So the DSM-5 has been pushed back another 19 days and is now available on Amazon May 22. Hopefully they will get the book out within the month.
There is a lot of really inflammatory commentary going on with this new publication. This is coming from several foci. There is argument that:
- the DSM is not scientifically based
- APA is doing it for the money
- DSM is primarily created for clinicians and pharmaceutical companies to make profit off of others’ suffering
- over-inflation of diagnoses and over-medication is the purpose of the book
- there is an arbitrary line for where “abnormal” and “normal” lie on the spectrum that is everyone’s life
I have read several very fiery comments about how clinicians and mental health professionals are only using this book to further their work in exploiting and capitalizing on others’ suffering. For goodness sake. Would you say that about a medical encyclopedia or the work of a medical doctor?
Thing is, of course there will be those who are in the profession for their own professional gain, but honestly, who goes into this profession thinking “I’m going to make money in this”? Why not chose something that actually makes good money? And is exploitive by nature. Like maybe as a lawyer.
Here’s the problem with psychiatric medicine. It’s not as scientific as we would like it to be. Physical medicine has blood tests, labs galore, xrays, biopsies, and oh yea, the ability to look at the person and affected area and figure out what’s wrong. Though the brain is a physical location, we cannot really see emotions or thoughts. We’re working on it.
Yet we prescribe medications. Ok. So we need something that can help us make prescribing more scientific and catalog symptomology. That’s what the DSM does. Is this so wrong? I don’t think so.
As for the arbitrary line between normal and abnormal, that is understandably sticky. But here’s the problem. We could put that line anywhere on the spectrum and there would be someone on each side arguing that they should be considered for the other side. There has to be a line somewhere.
The trick in diagnosing is that the individual should seek treatment if their particular set of idiosyncrasies (we all have them) interferes with their life enough to mess up normal function. If that is the case, then that’s where the line should be. However, if the individual thinks that they shouldn’t be diagnosable, they shouldn’t seek treatment, perhaps, in the first place.