Critics of the new “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders” fear more than 50 percent of Americans will display symptoms of one of its disorders during their lifetime. By next month, more than half of us could have a mental disorder.
The forthcoming edition of an American psychiatric manual will increase the number of people in the general population diagnosed with a mental illness – but what they need is help and understanding, not labels and medication.
Two Jews may, as the saying goes, have three opinions, but that appears to be a fairly modest ratio when compared with psychiatrists. It was inevitable that revisions to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders would invite controversy—it’s the classic reference work for mental-health professionals, and a convenient field guide to understanding crazy exes for the rest of us—but even the American Psychiatric Association, which first appointed the work groups to update the text two years ago, couldn’t have predicted the squabbles now under way.