DSM-V or “creative writing for psychiatrists”

From the New York Times today comes another article about the controversial “psychiatric bible.” The book where in the past over 50% of the people making up diagnosis had ties to pharma. (I’m sure it’s not terribly different now) And pharma likes to take those diagnosis that come from behaviors (no not any measurable chemical imbalance or anything else that can be tested) and create drugs for these fictitious diseases based on subjective observation.

The process has become such a contentious social and scientific exercise that for the first time the book’s publisher, the American Psychiatric Association, has required its contributors to sign a nondisclosure agreement.

The debate is particularly intense because the manual is both a medical guidebook and a cultural institution. It helps doctors make a diagnosis and provides insurance companies with diagnostic codes without which the insurers will not reimburse patients’ claims for treatment.

The manual — known by its initials and edition number, DSM-V — often organizes symptoms under an evocative name. Labels like obsessive-compulsive disorder have connotations in the wider culture and for an individual’s self-perception.

“This is not cardiology or nephrology, where the basic diseases are well known,” said Edward Shorter, a leading historian of psychiatry whose latest book, “Before Prozac,” is critical of the manual. “In psychiatry no one knows the causes of anything, so classification can be driven by all sorts of factors” — political, social and financial. (emphasis mine)

“What you have in the end,” Mr. Shorter said, “is this process of sorting the deck of symptoms into syndromes, and the outcome all depends on how the cards fall.” (read the rest of the article here)

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About Monica Cassani

Author/Editor Beyond Meds: Everything Matters

7 Responses

  1. rant ahead
    Re: psych definitions.
    Psychiatry is defining (biological) behaviour as disease or illness, when in the past it would be called a sin. Reason why they were/are sins is because they are mostly anti-society.

    The drugs the psychiatrist prescribe can cause physical illness like diabetes and weight gain. The excessive weight can and is usually is thought to be gluttony by the general public. Further excluding this person from “normal” life. Another factor would be lost attractiveness to their mate or potential mates. Healthy pride in ones appearance is lost.

    Psychiatrys magic pill cures can cause a more severe illness than originally existed in their patient, and who is the only person the patient can turn to?

    Why do the psychiatrists not look at their own behaviour and actions? They are not human? They can not/ do not sin?

    The money the outspoken leaders of psychiatry make/take from Pharma Co. proves them wrong.

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  2. It’s all backroom politics. Such a dirty process even when they get it right. With so much money in it and so many careers on the line I can’t say I’m shocked they’ve instituted nondisclosure agreements. Frustrating that the process behind it all is growing ever more opaque though. That’s where it gets dangerous.

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  3. prufrockianpariah

    This whole establishment is criminal. It’s as your commentators say, ‘dirty.’

    Thank you for commenting on my blog. Sometimes I feel it’s just me out there in the world…

    and you’re right, I don’t have to believe what they say.

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  4. Andrew

    My friend thinks that the doctors are just as crazy as they say their patients are.

    The articles about subjects like this are pure insanity.

    BTW the translation of sin from old greek means to miss the mark. That is very appropriate when it comes to the field of psychiatry.

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  5. kevin

    I do not believe all psychiatrists are bad or (full of sin). What I do know is that there are bad psychiatrists out there who are only in the field to make money as the one and only motive and could care less about the welfare of their patients. They ridiculously over medicate, your in and out, they speak down to you with no discussion on your end as to what the problem and solutions maybe. Are as phony as a 3 dollar bill, etc , etc. The thing that is dangerous about these people is that they are given power and some, (not all) abuse that power. The dsm is given way too much power. The book is somewhat filled with opinions presented as facts. There is corruption in psychiatry and it has to do with profits, drug companies,profits etc… hopefully that will change in the future. It is important as a person with mental / emotional difficulties to try to learn as much as you can and to seek out the good pyschiatrists who are in it to help the patient, not to make money with disregard for the wellfare of the patient. My opinion from my life experience

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