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.
The quest to add sex addiction to the catalogue of recognized illness states is just a part of the desire of psychiatrists to identify everything as problematic. The handbook for diagnosis, known as the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), now in its 4th edition, is the bible of mental illness. If you want to call in sick, go to the library and find a copy – it’s a treasure trove of sick-day opportunities. A new edition, the fifth, is due in 2013.