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“Is the American Psychiatric Association getting carried away?” as Christopher Lane asks, in an interview about the notorious DSM.

“The risk is that the drug companies will seize on the milder conditions [listed in the DSM] and hype and exaggerate them through very canny marketing to the point where they’re basically represented as an under-reported problem…. The thresholds are [regularly] lowered for these disorders… and consequently vast numbers of the public are suddenly eligible for a diagnosis that they wouldn’t have been before.”

He notes that if the current version of the DSM gets published, children as young as four will be eligible for powerful anti-psychotic drugs, and people still grieving the loss of someone after two weeks will also be eligible for a mentally disordered diagnosis and powerful drugs.

Next month, activists plan to stage an “Occupy the APA” protest in Philadelphia during the organization’s annual conference to show their disdain.

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6 Responses to “Is a Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders that’s seven times longer than the original, with three times more disorders, a good thing?”

  1. Mike S. Says:

    you’ll probably find this interesting:

    “The six most essential questions in psychiatric diagnosis: a pluralogue part 1: conceptual and definitional issues in psychiatric diagnosis”
    Phillips et al. Philosophy, Ethics, and Humanities in Medicine 2012, 7:3
    20 some odd contributing authors, seems orchestrated by Frances, includes First (who worked on “The research agenda for DMV-V” published in 2002), many others, even Szasz.

    Also, related content at AAPP Bulletin

  2. Mike S. Says:

    re my earlier comment,
    clearly that should read “The research agenda for DSM-V”

  3. James Says:

    Please make it clear that the “APA” that publishes the DSM is the American PSYCHIATRIC Association. I think many are more familiar with APA standing for American Psychological Association, and, given the topic of the DSM, it is easy for people to assume “psychology” is behind the DSM, when it is not.

  4. Margaret Soltan Says:

    Good point, James. I’ll fix it.

  5. dmf Says:

    of course the psychological assoc. uses whatever DSM the psychiatrists invent…

  6. Bernard Carroll Says:

    Maybe that’s because the DSM is primarily an administrative scheme for classifying disorders for the purpose of reimbursement. DSM-III and DSM-IV made no claim to be the products of clinical science and they adduced no evidence of their own validity beyond ad hoc consensus with an eye to public relations.

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