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Friday, May 17, 2013

Beware the DSM-5

(Seven deadly diagnoses?)
The DSM-5, otherwise known as the fifth edition of the American Psychiatric Association's (APA's) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, is causing somewhat of an uproar for those in the know.

Lindsey Tanner of the Associated Press reports that "prominent critics" are accusing the APA of "turning common human problems into mental illnesses."  These same critics fear that this will just exacerbate the already existing "pop-a-pill" culture.  Their outcry goes like this:  Normal needs to be saved from powerful forces trying to convince us that we are all sick.

This group of critics is international in nature.  It includes the head of the NIMH (the U.S. National Institute for Mental Health), a British psychologist's group, and an organization of German therapists.  Criticism also comes through loud and clear in works such as Gary Greenberg's The Book of Woe and Allen Frances' Saving Normal.

Some of the most questioned "diseases" within the DSM-5 include the following:  "mild neurocognitive disorder" (as applied to commonplace "senior moments"), "disruptive mood dysregulation disorder" (as applied to temper tantrums), "binge eating" (as applied to consistent once-a-week overeating), and "major depression" (as applied to grieving the loss of a loved one).

Since religions have been known to describe the human condition as one that contains the seeds of all these so-called ailments, perhaps it's time to start calling the seven deadly sins the seven deadly diseases.  Perhaps
then we can all medicate our way into heaven. 


Copyright May 17, 2013 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved

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