Natural News, By Mike Bundrant
June 13, 2013
Back in caveman days I understand that women were sent to the woods during their time of the month.
Those insensitive cavemen.
Actually, cavemen fare pretty well compared to modern psychiatrists.
Psychiatrists just label you mentally disordered if you struggle with your monthly cycle. According to psychiatry’s newly revised diagnostic bible, the DSM-5, which I am holding in my hot little hands, women who show typical signs of PMS are diagnosable with a brand new mental illness.
This ought to go over well.
On pages 171-172 of the DSM-5, it lists the diagnostic criteria for Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder, which falls under the code 625.4.
To qualify for the illustrious mental disorder, you must experience at least five of the following symptoms during the final week before the onset of menses:
1. Sadness or mood swings
2. Irritability or anger/increased conflict
3. Difficulty concentrating
4. Depressed mood, hopelessness or critical thoughts
5. Anxiety or tension or a sense of being on edge
6. Change in appetite
7. Insomnia or hypersomnia
8. A sense of overwhelm of feeling out of control
9. Various physical symptoms: tender breasts, swelling, bloating, pain or weight gain
10. Lethargy or lack of energy
11. Decreased interest in common activities (school, work, friends, hobbies, etc..)
Of course, these symptoms must be a source of “significant stress” and not connected to a different mental illness that you might just as easily qualify for.
If you do not have at least five of the above symptoms, not to worry. You still qualify for plain old premenstrual syndrome, which millions of women have already been medically branded with.
Women, which do you prefer? The caveman approach or psychiatry’s approach?
Backlash among women
Such diagnoses have typically encouraged backlash among women.
According to Joan Chrisler, PhD, a professor at Connecticut College, menstrual disorders are culture-bound syndromes.
Paula Caplan, PhD, author of They Say You’re Crazy thinks such disorders make a mockery of women. The appalling message, according to Dr. Caplan, is: OK, OK, we’ll believe you are feeling bad if we get to call you mentally ill for feeling bad.
“Can you imagine if we did that to men?” she asks.
“Women are supposed to be cheerleaders,” Dr. Caplan adds. “When a woman is anything but that, she and her family are quick to think something is wrong.”
Worse, medical treatment is rarely in women’s long-term benefit. Doctors tend to hand out anti-depressants like they’re candy, and this disorder seems like another excuse to do more of the same.