WASHINGTON, April 15, 2013 — You will soon have a whole new book in which to get a diagnosis for your behavior. It comes inside the pages of the new Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).
The Board of Trustees of The American Psychiatric Association approves the DSM5, the latest classification of mental disorders. Why is a new edition necessary? Each time a new edition appears, it contains many more categories than does the previous one. If we were getting ahead in this world of health, there should be less, not more diagnosis. We must be getting better at diagnosing them, or making them up. Rarely are patients prescribed psychotropic drugs or told they need psychotherapy unless they get a psychiatric label.
Sometimes a subject’s condition is diagnosed as the disease. There is no need of a rational approach.
A racist gets a DSM diagnosis of RACISM. This is a mental illness. We can now classify racism as a mental illness. Let’s begin treatment.
If you are a coffee drinker listen up! If you consume more than 3 cups of coffee and have five or more of the following symptoms and these cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning, you have DSM 305.9, Coffee Intoxication.
- flushed face
- gastrointestinal disturbance
- muscle twitching
- rambling flow of thought and speech
- tachycardia or cardiac arrhythmia
- periods of in inexhaustibility
- psychomotor agitation
If cannabis is legal in your state and this is more your style, if you are not careful you may have the mental illness of DSM 305.2, Cannabis Abuse.
But please follow the definition of Cannabis abuse. It involves periodic use and intoxication which may interfere with an individual’s performance at school or work and even be physically hazardous in a multitude of situations such as driving a car or heavy machinery. Good with that? There’s more…
Cannabis abuse can also lead to legal problems and negative consequences such as arrest for possession. The abuse of cannabis may also lead to arguments with spouses or parents because of the possession in the home or its presence around others. It may also lead to significant levels of tolerance along with psychological and physical problems associated with compulsive use, at which time a diagnosis of cannabis dependence should be considered rather than cannabis abuse.
There will be a treatment for you and your Cannabis abuse. Methadone?
If you’re not good at school and need a diagnosis so you can get treatment you must have DSM V62.3 a, Academic Problem. Treatment is waiting.
If you’re just not very bright you have mental illness DSM V62.89, Borderline Intellectual Functioning.
If you can’t write very well or should I say, express yourself well on paper, you may have mental illness DSM 315.2, Disorder of Written Expression.
But hold on, not just anyone can get this writing disorder diagnosis. Your writing skills have to be substantially below those expected given your chronological age, measured intelligence, and age-appropriate education. And your writing has to significantly interfere with academic achievement or activities of daily living that require the composition of written texts (e.g.. writing grammatically correct sentences and organized paragraphs).
If you’re not good at math you may be eligible for DSM 315.1, Mathematics Disorder. Now what treatment would that entail? Certainly not any more time with Mr. Kotter in the the math lab.
If you go shopping too much, you have a shopping disorder.
Shopping! Excessive shopping! We’re told this diagnosis has been around for years. It’s called Oniomania (from Greek ὤνιος onios “for sale” and μανία mania “insanity” is the technical term for the compulsive desire to shop, more commonly referred to as compulsive shopping, shopping addiction, shopaholism). It is a compulsive buying disorder (CBD) is characterized by excessive shopping cognitions and buying behavior that leads to distress or impairment. Psychopharmacologic treatment studies are being actively pursued for this disorder. I’m going to have to have an intervention with my wife about this one.
If you haven’t spoken to your brother or sister and just don’t get along very well you may be eligible for Sibling Relational Problems which include:
- Excessive arguing and/or fighting between siblings.
- Excessive jealousy between siblings.
There are several Relational Problem Diagnoses but this is probably V61.8.
If you are a parent and find yourself in constant turmoil about your child you might be looking down the barrel of V61.1 Parent/Child Relational Problems with the following characteristics:
- Difficulty with appropriate discipline in the home
- Worry about child’s truancy or other academic problems.
- Overprotection of the child, limiting the child’s capacity to grow.
- Suspicion or knowledge of a child’s drug or alcohol use.
- Unresolved parental conflict (i.e.: the constant devaluing of one parent by the other) in divorced or estranged families resulting in parental alienation syndrome.
The new DSM 5 is going to have even more diagnoses to pick from!
One new disorder I’d like to point your attention to in particular is Bloated Toad Syndrome; I hope you don’t have it. It is a reflection of unhealthy societal values. Wretched excesses and conspicuous consumptions. You want too much. You have too much. You may have too many televisions and flat screen TVs that double as load-bearing walls. You just can’t do that. Take the TV off the wall and run over it with your Hummer. No Hummer? Damn. You’ll have to wait for the drug to cure this illness.
Why are we pathologizing all of life?
The problem we are slipping into is the diagnosis of everything by a profession that can create more illnesses. This is called Medicalization; it’s in my dictionary, I don’t know about yours. It is the process by which human conditions and problems come to be defined and treated as medical conditions. Everything becomes a disorder.
Medical health care authorities are quick to prescribe pharmaceuticals. We don’t need any more drugs. Health care ought to focus on organic dysfunction; removing the caustic stimulus and applying the appropriate organic correction.
But lest I let myself off the hook I submit my own DSM 5 diagnosis. I don’t know this disorder number but I’m sure someone will tell me when the new DSM edition comes out so I can be declared a study subject in the next grand rounds at the county hospital. It is called Faux Real Disorder. This disorder centers around social networking sites which mostly consist of manufacturing highly inaccurate, inflated portrayals of one’s self in order to impress loved ones and strangers alike. It is really self-deception, always a bedrock contributor to mental illness. Did it. Self-diagnosis.
With this new mental disorder classification, myself, along with millions of Americans can rest assured that we feel vindicated as we adoringly hang on to every new lie we tell about ourselves. I hope you’ve not done this. But if you do then we have more in common than you thought.
Dr Peter Lind practices metabolic and neurologic chiropractic in his wellness clinic in Salem, Oregon. USA. He is the author of 3 books on health, one novel, and hundreds of wellness articles. His clinical specialty is in physical, nutritional, and emotional stress. His newsletter is available at The Alternative Daily
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