DSM-V, the fifth edition of the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, is due for publication in May. Here's a sneak preview of some new mental disorder categories.
We are spending tens of billions of dollars plying the worried well with unnecessary and expensive drugs; while at the very same time ignoring the desperate needs of those who really could benefit from psychiatric diagnosis and treatment.
On the eve of the release of A Dark Knight Rises, I'm going to consider whether Batman has posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), the psychiatric disorder that most people may think a likely diagnosis for Batman.
The new DSM will not cause more people to be diagnosed with addiction. Instead, more people who may not yet be addicted (but whose substance use is nonetheless unhealthy) will be able to access very inexpensive but proven effective treatment earlier and more easily.
There is an inescapable conceptual struggle when dealing with America's volatile history of, and attitudes toward, substance use. In other words, the meaning of addiction is a never-ending American, and thus worldwide, cultural debate.
The American Psychiatric Association plans to release the newest edition of America's psychiatric bible, the DSM, in 2013. The effort to determine what constitutes normal and abnormal behavior in America is apparently an ongoing process.
The DSM 5 assertion of rate neutrality is, just on the face of it, completely impossible. A simple comparison of how DSM IV and DSM 5 criteria are written makes apparent that DSM 5 has to be much more restrictive.
Giving a name to difficult problems that are poorly understood provides a kind of false comfort, but the label often doesn't really add to the understanding and may carry risks of its own -- especially unnecessary treatment, stigma and wasted resources.