The vast majority of Americans are unaware of most of what is included in the Senate and House health care reform bills as they head for reconciliation in the House-Senate Conference. They will be in for a big surprise concerning parity mental health care coverage, covering mental problems comparably to physical problems.
“No matter how DSM V will be written, it will be flawed. There is no psychiatric diagnosis which has an objective measure. At the moment, all diagnoses are clinical diagnoses, meaning they are subjective. This is a field of humility. There is a lot that we do not know. I think there should be an introduction to DSM V which clearly states that this book is a product of work groups…” – Shirah Vollmer, MD
Some of the most acrimonious arguments stem from worries about the pharmaceutical industry’s influence over psychiatry. This has led to the spotlight being turned on the financial ties of those in charge of revising the manual, and has made any diagnostic changes that could expand the use of drugs especially controversial.
Senator Grassley has asked 33 medical groups for information about their financial backing they get from the medical device, insurance and pharmaceutical industries, including several psychiatric front groups such as Children and Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD), Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, Mental Health America, NARSAD, Screening for Mental Health Inc. and the National Center for Mental Checkups at Columbia University (TeenScreen).
The American Psychiatric Association is considering including ‘binge eating’ in its diagnostic manual, but to many skeptics, the recognition of binge eating as a psychiatric disorder does nothing but absolve weak-willed people of their responsibility to rein in a dangerous habit. And some suspect that the diagnosis is a sneaky way to sweep an entire nation of over-eaters under psychiatry’s umbrella — and possibly into the marketplace for new drugs.