The New Psychiatric Manual (DSM-5) Will Make You Crazy

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That’s right, Mr. Martini. There is an Easter Bunny.

~ McMurphy in One Flew Over A Cuckoos Nest

Under new psychiatric guidelines, the man in the lampshade will qualify for mental health care and medication. If he doesn’t do his job well, the boss will have to make the job work for him or face lawsuits and compensation payouts. When he gets older, accommodations will have to be made for him at work.

We are all crazy now. It’s going to cost us money but we get to blame mental illness for every wrong or silly thing we do. What a deal!

Cravings now count as addictions. So does Parental Alienation Syndrome which should include most of the country’s teenagers.

It gets worse.

They’ve  made the definitions overly broad for addictions and require fewer symptoms to qualify. No one is irresponsible, no one is immoral because there is a diagnosis to cover you.

The changes to the new DSM-5 make a mockery of real mental illnesses and it is going to cost taxpayers, health insurance companies, schools who handle handicapped children, and Medicare at a time they can least afford it.

The DSM is the guidebook for insurers and government health plans and indirectly, schools so they all will be stuck with the costs. The manual is written by 162 professionals in secrecy. They receive comments but they’re secret too. It rakes in $5 million for the authors.

Apparently, psychiatrists want to drum up more business so they are changing the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) to expand the list of recognized symptoms for addictions to include cravings and mild problems. It makes definitions for certain addictions and disorders very broad while reducing the number of symptoms needed for a diagnosis.

This could add 20 million new subscribers at a cost of hundreds of millions of dollars. Funds for more serious problems will likely be misdirected to cover the new costs. Medicare costs will go up considerably – we really can’t afford that. Special Education costs in schools will balloon.

Psychiatrist say the  broader definitions allow for earlier treatment and saves preventive costs. As my grandfather used to say – hogwash.

There will be so many unwanted side effects. Employers could wave a right to trial and class actions suits and go pscyho instead. On the other hand, employers will be faced with a broader array of disorders by employees that will affect evaluations, suits and compensation.

Now gamblers are addicts and fall under “behavior addiction – not otherwise specified.” Rather broad, don’t you think? Where does personal responsibility come in? I see no place for it. We’re not responsible for anything anymore, we have a mental disorder.

Alcoholics will no longer be people who routinely miss work, drive while under the influence, or are arrested. Now it will include people who drink more than intended and crave alcohol. That includes a lot of people I know who like to party.

The DSM-5 includes new disorders like “mild neurocognitive disorder” (defined as a “minor cognitive decline” – often associated with aging – that requires “greater effort, compensatory strategies, or accommodation” to perform daily activities).

So the aged who can’t do their job also won’t be hirable because who is going to take a chance on having to accommodate them.

Then we have “attenuated psychosis syndrome” (a combination of low-level psychotic symptoms, distress and social dysfunction that the patient views as “sufficiently distressing and disabling” to seek professional help. That takes in a lot of people going through tough times. It takes in normal reactions to those times.

If you find these definitions extremely broad, you are not alone. Critics of the proposed DSM-5 continue to push for less expansive definitions, fearing that overly broad definitions will lead to over-diagnosis and hypochondria.

In an open letter from the Society for Humanistic Psychology, three major concerns with the proposed draft of the DSM-5 were outlined –

  • Lowering of diagnostic thresholds. It expands disorders like ADD which is already overly diagnosed with people being overly medicated.
  • Introduction of new disorders. Children and adults can be more easily victimized by the overzealous.
  • Lack of empirical grounding for some proposals.

The protesters also reject proposed changes in the definition of “mental disorder,” arguing that it de-emphasizes sociocultural factors and over-emphasizes biological theory.

The letter is in response to an unsatisfactory put-off by the DSM-5 Task Force Members. They justified their testing and they plan to do make these changes no matter what.

The British Psychological Association, an esteemed organization, roundly condemns the DSM-5 and its outrageous move to take normal behavior and classify it as a disorder – “Medicalizing normal experience stigmatizes and cheapens the human condition and promotes overtreatment with unnecessary and potentially harmful drugs. But the BPS critique goes too far and wide in denying the value of all psychiatric diagnosis.”

For instance, they want to take the serious illness of Schizophrenia and put it in the same category as a broad and unknown, unproven “psychosis risk disorder.” There is serious opposition to even including “psychosis risk disorder.” Seriously, what the heck is it? It could be anything.

The changes represent the single biggest expansion in 40 years coming at a time when we are borrowing 40 cents of every dollar spent and when Americans are now being encouraged to cast blame as the answer to all our problems. We are no longer behaving badly, we are mentally disordered.

The liberal definition will certainly increase addiction rates. Even people who didn’t think of themselves as addicts, now get to do so. I’m certain that is not a good mind set.

There is room for massive corruption here as psychiatrists increase business and with their close ties to Big Pharma, both enter into a possibly corrupt business expansion and mutual financial feeding frenzy. Psychiatrists love to drug people. In fact, that’s mostly what they do. They diagnose and then drug.

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