#DSM5 – far too many labels

There have been lots of stories about the long-awaited or long dreaded DSM5.

This is the new version of the American Diagnostics Manual that is likely to be used all over the world to match human emotions to psychiatric labels that allow drugs to be dispensed and so keep psychiatry going a bit longer.

Here is just one of those stories being retold here by Kit Johnson…


Is the APA’s latest DSM-5 deliberation a step too far?

In a word – YES!

It would seem the American Psychiatric Associations latest move with DSM-5  is to classify bereavement as depression, or rather, more vaguely, in typical obfuscation, grief will no longer disqualify you from being diagnosed with depression.

Has it really come to this? Normal events – which sadly for most of us includes bereavement – are no longer safe from more ‘scary’ diagnoses.

You may feel I’m overreacting, but if you find yourself seriously knocked senseless with grief and one weeps a bit too much, for a bit too long, ergo you can be classed as depressed and indeed, mentally ill.

And if you are diagnosed as mentally ill by your physician it can carry all sorts of long-term implications, effectively barring you from many aspect of civil life – like say Jury Service.

So as well as coping with losing a loved one, you may just discover, months or years later, when you’ve recovered, that a new Doctor says ‘I see that you were diagnosed with depression in 2013’

Does it matter? Well yes it might if you are refused life insurance or medical insurance because of that diagnosis. A casual chat with your Doctor might have significant and negative implications for years after.

Remember that in many Western countries Doctors are paid for delivering medical solutions, so don’t be surprised to learn that the ‘medicalisation’ of social matters like bereavement is tempting in the extreme. It’s certainly in the interests of the Pharmaceutical industry to have things presented as medical problems.

Bereavement is part of life, as is feeling anxious, hopeless and feeble sometimes. Most work their way through it. There is a marked difference to full-blown depression.

No bloody wonder the DSM-5 manual threatens to become thicker than the Hong Kong phone directory.

Apologies to those ‘ good Psychiatrists’ out there, and I know there are many, but what I do know too, from my followers and all my social media, is that the profession does not enjoy universal support. In fact a straw poll tells me at least 60 to 70% of those I know, have very little time for the profession.

When you look at DSM-5 it’s no wonder.

The above was originally blogged here: Kit Johnson

About Roger Smith (in the UK)
Helping you to think about bipolar disorder in different ways so that we can eliminate the disorder and eventually eliminate the need for this diagnosis.

One Response to #DSM5 – far too many labels

  1. Jeff says:

    Simple and satisfying post. After meeting 5 psychiatrists in the past 3 years that all claimed that my medication induced mania meant that I was bipolar, I’m not surprised to hear that bereavement may now be a disorder. 8 months ago I stopped all meds, and for the past 5 months my mood swings stopped. I am no longer bipolar, never was… just adverse to medication… highly susceptible to the side effects.

    My daughter is now having some issues and the “professionals” have concluded that since there is a history of mental illness in the family, she has been given the following labels… Major Depressive Mood/Oppositional Defiant/Dysfunctional Defiant/Bipolar and Anxiety disorders. Yesterday, a very refreshing psych in a local hospital told us our daughter was not mentally ill. She just needed to learn to control her emotions when angry. When asked why others conclude that she is mentally ill.. he stated that today’s psychiatrists are too quick to put a label on behaviors, especially with children. Pressed further, he told us that insurance companies would not treat patients without proper diagnoses…

    DSM 5 is a problem that won’t go away. We need to educate the masses… sign the boycotts, educate yourself, and pass it on…



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