over medication.
According to a study published in 2006 entitled, “Psychiatric Disorders Among Obese Binge Eaters” found that person 60% of people who eat too much meet “criteria for one or more psychiatric disorders.”
The National Institutes of Mental Health (NIMH) stated earlier this month that the DSM-4 was not going to be supported anymore and that they will not “fund research projects that rely exclusively on DSM criteria because it considers the manual to be lacking in scientific validity.”
While the DSM focuses on symptoms as indicative of mental defects, the NIMH states that using biomarkers is the correct way to identify mental illness. Essentially, the NIMH contends that simply talking to the patient and assessing their responses is not a clear scientific way of diagnosing and prescribing psychiatric medication for mental disorders.
Indeed, the division of clinical psychology at the British Psychological Society said that there is no scientific validity to the diagnosis’ schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
Dr. Lucy Johnstone remarked that there is a mix-up with biological causes and mental disorders.
Johnstone said: “On the contrary, there is now overwhelming evidence that people break down as a result of a complex mix of social and psychological circumstances – bereavement and loss, poverty and discrimination, trauma and abuse.”