DSM-5, the 5th and latest edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders published by the American Psychiatric Association is scheduled to appear in May 2013.
It continues the tradition of creating new psychiatric disorders on a totally subjective system – the mental diseases names and their symptoms are assigned by a panel of psychiatrists based on achieving a winning number of favorable votes in favor of creating the new mental illness label.
The classes of mental illness listed in DSM-5 are not diagnosed based on objective laboratory medical tests, as there are no such tests for the psychiatric conditions described in the manual. They are made up and voted upon by psychiatrists.
At his office a psychiatrist will spend a few moments with a person, decide subjectively which mental illness is sitting in front of him and offer a prescription for the recommended psychiatric drug.
There are many known dangerous physical side effects, suicides and deaths caused by these drugs yet DSM V continues to promote their use despite FDA warning labels.
Fortunately, the road ahead for DSM-5 may not be as rosy as that of earlier editions.
Dr. Allen J. Frances was the chair of the Department of Psychiatry at Duke University School of Medicine in Durham, NC and was the chair of DSM-IV Task Force which helped to create DSM-IV published in 1994.
He has since realized the dangers of the current method of labeling normal human emotions and life activities as mental diseases and offering harmful drugs for handling aspects of normal living.
Knowing how the system works, he has authored a book entitled: Saving Normal: An Insider’s Revolt Against Out-of-Control Psychiatric Diagnosis, DSM-5, Big Pharma, and the Medicalization of Ordinary Life.
It will be published May 14th 2013 just in time to greet the release of DSM-5.
What new mental illnesses might you have now that weren’t known back in DSM-4?
Dr. Mercola, a well known nutritionist, listed some previews from DSM V in his recent article “Are We Over-Diagnosing Mental Illness?”
- “Somatic symptom disorder” – describes a person who has spent six months or more thinking about and being anxious about their medical issues
- “Internet use disorder” – includes many characteristics of any addiction, such as experiencing withdrawal symptoms when the object of addiction is taken away, an inability to control its use, developing a tolerance to it, deceiving family members about its use, and losing interests in other hobbies.
- “Adjustment Disorder” – “Following the death of a close family member or close friend, the individual experiences on more days than not intense yearning or longing for the deceased, intense sorrow and emotional pain, or preoccupation with the deceased or the circumstances of the death for at least 12 months (or 6 months for children). The person may also display difficulty accepting the death, intense anger over the loss, a diminished sense of self, a feeling that life is empty, or difficulty planning for the future or engaging in activities or relationships.”
- “Compulsive Shopping Disorder” – you just shop too much
- “Bigorexia or Muscle Dysmorphia” – you work out too much at the gym
When experiencing grief at the loss of a loved one or enjoying shopping or a gym are viewed as mental illnesses requiring medication we can see the psychiatrists have clearly gone adrift in DSM-5.
It’s hopeful that one of their own is speaking out with a book to educate Americans.
And worldwide there is a new group of opponents called the International DSM-5 Response Committee who are attempting to block the release of DSM-5 and give patients and medical doctors the news that these mental illness definitions should not be taken seriously.
The International DSM-5 Response Committee was sponsored by Division 32 of the American Psychological Association—the Society for Humanistic Psychology. The Committee is comprised of leaders in the mental health field within the United States, the United Kingdom, and across the globe.
Dr. Kinderman, Ph.D., a Professor of Clinical Psychology at University of Liverpool, UK. helped to develop the British Psychological Society’s critique of the proposed DSM-5 in the Spring of 2011. The document raised serious concerns about numerous proposals by the DSM-5 Task Force.
The document inspired the “Open Letter to DSM-5” petition which was sponsored by the Society for Humanistic Psychology in August 2011. In a few months, over 50 national and international organizations endorsed the petition, and over 14,000 individuals, primarily mental health professionals, signed it.
However, the American Psychiatric Association refused to submit the DSM-5 to independent review, and the DSM-5 Task Force decided to move forward with publication without addressing most of the concerns of the “Open Letter.” That was the end of the good faith attempt of the “Open Letter”.
So the International DSM-5 Response Committee was born as a coalition of leaders who have independently led groups in opposition to the DSM-5. They gathered as one group to bring a show of force and influence as the publication of the DSM-5 approaches in the Spring of 2013.
In addition to warning about the dangers in DSM-5 the group hopes that an international conversation will bring to light real, potential alternatives that work when actually needed.