Friday, May 11, 2012


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 The current DSM (published in 2000), is, in many respects, behind the times and out of date.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.


Anonymous said...

Interesting blog today Em. Informative about this DMS book for doctors etc. Sounds like we are still behind times. Enjoyed the video of top 10 crazy dictators. It takes one to know one and I haven't met anyone like me yet, so maybe I am OK! Lol! kam

Ameer S. Washington said...

As fast as breakthroughs in technologies come, you'd think they'd know speed is essential. With all the behavioral studies that have been conducted into Autism, Aspberger's, ADHD, and then like, you'd think they'd have it by now. Medical definitions change almost as quickly as tax law. With all their brain power, you think they'd have it by now. But the money machine always persists. It's to squeeze every dollar out of you and keep from paying you and me anything. Medical insurance is among the biggest rapes our capitalist system. These days, having insurance hardly guarantees you much but a check up.

One thing that worries me about check ups is that most are incomplete. Doctors only need to go over a few specific things and if you don't ask questions or spill your life history, they wont dig to diagnose things that are easily caught. F U HMOs and the like.

Crazy is uncontrolled, off the rocker, something's not screwed in. A lot of this is just pure stupidity and laziness. I guess with all we see through TV and internet, there's not much to be surprised about. Thus there's not much that can be called crazy or abnormal.

Carola said...

They need to publish and update the manual online.

MikesFilmTalk said...

Interesting dilemma. I can well believe that there are multitudes of new definitions of mental ills and symptoms to match. In my job, I cannot actually say what I do but I can hint at it, I deal with folks who do bad things, and the excuses that are trotted out have evolved into blaming their behaviour on mental deficits.

Let me explain.

When my daughter was born, every child/baby in the world seemed to suffer from inner-ear maladies. Except my daughter I hasten to add.

Now it seems that just about every child
suffers from: Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), Autism, and Asperges. Call me cynical, go ahead a lot of folks do, but I always hear these mental maladies trotted out as an excuse for misbehaviour. Misbehaviour that runs the gamut of breaking the law to being rude to their fellow man.

I can well see why the APA are frustrated about the delay of the publication of the DSM. After all it is hard to back up a diagnosis of say Asperges for an insurance claim, let alone be used as a defence mechanism in a court of law.

"Carry on as if you're normal." My boss used to say. Although if pressed I don't think he could have given a "good" definition of what normal is. As Norman Bates says in Psycho, "We all go a little crazy sometimes." So very true. But it looks like the APA will have a bit of a delay on being able to prove it.

Anonymous said...

This is exactly right on target and it also affects every author that is publishing books in areas of mental health. Insurance Corporations are not helpful if those insured require any long term health care. Great blog Em, you got this one cold. Love you and going to share this on my wall. Love and hugs, H. xxxxoooo

Maureen Jacobs said...

Let's just hope the Twinkie defense is not listed as a viable sickness.

ALLAN E MARA said...

I think nobody is 100% sure, nobody is 100% wrong, we should always be free to do what we do right, but without ever reaching a negative a third person, and I believe that much of the so-called "correct" standards set by having to do with dogmas established by monotheism practiced by Jews, Muslims and Christians, under the wings of a punishing God, which I personally find absurd, if they want to know more of my thoughts about what is sin or not, correct or not, can see my blog

Unknown said...

I have previously said that 'our minds' are indeed the most vast unexplored frontier that exists today, not the ocean, not space, but our minds. Lotta folks do have a lotta maladies to deal with, an now it appears these maladies have many 'twist ups' to them. So somebody is exploring into the workings of the minds.
* * * *
By far the most important advice about crazy that so much of 'pop culture' including reality tv understands implicitly....

If you're going to be crazy, you have to get paid for it or else you're going to be locked up.
Hunter S. Thompson
* * *
Sending love, I'm your friend @grammkaye on twitter.

Crack You Whip said...

I'm not sure what I got, but I definitely got it. I suppose I have some reading to do to figure out what it is!