While the new DSM-5 has attracted plenty of criticism - and the National Institute of Mental Health has given up on it, saying "patients with mental disorders deserve better" - not everyone is critical.
To most, it looks like an effort to over-pathologize human behavior and so for all but severe mental issues it has no value - when something tries to explain everything, it ends up explaining nothing - like calling a temper tantrum a Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder. It simply means DSM-5 is so fixated on finding a minute percentage of legitimate problems that it will create a boom in therapy that over-imaginative therapists only dream about now. Every kid will have Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder, just like really lousy psychologists casually find that 85% of people they meet at parties have Asperger's syndrome. How long before Lady Gaga declares she has Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder and Dr. Oz trots out a PhD declaring that it's not your fault for being a jerk?
Enjoy tasty, cheap food more than 11 times in the last 3 months? Yes, if you go out to eat once a week you could have Binge Eating Disorder.
It's a runaway cost train leaving the station. The courts and lawyers are a big reason why we have huge health insurance costs, not those evil businesses people complain about - defensive medicine is the biggest unnecessary cost drain. more than even malpractice insurance and lawsuit settlements - and the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals did their part in making sure mental health will make the cost problem worse, declaring, without letting Blue Shield talk before the panel of judges, that the California Mental Health Parity Act requires health plans to cover “all medically necessary treatment” for “severe mental illnesses” under “the same financial terms as those applied to physical illnesses.” Insurance companies have to throw up their hands, knowing there are even more things they have to cover if someone without a medical degree says so, since no one seems to recall what the term 'insurance' originally meant.
And what determines mental illness? DSM-5. So if a Binge Eating Disorder is declared severe it can legally get as much money as cancer treatment - though so far only in the few states run by progressive crackpots.
Marla W. Deibler, Psy.D., a clinical psychologist, likes that DSM-5 has all these new disorders. She treats things like obsessive-compulsive and skin picking disorders and feels validated more of them are in there. Because now her work on people with skin-picking disorders will have an easier time with insurance companies, who will have to pay because courts will say it is in DSM-5. That's what DSM-5 became, a dodge to get money with less hassle.
I'm not saying skin picking disorder is not a problem or unworthy of treatment, but other than the manifestation, how is it distinct enough to merit a new entry?
Deibler seeks to defend DSM-5 but ironically makes the opposite case; the APA markets this as a "Bible" for mental health and Deibler recognizes that its latest iteration is going to lead to pathologizing everyone - but simple says that it is wrong to do, that it's only intended for clinicians (and she lumps in psychologists) and will only be used wrongly by the public. As mental health fads of the last 25 years have shown, that is not true at all.
The DSM-5 Is Not Crazy by Marla W. Deibler, Slate
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