Petition against the proposed DSM-5 changes
The Bible of Mental Health Treatment
Since the 1950s Psychiatrists and Psychologists have been referring to a reference book called the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or DSM for short, to diagnose patients. This book, which is sometimes referred to as the 'bible of mental health treatment', was published by the American Psychiatric Association APA contains a list and description of all the known mental health conditions. The DSM developed from a guide created by US Army and Navy psychiatrists to diagnose mental illness has undergone many changes over the years.
Using the DSM the diagnosis of a person's condition by a psychiatrist will appear along with a set a numbers. Some examples of these are:
296.22 (Major Depressive Disorder, single episode, mild)
300.00 (Anxiety Disorder NOS -not otherwise specified)
301.83 (Borderline Personality Disorder)
314.01 (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder ADHD)
Controversial Updates to the DSM
At one stage psychiatrists wanted to include, in the DSM manual, homosexuality as a mental illness. A lengthy battle ensued which resulted in dropping homosexuality from the list of mental illnesses in the late 80s.
The DSM is presently being updated and the latest version is due for publication in May 2013. Drafts have been published to the APA website and the changes proposed have caused an uproar across the globe.
The new changes proposed will lower the criteria to diagnose certain conditions and make it easier for mental healthcare professionals to diagnose people with psychiatric conditions and prescribe medication. No doubt the changes will make pharmaceutical companies very happy but there are many mental health professionals who are very concerned about the proposed trend.
British Psychologists Object
The British Psychological Society was so concerned that it posted a letter of complaint.
The letter explains how its members are concerned by how people are being negatively affected by the medication of the natural and normal responses to their experiences which they do not see as illnesses. Many argue that by accepting the changes medicating a grieving person might someday become acceptable as the person grieving ticks all the boxes for a Depressive Disorder.
There is a very real concern among psychologists that the changes will increase the number of children being diagnosed with conditions such as ADHD and a subsequent rise in the number of children taking prescribed medication for what would otherwise be normal 'fidgety' behaviour for young children. They are concerned and go as far as saying that it is intolerable that some of the anti psychotic drugs which will be readily prescribed to children and the aged will have very dangerous side effects.
Opposition from within
A very telling development is that Allen Frances, Professor Emeritus at Duke University and who was the chairperson for the group that published the last DSM-4, is now voicing his opposition to the process and proposed amendments to the DSM calling them untested and unscientific. You can read what he says in his blog posts on the Psychology Today website.
Let your voices be heard
The fight over the proposed changes to the DSM to be published as the DSM-5 in 2013 is far from over. Like any other document that seeks to stand as the authority for how to label a human condition, unless the people it seeks to serve speak up then we end up with yet another excuse to become victims of a society we give other people the power to manipulate and control.
Take your power back from those self serving individuals who promote nothing but the ego!
Sign the OnLine Petition to the DSM-5 and let your voices be heard.
DSM-5 against human rights
Here is video explaining how psychiatrists seeks to reinterpret normal life problems as mental disorders which they then treat as organic problems of the brain with medication. Please take the time to watch the video and realise that these proposed changes will one day directly affect everyone of us, our children and our parents.
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