With the recent, long-awaited publication on May 18th of the 900-plus page DSM-V, the so-called “Bible” of the American Psychiatric Association (its $100,000,000 publishing baby), there has been the usual battle between and among psychiatrists, psychologists and other mental health professionals over its content. It adds many diagnoses and deletes others. It renames some (“Gender Idenity Disorder” has become “Gender Dysphoria” with a flick of a pen, or a click of a keyboard).
Should “caffeine-withdrawal” be classified a psychiatric disorder? Should “parental alienation syndrome?” “Sluggish cognitive tempo?” “Excoriation” (i.e., skin picking)?
The answers are found below.*
The National Institutes of Mental Health will no longer use the DSM-V’s diagnoses in its research projects. Some critics say that it has become a sales manual for the drug companies, and others, such as The Daily Kos, says of the DSM-V: “Psychiatric junk science based on subjective ‘diagnoses’ represents a form of medicine that went out in the 20th century in every other part of medicine.”
So why do we write about it here? Well, think about it. With the addition of “caffeine-withdrawal syndrome,” will limiting an employee’s trip to the coffee machine be a violation of the ADA? Will every new diagnosis become a court case?
The next interesting ADA case is limited only by the imagination of a shrink, or plaintiff’s lawyer.
*Answers to quiz: The first and last of the above disorders were included in the DSM-V. The second and third were not. Give yourself a point for each correct answer.