Critics say there’s a damaging conflict of interest with the financial ties between drug companies and experts who are revising the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V), as well as guidelines on the best treatments. This question has been a big topic of debate not just in scientific and academic journals it also concerns the public welfare.
The American Psychiatric Association’s release of the proposed fifth revision of its billing bible, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) fuels University of California’s Dr. Irwin Savodnik’s statement, “The very vocabulary of psychiatry is now defined at all levels by the pharmaceutical industry.”
The American Psychiatric Association yesterday gave the press an advance view of its proposed Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, and the reports were highly skeptical. Will Tiger Woods soon be diagnosed with “hypersexual disorder”? He could be if the proposals go into effect. The APA will be accepting comments through April. The news reports barely noted the fact that dozens of psychiatrists who serve on the DSM-V (it’s the fifth edition) task force and working groups have financial ties to the pharmaceutical and medical device industries.
Americans are a generous people. We donate riches to needy countries. We send our troops abroad. We have exported some of history’s most influential cultural, scientific, and social inventions: democracy, fast food, and Britney Spears. Whether that generosity is helpful to other nations is another question. And so it goes with mental health. According to Ethan Watters in “Crazy Like Us: The Globalization of the American Psyche,’’ the American way of perceiving and treating mental illness has quickly and ruthlessly become the worldwide way.
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.