“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
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.
The disorder is a branch of “female sexual dysfunction,” a widely debated term that involves everything from an inability to reach orgasm to a lack of desire. Described as a “Viagra-like drug for women” by one of the drug trials’ principal investigators, the former antidepressant flibanserin is prompting an outcry from critics who say female sexual dysfunction is a disorder the pharmaceutical industry has conjured as an attempt to capitalize on women’s complex sexuality.
Shockingly, people in the west are less likely to recover than those in poorer countries. Kindness and empathy are missing from the system. Drugs dominate but they don’t work well: it’s time to prescribe them only on a suck-it-and-see basis.
2012 is when the fifth edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is expected to be published. If previous revisions are anything to go by, then many more people will fall within the parameters required for a diagnosis of mental disorder.