'It is all in your head' is no more helpful an answer to the patient's puzzling and troubling question than were 'the spirits are angry' or 'the gods are punishing you' or 'your four humors are unbalanced.'
Regardless of whether it's called an addiction, whether it's focused on the Internet or any other digital object, if your child displays a number of the signs below, it would be advisable to make some changes within your family.
The DSM-5 makes a significant change to the diagnostic criteria from previous editions by shifting the emphasis from medically-unexplained symptoms to the impact of those symptoms on a person's thoughts, feelings and actions.
The American Psychiatric Association has proven itself incompetent to produce a safe and scientifically sound diagnostic system. Psychiatric diagnosis has become too important in people's lives to be left in the hands of one small and insulated professional organization.
This holiday season has made grievers of us all, as we mourn the victims of this latest shocking instance of our national epidemic of mass murder. In the midst of sorrow, three issues demand discussion.
Is there a last-minute way for the DSM-5 to restore some of its lost credibility? A great deal of irrevocable damage has been done, but I have four simple suggestions that would help reduce the harm done by the DSM-5 and demonstrate that the APA has regained its integrity.
The changes that are being proposed to substance abuse diagnoses in the DSM -- especially as they pertain to alcoholism -- may open the door to many people understanding that they have a problem and seeking help for it sooner than later. This would be a good thing.
The golden rule: an underlying medical illness or medication side effect has to be ruled out before ever deciding that someone's symptoms are caused by mental disorder. And the underlying medical illness may take time to declare itself.
You may have already heard our big news in psychiatry: The first major revision of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) since the mid-1990s has just been approved by American Psychiatric Association's Board of Trustees. And the new DSM-5 will be published in May.
Trans persons are no longer classified by the medical community as mentally ill, this decision coming 39 years after homosexuality was declassified as a mental illness. I have been involved in many civil rights campaigns, but as a physician, none has mattered more to me than this one.
My best advice to clinicians, to the press, and to the general public -- be skeptical and don't follow DSM-5 blindly down a road likely to lead to massive over-diagnosis and harmful over-medication. Just ignore the 10 changes that make no sense.
The DSM-5 autism group has been blinded by an intellectual conflict of interest. Eager to introduce its concept of an autism spectrum, the group lost sight of a crucial and obvious fact: Its proposed criteria set is written so exclusively that it must inevitably reduce the diagnosis of autism.
Two years ago, the American Psychiatric Association announced the start of field trials of proposed diagnostic criteria for the future DSM-5. And now, as the first comprehensive analyses of that effort are published, what's clear is just how well the field trials did their job.
Virtually anything can be addictive for the "right" person at the "right" time -- one of stress or disorientation, when that experience holds out significant and powerful associations for the person, when the person is not inclined or able to be restrained.