In practice, its revisions have been met with widespread dismay and alarm. In fact, I have yet to read anything positive about it.
|Dr Doom! Image by JD Hancock.|
Among the concerns that have been raised are the following:
- Medicalising grief - grief due to sad/traumatic life events (what most of us would call 'normal' grief) is now viewed as a form of depressive disorder.
- What happened to Aspergers' syndrome? - the new version bundles together autism and Aspergers', treating differences as just a matter of quantity. While there are similarities, it is confusing for the public and in many ways just absurd to say that, for example, severely disabled non-verbal autistic individuals have the same disorder as smart, highly functional 'Aspies'.
- Mislabelling unhealthy lifestyle choices - such things as promiscuous behaviour or refusal to be treated are now seen as aspects of mental illness.
- A generally broadening of diagnosis - more and more diagnosis, more and more disorders. Which is especially suspicious when you consider the close financial links between the APA and major pharmaceutical companies - the very people who will gain from the increased use of psychiatric medication.
What is your view of the state of psychiatric diagnosis? Are you worried about mental illness being over-diagnosed, or about the treatments used?