Christopher Lane has a post up on Psychology Today (May 14 2012) called: DSM-5 Is Diagnosed, With a Stinging Rebuke to the APA.
About a year ago, the APA announced the new “diagnoses” that they proposed to include in the upcoming DSM-5. This kind of expansion is nothing new. The APA has been engaged in the medicalization of every conceivable human problem for the past 50 or 60 years.
But on this occasion, some of their more creative and potentially damaging creations generated a good deal of fairly vocal opposition. The upshot of this is a decision by the APA to drop two of the more contentious “diagnoses:” – “attenuated psychosis syndrome” and “mixed anxiety and depression.”
Clearly they thought that these concessions would allay criticism and draw away some of the flak. And to some extent the move was successful. However, there has been a backlash of sorts. The APA’s reversal has drawn attention to the fact that the “diagnoses” are simply their own inventions, with no basis in nature. By eliminating these two “diagnoses” with the stroke of a pen, they have underlined the fact that they make “diagnoses” with the stroke of the same pen.
Here’s a quote from Christopher Lane’s article:
Among the fiercest critics quoted is Mark Rapley, a clinical psychologist at the University of East London, who puts it this way: “The APA insists that psychiatry is a science. [But] real sciences do not decide on the existence and nature of the phenomena they are dealing with via a show of hands with a vested interest and pharmaceutical industry sponsorship.”
Let us hope that the controversy continues. It’s not DSM-5 that’s the problem. The problem is the APA’s spurious insistence that all human problems are to be considered illnesses and – in most cases – treated with drugs.
By the way, one of the “diagnoses” still slated for appearance in DSM-5 is premenstrual dysphoric disorder (formerly known as PMS). So this will become a “mental illness” and will be grounds for prescription of drugs – and who knows – perhaps even commitment to a mental hospital.
Please read the complete Christopher Lane article.