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The APA's DSM To Determine Your Mental Illness

The APA's DSM To Determine Your Mental Illness

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Published by Daniel Abshear
Expository essay exploring the creation, and the consequences of the DSM.
Expository essay exploring the creation, and the consequences of the DSM.

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Published by: Daniel Abshear on May 11, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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The Diagnostics and Statistical Manual (DSM), the Shrink's bible, has been around for over 50years. Within this manual, there are now possibly nearly 300 mental disorders.As a dictionary of suspected mental illnesses, many redefined diagnoses are added to this manualwith each edition.On occasion, a mental disorder is deleted from the DSM, such as homosexuality in the early1970s. Its purpose, this manual, is to assist mental health professionals to diagnose and classifymental disorders.Published and designed by the American Psychiatric Association (APA), the DSM is also used, Iunderstand, for seeking mental diagnostic criteria to assure reimbursement.The DSM is organized by the following: I- Mental disordersII- mental conditionsIII- Physical disorders/syndromes, medical conditions (co-morbidity)IV- Mental disorder suspected etiologyV- Pediatric assessments The APA has historically directed the creation of each edition of the DSM, and assigns selectedtask force members to create this manual. This situation has proven to be controversial.The next DSM involves 27 people. About 80 percent of these individuals are male, and only 4members are not medical doctors. Most have had relationships with the NIH, and about 25 percent of these task force members have had relationships with the WHO.Historically, at least a third of task force members have had, or do, have often monetary pharmaceutical industry ties in some way.This makes sense, as about one third of the APAs total financing is from the pharmaceuticalindustry.The APA required this task force for the next DSM edition to sign non-disclosure agreements-which is rather absurd and pointless. Lack of transparency equals lack of credibility because of these agreements of the content of the next DSM. It opposes any recovery model necessaryregarding such disorders, I believe.The DSM should be evaluated by another unrelated task force or a peer review of sorts to assureobjectivity. This is particularly of concern presently, as many more are diagnosed with mentaldysfunctions presently at a concerning rate- with very young children in particular.Dan Abshear  

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