Not interested in sex? Perhaps you have a condition called hypoactive sexual desire disorder, caused by a brain chemical imbalance. That’s the message conveyed in a new “educational campaign” launched last week by the Society of Women’s Health Research with actress Lisa Rinna as a celebrity spokesperson talking about “the brain’s potential role in desire.” On the campaign’s new website, you might conclude that if you’re not fantasizing about sex a lot you should definitely talk to your doctor.
Proposed changes to the U.S. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) could include reclassifying childhood temper tantrums, teenage angst, and binge eating as psychiatric disorders. If accepted, the proposals could equal billions of dollars in new revenue for pharmaceutical companies.
As Dr. Allen Frances read through the list of proposed changes to psychiatry’s bible of mental sickness, alarms started ringing in his own mind. “I was surprised,” the renowned U.S. psychiatrist says, “that the proposals managed to be much worse than my most pessimistic expectations.”
Some time back I remarked on a new childhood “affliction” to be dealt with by the judicious use of drugs and psychiatrists: “Oppositional Defiant Disorder.” If you had four or more of the following as a child, you were ODD, and I guess I was, too…
Since 1950, man has landed on the moon, made computers commonplace and harnessed nuclear power. We’re obviously using our minds to the fullest. Yet the number of ways we can go officially crazy has nearly tripled. The hugely influential reference book used by psychiatrists and other mental health professionals the world over to diagnose mental illness — the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders — currently lists 357 types of psychiatric afflictions, up from 128 when the first volume was published in 1952.