The Book of Woe (DSM) in Wired Magazine – Gary Greenberg

Gary Greenberg is the author of Manufacturing Depression. I’ve covered his work on this blog before.

He has a new article in Wired Magazine about the process of the creation of the next DSM. (DSM 5)

Inside the Battle to Define Mental Illness. (the print version had the much more fitting name “The Book of Woe”)

these are a couple of tiny tidbits…it’s a long article:

Frances, who claims he doesn’t care about the royalties (which amount, he says, to just 10 grand a year), also claims not to mind if the APA cites his faults. He just wishes they’d go after the right ones—the serious errors in the DSM-IV. “We made mistakes that had terrible consequences,” he says. Diagnoses of autism, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, and bipolar disorder skyrocketed, and Frances thinks his manual inadvertently facilitated these epidemics—and, in the bargain, fostered an increasing tendency to chalk up life’s difficulties to mental illness and then treat them with psychiatric drugs….

…Throughout 2009, Spitzer and Frances carried out their assault. That June, Frances published a broadside on the website of Psychiatric Times, an independent industry newsletter. Among the numerous alarms the piece sounded, Frances warned that the new DSM, with its emphasis on early intervention, would cause a “wholesale imperial medicalization of normality” and “a bonanza for the pharmaceutical industry,” for which patients would pay the “high price [of] adverse effects, dollars, and stigma.” Two weeks later, the two men wrote a letter to the APA’s trustees, urging them to consider forming an oversight committee and postponing publication, in order to avoid an “embarrassing DSM-5.” Such a committee was convened, and it did recommend a delay, because—as its chair, a former APA president, later put it—”the revision process hadn’t begun to coalesce as much as it should have.” In December 2009, the APA announced a one-year postponement, pushing publication back to 2013. (The organization insists that Frances “did not have an impact” on the rescheduling of the revision.) (go to Wired and read the whole thing)

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