Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Defining mental illness again

As the American Psychiatric Association prepares the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM), a chorus of criticism about the closed-door process continues to crescendo. The Los Angeles Times ran a story on December 29 titled “DSM psychiatry manual's secrecy criticized” detailing the arguments of Dr. Robert Spitzer and others in favor of publicly airing the decision-making process of what qualifies as mental illness.
The venerable Dr. Spitzer, who edited the third edition of the DSM, widely considered the version to beat, argues for l’gealite as a prophylactic against big pharmaceutical interests who may want to pathologize and ultimately medicate the most trivial of human behavior. Although psychiatrists working on the DSM V are limited to $10,000 annually from big pharma, such a restriction may be too little, too late.
Dr. David Kupfer, who is overseeing the newest edition, told the Times that he wants to reduce the number of diagnoses.
Let’s hope he can hold this ground.Sphere: Related Content

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