This week the holy bible of psychiatry came out with its latest edition, the DSM-5, and it evoked a nauseous reaction in me.
Even though I only have basic education in psychology and psychiatry, it’s an area I’ve always been interested in. I’ve been known to flip through the DSM-IV from time to time, and I’ve helped friends through their struggles. So I was very interested in what was new in this edition. When I saw the additions and changes, I almost puked.
Caffeine withdrawal is among the new additions in the DSM-5. That makes half the American workforce and 90% of reporters mental. Eating excessively more than 12 times in 3 months now is labeled binge eating disorder. Let’s institutionalize the entire collegiate population who have late nights studying or partying. These are just the examples I found the most ridiculous; some of the others raise an eyebrow as well.
Mental illness is absolutely real, and all the DSM-5 has done is make it all a big joke. The U.S. has become a society of over-diagnosing. Some behaviors are just normal occurrences in childhood, adolescence, post-divorce, in old age, etc., others have plenty of “nurture” alternatives, and not all illnesses require popping pills. A lot of this has to do with pressure from big pharma, and it’s interesting to note how many people involved with producing the DSM-5 had big pharma ties.
For me, the DSM has lost all credibility with its latest publication. I’d glad to hear that many influential psychiatrists agree. We do need to continually progress forward in treating mental illness, but the DSM-5 is not that tool.