Doctors Health Press, a division of Lombardi Publishing Corporation and publisher of various natural health newsletters, books, and reports, including the popular online Doctors Health Press e-Bulletin, is reporting on the controversies surrounding the release of the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) last week.
As Doctors Health Press e-Bulletin (http://www.doctorshealthpress.com/brain-function-articles/does-everyone-have-a-mental-illness) notes, the DSM is the standard reference manual for the American Psychiatric Association (APA), and its fifth edition (DSM-5) just came out last week. However, it’s causing controversy in the industry for adding so many new mental health disorders.
“The APA says that the DSM-5 is meant to cover the whole extent of current knowledge about mental illness,” states Dr. David Juan, Editor at Doctors Health Press. “It is intended as a guide for professionals to identify and diagnose patients in hopes of directing them towards a specific treatment program.”
“However, critics of the diagnostic manual say that labeling every symptom as a syndrome benefits psychiatrists and drug companies more than it does patients,” adds Juan. “Overdiagnosis is the big fear. If a patient has a problem with their mental health, and a diagnosis can be found in the DSM-5, insurers are more likely to supply coverage for any treatment needed.”
As the article “Does Everyone Have a Mental Illness?” states, part of the problem is that many experts, including those at the National Institutes of Health, think that the DSM-5 will allow doctors to prescribe medication for patients experiencing normal emotional responses to tragic life events.
“Many mental health problems can be resolved without taking drugs, considering drugs actually do little to address the root cause of mental upsets,” states Juan. “Grief, for example, can be a healthy response to loss; it doesn’t necessarily need to be treated as an illness. It takes time for the mind to heal, and getting support for the body and spirit through a period of grieving is often all that’s needed. This can be a life-teaching journey that doesn’t need to be immediately halted with numbing drugs.”
The Doctors Health Press e-Bulletin article states that critics are also raising concerns around the diagnosis of children’s mental health problems.
“Childhood is particularly fraught with emotional ups and downs, with children being vulnerable to all sorts of outside factors infringing on their emotional well-being,” notes Juan. “This can run the gamut from nutritional deficiencies, to bullying and abuse, to even just plain old ordinary emotional growing pains as a child figures out his or her place in the world.”
The Doctors Health Press e-Bulletin concludes that readers should take these illnesses with a grain of salt: “Understand that sometimes, emotional hardships are normal and will pass with time, especially if you’re going through a difficult time in your life,” advises Juan. “If you find yourself struggling for weeks or months, that’s when you know that your everyday grief or troubles might be a sign of something more, and you need to get help.”
(SOURCES: Krans, B., “Mental Health and the DSM-5: Is Anyone Normal Anymore?,” Yahoo! Health web site, May 20, 2013, last accessed May 23, 2013; “15 New Mental Illnesses in the DSM-5,” The Wall Street Journal web site, May 23, 2013, last accessed May 23, 2013.)
- Courtesy of PRWeb