“The world’s biggest mental health research institute is abandoning the new version of psychiatry’s “bible” – the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, questioning its validity and stating that “patients with mental disorders deserve better”. This bombshell comes just weeks before the publication of the fifth revision of the manual, called DSM-5.
On 29 April, Thomas Insel, director of the US National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), advocated a major shift away from categorising diseases such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia according to a person’s symptoms. Instead, Insel wants mental disorders to be diagnosed more objectively using genetics, brain scans that show abnormal patterns of activity and cognitive testing.
This would mean abandoning the manual published by the American Psychiatric Association that has been the mainstay of psychiatric research for 60 years.” (Source: New Scientist: Psychiatry divided as mental health ‘bible’ denounced)
This move is being heralded as great news in the “survivor” community. But, I want to know who in the hell will pay for the brain scans and cognitive testing the NIMH is recommending as diagnostics?! Let’s get real, this is yet another way to pass the buck on treatment of mental illness! Most claims by the US government regarding the improvement/advancement of mental healthcare is extremely insincere and aimed to keep/place the burden of mental health care square on the shoulders (and wallets) of those with a mental illness.
Honestly, my brain scans have been non-events. No doctor would never know I have Tourette syndrome, let alone have struggled with severe depression and bipolar EVER by looking at the results of my brain imaging!
Of course, I don’t like the idea of any sort of “bible”. I think the DSM began as merely a set of guidelines that have been extremely helpful for a lot of doctors and a lot of folks with psychiatric disorders as well as abused to no end by the medical establishment and extremely destructive for a helluva lot of women and many, many members of my LGBT family, too.
Also, see The Walrus: Mind Games for some interesting reading on this.
What are your thoughts on the possible demise of the Diagnostic & Statistical Manual?