The DSM, or Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is published by the American Psychiatric Association. It is THE book used by those in the psychiatric profession to describe classifications and diagnosis of mental illness.

 

But is the information in this psychiatric bible valid?

 

Jerome Burne of The Daily Mail wrote an entertaining and informative article called “Psychiatrists want to call Being Angry a Mental illness. How Utterly Mad!”

 

In this article he refers to some of the newly invented mental illnesses: 1

 

“If you find it hard to throw out things of limited or no value, you could be suffering from hoarding disorder.

 

“Other new conditions identified as possibly needing professional help include binge eating – which is said to affect many people who are seriously obese – and ‘cognitive tempo disorder’, which seems very like laziness (symptoms include dreaminess and sluggishness).

 

“There’s also ‘intermittent explosive disorder’, which involves occasionally becoming very angry suddenly.

 

“Most bizarre of the proposed additions is one defined as ‘getting a thrill at being outraged by pornography’.

 

“It was also described as Whitehouse syndrome after the campaigner Mary Whitehouse, who objected to sexual content on TV.”

 

In the video, Psychiatry Exposed! not only is the validity of the DSM examined, but the hidden purpose behind such excessive psychiatric evaluation is made clear.

 

Christopher Lane, author of Shyness: How Normal Behavior became a Sickness, is a literary critic and intellectual historian. He is a recent recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship to study psychopharmacology and ethics. 2

 

In an interview on the blog Writer Interviews, Mr. Lane states, “In 1980, social anxiety disorder and 111 other newly created mental disorders were added in a haphazard, unscientific fashion to psychiatry’s “bible,” the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM for short). My research uncovers why so many new disorders were established in the first place. It also considers what the effect has been on us, as a society, of having so many common behaviors redefined as disorders that need some kind of treatment (invariably drug-related).

 

“The book is provocative, as quite a few reviews have noted, because it reprints confidential memos from drug company execs advising colleagues to withhold or tilt discussion of drug-related side effects — in effect, to mislead the public about them so they wouldn’t seem so severe. Shyness also reprints several highly embarrassing proposals, including for a disorder called “chronic complaint disorder” that was meant to present as mentally ill people who complain too much about the weather and worry about their taxes.

 

“First, readers get to see experts making up a lot of things as they go along. They also witness psychiatrists squabbling over very dubious changes to the diagnostic manual, and how their opponents questioned what they were doing, unfortunately with little effect. Finally, they also see that more experts have since come forward, admitting the amount of hard science they were going on was minimal, at times painfully so. The net effect is that the DSM, a manual that has sold in the millions and is routinely touted today as a pristine scientific document that just gets better with each edition, is in fact full of the most amazing language, guesswork, and questionable judgments you could imagine.”

 

The old adage “Don’t believe everything you read,” is especially apropos when it comes to the authority of the DSM.