By Ethan A. Huff
April 7, 2010
Proposed updates to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) are prompting many to question whether or not the psychiatric profession itself has gone crazy. The latest additions to the alleged “mentally ill” could include hoarders, people who get angry every now and again, lazy people, and even those who get outraged over things like sex and violence on television.
Since its first publication back in 1952, the DSM has grown exponentially larger with each subsequent edition. Many people are lambasting the American Psychiatric Association (APA) for trying to establish virtually all behavior as some sort of mental disorder that should be treated with psychiatric drugs.
“For this latest revision they’ve set up a special task force to decide if behaviors like bitterness, extreme shopping or overuse of the internet should be included,” explained Professor Christopher Lane to a reporter from the the U.K.’s Daily Mail. “The science underlying all this is very shaky to non-existent.”
Dr. David Kupfer, chairman of the APA’s special task force, has come out in defense of the additions. He claims that each one is grounded in science, despite the fact that no biological markers can definitely identify any of the additions as actual disorders. In order to identify things like excessive shopping and extreme laziness as mental disorders, the team will simply call them as such and provide a description of the each one’s symptoms.
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