February 13, 2010
Anew diagnostic manual prepared by the American Psychiatric Assn. either trivializes serious conditions, needlessly encourages hurtful stereotypes or succumbs to political correctness, depending on whom you believe. Even experts will question one classification or another in the draft fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, which is why it's been posted on the Internet for comments years before its expected publication in 2013. But the intention of the authors -- to define more precisely which conditions require psychotherapy and how they're related to one another -- is laudable.
May 26, 2009 |
Is the compulsion to hoard things a mental disorder? How about the practice of eating excessively at night? And what of Internet addiction: Should it be diagnosed and treated? As the clock ticks toward the release of the most influential of mental health textbooks, psychiatrists are asking themselves thousands of complex and sometimes controversial questions. The answers will determine how Americans' mental health is assessed, diagnosed and treated.
August 29, 2005
This is yet one more odd, albeit normal behavior that has been voted as a new mental illness by the psychiatric money machine ["A Tanning Addiction?" Aug. 23]. And, of course, the only "valid" treatment for mental illness is to drug the patient. How long are reasonable people, both in the medical profession and not, going to continue to allow the sham of DSM IV [Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition] to be shoved down our throats by the psychiatrists? Enough already!
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 8, 2003 |
Dr. John E. Fryer, 65, a psychiatrist considered a trailblazer in the gay rights movement for appearing before his colleagues at a 1972 convention in a mask to announce his homosexuality, died Feb. 21 in Philadelphia of aspiration pneumonia. Fryer appeared as Dr. H. Anonymous, clad in a full mask and wig, and using a voice-distorting microphone before the American Psychiatric Assn. meeting in Dallas at a time when homosexuality was designated a mental illness. "I am a homosexual.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 31, 2000
"Pills for What Ails You Socially" (Opinion, July 23) is wrong to assert that "social anxiety disorder" and the antidepressant medicine used to treat it are "largely the innovation" of the drug's manufacturer and its ad agency. Specific criteria for diagnosing social anxiety disorder, also called social phobia, have been described in the American Psychiatric Assn.'s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders since 1980. Paxil, an antidepressant, was first approved by the Food and Drug Administration for treatment of depression in 1993 and was not approved for treatment of social anxiety disorder until 1999.
September 1, 2013
Re "New look at male depression," Aug. 29 The study on depression in men illustrates why the National Institute of Mental Health recently rejected the structural framework of the official psychiatric Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders as being without scientific validity. This extension of the diagnosis of depression is nothing more than describing a list of behaviors more common in men, including "risk taking" and "workaholism. " There are a wide range of such traits that are culturally defined, and even if problematic, they may be the optimal adjustment for a given person.