Friday, May 11, 2012

WHO'S CRAZY?

The guys who publish the "Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders," are also the guys who diagnose you and me if we're out-of-whack. More than likely, if we've got some sort of mental illness and consult a "psych"-something-or-other person for help, he/she probably uses this manual, the DSM.

Well, a problem brewing.

These psych-guys (doctors, therapists, authorities, their teachers, and consultants in the mental health business) have contributed to the information in the latest, updated, new manual. Like other writers and publishers of reference books, they've had to sign a standard, non-disclosure agreement -- they cannot mention or use the newly defined definitions of illnesses, symptoms, and treatments until the DSM is in the market place.

The new DSM will be published in May, 2013. The current DSM (published in 2000), is, in many respects, behind the times and out of date. And this is further complicated by the fact that these psych guys are part of the American Psychiatric Association that's part of the American Medical Association. APA, a non-profit organization, supports itself from what it earns from the worldwide sales of the DSM.

So the psych guys are tearing their hair out -- there are new definitions on autism, depression, schizophrenia, also newly added binge-eating disorders, Internet addiction, sex addiction, and the vast world of premenstrual "dysmorphic" syndrome, and other female orgasmic disorders.

Doctor and patients cannot get reimbursed by insurance companies for treatment and medication until the new guidelines are published and accepted the insurance companies.

It's a mess. Who and what is crazy and who and what is normal has changed. And the guys who define mental illness are upset about money benefits from the book, upset about their patients -- for instance, the autistic. They need these new definitions to be accepted by insurance companies so that someone with Asperger's can get supervision and help, maybe for the rest of their lives.

The furor about what's going on is crazy.

Actually, I'm not sure what's crazy nowadays, on the streets, in religion, music, art, business, entertainment. Gee, what we see/hear every day in politics is nutty, utterly out-of-whack, though I enjoy some of the wonderfully crazy classic movies--"The Shining," Jack Nicholson, "Star is Born" the suicide of Judy Garland's husband, Olivia de Havilland in "Snake Pit."

And don't forget these truly scary guys -- crazy is as crazy does.

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