Not crazy about DSM (I,II, III, IV or V)

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.

Notes Holzman:

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


About Janet Wootten

Janet Wootten is a media and public relations professional, a member of the Institute’s Board of Directors and a leader of its annual community fundraising campaign.
This entry was posted in Lois Holzman, Psychology, Social Therapy, Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Not crazy about DSM (I,II, III, IV or V)

  1. Diana Douglas says:

    DSM in my mind is simply a construct. At this point, it seems to be an avenue for mental
    health institutions to be able to collect funding from various sources, governments, HMOs.
    The diagnosis are the avenue for collection of funding.
    Many patients tend to suffer. They start to own the diagnosis and abrogate responsibility
    for their behavior to the diagnosis. They might do the same anyway. But I have seen a trend
    for young people to really accept the diagnosis as part of their persona.

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