It is about damn time,,,,the DSM some time ago became more a political document of the victim culture advocates than it is a medical treatment guide.
It's about damn time for what?
These objections are simply to the inclusion or exclusion of certain diagnoses from the next edition of the DSM. For instance, excluding bereavement as a normal grieving process, which is how it is now classified, and instead labeling the symptoms of grieving as depression, which would make it a mental disorder. Or eliminating autism spectrum disorders, which currently includes Asperger's Syndrome, altogether from the next edition. Something like oppositional defiant disorder isn't a new proposal, it's in the current DSM-IV.
The DSM is not a "medical treatment guide" nor was it really ever intended to be such a guide. It's a classification system for mental disorders that allows for the gathering of statistical information, but its primary use is for insurance reimbursement and the provision of other services to the mentally ill. If the condition isn't listed in the DSM, insurance companies won't reimburse the treatment. And that not only affects patients, it affects the income of psychiatrists.
And, the current controversy about whether to eliminate the autism spectrum disorders centers on just those issues--many of those currently receiving psychiatric treatment, or special education services, would be deprived of such things if this diagnostic category was eliminated from the next edition as has been proposed. But is it a valid diagnostic category reflective of a true mental disorder? That's what the debate is about.
This has nothing to do with "victim culture". It has to do with whether or not the diagnostic categories describe specific clearly differentiated disorders, rather than vague entities that are "catch-alls", and whether certain behaviors should even be considered "mental disorders".
And a great deal of political in-fighting within the field of psychiatry enters into these debates. Will certain behaviors be labeled as mental illness so psychiatrists will be able to treat a new group of potential patients? Will there be benefits to the pharmaceutical manufacturers, as well as to psychiatrists, for including new diagnoses for which meds can then be prescribed? Will insurance companies save money if certain diagnoses are eliminated? A great many consequences of what will be excluded or included in the DSM-5 are monetary
, and financial considerations and pressures, whether overt or covert, affect the debate about what to include and exclude from the DSM-5.
In addition, the concept of mental illness has become increasingly medical/physiological/neurological within the field of psychiatry, predisposing toward pharmaceutical drug treatments, a conceptual framework that not all psychiatrists share, and that those in allied mental health professions may also not share. So those factors also enter into the current debate about what to include or exclude from the DSM-5. Different mental health professionals can view mental illness, and what constitutes mental illness, from very different perspectives. While there are considerable agreements, there are also disagreements, and there may be no clear-cur scientific basis for resolving the differences.
I've followed some of the debate regarding the autism spectrum disorders in the New York Times, and I will read the information on the petition link you posted,
But I'm not sure that any of this qualifies as a real "revolt" that's any different than the usual cantankerous debate that always accompanies any revision of the DSM--there are always loud and vocal disagreements because there are competing interests and competing factions, and competing ideas. And the voices of dissent are often ignored, or only minimally appeased. The only difference this time round seems to be the use of the internet to disseminate information and gather signatures on a petition. It remains to be seen whether that will exert a significant influence of any sort.
I can't say that I see any validity, at all, to this statement
the DSM some time ago became more a political document of the victim culture advocates...
I can't see how "victim culture advocates" enter into this at all. What on earth are you talking about?
It's more about political power struggles within the field of psychiatry itself, and between psychiatry and other allied mental health professions, in terms of what gets classified as a mental disorder.