Thursday, February 11, 2010

DSM V is too politically correct

There is discussion about what changes should be made in the upcoming DSM V:

For the first time in over a decade, the go-to manual for diagnosing and treating mental illnesses is being revised, and the committee tasked with the job has released its suggested amendments to the public.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) is the ultimate encyclopedia of the mind, and the primary resource for physicians charged with assessing mental ailments such as clinical depression, eating disorders and autism. Despite advances in genetic screening and brain scans, mental illness diagnosis still relies on written descriptions, which makes the DSM immeasurably influential.

American Psychiatric Association
Proposed changes to the DSM would have major implications for a variety of mental illnesses.After years of top-secret consultations, research and pressure from a myriad of lobby groups and mental health professionals, a board of 160 doctors at the American Psychiatric Association has proposed revisions for the fifth edition of the DSM, to be released in 2013. The proposed changes are available at for public comment.

There are proposed changes to institutionalize more illnesses among children, and continue the trend of turning problems into diseases like "problem gambling", "binge eating".

If people can relatively easily change their behavior then it is not right to classify it as a disease or illness. If there are clearly incentives, no matter how perverse or how we as a society think of them, then the behavior is rational and not a disease.

There are some people who do have psychological disorders that involve mundane activities (gone awry). But we need to shift the burden towards higher moral fiber. Demanding that people work and try harder. I'm sure some will still be "compulsive internet users" or alcoholics, but many will find that they are much stronger than they ever knew.

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