See Lois Holzman’s latest post on the growing controversy surrounding the proposed 5th edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) — “the diagnostic bible for mental health professionals the world over—and a cash cow for the American Psychiatric Association…the pharmaceutical multinationals and health insurance companies.”
An Open Letter to the DSM-5 Task Force and petition circulated by the Humanistic Psychology Division of the American Psychological Association in response to the proliferation of new diagnostic categories, had already garnered about 10,000 signatures from concerned helping professionals by mid-December.
As supportive of this reform effort as I am, I’m not a reformer. Of course we shouldn’t OVER-diagnosis. Critiquing the DSM-5 because it “goes overboard” is one thing. Critiquing the diagnostic paradigm and the entirety of the medical model approach to human emotionality is another. Thousands of people have been helped with their “mental illness” through social therapy and others approaches that relate to human beings with integrity, that is, as human beings and not as brains, minds, bodies and/or behaviors. That relate to mental health/illness as an issue of emotional and relational growth. That don’t depend on a so-called objective assessment of a person’s “illness” by an “expert” who consults a manual that was made up by other “experts.” And I do mean made up. The DSM is authoritarian through and through—and as far from authoritative as can be. READ MORE