Firestorm Over New Psychiatry Bible
2012 12 21

By Kat McGowan | DiscoverMagazine.com





The so-called psychiatrists’ bible—the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, or DSM—specifies when people should be given diagnoses of mental disorders, influencing everything from insurance reimbursement to legal definitions of mental illness in court. Last year, planned revisions to the fourth edition of the DSM, now 19 years old, triggered bitter public controversy and worries that psychiatric disorders will be misdiagnosed.

Revising the DSM is always contentious because there are few objective tests and often no physical signs of mental disorders. But the debates surrounding the upcoming DSM-5, published by the American Psychiatric Association, were particularly intense. The changes "will dramatically raise the rates of mental disorders and mislabel normal people as psychiatrically sick," wrote psychiatrist Allen Frances, who was chairman of the committee for the previous edition.

Frances and other critics say the planned DSM-5 goes too far in lowering the diagnostic thresholds for disorders like ADHD and depression. The British Psychological Society and one subdivision of the American Psychological Association wrote open letters of complaint; the latter group’s petition had more than 14,000 signatories. Preliminary field tests of the new criteria, overseen by researchers working on the revision, show that some definitions, such as those for depression and anxiety, are less reliable than in previous versions. But psychiatrist David Kupfer of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, who chairs the DSM-5 planning committee, promises that "we will not see a flood of new diagnoses."

Nevertheless, the American Psychiatric Association has announced some changes to its proposed definitions, such as nixing a controversial new diagnosis called attenuated psychosis syndrome, which some feared would cause people with mild hallucinations or other subtle signs of psychosis to be given powerful antipsychotic drugs. Kupfer says revisions will continue until the manual goes to press at the end of 2012.

Article from: discovermagazine.com












Related Articles
Asperger’s, and the Media Narrative on Autism and the Mentally Ill
Lucid Dreaming and Mental Illness
What’s So Funny About Mental Illness?
Afghanistan: When war turns pathological, get out!
Psychiatry’s New Rules Threaten to Turn Grieving Into a Sickness
How Psychologists Subvert Democratic Movements
Concern over schizoaffective disorders inclusion in DSM-5
Mental health burden greater than all cancers: Report


Latest News from our Front Page

Whistleblower: Margaret Thatcher knew all about underage sex ring
2014 07 29
Margaret Thatcher was told about alleged sex parties with under-age boys held by one of her closest aides claims her former personal bodyguard. Barry Strevens, who worked as the prime minister’s personal bodyguard, said that he passed on allegations about her confidant Sir Peter Morrison. The former senior police officer said that Lady Thatcher appointed Sir Peter deputy party chairman of the ...
The Absurd, Bureaucratic Hell That Is the American Police State
2014 07 29
“The greatest evil is not now done in those sordid ‘dens of crime’ that Dickens loved to paint. It is not done even in concentration camps and labour camps. In those we see its final result. But it is conceived and ordered (moved, seconded, carried, and minuted) in clean, carpeted, warmed and well-lighted offices, by quiet ...
Australian Government Pushing ‘Internet Tax’ To Pay For NSA Style Spying
2014 07 29
Forcing private companies to become mass surveillance hubs The Australian government is pushing to implement a ”surveillance tax” on the people of the country in order to pay for a mandate that would see communications companies retaining data on customers for two years. In a disturbing development that should serve as a warning to Americans, the Australian Attorney-General admitted that the surveillance ...
Japanese leader proposes first-ever ’Robot Olympics’
2014 07 29
Nations of the world will be sending their most talented athletes to Tokyo in 2020 for the Olympic Games – but if Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe gets his way, they might also be pitting robots against each other. Abe announced his vision while touring robotics factories in Tokyo and Saitama, which is located just north of the country’s capital. According ...
Israel Student Union Set Up “War Room” to Sell Gaza Massacre on Facebook
2014 07 29
This article was published on July 14, 2014. The death toll in Gaza as of today, July 23, 2014, reaches 678 according to Al-Akhbar. Students at the IDC Herzliya “war room,” seen here in a screenshot, focus on posting propaganda justifying Israel’s attack on Gaza on Facebook. As the death toll from Israel’s savage bombardment of Gaza continues to climb, Israel has ...
More News »