Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Is the DSM Nasty?

Less than a year now til the next DSM comes out..where do you stand? An evil book that pathologises people or a helpful diagnostic guide?

Just met with a student today who may end up looking at how clincians from a variety of professions compare when it comes to using the DSM, particularly how they resolve any ethical dilemnas that may arise from working ion mental health services that may demand its use.

Ive been very interested to read this critique, a strident one.Zur, O. and Nordmarken, N. (2010). DSM: Diagnosing for Money and Power" Summary of the Critique of the DSM. Retrieved month/day/year from http://www.zurinstitute.com/dsmcritique.html.

DSM: Diagnosing for Money and Power
Summary of the Critique of the DSM

below is an exerpt..

Labeling normal behaviors as mental disorders financially and professionally serve psychotherapists of all theoretic orientations. Following are some examples of how the DSM turns normal behaviors and temperaments into mental illness.
  • Shyness or normal introversion can be diagnosed as "Social Phobia."
  • The individual process of healthy grief might be diagnosed as "Complicated Grief Reaction," if it lasts a tad longer that the amount of time specified in the DSM.
  • Healthy, strong willed or active children are often diagnosed as having "Oppositional Disorder."
  • Children who are restless, non-compliant or not academically oriented are diagnosed with "ADHD."
  • Meaningful and healthy existential angst might be diagnosed as "General Anxiety Disorder" and medicated away.
  • Those with feelings of hopelessness and despair related to the burden of social injustice and poverty might be diagnosed with "Depression."
  • A person who attributes spiritual meaning to a powerful insight could be diagnosed as "Delusional."
  • A woman who is not sexually aroused in relationship to an emotionally disconnected partner could be diagnosed as having "Female Arousal Disorder."
  • Feeling jittery and agitated from drinking too much coffee can be diagnosed as "Caffeine Related Disorder."
  • People, who for reasons of being abused, stressed, uninspired or who simply choose not to engage in sexual activity, are diagnosed as having "Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder (HSDD)," which is described in the DSM-IVTR. This disorder is characterized by a low level or absence of sexual fantasy and desire for sexual activity. The obvious question is, "Who decides what is a low level?"
  • "Gender Identity Disorder (GID)" is another culturally biased diagnosis in which any behavior that does not fall within the rigid confines of the narrowly defined and preferred sex roles prescribed by most modern western cultures is pathologized. Consideration of normal developmental phases, playfulness and individuality are often harmfully discounted in this restrictive application of diagnostic criteria.

1 comment:

  1. The above critique changed my attitudes on screening people for behavioural and emotional disorders in the community. Thank you.